Back to January

December 19, 2009 at 2:02 pm 4 comments

Having successfully navigated his way to Oprah, Michael Schofield has now predictably gotten his book deal. It will be titled, January First: One Child’s Battle with Schizophrenia. In addition , 20/20 is rumored to be  covering the story. Given the even handed way ABC addressed mental illness last time and the fact that Michael has had a good chance to whittle down the “facts,”  it should prove to be that perfect blend of misinformation and fluff we’ve come to expect from major corporate media.

On Michael’s new blog, he makes a good attempt at backpedaling regarding Jani’s abuse.

Most of the attacks against me have come as a result of me being overly dramatic in my writing (the “starving” and “hitting her as hard as we could” are the two most egregious examples). Such writing is unfortunately a legacy of my training as a writer, which occurred long before Jani, as well as my own tendencies developed from my favorite writers over the years. Such writing captures the emotions of what I feel, or in those cases felt (powerless to affect any change in Jani’s behavior) but is not appropriate in cases such as this where no drama is necessary. I don’t intentionally try to pump up the story. I am just writing what I feel, and what I feel is often worse than the real situation. It is has been a hard habit to break and I am still working on it.

And what a legacy it is. I find it interesting how pliable a thing “truth” is to him. If you can claim to have abused your child for dramatic effect, couldn’t you even more easily deny it for the sake of appearance? Maybe the truth is something no one will know outside of the family but what seems painfully obvious is that in either case, it’s secondary to selling a story. It really seems as though he grooms the story to suit his audience and it makes me wonder what other grooming is going on — which brings me to the next creepy turn of events.

The Schofields have enlisted the services of Steve Truitt — a talent coach, media trainer, life coach and hypnotherapist. I think if one were to write a book about a child’s emotional state being exploited in a situation where truth is already a hazy commodity, the talent coach/hypnotherapist would probably be introduced some time around chapter three and the outcome would be predictably bad simply by his being there. That’s fine for a novel but we’re talking about a life story. A more glaring and potentially damaging conflict of interest might be hard to find, lending itself all to well to a child being groomed in the interest of personal gain and it all makes me wonder what’s more important here — Jani’s health or Jani’s story? In fairness, I don’t know to what extent or in what capacity Truitt is working for them as he’s simply listed on their website as Media: Steve Truitt but it’s a frightening addition to an already volatile mix.


Entry filed under: Media, People, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

Bitter Pill to Swallow? Try the Shot. One Cat, Six days and a Shot of Haldol


  • 1. Sarah  |  September 19, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    Well said. I saw the documentary on Discovery Health about Jani the other day and I was crying for this child. Her parents drum up everything she she does as “psychotic” and if they didn’t start giving her a cocktail of such potent, powerful drugs she would be completely healthy. They are to blame for her “illness” She only seems psychotic because of all the side effects of the meds. I think Michael Schoefield has Munchausen By Proxy. He is exploiting his beautiful daughter for his own gain. Thanks for blogging on this subject. I want to help this girl so much but am not really sure what to do.

    • 2. Krishna  |  November 18, 2010 at 4:29 pm

      You are COMPLETELY wrong about the facts. You pretend all a parent needs to do is be “better” at being parents. If this little girl were born in any other decade, in any other country she would have long since killed herself.
      She was born this way and will remain this way until she’s dies.

  • 3. Diane  |  October 25, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    I have to completely disagree. I think Jani is a very sick little girl and my heart breaks for her. I feel for this family who has rearranged their whole life to take care of her. The doctors wanted Jani placed in a hospital and she would have been easier to deal with in there, but the family chose to have her at home.
    We know what we have seen on TV and then you make up your minds, without consideration for the trained doctors that have been involved with this child since she was a baby. I guess this family has been able to “fool” the doctors. Great actors, they don’t need a book, they can make it in Hollywood with those acting skills.
    I think you should be ashamed of yourself, instead of being judgmental and closed minded, provide some support, even if it is an encourging word.

  • 4. beautifulmind  |  September 15, 2011 at 9:42 am

    IN response to Sarah: We are now at a full year later to your comment and your observations seem to be holding the water of the reality of the situation. Michael and Susan Schofield despite claiming to be advocates for the mentally ill do nothing for Jani except create more stigma specifically for her by skewing every things she does as “psychotic”. This last summer they admitted Jani again to the psych ward for a week ( this happened because she was on break from school) because she had been worrying over the side effects from lithium toxicity. The Schofields answer to this was that she was having “tactile halucinations” and to send her off.

    In response to Krishna: Did you know that Jani had been shaken as a two month old infant and that she has ischemia to her thalamus? Are you so sure she was “born “schizophrenic”?

    In response to Diane: I think you should be ashamed of yourself. Jani is a sick little girl but not because of what has been promoted about her. She has been abused most of her life and she is also sick from the meds they have her on. You really should learn the full story before making such comments.


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