Ну наконец мы дошли до этого поста. Я уже обещала несколько раз рассказать о побеге из психушки. Руки все не доходили, ну и не знала как правильно представить эту авантюру, так как сбегала я неоднократно, но начну в этом посте о моем первом побеге.
Если вы читали мои посты на русском, (Тут, тут и Тут), то вы знаете, что моя первая психбольница была в городе Пюрмеренде, что рядом с Амстердамом). Попала я туда чисто случайно (меня мой босс и подруга туда повезли, не зная, что делать с человеком (мной), когда на него нагрянули видения от Бога, плюс явление дьявола.
Больница оказалась полный маразм (но они все такие: психушки). На первый взгляд, вроде как санаторий: бассейн, вкусная еда, садик, Арт терапия. Но при этом камера в комнате, с прямой трансляцией на пост медсестёр, и тупые психиатры, навязающие пить таблетки и причитая, что блин, девушка, вы больная и надо лечить. От чего меня лечат, я до сих пор не врубилась. Ну была я Иисусом в прошлой своей жизни, и это, извините меня, и правда, ну совсем уж неизлечимо.
Вообщем, побыв в той больнице в Пюрмеренде (Голландия) дней 5, я наконец включила свои мозги Русской и приказала себе перестать тупить. Сколько там меня собираются держать, я себя спросила, почему не дают выпить, и почему, на хер, все так строго, включая камеру в моей комнате? Голландцы совсем охнули, я для себя решила, если снимают реалити тв даже в больнице. Совсем ебанулись со своей толерантностью и внедрению в личную жизнь своих поданных.
Вообщем, решила я схулиганить и сбежать, что было не просто. Везде камеры, все закрыто, вокруг больницы, в саду: сеть.
Я начала думать и даже подготовилась. Сбежать я решила в Амстердам (где жила и была прописана на тот момент), но мне в больницу притащили только какую-то домашнюю, скучную одежду, а в Амстердам я планировала сбежать ‘на выход’. Погулять, в ресторанчик сходить, выпить (пить в больнице не давали). Одежда нужна была красочная, симпатичная, а не спортивные штаны, что мне притащили в больницу по моему въезду на ее территорию.
Короче, спиздила я платье у соседки, а так же футболку ‘психиатрия на хуй’, оделась, намазала губки помадой, собрала сумочку (с деньгами), и стала ждать момент.
Стратегия у меня была непростая. Из больницы и правда, было почти невозможно сбежать (хотя, должна признаться, мне это удавалось каждый раз, как я попадала в психушку с диагнозом ‘я- перерожденный Иисус, – официально мне прописали биполярное расстройство). Надо было сначала попасть в открытое отделение, а потом в сад и лезть через сеть.
Помог мне один пациент. Заговорил санитара, пока дверь была открыта. Я быстро мимо прошмыгнула, ползком под камерами до сада, в саду через сеть перелезла (не зря я так настрадалась на спорте), платье подрала, но сверху была футболка, и в ней, с надписью ‘психиатрия на зуй’, села я в первый же автобус, который на счастье ехал в Амстердам.
Народ на меня, конечно, косился (дело было в ноябре, а я в летнем платье, с футболкой сверху, да ещё такой интересной), но как доехали до Амстердама, то интерес ко мне сразу пропал. Там пол города психбольных ходит. Рекомендую приехать, посмотреть, как эпопея с ковидом закончиться.
В Амстердаме, я сходила в ресторан суши, в бар с вином, и в магазин, закупиться водкой, так как стало ясно, что в больнице пить не дают, и нужно всегда свои припасы иметь, на всякий случай.
Вот в таком виде, когда я выходила с магазина с провизией на случай ‘психушки’ меня и забрала местная полиция и повезла уже меня в больницу в Амстердаме.
Оказывается, меня объявили в розыск.
Об этой больнице я расскажу ещё в посте, но главное сейчас добавлю: привезли меня в больницу с моей водкой и ни до кого не дошло проверить, что у меня было в сумке.
Ну и наряд у меня был более подходящий, а не скучные спортивные штаны.
Уж если попадаешь в психушку, даже если ты и Иисус, то надо приезжать нарядным, в полу пьяном виде и со своим пайком!
The psychiatric hospital of today might appear as a foreign, scary object to the mind who has never visited the institution. It represents the unknown, the territory that one is terrified of, but at the same time attracted to with natural human curiosity. Let’s be frank here: we want to know what is inside and who is “hiding” there.
In the eighteenth century, in Europe, many mental institutions called “asylums” were open to the public. In exchange for some entrance money, interested visitors could have a peek: they could stroll in the corridors and observe the patients inside. It was a popular destination by all accounts. People found “madness”—or rather, what is assigned to the term—interesting and irresistible.
Michel Foucault wrote about it extensively, presenting a picture of a typical Sunday morning in Paris for a middle-age couple. They wake up, have breakfast, and then go for a visit to a local asylum for entertainment. Doors were open to the eager public, and the asylums never lacked in visitors. It is indeed interesting, and probably more attractive than going to a theatre or the modern cinema. People aren’t acting there, and they are real.
Today, that same curiosity about manifestations of “madness” is satisfied via books or, more often, via movies. It isn’t by accident that such movies as Girl, Interrupted and A Beautiful Mind were such a big success: “madness” has always been fascinating, and will always attract and terrify the human mind at the same time.
But let’s look at the psychiatric institution of today. It isn’t by accident that doors to it are closed to the curious mind, and only those who are unlucky end up being inside, on the wrong side of the equation—being a patient. The psychiatrists are the ones who walk really free there, looking, observing, analyzing, and then administering the cocktail of modern drugs. We read some stories, we get some news, but it is all presented to us as “mental illness,” part of the bigger discourse on “mental health.”
These stories hide the truth of the modern psychiatric narrative: that real, nice people end up there, and the psychiatric experience is likely to ruin one’s life for good. The drugs they prescribe don’t help with anything, and the stigma which gets attached after one receives a label or diagnosis is forever a scarlet letter on one’s life CV.
I have been unfortunate enough to deal with the psychiatry from “inside” and thus, am an unfortunate witness to the horrors behind the machine. I am also an academic and thus, am interested in the narrative—how my own personal story becomes part of a bigger picture. My story is unique, as are many others, but we all become just statistics in the psychiatric tale. We are all “patients” and we are all “insane.”
The mental health narrative of today is the continuation of the history of the psychiatry, beginning with the age they call “enlightenment,” when the doors were closed to the curious, and only the patients and treating “doctors” were allowed inside. I am not sure it was done out of good will, because it banned the witnesses of the injustices happening there. It is really taking the truth out of the terrifying tale hidden in the modern mental health narrative. People are often held against their will inside these institutions, though their only “crime” is that they dared to have weird thoughts or hear voices.
The modern mental health narrative is the recycling of the psychiatric song to present it to us as something innocent, mundane and even good. Yes, we should think about the sanity of our minds, take care of our bodies, sleep, eat well, and exercise our bodies and minds. However, this tale that appears innocent hides the fact that it simply scares people into a pattern of normality. A pattern where everyone should be the same, behave the same way, and do the same things as everyone else: think about which car to purchase, where to spend the next holiday, and whether to swipe left or right on Tinder. Once you start questioning the so-called normality of student loans, paying mortgages, marriage, kids, gym membership and the like, you will exhibit “abnormal” behavior, I can guarantee you that. You will start questioning things and stop and wonder: Why are there so many homeless people on the streets? Why is Africa so poor? How can I think of the next holiday when there is so much poverty in my otherwise rich land?
Your weird thoughts will scare you, and you might become what they call “depressed.” Depression is definitely not an illness, but it is a fact. It is nothing else but a natural reaction of a mind that wants more from life than the boring tale of “normality.” If you dig deeper, you might even get onto the scale of what they call “bipolar,” and if you embrace your weird thoughts with zeal, and voices finally reach you (the real spirit world hiding behind our “normality” narrative disguised as “the age of reason and enlightenment”), then you might get the label of “schizophrenic.”
All these labels are just words invented by the twisted tale of psychiatry to deceive our minds and prevent us from thinking and behaving differently. There is no mental illness, and there never was. People simply get unwell, and bad things happen in life.
But the psychiatric institution of modern times, with its closed doors, lingers on top of our minds as the forbidden bad fruit that no one should touch, terrifying us and scaring us, because let’s be frank and honest here: no one wants to end up there. And not because one is afraid to become “ill” (we are all prone to “madness,” let me assure you), but because of the narrative of mental health.
Trump demonstrated the scariness of the narrative to perfection when he condemned all “mentally-ill” people. He showed how strong the stigma is and that the slogan “mental illness is like physical illness” is just words into the air. Trump demonstrated the real attitude toward people with “mental illness.” He simply doesn’t know who they are, and what is really taking place—behavior and thought control by the psychiatric institution.
And only a few of us know and see the truth.
The psychiatric institution is mostly an abstract body hanging over our head, sort of a bad headmaster telling us what to do and how to act—a behavioral control manager. It terrifies us with its promise of inflicting a label on the innocent mind, but at the same time, lures us for a peek inside.
Today we don’t have the possibility for a peek inside, but we remain, nevertheless, very curious. We do wonder what is taking place inside, who is held inside, and what it looks like. Mental health patients are your biggest celebrity story, hidden behind the bars of the psychiatric system, which doesn’t want to reveal its badly written script.
I was once inside and thus, am inviting you to have a look. I will take your hand, and encourage you to join me, on an exploration of the inside of the psychiatric institution.
Let’s open the door.
Once we manage it (and it isn’t easy as the doors are really locked), we proceed along a corridor. Psychiatric hospitals operate according to the principle of the panopticon, as Michel Foucault describes in his brilliant book, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. He tells us about the emergence of the modern prison system, operating according to the principle of surveillance. “He is seen, but he does not see; he is an object of information, never a subject in communication,” Foucault tells us, referring to the fact that in our current behavior surveillance system, we act like everyone else due to fear of being observed and punished if we do something wrong. The panopticon has a structure: you have a central vintage point through which you can see everything, scaring the subjects into compliance. The subject is always observed.
Modern psychiatry operates according to the same principle, and so do its facilities, such as mental health institutions. In each long corridor of its facilities you have a central point, where psychiatric nurses hold their watch. It is indeed a watch, and if you think that they provide care and show love, then you are wrong. Most of the time they write notes and if we glance inside the notes we will see the following: “Today M dressed more appropriately and was nice to the staff,” or “This morning G stopped his uncontrollable laughing and showed some insight into his behavior.”
Trust me, school is a piece of cake to pass in comparison to what is happening in the notes and observation techniques of the staff in psychiatric hospital, and none of them ever shows any insight or comprehension into their own idiocratic stance. They simply don’t know what they are doing and why, because of the system of the psychiatric establishment. Those who show any weird thought pattern or exhibit strange behavior should be put inside the mental health institution and be re-trained as to how to behave normally.
The nurses sit at their central point, visibly bored and annoyed. They don’t like the patients who come with constant demands, which are always the same and don’t change. “Can I go out, please?” “Can I have a bath?” “Can someone, please, take me on a walk?” “Can I call my friend R?” “When can I see the doctor?” “When will I be discharged?” These are the irritating demands of the patients, taking the attention of nurses away from their notes—and notes take most of their time and attention, because of someone out of their mind who invented psychiatry: it isn’t the patient that matters, but what is written about him/her in the notes. The notes are shown to the treating psychiatrist and stored on shelves, although no one will ever glance a second time into the books and volumes describing us, describing the behavior of those unfortunate enough to step outside the scales of normality.
But let’s move away from the central post and look at the room next to it. It is a room with a phone, where patients queue (when they are allowed) to make a call, and where the treating psychiatric consultant deals with the patients, if other rooms are occupied. It is a small, stinky room, with a closed window, where both the consultant and his patients feel suffocated and mal-at-ease. The doctor doesn’t want to be there, it is the patient who asks to see him again and again, with the same annoying demand as always: “When can I go home?” she asks.
You might think it is funny, but it isn’t funny at all for the patient on the wrong side of the equation. The power machine is firmly in the hands of the consultant psychiatrist and only he can decide on your fate. And it is indeed a fate: one day longer and the patient can be driven to such a despair that he will try to take his life. And if this happens, the cycle becomes much longer, because in that case, the patient is proclaimed as a risk to himself, and is kept behind the doors for much longer. Then it is just survival instinct that might save the patient and give her the strength to endure it all longer.
Let’s walk away from the room and have some fresh air—in the garden that is usually present (thank god) in the facilities. The garden is used for the patients to have a cigarette and to pray. It is here that most interesting conversations take place, away from the observational post of the nurses. It is here that they dare to quickly exchange their own thoughts, such as sharing the voices they hear and the visions they see. It is here that they also get advice from someone who is more advanced in their knowledge of the panopticon, such as, “Don’t say all this to the doctor.” One needs to comply, behave as normal as possible, and not reveal one’s mind to the psychiatrist. Following the rules also means being extra-nice to the nurses who are not nice back to you, wearing presentable clothes, and acting like you are at an office meeting, definitely not as if in the hospital, oh no. I feel much more relaxed in my working place than I ever was inside a psychiatric hospital.
The psychiatric hospital of today, to conclude my narrative, is a panopticon, a modern prison for the daring mind and for weird behavior. We had a small peek, but in reality, it is much more distressing for the one who is being observed. In some hospitals they have cameras in the rooms to supervise the “patient,” and in some establishments, there are people who stay there for years, injected with drugs against their will, losing all hope and desire for living.
It isn’t funny, it isn’t entertaining, and it is bad.
But all who are lucky enough not to end up there march past this monstrosity, oblivious to the torture of the mind happening behind those walls.
(This article was first published by me on Mad in America website and can be found here.)
According to the Chinese, everything in this universe evolves within yin and yang energy. Yin represents the feminine, water and passive. Yang is the male, fire and active. Both have to be in harmony, which exists to maintain balance in our universe and within each of us.
My body had to undergo a major shock at the age of twenty-seven to recognize that my yin and yang balance was severely distorted. True, at my birth I received the perfect fire and water combination. I was born in a female body in July in Moscow in the Chinese year of dragon. My zodiac sign is cancer and my year of birth is the dragon. The cancer is water and the dragon is fire. However, as one Russian politician once put it: ‘we tried our best, but you know the rest’. The hospital where I was born did not have any hot water on that lucky day, and my small body was washed with cold water. This first event in my life is reflected in the picture taken immediately after the cold water procedure. Everyone looks happy and cheerful, except me. The creature in the photo has a blue face and looks like it is going to die. Which almost happened, as according to my mum, I developed a terrible flu and was lucky to live. What’s lucky is a big question, since I am not that sure that my life has been particularly lucky.
In any case, after the cold water and the flu, the yang element took over, and I developed the strange idea that life is about survival. One has to put in enormous efforts in order to be alive, feel happy, and receive love.
By the age of twenty-seven I was convinced that I had everything one was supposed to achieve with this kind of thinking. I had a nice job by society’s standards, was exercising my body like mad in a very good gym and was dating all kinds of weirdoes, which as far as I could see, was the case of almost all of my friends. And I strongly believed that I had put in enormous efforts in order to have the life that I had.
Then, what was wrong with me, you might ask?
One sure thing was that I had terrible problems with my mind. It was unable to shut it up. Although I seriously doubt that my power animal was a little mouse, I have the impression that my mind was constantly busy with analysing and scrutinising. Once I tried a trick, I made an attempt to get rid of my thoughts. I was even able to watch them at some point, like dark heavy clouds around my head.
‘Ekaterina, you are not worthy!’
‘Ekaterina, you are stupid.’
‘Ekaterina, you are a failure.’
‘Ekaterina, you are a total failure.’
‘Ekaterina, you are bad.’
‘Please, god, take away my mind.’
‘There is no god!’
‘I need a cigarette.’
‘You are mad!’
‘Please, god, help me.’
‘According to Nietzsche, god is dead.’
‘Nietzsche was mad.’
‘So, are you.’
You see, I did have a problem.
Another black spot in my biography is my name. My name, Netchitailova, is the size of a skyscraper in New York city and caused me only trouble while subscribing to libraries or opening a bank account. Netchitailova is unpronounceable in other languages other than Russian and means unreadable. This in itself is quite a pity, since my biggest passion in life is reading. Though it is not as bad as some other names in the Russian language. Imagine if you have the name Netchactlivaya, which means unhappy, and try to convince strangers or your friends that you might be in a cheerful mood.
The third thing, which is for sure, is that officially I am indeed mad. A certificate from psychiatrists that I’ve been psychotic (and more than once) is definite proof of my madness.
What is psychosis, you might ask? The usual scientific definition explains this phenomenon as a state of mind which is characterised by a loss of contact with reality, accompanied by delusions and hallucinations (including hearing voices). Well, it probably does not say much to you as, according to this definition, the majority of the world population is in constant psychosis. Someone is suffering from a delusion of being on a mission from god to liberate the world from terrorists, another believes in extra-terrestrials and I know a woman who makes millions of dollars by claiming that she can communicate with dead people.
A real psychosis is when your madness is confirmed by a certified psychiatrist.
I have, for instance, a friend who believed all his life that in his previous incarnation he was Napoleon. Nothing is wrong with this belief (which might be true as a matter of fact), but be careful to whom you reveal your deepest secret. My friend started to talk about his Napoleonic ambitions at his work. Well, he ended up in the hospital.
As for me, I freaked out on a rather ordinary day in November while sitting behind my desk at my job in Amsterdam. It was pouring with rain – but that’s a usual thing in that city. Starting from October till April in general, almost everyone in the Netherlands is battling with the feelings of depression due to strong wind, constant rain, and grey sky.
I wasn’t battling with depression though, but rather with euphoria. I had this feeling that something magical was awaiting me in the near future. That the life I knew now would be transformed into something much more interesting and fulfilling. I suppose that practically everyone reaches this point in life nowadays, at least in Western society. The point when life appears to be worthless and one starts asking oneself serious questions about fate, the purpose of life, and one’s own role in society. I wouldn’t assume that so many people reach this moment in life, if the amount of self-help books in the stores didn’t testify otherwise. Nowadays it’s the biggest selling market in the book world.
I reached this point rather early in life, at the age of twenty-seven. Maybe because I was Russian – and Russians are well known for exporting crazy and suicidal elements to the rest of the world, or maybe because I worked in finances. Bankers are the first to react despairingly in crises – as the amount of suicides demonstrates at each and every financial crisis.
I wasn’t a banker, but I was a financial analyst of banks. In between lunches at banks, where I could at least indulge in my love of food (when I was allowing myself the pleasure of eating), I was battling with overwhelming boredom. Analysing figures and reading annual reports of banks for five days a week for two years straight can drive anyone mad.
But since quite a lot of financial analysts of banks don’t go crazy, I guess that in my case there was something else besides simple boredom. Now, looking back with some perspective, I suppose that it wasn’t just the job – it was the whole routine of organizing your life when you have to sit the whole day in an office.
Just think, for a second, about what exactly I mean. If you happen to work in an office as well – you might quite easily visualize the picture.
Your day starts with the terrible beep of an alarm. Not only are they really unpleasant, they also intervene, in a nasty way, into the natural functioning of your body. You would love to continue seeing that last dream (something like enjoying a holiday in the Bahamas) for five minutes more, but eventually you end up dragging yourself out of your warm and cosy bed to attend to your responsibilities.
Then you grab, from the fridge, whatever is available for your breakfast (assuming you are well organized and do have something in your fridge), take a quick shower and run towards the underground station as you realise that you might be late. As usual.
In the underground station (or… on a bus), once having managed to battle through a crowd to get onto the train, you have to endure standing close to irritated and sleep-deprived fellow passengers, who are more than happy to invade your personal space as you do theirs. And in case you go by car to work, I bet you spend some quality time in a traffic jam.
By the time you rush into the office, it’s rare that you are in a cheerful mood.
And it’s just the beginning of your day. You still have to face eight long hours (at least) in the office.
From these eight hours, as a general rule, you need to pretend that you are working for a minimum four hours (to keep up appearances and stay in good graces with your boss). You dohave to act as if you are doing something useful, in between coffee breaks, chatting with colleagues, checking private mails or your Facebook account (if it’s not yet banned at your workplace).
You survive till lunch (the best part of the working day by all standards), but then the worst part of the day lasts for eternity. Our bodies are programmed in such a way that the most natural thing to do after your lunch is to have a good nap.
But no, in your case you have to drag yourself back behind your desk and struggle with a terrible desire to sleep for the best part of the afternoon. You try to focus on your job (with difficulty), while at the same time constantly checking the clock to see how much time is left till you are free to go home.
Still… at this point, you try to think of doing something positive about your life once out of the office. Instead of watching the next episode of Eastenders or sabotaging your brain with something like Big Brother, you envision yourself doing something more productive and useful, like joining a course in creative writing, starting to study a language or simply reading an intellectual book.
Unfortunately, this positive thinking usually stays in the realm of a fantasy vision, since as soon as you are out of the office, you can’t wait to end up on your cosy sofa watching endless TV until it’s time for bed.
And the next day it starts all over again, and the day after, and the day after, until it’s weekend – the only time we seem to really enjoy ourselves nowadays.
On that particular November morning, when I was trying to do some estimates for banks, I got, for the first time, a glimpse that life could be something else entirely.
Doctors blame it on the chemical imbalance in the brain, David Icke says that we are invaded by reptiles, and some call it enlightenment.
Whatever the name of the phenomenon, on that day I took my first ride into a magical world, which is hidden from us behind job responsibilities, money worries and the burden of everyday routine tasks.
Who knew that this adventure would land me right in the nearest psychiatric hospital?
I was Jesus once, when I was in a psychiatric hospital. I knew that psychosis was coming and called emergency services because there was no one else to call. Mental health services are struggling, there is no coordinated effort, there is no place to go, if you need a safe place.
So, the hospital it was. But in order to reach the hospital, I had to spend twenty-four hours in the emergency department. By the time the psychiatric services came to assess me, I was in full-blown revelation phase. I was in the middle of human misery. I was Jesus.
I didn’t have to do anything apart from saying that I was Jesus to the psychiatrist, I was immediately put under a section of Mental Health Act, deriving me effectively of my freedom. It was astonishing because I was the one asking for help. Instead of help, I was sent to ‘prison’.
Arguing with psychiatrists that I was Jesus once in the hospital wasn’t that good, they tried to change medication three times, by adjusting the dose of each new medication. It lasted two months. It stopped only when I finally realised that saying that I am Jesus to a psychiatrist was a suicide on my part. I shut up. I still thought I was Jesus.
But what is exactly happening when someone says that he or she is Jesus? I am the first patient with such existential dilemma, because I am Jesus. Someone believes he is a Messiah, another believes she is Buddha.
All these experiences are nothing else than a search for spiritual truth, it is a spiritual awakening, which is always accompanied by some sort of distress when one actually sees God or other manifestations of other reality. When someone says that she or he is Jesus, one has to sit down with this person and explain that he or she is going through a stage of discovering faith, that it is a natural process of coming in contact with the knowledge that God is there, that there is something out there, and that Jesus is in everyone. Thus, saying that ‘I am Jesus’, shouldn’t lead to labeling it as ‘delusion’ but to delegating it to spiritual and religious domain.
But the psychiatry actively negates any existence of God, because it labels psychosis as severe mental illness. Psychosis is an experience of meeting directly with the other reality, but the psychiatry doesn’t believe in the other reality. It diagnoses it, and denies that spiritual awakening is possible. All those who hear voices or ‘see’ things are reassured that these are hallucinations. But voices and seeing things are real for the patient. These are manifestations of deep religious truth. The patient is much more advanced than the psychiatrist on a spiritual level, but the psychiatrist has the power, and uses it to smash ‘out-of-there’ experiences. He also stops the individual spiritual journey of the person concerned, unless this individual is strong enough not to believe the psychiatrist and the whole power of the institution of the psychiatry behind. It becomes a fight for survival from that moment on.
There is a reason as to why I go back to the 1990s in Russia so often on my blog, because it was exactly at that time that devil made his appearance in my country. The Christianity was proclaimed as official religion, and he, quite, obviously, couldn’t miss the opportunity to battle for a few remaining souls.
I could watch what was happening in my country from a vintage point of a teenager, which helped me somehow, because it is much more difficult to survive the battle between good and evil when you are an adult. The mundane daily responsibilities don’t allow space for any deep philosophical inclinations, and then, of course, it is hard to believe in anything, yet, allow oneself any ‘magical’ thinking, because one is always at risk to end up on the radar of the psychiatrists. The psychiatrists rule the world based in normality, and no one dares anymore to proclaim loud and clear: yes, there is the devil, and yes, there is God, and Jesus was real.
Back in the 1990s in Russia I met the character, the devil, on numerous occasions. He was lurking around, and once when I was with one of my best friends, he announced himself around us, right when we were admiring the visitors to a local church. My friend Anya and I were skipping a class in algebra, and were sitting on the bench on the hill, above a Russian Orthodox Church where some people started to go because Christianity had seen its return, and people didn’t have to hide anymore their faith in secret.
It was an interesting development for both me and Anya as we had grown up in a country without any religion. The Soviet Union’s doctrine was based on absence of any belief system, besides the building of a communal goal, with stuff like ‘Jesus’ or ‘God’ considered to be absolute madness, and where those who had dared to proclaim otherwise, were deemed to be mad, and had to undergo a psychiatric treatment. Interestingly enough while I live now in a so-called free society, the mantra that you can believe in anything you want as long as you remain silent, is truer than anywhere else. You are proclaimed as insane immediately if you start talking about God and the devil, and especially if you hint at the fact that you see their manifestations in a daily reality.
So, Anya and I were watching the church with deep curiosity, it was indeed totally beyond any logical thinking. How come, we both wondered, that a country of absolute atheists suddenly turned into zealous church devotees?
“Look, even young people go now there,” I made a remark to Anya, and she nodded to me an agreement, noticing as me, a couple of what looked like students entering the door of the church.
“And I still remember how the doors to the same church were totally closed in the seventies,” we both jumped from fright as we hadn’t noticed the man, sitting now next to us on the bench, approaching us, let alone, materializing himself, suddenly on the bench. But here he was, wearing an interesting red hat, and staring longingly into the distance at the church, furtively giving me a wink in the process, locking his eyes with mine for a brief moment.
A though immediately entered my mind that he was the devil, and I allowed it to remain there, because I was still a teenager, and radical thoughts and visions are more tolerated when you are still at a precarious age. I haven’t yet reached the years when you learn that weird thoughts are not allowed, and that the psychiatry as an institution has the reins and power to silence all ‘different’ individuals once and for good. All those that have seen the devil, met him and know that he is real, are sitting behind the psychiatric bars. Since I am not there, I decided that I have the liberty to say whatever I want, and therefore, I am taking this opportunity to reassure you that everything ever written in the Bible is totally real, not that I had read all of it, due to the difficulty of the scripture. But I live the stories written in it in real life, and manifestations of it and the truth, reach me on a daily basis, usually in my dreams.
And so I allowed the thought to remain there and it was scary but at the same fascinating. Oh wow, I thought, it isn’t all fables and just stories then, is it? Here he is, the devil, and once I permitted the thought to stay there, it took that definite proportions when you realize that perhaps, magic is all real, and I was blessed (or cursed) to see and witness the manifestations of it in my daily reality. It was also interesting to observe that Anya jumped from fear and started to run away, while I remained sitting on the bench for another good couple of minutes, to (and I realize it only now) come to terms to my ‘raison d’etre’ from now on. Yes, I would be chased by the presence of the devil my entire life, and it’s only with experience that I learned that the only way to fight him is via Christianity and belief in Jesus.
Amazingly enough we didn’t talk with Anya about that particular manifestation of the character. I think that like me, she realized the significance of the presence of the man in the red hat, but it was too scary to admit the reality as it is: yes, the devil is real, and he is chasing the earth for a few remaining souls.
It was also the same year that I went to receive baptism and became a Russian Orthodox, embracing a difficult and run with obstacles life. Because the life of a true Christian, the life of a Holy Fool, is one of a martyr, and I ended up fighting with the devil my entire life.
Having met the character many times since that first encounter, I will tell you more about him from now on. He is a great manipulator, and uses clever tactics to lure one into his kingdom. He can also take different forms, and only once I saw the real him, as depicted in Christian scary stories, when I was lucid-dreaming in my sleep.
But this is a tale I will share with you next time.
It was at the end of the fifteen century that Hieronymus Bosch painted his amazing painting, called the ‘Ship of Fools’. I wrote about it here, but want to come back to this piece of art once again.
(Ship of Fools by Hieronymus Bosch)
The painting as such was based on what was happening to the people proclaimed as ‘mad’ at that time. ‘Madness’ as such incorporated the same elements as today, such as calling all people exhibiting weird behavior or showing weird thought pattern, as ‘not normal’. These people were put on the ship and sent in the middle of nowhere, but still attracting large crowds of people in order to see them off or when they would embark in another town on their journey. The human curious mind always liked the spectacle because it simply shows us the possibilities of a quest of the human soul: some people simply go beyond the gates of ‘normality’.
Later the ships were replaced by asylums where those, deemed, as ‘insane’ have been kept away from the general public, and not because they pose any danger (it is a grotesque lie) but because our society, using psychiatry as its biggest weapon, doesn’t want to be confronted bluntly with possible ways and thoughts which can deny us of our mediocre thinking, such as dwelling about the next ski holiday, which car to buy, and how to stock on toilet paper because of a very bad flue. All those who start thinking that there is more to life, and question things, usually acquire one form of ‘madness’ or another. But the psychiatry doesn’t want these people, because more people think – more there is a possibility of a revolution for our society which has lost totally its values, with so much poverty, hunger and unhealthy competition where it is no longer a life for the common good (including for the sake of our humanity) but an individual fight in the big manipulation machine where it becomes a battle about who earns more money and drives a better car.
It was several centuries ago that Bosh painted his oeuvre but it is more than still relevant today. On this painting we can see several nuns and a priest instead of the crowd of fools, as the title hints to us when we first see the depiction. There is one single fool, at the end of the painting, in the background, just to reassure us that it is indeed the ship of fools that Bosh is talking about. But by putting the self-proclaimed ‘sane’ members of the society at the front Bosh asks and answers a prominent question at once: but who is really mad here, an innocent ‘fool’ or those, who, behind tales of morality, hide their own sins?
The painting is speaking to me today because it is precisely how I see the society. I don’t witness any high moral values and any strive for the goodness of all. I see rather greed, fake love behind Tinder apps and the like, chase for better gadgets, and thoughts in the head of people that make me wonder as who is insane. I can see the thoughts in the minds of people around, it is written on their faces: how to manipulate someone, how to outsmart someone, how to be more competitive in the already overdriven by competition earth. Rare are those who still look for true friendship, true love, and don’t always think about money. Money is a tool which can make one’s life more comfortable but its place in today’s society got at a higher platform than the one for God.
Those who ask and wonder usually get a mental health diagnosis or get depressed. The depression of today is a normal reaction of our minds to reach for something higher in a place where there is no longer anything higher, hidden behind the fake normality which hides in its turn just greediness and strife in our over-competitive world. It is a normal reaction of our higher selves that revolt in the fakeness of love, fakeness of friendships and betrayal of God, where one can believe in something, but God forbid, when one actually sees the manifestations of God him/herself. All exhibitions of aspiring for something higher than what is dictated by those in power, telling us what and how to do from their vintage points of offshore accounts, are suppressed immediately by the scare of the psychiatric tale. The psychiatry is a weapon to make us all the same, which puts all those who aspire to be different, behind closed doors of the asylums of modern times. Nothing nice is happening there, and no one gets healed, because there is nothing to heal. All the ‘success’ stories you hear are provided by those who feel relief that they are back in our fake normality and can function like everyone else in our robotic society. The psychiatric drugs simply mask the problems of our sick competitive material sphere, and eventually all those on psychiatric drugs, realize that they are not healed and never were, because there is nothing to treat or heal in the first place. Depression is a sane reaction when one wakes up in our sick society, and so are all other ‘psychiatric’ symptoms.
But we are not allowed to voice all this aloud, and only pieces of art such as ‘The Ship of Fools’ remind us of the sad truth that few dare to voice out. It is not those who see the truth that are sick, but those who punish others when they see and hear what is real, hidden behind the narrative of normality, presented to us as ‘caring’ for our mental health.
Let’s turn away from the painting of Hieronymus Bosch and face its portrayal in reality, all around us.
Dealing with bad voices in your head is an emergency you have to address in a drastic way. They are real and they are bad. I don’t hear bad voices in my head, bad voices for me come from the society: they come from bad news on the TV, from adults shouting at children, from cries for help on the streets, from bad humans who try to condition, to dictate, to empower you, and to stigmatize. I do hear a voice, and it is my own voice, it is a voice I learned by talking with God. I laugh with him, he helps me through ‘laughing’, while navigating the society of misery, envy and despair. It is a voice which tells me to look at the menu for food, and then study it carefully when you are at a hospital, detained against your will under Mental Health Act, while you come there on your own to ask for help. It is a voice which tells me to laugh at the psychiatrist who tell me ‘you are ill’. It is a voice which helped me to emerge from the damage of psychiatry by inventing an imaginary friend, a voice of my best friend in life. You do need such a friend when you deal with the psychiatry
If you hear bad voices in your head, and they tell you something bad, such as ‘kill yourself’, ‘you are bad’, ‘you are not worthy’, etc, you need to outpower them. You can outpower them via music. Put headphones on your head, and go into the music, listen to it. You need to have very good music, just something won’t do. Taylor Swift, and especially her album ‘Reputation’ will help you, as well as some Rachmaninoff. Their energy comes directly from God, or if you don’t believe in God, they come from a space of healing, from people who overcame struggle, stigma, and something bad in their lives. BritneySpears (Blackout) is also very effective. The voice of Ellie Goulding is soothing.
You need to have lots of warm water when you deal with bad voices. Baths, warm shower over your head. Once they stop (the voices), you need to go out, into the garden, into the nature, and tune into birds. They are voices that will relieve you from the negativity you are dealing with.
Hearing bad voices doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you. The voices you hear are real, and it does come from the same evilness that the psychiatry emerged from. You are sensitive to it. And they do target you, because they want to get you under their trap.
It all started under the second world war, during Holocaust, when they were doing experiments on humans who came into their concentration camps. It began in Germany, but German people weren’t at fault, Germany became an experiment for the evil mind. They did experiment on people, and they did learn lots of things. They learned that souls are real, they learned that human mind can never be understood, and that kindness and compassion comes directly from the heart, it comes from God. They also learned that they can condition people via messages, and they do transfer messages. It is a witchcraft that you can never understand unless you are evil, and you are dealing with evil. You do need very powerful ‘magic’ to survive what you are dealing with (if you are under the psychiatry curse). And you do need to believe in humanity while you are trying to survive. The psychiatrists who come into the system now, often don’t understand themselves what they are entering and what they are doing, some of them genuinely want to help (they don’t know how), and you do need their cooperation to outsmart the evil, and win over it, once and for good. There are still people who are good, they are just deeply conditioned, and they are conditioned by evil. Madness is not what they tell you. It isn’t you. Madness is wars, killing of people, terrorism, wars between religions, bullying, bad things happening to good people, starving children, September Eleven, hunger, homelessness, people locked up in psychiatric hospitals for life without any hope left, extermination of Native Americans, racism, discrimination of sexualities, and psychiatry as an industry targeting children and vulnerable people.
But I will come back to it in due term, for now, I will tell you a story.
I learned about the ‘experiment’ with voices from P. C. (a real person in real life) was a famous psychologist from the UK. She committed a suicide.
I met P. in Amsterdam.
P. was in deep sadness when I met her. She presented herself as Pandora to me, and it was through probing her that I learned who she was. She was undergoing electroshock ‘treatment’ and she ended up in a psychiatric hospital after an attempt at suicide. She was very outspoken about the fact that she would still end her life and was in the hospital against her will. She had lost a son in her life. He had died in a car accident.
You can’t overcome grief after you lose your child, you can live only if you start believing that your child is in heaven and that you will meet again. There is no other way, it is otherwise, irreconcilable as an idea.
I don’t know what happened exactly to P., and I wasn’t at her funeral. In my mind I try to believe that she is alive somewhere, that she is still here. She was kind, she was extremely eccentric, she was smart, she was intelligent, she was wearing a perfume and heels in the hospital when I would visit her.
I read a text on her laptop when she was smoking a cigarette. She didn’t know I was reading it.
Her text (and it is a summary) said the following:
“During ten years of my life I worked in a facility in England. In that facility they were experimenting with human emotions and how to target them. They were actively developing a system of how to separate children from their real parents, and how to incorporate their growing thoughts. For instance, when you say to your child ‘you aren’t worthy’, the child will grow up believing in it. Or if you learn how to transfer a message ‘you aren’t loved’, it will grow a seed of non-love in one’s mind. The idea was to target first parents, separate them from their children, and exterminate love and hope all together.”
I stopped reading the text somewhere in the middle and threw away her laptop. P. was very angry with me for days after, because I had ruined her computer. I had to throw up after reading the text, and for years after I tried to reassure myself that it was just a fiction and that it wasn’t real. After all, it happened in a psychiatric hospital.
You have to believe your own eyes in what you see when you deal with evil. Yes, bad things are real and they do happen. P. was a victim like many others, trapped in a psychiatric journey.
But coming back to voices, they are real. Bad voices come from conditioning, from hysterical parents who tell you that you are bad, from trauma in your childhood, from a bad teacher who shouts at you, from a ‘doctor’ who yells at you that you are sick when you are not, from poverty, and from bad people.
I don’t know whether that facility that P. described is real. I was never there and I don’t want to have a look.
But having lived my own story till now, yes, I do think that it’s real.
You do need to shut bad voices down. You need to exercise again and again with music, with birds, and from asking someone to tell you the opposite of what you hear in your head. Ask them to tell you: ‘You are loved,’ ‘you are worthy‘, ‘you are beautiful’.