You will probably not read this story in a local Santa Barbara newspaper. For in truth, it takes courage for a paper to even report an on-going atrocity when it involves local people and local businesses—and this story is truly the proverbial ‘tip of the iceberg’. This manner of Elder Abuse stretches far beyond Santa Barbara County and is a growing national concern. I strongly suggest everyone who reads this, should view the website of the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse (NASGA) listed below.
This story begins in March, 2008 when I first began visiting John and Peggy Figg-Hoblyn. They were living a rather carefree life, in an old RV donated to them by a friend. Unlike most people I know, they had no debts and lived fairly comfortably on the $1600.00 a month they received in combined Social Security checks. They enjoyed each day to the fullest, doing the activities that John enjoyed most: hiking as much as ten miles a day, including long walks around Lake Cassitas; frequent visits from friends; reading the bible aloud in a strong, clear voice; attending the church of their choice every Sunday and remaining remarkably healthy and vigorous on what one doctor and a world renowned nutritionist, Patricia Bragg, called, an ideal organic diet.
There are hundreds of people in the Ojai Valley who marveled at the sight of this 82 year old man and his 73 year old sister/companion of 45 years as they were observed hiking for miles at a time, with full back packs. When John suffered a Urinary Tract infection and was admitted to the Ojai Community Hospital, the attending doctor and one of the lab technicians were amazed at the strength of John’s heart and his overall great physical condition. In his report, the doctor mentions talking to John. I mention this because John is sometimes slow to speak and one might think he is unable to communicate. Nothing is farther from the truth and especially if he gets angry or hears something he doesn’t agree with. John laughs readily at anything humorous. At age 82, John had never had a flu shot, never taken a psycho-tropic drug. With the help of his sister and friends, John was on a daily exercise regimen in addition to his rigorous walking regimen.
John Figg-Hoblyn has been incarcerated, with all loss of normal freedoms since August 11, 2008. There is no daily exercise regime, in fact he is encouraged to sit in a wheel chair instead of walking. His diet is not the one recommended by his doctor. Peggy is not allowed to take pictures of John. He is not free to go where he wants, do what he wants—not even go to church. Since August 11, 2008, he has had a daily diet of psycho-tropic drugs to keep his mind dull and his energy level reduced. John’s life has been ruined. He has the same privileges of any inmate on death row—where John actually sits right now. He is angry, frustrated and more and more going silent and limp.
Full Profile and Source:
NASGA: John Figg-Hoblyn