Appealing to our Elected Representatives


This is the final of four installments about the bizarre, ongoing conduct of psychiatrists at Upton House, an Eastern Health psychiatric facility in Melbourne, and the collusion with their conduct by all relevant agencies. See previous installments (Part I, Part II and Part III) or this 9 minute TV News clip for the story thus far.

This last installment will document the failure, so far, of the State and Federal Governments to intervene in even this most extreme and blatant example of abuse of power by psychiatry.

But first a brief, depressing update. Dr Katz and his subordinate psychiatrists responded negatively to the Mental Health Tribunal’s decision (February 18th) to refuse them the right to continue the series of over 50 ECTs to GD – they responded by cancelling GD’s leave, reverting to tying him to his bed, and appealing the MHT decision. The MHT convened on March 2nd and, to everyone’s amazement, granted Drs Katz, Mackay and company permission to give GD yet another 12 ECTs (which they started that same afternoon and the next day).

The MHT’s rationale? GD had refused psychiatric drugs and so there was no longer a “less restrictive” treatment option. So apparently he has capacity to refuse drugs, but does not have the capacity to refuse the ECT and so can be given ECT against his will. Note also that these Eastern Health psychiatrists do not appear to recognise psychotherapy, CBT, peer-support groups, or any other non-biological approach as treatment options.

How incredibly sad to spend one’s days trying to ameliorate human distress and disorientation armed only with electricity and chemicals.

How sad that we allow such people responsibility for, and power over, our loved ones when they most need people to listen to their feelings and respect their needs.

How sad that none of the following agencies of the State of Victoria (see previous installments) seem willing, to date, to do anything whatsoever to intervene in a situation so grotesquely and blatantly abusive, and that none of them seem at all interested in what the research says is the most likely outcome of the psychiatrists’ conduct:

Eastern Health

The Department of Health and Human Services

The Office of the Chief Psychiatrist

The Mental Health Tribunal

The Mental Health Complaints Commissioner

Given the very high publicity of this case we can add the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists to the list of organisations who know exactly what Dr Katz and his colleagues are doing but have not stepped in to stop it. And what about the individual senior psychiatrists, across the State and the nation, who one might imagine would care about the reputation of their profession? Not one has spoken out on the issue. Perhaps they have been trying privately to persuade the Upton House psychiatrists to abide by some semblance of professionalism and evidence-based practice? If so, Dr Katz seems happy to ignore them and have his underlings do the same. And no, “I was just following orders” is not an acceptable defence in such circumstances. Do all the anaesthetists and nurses involved have no grasp of professional ethics, or interest in evidence-based medicine, either?

I suppose all my writings, and that of so many others, on this and related issues will be dismissed by the defendants as ‘anti-psychiatry.’ That is, after all, what rigidly biological and authoritarian psychiatrists do best: come up with a label to characterise something that scares them or they can’t understand, and then convince themselves that they have found its cause. “Why does Ms X hear voices?” “Because she is a schizophrenic and schizophrenia makes people hear voices.” “Why does Mr Y believe that ECT causes brain damage, especially when given week after week after week?” “Because he has anti-psychiatry disorder and that makes people think that electricity is bad for the brain.”

Meanwhile our hopes for change, at least here in Australia (but I suspect elsewhere too), clearly lie outside psychiatry and the systems that psychiatry has helped establish to create the illusion of safeguarding our rights. We must try, therefore, to influence our elected governments. I will end, then, with my thus far unsuccessful attempts ‘down under.’ If you haven’t had enough of my correspondence with officialdom (I know I have) please read my three letters, below, to our Minister of Mental Health, Martin Foley (about whom I have heard very good things, especially on housing issues):

If you want to join in, his email is: [email protected]

Maybe cc to the State Premier at: [email protected]


4th February, 2016

Dear Minister,

The Mental Health Act (2014) was introduced in order to reduce involuntary treatment and restraint and to enhance the human and legal rights of Victorians when we use mental health services, including the right to the least restrictive treatment possible.

Upton House psychiatrists, under the oversight of Dr Paul Katz, have administered over 50 ECTs consecutively to a Mr GD, and are continuing to administer even more. This is against an ‘advance order’ written when well by GD, and despite the pleas, over many weeks, of his father, mother and brother, and despite the ongoing pleas of GD himself.

There is no precedent internationally for this. The average number of ECTs in a series, based on a review of 70 international studies, is eight (Leiknes et al., 2012).

There is no research evidence that administering more than 10 is effective. There is robust evidence that the best predictor of the long-term/permanent brain damage (memory loss) often caused by ECT is the number of individual ECTs given (e.g. Sackeim et al., 2007 – attached).

The small but significant risk of death typically cardiovascular failure (e.g. Shiwach et al. , 2001) also increases with each individual shock, partly because the seizure threshold increases over even a normal series of 6 to 10 ECTS, such that the dose of electricity needed to produce the seizure increases. (The hospital records I have seen show that on one occasion already GD was given four shocks in one day in an attempt to induce the necessary convulsion).

Drs Paul Katz and Sarah Mackay are aware of this research via my submission to the Mental Health Tribunal.

GD has been tied to his bed on many occasions, reportedly for over 60 days on one occasion. Dr Katz does not deny this but believes it is acceptable because GD is tied up with velcro “not chains” (17.12.2015).

I am informed that the psychiatrists involved appear to be denying GD’s human/legal rights by preventing him from attending his own MH Tribunal (12.1.2016), and reportedly preventing him (by restraint) on several occasions from being seen by a psychiatrist wanting to provide a ‘second opinion’.

The Upton House psychiatrists maintain GD is not competent to refuse ECT, but this is contradicted by a private psychiatrist.

The Mental Health Tribunal hearing (12.1.2016) I attended (at the father’s request) was grossly biased on numerous counts. (For documentation of the full extent of the bias see my formal complaint to the Tribunal calling for the suspension of the Tribunal Chair and of the supposedly neutral psychiatrist on the panel, and for an independent inquiry – attached).

My raising these issues formally with the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist led to a dismissive response (attached) asserting that ECT is safe and effective and referring me to their recently update guidelines. These guidelines are bizarre in that they do not refer to a single research study but are just a collection of personal opinions. These opinions include the recently added claim that multiple series of ECTs can be given consecutively. This suggests that in the state of Victoria, but nowhere else in the world, psychiatrists can give an infinite number of ECTs consecutively. The timing of this extraordinary change is highly suspicious to any neutral observer. The Office has failed to respond to my request (attached) for the research base supporting their various claims about ECT. There is none.

Responding to the media in relation to GD’s case, Eastern Health’s executive director Mr Matt Sharp reportedly said (28.1.2016), ironically in the circumstances: “We value the input of patients and families to ensure we act in their best interests.” Perhaps unaware of the fact that his employees have been reported to be actively preventing it, Mr Sharp said the father “had been given the opportunity to obtain a second medical opinion for his son. To our knowledge, a second opinion has not yet been obtained”.

In conclusion, there seems to be little or no protection of the human or legal rights of people using mental health services in the State of Victoria. Some psychiatrists here seem able to conduct themselves in what most experts in the field would consider a potentially dangerous and unethical manner with no regard whatsoever for whether their actions have an evidence-base or are safe, while knowing that Eastern Health management and their colleagues on the Mental Health Tribunal and at the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist will do nothing to intervene however unprofessional their behavior.

If I, as a Professor of Clinical Psychology with 40 years clinical and research experience in this field, can be so easily dismissed/ignored by the relevant systems in Victoria, what chance do the average users of mental health services and their families have of being heard in this State?

I have spoken today with the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner and have just lodged a formal complaint with them about the psychiatrists involved, Eastern Health management, the Mental Health Tribunal and the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist.

I am making this letter to you public in the hope that this may facilitate:

(1) a rapid intervention to end the brutal and potentially dangerous treatment of GD

(2) (less urgently, but vital to prevent this sort of abuse of power happening again) a full and genuinely independent investigation into the conduct of Dr Katz and other staff and mangers at Upton House/Eastern Health, and into the complicity of senior members of the Mental Health Tribunal, and the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist, in knowingly allowing Dr Katz and his staff to continue to abuse their positions of trust and authority for such an extended period of time.

Professor John Read


COVENTRY, N. (2015). Electroconvulsive treatment: Chief Psychiatrist’s guideline. State of Victoria, Department of Health and Human Services. December.

FOSSE, R., READ, J. (2013). Electroconvulsive treatment: Hypotheses about mechanisms of action. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 4, 94-103.

LEIKNES, K., SCHWEDER, L., HOIE, B. (2012). Contemporary use and practice of electroconvulsive therapy worldwide. Brain and Behavior, 2, 283-345.

READ, J. BENTALL, R., JOHNSTONE, L., FOSSE, R., BRACKEN, P. (2013). Electroconvulsive therapy. In J Read, J Dillon (eds.) Models of madness: Psychological, social and biological approaches to psychosis. London: Routledge, pp.90-104.

READ, J., BENTALL, R. (2010). The effectiveness of electroconvulsive therapy: A literature review. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, 19, 333-347.

SACKEIM, H., et al. (2007). The cognitive effects of electroconvulsive therapy in community settings. Neuropsychopharmacology, 32, 244–254.

SHIWACH, R. et al. (2001). An analysis of reported deaths following electroconvulsive therapy in Texas, 1993-1998. Psychiatric Services, 52, 1095-1097.

SECOND LETTER: 16th February, 2016

Dear Minister Foley

Thank you for the (undated) letter to me signed by you, which I received yesterday (15.2.2016), in response to my email to you (4.2.2016) raising concerns about the lack of protection of the rights of people who use mental health services in Victoria.

Your letter refers me to the bodies that are indeed supposed to safeguard the rights of Victorian citizens when we use the State’s mental health services.

The letter completely ignores, however, the fact that my original email (attached again) informed you that these safeguards are not working, that they are broken and biased, and that they sometimes collude with psychiatrists even when they seem to be practising unethically, unscientifically and dangerously.

The fact that a psychiatrist has informed you that passing electricity though a person’s brain to cause a seizure (ECT) is ‘safe and effective’ does not make it so.

Did you have a chance, before responding, to read the research I sent you (attached again) which demonstrates that what is happening in the state of Victoria (at Upton House) is unscientific and dangerous? I think it is incumbent upon you, in your Ministerial role, to inform yourself fully rather than just relying on the personal opinions of one or two psychiatrists.

I repeat the key points below from my initial email, in the hope that you will take more seriously your responsibility as the senior representative of the government of Victoria on mental health issues. I hope you will respond more thoughtfully, in a way that addresses the rights of the people you have been elected to serve, including the right to be safe from having dangerous treatments forced upon them against their will (in this case 70 times consecutively), rather than being concerned with protecting the interests of one professional group, on whose advice you may, understandably, have become dependent.

I would be very happy to meet you and your staff if you would like to discuss the research relating to these issues.

I have tried to meet with the Chief Psychiatrist to do so but I was rebuffed (by an email remarkably similar to the one you have signed).

I asked the Chief Psychiatrist, two weeks ago, to send me the research supporting the bizarre claim, in his recently amended ECT Guidelines, that it is acceptable to start one series of ECTs immediately after another. I have never seen such a claim anywhere in the research literature, or in any other guidelines. Are the public supposed to believe this is a coincidence rather than a blatant attempt to provide some justification for the bizarre conduct of his colleagues, Drs Katz and Mackay at Upton House? I am still waiting for the research.

Are you comfortable, as Minister, presiding over a Chief Psychiatrist who publishes Guidelines, for professionals and patients, that do not refer to a single research study but are just a collection of personal opinions, some of them quite absurd?

Are you comfortable, as Minister, presiding over a Mental Health Tribunal that is blatantly biased to the point where its President (now under investigation following my formal complaints see attached, again) takes guidance from Eastern Health’s lawyer while chairing a hearing, and the supposedly neutral psychiatrist on the panel actively and with no shame makes arguments on behalf of the psychiatrists seeking permission to forcibly give ECT to someone against their will?

Please, Minister, look into these issues on behalf of the electorate in general and, in particular, on behalf of Victorians who, when using mental health services, are often in too vulnerable a position to stand up against these powerful professional vested interests and alliances.


“In conclusion, there seems to be little or no protection of the human or legal rights of people using mental health services in the State of Victoria. Some psychiatrists here seem able to conduct themselves in what most experts in the field would consider a potentially dangerous and unethical manner with no regard whatsoever for whether their actions have an evidence-base or are safe, while knowing that Eastern Health management and their colleagues on the Mental Health Tribunal and at the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist will do nothing to intervene however unprofessional their behaviour I am making this letter to you public in the hope that this may facilitate …. a full and genuinely independent investigation into the conduct of Dr Katz and other staff and managers at Upton House/Eastern Health, and into the complicity of senior members of the Mental Health Tribunal, and the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist, in knowingly allowing Dr Katz and his staff to continue to abuse their positions of trust and authority for such an extended period of time.”

I have to trust that either yourself, Minister, or somebody else in a position of authority, somewhere in the country, at state or federal level, from one political party or another, will grasp the importance of these issues for the wellbeing and safety of the Australian public.

Dr John Read

Professor, Clinical Psychology


Minister of Health, Victoria

Shadow Minister of Health, Victoria

Shadow Minister of Mental Health, Victoria

Ellen Sandell, MP – Melbourne, Victorian Greens

Rachel Carling Jenkins MP, Victoria

The Premier, Victoria

Leader of the Opposition, Victoria

Health Minister, Australia

Shadow Health Minister, Australia

Shadow Mental Health Minister, Australia

the media

THIRD LETTER: 2nd March, 2016

Dear Minister Foley

I have not given up hope that you, or someone else with the authority to intervene, will eventually grasp, and act on, the grave failings in the State’s legally empowered systems for protecting the rights of people using our psychiatric services.

Here is a brief summary of some of their recent failings in relation to the tragic case of GD at Upton House, where unrestrained psychiatrists, operating with utter disregard of the relevant evidence bases, have administered over 50 consecutive ECTs and are now seeking permission from the Mental Health Tribunal to administer even more.


Investigated a formal complaint of blatant bias against the President (MC) and member Dr BM by having the Deputy President (TB) simply ask MC and BM whether they were guilty of the various allegations, but interviewing none of five witnesses present at the hearing in question (12.1.16) to actually determine whether my allegations were true. Verdict: complaint not upheld.

At a subsequent Tribunal hearing (18.2.16), during the period when MC and BM were being ‘investigated’ and were not on the panel, the decision was finally made to forbid the psychiatrists from administering further ECT on the grounds that it was, after all, not the ‘least restrictive’ approach (already appealed – see below). Since there had not been a new, less restrictive, treatment invented in the intervening month, this is proof that MC and BM had been wrong to condone the conduct of Eastern Health psychiatrists.

(The latest report of the MHT reveals that 92% of ECT hearings are decided in favour of the psychiatrist and against the patient)


Continues to simply ignore, for more than a month now, my request to see any research on which they are basing their various general claims in their official ECT Guidelines, or, specifically, any research that might justify the behaviour of the Upton House psychiatrists in continuing to administer ECT for months on end when it isn’t working, which the Office appears to condone. I conclude: (a) there is no such research, and (b) the Psychiatrists at the OCP do not adhere to the basic principles of evidence-based medicine.

Still has not denied my allegation that they rewrote the Guidelines, in December 2015, to provide the appearance of a rationale for the conduct of their fellow psychiatrists, by claiming that one series of ECT can begin immediately after another.


Dismissed my complaints against the Mental Health Tribunal and the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist on the grounds that they legally cannot investigate issues that have already been referred to these other agencies.

So I believe it falls on you Minister to initiate a full, genuinely independent investigation (ie not by psychiatrists) of the neutrality and efficacy of these agencies.

It also falls on you to intervene in the case in question. The response of the psychiatrists to being rebuffed by the Mental Health Tribunal on 18.2.2016 was to cancel the patient’s leave (denying him the opportunity to begin a long awaited vocational class, to resort again to tying him to his bed, and to apply to the Mental Health Tribunal to overturn their decision to uphold the patient’s right to refuse electric shocks. Yet another hearing has been scheduled, at very short notice, for tomorrow (3.2.2016).

Professor John Read

Cc: as for second letter

* * * * *

Petition: Stop the Brutal & Forced Electric Shock Torture of Garth Daniels



  1. This is heartbreaking.

    That the opinion/desire of one psychiatrist can so totally override a person’s and their family’s wishes and every evidence base in the whole world is proof of the extent to which Australian law sees psychiatrists as GODs.

    All they have to do is pronounce whatever they want, and no matter what this may be, even if it is effectively murder, they get it. No questions asked, and no challenge permitted.

    you could get a ruling in an international court of justice, and an Australian psychiatrist would not be bound by it – they are totally untouchable.

    To any Australian out there,
    eeing a psychiatrist in Australia = signing away ALL your human and legal rights. DO NOT do it!
    If you think your psychiatrist wouldn’t do that to YOU (because they seem nice or say they wouldn’t), think again – they can and they would. GD was once you. And like GD, you have NO protections and NO recourse whatsoever.

    Believe it.

    My only real questions are:
    1) How on earth do we get this information out to anyone who may consider seeing a psychiatrist?

    2) Is there anything else (other than copy the open letter as suggested above) that can assure that the “doctors” concerned are unsuccessful in their attempts to murder GD?

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  2. This entire situation is horrifying and heartbreaking.

    Based on the distress and torture of a real living, breathing, not “hypothetical” human being, it strangely doesn’t seem to elicit much outrage or interest in the general readership if one looks at the number of responses and posts. Your last instalment had 10 posts.

    The having a conversation about having a conversation about psychiatry generated 142.
    The NIHM ECT facebook article logged in at 5 responses.
    Why is that? Few people care about the damage this lunatic, barbaric assault inflicts on people? Or the people who are deemed to “need” ECT are easy to dismiss?
    Is this apparent disinterest on the part of the general population the reason ECT continues? Because outrage is limited to the injured and a handful of Anti-ECT proponents?

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    • Perhaps it is that this is a story about what happens in Australia, under Australian law and hence people either feel they don’t know enough about the Australian law etc to comment, or perhaps feel that it isn’t as relevant to them as (mainly) US citizens.

      …or perhaps there is still some bias against people who are detained involuntarily after a shrink has deemed them “dangerous”.

      I know the latter declaration in Australia means that people think you deserve whatever comes your way, even if you have no prior history of “dangerousness” and the doctor’s claim is made purely as a means of discrediting the patient so they can achieve their own aims, what ever they may be.

      Is it perhaps that most people who come to our attention re ECT have been so declared by psychiatrists as this is an effective way of discrediting the victim and silencing potential dissent?

      After all, who wants “dangerous” people loose on the streets?

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  3. John,

    These people are not going to respond to you. Why don’t you try to engage a pro bono lawyer on behalf the family to sue the psychiatrists and the hospital? You could educate him on the issues involved and be a key expert witness. This case might make a difference for GD and it could also set an example which would deter psychiatrists from future similar conduct. You’d have to do some research to find a lawyer willing to take the case… but I think it would be worth it.

    I was recently involved in a legal case against a property management company. My business partner and I spent months writing letters and emails complaining to them and asking them to rectify their mistakes. We even complained to the state licensing board. All were ignored. It was only when we took them to court and sued for a large amount of money that they responded. And we beat them in court. They eventually had to settle, and they were shamed.

    These people act like legalizd mafia or cartels protecting their “turf”… they care nothing for their clients or constituents. But if the court system still works in Australia, you should help the family to bring a lawsuit to sue the psychiatrists involved… you’d have a strong case given the lack of evidence on their side.

    I encourage you to do this and report the results later this year here on MIA.

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    • I think bptd might have a point. I’m not sure though, and this is only my opinion. Normally I would say it’s futile to try malpractice lawsuits against psychiatrists. Normally I would say the medical-model has too much credibility and there is too much fear of mad-killings blamed on people not taking their meds(or ect), but this almost seems worse than murder. 70 consecutive ects? This seems like aggressively torturing an already vulnerable victim before killing him. I don’t think words can describe accurately how insane this is. I don’t know Australian Law, but one could hope that this case could be tried both civilly and as some sort of violent felony. Maybe you could raise money on this site to hire a lawyer for GD (and perhaps for his recovery needs). I commend you highly for your efforts, John. There a saying in Jewish literature, “Saving a life is like saving a whole world.” Some say that’s because every person is a whole world. Even if you’re not successful, I think God counts it as if you were. Don’t think that your efforts are in vain.

      I don’t know if anyone suggested this, but I think there is a lawyer who writes on MIA. Maybe you could contact him somehow, and maybe he can get you in touch with the
      right type of legal help. IDK if that’s reasonable though.

      Unfortunately, even if you win this fight, GD is going to need a lot more help if he is going
      to recover from all of this torture, and I pray that God helps him and that those around him
      give him the support he desperately needs.

      Kind regards,

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      • The medical model does have much false credibility, Even, but challenging it has to start somewhere. Once upon a time, things like women not voting, black people being enslaved on farms, and the Earth being flat had credibility. But those changed, even though when they were first challenged, those bringing the new ideas were dismissed as crazy. The change has to start somewhere and bringing legal challenges like this is a place to start.

        Perhaps the legal writer on this site you mean is James Gottstein.

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    • Two legal cases are already taking place in relation to this case. They were formally issued the papers for being sued by them in December, it could take years before the case is even heard, that is assuming Garth is even still alive by then. There are also court orders which were also lodged in December seeking an injunction to stop the ECT treatments from going ahead, again it is yet to even be heard and no date has even been set for the case to be heard. Again one has to hope that he will even be alive by the time it gets to court. Australia as a whole is not a country in which we just sue people because we do not like things, we expect our laws to protect us, and numerous other cases of mental health negligence have been ruled in the favour of he health system on the basis that they had a treatment resistant mental illness and the service was doing all they could do.

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      • There isnt a lawyer in the country that would touch this.
        1. All know that the State Mental Health Acts are a button which flushes anyones (and I mean anyones) human and civil rights down the toilet. Legal protections from any doctors, not just psychiatrists, is a myth which has been deliberately spread to deceive the general public. This is common knowledge to lawyers who will, quite rightly, attempt to see that any complainant does not waste their time and money attempting to bring action.
        2. It is also the common knowledge that should you attempt to assist anyone being subjected to this type of abuse that you personally will not be targeted, but you family and loved ones will. Police and Family Services are able to assist in this victimisation.
        3. Politicians and their cronnies like it like this, and will do nothing but continue to compound even the most blatant criminal offenses, and despite the fact that they are also guilty of offenses by refusing to perfom their duty.

        my personal opinion is that the public are becoming increasingly aware of this lawlessness, though have every reason to be afraid to speak up about it. And that at some point this ‘Let them eat cake’ attitude will not only back fire on them, but will result in revolutionary change to our country. One that will see the power shift significantly, and where first do no harm will become the rule rather than the exception it is at present.
        Our system is corrupted beyond repair and even those within it are seeing the light and leaving in large numbers. We are brining in outsiders to maintain what is left of this blatant abusive system in order to maintain it for now.
        In Western Australia our Minister was labelled “derelict in her duty” outside of parliamentary privilege, and took no action. Why? Because no acrion can be brought for speaking the truth.
        Good luck Prof. Read, and I hope your advocacy for Garth brings some public attention to these matters. Because our elected representatives surely wont.

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        • Hi boans, I second everything you’ve said. I’ve been involved in this since 28/9/15, the tribunal I went to (same issues as John said). Over 6 months I contacted John and Jock McLaren, every human rights lawyer/company I could find, Legal Aid, the Mental Health Legal Centre (I even organised it with them and sat with Garth while he rang them but it failed to happen), the Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs personally, Mental Health Complaints Commission (my response was almost word for word the same as John’s), the press – NOTHING! I even pointed out on several occasions that everyone’s name seemed to be Pontius Pilate, a vague demurral and the phone put down. Apart from Cheryl Prax at SOAP and other web folk, only 3 people came to the party, John Read, Jock McLaren (a oxymoron – an ethical and competent psychiatrist) and Farrah Tomazin (the Sunday Age page 13). John has been superb and Jock (down from Queensland for the 3rd time) visited Garth yesterday and is trying to get him out. He is also attempting to get some media exposure via ? the 4 Corners program. I don’t like his chances but…One major question mentioned by John a couple of times – that Garth seems to be deemed competent to agree to some treatment but not ECT. An oddity is that Garth (and family) have always refused Closapine. This was given as a reason for continuing ECT almost from the beginning. BUT, since they can force him to have ECT (Advance Directive notwithstanding) why can’t they force him to have Closapine? They do to many others. Ginger Breggin asked if Garth was part of an experiment as the Dr, Paul Katz, has been involved in ECT research in the recent past? I said that would be impossible because no ethics panel in the world would pass such an experiment and certainly never on an involuntary patient. But, could it be? The last time I heard of anything like this was during the 1950s with the Cameron experiments where vast numbers of ECT were given to `depattern’ i.e. destroy the person’s personality in order to re-build it in a more acceptable form (the CIA interested at the time ion behaviour/mind control funded the program). It was completely discredited but not for quite some time. Recently there was a very small study in South Africa where they suggested large numbers of ECT coupled WITH Closapine. Paul Katz and his 2IC, Jose Segal, are both South African, as is Garth, (he is `non-white’). Is Eastern Health doing something that the Nazi psychiatrists might embrace, on the quiet?
          Jock McLaren offered to take Garth into his program in Queensland last December but Katz wasn’t having it. Maybe it’s not only about winning.
          Of course, one might be forgiven for thinking that this team of doctors are all mad or maybe have a foli a deux going on, i.e. one is mad and the rest have been swept up. Whatever, it seems that even with the amount of pressure being applied, protection even against mad doctors is not forthcoming. Somebody once said, `in order for psychiatrists to admit ECT is bad for you, the patient would have to die on the table in front of a full committee of the UN and the president of the AMA.’ I add, `in order to successfully sue a psychiatrist you would have to be raped in front of the Medical Board and the Queen.’ Going legal ain’t gonna happen – I tried. Maybe politicians?

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          • Hi deeeo,
            what has been interesting in my instance has been the changing of what was a criminal offense (intoxication by deception; benzos) into a medical issue to ensure the ‘spiker’ did not get charged. This of course then becomes a criminal conspiracy and offenses start to compound. Conspire to conceal evidence of a criminal offense, deprivation of liberty, kidnapping, false documents public officer,….. and on it goes. I stopped counting after 100 years of offenses.
            However, what was done (among other things) was that the Clinical Director authorised the distribution of fraudulent documents to the Law Centre, and police were used to retrieve the documents which I had obtained under FOI.
            Confident that minus the evidence demonstrating the crimes had been retrieved, and that any complaint that I made would be seen as the rantings of a paranoid delusional, I had everything I ever worked for basically stolen from me, my marriage destroyed (out of a need to silence my wife) and ended up living in a car park.
            What a reaction from the police when I turned up in a station with the documents they thought had been retrieved (Attempt to have me detained and force drugged, attempt to arrest for having evidence of the crimes, and finally took the complaint and claimed their was “insufficient evidence” despite a lawyer telling me it was “proof” that the offenses had occurred).
            I then went to a Member of Parliament and spent an hour showing him how these documents had been removed to change the legal narrative and was thus clearly an act of criminal fraud by the Clinical Director.
            Result? Police start intimidating the people who witnessed the attempts to detain me with both the MHA and Criminal Code. Difficult to get assistance under those conditions, when the people who are meant to protect are doing precisely the opposite.
            So I was told by the Politician that it would be referred to the Attorney General and there would be a delay of about three weeks (great I thought after what I had experienced so far). Instead it was referred back to the Minister for MH and there has been no action taken in over a year. This despite the ease with which these crimes (and others) could be demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt.
            The use of the Mental Health Act to conceal criminal offenses by public officers should be more than a concern to the community. But as I said above, why would they bother to investigate and possibly endanger such a convenient tool which is available for corrupt acts?
            And we complain about the violation of human rights in other countries? The only difference seems to be that in other countries they don’t cover them up as well.
            The emblem which sits behind our Judges states in latin Deiu et mon Droit. meaning God and my Right. The “and my right” should be removed, because it is no longer present in our whole legal structure. Simply deny any access to rights and……

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          • One of the questions I put to the Politician after demonstrating to him that the evidence required under the Act for detention had been fabricated was “Is the State Government going to be detaining Muslims under the Mental Health Act during Ramadan with these Fallujah style raids to snatch people from their beds and force drug them?” This could be achieved quite easily given that ‘verballing’ evidence on statutory declarations is being enabled, and that the Chief Psychiatrist recognises no burden of proof despite it being written in the Act (“suspect on reasonable grounds”).
            He was quite uncomfortable with the question, and I believe it may be why I have not been subjected to the type of treatment which Garth has.
            Whilst any and all civil and human rights can be removed with this loophole they call the Mental Health Act, my access to God can not. And my brothers would not see me subjected to this type of treatment based solely on the need to ‘dispose’ of evidence of criminality. This I know.
            And I feel sure that the relations between my community and the State will be strained should they begin to use this method to detain and force drug people for nothing more than their religious beliefs.
            I feel saddened by the response to Garths plight, and that there seems to be so few Good Samaritans in our community. Though Prof Read and the others you mention have demonstrated that there are some.
            I challenge any lawyer to spend an hour with me and give me one reason why the ‘treatment’ I was subjected to was not criminal. I have nothing to offer in return should I fail, but know this. It is your brother next.

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          • It is much easier for them to force him to take medication, he is already under an involuntary treatment order and under that they can force any medications onto him at all. They are not required to go back to the tribunal every few weeks to get permission for medication, as they do for ECT. It was also what struck me when I first saw the 7:30 report late last year, how are they saying he needs it because he refuses medication, he has no legal right to refuse medication, the involuntary treatment order takes that right away.

            As for this not being about winning, I think it is about winning, winning an ideological debate that medical psychiatry can cure these conditions, no matter how bad they are, and that we know best. They are going to give in to someone to said on national television that those things were not needed, I just talk to them instead!!

            In terms of the media, have Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie said no? Or have they made too many waves recently and needing to remain quiet for a while?

            In terms of experiments nothing would surprise me. Given that ones that initially prompted Robert Whitakers work in 1998, of removing people from their just like insulin for diabetes, anti psychotics, putting them on LSD and the like to deliberately heighten their psychosis, then I do not think ethics actually ever happens in mental health research.

            What also amazes me is the continuing argument and it was one said at the beginning of the 4 corners program was that ECT was having a come back. Not completely true. In Australia and especially in Victoria, but in other countries, it is decreasing rapidly. It is next to impossible to be forced to have ECT in New Zealand. In 2013, only 66 people were involuntarily given ECT and only 253 in total in the whole country (both voluntary and involuntary) were given ECT.

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          • Been thinking about why they would not release Garth to Jock to work with, they believe that he needs inpatient care and Jock cannot offer that. Reality is there are times when Garth becomes acutely violent, why he ended up back in hospital again and the question is how to contain him at those times, is what I believe is behind all of this. They also believe firmly in biological psychiatry, which the mental health system here agrees completely with.

            One thing that is of interest to me though is why they are still keeping him at Upton House. it is only supposed to be for short stays, my understanding of the mental health system in Victoria is acute inpatient units of which Upton House is one, is only supposed to keep them for up to 60 days, if they are deemed to still need inpatient care after that they are supposed to be transferred to Secure Extended Care Units. I want to understand why they are so obsessed with keeping him in the unit he is in. The system is not going to be much different anywhere, as it is all based on biological psychiatry, but still question why have made no attempt to have him put where their own guidelines state he should be.

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  4. I am afraid that the shocks will only stop when they kill this man. It’s as if the psychiatrist are out to show the world that no one is going to tell them what to do and they’re doing it with a vengeance. Just how much damage they’ve inflicted on Garth is unknowable at this time but rest assured that they have indeed inflicted damage. No matter what psychiatry says, the human brain should never have high levels of electricity sent through it in order to induce convulsions. All other specialties of medicine work as hard as they can to keep people from having convulsions but psychiatry claims that the convulsions that they induce in people are “beneficial”!!!! What a bunch of hogwash and in the end they are going to murder this man, plain and simple. And then they will pat themselves on the back and claim that they did the best that they could, and they did it all for his own benefit and good! This is awful, disgusting and an abomination!

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  5. It is a pity there is not an effective direct action campaign against psychiatric assault, and perticularly one in Australia. This is the sort of case where banner drops and office and ward occupations might well work.

    In the meantime I thank John Read for providing e-mail addresses for the minister of health and prime minister for the state of Victoria.

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  6. As a Victorian I want to thank John Read for doing all he can.

    I also want to add some further information that may help others, especially in relation to our laws. Victoria has the most draconian mental health laws in the world, and the new mental health law only came into effect on the 1st of July 2014. It is less than 2 years old.

    Under the old law, psychiatrists could give ANY treatment at all, they deemed appropriate for the first 8 weeks and no appeals or questions were possible. After that 8 weeks they only had to prove that you could not give informed consent, usually on the basis that you refused what they wanted to do, apparently no sane person would ever refuse such treatment, and they could continue to do as they wanted to do. Changes in about 2010 I think required them to provide a treatment plan to the tribunal, but at most the tribunal could ask that they review the treatment plan. I remember a case in 2013, in which the tribunal ordered the review the treatment plan on the basis that the side effect profile was so horrific that it would be kinder for the person to be euthanized than to be kept alive like that. The tribunal still agreed to the forced order!! The chief psychiatrist now has the legal right to override forced treatment decisions, but to date has never done so, as is evidenced in this case. In the previous act, the psychiatrist determined if the person was allowed to attend the hearing, if the person was allowed to have a lawyer or anyone else attend the hearing. Some of those things have been improved, they now have to prove capacity, although as we all know that is such a biased thing. If he needs to be restrained I question why he cannot at least be restrained in the room in which this pathetic hearing is taking place, not that I agree with it anyway, but prisoners are not prevented from going to court on the basis that they are too dangerous, we restrain them instead.

    I actually suspect much more is going on in this case at a political level. Under the old laws psychiatrists could give as much forced ECT for the first 8 weeks as they wanted to and afterwards the same if the person was on a forced order. No one could question ECT. When the new laws were being drafted there were massive fights against requiring consent for ECT and psychiatrists claiming it is in an emergency treatment and can save lives. Victoria has ECT rates at least 10 times higher than anywhere else in Australia and Australia has about the highest rates in the world. At that time it was never given other than on Monday’s and Friday’s. There was a classic true case in NSW in which the law says a person can be given a number of treatments without a tribunal hearing on a emergency basis. The person was admitted on Monday afternoon, the psychiatrist detrmined that ECT was essential to save his life on an emergency basis. But as it is only done on Monday and Friday mornings, it did not happen that day. The tribunal met at the hospital on the Wednesday, but as it was an emergency order they did not need to hear his case. Friday came it was a good Friday a public holiday so no ECT was carried out. Monday came and it was Easter Monday a public holiday, so again no ECT given. On the Wednesday the tribunal again met at the hospital, but his case did not need to go to the hearing, because it was approved on the grounds of it being a life threatening emergency treatment. On the Friday, almost 2 weeks after he was initially admitted he had his first forced lifesaving emergency ECT treatment.

    Success was obtained in the Victorian law to argue that ECT is not given as an emergency treatment and it is not necessary to keep someone alive, it is not CPR!! I would question how someone can be a doctor if they cannot keep someone alive without putting electricity through their brains. Hence they now require a tribunal order in order to give it without consent, although that is hardly a difficult process. But given how regularly it is being given here, given the times of day it is being given, after the hearings, etc., I feel they are trying to use this to get laws changed to say it is used in an emergency, which is crap.

    There were a few parents that questioned the new laws requiring a tribunal order to give it to someone under the age of 18, completely ignoring the fact that mental health laws override all other laws in Australia and parents have no legal rights when it comes to mental health treatment. The psychiatrist determines it all, if the parent does not agree they simply force it onto the child. Having a tribunal order was a step in the right direction. Some tried to say it should not be allowed to be given to certain ages, including those under the age of 12, but psychiatrists convinced them it can save lives in that age group, on the rare cases it is given!!

    No one in Australia questions anything at all. I have fought to get Robert Whitakers books in my local library and a few other local libraries, but the mental health advocacy groups, only advocate for more treatment, not questioning any of it. Most of the time they work on the basis of helping people to understand how ill they are and why they need this treatment.

    I know someone who was forced to take 5 times the maximum recommended dose of Olanzapine. It was only when she almost died by pure chance when outside of a psychiatric hospital, and was taken to a standard emergency department that it was picked up. She was placed in the care of someone training to be a psychiatrist who immediately withdrew her from all medications cold turkey (not great, but essential in this case), her response by then having been on this dosage for years was to fight it as she believed it would make her unwell.

    All official government information here, continues to talk about these diseases being chemical imbalances in the brain and that myth is still believed and still actively promoted. All information inside medication packs, say it is a chemical imbalance in the brain and it corrects the chemical imbalance. Pharmaceutical companies are not allowed to directly advertise to the public, there are positives to that, but equally no one questions the influence they have over the profession. Doctors and other groups are not legally required to declare any conflicts of interest or where they get money from. The peak mental health groups are getting billions of dollars from drug companies, but are not legally required to declare any of it. The top psychiatrists are on the payroll for drug companies, but again are not required to declare any of it.

    I do not know of anyone who believes that Garth is dangerous, they just firmly believe that he is incredibly sick and the doctors are trying their best to fix him, with a disease that is not responding well to treatment, a bit like cancer that doesn’t respond to chemotherapy is how it has been described to me by others. People here accept those with a mental illness, but they also firmly believe that they have a lifelong brain disease, which is proven to be a chemical imbalance in the brain, and which unfortunately we do not always have effective treatments for!!

    I remember reading a submission to a government enquiry by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in 2000 in which they described seclusion as an essential treatment modality!!

    In relation to seclusion guidelines state a person must now be given a bucket to toilet in unless it is clinically indicated not to!! Advocates are trying to get toilets put into seclusion rooms!!

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    • “No one in Australia questions anything at all. I have fought to get Robert Whitakers books in my local library and a few other local libraries, but the mental health advocacy groups, only advocate for more treatment, not questioning any of it. Most of the time they work on the basis of helping people to understand how ill they are and why they need this treatment. ”


      There is no discourse here, other than the psychiatric line. No books, and when a science reporter for the ABC (Australia’s public broadcaster) did a program on the efficacy and effectiveness of anti-depressants it was canned before it went to air and she was roundly condemned for putting people’s lives at risk.

      Lawyers won’t even consider defending someone’s rights against psychiatrists as psychiatrists will actually boast that they wrote the legislation and they know its intent.

      No challenge is tolerated.

      It really is appalling.

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      • About 5 years ago Channel 10’s The Project, did a story on the Hearing Voices Network. They were going to show stories of people who through this had been able to reduce and in one case even stop medication. It was changed, as they sought advice from Patrick McGorry, and so instead they interviewed Patrick McGorry, talked about the importance of staying on medication for life and for some people, their psychiatrist might approve of them using this group as a form of peer support, but it would be dangerous to do anything without your psychiatrists full support as they are best to advise on what sort of peer support you need, whether you are well enough and far enough along the recovery journey to be able to benefit from it!!! Personally I am still trying to work out how recovery fits into a life long brain disease that you can never recover from!

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    • Garth Daniels was subjected to seclusion in a Melbourne HOSPITAL where the toileting arrangement was a tray of CAT LITTER. ECT has always been 3 time a week in Australia. In 6 years of working in acute admission units in a large public mental hospital in the 1970s, I NEVER saw ANYONE, EVER, in restraints. I never even saw restraints attached to beds anticipating their use and I was, at times, in charge of medication, and the ward. NOT EVER!

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  7. John Read’s correspondence reads like my own file of “appeals” in Australia albeit in a different state. All ignored, all fobbed off, labelled as anti psychiatry . No checks ,no balances and no one actually cares because it won’t happen to them or their relatives. They call it the lucky country- lucky if you don’t live here. TS Eliot said human kind cannot bear very much reality here not only can’t we bear it we actively avoid it !

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    • The only way I have seen anyone get out of the mental health system in Australia, is to firstly agree to everything they say, agree you have a chemical imbalance and need these drugs, etc, etc. Do that for about 10 years and then begin to access a private psychiatrist to assist in this brain disease you have. They finally release the order, then you have to find your own way of trying to get off the medications, because I’m yet to know of anyone who would assist the persons.

      The average length of forced community treatment orders in Victoria is 20 years, from my understanding the only reason they are not longer is because people die from the so called treatment they are receiving.

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      • The other way would be to come from a family with at least some money and ability to support you, and to either move geographically or to lie to those in the local system and self-taper off the drugs in secret. Unless they have started somehow intrusively monitoring whether people actually take drugs at home (or measuring drug level in bloodstream somehow?), it should be possible to get ones prescriptions, get money from the government, but throw the pills away…

        I think if someone is poor and dependent on the system for money, it must be very very difficult.

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        • Forced drgugging means forced injections every 2 weeks, long acting, no one trusts anyone to take medications. On top of that they also have forced blood tests every 2 weeks, the week in between to make sure they have not conned the person who was supposed to be doing the forced drugging, not to drug them up!!

          Our laws allow people to be bought back and forcibly treated from any state in Australia and even from New Zealand. Mental health treatment laws override all other laws.

          There was a famous true case of Cornelia Rau, a permanent resident, who was held is both prision and immigration detention centres for a period of 10 months, because she refused to tell anyone who she was, to escape the forced drugging. Most ironical of all was that during that period, she told fellow prisioners my real name is not the one I am using here, but if they find out who I am I will be taken back to a psychiatric ward and everyone incarcerated got why she chose prison over that. During that period she was seen as strange and assessed by as many as 10 different psychiatrists, none could find anything wrong with her, perhaps a personality disorder, just very strange behaviour. She had periods of dissociation and refused to talk about her childhood and from what everyone says never has. That says some very deep trauma. Her family finally found out where she was, gave them copies of medical records saying she had escaped a psychiatric ward and was schizophrenic and immediately she was forcibly medicated on that diagnosis, and back in hospital. She now lives under not just forced treatment orders, but also guardianship orders, controlling her every move. I should add, we do not on the whole put people with quite profound intellectual disabilities on guardianship orders here, and even people with the assessed capacity of a 2 year old are rarely placed on guardianship orders, yet we do place those with a so called mental illness on them all the time. Every saw Cornelia’s response to running away and being in prison as a sign of her profound illness, apparently no sane person would choose to be in prison over a hospital, where doctors made them better!! At one stage in immigration detention, she was being hosed down with garden hoses, rather than allowed into showers by the guards, still she refused to tell them who she really was, for fear of what would really happen to her. She was regularly held in solitary confinement. This is the sanitised version of it:

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          • That is terrible.

            I would like to see some statistics on what proportion of people taking neuroleptics are getting these forced long-acting injections… I doubt it’s a large proportion of the total, but that could be wrong. These are the cases you hear about the most, the very horrific ones… it happens most often to people who are poor and cannot financially move away or support themselves, i.e. escape…

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          • Within Australia, those on forced treatment orders, it is the norm. Within Australia we have a public health system. Only the public system can forcibly treat someone. Only those on very high incomes, over say $100,000 is likely to able to afford full private psychiatric care, but even then the treats are simple, you either agree with what we want or we send you down the road to the local public hospital, which will force it onto you.

            Getting people to question the need for this treatment in the first place is the hard part, as you well know. I think on the whole Australian’s think pretty similarly and do not question the status quo, they believe in the brain disease myth. Difference within the US, there are at least groups, however small and powerless in many cases that really do question it, and who are getting together and trying to do something different. And some things are being set up, to give people other options for getting treatment if they think they need it.

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          • Yes Belinda, the wiki page on the case of Cornelia Rau is not as accurate as it should be.

            We had a case here in WA of a young man called Trystan Dimer who was picked up and thought to be a patient who had absconded from our largest psych hospital. Taken by police and returned to that hospital and his denial that he was the missing patient he was forced to take this missing patients drugs and ended up in the emergence dept of another hospital when he nearly died as a result.
            Not accepting that you are someone else when told by psychiatric services is deeemed to be a mental illness as well.
            All been effectively covered up now.
            What seems to have escaped public attention with the introduction of our new MHAct is that police now have access to the use of mental health services, and that having evidence of crimes or police corruption is now a menatl illness, and you will be treated for this mental illness in much the same way that GD is being treated.
            It said a lot when our treasurer got drunk one night and crashed into a number of cars while driving his government supplied vehicle, was labelled bi polar, but needed to leave the state to receive treatment for this disorder. Doesnt trust the services here? I cant blame him to be honest lol.

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          • I do think that the 99.9% of complaints about police corruption which were being dismissed and no referred on to our Corruption and Crime Commission (police watchdog) after investigation by police must have been a disappointment. They now have available a method of ensuring 100%, quite a clear up rate. Statistically we have the best police force I the world these days. Boy are you in for a suprise should you have a complaint to make about them though.

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  8. Clearly the J. Robert Oppenheimer “School of Psychiatry” : –
    “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”.
    Poor, poor man and his father.

    The difference is that I believe Oppenheimer had compassion, empathy and humanity.

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  9. Great work from John but clearly the idea of Direct Action is not one that is popular amongst the Survivor movement.

    All of Whitiker’s work, and all the work of the many other writers, critical psychiatrists, peer supporters and the many other proponants of alternatives to conventional psychiatry without a bit, or more likely, a lot of kick ass organising with banner drop, office and ward occupations backed up with lobblying and petitions.

    The information that Whittiker and co provide needs to the basis for a campaigning movement, not near whole that it is a the moment. Without that commmitment we will see many more cases like this

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  10. We are witnessing the Victorian Government publicly torturing and attempting to murder one of its citizens.

    And there is nothing anyone will do because it is under the supervision of a psychiatrist who has declared said person “dangerous”.

    No trial, no evidence, the patient in fact strapped to his bed to prevent him appearing at hearings to hear the “evidence” against him and/or defend himself.

    Guilty of nothing, he is the “chosen one” of a normal, everyday, practicing psychiatrist.

    We watch as the psychiatrist pulls the proverbial wings off the fly and claims it is “medical” treatment rather than torture.

    Tragic that human beings fall so far when they are blinded by their own power and rendered deaf to the pleadings and screams of their victims by the volume of their own false rhetoric.

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    • Well put, Kim.

      “We watch as the psychiatrist pulls the proverbial wings off the fly and claims it is “medical” treatment rather than torture”.

      The most shameful aspect of this case is the deafening silence from lead psychiatrists around the world who should be speaking out against this blatant abuse of power by one of their own. Where is the outrage? Their silence condones what is being done in the name of their profession.

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  11. No Belinda, ECT is not decreasing rapidly anywhere. It is increasing across Europe, except for Italy and Sicily (which banned it), especially in the private system. Profits depend on it. Since the private psychiatric hospitals divested themselves of any government supervision ECT has increased exponentially. I know a pharmacist who works at one hospital who, after the new Act (July 2014), said they could not keep up with supplying the paralysing drug because of the massive increase in demand. `What are they DOING over there?’ was her comment. At least one other private hospital now operates its ECT unit 5 days a week to cope with the `maintenance’ patients. The used to fit them in within the 3 days of operation. At least 30% of their patients get ECT. (30 every Mon. Wed. Fri – where I worked, in the bad old days in a 1000 bed hospital = 6-8 every Mon, Wed, Fri). Interestingly that the Chief Psychiatrist works for a private hospital. The clause on the consent form requiring the prescribing and administering (not permitted to be the same person) ECT doctors to declare any financial conflict of interests was removed in the new Act. And so was the ban on children under 12, just before the draft was tabled. Too late for anyone to do anything. How might that have happened? So, yes, the psychiatrists DO make the legislature. It’s marvelous what money can do to morality isn’t it. ECT administering doctors = $25,000 a week; ECT anaesthetists = $30,000 a week; Hospital = $75,000 per patient = !!!!!!! Worth losing a few ethics?

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  12. Another point is the constant claim of Garth’s violence. As far as I know the only incident that has been reported is an alleged assault of someone (a nurse?) which is before the court. There is some confusion about this as the 3 witnesses don’t agree on what happened. One says he kicked the person in the head (how?), another says he pushed the person, and the third says he yelled at the person. At the tribunal hearing I went to, a nurse described him as `spitting into her face as he yelled at her.’ At another time, the police were called and Garth climbed onto his bed to be shackled, docile and acquiescent. His doctor claimed, at the tribunal, that she was afraid of him and cringed away. I visited Garth 3 times and at no time felt any apprehension, there was no feeling of suppressed anger, the nurses were relaxed and affable around him, so I think something else is going on. This entire situation is so strange that I believe the experiment idea may be true, or the doctors have gone mad, or both.

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  13. This is far more common than people realise. I made the mistake of criticising local Police for throwing hundreds of child abuse files in the bin to cover up for the abusers and their mates (Google search “Mark McHattie child abuse decision outrageous”). I also criticised local ‘politicians’ for interfering in a Police investigation, which saw MP Georgina Beyer suddenly quit parliament and become unable to get a job ever since. As a result of this criticism, local Police focused their attention on me – charging me with a number of criminal offences they knew full well I was innocent of. In order to try and derail a criminal trial in the Courts, and stop me exposing Police corruption, it was alleged that I was Delusional. I documented my “treatment” and forced medication, I was lucky to escape alive in the opinion of quite a few people who saw what was going on and took effective and constructive action to stop it. Despite strict instructions that I was not to be given any writing materials, no phone calls in or out, no mail in or out, and no visitors, I obtained a pen and paper and wrote an application to the High Court for a judicial inquiry. The account of this outrageous abuse of taxpayer funds can be found at this link, and others. The suggestions regarding lawyers are predictable, but extremely unrealistic – see the email from Dr Tony Ellis – unless you’ve got a LOT of money, you don’t stand a chance. Luckily, I was articulate and assertive and had a basic understanding of the law, I pity those who haven’t. And strangely, there has been a similar lack of interest in these matters on this side of the Tasman – people would rather numb their brains with the latest “news” about Bruce Kardashian or whatever.

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