Just going back to my regular meeting with the Stasi earlier this week… (Stasi were originally the East German Secret Police) I refer to my crack psychiatric home treatment team endearingly as the Stasi as it sums up neatly what they are really like.
I was discussing with David, the new Irish male CPN (Community Psychiatric Nurse) a load of reasons why they were all evil for not leaving me in peace alone, away from the horrendously haunting psychiatric system. He said that I was babbling speculative philosophy – that it was all mental illness. I then asked him to expand why it was philosophy. I said that I was speaking the truth and reality but it was philosophy to him as he’d been brainwashed and divorced from humanity through his psychiatric education and training. I was asked repeatedly to show more ‘Courtesy’. I said that there were no laws saying I had to be courteous, especially to people I do not choose to be in my life. He said that he would get the psychiatrist to implement that I had to be courteous as part of the legal conditions for my C.T.O. (Community Treatment Order). I said that this wasn’t legal and that the psychiatrist had no legal powers to do such a thing. He then spoke about the fact the psychiatrist (Dr. Ballantyne-Watts [Wales Forensic Psychiatry]) actually did have these powers. He expanded by saying that psychiatrists are very powerful (of that I am positively certain) and that some people believe that they are modern day Gods. I thought it was just a witty retort from him at first and giggled a little but the CPNs face remained stern and unchanged. I realised he was serious. I said that I would never be worshipping a human as a God and certainly not a psychiatrist and certainly not Dr. Ballantyne-Watts. He looked puzzled and didn’t seem to comprehend. I guess when you are so conditionned to working in the system, to blindly follow any order from above, that seeing the boss as a living embodiment of God is not strange. He then implied that psychiatrists had superhuman intelligence and were divine. I didn’t really wish to blaspheme against the poor fella’s beliefs. At the end of the day, I believe in freedom of choice, in particular the right to choose one’s religion (as enshrined in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights). I had to just leave the topic and accept that our views differed.
I have noticed, however, over the years, how positively psychiatrists and the mental health system rejects religion. They sneer at it. When I first entered hospital in 1997 I noticed a lot of patients reading the bible and talking about stories from the Bible. this seemed a little strange to me. It was the modern world and our society is quite secular. I hadn’t been brought up particularly religiously, yet had attended school chapel and assemblies every day and had a faint understanding of the Bible. I believed in God, but not rigorously. I was 19 – often people find religion or ‘God’ later in life than at this freshfaced tender age. It seemed bizarre but what seemed more alarming and strange was the way in which the Mental Health nurses enforcedly rejected religion. Bibles were confiscated from patients. Anyone mentionning a religous topic openly was condemned immediately, either sent off for punishment in the secure ward, medicated more (eg. injection), or just harshly verbally reprimanded and mocked. Perhaps there was something to this religion malarky?
Over the years, as I spent more and more time on lockdown I decided to put the time to as good a use as possible by studying and reading. I wanted a career as a musician but music is so oppressed inside a mental hospital it isn’t funny. Radios are confiscated and banned . When i first entered the Mental Health System, patients used to gather in the smoking room around the radio all day. On a Saturday Night there was quite a party atmosphere. I can remember grooving around to the Radio 1 Essential Selection or Lovegroove Dance Party. If you closed your eyes you could imagine yourself in the Ministry of Sound, or wherever you so desired or should have been spending the weekend.
In about 2000 when I was sectionned for a total of ten and a half months, my first experience of total institutionalisation. I managed to smuggle my old school King James Bible in. I secretly read it at night and went straight through, cover to cover. It was a really good read and I’d recommend for anyone to do the same regardless of your religious beliefs. It was also during this period of incarceration that I began going to church. It wasn’t really to fulfill a higher purpose; I just noticed that, by attending church on Sunday in Caerleon’s local church, it gave a good excuse to actually get out of the nuthouse for a while. You could claim that you wished to exercise your right to worship the state religion, and although it took weeks of playing this card before they finally acquiesced, it came to the point where they knew that they might get into trouble for continuing to prevent you from exercising this right. Initially the excuse for not allowing it was that there was a hospital chapel which arranged a Sunday service but it just so happened that at that time nobody could be bothered to actually allow this service to proceed, so in the end they had to let a few others with the same idea, and me, pop into the town for an hour or two. One thing I’ll say about the Caerleon congregation is that they are all very welcoming and the church at that time was generally well-attended. When I saw Arthur, the vicar, stood in his pulpit, remembering those less fortunate in the community, those stuck inside the Mental Hospital, it genuinely touched my heart. I came to know Arthur personally as he made regular trips into the hospital and for patients with few visitors he was absolutely critical to their wellbeing. An outsider might imagine that you have all the care you need inside a nuthouse, with all the healthcare professional being paid to look after you in there. The reality of that situation is quite different. Arthur would sit and chat to everyone, whether they wished to talk about God or anything else they were bothered about. You get treated like cattle awaiting slaughter inside a nuthouse. Another myth of treatment is that you will spend hours talking over all your mental health issues with the psychiatrist. This is the biggest lie of the lot. You see the shrink once a week, usually a Monday morning – It’s the only time they actually are in the hospital physically. And you see them for ten minutes, no more. Never is anything substantial discussed, bar medication. The treatment system is totally dependent on drugs. The rest of the time the shrinks are analysing drugs company marketing material, to see which company is offering the best incentives. Usually cash incentives. I have picked this knowledge up from reading psychiatry books – and just noticing all the drug company bumph lying around in offices – you can see what’s coming next in your treatment regime when the staff start drinking from fresh drug company branded coffee mugs, as it means the drug rep has been and left a few parting gifts after striking a big deal.. There is such a fierce war between drugs companies for the increasingly lucrative market share that the advertising campaigns are like US Presidential races in terms of budget and ferocity of advertising.
Arthur was about the only person to turn to for salvation and, to be fair, is a good man, as he serves his community in the correct manner. When I was in the Beechwood PICU in St. Cadoc’s secure Unit where you have literally nothing, no possessions – nothing, for about 4 months straight, Arthur noticed I’d disappeared and sought me out, bringing a Bible which was like a Godsend, literally. Of course it soon gets confiscated once he’s out the door, but the thought is well intended. I also had my first and only communion inside the locked ward. The staff even told my visitors who turned up that I wasn’t there – I’d been transferred somewhere else and they didn’t know how to find me. They do get perverse kicks when enhancing your suffering. Arthur still managed to get through those barriers and I will forever be grateful.
As a side note, one day on Augustus Ward, an acute Unit in St. Cadoc’s, this posh-looking, well-spoken holy man came in. I sat and had a good quarter an hour chat. He was the Bishop of the See of Monmouthshire, a certain Rowan Williams, who of course is the current Archbishop of Canterbury. It’s funny watching him in Westminster Abbey on the tele with the Queen when you know you’ve had a tepid St. Cad’s coffee with him – of course nowadays they’d probably class this as a delusion but it is true. Ask Rowan Williams if you bump into him if he’s ever been to St. Cadoc’s with Wez G and he’ll tell you the truth… The Priory may get all teh spotlight as the place to be but we’ve had a few stars down our way too…
I sound a bit like a preacher here but although I believe in God, after reading the Bible, I read a load of other major religious texts and philosophy and much more. I don’t believe that any one world religion has their definition of God correct – I think that a fusion of beliefs is possible and that religion has been alarmingly misused over the years. My facebook-declared religious views are ‘Ayahuasca Shaman’ but that’s a story for another day.One thing I can say is that most religions carry the same fundamental message. It’s easy to hear people say ‘religion = load of nonsense – cause of all wars -and totally dismiss it, but we must remember that most of modern society has developed as a result of these belief systems. Our ancestors chose to (and indeed chose not to and were sometimes forced to) live their lives by the laws laid down in these books. Even a sceptic has to recognise that there is a great deal of knowledge of good and evil contained in holy texts or beliefs or traditions. It is part of history and culture. The point I aspire to is that it would not harm these Mental Health workers to actually accept some of the ideas and wisdom of these religions. There is a tendency nowadays to reject the old in favour of the new and we have come to accept that change is always for the better. This isn’t strictly true, as too much change will upset the overall balance of any system. Being radical for the sake of being radical leaves you clutching at straws as if you abolish everything as you have no canvas left on which to paint a new picture. The religious beliefs have been around in most cases for thousands of years. Psychiatry is a much more recent cult or fad, which has never properly defined itself. It is a lost pseudoscience (or other categeory) with really wishy-washy vague ideas and definitions.
When I hear daftness coming from people appointed by the UK government to march into my home, threaten me with the law and try and get me to worship another human being, who quite frankly cannot possibly be God…It irritates me to the core and I cannot understand what accepting to do this will achieve. Perhaps why they say I’m mad. If I do bow down before the Doctor, will they finally leave me alone? It’s gone too far for them to withdraw by now and once I’m bowing, I’ll soon be forced to kneel and pretty soon I’ll be prostrating myself and self-whipping my back to punish myself for not being chaste enough in God’s sight. The guy’s only in his Mid-Fifties and even despite the argument between Creationists and Evolutionists, even they would, I hope, unanimously agree that whoever created the world must have done so more than 60 years ago. If there’s evidence to suggest otherwise then I stand corrected.
As I counter-psychoanalyse my interrogators, I observe that they are always so cagey at giving information up, it is hard to pinpoint their actual goals and agenda. God-king cults have sprung up in history – Are the psychiatrists a priesthood? It worries me as people will think that this is all bonkers, I’m lying, nuts whatever, but if you are all worshipping psychiatrists in a decade or so you can look back and say you heard it here first. Silly things do emerge in society from time to time and unless you see them coming it is often difficult ever understanding how they arrived. Take X-Factor or Pop Idol for example? How on earth did they crop up? I, for one, didn’t foresee the music industry being so affected by these TV talent shows. I will always totally reject the worship of psychiatrists, until the torture gets too intense perhaps, but even then I think that I shall resist. Perhaps when my brain finally is in the pickle jar on their desk I might be tempted to pay homage, but even then I’ll still be pulling faces. Psychiatry as a religion disgusts me. Yes – you may think – oh – this cannot possibly be true or ever eventualise but I don’t think that the public in general understand just exactly how powerful the Mental Health movement is. It has all the traits of religion – vast amounts of money, people in powerful positions across society all profit from it, they have the unquestionable loyalty of the weaponised authorities (ie. Police) who are prepared to use force to protect the regime, they have the desire for more control over those they see as weaker and will cease at no issue of morality in order to achieve their ends. When you couple in the sheepish nature of the masses to follow whither they are ordered without questionning the command, the scene is set. I don’t know just how far the Mental Health Act powers will take what is being done in the name of the law. I don’t wish to discover either. Like a cornered animal you have to stand and fight and it would be nice to maintain civilized protocol that dates back before the time of Marx and has been the preserve of peaceful people across eternity. Examine history – look at how such horrific movements spring up from time to time. Psychiatry is weaving its clutches virtually everywhere in a world that has been globalised more than ever before. The entire future of our species is at stake.
Psychiatrists. mental health workers, police, social workers, all involved, your God is a false God. I will not worship my psychiatrist.