I watched a movie last night that affected me deeply: "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas."
It’s a story told through a young boy’s eyes (the son of the commanding officer of a concentration camp) about the Holocaust, and in particular a relationship between the boy and another his age who is separated by barbed wire.
It shows the family dynamic unravel as the boy’s father tries to hide the true nature of "the farm" from his family. Their discovery of what goes on there works to tear the family apart as the realization that the father, who in any other situation would be a great man, has turned away from sanity in order to serve the Third Reich.
We had an occurrence at the Motion Picture Home on Thursday that should send a shiver down your spine, and send a warning on how bad the situation at the Motion Picture Home has become.
Daniel Quinn, one of the leading voices of our campaign to stop the closure of the Long Term Care unit, was apprehended by the police as he exercised his right to gain entry to a residents meeting on his mother’s behalf. By police, I mean the LAPD. Daniel had every right to be his mother’s proxy in this meeting. He holds a Power of Attorney for his mother.
In a scene right out of "Schindler’s List," Daniel was separated from his mother by MPTF social workers as he was led away by the LAPD to an anteroom and threatened with arrest, in full view of his mother.
This was at the hands of those who only a year ago nurtured us, cared for our parents and loved ones, and was available at all hours to field our questions and address our concerns.
Roger Ebert had a great quote that was attributed to the movie "Boy in the Striped Pajamas" that is so appropriate for what is happening at the MPTF:
"Whenever loyalty to the enterprise becomes more important than simple morality, you will find evil functioning smoothly."
Men of sanity and stature whose loyalty to the enterprise makes them turn their back on humanity. Familiar? You get the picture.
We are dealing with the Enron of health care centers. Like Enron, we hope to see those who are pulling the strings leave. They will be disgraced. Unlike Enron, we hope that the MPTF finds itself again and regains its stature as the world-class institution that it once was.
We have just begun the fight. Thank you for standing with us.
UPDATE: As of Saturday, the MPTF has banned Daniel from the campus, and from seeing his mother. This next morning, Ken Scherer made an appearance on KNBC’s "Sunday L.A.," which has a very limited Internet and digital audience. On the very day that Daniel was muscled out of the Motion Picture Home, Ken reweaved his PR spin.
Possibly at the very time Daniel was physically separated from his mother’s side, Ken now claims that the fund would face a $75 million dollar shortfall if the LTC remains open. On the day when the MPTF was able to remove a very outspoken member of SAG from the property, Ken admitted that out of the 22 facilities that the MPTF targeted for their elderly refugees, maybe about 10 would seem suitable to most families.
On the afternoon that the MPTF tried to silence one of the most passionate spokespeople for the rights of the residents, Ken Scherer shook his head and reiterated the anguish that the board faced when making this decision.