In the Matter of the Hospitalization of Mark V


Today, July 1, 2016, the Alaska Supreme Court issued its Opinion in In the Matter of the Hospitalization of Mark V.    This was an appeal brought by the Alaska Public Defender Agency in which they argued the trial court should not have granted the commitment because Mark could have functioned in the community with the help of his willing parents.  The statute allows a person to be committed even if they are not a harm to self or others as “gravely disabled” if their previous ability to function independently in the community would deteriorate substantially without hospitalization.   See the definition of “gravely disabled” in AS 47.30.915.   In Wetherhorn v. Alaska Psychiatric Institute, which was a PsychRights case, in which the Alaska Supreme Court held that this could be constitutional only “if construed to require a level of incapacity so substantial that the respondent is incapable of surviving safely in freedom.”  The Alaska Supreme Court in Wetherhorn also phrased the requirement as the “distress” suffered by the person must be such that it “prevents the person in question from being able to live safely outside of a controlled environment.”  It cited this latter phrasing in today’s decision.

What strikes me the most about the case is that Mark’s expressing the view that a psychiatric drug he was being required to take is poison, that it had side effects related to his sexual performance, and that it was killing him were all cited as proving Mark was delusional.   As readers of this site know, these drugs can quite reasonably be characterized as poison, they do cause sexual dysfunction, and they are quite lethal to many many people, shortening lives on average by 25 years for those in the public mental health system, such as Mark.

Interestingly, just a month before this decision came out, Dr. Peter Gøtzsche gave a talk in Anchorage describing how ineffective and lethal neuroleptics are, titled Forced Admission and Treatment in Psychiatry are Violations of Basic Human Rights and Must be Abolished (YouTube video), to which  I invited all of the Alaska Supreme Court justices.   I didn’t really expect them to attend, and none did, but today’s case illustrates the problem of the acceptance by the courts of the misinformation perpetrated by the psychiatric industry.

Mark V. does have some good rulings.  The Alaska Supreme Court held, “Finding that no less restrictive alternative exists is a constitutional prerequisite to involuntary hospitalization,” and

We reiterate that a person’s inability to function outside of an institutional setting even with the support of family and friends is indeed a constitutionally-required part of the test for whether the person may be involuntarily committed.

This is based on United States Supreme Court precedent, so it is not new.  The court also rejected the hospital’s position that it was the burden of the person facing involuntary commitment to prove there is a less restrictive alternative, holding instead that the state must prove it by clear and convincing evidence.   This is mostly a theoretical victory because the hospital is not interested in putting on evidence for less restrictive alternatives, especially once it has decided it would like the person committed.  Therefore, as a practical matter, people faced with involuntary commitment are going to have to at least identify less restrictive alternatives.

One thing that I am sure the Alaska Supreme Court was not aware of is that the psychiatrist’s testimony essentially admitted that the so-called “emergency” drugging of Mark V while in the hospital was not legal. The Alaska Supreme Court stated, “API staff had several times been required to administer emergency injections to calm him down when he became aggressive and threatening.”  However, AS 47.30.878 provides that “emergency” medication can be administered only if:

[T]here is a crisis situation, or an impending crisis situation, that requires immediate use of the medication to preserve the life of, or prevent significant physical harm to, the patient or another person, as determined by a licensed physician or a registered nurse;

The psychiatrist is quoted as saying she did not believe Mark was truly a physical threat to others or in danger of harming himself.   Clearly, the emergency drugging was not authorized by law.

This is just an example of people’s rights being ignored as a matter of course.  I wrote a law review article with that theme, Involuntary Commitment and Forced Psychiatric Drugging in the Trial Courts: Rights Violations as a Matter of Course.

To me, the Mark V decision illustrates the need to

  1. Educate the public, including the judiciary, that psychiatric imprisonment, euphemistically called involuntary commitment, and forced drugging is not helpful to people;
  2. Have alternatives, and
  3. Enforce people’s rights.

I wrote about this in my first Mad in America blog, A Three Pronged Approach to Mental Health System Change, and there is an hour-long YouTube where I talk about it, Role of Litigation in a Strategic Approach to Mental Health System Change.

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  1. Hi Victoria,

    I think your experience is typical. My estimate is no more than 10% of the people involuntarily committed actually meet commitment criteria and that the government can never or virtually never truthfully satisfy the criteria for forced drugging because it has to prove it is in the person’s best interests and there are no less intrusive alternatives. In Alaska that has to be by clear and convincing evidence. Whether it is by a preponderance of the evidence (more than 50/50) or by clear and convincing evidence I just don’t think it can be truthfully proven that forced drugging is in the person’s best interest and there are no less intrusive alternatives.

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    • I’m both glad AND sad that my experience is typical, it goes to show I’m not delusional or crazy for thinking, or knowing, that the system is harming myself and my fellow “psychos.” You’re right, that’s precisely how the public perceives us all, as potential mass shooters scheming to hurt ourselves or others. When in reality, the complete opposite is true! We’re way more like to get hurt or taken advantage of by others. I once gave $200 I couldn’t afford to lose to a random man I didn’t know who asked me for money, because I wasn’t in my right frame of mind and he noticed that. Then I gave him a compassionate hug, does THAT make me sound dangerous? The way we’re portrayed in the public eye is so backwards, so twisted…

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    • In the nearly five consecutive years I spent involuntarily committed, I went before a judge once. That was when I was released and my mother was ordered out of my life until such a time that I allowed her back in it. I never saw and attorney or advocate. I wrote a letter that I don’t even know who read or if it was read regarding my situation. I was not provided with other options, and I didn’t know that I had any. Maybe I didn’t. Without any contact with the outside world, this included television broadcasts, newspapers, or even calendars, there was no one to turn to. You either took your medication or faced five point restraints and a hefty dose of haloperidol coupled with the shameful punishment of not being allowed to sleep it off or to use the bathroom when the vomiting started. You were given a trashcan and forced to stand so that you were visible to the entire group. In the end, “asylums” don’t need walls. You never really escape them.
      It was never intended to be easy to strip a person of their liberty, but if American Criminal Law truly is about who we hate the most, it’s mental illness that we use to strip a person of any protection or recourse that even a murderer is provided with. That seems to send a very clear message.

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  2. This is atrocious and outrageous and demonstrates the immediate necessity to prioritize finding a “dream team” of lawyers and physicians to try cases such as this, which seem to be no-brainers in terms of constitutionality. Why, for example, couldn’t a physician be found to testify that the drugs in question are not “medications” and are in fact poison, disproving the alleged “delusions”? Why can’t the obvious absurdity of the “mental illness” label itself be subjected to standard legal scrutiny? Lawyers need to be trained to understand the nitty-gritty of psychiatric assault and not conduct their courtroom presentations simply based on whether or not certain aspects of the “law” are met, as the laws themselves are the problem. These are constitutional issues and need to be tackled head on.

    Thanks for the efforts of PsychRights — but we need much, much more in terms of legal support; maybe programs for law students could be developed to help them learn to deal with these issues from our perspective? We need more legal articles here alongside the standard fare from liberal “mental health” professionals.

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    • I couldn’t agree with you more. When Dr. Gøtzsche was in Anchorage he signed an affidavit to that effect, which can be downloaded from I was also able to arrange for him to testify in a case where the person was represented by the public defenders. The patient lost. Dr. Gøtzsche talks about his experience a little bit in the question and answer period of his talk, which is on YouTube at

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      • Thanks for your quick response. I would say at first glance, that given the way Dr. G’s affidavit was summarily dismissed, we need to work on getting a panel of 3 or more physicians who would be able and willing to testify in person and participate in cross-examination of state shrinks. We also need credentialed people to deconstruct and demystify the medical model. Plus we need people demonstrating outside the courthouse, etc. to put the situation under a public magnifying glass. Thoughts?

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        • More could have been done with Dr. Gøtzsche and his affidavit. PsychRights is hoping to see if better use will work better.

          The hospital has a huge advantage with testimony since the psychiatrist is already there and has easy access to the “patient.”

          How to make the public realize what is going on is the big question. Right now things are going in the wrong direction with this witch hunt environment we are in as a result of scapegoating people diagnosed with mental illness for mass shootings. There are many credentialed people who have debunked the medical model and its so-called “treatments.”

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          • Thanks, and so supportive for your Psych Rights Project.

            I am curious as to why neuro/psych MDs & RNs practitioners are allowed power to forcibly administer treatment, even against the will of their clientele.

            I am an experienced scientist, PhD. Science researchers (biomedical & all related fields) who work with any living being, human or nonhuman, are uniformly constrained by ethical welfare guidelines, which are strictly enforced.

            Yet neuro/psych practitioners have no such training, no compliance with any ethical guidelines to the best of my knowledge.

            That is, lab animals & human research subjects are far better represented than any clientele under the care of neuro/psych practitioners. No wonder there are grievous ethical violations!

            Why are neuro/psych practitioners allowed to practice without the same compliance as lab research subjects? Why are they exempt?

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          • The hospital has a huge advantage with testimony since the psychiatrist is already there and has easy access to the “patient.”

            So glad you brought this up! Maybe you can shed some light on why this never seems to be a legal issue during commitment hearings:

            Since psychiatric testimony can and will be used to deprive someone of liberty, why do Miranda laws not apply and is the “patient” not warned that anything said to a psychiatrist can and will be used against them in a court of law, and the right to remain silent respected rather than presented as a “symptom” justifying forced incarceration and drugging? Why are statements made during coerced interrogations (“interviews”) admitted into court commitment proceedings? Has this ever been considered?

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          • Jim

            ACTING OUT.

            The last time I was given strong medication (over 30 years ago) it destabilised me so much that I had to break into hospital – less than 2 days later I discharged myself. And I went on to make full recovery.

            It’s not too surprising that ‘citizens’ believe people ‘act out’ due to their own motivation; because the drug researchers (like my University Hospital) keep this information to themselves (as this is where the money is).

            The legislators do have access to expert information but the information is often “cooked”.

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  3. Thanks for all that you do, Jim. I agree with old head, the problem is the lawyers and judges are in bed with the psychiatrists. I know I couldn’t find a lawyer, even as a person with lots of lawyer friends. And even after the doctor who had me medically unnecessarily shipped a long distance to himself, who forced treated me, and was later arrested and convicted by the FBI for having lots of Medicare / Medicaid patients medically unnecessarily shipped long distances to himself, “snowing” people, and performing unneeded tracheotomies for profit.

    Forced treatment is very profitable, that’s why it happens. And after speaking with the DuPage county States Attorneys about my illegal forced treatment (my signature was forged on the voluntary treatment papers), I could tell by their dancing denials, they were likely getting a cut of the forced treatment profits.

    Forced treatment needs to be outlawed. It’s being used for illegal reasons (covering up prior iatrogenesis) and for financial gain. It harms, not benefits the patient. It financially benefits doctors and hospitals. It is unconstitutional.

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    • CPS just loves drugging kids.

      Part 1: Children reveal painful memories of neglect, heavy duty drug treatments.

      Maybe mom gets caught smoking pot in a car with the child so they snatch the child and pump him or her full of drugs like Risperdal or Ritalin or Remeron and others that start with letters other than R.

      CPS and the family courts a bunch of criminals. Kidnapped Legally by CPS. 2373 likes ¡ 19 talking about this. Exposing the many kidnappings of children by an all too powerful state.

      Why does that website you always link and spam only have one member ?

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      • “CPS just loves drugging kids.”

        I have never heard of anything like this. If this is true, then we need to act. That would be cause for the most severe of criminal penalties. It would be no different than the drugging of kids in Foster Care Group Homes.

        If CPS is drugging kids, then everyone on this forum should move into action. That would be at least as bad as what goes on in that Judge Rottenberg Center, and in a psychological version of that, the Koegel Autism Center at the University of California.

        Okay, this news video you’ve posted is about Foster Care, not CPS per se. And Diane Sawyer is a right wing megaphone.

        But yes, this is outrageous and action must be taken.

        The doctors who do this should be identified and exposed and considered just like Josef Mengele and subjected to the same sorts of penalties which he had coming.

        And parents should not be exposing their children to any kind of smoke, or driving cars under the influence. If they do any of these things, there have to be penalties and the problem must be solved.

        But yes, CPS tends only to be able to go after low income parents. This is how it has always been. The kinds of child abuse most often engaged in by people who have money is more slippery. It is the kind taught to them by psychotherapists and by the pedagogy manuals they purchase at the Barnes and Nobles store. This is what the middle-class family is about, making yourself look better than other people because you speak the lingo of the more elevated “parenting skills”.

        Well CPS needs to be active here too, going after these situations where doctors and therapists are being used to help parents exploit their children. When you see outside evidence which suggests child abuse, it must be investigated.

        Sorry, but I am not seeing convincing evidence that people end up in the “mental health system” without it first staring as familial child abuse. I say this knowing that many people had no contact with it until they were much older than 18 years and had long since stopped living with their parents. The “mental health system” scoops up all those who experience their place in the world as an unjust one. And it is unjust, it is simply that only some of us feel it. It is unjust because it is not just aberrant families that exploit children, it is The Family, that which is held up as an ideal and which is promoted in every way, which exploits children.

        So as such, CPS also has severe limitations.

        Now I know of someone who had his first nervous break down when he was in the 4th grade, he had to be removed from school and institutionalized for a while. This would be the first of several breakdowns and institutionalizations, and druggings over the course of his life.

        No investitation!

        Well, he had a nervous breakdown, as is likely to happen when there are escalating tensions in the home. I know from him that his parents were at war, and he was being subjected to high level sexual abuse. The mother would kick the father out of her bed, so he would retaliate by going to the son’s bed.

        But yet to this day there has been no legal intervention. The entire family believes that this son is crazy, and they say so. He ended up having to leave home at the age of 15, and suffer all the accompanying educational opportunity loses, and today he believes that he is going to be disinherited as he has gone decades without any familial contact. Such contact is always abusive.

        And this man, now in middle age, does he want legal redress? No, he has actually become a therapist. He takes money from other people, telling them that it is morally superior to seek no redress. He is abusing other people, and living off of it.

        This is wrong. All assets should have immediately been placed into a trust fund and under court control, and the parents both deserved to serve lengthy prison terms, as this is what deters others from doing similar things.

        And if you don’t want CPS to handle it, great, just let me handle such cases. 🙂

        CPS can’t do much unless we have high quality Foster Care. But Foster Care today is designed to reinforce The Family. It is there to tell the kids that they are deprived, disadvantaged.

        Well those of us who have survived the middle-class family and it’s exploitations, we should be setting up our own Foster Care Group Home. It exists to correct for the middle-class family, and we will graduate a revolutionary vanguard, people like Maximilien Robespierre. He was such a good student that he was selected to read an address in Latin to Louis and Marie.


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  4. Can I ask WHY the hospitals are so eager to fight so hard for the right to take people from their homes and lock them up? That they are prepared to lie and dissemble to basically CAPTURE people into their system? Is it fear of litigation e.g. if the individual dies or is damaged because they WEREN’T locked up? Surely they should perhaps spend more effort in finding alternatives to highly restrictive, aggressive and expensive interventions that the people don’t want or need. There seems to be a rather pathological power issue here – a need to WIN. This is the pathology of the authorities who perhaps feel their control and thereby self esteem, will be threatened by showing `weakness’.

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      • Deirdre Oliver here, Jim…Yes, that chapter is excellent and so true. I worked in a large mental hospital in the 1970s and was considered a bit `radical’. When I refused to wear a uniform, I was told that my authority would be lost, that I would be taken advantage of, but worst of all that I would be mistaken for a patient. When I pointed out that we were all human beings, some of the senior nurses became very angry with me, but because they needed my expertise I was indulged. It took many months before people began to realise that there were no issues and gradually more and more nurses took off their uniforms, if not all their attitude.
        30 years later, as a patient, I noted the uniforms were back, prominent ID cards separated patient and staff, some even said `DOCTOR’ in large letters. I asked one of them if that was to reassure him or the patients? He looked confused and scurried away.
        Unlike during my time where I spent most of my day talking to patients, the staff had withdrawn to the office, their only contact being at a patient’s request, occasionally, often briefly and reluctantly, and to administer meds. Everything Rosenhan described in the 1970s about avoidance, no eye contact, etc is still true today.
        As I recall, where I worked in the 70s there was an air of hope for change, we were excited by what was a kind of approach to treatment that Open Dialogue later ran with. I left in 1975 when it was clear that we were going to be shut down;
        we were, the system won.

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    • If they are a state hospital they get to take the person’s disability check after the person has been held for a month. In other words, the “hospital” becomes the payee rather than the individual that the disability was granted to. I suspect that they can also take a person’s Social Security check for the same thing but can’t say for sure.

      A day at a state “hospital” costs more than you could probably spend per day staying in a fancy hotel suite. A day spend in a state “hospital” costs $1,000 or more. State “hospitals” also bill Medicare through CMS. Private “hospitals” can bill private insurance until the insurance company refuses to pay any more and then the person is shipped off to the state “hospital” or they’re finally turned loose.

      This is big business that we’re talking about there. This is why the “hospitals” are so eager to fight so hard for the right to take people from their homes and lock them up.

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    July 1, 2016.

    From:- The UK Information Commissioner’s Office. Complaint Review Response.

    “…….You have also raised concerns about the retention of information that you were previously advised had been removed. I understand from Ms H. that this matter has been discussed with the Practice Manager who has advised that the medical professionals feel that it forms part of your ongoing care and therefore that it is still relevant to your medical records and must not be removed. This is not a matter that we can challenge as we are not medically qualified and are therefore unable to challenge a view that the information is relevant to your care. This would be a matter that you would have to take up with xxx Medical Centre……”

    What the ICO Review Officer is telling me is that it’s perfectly okay for a Medical Practice to LIE to me about the removal of my Historical MH Record (thus falsely reassuring me + deflecting me from acting) while at the same time holding the record as evidence against me (and putting me at risk).

    If a Public Funded Official were to behave in such a discriminatory manner with a person from any other minority grouping what would the result be?

    It’s interesting the way the UK Information Commissioner’s Office excuses “criminal” interference to Mental Health Records.

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  6. We also need to understand that those who work in an instuitutional system are as much prisoners of it as their charges and sadly I doubt very many psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses and attendants have read Irving Goffman’s `Asylums’. As Dostoyevsky among others has said,
    `When a man has unlimited power over the flesh and blood of his fellow men, when a man is in a position to degrade another human being to the limit of degradation, he is unable to resist the temptation to do wrong. Tyranny is a habit. In the end it becomes a disease. The best man in the world becomes so brutalized as to be undistinguishable from a wild beast’.
    Who is sicker here?
    Without insight, honour, honesty and morality have left the building.

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      • …and is a basic character trait of every psychiatrist I have ever met.

        Even in their endeavors to “help” they cast the patient as “other”, less, somehow inferior and even feared. They are, of course, jumping at their own (Jungian) shadows…or projecting…or whatever name they like to use on “patients” when they express disagreement, negative opinion, or doubt about the psychiatrist’s behaviours, pronouncements, or motives.

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        • And the public are outraged when they hear about it. Australia has just withdrawn exports of live animals to some places in Asia because of cruelty. The sales of `free range’ eggs is continuing to rise, etc etc but in psychiatric `cages’, the Garth Daniels case, the brutality of forced meds, seclusion and restraints, the rapes, the verbal and physiacl abuse and the failure of the law to protect, continues unchecked.

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    • Similar situation in Western Australia deeeo42. Penalties for the mistreatment of animals is basically double that of those deemed to have a mental illness. The interesting fact is though that the State will prosecute crimes committed against animals. The laws relating to the mistreatment of ‘patients’ has never been used.

      One might argue that there has never been a case strong enough for prosecution. One woman was punished for being ‘mouthy’ to staff by being denied her calipers for her legs, and left strapped in her bed laying in her own faeces and urine for days. “insufficient evidence”.

      Of course what is not recognised is what actually occurs when the provisions of the MHA are invoked against a person. They are no longer deemed human and it is not possible to commit offenses against them.

      I found this out the hard way when I attended a police station with proof of criminal offenses committed against me, only to be told they didn’t have a copy of the Criminal Code. Which is essentially true, they don’t have laws covering what can be done to those outside the scope of justice. And it sure shows in the conduct and behaviour of those who work in these environments.

      Once the label had been applied to me I was delusional to believe I was actually still a human with rights. Simply not the case.

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      • The 7 hours which I had a ‘mental illness’ taught me a lot.

        And I can see the lure of these laws for the State when a diagnosis of citizens can be home delivered by a Community Nurse, human and civil rights removed with misrepresentation, and torture, maiming and killing become an option which will not be prosecuted.

        Is it any wonder that one of our politicians (Troy Buswell) left the State to be treated for his mental illness, lest he be subjected to these perversions of laws.

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      • There are a thousand stories like yours but the public don’t know. Australians are traditionally hard to move, we’re lazy and complacent until someone stirs the pot and that takes decades. Outrages like child sexual assault, the forcing of young women to adopt their babies out, and the `stolen generation’ have finally been outed but plenty is still going on, including those, in fact. Aboriginal health is making it into the papers, Land rights, happening but still contentious. Even drugging of children is getting a little time, but the rights of the `disabled’ are way on the back burner, and `mental patients’ are at the bottom of that list. As long as psychiatry and the press demonise people as raving, delusional homicidal, maniacs ready to run amok striking out at innocent passersby, it ain’t gonna change. The fact that alcohol and street drugs are by far the most dangerous substances around is constantly obscured by the press looking for a good headline. They sell papers and that’s all that matters. $$$$ will keep the status quo.

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        • I believe personal experiences are far better than legal arguments, treatises about human rights, even lengthy scientific exposes on the evils of drugs and shock, at getting to people. I’ve been collecting stories for some time now with the aim of publishing them as VOICES. The woman who posed as a mental patient then wrote about her experience in the 1890s(?) got things changed as the public were outraged. Rosenhan in 1972 caused a big stir. Neither changed much in the long term because people forget so we must remind them. Everyone I tell about the Garth Daniels case, is appalled, people I tell my story to, are horrified but the media are bound by advertisers, the medical profession by self preservation and the law, well, by the law.

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          • `conspiracies conducted by a handful of men acting secretly invariably meet tragic ends, Open revolts involving large numbers of people do not.’
            The overthrow of the Duke of Athens involved the `great, the people, the artisans’ – they may begin as secret conspiracies [until] the secret is shared’ –

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          • `conspiracies conducted by a handful of men acting secretly invariably meet tragic ends, Open revolts involving large numbers of people do not.’

            That really resonates with me deeo42. Given that in a meeting between my wife and a psychologist to conspire, it was decided that if my wife drugged me without knowledge with benzos and planted a knife in my pyjama pocket, called Mental Health Services and had them call the psychologist, who lied and said I was her “patient” that she was treating, they could have me incarcerated and force drugged.

            Police and Mental Health Services attend my home where they find a man asleep in his bed (and know it is as a result of him being ‘spiked’). Police fail to find the knife which was planted, but verbal it anyway, and make the referral to Mental Health (Community Nurse) The CN then makes missing a few meals and not sleeping properly into a serious mental illness requiring a chemical baseball bat, and I am carted off to a cage. Three minute interview with a doctor and I have three serious mental illnesses that require incarceration and forced drugging.

            So my refusal to go and speak to a psychologist as requested by my wife results in a conspiracy to stupefy and kidnap.

            Quick, someone give him a mental illness so we can make it appear lawful. And the Community Nurse had the cheek to write that I had “potential for damage to reputation and meaningful relationships” on his reasons for detention? So to see that this doesn’t happen what we are going to do is have police throw him into a police van in front of his mother and father in law. Glad my wife was their to explain that I wasn’t being arrested, just delivered to a mental institution for incarceration and forced drugging. Potential avoided.

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          • Once I had police, mental health, a psychologist and my wife conspiring to conceal the evidence of a criminal offense against me (Intoxication by deception) then providing the documents proving this to police became “hallucinations” and another referral for examination by a psychiatrist from police.

            It is the case in my State that police, with a lie as simple as “person in possession of a knife” is grounds for referral to mental health. And those who have been through ‘the system’ would realise quite clearly what that means.

            Police corruption? “It never happened”

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      • I agree, I’ve never heard of any prosecution for psychiatric abuse against a human being – you will get prosecutions (often successful) against animal abusers.

        I have experienced myself, what I would describe as Dr Shipman* type behavior from doctors with my own records i.e. deliberate suppression of near fatal reactions (and side effects) for the sake of convenience.

        *Dr Harold Shipman was a British doctor that killed many elderly female patients (comparatively recently). After Shipman the services were supposed to sharpen up. They did for a while but soon went back to normal, in psychiatry.

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        • Psychiatry is not practiced on humans Fiachra. That’s the unspoken truth about the situation, and the reason there have been no prosecutions using the laws to protect the “mentally ill”. If crimes are committed against a person, then the Criminal Code would apply. See for example what constitutes kidnapping. Police transport is not kidnapping because a Community Nurse fills out a Form which legally permits police to transport a person against their will.

          What I have found unbelievable is the response of the State to their formal investigation which would have revealed the crimes which were committed against me. Levels of negligence (failures to perform duty), fraud (police retrieval of documents to aid and abet the criminals, the distribution of documents with significant legal narrative changed to lawyers authorised by the Clinical Director of the hospital) and slander (the release of personal information into the public domain with the sole intention of causing harm to a persons reputation).

          And these are people acting in “good faith” waaaahahahah

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  7. It is indeed “maddening” to have the system label as “delusion” thoughts which are actually quite “evidence based” such as the notion that neuroleptics are, at least to some extent, poisons, and can lead to death.

    But, to keep on the “high ground” I do think we need to avoid making claims we can’t really back up. So whenever someone on MIA says that the drugs are what’s responsible for people in the public mental health system living on average 25 years less, I think it’s worth reminding everyone that the drugs are not the only cause of the early deaths, even though it appears likely they play a huge role. (Poor people who have extensive trauma histories tend to die earlier even when not exposed to these drugs!)

    We sound more dramatic when we claim the drugs are entirely responsible for the problem of early death, but we also risk sounding biased and unscientific, out of touch with what is actually happening. Let’s just keep the attention on the fact that the drugs do shorten many lives while on average reducing chances for recovery – that is damming evidence enough.

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    • So true, Ron! The big picture is often so overly obvious that it can fly right over our heads. There are many variables in the case of shorter lifespans. People in poverty can’t afford healthy food, which can lead to obesity and feeling lethargic, which leads to lack of exercise. The extreme stress of poverty can lead to early death, too! Life is way more complex than meets the eye…

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      • Seroquel is banned in the USA army because it was killing young men in their sleep (more than likely through heart rythm disruption) so poison would be a good description for this type of drug.

        I believe most of the premature death is to do with the drugs – I don’t think there’s any point talking around this.

        Alcoholics and reformed alcoholics sometimes die younger but can also live to be very old and still maintain good quality of life, but not so many heavy psychiatric drug consumers manage this.

        As far as sex goes – I was on these drugs in my early 20s. I’m off them now and I’m in my mid fifties (and I wouldn’t like to bore you).

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  8. In Australia they find it convenient to ‘drop’ patients with psychotropics before they are examined by a psychiatrist. This is usually done by offering the person a fist full of benzos and anti psychotics, and should they say the word “no” then they are restrained and injected. I’m not sure if saying “no” meets the required standards of the “emergency” provisions, but it’s what is done.

    What I wonder though is that as defined by law, benzos are classed as a “stupefying drug” if administered without knowledge, then why are they not a “stupefying drug” if administered through coercion and threat?

    Why is it that these drugs which are prohibited to Muslims can be forced down their throats purely because a person says “no”?

    I also agree with you about the need to “enforce peoples rights” Mr Gottstein. Trouble being where I live the person charged with that duty (the Chief Psychiatrist) doesn’t even know what a burden of proof is. Where our MH Act states that “the practitioner who suspects on reasonable grounds that a person should be made an involuntary patient may refer the person for examination by a psychiatrist.” In a letter to me the CP states that “the referrer, need only ‘suspect’ on grounds they believe to be reasonable that a person requires examination by a psychiatrist can refer…”

    Burden of proof (suspect on reasonable grounds) becomes an opinion that can not be tested. The practitioner could say they thought “tomato” was reasonable, and this could not be challenged.

    It does however mean that, like me, a person can be snatched from their bed, have police ‘verbal’ a knife into their possession, a mental health nurse make up somehthing which sounds like a mental illness by misrepresenting facts on a stat dec, and have them laying unconscious in a cell before lunch time for no other reason than disagreeing with another.

    I also find it amusing that I can be fined $180 plus court costs, record a conviction against me for not voting when it seems obvious to me that I have no human rights. Or is coercing me to add to the numbers and legitimate their authority part of making what is a police state look like a democracy. Because two bad choices is no choice at all.

    Thanks for your informative articles.

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  9. I think the most important thing in this case is not the medication, but the fact that conduct like exposing himself and threatening others was happening while manic and refusing medication and being supported by family. This sort of conduct is not some hypothetical issue or preference, it is not tolerable, and finding a way to control it is a practical necessity. And so we are left with the hard question of what friends, family, and more benign approaches can actually do, or have been able to actually do to help. I’m all for benign functional alternatives to involuntary confinement, and believe they can be funded and deployed.

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  10. I still say we need a downloadable do it yourself lawsuit kit for victims of inpatient abuse. Make it real easy fill in the blanks kind of thing names and places and what happened for the most common forms of inpatient abuse.
    Someone real cleaver could create an Automated Lawsuit Generator webpage.
    Its not all about winning its even just making the doctors and hospital people show up and explain themselves with all the expense that goes with it.

    During my time inpatient in a UHS psychiatric hellhole I heard people all the time saying “I am going to sue this place” usually in hopes they would stop violating their rights but when the nightmare is over and you get out its almost impossible to find a lawyer to help you, I tried. I had to hire a paralegal just to get my medical records because the hospital kept ignoring my requests. Cost me $100 to hire someone they could not ignore.

    The attorneys wanted my medical records to get started but of course “doctors” at Universal Health Services psychiatric hellholes don’t write on medical records how they mistreat people.

    More on UHS hellholes here

    I had them, it was unlawful or false imprisonment because my hearing was not held on time but no one wanted to help.

    Does anyone think a do it yourself lawsuit kit would work ? And when I say “work” I mean just getting them in the courtroom to explain themselves I don’t mean winning.

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    • We’re thinking along the same lines Cat. We also need psychiatric jailhouse lawyers among those who have longer “treatment” sentences who could advise people of their rights and how to file complaints, and help expose the system from inside the walls. Looks like we’ll be needing them at CMH centers too. This of course is what “advocacy” groups should be doing, but I guess fear of losing that federal grant money makes that unadvisable.

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      • Re `Advocacy Groups” – check this out…
        Methods of Silencing a Group of Activists
        Ron Duchin, research analyst at Mongoven, Biscoe & Duchin Inc., in Washington DC, devised and used specific methods to break up activists groups who were fighting for social justice such as environmental groups, animal right groups and consumer affairs groups. His famous legacy was breaking up civil right activists group fighting the tobacco industry. He then went on to advise other industry giants of how to fight any dissent.
        Duchin explained that activists fall into four categories: radicals, opportunists, idealists and realists, and that a three-step strategy was needed to bring them down.
        First, you isolate the radicals: those who want to change the system and promote social justice. Use methods of character assassination to discredit them – such as exaggerations, lies, trumped up charges in order to marginalize them.
        Second, you carefully ‘cultivate’ the idealists: those who are altruistic, don’t stand to gain from their activism, and are not as extreme in their methods and objectives as the radicals. You do this by gently persuading them that their advocacy has negative consequences for some groups, thus transforming them into realists.
        Finally, you co-opt the realists (the pragmatic incrementalists willing to work within the system) into compromise. “The realists should always receive the highest priority in any strategy dealing with a public policy issue . . . If your industry can successfully bring about these relationships, the credibility of the radicals will be lost and opportunists can be counted on to share in the final policy solution.” Opportunists, those who are motivated by power, success, or a sense of their own celebrity, will be satisfied merely by a sense of partial victory.
        Who does the APA use?

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        • This is almost a rhetorical leading question, right? Historically speaking, they used those who at psychiatry’s behest (and living off their money) tried to morph the original anti-psychiatry movement 180 degrees into a “consumer movement.” Currently, they in addition use NAMI and the entire liberal “social services” establishment, for that matter.

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  11. The problem is that psychiatrists are near enough to teflon coated when it comes to retribution. Their claims are based on opinion only so they get a coterie of mates around to support their opinions about why they did what they did and no one can say nay. Judges respect the professional status of the `doctor’, the law supports that the opinion of a professionally trained psychiatrist is to be taken over that of others, including defense lawyers and human rights groups/advocates who `don’t understand’ the medical details of the matter. A prominent US psychiatrist, often quoted here, Dr Ron Pies recently wrote re the value of antipsychotic drugs `…a commentary on some recent studies and their sometimes controversial interpretation. I would argue that interpreting these complex studies requires an in-depth understanding of medical research design, psychopharmacology, and the numerous confounds that can affect treatment outcome. Unfortunately, a lack of medical training has not stopped a few critics from confidently charging that psychiatrists are harming their patients by prescribing long-term AP treatment.’ This is, of course filibuster and rubbish but it’s what the powers that be, hear. (Phil Hickey tackled THIS piece)
    Earlier this year, Professor John Read wrote 3 linked articles for MIA about this case and explained how the authorities shut down all attempts to expose/control these doctors for what was, I agree, criminal behaviour. THAT is why it is almost impossible to get justice, to control or even challenge rogue behaviour, and most of all, to change the status quo.
    The medical profession protects its own as well, so outrage from other disciplines e.g. neurology, isn’t forthcoming either. We’re talking about power and money, something that few will ever give up willingly, and the medical profession, having taken over from the church, is in the box seat for both. So unless there is a huge revolution, nothing’s going to change soon.

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  12. Do you know of any lawyers in the UK you’d recommend who are interested in this (forced treatment cases etc)?

    I had an idea it would be good if there was an article that listed recommended lawyers who were interested.


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  13. I had a much longer post almost ready, but a computer hiccup dumped it. Let me just say, lawsuits against parents are a rarity, and the most basic kinds would be blocking disinheritance, putting all assets in a trust fund so they are not squandered as there had been child abuse, and divorce from parents with a property settlement.

    Here was one recent attempt. And the father was getting drunk and sexually inappropriate with his daughter all the time.

    But it failed and the girl ended up apologizing to the judge, just to prevent further damage.

    What we call mental illness, as far as I can see, is simply and effect of living without social and civil standing, and this originates in the ways the Middle-Class Family is expected to exploit and abuse children.

    So again, thank you Jim Gottstein, as what we need is not therapy and recovery, we need lawyers who will file strategic law suits to try and establish precedents.

    The American system which allows one to disinherit a child is wrong. And I feel that it causes denial and the abuse of more children. If this disinheritance were prevented, and especially if one could make an abuse claim and get the assets put into a trust fund to protect them, then I think many more people would speak out. It would snow ball. There would be criminal convictions, and people would never again be able to scapegoat a child and blame the child for the horrid lives of it’s parents.

    And as far as I am concerned, ‘mental illness’ is simply a concept invented to stigmatize those who refuse to go along with the abuses and exploitations of the middle-class family and the capitalist system which depends upon it.

    So we don’t need Recovery, we need an organized campaign of opposition and liberation.

    To Be Continued


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  14. “A Noble Lie – refers to the propping up of a myth in order to “maintain social harmony” and keep the elite in their present position”.

    Chemical imbalance anyone?

    Remove rights and property

    Not only does it allow the elite to maintain their position, they are enriching themselves in the process. Torture, maiming and killing disguised as medicine? One doesn’t need to look too hard to find examples of where this has been done before.

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    • Mind you, holding anti psychiatry views, is it any wonder that a psychologist (and her husband a psychiatrist) would conspire with my distressed wife to plant the evidence of a ‘mental illness’ on me? A knife in the pocket after ‘spiking’ with benzos. Got the symptoms of an ‘illness’ with the drugging and the danger to self or other with the knife?

      No access to the courts for me now, because the courts are a place where reason should prevail and ….. well, this Noble Lie is not “reasonable”.

      I would have rather been fitted up for a murder I didn’t commit. At least when that is done the perversion of the course of justice might be noticed, and one’s bodily intergrity maintained. Though even this is doubtful to me now after observing public officers working with the criminals to ensure that justice is not served. A Clinical Director distributing fraudulent documents (though I should never have noticed)? Maintain the Lie at all costs.

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  15. Jim Gottstein,

    I most especially appreciate you participation here, being that you are an attorney.

    Do you know of anyone trying to address any of the following:

    1. Expand the envelop of child v parent abuse lawsuits

    2. Find ways to block disinheritance

    3. Develop an anti-disinheritance contract, irrevocable and superseding wills. It can be signed to show political support for the idea, and also to provide a legal safeguard.

    4. Develop trust fund procedures, as a compromise to take discretion away from parents, but still not cut them off completely.

    5. Ways to sue psychotherapists for contributing to child abuse.

    6. Ways to sue parents for exposure to second hand tobacco smoke.

    7. Better ways to sue parents for all types of medical abuse, including psychotherapy.

    Most of the child sexual molestation SOL reform has not resulted in law suits against parents. This country’s inheritance laws keep the victims silent.

    Thanks, and whatever you say I will not construe as legal advice. And if you know people working on any of the above or related, I would like to help.

    Anyone can contact me via:

    Through legal and legislative efforts, we can win.

    But with therapy, recovery, and religion we slowly destroy ourselves.


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