Continued from Perhaps After Reading This You Could Suggest a Title for This Post
The first part of this story was relayed in the post “Perhaps After Reading This You Could Suggest a Title for This Post. As you may already know, the father of an expatriate in Sweden left 2 letters as a comment, written to his Senator informing her his son had been considerably disturbed by FATCA and had committed suicide out of desparation.
Jonathan Andrew Prince was born in California on February 26,1969. He attended university as an undergrad at “Cal Poly” and went to Sweden to further his studies in brain chemistry and obtain his Ph.D. He remained in Sweden, married, had two children and a career at the Karolinska Institutet. Some have questioned whether this story is a hoax; whether Jonathan was a real person; did he work at the Karolinska Institute and so on. All I can say is that to the best of my knowledge, based upon my conversations and emails with his father and my own searching on the internet, he most definitely was a real person. His obituary notice is linked at the end of this post.He passed away on June 20, 2015. Here are a few links that speak to his work:
Microsoft Academic Search Author Jonathan A Prince
aminer.org profile Jonathan A Prince
Further, some claim he could not possibly have done what he did due to “tax problems.” Or that it is not fair to claim that this was the result of FATCA because it almost certainly was due to some mental or emotional instability. My response to that is no competent therapist would ever separate a person’s actions from all the accompanying features of the person’s life. The mental and emotional states are intimately interlinked with the conditions of one’s employment, family dynamic and so on. It is not truly possible to separate the outside experiences of one’s life from their inner state. Here is a description of how a psychologist sees the effects of U.S. tax policy affecting expats.This comment was made in the context of the 2 meetings that were organized to offer people a chance to talk openly without any fear of being exposed; June 15, 2013 & March 29, 2014 (which Dr. Young was scheduled for but missed due to illness).
All of the emphases are mine:
In the words of Dr. Donald Young
For those U.S citizens who have elected to live abroad, be it in Canada or elsewhere, American tax policy can place such individuals in a position that engenders constant and severe emotional stress. The vindictiveness of the U.S. position, its unfairness and irrationality, the fact that neither the U.S. government nor tax and legal experts even know the rules and how to rationally proceed, and the constant threat of economic calamity are all factors that can be emotionally devastating. From my observations over the years in people ensnared in this situation, and I would count myself among us, it is common to experience substantial anxiety, depression, feelings of panic and foreboding, guilt over being branded a cheat and a criminal, fear, anger, resentment, and general feelings of helplessness and confusion. I have in fact seen some people who have become virtually suicidal at the prospect of losing everything for the “crime” of not paying taxes to a country they have not lived in for decades if ever at all. I am a clinical psychologist licensed to practice in Ontario with 35 years of experience. I have also been appointed an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. In recent years I have had the opportunity to discuss and address these problems with many individuals who are trapped in these tragic circumstances
Along with John I am happy to make myself available in any of the forums or meetings that will be forthcoming. There is always strength in numbers and sometimes much can be gained by discussing common problems together in a group. I am also happy to chat or work with people individually with these concerns.
This is a link to the obituary . I am trying to post an actual picture but it is not coming out clearly enough to read. Will work on this.
One last thing for today. Many have commented as to how they cannot understand (or even don’t believe this story because of this) how a father could do such a thing with two young children. I suspect those who outright disbelieve it do not actually have children. Any honest parent will admit to the difficulty of the constant sacrifice required and how sometimes it simply is too much. Parents are not saints and they suffer the same myriad of issues as anyone else. And it is common knowledge in the counselling world that people who commit suicide feel extreme guilt at being the source of a problem, so the solution, in order to protect, is to take themselves out of the equation. No one would question a parent putting themself in front of a car to protect a child (even one who wasn’t their own). On a certain level, it is exactly the same thing. Life is not neat and tidy and clear sometimes.
Continued from Perhaps After Reading This You Could Suggest a Title for This Post
February 13, 2016 at 6:21 pm (Edit)
Appreciate so much all of your communication with *J’s* father and your update today, February 13, including the actual Swedish obituary for *J*.
Thank you so much for finding and referencing here the opinion of clinical psychologist, Dr. Donald Young, on how FATCA can and has affected many of us, and your true words…
This account must not be forgotten and it must be a strong reason that we fund the Canadian litigation, on behalf of US-deemed US citizens abroad in Canada and, by extension, those the world over that similar litigations might take place in their countries.
February 13, 2016 at 8:40 pm (Edit)
Will Dr. Donald Young be available to testify at the Charter Trial? He puts the right words to the thoughts and feelings that so many of us have and have had since the cold, hard realization that we are potentially targeted individuals of a foreign government and have been betrayed by our own.
Japan T says
February 13, 2016 at 8:46 pm (Edit)
Thanks for the update.
Your comments on the guilt a patent (and I would add spouse) may feel over infecting their family with US personness rings true for me. I can not express the emotions, range and intensity, I feel every time I look at them knowing the hell they must endure solely because one of their parents is American, and for that parent to be myself.
Despite what the homelanders I have talked to say about this, I am NOT a tax cheat, not a criminal. Still, there is a sense of logic in the stance, twisted and asked upon ignorance though it be. But for my children and “nonresident alien” spouse to branded and burdened as such is truly unbearable.
The only possible way out is long, time extensive and financially expensive and has only a slight, so very slight prospect of succeeding….and I have NO time and NO money to undertake this journey. Even if I did, the reality of having to fight this each and every day with out respite for at least two or three years is extremely discouraging.
I have long since resigned myself to the reality that the is no way out for me. So my focus is how to save my family from it.
The USA is the only guilty part here for practising illegal rules on it’s citizens of wich I refuse to obey !
FATCA has opened my eyes on the corporate mafia that is ruling USA, the United Nations and the IMF.
All this began in december 1913 with the creation of the corporate federal reserve by Rockfeller Rothschield and Jp Morgan to print and lend money to USA.
USA lost it’s sovereignty that year just like all the other countries forced to lend money from the IMF that they also own.
And now nations are so deep in debt that we’re in a ginormous financial mess. World economy IS collapsing and the US dollar is going to collapse this time.
FATCA is just a small part of the problem since failling banks are now allowed to legally steal our money with the Franck act in USA and “La directive BRRD” in Europe.
These federal corporate gangsters have acheived their goal with their new world order plan to legally rob us.
So, after reading many economic articles I have taken all my money out of the bank and bought physical gold (in coins) and I know many people that have a lot more money than me that are doing the same. You only have to have a very good place to hide it.
Yesteday I got angry at the bank agency here in France because now when you withdraw more than a thousand euros you have to give them a reason why and what you’re going to do with the money !!! So I said it was to buy héroïne
My comment was cut in the middle 🙁
Anyway, with the economic collapse that’s coming, we’re all in duck soup.
Only way out is to buy gold and hide it Well.
All paper money economies have collapsed, ours will be no exception.
Good luck to everyone
Dr. Young uses several key words to describe U.S. behavior in dealing with its citizens:
vindictiveness, unfairness and irrationality.
As a historian, I can say that these three words have always been associated with and have always been the hallmarks of fascist, totalitarian and undemocratic societies. Few here would disagree.
So, do you really believe that by approaching this problem, and seeking resolution, through a “democratic” process, namely a “democratic trial” in a country “under the boot” of a fascist and totalitarian neighbor, that you will get any justice? Sorry to say, but based on historical precedent, it is highly unlikely.
Do you have a better suggestion?
I wholeheartedly endorse, support and feel both humbled and deeply grateful for every member of ‘The Team’ at Brock. You are all heroes. At the heart of this global nightmare, you shine as a compassionate, honourable, generous and mutually supportive band of true resistance fighters.
May each of us on the sidelines do, say and – yes, daily – give them only what will provide them with more strength to carry on this unequal battle. It is for the sake of pretty much every single person on the planet outside the US. They demonstrate the courage and moral strength to put their necks on the line.
Let’s all be grateful and do whatever we can to help them, please.
Thanks for the update. I agree with every word you wrote.
Thank you for your support.It is very much appreciated.
Thanks for posting the words of Dr young as I will show them to my doctor and priest who think I a nuts and America is great
Yes I have kids and thought suicide would be the solution for my non compliant partner to collect insurance to buy freedom
King of road and Arthur are both correct but for different reasons yet litigation in Canada is the path
Brockets my postings will. Be light for a spell but nothing to worry my resolve and support is unchanged
Take good care @George. We will look for your posts whenever they may be.
courtesy of Sora Fon
and we know of Joe Stack
So it would appear it is not impossible that someone would “kill himself over tax problems”
having no way out is one primary reason for taking that route.
It’s a private decision
Thanks for letting us know this — I / we would surely worry about you if you were not commenting for awhile. Take special care.
Brock won’t like going George-Lite for awhile but it will patiently await your full return. Take good care of yourself … you are our special light.
Obviously I cannot comment on this matter without knowing more facts. I can only say that the situation that many Americans abroad experience due to FACTA and the threats made by the U.S. government will clearly have negative emotional consequences for many and at times severely so. I can attest to this as I have seen and treated it clinically. The possibility of suicidal thinking and behaviour comes as no surprise to me from a psychiatric perspective. The fact of being threatened by the strongest and most aggressive nation in the world is unsettling for even the most psychologically robust individual. Those prone to anxiety, depression, physiological responses to stress and other difficulties ( and this likely involves a quarter of the population at least ) will be all the more vulnerable to the irrational threats and demands of the American government. We are being threatened with economic ruin, branded as criminals and told we will be hunted down. This situation results in a prolonged degree of stress that will have deleterious emotional and often physical stress that will certainly take its toll.The fact that there are often no clear answers as to what to do or how to do it only worsens the emotional upset and results in a form or learned helplessness. We may well have just witnessed a tragic result of what the American government is doing to people who simply want to live in peace and leave their former country behind, assuming they ever even lived in it. And from what I can see there is no solution and no save harbour in sight.
Thank you Dr. Young.
Many of us have reported here and elsewhere that we experienced disbelief from family, friends and others, including our political representatives, who did not believe that this situation of threat from the US existed, that it was real, that it was as complex and potentially as dire as we tried to demonstrate, or that it was possible that the US would do this and Canada would assist them.
As you say; “.The fact of being threatened by the strongest and most aggressive nation in the world is unsettling for even the most psychologically robust individual. .”……
We were not paranoid or crazy or worried about nothing. This situation is very real.
I’ve been on a “FATCA holiday” for the past couple of weeks. Catching up, I saw your kind words from about a week ago. Thank you! I’m not sure/don’t recall what I said that was helpful to you but am glad that what I said helped. I would also like to thank you for the wise counsel I’ve picked up from you over the past couple of years. All the best. BC Doc
The notion that there is a positive correlation between the state of a country’s economy and its population’s mental health is pretty widely accepted.
When economies enter into recession, lots of bad things increase– suicides, alcohol and drug abuse, divorce rates, spousal abuse, mood disorders.
FATCA has imposed a severe and sudden financial stress on many of America’s 8.7 million or so ex-pats similar in many ways to a severe recession but in other ways worse– many ex-pats frankly fear confiscation of financial assets. Many of the 8.7 million ex-pats face this stress in isolation– ignored and unprotected by their home country (Canada in my case) and misunderstood or viewed as “cheats” by their “Homelander” relatives. Is it any wonder that we might see a spike in anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, and substance abuse among US ex-pats as a result of this financial shock?
“The notion that there is a positive correlation between the state of a country’s economy and its population’s mental health is pretty widely accepted….. ”
And mental and physical health are connected.
What is the cost to Canada’s economy and society when over 1 million Canadian citizens and residents are under extraterritorial and crossborder threat by an aggressive foreign government?
How will that impact Canadian individuals and their families, their ability to hold employment, and the healthcare costs associated with assisting those harmed by US aggression? There will be a ripple effect.
@ Dr. Donald Young
Thank you for your comment. Your last sentence is partly why I’m up, yet again, in the wee small hours of the morning. Although I helped my husband find a solution and safe harbour, I’ve known for 4 years that there will probably be neither for me. Being branded a criminal by the USA doesn’t bother me nearly as much as being betrayed by my own government.
@Dr. Donald Young
I am grateful for both of your comments-the older one from John Richardson’s blog as well as this one. It is so helpful to have a professional validate what we have been describing. And so often have been told, you’re exaggerrating, you’ve brought it on yourselves, etc ad nauseum. I still remember the June 15, 2015 meeting which was a really important day for quite a few of us.
@Dr Donald Young
Thank you for understanding. So few people know that whatever decisions we make to deal with our own individual situations – whether it be to ostrich, or to become compliant – are the least- worst decisions we can make. Each come with their cost and not little in the way of upside, if any.