Institutionalized 18 Years Ago, I May Never Be Released

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Editor’s Note: This essay was originally published on August 30, 2019, but was temporarily removed due to a technical issue. At last count, the story had 4,311 views and 33 comments, which can be read here. We recently learned that in early 2021, the author gained release from the forensic hospital in which he had spent two decades.

 

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 Red’s 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 Marlboro’s 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, Dr. Lieberghaul. 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, Carl Paladino. 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 Ellicott Development Corp. Former New York State Gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino 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 Carl. 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.

Carl 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 lead to an eviction hearing on March 10 of 2000. We won that hearing but then Mr. Paladino claimed I called his office and threatened to kill him. Mr. Paladino 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 Carl 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 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 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, Dr. Lieberghaul 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), 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 a 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 as 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 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 about Bill Sutherland’s long-term hospital stay

Article about his losing a hearing on possible release into the community

Editorial about unfairness of New York State’s policy of sealing medical records

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

Forensic psychiatric evaluation of Bill by Gary Horwitz, M.D.

 

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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.

7 COMMENTS

  1. “He [independent examiner] went on to say that it would be totally unprecedented in the history of psychiatry to see a complete and total mitigation of symptoms upon entrance into a corrections facility without medications.”

    Ever seen this documentary called “Madness in the Fast Lane”?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTpFWiEx3eo&t=60s

    They have actual footage of someone who ran into traffic on camera, and then a matter of an hour later is seen in a Police station showing no symptoms of an ‘illness’ at all.

    Particularly relevant to NGRIs, and what you discuss in your essay Mr Sutherland.

    Folie a deux or Bouffee dilerante? Quite a dilemma for the Courts.

    I too was the victim of speaking the truth. I was ‘spiked’ with a date rape drug, and then ‘verballed’ into a confession of a ‘mental illness. (your ‘confession’ to police is a common practice here called verballing.

    See Kennedy Royal Commission;

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennedy_Royal_Commission

    References Final Report Vol 1 Part 1 pp 96 – 101 for a description of the corrupt practice.

    I found it fascinating that in my instance, the Senior Medical Officer at the hospital wrote a fraudulent prescription for the date rape drug (a drug I had never taken,was now my “Regular Medication”), didn’t inform me that it had been administered, and they then concealed that document from my legal representatives and began slandering me with the ‘paranoid delusional’ label for speaking what they KNEW to be the truth. How positively poisonous huh?

    Do you have any ‘suspicions’ (on reasonable grounds) as to which of the date rape drugs you were ‘spiked’ with? There are 4 listed as being related to the offence of “Intoxication by Deception” in our Criminal Code (Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB and Benzodiazepines).

    I don’t know about you, but I look back over what has been done to me and actually I admire the way these criminals have gotten the Police and Mental Helath Services to ‘fuking destroy’ someones family, career, …….. for making a complaint about being subjected to torture. These are the same people who boast about their signing the Convention against the use of Torture, and who use their positions to breach virtually every Article of that document the agreed to. (I don’t know if the U.S. is a signatory, but the document is virtually worthless when the people charged with enforcing the conditions and ensuring that abuses do not occur, engage in criminal conspiracies to ‘cover up’ such abuses using the mental health laws). Our Chief Psychiatrist preferring to utter with a known fraudulent document upon being informed that the legal narrative had been “edited” (if you can’t prove the ‘confession’ is fraudulent, then the document which has been produced using a known torture method and ‘verballed’ can now be used as a defence of the actions). These practices basically subvert every single human right that is enshrined in our laws, and our Great Protector simply turns his back on victims and uses an argument from authority claiming your challenging of the fraud is providing “justifiable explanations” of what was written. Not when it couldn’t possibly have happened right? [Read my mind, and travelled back through time three weeks to make ‘observations’?] Oh that’s right, that bit was “edited” out before the lawyers saw)

    I’d really be interested in reading anything else you have written about your ordeal.

    I may write some more if I get time to re read your essay.

    Just a question, did you express your concerns to Police about being ‘spiked’? You should have been medically assessed for such a claim by having a blood test taken to confirm or dismiss your claim [no matter how distressed you may have been]. It would also raise the issue of your ‘confession’ being as a result of an act of torture (interrogation whilst stupefied with intoxicants without knowledge). Still, I guess you have described fairly accurately what happens when you have been thrown into the quicksand of mental health services.

    In regards to the ‘spiking’, see the case of Prof John Kearsley, who went to prison for administering 1/4 the amount of the same drug I got ‘spiked’ with. I guess he didn’t have the advantage of having a Senior Medical Officer who could make it her “Regular Medications” and then conceal his offending for him with such fraud, and then ‘treating’ her for her Delusional Disorder when she claimed to have been drugged without her knowledge. The victim in that instance having to get her own blood tests done based on her suspicions. No point asking people who have an end in mind to enact their duty of care, when their negligence will ensure their preferred truth.

    I have seen a documentary where the opposite is true though, and Police actually followed up on someone being ‘spiked’ by family members, rather than throwing the victim under a bus. This was in England though, and the difference seems to be that Police have resources (such as a copy of the Criminal Code) there. And they are aware of how dangerous ‘spiking’ people with date rape drugs before interrogations actually is.

    “Kidnapped and drugged for family honor” the doco is called. Perhaps the issue of me not being an ‘Ethnic’ was the reasoning behind police providing assistance with the perverting the course of justice? Because other than that, the situations are strikingly similar.

  2. A second reading reveals to me the following.

    You write;

    “One of my first interviews was with the forensic psychologist, Dr. Lieberghaul. 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.”

    Testing the ‘verbal’. “The method adopted by L5 (corrupt police officer) was to sit with the suspect and have a general conversation, after which he made notes on the mannerisms of speech, other idiosyncrasies and general points about the suspects life. These details were blended into a verballed statement to make them seem plausible in court” (Kennedy R.C. posted above).

    You then find out about the ‘threatening phone call’ for eviction proceedings you are alleged to have made? Let’s just put this here for later use, and now the ‘card’ is played.

    You then write;

    “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.”” (and you are correct that your mind does play tricks on you in such environments, this is not accidental)

    It is NOT because they do not want anyone using involuntary intoxication as a viable defense strategy to get away with anything. Your being ‘buried’ by people who know that should the matter go to trial, they have only got a confession extracted via an act of torture, a verbal, which wouldn’t hold water. And which may result in some serious repercussions for them. It may look like they are unaccountable when they commit acts of perjury to cover ‘verbals’, but believe me they can be dealt with quite severely in other ways once their corruption is identified. Lets see where they run with it shall we?

    Your kind of lucky to be in the U.S where Police will allow mental health services to allocate money to such concealment of breaches of Policing procedures (as you point out, the cost of ‘housing’ you was quite expensive to taxpayers, but profitable to shareholders). In my State they tend to save the taxpayers money by ‘unintentionally negatively outcoming’ such ‘technical issues’. Even having to pass laws to ensure that the link between the ‘outcomings’ and those with a duty to act on such matters is broken. The U.N. making it clear that the State IS responsible for corrupt acts by public officers (see the case of Corrina Horvath). And if Police are turning a blind eye (“it might be best I don’t know about that”) to these unintended negative outcomes being done to save the taxpayers money? The ‘buck’ would have to stop somewhere right? And where oh where would you find someone with the stomach for it? I got a Mate who will do it for a Box of Beer as we say here in Australia.

    I know, I know……. “they wouldn’t do that”. Heard that too, and yep if you refuse to look you can maintain that reality for quite some time. Up until the Police have the proof put before them and they need to find out “who else has the documents?” Then their relationship with the likes of Dr Lieberghaul comes to the fore. ‘Flagged’ on the Police system like Jamal Kashoggi for automatic referral for ‘treatment’ for the illness they will make up, depending on what ‘stream’ they want you put down. In fact, it was at the point where the ‘flagged’ referral failed that my ‘Dr Lieberghaul’ became afraid for his family, and tried to use his position of trust and confidence to find out for Police, who else was aware of their corrupt actions.

    Glad you haven’t remained silent regarding these matters. I get it that certain people don’t like the truth (in fact some hate it) but……. just because they don’t have the stomach for what needs to be done, doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be done right?

    I also note you haven’t responded to any comments, so doubt that you will even read any of what I have written. Shame really because I have a couple of questions I’d like to ask you personally.

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

    I can empathise with this as a couple of malicious relatives told lies about me which got me detained in civil psychiatric hospital in England. It should never be allowed to happen like that.
    It’s also outrageous that someone can be kept for so long without a release date. Psychiatry often does this even in non-forensic settings and can keep a person incarcerated for years. It’s also true that definitions of so-called mental illness are weak and open to interpretation. When people say something is true and real to a psychiatrist, they can quite easily dismiss it as paranoia and the person has no right of reply once labelled mad.

    I do however have some questions about this which I may have missed the answers to.

    When Mr Sutherland was arrested he said he repeatedly asked for his attorney and then the police brought him before the court. He must have had an attorney at this point or been offered one and refused. Or else it was a useless attorney. This I find quite difficult: if there was a lawyer what did he say or do about the alleged crime? Surely he demanded proof about the fire being started by his client. Which leads me onto the next question;

    The facts about the fire: was there any scientific evidence linking Mr Sutherland to the fire? Like, accelerant on him. Were there any other possible suspects who might have started the fire? If there was a blackout, who or what was involved in getting him from the bar back to his home?

    One of the lessons to be learnt from this is to always get a lawyer when in trouble with the law and have them ask lots of questions.

    I am pleased to learn that Mr Sutherland has now been released.

    • Hi Fiona,

      the issue of evidence was one that I wished to ask a little more about, along with the relationship with Dawn. The evening meal which Mr Sutherland ate before going to the bar (though it seems there was quite some time between the meal and the drink from my reading of the essay).

      “When Mr Sutherland was arrested he said he repeatedly asked for his attorney and then the police brought him before the court. He must have had an attorney at this point or been offered one and refused. Or else it was a useless attorney. This I find quite difficult: if there was a lawyer what did he say or do about the alleged crime? Surely he demanded proof about the fire being started by his client.”

      I know in my instance I asked to speak to my lawyer whilst being detained and questioned by both police and the Community Nurse. This request, and my request to call the Doctor who the Community Nurse was falsely claiming was MY doctor were both simply ignored. As you would expect nothing documented about anything that didn’t suit the false narrative being forged during the interrogations. I also note nothing documented about the attempt to plunge a carving knife into my chest as i lay on the couch (though the Police and all three mental health workers looked to my wife when she confirmed her assault as a result of me saying I was leaving her. Consider, they were also aware of her assault with the ‘spiking’ and call me a danger? And then released me to go home and what…. what was going to become my next “regular medication”, rat poison?)

      “One of the lessons to be learnt from this is to always get a lawyer when in trouble with the law and have them ask lots of questions.”

      One of the lessons I leant was that the lawyers are actually prepared to neglect their duty in order to ensure that criminals operating within the public system are enabled, and that if they aren’t, then their families become targets as well as the victims they have been trying to ‘assist’.

      I would have thought that after the years it took me to identify the fraudulent documents (and the uttering by others with that known fraud) that a lawyer would have been able to provide me with some assistance to do something about the offending. Not so in Australia where I now find out you can be denied access to legal representation whilst the State commits further offences against you.

      Human rights in this country? Not a chance. they simply boast about their human rights record which is managed via ensuring that anyone who does complain about violations is given the Deterte ‘treatment’. That and the fact that the Human Rights Commission doesn’t deal with acts of State sanctioned torture, but will ensure that a baker is forced into making a wedding cake for two men should they refuse on religious grounds. I’m sure history will remember their contribution and turning a blind eye to human rights violations right under their noses in places wrongly called hospitals to fondly

      I imagine that President Xi laughs when hearing about Australian politicians complaining about the human rights abuses in China. Where do you think the doctors doing the organ harvesting are being trained?

  4. I was in prison many years before anything to do with shrinks and was afforded waaay more rights than I have been as a ‘patient’.

    Also my entire diagnosis was based on an assessment in which I was drugged without my knowledge beforehand.

    Its an absolute disgrace.

    I was thinking just now as I made coffee how what was done to you and me William shows how, as men who consider ourselves worldly, how utterly naive we were to believe we lived in a relatively just and free society.

    I think that’s the issue with so much unnecessary suffering by ‘clients’ from ‘care teams’. Nobody much outside of those caught up in its net realises how easily one can become trapped in its web.

    In prison I could at least use my rights for defence and protection against abuses of power, offence too sometimes. As soon as I was involuntarily hospitalised ( in a civil capacity, no criminality ) those rights were stripped from me and I was left defenseless.

    By the way I was in prison over my sociopathic mother. Guess who my ‘care team’ brought in at ground zero at the exclusion of everyone else when I insisted I didn’t want her involved in the care of my child?

  5. Wow, you get legal representation?

    “You are also hereby advised that the Mental Hygiene Legal Service, which is an agency of the Supreme Court in the State of New York has been established to provide you with assistance and information as to your rights under the law and procedures governing your legal relationship with the New York Office of Mental Health”

    We have an ‘agency’ called the Mental Health Law Centre, which has a right under the law (Mental Health Act and Operational Directive issued by the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist) to be allowed to examine unredacted documents on behalf of their clients on provision of a confidentiality agreement. On provision of the confidentiality agreement, the hospital concerned should provide the documents with the matters which they wish to be kept confidential highlighted, and reasons given as to why these matters should not be disclosed to their client.

    The issue in my situation was that the public officers concerned had committed some serious criminal offences.

    My refusal to speak to A psychologist (note; not MY psychologist) when my wife did not like my decision to leave her, meant they had to find a means to force me to talk (such noble intentions justifying acts of torture and kidnapping. Confirmed by the Operations Manager who claimed they had been “trying to save your marriage”, and that was the reason she hadn’t done her duty and reported the offences to the Corruption watchdog, choosing instead to attempt to pervert the course of justice. My insistence that my rights be observed requiring me to be ‘unintentionally negatively outcomed’ and the truth “edited” out of the legal narrative in the documents)

    The method settled on the night before I was jumped in my bed was to ‘spike’ me with benzodiazepines, and then have Police used as a means to induce an acute stress reaction, and force me to talk to a Community Nurse. This being an act of torture, though it was concealed by the Community Nurse lying to Police and calling them for assistance with his “Outpatient”.

    In my State this is a criminal offence listed in the Criminal Code as s. 336 Procure the apprehension or detention of a person not suffering from a Mental Illness, and carries a penalty of three years prison. By telling the Police that I was a mental patient (offence of create false belief), and that he required assistance due to me being in possession of a knife and some cannabis (which were ‘planted’ after I was incapacitated with the benzos, and to make the police detention appear lawful, and create the appearance for others at the hospital that I was a referral under s. 195 of the MHA [Police Powers]).

    A simple man in the middle confidence trick basically, Police think i’m an “Outpatient” and beat me into talking to the Community Nurse who then ‘verbals’ me on the Forms and has them transport me to his hospital, where a Senior Medical Officer then writes a prescription for the drugs I was ‘spiked’ with, and validates the false information listed on the fraudulent Form by the Community Nurse, and disappears the lie to the Police to have them attend and cause the acute stress reaction. Kidnapping complete, and given that the Senior Medical Officer signed off on enough drugs to lay me out for a month and make me very sick, I dare say I was lucky someone at the hospital actually noticed that I had been fuked over by others.

    Now, the problem lay in this all being demonstrable in the documentation which accompanied my ‘referral’ (that’s the term they would prefer, but the actions don’t actually meet that legal definition), and the fact that I, and the lawyers at the Law Centre had asked to examine these documents. I made application under the Freedom of Information Act (which as a citizen and NOT an “Outpatient” I had a right to access my medical records) and the Law Centre made application under s. 160/1 of the Mental Health Act which has provisions of them to examine unredacted documents with the confidential matters to be highlighted and explaination as to why.

    I was provided with some ‘redacted’ documents. The lie to police removed to conceal the offences that related to the request for assistance with an “Outpatient”, but the concealment of the ‘spiking’ by the Senior Medical Officer was provided due to the FOI Officer being of the opinion that benzodiazepines were my “Regular Medications”. No need to hide my ‘medicines’ from me…. (the fraudulent prescription deceiving even the FOI Officer who must come across quite a bit of ‘spiking’ of “patients” done in ‘good faith’. Great weapon in the arsenal of mental health services to ‘spike’ people and then call their response an illness)…. well, until the conspiring between my wife and the FOI Officer identified the issue with me now being made aware of the ‘spiking’ with someone else’s drugs. Before distributing the fraudulent set of documents, these particular documents needed to be retrieved. No problem really when you can get the Police to provide ‘assistance’ with your offending, and have the victim removed while you retrieve the proof of the other offences.

    Compound or conceal evidence of a criminal offence? Attempt to pervert the course of justice? Probable cause which would mean the lawyers would like a little closer look? And at this point there was an attempt to have someone other than the Community Nurse demonstrate that I was someone’s “outpatient”. Virtually nothing that can’t be achieved by an FOI Officer who can “edit” documents really. So attempts to have me sign away my rights were made on more than one occasion. (Lure with bait, strike with chaos). These attempts failed, and the lawyers were making increasing noise about the months of delays in providing the documents they had a right to examine.

    The hospital unable to provide the documents, and a written request to lawyers to conceal the offences which had been committed against me instead provided the Law Centre with a set of fraudulent documents. The ‘spiking’ and the lie to police removed, and the fraudulent Form provided minus any context or means to demonstrate that it was a ‘verbal’ that had been forged via an act of torture. The physical assault of the ‘spiking’ taking the ‘coercive method’ of pointing weapons at people to have them talk one step beyond (most 8 year old aboriginal children can explain how police use mock executions to have ‘suspects’ talk. The addition of ‘spiking’s before interrogations would appear to meet the standards set out in the Convention against the use of Torture Article 1. Particularly with no lawful sanction other than the offences committed to invoke that loophole. These are compounded offences with no superior authority. And yet the State is allowing those at a Senior Constable level to authorise acts of torture, knowing that the Police are unaccountable under the current system. So when our politicians say “the matter has been referred to Police professional standards” what they really mean is fuk off, and i’ve got a way out)

    See this video and imagine that this guy may not actually be a “patient”, but a citizen who a Community Nurse has called police and requested ‘assistance’ with because they refused to come out of their home and speak to him so he could pout words into their mouth?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZ9UQKBUrsg

    And the Minister can’t talk about the ‘concerning aspects of the arrest” because ….. she knows that as time passes and the victim comes out of the “induced coma” (no standards as to what constitutes a ‘chemical restraint’ in Australia fortunately) Police will find nothing (after threatening witnesses) and the victim will be drugged by doctors until he shuts up.

    Imagine that this is what can be done to you by Police should you refuse to ‘confess’ to a mental illness to a Community Nurse who simply knocks on your door? All he needs to do is ask Police to ‘assist’ with his “Outpatient”, and while that is a crime, no one is prepared to listen to you because in the years it takes for the Chief Psychiatrist to get around to not knowing anything, your being electrocuted to the head and drug fukd in a cell for complaining?

    So the hospital in my instance couldn’t provide documents to my lawyers, who as a result couldn’t do their job and represent me. Now consider that a complaint was lodged with our Chief Psychiatrist by the lawyers in regards to my ‘treatment’ on that day AND the non provision of documents (or the provision in “edited” form despite the laws to protect human rights)

    I’d really like to have someone with a little legal knowledge examine his response to that letter of complaint, but the lawyers provided that letter (which I call a poison pen letter designed to push the victim to suicide) and claimed they didn’t have the resources to even read the response. Which was a shame because the Chief Psychiatrist managed to change the laws protecting the public and enable arbitrary detentions [without parliamentary approval mind you], allow people to be ‘spiked’ with date rape drugs before Police interrogations, and then have a doctor sign a prescription (and make the drugs their “regular medications”) AFTER they had ‘confessed’ and been incarcerated, and claimed that the application made by the Law Centre for documents which were all clearly marked as being “APPLICATION FOR DOCUMENTS UNDER S. 160/1 OF THE MENTAL HEALTH ACT”, and provided in the letter of complaint to the C.P. was actually made under the Freedom of Information Act (despite the proof being before his eyes in three letters, any wonder torture and kidnapping is slipping through his net?).

    It’s been difficult to have anyone examine this particular document which demonstrates a level of incompetence which should be a major concern for the whole community. The person who provides “expert legal advice to the Minister” doesn’t know what a burden of proof is? is rewriting the Mental Health Act to enable arbitrary detentions (‘suss’ laws), and the lawyers at the Law Centre are not interested in taking the matter up with him? Claiming that detention and forced drugging can be done on the basis of a suspicion alone? Calling this “the spirit of the Act”? I don’t know which is worse, not being allowed legal representation, or having someone who is that incompetent representing you (first question, is it plausibly deniable? Second question, how much will our funding increase? enough for the new Porsche? And third, you got our backs on this Minister? No need to report to the Corruption watchdog because it is mandatory reporting of offences carrying a prison term of two or more years and well….. this is torture and kidnapping). Mind you, truth be known they are a ‘Venus fly trap’ in a manner of speaking, only offering assistance until the facts are known and then “edited” before the victim of public officer misconduct become known. Co conspirators in the concealment of human rights abuses. The Nicola Gobbo’s of the Mental Health world, only much more dangerous.

    Really, you get legal representation?

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