Involuntary Obedience: Rituals of Humiliation Disguised as ‘Care’


Man is a social animal. His survival depends on the genuine social bonds he is able to make throughout his life.

Psychiatric diagnosis creates an abyss between authentic social bonding and fake, make-do social interaction. This is one of the most serious crimes committed against the most vulnerable amongst us. Those of us who are unfortunate enough to receive a diagnosis of this type are, in my experience, destined to become outcasts from family, workplace and friends. The white-clad ‘carers’ are bound by a deontology that denies them the possibility of becoming emotionally, sentimentally or amicably attached to those so diagnosed. This is unnatural and illegitimate. The morbid outcomes are legion for those exposed to this unjustifiable discrimination.

The laughing of some of the white-clad ‘carers’ happens only between themselves; laughing that reaches your ears and reminds you of the mocking crowing of ravens, which reminds you of your transience, mortality and age. To hear the full-throated hilarity of these white-clad ‘carers’ in the restroom inflicts on you the reality of your situation here in this hospital: subordination and servitude. Their feelings, if indeed they have any, are so well guarded they are as if invisible, palpably empty. And you, you play the part of an obliging victim with a long apprenticeship.

You provoke the sneering smile of one and the smiling remarks of another in a milieu as artificial as the relations they maintain with those of us in servitude. Certain ‘carers’, when asked how they are, reply: oh, l’m always well. You are certain that this is a downright lie, notwithstanding the mask of her trade that allows us to see her immaculate teeth, like a steel-cutting guillotine press; she doesn’t ponder anymore, it’s automatic like the movements of a robot. That’s what she’s paid for. And the inevitable, “how are you?” from the slaves and ‘carers’ alike, as if we needed to console ourselves constantly that it’s okay, when we know that nothing is okay. If you speak of sadness they speak of depression. If you speak of happiness they speak of exaltation or mania. These are the chains that hurt us so when we try to get up and walk. The fetters that remove the skin from our ankles , the handcuffs that give us open sores on our wrists. You hear a reproach: “and if you knew how to cry, what would you cry about?” Indeed, we no longer cry, but not because we don’t want to.

This is the biomedical approach. Everything must be ‘clean’, we don’t engage in human trafficking with dirty hands… Profit is vital for those in the know. On their level the ‘carers’ (always clean) see themselves allotted cars, sometimes houses; their collaboration is paid for by material resources, the bribes of a mafia.

Of course as a ‘carer’, there is the unthwarted safeness of an indefinable lassitude. This pain comes from their intrinsic uselessness and seeing their ‘care’ fail incessantly. When in fact they exercise social control in places where the deprivation of liberty for all is practised, but we call them hospitals, not prisons; where there are bedrooms, not cells, even though some ‘bedrooms’ are locked; and where all access to the outdoors is condemned. For some ‘carers’ there is the boredom of being at the service of uninteresting people. If interest there is, then it is purely ‘professional’ — each day brings its batch of pain but hugs and other such physical demonstrations of affection are shunned and forbidden. The dismay of thoughts that they (the ‘carers’) can dare is to say that they have no power, that they are not responsible; they leave the decision making to the elites in order to give themselves, once again, a clear conscience. The possibility that you could have free and enlightened relationship with one of these white-clad carers is a bird that has left the sky a long time ago.

You remember the first time, they brought you in an ambulance, in your native country. You saw the immense Victorian building, solid, built of brick. You asked yourself what are they going to do to you in such an enormous structure. The reply becomes rapidly clear: they inject you with chemicals, pulling your trousers down whilst four white-coated men constrain you on the floor of the ward. Rape is not estranged to this scene. The shame, the humiliation, the hate that this event provokes in you causes tears in your eyes. The complicity of your family is an abominable treason and very painful. In writing these words your memory is tainted with anger, sadness and humiliation. Your work is interrupted often because the words flowing from your pen are like arrows in your flesh, as deadly and remorseless. While it’s true that your cognitive functions have diminished and that your concentration has suffered the most, that you have been damaged by the chemical torture, your resolution to tell your story has never flinched — the need to tell of the horrors that go on in ‘developed’ countries all over the world is stronger now than ever; harder than concrete, more ardent than a prayer.

The scenery is not exceptional for such places. It’s like a small village with pavilions dotted around a small park. The ‘carers’ scuttle to and fro under the winter sun, burnt by the icy wind. A woman with keys in her hand opens the door of the unit; her artificial smile is ignored by your prescience. Everything here is previsible. The interior of the concrete box is lit to enable the hunt of every conceivable bacteria in every corner of the passages — an aggressive light, blinding.

You walk into one of two adjacent passages where to the left and to the right are doors of what are euphemistically called bedrooms. Two strips of reinforced plexiglass are inlaid into the doors, enabling the ‘carers’ to look intrusively into each cell. In the cells people are for the most part exhausted, immobile and silent. Like you they have recent souvenirs of needles, like daggers, that have raped and bled them. In the harsh light of the sterile corridors, there are round mirrors fixed at regular intervals to the ceiling that permit vision around corners in case of a hidden threat. In one of the corridors are found two cells with the sobriquet of ‘pacifying bedrooms’, where there is a bed fixed with bolts in the centre of the room, with bars on the window and a recess where can be found a toilet and a shower that is operated by an infrared sensor that cannot be regulated. And that’s it. One recent morning the pacifying of Julian became eternal; the memory of him remains, there where he took a fistful of benzodiazepines before sleeping forever, a boy of nineteen years of age. His life, like so many here, without any hope of recovery. They must be obliging, convincing their jailers of their satisfaction with the hospital and the place they have in it. To do this they must confirm the role of the ‘professionals’ that impose the conditions of the deal. Some, like M., are so affected by their mistreatment that their thoughts have become dispersed; they are unable to understand from where their problems originated, the reasons behind such obsessive paranoia.

The wind whistles through the Scots pine outside of the room where you find yourself, again, alone. The sun is not high in the heavens despite it being mid day; its warmth is quickly chased away by the breath of Aeolus, the Greek god of wind. The furtive cries await you as you pass the autist’s pavilion. It’s rare that you see them in the park. The mortality rate is extremely high here, people die young here with a frequency that makes you worried for your own longevity. The media, transformed into public communications agencies, publish not the merest hint, a situation of shameful collaboration and dishonesty. They are richly paid off in order to render the lives of those who are not ‘ill’ as easy as possible. You think of all the people here enchained, and you know exactly why.

Without you noticing the night has fallen. The agitation in the unit (what a strange word to employ for a prison) returns with your arrival from a period of peace in the ‘therapeutic’ apartment that has been allotted to you, which is, in fact, just another form of seclusion. The conversations turn from delirious to intimate in the wink of an eye, but you prefer this to the illegitimate discourse and artificial rhetoric of the psychiatrists, the elite who haunt the unit but desert it on the weekends. From them you expect nothing apart from psuedoscientific slang that promotes and seeks to reinforce their administrative clout as officers of the state. Your status is the most subaltern that exists in this underworld. You hear the cries of an ‘agitated’ woman and the blowing of the mechanical ventilation in your cell. What a disgusting opportunity for those with power to profit from and take an authoritarian ascendancy over those who suffer.

These slave masters know the value of their merchandise. They know how much a ‘lunatic’ is worth — nothing if not diagnosed, but the treatments are very profitable and destroy the lives of so many. A long-term hospitalisation is worth its weight in gold, several million pounds, euros or dollars. This along with treatment for life means the lives of these psychiatrists are rendered extremely comfortable.

Among the inmates there is an incessant search for news. A grandfather who wishes to see his grandchild for the first time. A father who wants so much to see once more his beloved daughter. These psychiatrists or officers are not concerned with any distance between parents and children, husbands and wives, grandparents and grandchildren. It is a place without hope, this hospital, and how many countless others. A grandfather obtained the permission to leave for the weekend if one of his three children agree to come and collect him; he is still without news.

You think about your daughter — the sun is shining on your birthday, she is incandescent with warmth. You would dearly like to see your first born, left since his studies in law to manage the doubtful fortunes of the very rich. Your thoughts are for them — you have always considered thoughts to be a form of prayer. For your children you wish peace, something that you attain for yourself only with great difficulty. That is perhaps what love is: infinite goodwill, without which your life would be reduced to ashes. Here there is no love or goodwill, just ‘the state’. When the state decides for lives, it’s usually a catastrophe and totalitarian in practice. In the process of enslaving, proprietors often washed and perfumed their slaves, and dressed them richly to please. Here we are thrown in an ‘appeasement cell’ in light blue ‘pyjamas’ that look horrific, without an explanation and in a violent and abrupt manner. The recluses fall like flies here and our only aim is to stay alive for the day. Your grandfather would have been horrified to know of the conditions in which you are held; he survived the First World War.The psychiatric institution is just another form of war, the third world war with so many victims.

You have learnt to pretend that you are satisfied because if you do not and you show your extreme unease at the conditions of your imprisonment, treated as a subject of the laboratories, your life would be even more unbearable and you would be subdued with ever-increasing doses of harmful sedatives, to the point that you would become like some of the long-term patients here, a dribbling wreck. So when an administrator asks you how you are, you have the obligation to say well, or words to that effect. This is involuntary obedience. All dissatisfaction is banned because the diagnostic would only be more serious if you were honest. But the chemicals forced upon you and prescribed by the administrators are major tranquillisers and give you, in the end, cerebral attacks and other more intimate complications. You are 56 years old and you fear to die in their trap. Each day you make the effort to seem unconscious of how lives are at stake for all found between these walls.

After the distribution of the chemicals, the meal is served by the ‘carers’. At the beginning of each meal one of the ‘carers’ invariably barks, “Have a good meal!” This is done with such unerring regularity that the unease of the interned is palpable. It is really twisted because the regularity and the way she delivers the phrase makes her sound like an automaton. Some reply; you remain silent. You think that this ‘carer’ is as twisted as one of the interned who insists on having the last word on everything, no matter what the subject. One woman is what they call ‘agitated’. A day later she is so sedated she cannot feed herself.

What is most difficult to live with is the fact that the diagnoses are so much more traumatic than the symptoms. There are three criteria to describe a schizophrenic: dangerous, unpredictably dangerous and irresponsible. The stigma of such a diagnosis is crushing. There is nothing worse than to be confronted with the reaction of people to this label.

You ponder all of the people who have passed through here, with outstretched hands; most of them have seen themselves given a ‘diagnosis’. Your thoughts turn to Sandrine or Caroline and you are pleased to have known them. Caring and sensitive people. Would it be possible that someone treats your dossier with the same care? Or will you be forgotten as ‘psychotic‘ or ‘schizophrenic’ for the rest of your life? Your very soul is opposed to this abuse, slavery and torture. When the collective conscience sees the tyranny of such practices, surely it must rise and put a stop to them.

Like slavery took such a long time to be ‘officially’ forbidden, psychiatric hospitals will be with us for some time yet. Their masters, the doctors or administrators, no longer give beatings with their hands but with the far more treacherous chemicals that allow them to keep a good conscience and distribute what are beatings nevertheless. The blows caused by these chemicals can come without warning and your consciousness is diminished by the poison’s action on your frontal lobes. The first psychiatrists to use these substances called them chemical lobotomisers — the first of these poisons was called Largactyl in 1955. You receive blows such as these regularly: every 14 days you are forced to take an injection. You are made to understand that if you do not acquiesce, you will be injected with 6 ampoules of Loxapac, an even more seriously toxic neuroleptic. So your reaction is entirely involuntary obedience.

Stamina is the key to live through such a situation. God knows that the patients here have stamina, even though many die. In a few days time this grotesqueness will happen again. The abominable ritual of humiliation and enslavement with a hypodermic needle in the butt exists so the ‘carers’ can have peace in their corrupt consciousness. They have no suspicion of the terrible toll the deep sedation has on you. This mutilation is called ‘health care’. They justify themselves in forcing it upon you by the delirium in their minds, and they call it ‘professional’.

The lucky ones are exhibited like beasts in a cage, their mutilated brains serve to show the efficacious injury inflicted by these lobotomists. You seek always the light of dawn in your sleep, at all costs to survive this torture. People here wait for nothing, they ask themselves what is the point of their lives, at the same time resigned and tired.

The idea of progress resounds strongly in this damned place. As if the teachings of our ancestors were all false, even evil. To advance in life is not a collective effort but personal, even intimate. If there is progress, let it be to promote peace and tranquility of spirit for every man. You realise that psychiatry does the opposite in the name of progress, of which there is none. When you read Whitaker, Gøtzsche and Read you were filled with peace, a profound assurance that your symptoms are the very expression of an ailment that goes beyond your intimate universe.

The false redhead, after her debauchery of the evening before, comes back invariably to the scene of her crimes where she ‘cares’ for the ‘ill’ with the suitably soft voice of an assassin. You can’t help wondering how a voice can be at the same time so soft and so violently malevolent. Her authoritative airs are as visible as her artificial sentiments. You stay and are forced to be a lunatic. You are, to her, a recluse, on the back of whom she makes a small salary. If we complain it is to have more money or more ‘means’. These ‘means’ are destined to permit the ‘carers’ to denigrate you better whilst smiling at you all the more.

You remember your mother, again and always she accompanies you during your reclusion. You recall that she dressed you and you remember the warmth of her hands and her presence. This is a precious souvenir, before she was dragged off by the ‘mental health’ executioners when you were only six years old, a trauma engraved forever in your psyche. After that you saw her very little. You would like so much not to be denigrated permanently, looked upon by the artificial psychiatric rhetoric as ‘unpredictably dangerous’. The hoards of ‘carers’ unclothe you, leaving you frightened and shameful.

You have heard of countries of the ‘third‘ world where the long-term outcomes for what some call ‘schizophrenia‘ are much better than in the west. Nigeria, Colombia and India. You dream of living in peace in one of these countries where one can recover and heal from what is a meaningless word, i.e. ‘diagnosis’. The WHO published a study that affirms this reality. Is it possible to live without being repeatedly raped with neurotoxins? What luck these peoples have to not be seen as irremediably ill!

A strong frost is feared; the apricot trees in this region of France will be affected, they are in flower. Today it is cold, light rain and morning mist that covers the tops of the trees, there, on the hillside above the river. It is time for the melancholic thought of what your life could have been. Before the age of six years old, your life was marvelous. Full of hope and a calm confidence, contained. A plenitude that has never left you. You still feel it in your guts. Being torn from your mother, its violence, has also never left you. Very young you were thrown into an uncertain world, deprived of your emotional bearings. You have sought after, since then, the love of your mother that was so natural and comfortable. Your father was crude, uncouth, and violent; he was a policeman. As such he was able to conceal his violence towards his family, both physical and psychological. The status of your father prevented the social services getting involved. His authority was cumbersome, to say the least, for yourself, your mother and your brother Gerald. From that time your soul has been errant; it’s only recently that you have found some peace of mind.

Some of your memories are of extreme violence. The fact that you report this violence of which you were victim takes on the importance of a sacrament, an obligation, and you will do it with an indefatigable fervor. Thirty-two years ago you left your native land hoping to find liberty in France, not knowing how to pronounce the name of the town where you found yourself. Then the horror, the fear that you experienced and that you provoked in others. The suspicion, the contemptuous looks of those with no understanding, hostile. These words wrapped up in so much ‘scientific’ verbiage which is everything but. You doubt whether this artificial rhetoric is the only reason for your slavery, although it has certainly kept it in place. The curious come and look but you remain dispassionate and at peace. You receive insults but you stay calm, your spirit lit by your interior strength. The words courage and hope resound with the fidelity of your determination. “Happy are those of poor spirit, for the kingdom of the heavens will be theirs.”

To be thirsty and hungry for justice is your fate, a weight forever present in your life. But your discoveries will be theirs also, this Cosa Nostra, a mafia where everything is done to find the failure of another and to get profit and recognition. All they can imagine to say is that they lack means. It’s not material that is lacking but intellectual and scientific acumen. Your psychiatrists are idiots that could not hear truth if it struck them down, so you adapt to their language that is both poor and obscene. The ‘experts’ are invested with a doubtful authority. They traumatise you with their all-knowing judgments, worse than any symptom. You know what it is to be apart. You could have been black or an immigrant from the Middle East; you acutely feel these opinions that categorize you and seal you in a hermetic box. You are not even pitied, just looked upon with curiosity as if you were a caged animal. They observe and then condemn you. They ask you things that have nothing to do with your life. Always they try to inflict upon you chemical straitjackets, metaphorical straitjackets — when they don’t restrain you to your bed so you can hardly breath. They work it so you don’t miss your children too much and so that you don’t reflect on the brute violence that has been your experience. The crux is that they call you ‘ill’ whilst they are completely crazy. You had looked toward France as a place of refuge, somewhere where you would not be looked upon as a broken brain. What deception to find no therapeutic value in France whatsoever.

“Happy are those that cry, for they will be consoled.”

The magnolias bloom profusely.

You admire the work of Joseph Zobel. His words have revealed to future generations the racist foundations of the society in which he lived. You would, like him, inform the future population of what it is to be permanently sedated, a torture unequaled in the annals of modern medicine.

Time is present, butterflies changing from their larval form and the magpies joining together to ensure their longevity. It’s the end of winter and springtime is in the very consciousness of the trees. Its bounty constantly refound, in all its magnificence that you adore so. Your face is white and pale, reflecting the sun’s light at this, the end of winter. Is it luminousness, luminescence or luminosity? It appears charged. The light reveals everything, defines everything: the humiliation, the indignity, the indignation. The faith and the hope.

The sky is cloud-covered on this day towards the end of winter. The sun is luminous. You realise that life is good despite the evil of ‘experts’ and the pseudoscience of psychiatry. The aim is to remain alive so as to tell your story with its multiple ‘secondary’ side effects. Whatever happens, they can’t steal this moment of grace, however brief, even if they kill you. You have had this instant under the sky, the sun, and at night, the stars and the moon. They can’t take away from you your heart of tenderness and care for your fellow man, never!


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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  1. I love this!

    Mental illnesses are what psychiatrists call their fellow men and women.

    Dehumanized as their victims are, the “mental health” professionals dehumanize themselves still more as they embrace the roles of devils.

    The brain is not the soul. There is a part of us they cannot destroy–try as they may.

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  2. How wonderfully written. It angers them that they can not experience life in full, they never could and have chosen to live through their slaves. There is no doubt that they are slowly being seen for what they are. They are damaged. A system that uses fear, control, drugs that harm, coercion, labels that are dreamed up while they even hide from each other, that is a system created out of a need to finally be master of something or someone. It will bite them.

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    And they say they have no idea this type of thing is going on? Then they are too lazy to even walk to their local hospital and take a look. And as a Minister/Shadow? A chemical baseball bat by a doctor killed this woman, if you look really carefully in the video you can see his ghost.

    Seems to confirm what you have written John. And all of a sudden there are people who are “concerned” when it appears in the papers. No media coverage they turn their blind eye.

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      • “Would she not have been better off at home?”
        Problem being that in Australia all that is required for a citizen to become an “Involuntary Outpatient” is for someone to call the Mental Health Emergency Response Line and Police and a Community Nurse are despatched to snatch the person (who has been duly prepared earlier with a ‘spiking’ and a planted knife) from their home for ‘treatment’.
        I know some people like our Politicians say there are protections for the public but those charged with the duty to enforce those protections claim they don’t even know what they are. So I get told Police don’t have a copy of the Criminal Code and the Chief Psychiatrist writes he doesn’t know what a burden of proof is (suspect on reasonable grounds, he doesn’t like the reasonable bit so has rewritten the law). Bit strange for someone charged with providing “expert legal advice to the Minister” huh?
        Of course admitting I wasn’t a “patient” means that what was done was criminal and these folk hate the truth so they do cover ups. And its highly effective, I came so close to being unintentionally negatively outcomed they had the hole dug ready for me. Some even thought I’d been buried and were most shocked when I turned up in a police station with the proof of the crimes (they thought the documents had been retrieved).
        So I don’t know about being better off at home, because these days I simply wonder when the State is going to snatch me from my home for nothing more than they don’t like what I’m saying. The anxiety that comes from being tortured and kidnapped being symptoms of an ‘illness’ requiring ‘treatment’.
        Fortunate that there is no effective mechanism for complaint, they allow you to have pro bono legal representation till they find out what documentation and witnesses you have, and your then thrown under a bus and the evidence you have is retrieved by a little known evidence retrieval unit of police, and witnesses intimidated and threatened with the same ‘treatment’ they have just seen metted out to their other victims.
        Its working an absolute treat. For now anyway. Any whistleblowers who approach the media will be exposed because Police are raiding their offices and homes to identify what they have and who is blowing the whistle. And with the ability to abuse human and civil rights via the Mental Health Act they had better do as they’re told. The last thing they want is the media keeping the public informed of what is being done in their name.
        I really struggle to see how you keep your good reputation by torturing, maiming and killing anyone who doesn’t see the world the way you do, but ….. God leads astray who he will.

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        • Here in France we’ve got a little movement going: the yellow vests. Who are supported by the black blocs.
          So far there havn’t been any deaths.
          I think if the French administration wishes to avoid meaningless bloodletting then the release of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning from illegal custody with the blessing of the European union might, just might, save a few politicians a little more than a headache. Oh yes , and granting Edward Snowdon asylum would be just the beginning of long haul negotiations !

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          • I watch with interest the issues that certain governments are having with groups such as the yellow vests etc. Might there come a time for the storming of the Bastille again? Will our Policitcians make the mistake of telling us to eat anti psychotics?
            I wouldn’t hold out any hope for Julian Assange, he is an Australian and well, our government is a bit like the puppy that follows the big dog around yapping about how tough the big dog is. They will claim victory if he is released and do as their told otherwise. Not unlike a psychiatrist who claims victory if the “patient” becomes well, and blames the “illness” if they die from the treatment. Snowden and Manning are different, they are Americans and as such do have human and civil rights, sort of (I’m thinking of Anwar al Awlaki here).

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      • Another rinse, lather, repeat I believe JanCarol.

        Though I think a decision was made to ensure that the prawn cocktails at the meetings regarding the implementation of the recommendations came from a quality restaurant. But somewhere the recommendations got lost in the rush to the trough and nothing actually got done.
        Seriously though, these maters get talked about and nothing changes, it.s a cycle of abuse, and we will see this happening again and again until there are people being charged, convicted and imprisoned. I think then you will find people might start considering their conduct towards “patients”.
        It is the case that where I live the penalties for abuse of an animal are double what they are for abuse of a mental patient and if your a dog you have the chance that charges will be brought against the abuser, unlike the laws protecting “mental patients” which have never been used since they were passed, despite cases like the one described above. “Good faith” is like the defense of “diplomatic immunity” of the 70s in London lol. It covers a multitude of sins and most folk wouldn’t know the limitations of the legal concept and seem to accept criminal conduct as being okay because a nurse or doctor did it.

        So swept under the rug, and i’m just taking a look under the rug and letting the MiA people get an idea of what occurs in our system. Worlds Best Practice I believe its called.

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  4. I agree, beautifully written, and such an accurate description of the injustices and crimes of the psychiatrists.

    “This is the biomedical approach. Everything must be ‘clean’, we don’t engage in human trafficking with dirty hands… Profit is vital for those in the know.” So true, and I’m pretty certain it’s human, child, and organ trafficking that our “mental health professionals,” and their social worker minion, are participating in.

    “The psychiatric institution is just another form of war, the third world war with so many victims.” I’m working on a painting right now, inspired by Chagall’s painting entitled simply “War.” Chagall was a Jew who survived the Nazi psychiatric holocaust of the Jews. My painting is entitled “The Unmentioned War Within, Psychiatry’s War Against the Innocents.” Pictured within are lots of the dead children who were misdiagnosed, and caught up within psychiatry’s completely iatrogenic “childhood bipolar epidemic,” while the pedophiles dance in the street. And apparently control all of Western civilization.

    Too many great quotes to quote them all, thanks for sharing your story, John. You are so right about the injustice and criminality of the entire psychiatric system. And like slavery, it needs to be abolished. Perhaps pointing out the psychiatrists’ and psychologists’ systemic crimes, in addition to their scientific “invalidity,” will assist in ending the satanic psychiatric system.

    And all this child abuse and rape covering up is by DSM design.

    The psychiatric system is primarily a child abuse and rape covering up, pedophile empowerment system. America should have known better than to give the right to play judge, jury, and executioner to any group of people. Separation of powers is important, and a return to the rule of law, and justice for all, is needed.

    By the way, the neuroleptics create the negative symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome. And the neuroleptics/antipsychotics create the positive symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via anticholinergic toxidrome. So even “schizophrenia” is primarily an iatrogenic illness, created with the treatments. God bless.

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  5. And thank you John for writing it, thank you MIA for putting this beautiful piece up. Shrinks are not capable of writing anything that is real or true. I have visited people in psych wards and to watch the people that work there is phenomenal in experience. They look at visitors as a threat, especially when we try to make eye contact. It would also be great to hear from people who have left the system they worked for. But that takes guts. No one wants to look back over 30/40 years of employment and talk about the harm they did. I guess they have to die with their baggage. Harsh, withered, and mean.

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  6. Thank You for this stirring article. Great words about the hidden slavery, about the hidden psychopathy of cold anti human semantics.

    “Words are like pillows: if put correctly they ease pain.”
    ― James Hillman

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  7. I would like to see this beautifully written piece be distributed widely and required reading for mental health clinicians. Unfortunately–as with most survivor narratives and critical studies by degree’d professionals confirming the psychological and physical harm of involuntary ‘treatment’, it will only be read by the converted and those with lived experiences of these horrors. Survivors and allies–in the words of the late, great Justin Dart–known as the father of the Americans with Disabilities Act- we must “unite and organize” to overthrow the DSM and all of the harmful ‘treatments’ to which our children and loved ones are subjected!! We have to bypass the corrupt, corporate mainstream media which trumpets the fictitious successes of the guild of psychiatry and raise public awareness of the torture that masquerades as state of the art ‘treatment’!

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    • I second that madmom, “required reading for all mental health clinicians!

      John, your writing is not only devastatingly good (IMO),but poetic and politically surgical to boot. It reminded me of the James Hillman except below, your story articulating the hard won wisdom in Hillmans observation:

      “Power, the move towards superiority in all helping professions and the polarization into weak and strong (patient and doctor, pupil and teacher, etc.). This destructive antithesis occurs when the doctor loses touch with his own vulnerability, the teacher his own ignorance, and the social worker with his own asocial immorality. Help and healing depend altogether, upon maintaining the shadow awareness of inferiority”.
      James Hillman, Healing Fiction

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  8. Thank you, John Herbert, for writing and sharing this. The truth of what you express so beautifully is staggering. My oldest brother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, while I… maybe because I am female…got the borderline label. In the end, it’s all the same. Thank you again.

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  9. John,
    Thank you for sharing this very honest look at what actually happens in many psych wards. I am a survivor of several such places myself. The inhumanity I witnessed would be completely unacceptable- and often illegal, in the outside world. I’m glad you made it out.

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  10. John,

    I was hoping you would write a piece for MIA, and I’m glad you did. I love the way you have described the white-clad slavedrivers who claim they’re only following orders. You really nailed them.

    Occasionally, I saw one or two try to break the rules and be kind. One of them did this telling me she’d lose her job if anyone knew. The other tried, but the doctor forced her into submission. She was taken off my case. One day, I saw her in the hallway. She looked at me with these sad eyes. I’ll never forget that.

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    • Who would not be kind to you Julie ? I cannot imagine under any circumstances, except maybe acute akastisia, anyone who would be any thing else to you. It gives me pleasure to smile at people, the result is always pleasant, l’m smiling at you right now.

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  11. There is so much in this that I cling to, to remind myself I’m not crazy, playing the victim, that it’s not just “all in my head” as so many people made me believe for so long. It was in their interest – in the interest of family members and “treatment providers” and even fellow patients (in my case the system was often successful in turning us against each other…if one patient gets progressively worse in treatment it’s easier, less painful, for other patients to believe that it’s the patient’s fault… I’ve been guilty of this thinking myself) – that I be seen as “untreatable” and “beyond help”.

    The line about “their immaculate teeth”… it’s easier, isn’t it, to have good teeth when you’re not being forced to ingest drugs that deprive the mouth of necessary saliva, and when you’re not deprived of dental floss for weeks or months for fear of what you might do with it, and when you haven’t been so beaten down that self-care becomes impossible.

    I had the “needle in the *ss” treatment in the CIU a few months ago, while surrounded by 4 male security guards. Yes, it did feel like rape, and it was far from the first time. It took me 3 and a half decades, and exposure to stories like this one, to finally see it for what it is: ritualized humiliation, punishment, abuse.

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    • For these men and women to participate in raping helpless people and injecting them with poisons, how dark is that? How can they possibly go and have a normal life? How would one like to have a spouse who participates in constraining, raping, poisoning people and then proceed to go home to make love to someone? Be a father or mother, or friend to someone? The only way would be to pretend, most likely by all parties involved…It’s not even possible, without having a dual personality. It is not even near to possible to be any kind of ‘normal’, if they are able to do the very dark things they do. Even the ones that do not directly participate in raping, they are all part of something very sick within them. Any rational person would be very uncomfortable doing these things to their fellow man. Protests in person are needed. IT needs to be called for what IT is.

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      • Altruistic Evil Sam.

        Your comment brought back to me the way I responded to being slandered by a Community Nurse as “mental patient”. I mean he had to lie to police in order to make his kidnapping appear lawful but ….. I was wondering why people who I had trusted before (even worked with police) were treating me the way they were. I learned something that day, what it would have been like to have someone in Nationalist Socialist Germany mark your file Juden. Nothing about me had changed, but the way people treated me changed significantly, and of course, my response began to change as a result.

        Pretty clever of the Community Nurse to figure out that if he lies to police and slanders someone as “mental patient” he can then arbitrarily detain anyone in the community. I know there is supposed to be laws protecting the public but like the ones being touted by our current Minister regarding his Euthanasia Bill, they simply ignore them. This is probably why the Community Nurse laughed when I said I’d have something done about his torture and kidnapping. He knows once labelled “patient” your off to the camps and …..bwaaaahahahahah. Its not about having protections for the public, but giving the appearance of protections for the public, ask Japanese Americans during the 1940s.

        Still I must admit I admire the guy in the end, he committed torture and kidnapping right under the noses of not one but TWO police officers. That takes some nutz. And I know he knew what he was doing, because he specifically guided me away from any conversation about a psychiatrist, and the fact I didn’t have one and was therefore not a “patient”. What if the police notice and realise what he was doing? And of course he needed to lie and request assistance with “patient” to obtain police attendance to find the stuff they planted on me after I collapsed from the ‘spiking’ with benzos.

        A country that respects a rule of Law? The police are helping organised criminals operating in our hospitals with kidnappings, torture and killings lol

        And of course they think that what they are doing is “for their own good”.

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        • I was just writing about the way that the slanderiing by these people works and realised something that should have been so obvious.

          Me being in my bed asleep after being spiked sounds like nothing at all. But if you call me “mental patient” and start writing down about the large volume of knives (in the kitchen drawer which would be in any home) and the “stockpile of heavy objects” which consisted of the items that I had around the garden such as pot plants and some old car parts, it becomes apparent that the “Mental Patient” can not live in the world with “normals”. How can I when objects of use to normals are all of a sudden a weapon due to my presence, nothing that I have done other than trigger the paranoia of the normal.
          This paranoid Community Nurse who was deliberately making me sound dangerous with his ‘verballing’ technique has made it impossible for me to live. I want to live in a house with a knife and fork to eat my dinner. I’d like to be able to have a hammer to build items with timber. But I can’t because I run the gauntlet of being detained and force drugged for trying to live like a normal person. And all because some fraud turned up at my home and decided to commit crimes s against me, and he has the support (and embarrasssment) of the police.
          “Do you have a knife?”
          “Yes, I have a drawer full of them, with forks and spoons”
          “What do you use them for?”
          “All sorts of tasks”
          “Could you use them to protect yourself?”
          “Don’t be silly, of course one could”
          On the Form used to detain me, “Has a knife for self protection”. Such quality work by the people who are caring for our community. And this guy writes that I’M a danger to self or other, and yet hides the ‘spiking’ with benzos from doctors and police?

          And he has support in his quality assured work. People who will commit further serious offences to ensure he gets to continue harming others in our community. Mind you I could certainly find uses for someone who has a method of torturing and kidnapping and not being detected by police. As i’m sure those who are covering for him have found also 🙂
          Got a little job for you Community Nurse, you still in touch with Curly and Larry down at the police station?

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        • Remember Boans,
          It’s not just the slander of ‘mental patient’ they use. My aunt, the first born of a fraternity of five girls, was euthanized at the age of 11 years old because she was physically handicapped in nazi Germany. My mother was from Berlin. My father was the flight Sargent of the squadron leader’s Lancaster during the war. Paradoxical. My grandfather was injured at Ypres during the first war. My maternel grandfather fought on the opposing side.
          The first psychiatrists were all eugenists and to this day they remain so.

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          • Yes, I think I understand John.

            I know that what seems to have occurred is the exercise of the powers of a psychiatrist by his psychologist wife (with a Masters degree no less). I did have a mental health professional suggest that the powers of a psychiatrist are distributed to the ‘clinical team’ which would include the cleaner on the ward. Certainly the are enabling the ‘spiking’ of peoples food and the post hoc concealment of such offending with fraudulent prescriptions (same doctor that throws away complaints I note)

            The psychiatrist needing to step in and clean up her mess….. and someone ‘spotting’ what they were arranging for my end of life care plan. How rude to interrupt at the ‘moment of truth’?

            The problem being I was left with the documented proof of the original offending, which would require police to act. They had already done their best to create the window of opportunity for the hospital to clean up their little problem, and they failed at that task too (though a cover up soon ensued by attempting to retrieve the documents from me and slander e for speaking the truth).

            The attempt to negatively outcome me was obviously a concern when the ‘joint enterprise’ nature of the offending became apparent. This accountability measure for our politicians a problem that needed to be resolved fairly quickly with Euthanasia laws, putting the buck back to the doctors and by allowing the “editing” of legal narratives after the fact ….. well, it seems to have come straight from Himmler’s diaries. See the wiki on Josef Hartinger and the problems created by the killings at Dachau. Imagine if the problem was exposed at the E.D., and there were accountability measures available in law?

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  12. My own experience with institutionalization did seem like one big bad game of BDSM which I did not participate in willingly and there was no ‘safe ‘word for.
    Not NO. Not laywer. Not doctor.

    The roots of Psychiatry in and of themselves are deserving of indictment by grand jury no less the modern day institution of institutions. And each victim ought to have their complete testimony heard. Restitution may weel be an order if that were possible after having any shred of peace of mind so desecrated.

    An archaic usage of rape does in fact mean ‘to be seized and carried away by force.’ (meriam- webster)

    My own experience with psychiatry saw 3 internments – the first one voluntary where I saw no doctor. Within minutes I was told to strip. Refused. Was stripped. Put in a paper gown. Told to take a coctail of drugs. Refused. Picked up carried to a hard metal bench paper gown lifted. Injected with a ” b -52- described as such by the nurse as a ‘ cocktail of several drugs’ then left paralyed unable to sleep for several hours much less to get up and use a bathroom which I desperately needed to do. Not that there was one in the room.
    I woke up at 11 pm to an option of releasal or staying the night. I had arrived at 11 am. My blood had been drawn during my b 52 coma.
    I chose to be released and asked for the conract of the woman I had gone in with who had been refused to join me during my voluntary admission. They could not get me in contact. I had arrived in a skirt.
    I asked for some pants. They gave me a pair of paper pants. I spent a long cold night wandering the streets of an unfamilar city wearing a skirt a pair of paper pants and a tanktop
    I was picked up by them again by the next morning. (This is an adjunct to this I will not further describe here)

    I could go on to describe how only more horrific each enduring moment of the next 6 weeks and more proved to be- but I will halt here to say these testimonies.
    I was nothing but trafficked inhumanely
    And I never saw a psychiatrist in person for evaluation for more than 30 seconds other than when one was lying disparigingly about me in a court of law hosted by an appointed county commisioner serving as a judge.
    All my requests to be evaluated by a real medical doctor- to get a second opinion were ignored.
    All my insight into my own illness was written off as having a lack of insight.
    At one point a nurse made to inject me, told me after I asked why I was given 2 injections- one in each buttcheek – said it was because the chemicals if mixed together would kill a person.
    That injection left me comotose for nearly 12 hours of which I lay one a yoga mat that hadn’t been washed in weeks in a courtyard in a cage. I burned so deeply red there I couldn’t recognize myself.
    A week later they finally took a picture of me after a week of request.
    I was injected forcibly I think 9 times in 4 weeks- not to mention the coctails of drugs I capitulated into taking voluntarily rather than getting pinned by the crowd again.

    While inside I aqquired the number for and called the Governor. I saw him in the newspaper a few days later. He had visited the grounds. I don’t suppose I saw him on the inside. I saw no personal result from this attempt at action. But maybe more folks could try that.

    To people who are or have a loved one or have been in a similar predicament- what can we do to air our grievances? So that these grievances constitute change. Does some declaration of indepedence from the BDSM of Psychiatry seem like an order?

    It is not a healing art. Psychiatry does much harm. Psychiatrists. They have broken their oathes. Shame on their institutions. Shame on them.

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  13. John,
    Thank you for sharing your story. Reading your heartfelt essay really stirs up a lot of emotions. I am so sorry you have endured such cruelty and was really hoping you had gotten out. Might that be a possibility in the not too distant future? Yes it is so dishonest and shameful the media does not publish a hint of these inhumanities.
    Stay strong John. Keep walking and writing. Every voice is so important.

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  14. John, you are an incredible writer. You capture the horror within the hospitals perfectly, especially the complex feeling of being tortured while watching family members passively stand by. Anger post-hospital is one of the hardest emotions to deal with, and it’s comforting to know that I am far from alone in struggling with this. I LOVE the ending to your piece! I am a huge believer in turning anger into passion and positivity for the world, and it sounds like you are too! Please keep writing and keep sharing your stories. Feel free to connect with me and my movement of positivity as well. The more we work together, the more we can accomplish.

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  15. Once some years ago i was at a crisis stage in my life and although ridiculous i went along to see the mental health team and the social worker interviewed me and decided i needed admitting once again. She lied to get police involved and they came banging on my front door which is glass. the police came round my back and looked through my window near where i was sitting in my living room and sneered at me then when i drew the curtain and would not answer the door they broke it in in broad daylight.

    then they carried me off in an ambulance. my crime. nothing! nothing at all!

    i am incarcerated now having come here as a voluntary patient immediately drugged and responded as such and sectioned. I hope John you read this message and know i resonate so much with your writing. I absolutely wish i had your talent. it is by all accounts god given.

    love to you all and yes one day freedom will prevail.!

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  16. Poetry really John. I think it is very interesting the forced depth of soul we gain from these sorts of horrors. Not sure if you were as eloquent before all this, I am sure you were to some extent. I certainly had the ability to write before but it was not until I was harmed that i started to lean on it so much and cultivated it.

    One thought that came up for me while reading is the interpersonal lies we tell to grease the wheels. What a profound indicator of malevolence. Once we cross that line, it becomes very real that we are in a place we should not be and that something gravely wrong has taken place. I can imagine a POW feels quite the same in that respect.

    I am so glad we met, and your voice is a particularly brilliant one, I am glad we are in this fight together. I hope you find yourself well in some real way.

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  17. Here in France, the authorities are proceeding with the spoliation both of my identity and my personnality. The chemicals that l am forced to take will eventually kill me. Between times there is a surge to justify giving me even more neuro toxins to make me docile and even more compliant.
    The ‘experts’ are mandated by the state to legitimize torture. I have, however, friends who are sympathetic to my plight and who support me eventhough they are limited to witnessing my torture as they too are under mandate to comply with the french ‘mental health’ political powers.
    I trust that my situation will be known and become contraversial as an example of physical and political assassination.

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      • Something that was covered quite well by Viktor Frankl I think Steve McCrea.

        There’s always this hope that somehow people are going to recognise that your a human and you will be released for Christmas. Too late of course once your incarcerated, you should have gotten out earlier. And now all you have is what your wearing because the parasites have stripped you of your belongings and you can not access remedy to have your property returned. even your own government is prepared to look away whilst your ‘outcomed’ (being a foreign National that is) because you would only be a burden now that your ‘treatment’ has started.

        I note that Conversion Therapy has been banned in one of our States recently. Some comments from a ‘media personality’;
        “Conversion Therapy itself has ranged from exorcism to lobotomies to chemical castration and forcing victims to have sex with people of the opposite gender……
        some maintain practicing Conversion Therapy is their religious freedom, the U.N. calls it torture.
        What’s certain is that even after the Royal Commission (into institutional responses to child sexual abuse) it remains one last form of child abuse that Churches want to practice out in the open”

        Strange really when you think about that comment. The Churches are attacked for their use of psychiatry as a weapon (and to torture people not conforming to their idea of ‘normal’) but not a word said about the continued use of psychiatry by the State for the very same purposes? The ‘treatments’ haven’t changed, only the ‘targets’.

        Meet the new bosses, same as the old bosses.

        “What was not so out in the open was the abstentions on the vote to ban. “The closet nays. Maybe some were just experimenting with being nays. They were nay curious. But we can still convert them, because remember, even if they are nay, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just the Devil inside them. We could pray away their nay. And if that doesn’t work there’s always electro shock treatments and chemical castration.
        Now if that sounds a little too much like torture, don’t worry. It’s just therapy” (The Weekly with Charlie Pickering S 7 E 2 2:25-4:25).

        The ‘weapon’ is being recalibrated by the State. See for example the changes removing ‘exclusions’ and placing of ‘mental health professionals’ into every Police station to accept referrals of people who start acting a little strangely when they are subjected to ‘enhanced coercive interrogations’

        I’m sure they can balance the chemicals in his brain once he comes out of the coma. And of course with no accountability measures AT ALL, there will no doubt be “insufficient evidence” for any action over the ‘concerning aspects’ of this ‘treatment’.

        I won’t even raise the issue of semantics, because I’d possibly be accused of being anti semantic. Bad enough I’m still being slandered as a result of having items planted on me for police to find TEN YEARS LATER. Such power provided to Community Nurses to change the status of a person to allow Police to arbitrarily detain, and then fix the paperwork up later with “editing”.

        I’d “leave town” tomorrow if I had the chance. Though even my own government will provide zero assistance to someone who was tortured and kidnapped (depending on the Nation that is abusing the human rights of course. The 5 eyes appear to have an ‘arrangement’ in place where they ignore the ‘indiscretions’ of their fellow ‘peepers’) But like an abusers is going to allow their victims to leave? And what, start talking outside of the ‘cult’?

        I never really wanted to live in a place where the State is “editing” their human rights abuses before having ‘advocates’ (euphemisms for backstabbing conspiring legal representatives) throw their victims under a bus at their most vulnerable time (for payments in state funding). It starts to look like a Military Junta disguised as a democracy when people are being ‘disappeared’ while the ‘mechanism’ of the State gets the paperwork in order.

        I note the recent use of the COVID tracking data (which we were promised was for tracking of COVID cases only) by Police has resulted in penalties for misuse being passed (why there was no penalty until the media exposed the breaches one can only speculate. Especially given that the government knew about the breaches for some time before it was exposed.). Which is really strange when you consider that the Police are the ones who are abusing the system, and will find “insufficient evidence” to prosecute their own misconduct in regards the data breaches. It’s like the laws ‘protecting’ mental patients that have NEVER been used. Good news for animals though, the laws protecting them have been strengthened, and have actually been prosecuted. We can but hope.

        One the surface though, it all looks fine. As I am sure was the case in Germany. The envy of other Nations at the time. You just need a few people who ‘have the stomach for it’ apparently.

        “my karma tells me, you’ve been screwed again. If ya let them do it to ya, you’ve got yourself to blame. It’s you who feels the pain, it’s you who takes the shame”

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  18. My life was such hell that I begged to be admitted to a mental hospital at 15. The relentless zombie drugging, involuntary restraint, inmate-like conditioning and constant contempt from the psychiatrists and staff “cured” me in a few short weeks.

    I quickly learned to play “well” and upon earning a pass to visit the gift shop, I ran away never to return.

    That was 45 years ago, how sorry to see how little things have changed.

    My experience in the mental hospital taught me who I did not want to be in life. I am a health care provider now, and each and every day I go to work I try with all my heart not to be like the people that “treated” me in that hospital.

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