Netflix's New Documentary, Tell Them You Love Me, is One of The Most Fucked Up Stories I've Ever Heard

Spoiler Alert: If for some reason you really want to go into Netflix's documentary, "Tell Them You Love Me" completely blind, then don't read this blog. I'm not sure why you'd want to do that. Or how you would even do that. If you've heard of this doc at all, then you probably know the gist of the story.

First things first. Consider this blog a fair warning. Do not under any circumstances let this woman, Dr. Anna Stubblefield anywhere within 100 miles of your non-verbal friends or family. 

I watched this full documentary last night. I don't know what the fuck has gotten into Netflix lately, but between this and the horribly unsettling show Baby Reindeer, they seem hell bent on picking up the most disturbing pieces of content they can get their hands on. 

I don't just want to sit here and type of the plot of the whole documentary, but in short, it's about a man named Derrick Johnson who is nonverbal, and has cerebral palsy. His whole life he has pretty much been entirely unable to communicate with anyone. Not even to those who spend time with him every day. Then along came Dr. Anna Stubblefield. Dr. Stubblefield claims she could use "facilitated communication" to help Derrick (i.e. D-Man, or DaMan as Anna insists on calling him for some reason), to communicate using a special keyboard. The family is thrilled with the idea at first. But then seemingly overnight, Derrick goes from have zero communication skills to typing out full, intelligent, well-educated sentences via his new keyboard. But since he has cerebral palsy, and has such poor motor skills, he needed Anna's help to physically guide his finger to the letters. 

So you can see where a problem lies. Derrick has gone his entire life without being able to communicate. All of the sudden, this complete stranger is able to have highly intelligent conversation with him. But conveniently enough, nobody else in his family can do it. When his mom and brother try to help him use his keyboard, the words he types are nonsense. He can only communicate with Dr. Stubblefield guiding his hand to the letters. So is Derrick really communicating with the world? Or is this Anna bitch just having him say whatever the hell she wants him to.

Now imagine this woman tells you her and your severely mentally handicapped son, who's diaper you still need to change on a daily basis, have fallen in love and are having sex.

Tell Them You Love Me is about the most fucked up documentary I've ever watched. And I've seen a lot of them. But most times when you watch a documentary about a terribly disturbing topic, the terribly fucked up person who's done these horrible things isn't the centerpiece of the documentary who's telling you the story firsthand.. They especially aren't sitting there defending their actions. Normally when a documentary is about a rapist, the rapist isn't interviewed in the documentary whatsoever. To watch her sit there as a seemingly smart, level-headed doctor telling you that her and Derrick truly are in love… it's highly unsettling, yet fascinating to watch 

The whole documentary is a mind fuck. I'm still not even sure if Anna thinks she's done anything wrong. I think there's a chance that in her own crazy messed up brain that she truly believes Derrick was speaking to her. That she has fully convinced herself the words she was making him say were actually his. That she was so blinded by wanting to believe that all this research she had done on facilitated communication was able to give Derrick a whole new life. That she wanted it to be true so bad that she just lost her damn mind.

Or maybe she truly is the devil and has this extremely, extremely fucked up sexual fantasy about….  I don't even want to try and describe what exactly that might be. But it makes her a rapist. In my opinion, no matter which way you slice it, the woman is a rapist. It's almost fucked up that Netflix is even letting her tell her side of the story. But I can't imagine how anybody who watches this objectively would possibly side with her. Unless they too are so dead set on the controversial practice of facilitated communication being viable, and they so badly want to give a voice to voiceless people that they overlook full-blown rape because it fits a narrative they so desperately want to be true. 

The whole documentary is nuts. If you can stomach a story like that, I suppose I'd recommend giving it a watch. But to even recommend this to someone seems weird. However, if one good thing came out of it, it's that we now know to avoid Dr. Anna Stubblefield at all costs (not that she's still allowed to practice anymore, but still). And if you have a friend or loved one in a situation similar to Derrick's, be careful with who you trust them with. I know that should go without saying, but never in a million years would I have thought someone would do a thing like Dr. Stubblefield did. But unfortunately, with facilitated communication, this is far from the only case of sexual assault. I'm not going to speculate on why that happens. I feel like I'm already WAY too far out of my comfort zone with this blog. But there's a lot of disgusting people out there. You heard it here first.


And Netflix… would you mind dialing it back a bit? How about a nice documentary about a man who saved a puppy. I could really use a pallet cleanser