Institutionalized 18 Years Ago, I May Never Be Released

William A. Sutherland
32
2908

Walking into the old Pink Flamingo, its typically dark motif was flooded with light that night. Bartender’s choice. I was annoyed. I should have left immediately.

The half-hour spent walking there, that the Jack on the rocks was only $2.75, and I only had ten dollars in my pocket allowed me to look past this guy’s ignorance. I ordered my first drink and settled in.

It was Monday, March 27, 2000. I was moving to a new apartment the next day. I had to rise early, so I thought a few drinks would help me get a good night’s sleep. Also, our new place was a little further uptown; I wouldn’t be as close to one of my favorite dive bars.

It wasn’t until after that I recalled the server’s face from Christmas Eve (that night, I blacked out after two shots and one beer and was arrested for attacking a police officer). Afterward, I thought: “Wow, I could have killed someone and not known it.” That was the first time I had ever suffered a loss of consciousness. It was scary.

I put the bright bar lights out of my mind and was simply enjoying the moment; an open pack of Marlboro Reds and the change from my ten sat on the bar in front of me. Good music from the sound system, the crowd was filling in, a young lady sat down next to me, we nodded “hellos.”

Those were my last memories as a free man.

My eyes blurred open as the car turned sharply into the parking lot, bouncing my head off the window, the cuffs pinching my wrists and pulled behind my back informing me I was not a voluntary participant in this ride, the sign on the building indicating that I was about to enter the Buffalo Police Fire Investigator’s office. I went back under.

I awoke in the presence of a plainclothes officer. Sitting across his desk, trying to figure out how and why I was there, I simply asked: “What happened?”

“There was a fire,” he said. I had no idea what day or time it was. I had suffered a total blackout, just like Christmas Eve. I feared the worst, was actually a bit relieved to hear that there was only a fire.

My brain was foggy. Attempting to put the events of the evening into perspective, I asked for a cigarette and a cup of coffee. Reaching into my pocket for a smoke, I pulled out a five-pack of Marlboros. I knew I had been home; I just couldn’t remember being there.

When I left the house, the five-pack of Marlboros sat atop the refrigerator in my kitchen. As I felt the smokes in my pocket, I thought: “I must have been home, but when? What happened?” I was clueless.

The fire the officer was referring to was set in my apartment, not the whole building but the living room of a three-bedroom, two-bath, 1800-square-foot luxury apartment.

He went on to say that I already confessed to the crime; I denied it. Then he wanted me to answer other questions (unrelated to the fire), threatening me with 25 years if I didn’t cooperate. I deflected his questions and repeatedly asked for my attorney.

The fire department had arrived in five minutes and the blaze was quickly extinguished. Most of the damage was to the contents, my contents. Thankfully no personal injuries occurred as a result of the arson. Drive by 857 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo today and you wouldn’t be able to pick out the unit that burned.

The police handed me over to the court, the court set bail at $20,000, and off to the holding center I went. While in the holding center I would meet a number of doctors who would interview me with annoying questions and probing accusations.

One of my first interviews was with the forensic psychologist. During our first interview, he read a statement that the Buffalo Police attributed to me when I was in the back of their squad car.

They claimed that I said all sorts of crazy stuff, that I was John Gotti’s son and that I killed people and that I was gonna kill my landlord. It was utter nonsense. When the doctor asked me what I thought of that statement, my reply was: “Those are not my thoughts or beliefs, not now, not ever.”

The building was owned by a large regional property-management firm. My soon-to-be landlord, a candidate for statewide office, was the CEO at the time. His three children resided directly above our apartment. Dawn (my former fiancé) and I had lived there for two years.

The doctor questioned me as to my relationship with my landlord. I was honest that until we declined his offer to renew our lease, things were fine. In January of 2000, the landlord had offered to renew our lease when it expired at the end of March. Dawn and I discussed our options, but we felt that a move back to our old neighborhood was in our best interest.

That’s when things took a turn for the worse.

My landlord sent the police to our house the last Sunday in January, seven officers in total, for no other reason than to intimidate me. They raided our unit, making threats as they went from room to room with no search warrant. I was not in violation of any laws or noise ordinances that night. Our only “transgression” was to politely decline the lease renewal.

They returned four more times that night in diminishing numbers. Ultimately relenting after the downstairs neighbor yelled up from her door: “Leave him alone, he hasn’t done anything.”

It was that visit that led to an eviction hearing on March 10 of 2000. We won that hearing but then my landlord claimed I called his office and threatened to kill him. He cited the police visit as impetus for the eviction proceeding. Never offering why the police were dispatched in the first place.

I was not made aware of the threatening phone call until after my arrest on the arson charge.

……

A mutual friend introduced me to my future landlord sometime in 1997. I called him for legal help about a year later. He was very helpful and even offered my company a below-market-rate lease on an office in his Ellicott Square Building.

Why he turned on me, sending the police to my house, attempting to evict us and all of the nonsense that followed, is beyond me.

Pause for a moment to reflect back on the night of the fire.

I spend the day shopping, have dinner with Dawn, watch the hockey game on TV, play chess on the internet, walk to a bar, have one drink, lose consciousness, get arrested for something I have no recollection of doing — not to mention that it would be totally out of character for me to do — I allegedly spout off to the police all sorts of crazy stories of mayhem and violence, I come to in the presence of a Buffalo Police officer and I refuse to answer any questions even under the threat of 25 years in prison.

Since I cannot recall the time period in between my first drink and awakening in front of the fire investigator, I have no defense to the accusations.

While I was in the Erie County Holding Center, the forensic psychologist broached the subject of taking an insanity defense, or CPL 330.20 as it is known. He described in detail the two possible sites I would go to (Rochester or Mid-Hudson) and he assured me I would be home in six months.

When I hesitated, he asked what I wanted to do. I told him I wanted to go to trial, as I was innocent. I swore I had been drugged in the bar.

He retorted, “That will take over a year to go through the courts and cost you over $20,000, money you don’t have.”

I asked how he knew of my finances?

“Your bail is $20,000 and you’re still sitting here,” he replied.

“OK, but I still want to go to trial, I am innocent.”

He wouldn’t hear it and went on to say that they were doing me a favor, that this was a very rare plea, it would only be six months. I resisted, he turned up the heat.

“If you don’t cooperate, I will send you to one of these places and lose you for two years.”

I didn’t know it at the time, but the doctors can say you are not competent to stand trial. You will be sent to a forensic hospital until you have attained competence. These “clients” are referred to as 730s. That is the legal code for people who have been charged criminally but due to their mental illness cannot proceed with assisting in their own defense.

The doctor assured me that I would be home by Christmas if I took the offer.

Up to this point, I was a detainee with criminal charges. I saw the world through that lens. I would not be overly cooperative with the doctors who worked in the jail, as they seemed somewhat incompetent to me. As for taking a plea, in the criminal world, it happens all the time. You save the state time and money, they guarantee little or no jail time. Win-Win.

My self-talk at the time was: “Well, these guys (state hospitals) are professionals, they will know that I am not crazy, and they will let me go. They just don’t want involuntary intoxication to be a viable defense strategy, or anyone could do anything and get away with it.”

Your mind can play tricks on you as you sit in a jail cell.

In October of 2000, I accepted the “deal” and became an official CPL 330.20 client under the care of the New York State Office of Mental Health.

…..

On October 18, I was transferred from the Erie County Holding Center to Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Center in New Hampton, New York. Mid-Hudson is about an hour north of New York City. I was pleased to find out that I could smoke cigarettes and wear street clothes. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. On my first day there, though, I was dismissed of the notion of a six-month stay — the admissions attendant informed me that the average visit was five years and with my attitude I would be there 25 years.

When you arrive at Mid-Hudson the first thing you notice is the fences: two rows with rolls of razor wire on the ground, the outermost fence high and curling inward at the top, covered with razor wire, a very foreboding sight.

Once inside the compound, a wide expanse of grass and trees gives way to the main building that holds the dining hall, medical and dental clinics, and a large auditorium as well, no longer operational. The building was built in the 1930s and it looks it. Two of the three housing units, identified as Buildings 2 and 3, are visible from the main yard. The other housing unit, Building 4, is barely evident up the hill to the north. Buildings 3 and 4 have three floors each. Two wards per floor make a unit; each unit has 30 to 36 patients. Building 2 houses the pre-discharge co-ed unit, the female unit, and an infirmary. All told, Mid-Hudson serves almost 300 “clients” as we were sometimes affectionately called.

A quick primer on how the mental health system intersects with the criminal justice system thereby feeding the machinery of the state psychiatric centers:

When an individual enters an insanity plea or is found not responsible by a jury (very rare), they are sent to a secure (forensic) hospital for a 30-day evaluation. The purpose of this evaluation is to make a recommendation to the court to determine which “track” the detainee will be placed on.

That track determination will have a powerful effect on the life of the defendant.

Track 1: Dangerously mentally ill and in need of inpatient care at a secure forensic psychiatric center.

Track 2:  Mentally ill but not dangerous, inpatient treatment at a non-secure or civil hospital.

Track 3: No longer mentally ill, release to the community with an order of conditions.

Most people hear “insanity defense” and they think the person is getting over on the system. This is far from the case. After the hearing, the client is almost always found to be “dangerous” and in need of further “treatment.”

This places the client back into the secure forensic hospital for a six-month order. When the order starts, more evaluations ensue and invariably dangerousness is determined, thus warranting further commitment. A year is the established timeframe. Once that year expires, more evaluations, more dangerousness, and of course more time. At this stage, two-year retentions are the norm. Clients can challenge the hospital’s decisions, get outside doctors with court-appointed lawyers, and the whole circus becomes quite comical.

If you have money, things change. A good lawyer and a private psychiatrist can work wonders. I have seen arsonists get out in a year; I have seen murderers cleared for the civil in less than three years. The right people in your corner? You can fly through the system.

Getting Out:

The first step: Transfer to a civil hospital from the forensic hospital. One must meet certain requirements. You have to show insight into your mental illness, you are required to admit to your crime, you have to agree to take any and all medications for the rest of your life, you must show remorse for your victim(s), and you should thank your doctor for giving you back your sanity.

Diagnosing and treating mental illness is not an exact science. We cannot just X-ray the brain and say “Ah yes, Bill is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.” Doctors must examine each patient, interview friends and family, and ultimately fill in the gaps. Arrest records are scrutinized, school transcripts are referenced. Psychological testing is usually performed at some level. In most cases, medications are prescribed almost immediately upon admission to psych wards.

The First Component — insight into mental illness — in my case is very difficult. My current diagnosis is Delusional Disorder. Let’s break that down: I am suffering a grandiose delusion because I was told that John Gotti was my biological father.

As an adoptee in New York State, we are not allowed to know the circumstances surrounding our origin. I had tried for years to locate my birth parents. In 2017, through DNA testing, I located a half-sister from my biological father’s side. I am not biologically related to John Gotti. I was lied to. It is embarrassing to acknowledge that at one time I believed it to be true, and I still wonder why someone would lie about such matters.

So my real delusion is being lied to. With no data to refute that lie, I believed it to be true.

Believing a lie as it relates to your origin when you are an adoptee does not make one delusional. It means I was naïve, vulnerable, and gullible.

Over the years I have been assigned at least nine different diagnoses, none of which hold up against any form of close scrutiny. No one cares.

How is this possible?

Early on, the prime piece of evidence as to my mental illness was a statement my former fiancé made to a social worker over the telephone. The statement was as damaging as it was false. I was not made aware of the presence of the document until seven years later, when I was preparing for a court date.

It was an awful account of someone who was clearly suffering from some form of schizophrenia. The behaviors she spoke of have never been observed in my conduct (under 24/7 constant surveillance for nearly 20 years). Independent doctors have testified that they believe the statements to be false as well.

In 2010, I was in session with my treating psychologist and I beseeched her to enlighten me as to why she felt I was so sick. Without hesitation, she quipped, “The things your girlfriend said.”

I rebutted, then she followed with “Oh, and the things you said to the police.” I rebutted the second charge, to which she replied: “Oh, Mr. Sutherland, you have an answer for everything.” I said, “Yeah, it’s called the truth.”

She ended the session early. I was not being cooperative and ready to engage in therapy. In her opinion, I needed an increase in medication.

Another “symptom” I suffer from is the belief that I was drugged in a bar; the hospital calls this a persecutory delusion. I consumed one alcoholic beverage in the bar, I was there for about half an hour with ten dollars in my pocket. What else could explain this phenomenon?

The Second Component — admitting to your crime — is in my case quite difficult as I was in a drug-induced blackout. I have attempted to relive the moment in my mind a thousand times, but I just cannot remember. I have even requested to have hypnotherapy performed at my own expense; the hospital refused to allow it.

The Third Component — medication compliance — I find particularly objectionable. In the past, I was under court order to take any number of powerful, high doses of antipsychotics.

Antipsychotics do not agree with me. Their effects have yet to generate a positive outcome in my treatment. I respond best to therapy, therapy without the fear of reprisal. On January 31, 2010, I was rushed to the emergency room at Strong Memorial due to complications from the antipsychotics I was forced to take. My liver, pancreas, and gall bladder were affected. I was very sick; to this day my liver function is not optimal.

Essentially, they have tried to medicate a memory. These meds are very powerful: They cause diabetes, tremors, drooling, weight gain, constipation, and death. But they cannot change history.

The Fourth Component — show remorse for your victim(s) — what if you are the victim?

Finally, I find it difficult to thank an individual for giving me back what was never lost, my sanity.

None of this was ever explained to me. All they kept saying was “Six months and you’ll be home.”

…..

Had anyone taken the time to accurately portray the road ahead, I never would have accepted the plea. The state never would have obtained a conviction at trial.

To obtain a conviction in a criminal court, the state must prove what is known as mens rea. Or criminal mind or criminal intent. They must prove that you planned the act and carried it out. I can assure you I would never plan an act as cowardly as arson in a building with people expected to be sleeping. Let alone with all of my personal property in it as well. Had I gone to trial I may have won. Had I gone to prison I would have been out in as little as four years.

After my first month at Mid-Hudson, I was asking to take back my plea. Not an easy task.

Once you walk through the door to the psychiatric system, all of the protections afforded criminal detainees go out the window. No due process, no speedy trial, no right to see or vet the evidence against you, and most importantly: NO RELEASE DATE!

There are two ways to gain transfer to a civil hospital from a forensic one. The first is your team presents you for transfer at your Hospital Forensic Committee (HFC).

The team, or treatment team as they are commonly called, consists of a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, treatment team leader, rehab counselors, recreation counselors, and occupational therapists.

They will meet at set intervals with clients for “Treatment Team Reviews” or anytime you get in trouble. The writing of treatment plans, family contact, and history reviews are a few of the services the team offers.

In forensics, HFCs will happen at six months, one year, and then every two years thereafter. The HFC panel is typically made up of three members (usually a psychiatrist, a psychologist, and a social worker) who work in the hospital but are not on the client’s treatment team.

They will meet prior to the interview, discuss concerns and share comments. The client is called in. He or she will know their team’s recommendation before entering. These meetings typically run 30-45 minutes and can get quite emotional. They discuss the “instant offense” (crime) and how your recovery is going, do you know your diagnosis, symptoms, triggers, early warning signs. They will discuss medications in detail. What you take, how much, the dose and why you take them, and will you take them the rest of your life. Substance abuse is discussed: You will never use again.

If the HFC panel clears you, your papers go to the clinical director of the hospital, then off to Albany and the Division of Forensic Services (DFS). They will scrutinize your record, read the HFC report, and either approve the transfer or return the package back to forensics for more information.

If DFS approves you, your package goes to the court that sent you. And the DA and the court get a shot.

If all goes well, six to nine months after you pass the HFC panel you will be transferred to a civil (non-secure) hospital.

If anyone objects, more hearings and more time. If you get in trouble (fight or serious infraction), the transfer stops.

That’s the “easy way” out. The client can challenge a continued retention. The most common way is to decline the retention and ask for a hearing before a judge. In most cases, Mental Hygiene Legal Services (MHLS) will represent the client, who can petition the court for an independent examiner who will testify at the hearing.

The goal is to establish that the client is not dangerous and can transfer safely to the civil setting. I have challenged every retention application (at least 10). I won one.

That hearing was in December of 2014. The team put me in for transfer, HFC failed me, MHLS begged me not to go (“You don’t have a chance!” the MHLS lawyer said). The judge seemed disgusted that I could spend 15 years locked up in psych centers with no violence, no meds, and no documented symptoms of Serious Mental Illness (SMI).

The judge ruled from the bench and on February 5, 2015, I was sent to the civil hospital in my “catchment area,” Buffalo Psychiatric Hospital.

Getting out of the secure forensic unit is just the start. It took me 15 years, only to get to a civil hospital. At the civil you are considered a CPL (criminal procedure law) detainee; you are not afforded the luxuries and privileges of civilly committed patients. There is a clear pecking order and CPLs are at the bottom. Each civil is different. At the one that I was sent to, Buffalo Psychiatric Center, they expect three to five years as an inpatient (I am in my fourth year), then a two-year stint in special housing (group home) before you are free to live on your own.

The civil has an HFC process that is similar to the forensic. The difference is that the civil clients are required to clear DFS and the courts as well as HFC for each major step along the way. At Buffalo, we have seven steps, three of which are major and require the additional scrutiny of DFS and the courts. They are E3 (escorted off-grounds) and U3 (unescorted off-grounds) and finally conditional release.

These privileges, once granted, can be revoked at any time by the team for any reason. The time from HFC to enactment is around six months; like forensics, they clear the HFC, clinical director, DFS, and the court. Any objection can trigger a hearing, adding more time.

Every patient leaving the hospital is also subject to a five-year order of conditions that can be extended another five years after that. The entire time you cannot leave the state without permission, and you must submit to drug and alcohol screening and take all prescribed medications.

Failure to comply with your order of conditions can bring you right back to the secure forensic level to start the entire process all over again. It is literally one day to life.

Every major step the courts weigh in on, and this gives the whole process a veneer of authenticity. Sadly, the process is anything but authentic. The hearings are under civil court, which does not afford the protections of the rule of law that every criminal defendant is allowed.

We cannot see all of the evidence against us, and post-conviction reversals are almost unheard of. Unlike criminal plea bargains, we are not told in advance what to expect.

Items like the phone interview with Dawn make it into the record, a doctor writes another report, cites Dawn’s statement from years earlier omitting the date and that it was never vetted for accuracy, breathing new life into a stale lie.

How can this happen? A phone interview with a social worker buries me for 20 years!

At my last retention hearing, my independent examiner noted that in almost 20 years of 24/7 observation, I have never acted in a way consistent with either Dawn’s statement or the police report of my tirade in the back of their car.

He went on to say that it would be totally unprecedented in the history of psychiatry to see complete and total mitigation of symptoms upon entrance into a corrections facility without medications. So either I was a miracle, or Dawn and the police were inaccurate in their reports.

Reports that I couldn’t challenge.

Sadly the clients who either plead to an insanity defense or the very few who were found “Not Responsible by Reason of Mental Disease or Defect” are held for years on end with a never-ending series of retention hearings that always seem to seek “further care in an inpatient setting.”

…..

Today is day 7,071. I have seen three presidents take office, watched in horror as a symbol of American capitalism was reduced to rubble, seen wars waged overseas, and witnessed many wonderful people cope with illnesses that are incomprehensible in their effects on the mind, body and spirit.

Like physical illness, mental illness ravages its victims and their loved ones. The “medical” treatment for psychiatric illness is almost as pernicious than the symptoms it proposes to treat. Antipsychotics, with their god-awful side effects, are overprescribed, electroshock therapy can seem barbaric. It wasn’t long ago that lobotomies were the norm.

The inpatient experience is painful. Mid-Hudson was physically abusive, Rochester and Buffalo psychologically abusive. All sites practice extrajudicial punishment. Usually, overly paranoid staffers collaborate to discredit astute “clients” who see and hear too much.

With very little oversight, when push comes to shove, it’s the “clients’” word versus the staff’s. Who wins? Exactly.

We all get to go to therapeutic programming, receive personal treatment plans; many receive one-on-one therapy. Much of this is to satisfy the accreditation agencies. (To keep the money flowing, Buffalo Psychiatric Center is reimbursed $1,400 per day for my care and treatment; that’s half a million dollars a year.) Therapy sessions also help to justify your continued retention.

I have had the pleasure to work with many a kind caregiver and therapist. Most in the industry are good people. On paper, we have a wonderful system. Sadly, without adequate checks and balances, effective oversight, and quality management, the system is wildly inefficient.

As a society, we take a dim view of people who willfully engage in criminal behavior. As long as the punishment fits the crime, judges can keep their bench seat, politicians can keep the money flowing by seeming “tough on crime,” and underprivileged citizens remain the grist that keeps the mill turning.

We also have a great deal of sympathy for those who are stricken by illness, both physical and mental. Add the label of criminally insane to the mix and the sympathy goes out the window.

Every night that my head hits the pillow I know I am an innocent man; I know I did nothing wrong to lose two decades of my life. The only thing I don’t know is if I will ever be allowed to walk this earth a free man.

All because I accepted a “deal” to go home in six months.

…..

Supporting Documents

Article in The Buffalo News, January 6, 2019:He avoided jail by ‘reason of mental illness.’ 18 years later, he’s still confined.”

Editorial in The Buffalo News, January 14, 2019: “Sealing records of psychiatric patients under state care is cause for alarm.” 

Article in The Buffalo News, January 26, 2019: “Arson suspect held in psych hospital 18 years must stay there, judge rules.”

Most recent hospital retention order summarizing Bill Sutherland’s criminal and psychiatric history

Forensic psychiatric evaluation by Gary Horwitz, M.D.

32 COMMENTS

  1. Did they ask you about alcohol? One minute you mention three drinks, and shortly afterward, just one. The landlord seems pretty jive, as are these supposed doctors who apparently never took a drinking history, whereas I, maybe because I’m of unsound mind, see a large neon sign that says *ALCOHOLIC BLACKOUT* as one of those flashing neon arrows points to you.

  2. Are you able to use Facebook? I am interested in connecting with users of this website. I’m busy surviving in my life but only the people here who have been gaslighted as I was, I can relate to. I need to connect with all of you …. No one I meet in my daily life can begin to understand where I am coming from as someone diagnosed as mentally ill – absurdly – when I was a teenager. I seldom look at this website since I am struggling to survive but when I do, I just feel like people here are my people, even though the stories are often so much more horrific than my own.

  3. William A. Sutherland, I feel for you. In 1987, after 4 months of voluntary incarceration in a Chicago psych “hospital”, I was threatened with an involuntary hearing if I proceeded with my desire to sign out AMA. I made the unfortunate calculation that it would be better if I remained a “voluntary” inmate rather than have an involuntary record. The four months turned into six years of back to back incarceration at three different institutions. I kept flunking out of psych “hospitals” by attempting suicide and each one sloughed me off onto the next one. The “diagnosis” that followed me for six years was a misdiagnosis of chronic major depression. Pre-menstrual dysphoria wasn’t in the DSM III and so couldn’t be coded for reimbursement. Even if it had existed, the “treatment” would have been the same ineffective drugs I received for the depression diagnosis. EMDR has helped with the iatrogenic trauma.

  4. Some legal axes to advance your situation:

    _ Blind expertise. Various studies have shown that psychiatrists’ assessments are not independent, and that psychiatrists rely on the record and advice of their colleagues rather than on their own opinion. The underlying reason is that psychiatric diagnosis and predictions are highly questionable and psychiatrists are unable to make the same diagnosis or prognosis without communicating with each other. But this is also highly unscientific and biased from scratch.

    _ Separation of psychiatric expertise and psychiatric care. Psychiatric expertise must focus exclusively on the diagnosis and dangerousness, without pronouncing or even a priori knowing the treatment used. Psychiatric care is polluted by considerations that have nothing to do with diagnosis, such as compliance or denial of the disease. But it is possible to be not dangerous without being compliant and to reintegrate into society without recognizing his diagnosis. Whoever prescribes or participates in the care of the patient should not have the opportunity to participate in the expertise, in order to avoid that expertise is distorted by internal disciplinary considerations or personal issues.

    _ Falsity of the medical file. The expertise can not in any case be based on the file, because it can contain erroneous, doubtful or false informations. Indeed, the medical file is not subject to the contradictory principle: its parts are added to the discretion of the administration alone, and the patient has no way either to add exculpatory material, or to question inculpatory material. In the absence of respect for the contradictory principle, the file must be rejected: each piece of the file must imperatively can be disputed, otherwise this piece must be considered as null.

    In summary:

    Perfect independence of expertise. The expertise of diagnosis and prediction of dangerousness must be carried out in several blind sessions.

    Perfect separation of psychiatric expertise and psychiatric care, to avoid malfeasance in one way or the other, as required by the scientific method and by the separation of medical and punitive attributions.

    Respect of the contradictory principle, and rejection of the parts which were not the subject of this principle.

    Good luck in your fight.

    • All valuable information Mr Rousselot, but it wouldnt have helped me when I was being pinned down by 15 thugs to be injected with enough traquillizer to lay an elephant out for a month. And why? Because a doctor thought I had “potential for violence, but no clear intent or history”. Surely a good doctor would recognise his own paranoid delusions? Because without history or intent he has nothing.
      But I take your points as being for that ideal world that looks nothing like the inside of these Guantanamo Bay franchises.

      Ps, Maryanne Gobbo re my comment below about defense lawyers acting as paid informants for police. High Court has now made this conduct lawful, and therefore our police can state with all honesty that “It will never happen again”. How misleading.

  5. Im fascinated by the use of spiking and planting of weapons on persons to dismantle the lives of enemies. I have been subjected to something of this sort myself Mr Sutherland. Sounds like you were spiked with Rhohypnol, mine was Benzodiazepines. Funny but despite having the hospital documents showing that I was a victim of organised criminals operating in our hospitals, police still wish to exercise their discretionary powers and allow me to be unintentionally negatively outcomed in an ED.
    The people who claimed they would assist me from the Mental Health Law Centre merely identified what evidence the government would need to retrieve and then threw me under a bus once they were provided with fraudulent documents. Despite their claim that there were “things they couldn’t tell me” (ie that they were going to commit serious criminal offenses against me as well), their conspiring to pervert the course of justice has certainly been identified by some of their colleagues. Not that they will do anything other than corrupt them further but ….. I can live with that.
    What concerns me is the others who have not been as fortunate to notice that their so called legal representatives are not acting in their clients interests, but in the interests of what powerful and influential people can do for them. They would have known what they were doing was criminal, but also know police would exercise their “discretionary powers” and take no action on their criminality. Despite these matters being covered under the Convention against the use of Torture. Something which they do not have powers to exercise, ie no emergency provisions, no superior authority. Fortunately they can exercise their discretionary over killings by doctors, though this would also constitute a refoulment of their victim. Not that that they care to be honest.
    I have documented much of what I’m claiming in the forums Mr Sutherland. It may interest you to read it if you have the time, and before the forums are deleted.
    Might I also note that I have a letter here from our Chief Psychiatrist and Minister for Mental Health confirming that drugging “patients” with intoxicating stupefying drugs without their knowledge by concerned citizens with no prescribing righrs or medical training is “accepted practice” in Western Australia, though we do call it human rights abuses when its done in Ghana. So some legal subtelties between our Nation’s. So your landlord would be well within his rights to spike you and have you ‘treated’ in Australia. A little bit of fraud and we can make you into a “patient” very easily here. A nurse just has to say to police “patient” and despite it being a known lie, it becomes the truth. And once your a patient? Well, you have described that path so well above.
    Note also that police have been using defense lawyers as paid Informants here in Australia, and can also use coercive methods to extract information from them. It may be that your lawyer knew you couldnt win because he was working with the people he wanted to win. Consider carefully.
    Take care and kind regards
    Boans

  6. It’s good that you’re open about this atrocity. Most of the public has no clue that NGRI (Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity) is really just an 8th Amendment wipeout: assaulted with psychological torture, exploited as unpaid and unwilling lab subjects, and subjected to an imprisonment that is disproportionate to ANY crime, let alone one that only involved property damage. This is psychiatry at its absolute worst, and I’m sorry that it’s robbed you of so much freedom and time.

  7. Psychiatry do not want the truth about psyche,they want political and economical power over people.

    Normal/ psychological average people do not want to know the truth about their healthy monotheistic psychopathy, they want lies about yours “evil” psychopathology.

    You are the evil they need.
    People like you are their feeding ground.
    ====================================
    James Hillman “Re-Visioning psychology”
    Thomas Szasz ” Manufacture of madness”
    ————————————————–

  8. You have quite the story. I’ve been committed for up to five months at a time. Most of the time I’ve been committed, I have in fact been quite insane, and the nature of my insanity was such that wherever I was, regardless of who I was around or what I was doing, I was pretty entertained. This last time, however, was different, and this is where I can really feel for you. This last time, while completely grounded and sane, I spent 135 days confined in first an emergency department secure unit and then in the state hospital. I was not engaged with my environment at all, and as the weeks went by — meaningless, virtually unbroken monotony — I began to feel depressed. Basic situational depression. But the thing is that I could see it getting much, much worse, and I started to get desperate to be released. I didn’t walk around making a spectacle of myself about it, but I was pretty tormented for a while there. In any case, with more than 7.000 days, I can only imagine what it must be like for you and how many different stages in your life and in your incarceration you have gone through. I was messed up by 135 days. I cannot begin to imagine what a thousand would be like, let alone 7,000. You have all my empathy.

    This is a brutally cold system we’re dealing with, and I hope that this publication draws some kind of attention to the situation. But I have written myself about the endless, cyclical trap of outpatient commitment and no one has yet approached me to bring some kind of redress, and at least I’m in the free world. I can only express my sympathy and hope that you get out soon and that sharing your story in some way affects — or, rather, starts — a conversation about this kind of thing. I know: talk, talk, talk, while you rot away. I had a small taste of it myself. Unfortunately we have to start somewhere, and this is the sort of thing we need to have out there in order to get that conversation started.

  9. After pondering this situation a little I wonder if you would have considered what might have occurred if you could prove that you had been drink spiked. The “delusional disorder” would be nullified and the truth would win out? I noticed that a young doctor who had been spiked by one Prof John Kearsley here was wise enough to have a blood sample tested the next day out of her own pocket. This was wise because in my instance despite knowing that I had been drugged without my knowledge, no incident report was completed, and no toxicology. This negligence to ensure that I could take no criminal action against the person doing the spiking for the hospital staff, and ergo planting a weapon for police to find once I had collapsed from the drugging. So even if you could prove that you were given stupefying/intoxicating drugs without your knowledge Mr Sutherland, the people who had a duty to assist you would likely have neglected that duty and written down the effects of the drugging as symptoms of an illness that required further drugging, by force if necessary.
    I find it interesting that people hear about a young woman who is spiked and then threatened with weapons to obtain consent to sex with a football team are outraged, and yet when it is done to obtain consent to ‘treatment’ they turn their backs. Or do they also turn their backs on the young woman? Because my refusal to speak with a Community Nurse justified me being drugged and having weapons pointed at me to have me talk, and thus allow me to be “verballed”. And all that to find out their was nothing wrong with me in the first place.
    Trick cycling I have heard it called. Once the machine is set in motion it does what it does, no matter what. Despite my ability to prove I was tortured and kidnapped, those involved have no fear of any consequences, they are being supported in their criminality for fear of the whole corrupt network breaking down with a squealer. Its how priests have gotten away with raping hundreds of children here in Australia over a 40 year period, and the faux outrage by those who enabled that conduct is now emerging. Still, there but for the grace of God go I. Ive no idea if I would destroy the lives of others given the power to do so, Ive never been tested in that manner. I dont spend my days looking for ways to fuk people over by planting stuff on them and spiking their drinks with drugs. I do know that I remain angry about having no support from my community because of the negligence, fraud and slanderous conduct of these mental health professionals. And I garnish hope from seeing the victims of these child raping priests finally see the perpetrators being sent to prison. Hopefully closely followed by their enablers, and with much less fanfare, because they deserve to disappear without even being noticed. To Hell with them.
    Anyway, just my thoughts on the matter.

  10. Wondering, how many times diagnosis and medications have been changed, sometimes even with a verifiable mental illness the person will be released quicker via plea bargain rather than hospitalization, assuming atypical psychotropic medications are readily dispensed in correctional facility or department of corrections employees have some training to recognize when a person is struggling or compensating.

  11. This is a very sad story. I have seen shrinks diagnose people in five minutes or less. Or even more often, diagnose based on the lies the nurses and staff have already written in the records, before even seeing the patient.

    If we totally ended psychiatry, I would hope these “hospitals” would die along with the profession.

      • OH – good to see you alive and contributing. The “Regional Psychiatric Hospitals” in my state are Joint Commission certified to receive Medicare/Medicaid funds. . . (JC is a Joke). The “hospitals” have a different definition if you look a little . . . that of a “detention facility” similar to a jail or prison. Reading their “rules making procedures” they are a business. Their multiple Dun and Bradstreet numbers confirm this.

        What none of the “hospital” staff seems to understand, when interacting with a “forensic” patient/client/consumer, these employees are operating under the “color of law.”

        It is sort of sick . . .a majority of the employees that directly interact with patients/clients are only required to be high school educated and pass background checks. There are a few exceptions, but the vast majority of these staff members make the units extremely “high school.” That is, lacking class or compassion. These remarks are all over glass-door and google reviews.

        Additionally, this particular Regional Psychiatric “hospital” is in one of the worst locations, racially. There is much black on white racists activities taking place between patients towards other patients and Staff towards patients. This is compounded by the classless ghetto megalomania promoted by staff, treatment teams and administration.

  12. Like physical illness, mental illness ravages its victims and their loved ones

    No William. Please don’t parrot this falsehood. “Mental illness” is a hoax, and psychiatry is a police agency, not a field of medicine. This is the first thing you need to incorporate into your analysis of your situation. You absolutely should have taken this to court, and even now you could use a good lawyer — except that very few lawyers are capable of demonstrating in court that psychiatry is a ruse; as with most things they just try to get the “best deal.”

    • Our society takes a far dimmer view of anyone accused of being “severely mentally ill” than a convicted felon who knowingly commits a crime. And the individual’s behavior is completely irrelevant.

      In a survey people said they would rather have a convicted ex felon live next door than a “schizophrenic.” Why? Because ex felons can change.

      According to expert psychiatrist Dr. Jalvert “Once a schizo always a schizo.” The “mentally ill” are to be locked away or at least crippled and shunned according to Torrey and countless others.

      They pretend to be merciful. But they are neither merciful nor just and treat the law abiding worse than felons.

      I call BS on their fake compassion.
      Shame on them.

    • Wish I could get a lawyer to sue my lawyer. Truth is that when I approached the Law Centre they took me in with open arms (pro bono) found out what evidence I had of the claim of being tortured and kidnapped, and then worked with the hospital Operations Manager to identify what evidence needed to be retrieved/concealed, and which members of my family to threaten.
      Good news is that the fraudulent documents sent by the hospital to the Law Centre have been exposed, and the conspiring to pervert the course of justice has been duly noted. Trouble is no one will do anything about it because it opens the can of worms about all the other victims of these criminals posing as lawyers.
      Might sound like i’m a little crazy and thats what these human rights abusing criminals use as a defense all the time. But due diligence on the part of a real lawyer would expose these human rights abuses and that just will not do. So they all sit on their hands and neglect their duty and go about their business pretending nothing to see here.
      Someone did of course look and wellllll……. don’t like the narrative and you know if good people cant do a little torturing and kidnapping whats a democracy coming to?
      They simply refuse to engage over the matters and with the ability to threaten family and friends with guns and forced drugging they win I guess. Who said terrorism isn’t effective? The government here is using these methods to enable their human rights abuses. Shame really, it used to be a nice place.
      So I have sent a letter to the principle of the Law Centre asking why their lawyers dont understand the protections afforded under the Mental Health Act, and well I would like the name of the author of the ‘poison pen’ letter purporting to be from the Chief Psychiatrist. He didn’t write that letter at all, that was done by some fraud in the Law Centre. Just a name will do me. Many thanks
      Dont get me wrong, I understand how police /authorities here are using their positions and exercising their discretionary powers to enable these serious criminal offences. Sgt tells me they dont have a copy of the Criminal Code in a large police station which means what he thinks are crimes then they will do something about it. Nothing like poking a snake and then shooting it when it strikes. Protected species hahahah. Problem here is that the Convention against the use of torture states quite clearly that there is “no superior authority” and thus they do not have discretionary powers to exercise. Which by default exposes all the other criminality they have been enabling on the part of these organised crims operating in our hospitals. So who is the person or persons obstructing justice, and will they ever be held to account? I believe so but …… guess when your delusional that you actually ARE God theres an issue.

  13. William – Thank you for putting forth your forensic commitment story. I have found very little support for those forensically committed anywhere. I completely understand that many of the forensically committed did horrible acts of violence. There are even many more who did not.

    When one starts digging into economics of forensic commitment, something becomes really clear. You can begin to see a flesh and blood human being become commoditized. The torture/malpractice/battery of dealing the forensic environment is enough to make one say, if one has been committed for 8 years, should they not have a grasp on why they did what they did? This is for those that actually did what they were accused. . . The witnessed answer is NO. They get released on heavy doses of Psychiatric Drugs, still dealing with their traumatic injuries. When these people sleep too late and miss their medication at their group home, they end up back at the State Hospital, probated indefinitely.

    In my state, those forensically committed, NGRI, supposedly get a legal standard that the State needs to overcome of the clear and convincing evidence standard, as compared to the preponderance of evidence (civil) or beyond a reasonable doubt (criminal). This is an impossible standard. The letters that come from the regional psychiatric hospital are filled with double-talk and innuendo, almost guarantee the denial of any sort of freedom. They never substantiate the “mentally ill subject to hospitalization” requirement, they just say it.

    The forensically committed always starts from behind in the Courts. No one, no attorney is interested in going out on a limb for someone deemed “mentally ill” or even worse, a “high-profile patient.” Even for those that are realistically not “mentally ill subject to hospitalization,” they find it impossible to find representation. . .because the “State Hospital is a great place.” Even those attorneys that know the forensically patient/client/consumer and know they don’t qualify to be there, will refuse to push the issue in Court, especially when HEARSAY, Second Hearsay, third hand hearsay, is reported by a so-called “independent forensic evaluator,” another hearsay member.

    In my state, those forensically committed are financially responsible for their commitment. What one finds out, if the committed has third-party insurance or medicare, they are billed out at a much higher rate than the Medicaid commitments. Even though the medicaid commitments are billed out at a much lower rate than the rest, they get the most benefits with the State “hospital.” They get dental work, eye glasses and surgeries . .. .as Medicaid is a state run program, the state tends to watch the care ($$$) given to medicaid recipients. Medicare and Third-party insured are not nearly so fortunate. They are told their $20K of dental work the was badly damaged at the hands of another patient won’t be addressed by no more than pulling all their teeth and giving them dentures. This is for someone who has all her teeth, except the two replaced due to an injury 20 years go, and never had a cavity.

    The commoditization doesn’t end in the Psychiatric setting . . .both my loved one and myself were involved in a civil lawsuit stemming from the originating incident. As I still have a little freedom, I went to the Clerk of Courts office and asked for the CRIS information associated with the lawsuit. What I found out is what people are now beginning to realize, the Courts make money off any action that comes before them. I won’t go into specifics how this is done, but what you find out, when it comes to the forensically committed in my state, they are highly profitable to the Courts due to the nature of the ongoing proceedings. The more the proceedings, the more the Courts make.

    Now, attorneys, they don’t work for you. Even if you retain the best, you might get a chance depending upon his connections. Remember, the attorneys work for the Court first and their client somewhere down the line. Additionally, if you have an attorney, you are considered a minor, incompetent or underage, in the eyes of the Court. Have you ever wondered why such blatant Constitutional violations go on? Your attorney is standing in for you. You gave up your constitutional rights when you hired, or was appointed, them.

    Now, with your black out and fire, did they ever do a drug test at the time? That would have been standard procedure even 20 years ago.

    Have you ever heard the phrase, “Personality disorder complicates Treatment?” Do you know your State’s definition of the Legally presumptive term “Treatment?” Have you been keeping track of the Staff’s Treatment Plan compliance? Remember, Treatment is determined by the Treatment Plan and the Treatment Plan interventions (services). It’s those services that you might have a chance at this point in time. If they are not provided, or provided inconsistently, they are in violation. Remember, “when one is committed for the reasons of therapeutic treatment and treatment does not take place, it is a due process violation.” Wyatt v. Stickney.

    I know what you are dealing with when it comes to not remembering, but being required to admit to an act. My loved one is going through the exact same thing. In her case, there was no discovery given to any of her attorneys pertaining to the most serious charged crime. The thing is, it popped first in an evaluation in the pre-commitment hearings, in the legal section of the medical record at the Regional Psychiatric hospital, and the followup hearings for least restrictive setting. Yet none of the attorneys ever got a copy. The civil lawsuit gave us the copies, but then we found out, the State only supplied copies that were consistent with their story, not the one that says the injuries were a pre-existing condition.

    The attorney at the time had no way to review what the forensic psychologist wrote as he received it an hour before the hearing. When you see the submission date on the evaluation, it was completed almost a month before. The State and the Court received 3 days after completion.

    Oh, yeah, the Six Months . . . they all lied to you. I asked my loved one’s attorney numerous times how long would she be there??? Several weeks to several months according to the evaluator. Even the Judge said 6 months. When she arrived at the State hospital, she found out she could be there eight years if not longer . . . all attorneys know this as do the Courts . . . but none of them say it. Even a commitment order saying 6 months was maintained but redefined by the judge who “did his own research.” A blatant giveaway that she was railroaded.