A Bit More About Those Very Muddy Waters

My recent posts ‘A Controversial Barrister’ and ‘My Response To An Invitation’ describe how the investigation of institutionalised child sexual abuse or sexual abuse/exploitation in the mental health services is being deliberately hampered by fallacious allegations that it is the complainants and witnesses themselves who are actually abusers, or by allegations that they have been abused by someone else (the fickle finger of suspicion usually points at their families) or by the muddying of the waters completely by ‘therapists’ who ‘identify’ highly improbably circumstances such as ‘Satanic abuse’ or whose very dubious brands of ‘therapy’ cause huge confusion in already distressed and confused people, for example some of those therapists who specialise in ‘recovered memory’ or complex and controversial diagnoses such as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Previous blog posts have described how I witnessed such confusion in the north Wales mental health services, but since writing those posts a few other worrying memories have cropped up involving patients whom I knew well.

I have a friend who asked for a referral to a specialist back in the early 90s for psychosexual problems. This man has been treated dreadfully by the mental health services; they had him arrested when he telephoned a nurse and told her that he was so suicidal that he felt like chopping a gas pipe – he ended up in prison on remand although he was never actually taken to Court for anything – fallacious allegations were made about him constantly and eventually he was refused all care and treatment even during periods when he was suicidally depressed. It was almost as if the Hergest Unit were standing back and waiting for the inevitable… Like me, this man finally obtained a full copy of his medical records via his lawyers – he was generous enough to let me read them and I was interested to see that the sort of phrases that appeared on my medical records had also appeared on his and indeed had been written by the very same people. However this man had an experience with one mental health professional whom I never came across, but who I think might have been used to contribute to the muddying of the waters when all those difficult allegations of a paedophile ring operating in childrens homes in north Wales began to crop up along with allegations of sexual exploitation and criminal conduct on the part of mental health staff in the region.

When my friend first asked for a referral for psychosexual problems, he did it through his GP. He was told that the ‘process’ was to go through the Community Mental Health Team, which was the highly abusive Arfon Team (please see previous posts for further details of their activities). He did not consider himself to have mental health problems, he was asking for advice on specific psychosexual problems. He was told that he could see a ‘sex therapist’, but that he would have to agree to be an inpatient on Seiriol Ward in Ysbyty Gwynedd (this was just before the Hergest Unit had been built). He never understood this – recently Brown has suggested that it was highly likely to have been related to the contract that the sex therapist held with the then Gwynedd Health Authority, ie. she may have only been contracted to provide a service to inpatients and thus to ensure that she was paid he had to be an inpatient. So my friend agreed to go into Seiriol Ward to access ‘help’ from this sex therapist, one Caroline Bertalot. Whilst he was an inpatient, he felt that he was shunned and excluded by nursing staff – he told me that he was made to feel ‘like a pervert’, with staff telling him that they wouldn’t ‘talk to him’ because he had sexual problems and they ‘weren’t trained’ to deal with that. But something worse than that happened. He never got to see Caroline Bertalot, although he was in the hospital for a matter of weeks. No-one told him that she wasn’t coming. When he finally enquired as to what was happening, he was told that she’d left her job. So he was allowed to sit in a psychiatric ward for a few weeks, supposedly waiting to see a therapist whom everyone knew had left her job. He later received information that there was discord between Caroline Bertalot and the mental health services – knowing how the system works, I suspect that he may have been caught in the crossfire. Unsurprisingly, he made a complaint. And it was at that point that the construction of this man as a ‘personality disordered’ potentially violent patient began. Among his medical records there was a copy of the most extraordinary letter written by the psychiatrist from Ysbyty Gywnedd whom I call Dr X on this blog (the psychiatrist who was doing some truly dreadful things behind the scenes to patients who complained) – this letter was literally a rant, with Dr X displaying an incredible amount of personal animosity to the patient, maintaining that the service ‘does not and will not’ provide psychosexual therapy. So what was going on? This patient’s distress deepened, partly as a response to his huge frustration at the conduct of the mental services towards him – which as the years passed became increasingly callous and bizarre and had to be witnessed to be believed. The mental health services then agreed to provide psychosexual counselling for his wife – but not him! So that merry go around continued for a while, but simply involved further neglect and abuse. He and his wife then wondered if they would meet rather saner people in the private sector and they made enquiries about sex therapists who operated outside of the NHS. They were told that ‘one of the best’ was a Patricia Gillan. Gillan will be very elderly now – if she is still alive – but at one time she was quite a big name and her allegedly classic text is still advertised online. She had a clinic in London – I think it was a Harley Street one – and also had connections in north Wales. My friend and his wife went to see her on a number of occasions and soon concluded that she was frankly mad and was fleecing them. She charged a very high hourly fee – and my friend, who is a businessman himself, was interested to discover that she demanded cash in hand and no receipts or paperwork were ever involved, so he presumed that she was busying herself with tax evasion. He remembered her ‘therapy’ as being frankly bizarre – it seemed to involve ‘spells’ and ‘magical thinking’, the sort of thing that one might encounter if one consulted one of the whackier alternative therapists at Glastonbury. He and his wife were completely perplexed – this woman was supposedly one of the UKs leading sex therapists. When my friend first told me about this, I presumed that Patricia Gillan must just have been yet another quack who was an example of the King’s New Clothes a la Professor Mark Williams, but now that I have documentary evidence of the UK-wide network that the north Wales mental health services were linked into and their penchant for colluding with just about anyone to shaft patients who had made complaint, I am wondering if something more sinister was happening. It was interesting to read in the Jillings Report – which was written in 1996 but not made public until many years later – that there was no therapy available in north Wales for males with psychosexual difficulties, only for women. The north Wales paedophile ring primarily targeted adolescent boys – and there was collusion with the mental health services…. My friend found it impossible to access psychosexual counselling in north Wales for many years – until he was finally referred to a nurse who repeatedly told him that he must have been sexually abused as a child (he did not grow up in north Wales), although he maintained that this was absolutely not the case. He never ever managed to obtain an adequate ‘service’ anywhere in the UK and is currently in a clinic overseas…

Regarding the process by which this man was imprisoned. As I mentioned, he rang the mental health services and said that he was so suicidal that he felt like chopping a gas pipe. He was arrested, charged and remanded in Walton Prison in Liverpool – where he was ‘assessed’ by Dr Dafydd Alun Jones! Jones diagnosed PTSD – although hours previously a prison psychiatrist had diagnosed bipolar disorder after one 20 minute interview although no medication was prescribed – and Jones recommended that my friend receive treatment for his PTSD at Jones’s ‘private nursing home’, Ty Gwyn. He was released from prison on condition that he stayed at Ty Gwyn. Although Ty Gwyn’s fees were very substantial indeed, my friend described this ‘nursing home’ as a ‘mediocre boarding house’ in which he had to share a room. They were unable to provide vegetarian options and told my friend that he’d have to go into Llandudno and buy takeaways. My friend didn’t actually see Dafydd until my friend announced that he wasn’t going to be ripped off any longer and stated his intention to discharge himself. Dafydd turned up within half an hour and told my friend that he needed ‘at least another three weeks’ of ‘treatment’. My friend told him to stick it and left. Now my friend heard no more from police or courts or prisons – although his release was conditional upon him staying at Ty Gwyn. Many years later he tried to obtain copies of the relevant documentation relating to all this from Walton Prison but was told that it wasn’t available. What’s the betting that something so dodgy had gone on that they didn’t dare release those records – or indeed rearrest him after he walked out of Ty Gwyn? My friend also discovered something else about these events when his lawyer finally obtained his medical records – it had been one Dr David Healy who insisted that he was arrested. That’s the same Dr David Healy who had told other Hergest staff that I had to be arrested if I turned up at the Hergest Unit rather than be offered treatment. Neither of us ever had Healy as a consultant. It was only relatively recently however that my friend mentioned something else that I think was salient.

Although he lived near Caernarfon, when he was arrested he was taken all the way to Pwhelli Magistrates Court who then sent him to prison. Bangor, Caernarfon and even Llangefni Courts were much nearer. He never understood why he was taken to Pwhelli. But then when I was framed for ‘threatening to kill’ Alun Davies (the manager of the Hergest Unit) I too was taken all the way to Pwhelli Magistrates Court, when I lived near Caernarfon! I also remember that the duty solicitor who attended, a man from a Pwhelli practice, was like a cat on hot bricks which was odd – the duty solicitors are usually quite laid back. After the case against me had collapsed and it was evident that the ‘witnesses’ (all staff from the Hergest Unit) had lied to the police, I investigated the possibility of suing the Hergest Unit and I got as far as a barristers opinion. But guess what – the barrister involved, a Wyn Williams, was married to a psychiatric nurse employed at the Ablett Unit! Somehow that case never got off the ground. Wyn Williams is now Justice Wyn Williams. So what’s going on in Pwhelli?

Now for a few thoughts on another case that has always worried me. After the case against me of ‘threats to kill Alun Davies’ collapsed, I was instead convicted of behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress (please see blog posts ‘Interesting Happenings In The Legal system’, ‘Behind the Scenes Regarding Those Legal Happenings’ and ‘Even More Confusion Regarding Those Legal Conundrums’ for full details of the unfathomable events). The disgusting Judge Huw Daniel presided over the case and as he always did mouthed off in Court and I subsequently appeared in the local papers, along with details about me including my address. Within a few days I received a letter. It was from another Hergest patient whom had also been accused of ‘threatening to kill’ a member of staff and had been arrested. She asked me if I thought that Hergest were framing patients who had complained – I knew that they were, so I wrote back to this lady and we met several times. She had become involved with the Hergest Unit because she believed that she suffered from DID and had asked for a referral to a mental health specialist. The Hergest maintained that she did not have DID, she had what nearly all their patients had, an ‘untreatable borderline personality disorder’. She and her husband challenged this and she was subsequently accused of threatening to kill a clinical psychologist. Not only had she done no such thing but she also discovered that the man involved was not a clinical psychologist, he was a nurse who had done a PhD in the School of Psychology at Bangor University and he should not have been stating that he was a clin psych or carrying out assessments that only clin psychs are permitted to do. This lady had also been told by the dreadful Alun Davies ‘just because you’re mad doesn’t mean that you have to be bad’ and also demonstrated that a psychiatrist involved, a Dr Oberholzer, had not conducted himself as he should have. She made a formal complaint about the whole lot of them via the ‘independent’ NHS complaints process. Very unusually her complaint was upheld. The assessors agreed that she had DID not a borderline personality disorder and some very damning words were directed at Alun Davies. I also seem to remember that Oberholzer was criticised and referred to the GMC.

This lady was then offered ‘therapy’ for DID at the Hergest Unit, to be delivered by Dr X’s wife, who also worked as a psychiatrist there. The lady with DID didn’t want to go near the Hergest Unit again and she threatened to sue the North West Wales NHS Trust. The Trust then offered to fund therapy at a clinic of her choice – she requested to be treated by the Chester Therapy Centre, because there was a clinical psychologist there who claimed to specialise in DID. I was shown her CV – she was no more appropriate than Dr X’s wife would have been. She was fairly newly qualified, had not yet completed a PhD and certainly did not have the experience needed for a minefield like DID. But, as far as I can remember, she actually owned the Chester Therapy Centre, it seemed to be her own business. She recommended that the lady with DID should have ‘at least nine years of therapy’ – and the North West Wales NHS Trust agreed to fund this. The lady and her husband were delighted and felt victorious. This lady then told me a few weeks later that she had been offered a job as a ‘service user consultant’ – please read my posts about service user involvement for the ugly reality behind service user consultants. So by then, this lady and her husband thought that they had really got somewhere.

At the time that all this was happening, the north Wales mental health services had been subjected to an inspection. This lady, her husband, I and two members of Hergest staff had all made appointments to see the inspectors and had told them just how wrong things were at the Hergest Unit. But when the report arrived, it was incredible – the Hergest Unit was praised to the rafters, although two staff had blown the whistle on serious abuse of patients. Furthermore, the report had praised the ‘excellent relationship’ between the Arfon Team and the Hergest – although they hated each other so much that many of the staff were not on speaking terms and one psychiatrist at the Hergest Unit refused to work with the Arfon Team. My correspondent and her husband remarked that reading the inspection report was like reading about a completely different hospital. Brown quipped that Alun Davies had probably taken the inspectors out to dinner the night before the inspection. After this baffling report was produced I met up with this couple one more time – they were in the process of selling their house in south Gwynedd to move near Chester for the nine years of ‘therapy’. I had misgivings about a lot of things – about the whole concept of DID for a start, about a patently underqualified and inexperienced ‘therapist’ offering therapy for such a condition, about NINE YEARS of therapy and about selling what was a lovely house to go and live near a therapy centre in an area of exorbitant house prices, let alone about the job as a ‘service user consultant’. But I did think that this lady had a different view of the world than me, a different ideology and had achieved what she wanted – years of therapy three times a week and a role in service userdom. But more recently I’ve had a rethink, based on the dreadful things that I have discovered that the North West Wales NHS Trust and Hergest Unit did to anyone who complained. They destroyed them. If court cases collapsed against them, they mounted further cases. They stalked them, they leant on their employers to sack them, they told their neighbours that they were dangerous nutters – and documentation that I now have demonstrates that even if they appeared to be agreeing to ‘care for’ those patients, they were shafting them as much as possible without those patients knowing. And they would collude with anyone and everyone to do this, using a network of connections across the UK. Now the lady with DID and her husband had an awful lot of dirt on Alun Davies and the Hergest Unit and of course they had linked up with me. Davies knew this, because I now have a copy of a letter that he wrote to a third party asking how I ‘had found out’ about this lady’s case. There is no way that Davies, Keith Thomson, Martin Jones et al from the North West Wales NHS Trust will have forgotten about that lady and left her in peace – they will have gone after her. I have spent the last few months trying to trace her. She and her husband have disappeared into the Bermuda triangle that swallows up so many people who complain about the mental health services in north Wales. And the Chester Therapy Centre has changed hands and there is no trace of the lady who was going to provide the nine years of therapy. That was therapy that the North West Wales NHS Trust was funding. And if they were parting with that sort of money, they will have been in a very powerful position in relation to the person whom they were paying. So how did they stuff this particular patient over? Another arrest on trumped up charges perhaps? Therapy that caused immense damage? Or therapy that made her completely dependent that was then suddenly withdrawn pushing her into crisis? Perhaps Martin Jones would like to tell us… I do know for certain that the other major player, the nurse who was pretending to be a clinical psychologist, was hung out to dry – although it was the North West Wales NHS Trust themselves who ordered him to misrepresent himself. After the lady who caught him out had been offered her package of ‘therapy’ at the Chester therapy Centre, this man was sacked for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a patient. He maintained that their relationship only began about a year after she had been discharged, when he met her again at a party. Nonetheless he was fired, struck off from the counsellors professional body and the last I heard he was working as a carpenter. I would imagine that working as a carpenter would be rather more fulfilling and productive than working at the Hergest Unit, but of course being a man who has been sacked and struck off for having sex with a patient, if ever he should be tempted to spill the beans on the dire practices that he will have undoubtedly witnessed at the North West Wales NHS Trust nobody will take his allegations seriously.

The mental health services in north Wales didn’t just do favours for the region’s Social Services that hosted a paedophile ring, they helped out organisations in other parts of Wales that had fouled up as well. There were quite a few people around Bethesda in the 80s and 90s who had been former members of a well-known commune who were known as the Orange People – they were followers of a guru called Baghwan, who eventually became very discredited on the grounds of the huge fortune that he’d built up out of the money that his far less affluent followers gave him. The guru’s base was in India, but there had been a branch of the community at Aber and a lot of the people who had lived there eventually moved to Bethesda. I got to know one of them very well, because he turned up at the Hergest Unit. I hadn’t known him before this, but a lot of his old mates from the house at Aber had known him for ages. He turned up at the Hergest Unit well-dosed up on anti-psychotics and it transpired that he was alleged to have ‘paranoid schizophrenia’ – and somehow it had got around Bethesda that he was ‘dangerous’ no less, ‘particularly to women’. To be fair, when one of the nurses at the Hergest Unit heard this, she was very angry and made it clear that this was a baseless rumour. This man was incredibly quiet and very very shy but once you made friends with him he was quite interesting – he’d done a PhD in biochemistry in a London medical school but had joined Bhagwan’s commune soon after. But he had a much better – and more recent – tale than this. The tale of how he ended up at Hergest. He was on probation when I first met him – for allegedly assaulting a police woman in south Wales. But his story was that he had been visiting his mum who lived in south Wales when a police woman approached him and grabbed him by the arm demanding to know who he was. He maintained that he had told her to ‘get off’ him and refused to answer her questions on the grounds that he was doing absolutely nothing suspicious. She then called for back-up and a number of male police officers arrived who violently attacked him, hitting him on the head with a truncheon and causing a serious head injury. He was then arrested for resisting arrest and assaulting the officers, was remanded in custody and eventually found guilty of assault. He was assessed as having schizophrenia, put on probation and transferred back to north Wales where he had lived for many years and referred to the Hergest Unit. Now this man maintained that the officers had all perjured themselves and that at no point did he ever assault anyone. Whatever happened to him at their hands had certainly had an effect on him – he hid if he saw the police and he couldn’t even bear to watch police dramas on TV. He maintained that the police were ‘a bunch of thugs’. A few months after I first met him, one of my friends became his girlfriend and spent a lot of time at his house. She also used to attend medical appointments with him, as by then she was classed as his ‘carer’. So she was party to an awful lot of information. She told me that she had seen the photos of him after his encounter with the police in south Wales and that his injuries were serious. These photos were on his medical files and his probation files. She also told me that she had been told by Dr X – his psychiatrist at the Hergest Unit – that he had indeed been assaulted and framed by the police. And she had also been told by his probation officer that he had been framed. So all these people seemed to know that serious wrongdoing on the part of the police had occurred – but no-one piped up. Then we noticed something else. That this man didn’t seem to be psychotic – he was deeply traumatised and very shy but his mum told his girlfriend that he had always been very shy and submissive. And he certainly wasn’t dangerous to women or to anyone else. But he was regularly hauled into the Hergest Unit if he ever dared to mention that he didn’t want to be injected with anti-psychotics any longer – because he was a paranoid schizophrenic who was refusing treatment. He was also being abused by the staff in the Hergest Unit when he was an inpatient on the dreadful Taliesin Ward – his girlfriend witnessed it. She also noticed that he had no bedding. So she went to confront the staff and was told that he did have bedding but he ‘had hidden it’. She pointed out that she had searched his – very small – room and he did not have any bedding. She was reminded that he was a paranoid schizophrenic who could not be believed. At this point she got very angry because she had seen quite enough patients mistreated and she simply pointed out that he had managed to acquire a PhD so he probably knew if he had any bedding. She then found that she had great difficulty visiting him because on so many occasions when she tried to he was ‘too distressed’ to receive visitors. As far as I know, this man who was beaten senseless by the south Wales police, framed for assault and then diagnosed as a dangerous paranoid schizophrenic with the full knowledge of the Hergest Unit and the north Wales probation service is still busy being a paranoid schizophrenic and will no doubt be receiving regular doses of potentially dangerous ‘medication’ that very much seems as if it was only ever prescribed in the first place to cover the tracks of some bent coppers. There is another person in Gwynedd who also almost certainly knows that this man is unlikely to be a schizophrenic, paranoid or otherwise. That is the woman who is married to a man who was also a member of the commune in the Aber house, who had known the ‘paranoid schizophrenic’ for about thirty years before he met the south Wales police and who lived just down the road from him in the village near Bethesda  – the woman who was the manager of the Bangor branch of MIND for years and who later trained as a psychiatric social worker who knows exactly how corrupt the mental health services in north Wales are but has never uttered a word, the star of a previous blog post, Alison Greenaway…Oh and after he returned to north Wales, the paranoid schizophrenic lived right next door to another social worker who at one point held a number of conversations with me in which she admitted that the social services in north Wales were utterly corrupt, that she hated her job and was desperate to ‘get out’. She did – her Linked In profile subsequently described her as a ‘social work trainer’, but she is now working as a ‘funeral celebrant’ of all things – so has run the astonishing career of Rosie Waite. No wonder the ‘schizophrenic’s’ ‘prognosis’ was so poor.

I also knew another ‘paranoid schizophrenic’ from the Hergest Unit, but unlike the man who was almost bludgeoned to death by the police, this young woman did seem to frequently be very distressed and disorientated. However, she too had some interesting experiences with the mental health services in Gwynedd, again with people known to me. No-one took a blind bit of notice ‘because she is ill’. But  one thing that I noticed was that this young woman absolutely loathed Jackie Brandt, a social worker from the dreadful Arfon Community Mental Health Team. This young woman maintained that Jackie Brandt had unlawfully detained her at Ysbyty Gwynedd for a week and had left her with nothing but nightclothes for the whole time and that she had been prevented from washing or showering. This young woman’s father had been sufficiently incensed by the way that his daughter had been treated that he had made a formal complaint. The young woman told me that Brandt had ‘told lie after lie after lie’. The young woman’s father’s complaint was not upheld. This happened to the young woman about a year after Jackie Brandt unlawfully detained me at Ysbyty Gwynedd – and told lie after lie after lie when I complained about her. Guess what – my complaint wasn’t upheld either. (Please see previous blog posts for the full details of my adventures with Jackie Brandt.) Obviously nothing to worry about at all where Brandt was concerned, although she didn’t seem to have much luck with patients. The young woman who complained about Brandt was also a patient of Dr X and constantly stated that she was frightened of him. This was also considered to be part of her illness. But one day when this young woman was an inpatient in Hergest, a real hullabaloo broke out. She had made another complaint. She had maintained that the night before, she had heard loud hammering on her door and when she answered it, Dr X was there and exposed himself to her. She was furious, made a formal complaint – and was denounced as completely psychotic. Which she might have been. But both my medical records and the medical records of the man who requested psychosexual counselling who featured earlier in this post demonstrate that Dr X was doing and saying some very strange things that none of would ever have believed if we had not read the documents written and signed by him ourselves. Before this alleged night-time encounter with Dr X, something happened to this young woman that all the patients did notice though. For some inexplicable reason Dr X referred her to a ‘hormone specialist’ in London. No-one worked out why, neither the young woman – or her family who were very protective of her – requested this referral or even mentioned a suspicion of ‘hormone problems’. But off she went to London. And she came back with the most extraordinary stories regarding these ‘consultations’ – it would seem that this young woman was yet another Hergest patient who had been referred to someone who was quite mad. I think that the Hergest Unit must have had a register of crazy abusive second opinions to unleash upon patients who dared complain. Anyway, the mad old lady in London stated that this young woman had ‘an extreme form of PMT’ and put her on a special diet. But whereas the word ‘diet’ is frequently used to describe an eating regime that people adopt to lose weight, this ‘diet’ was just the opposite. It seemed to have been designed to ensure that this young woman out on as much weight as possible – in order to ‘regulate her hormones’, the mad old lady in London ordered this young woman to eat a tin of Ambrosia creamed rice every two hours throughout the day, as well as normal meals. And the young woman did, she always had a few tins of Ambrosia in her bag, and every two hours would dutifully get a tin out and eat it. She out on about 4 stone in a couple of months. She was still very distressed and disorientated and was still loaded up to the eyeballs with anti-psychotics. As well as the Ambrosia creamed rice. Regarding the anti-psychotics – Dr X maintained that this young woman was so severely ill that he was prescribing a drug for her that a lot of doctors refuse to prescribe. It was one of the ‘atypical’ anti-psychotics that was known to be lethal in about 1 in 100 patients – there were warnings everywhere that this drug really was the choice of last resort. But this young woman got it, what with her beliefs that Jackie Brandt was a lying cow who broke the law and that Dr X had exposed himself to her. I note that this drug is also associated with rapid weight gain. No doubt particularly so when co-prescribed with huge quantities of Ambrosia creamed rice. I haven’t seen this young woman for a long time, but one of my friends saw her about five years ago and said that ‘she looked like an old lady’. I think that it’s a miracle that she’s still alive.

To finish this blog post, I will conjure up another ghost from the past, a case that worried me back in the early 90s when it first came to light, before the allegations of institutional child abuse in north Wales hit the headlines. As I previously mentioned, there used to be a lot of communes in north and mid-Wales – some were benign, just groups of hippies living together, but others had more sinister reputations. One commune at Tregarth near Bangor that was always alleged to be dodgy was known as The Teachers. They used to run an ‘educational centre’ in Bangor and often tried to lure students into participating in their activities. I was warned to keep away from them within weeks of arriving at Bangor – no-one could ever explain why one should have nothing to do with The Teachers, but people were certainly warned to steer clear of them. In the following years I heard two direct allegations that children were being mistreated in the commune – one of the people who told me was the daughter of a local midwife, another person was a solicitor. About ten years later, The Teachers hit the UK media. One of the children who had grown up there who was now in her late teens, Rebecca Teacher, appeared on the Kilroy show, making allegations of very serious child abuse within the community. She also maintained that she had told both the police at Bangor and the Social Services in Gwynedd what had been going on when she was younger but that no action had been taken. There was a huge public row between her and her father, Kevin Teacher – who was the founder of the commune and the father of an awful lot of the children there – and he maintained that she was nothing but a juvenile delinquent which was evidenced by her run-ins with the Bangor Police. It all received a lot of publicity but not for very long – there was talk of Rebecca suing for the years of abuse that she maintained that she had endured, but this simply elicited allegations that she was in hot pursuit of dosh. There did not seem to ever be an investigation into her claims that she told both Bangor Police and Gwynedd Social Services what had been happening but had been ignored and returned to the commune. I have tried to trace Rebecca Teacher over the past couple of years. She too has disappeared, as did the interest in her allegations very shortly after she made them. But somebody else of course did continue to make appearances on Kilroy and other TV shows and is very much still in evidence – Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, the one time partner of Lucille Hughes, the former Director of Gwynedd Social Services who was in 2000 named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the Social Services but failed to act!

 

My Response To An Invitation…

A follower of this blog recently drew my attention to the blog of Cathy Fox. Cathy blogs virtually exclusively about child sexual abuse, but because of the nature of her research, her blog has also touched on abuse in the mental health services and corruption in medical and legal circles. Cathy’s blog can be found here https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/

Cathy has asked me whether I would write something about child sexual abuse and institutional corruption on this blog, because she has noticed that although my primary concern is with abuse and failure in the mental health services, some of my research and writing has touched on child sexual abuse. I was aware of this overlap when I first started this blog, but I did not intend to really stray into the area of child sexual abuse per se, because it is an enormous field and the waters are very muddy – indeed it is fairly obvious that they have been muddied deliberately. However, I think that Cathy is right and the links between child sexual abuse and abuses in mental health care are much stronger than I initially thought. For a very long time I thought that the main problem was an institutionally corrupt mental health system which happened to be picking up a lot of people who had been sexually abused because people to whom this has happened tend to end up very distressed and are then pointed in the direction of the mental health services. Then I became aware of just how rampant sexual abuse is in the children’s ‘care’ services and it does rather look as though by the late 70s, huge swathes of the UK children’s services had been infiltrated by organised paedophile rings with links to criminals prepared to do some very unpleasant things to anyone who dared raise concerns about what was going on. I was always struck by how many people I met in the mental health system who grew up in ‘care’ – I previously just attributed this to the ‘care’ system being appalling and the very poor outcomes of people who had experienced it. However it seems that people like Cathy believe that people subjected to institutional sexual abuse as children are being actively diverted into the mental health system in order that they may be discredited or indeed destroyed. My observations over the past thirty years in north Wales suggest that is indeed true. There are those like me however who were not subjected to institutional child sexual abuse but who were also subjected to attempts from a corrupt mental health system to destroy us because we had witnessed abuse in psychiatry and wouldn’t shut up about it. It seems that once psychiatry has decided that someone needs silencing, the methods that it uses to achieve this are fairly universal and as this blog has previously detailed in great depth, there is a UK-wide network of corrupt professional people working in law and medicine, some of whom are occupying positions at the very pinnacle of those professions, who will collude to discredit and even imprison people whom they know are raising genuine concerns and have not committed the crimes of which they have been accused. Previous blog posts have named the people who did this in my own case and explained the ways in which they co-ordinated their activities. If they did this to me, they will have done this to other people.

The one thing that I notice looking at what happened to me in retrospect is how absolutely nobody felt able to challenge these people, although many people undoubtedly knew that things were not as they should be. There is a culture of what someone whom I was talking to a few weeks ago called ‘dangerous deference’ in the NHS and it is lethal. It means that if you are a member of staff and someone in a more senior position tells you to make a statement to the police about a patient that you know is not true, you still go ahead and do it. In my travels through the mental health system I encountered scores of people who were lying callous scumbags who had no problem perjuring themselves – but I also know of at least three people who I was told were forced to make statements to the police about me by their seniors who really did not want to. Such is the regime that they worked in that they didn’t dare refuse, although to be fair to them they seemed to have tried to have landed me in as little shit as they possibly could. I only know of one member of staff during that thirty years, the man whom I have called on this blog ‘the Hergest Unit whistleblower’, who consistently stood up to the regime, who never lied when he was told to and who constantly raised concerns when he witnessed abuse and neglect. And God did his colleagues hate him. But even the Hergest whistleblower, who was always frank in his opinion that something was very wrong with UK psychiatry and that care was really very poor, had no idea what people were trying to do to me to shut me up until I shared the documents that I recently acquired with him – indeed I didn’t know the depths to which these people were sinking myself. So I doubt that most people working on the ground in the system do realise how deep the rot goes – and the rot is now huge, encompassing the Third Sector, the private healthcare sector and healthcare research in universities, as detailed in previous blog posts.

One reason why I never picked up on the importance of child sexual abuse in what I was seeing in the way that perhaps I should have, was that there have been some false allegations made, and indeed some very lurid ones, that I really do have great difficulty believing. I was well aware of what happens to some children in institutional settings such as children’s homes, schools, Scout packs, hospitals and churches and I also believe that there have been some very high profile people in public life who have abused children. But I did find it very difficult to believe some of the allegations that arose out of the ‘Satanic panic’ in the 90s – I still find it difficult to believe the more lurid allegations that the likes of Ted Heath attended Satanic orgies. However I do think it highly likely that something very unpleasant has happened to the people making these allegations and I know that there are some very odd people around who do and say some strange things to silence or terrify people whom they have abused. It is at this point that we arrive at the muddying of the waters – deliberately.

One of the people who actually fired the starting gun for the Satanic panic of the late 80s/90s – in which it is now accepted that completely innocent people were accused of some very serious offences and children were wrongly taken into care and sometimes suffered very greatly as a result – was a ‘therapist’ based in north Wales no less. She was an evangelical Christian who was so certain in her belief that groups of Satanists were busy across the whole of the UK sacrificing people in orgies and gorging themselves on the blood of babies whom they had murdered, that she began holding seminars and lectures for other therapists, social workers and healthcare professionals in order to ‘train’ them in spotting the signs of Satanic abuse. This woman did not seem to have any evidence at all of such Satanic activities – there were no photos, no recordings, no witnesses brought forward, no bodies of the sacrificed produced – but she knew that it was happening and managed to convince a lot of other people that it was happening too. I have met plenty of therapists and health and social care professionals who do not critically interrogate what they are told in ‘training’ – if they are sent on a ‘training session’ with an ‘expert’, everything tends to get swallowed without question. They also are unable to think critically about ‘research’. I remember sitting in the Hergest Unit some years ago listening to three nurses discussing the results of some (notoriously dreadful) ‘research’, which had ‘shown’ that people who developed Alzheimers had displayed unpleasant personality traits when they were younger. These three nurses discussed in detail how ‘interesting’ it was that this had been ‘proven’ and how it made sense really because they’d felt that some of the Alzheimers patients that they’d ‘nursed’ ‘weren’t very nice’. You could have put that lot in front of an ‘expert’ who told them that ‘nursing science’ had ‘proved’ that the moon was made out of cheese and they’d have believed it. So it is entirely possible that people attending ‘training’ in Satanic abuse were convinced that this was indeed happening all over the place. Furthermore the ‘signs’ of Satanic abuse were a bit like the ‘symptoms’ of ‘borderline personality disorder’ – rather vague and flexible, encompassing many features of many people who are in some distress. In children, the ‘signs’ of Satanic abuse seemed to be simply that stage of behaviour that many children pass through – making up fantasies, being frightened of ghosts, an interest in ‘rude’ bits of the body. Well I can remember being frightened of ghosts, creating a rich fantasy life and finding bums and willies hilarious but I was categorically never abused by Satanists.

But think about this. The ‘expert’ in Satanic abuse was actually based in an area of the UK where we now know that a vicious paedophile ring was running rampant and had it’s tentacles in just about every corner of the health and welfare system. The same geographical region had a mental health service where the most terrible things were happening to patients. One thing that I have learnt about the mental health services and social services is that if you uncover their malpractice, they will make False Allegations against you. And those false allegations often involve allegations that you are ‘dangerous’ – especially ‘to children’. And if you are male, allegations of dubious sexual practices will be made, indeed allegations that you’re a paedophile (please see blog post ‘A Nasty, Ludicrous Poison Pen Letter’). Mud like that sticks, because people are so anxious about people who really are dangerous or paedophiles. Which brings me back to the deliberate muddying of the waters – I know that people concealing the activities of a gang of dangerous paedophiles in north Wales were discrediting people who dared complain about them by telling everyone else that the complainants were dangerous paedophiles! I imagine that the presence of a woman on their doorstep who was an ‘expert’ in Satanic abuse was manna from heaven to them.

I was not aware of any accusations made against people in north Wales of Satanic abuse in the 90s, which surprised me in view of how some of the mental health professionals conducted themselves. But it seems that it did happen, but not to people whom I knew. In 2000 I had a conversation with a man involved in social work education who had worked both as a psychiatric nurse and latterly as an independent social worker in north Wales. He was a good deal brighter than a lot of others in those positions and he undoubtedly knew of local practices. He used to frame himself as a liberator of oppressed mental health patients and he was particularly interested in my history. He told me an interesting story, as an example of how he defended two people against the excesses of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. He stated that he had been called out, in his capacity as an independent social worker, to assess a middle aged brother and sister who lived in a remote dilapidated building ‘with an open sewer in the sitting room’. The sister had epilepsy and the brother had learning difficulties and they had until recently been cared for by elderly parents who had now died. The brother and sister weren’t good at speaking, but welfare professionals had managed to establish that the brother had admitted hitting his sister, which had caused injuries to her face. The welfare professionals had called this independent social worker in because they suspected Satanic abuse and wanted to admit the sister to Denbigh as a voluntary patient ‘for her own protection’. Now the story that the independent social worker told me was that he saw straight through the bullshit and discovered that the brother had hit his sister when she had fitted to ‘bring her around’, as he had picked up that you do this by slapping someone on the face – because he was learning disabled, he didn’t quite get the bigger picture. The independent social worker explained to me that he insisted that BOTH of these people should be admitted to Denbigh, but not as voluntary patients, they should be sectioned. His explanation for this was that if somebody is sectioned, their case has to be reviewed, but not if they are a voluntary patient – and as this couple were learning disabled, they would not understand how to discharge themselves and could languish in Denbigh for years. At the time, I took this story as it had been presented to me – a tale of a more capable man defending two very vulnerable people from being incarcerated in Denbigh without limit of time by dipsticks who believed that they had encountered a case of Satanic abuse.

But over the following years I discovered something interesting about this man. He was not quite what he seemed. I found out that he knew of the most terrible abuses – including those happening at Prestwood Homes (please see previous blog posts for details of the abuses at this monstrous organisation) – yet he was another person who was keeping very quiet about it. He also knew that some very inappropriate people were qualifying as social workers on the course on which he taught, but I never found any indication that he’d raised concerns about this. He is now a leading light in MIND in north Wales – that is the MIND that has colluded for years with the serious abuses in the mental health services. I have wondered recently whether this man was yet someone else who cultivated me in an attempt to find out exactly how much I knew/what I had witnessed in the mental health services. I have also begun to re-interpret his story about defending the brother and sister. It is true that in a system that was functioning properly and following the law, this man could have defended that couple’s interests by sectioning them and thus ensuring that their cases would be reviewed. But we know that Denbigh did not follow the law – people were illegally incarcerated out there and left to rot, sometimes for many years. The staff at Denbigh were past masters at ensuring that problematic people disappeared within the system. They weren’t going to follow legal procedures in the case of two learning disabled people who could barely talk with no living relatives to ask questions – and the independent social worker would have known this. When he sectioned that couple he would have known that he was banging them up for life. Why he did this I do not know. But then I don’t know why his colleagues were levelling allegations of Satanic abuse at them and requesting that they be carted off to Denbigh as voluntary patients.

This was a prime example of how unclear the waters are. Someone whom I always considered to be head and shoulders above his lame colleagues was simply a lot brighter and knew how to work an abusive system and conceal what was happening within better than they did. He didn’t have any truck with delusions of Satanic panics – but he shafted the people whom that allegation had been levelled at much more effectively.

About five years after this conversation, I encountered notions of Satanic abuse in north Wales again. I had a conversation with a very flaky exploitative therapist who was completely out of his depth anyway, who absolutely reassured me that Satanic abuse was happening right on my doorstep in north Wales, as well as throughout the rest of the UK, and that Westminster politicians were involved. He was a member of the notoriously dodgy organisation RAINS (Ritual Abuse Information Network System) and swore that politicians in Westminster were murdering scores of people in the House itself no less. When I asked him what they were doing with the bodies, he told me that they ‘ground up the bones’ with power tools. From what I’ve seen of the sort of middle aged to elderly not very fit people who work as Westminster politicians, I very much doubt that any of them would have the physical strength to be murdering dozens of people and then wielding the power tools to destroy all traces of the corpses. They’d be too busy getting drunk in the Commons bar and fiddling their expenses to even bother. This man busied himself providing therapy to patients who had been horrendously abused by the Hergest Unit and subsequently believed that they suffered from ‘Dissociative Identity Disorder’ (details of this man’s other activities can be read in my post ‘Counselling, Caring and A Bit of Identity Fraud…’), so there will have been much confusion all round. But there was complete confusion anyway, because at the same time that mental health staff were categorically denying that the likes of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was sexually exploiting patients, they were telling some patients that they had been sexually abused when those patients were maintaining that they had not. I personally know three patients of the Hergest Unit who were simply repeatedly told in therapy sessions that they had been sexually abused when these patients had no memory at all of such events. The patients involved were told that they had ‘repressed’ the memories and were positively encouraged to make allegations against family members. When one revealed that two relatives had been sexually confused and aggressive, but still maintained that she could not remember anything specific she was praised for coming so near to making a ‘disclosure’. Interestingly enough, all these patients had been labelled as being ‘very difficult’ by the Hergest Unit. A number of the mental health professionals involved were undoubtedly abusive themselves and I know that they were lying on oath about patients who had complained in order to secure convictions against them. However one of the professionals involved was I think genuinely convinced that these patients had been sexually abused – this person worked with many patients who had been subjected to sexual aggression and was actually very good at it, I think that certainly in the case of one patient a genuine misjudgement had been made. I have previously blogged about the young woman who was considered a ‘real problem’ by the mental health services because she refused to make a statement accusing her father of sexually abusing her – she was eventually declared to be ‘untreatable’ by the Hergest Unit and died in Ysbyty Gwynedd a few years ago, allegedly from alcoholism, but not before sending a suicide note to her closest friend (please see post ‘The Commissioning of ‘Parabl’ – and Yet More History’ for further details).

So in the face of the ‘services’ conducting themselves in this manner, it is easy to see why there is so much confusion regarding institutional child sexual abuse – the people who are doing it are the same people who are controlling the health and welfare services. Chuck in institutionalised corruption in law and medicine, as well as a healthy supply of ‘expert witnesses’ prepared to lie in Court as previously detailed on this blog and everyone else being far too frightened to blow the whistle when they suspect that neglect or abuse might be happening and we have a nightmare. No-one knows which professionals can be believed or trusted and no-one knows whether the ‘research’ that is used to underpin arguments has been fabricated or not. I am wondering if that is why the Metropolitan Police felt obliged to spend millions on what would seem to be some very questionable investigations – but of course, there is police corruption involved as well, so where does that leave us?

The situation is a nightmare – which is probably why the far-reaching National Inquiry into child sexual abuse currently chaired by Alexis Jay is falling apart, with successive Chairs resigning and barristers and survivors walking out. I am sympathetic to the Shirley Oaks Survivors, who have just given up on the whole thing and published their own account, naming the guilty parties – they make the point that they cannot have faith in an inquiry Chaired by a social worker when it was social workers that abused them. Professor Alexis Jay has probably never molested anyone in her life, but she has reached the top of a profession where the sexual abuse of children and the concealment of it was so endemic for so many years that I think it highly improbable that she did not turn a blind eye on at least one occasion at some point in her career. I think it was the Shirley Oaks Survivors who wanted Michael Mansfield to Chair the Inquiry – and Michael Mansfield wanted to do it. But gosh no, one gets the impression that the Government will appoint just about anyone before they appoint Michael Mansfield, who does have a track record of uncovering some very unpleasant activities on the part of the State. But Michael Mansfield remains a conundrum as well – some of his former pupils and colleagues such as Vera Baird have gone on to effectively prevent the very people whom they claim to be working on behalf of from accessing justice (please see blog post ‘Sisters Are Indeed Doing It For Themselves…’), whereas another colleague of his, Barbara Hewson, looks suspiciously as though she may be under attack from some very dark forces (please see post ‘A Controversial Barrister’). I made contact with Michael Mansfield myself many years ago, regarding the activities of the north Wales mental health services. He did write back, but it was an interesting reply – he simply wrote ‘It is always good to have support’. Was Michael Mansfield busy, deluged by fan mail from well-wishers or people having a hard time? It is very likely. But then he might just be someone else who saw the words ‘psychiatry, social work, north Wales’ and decided that he wasn’t touching this with a barge pole. I had a very similar response from Tony Benn – I wrote to him much more recently than I wrote to Michael Mansfield, because I was told that Tony Benn had a good track record on disability issues and he had personally been very supportive of a mental health campaigner that I knew. He replied very quickly, simply saying ‘sorry, mental health is not my area’. It’s those words again – ‘psychiatry, social work, north Wales’ – they seem to have a powerful effect on an awful lot of otherwise fearless campaigners…

One thing I remember about Tony Benn is that before he died, he was treated at St Thomas’s Hospital. An awful lot of Westminster politicians receive treatment from St Thomas’s because it is the ‘local’ hospital for Parliament. I also seem to remember that when Ralph Miliband died the Milibands held his memorial service somewhere in St Thomas’s. This is of course the same St Thomas’s who trained a severely mentally ill, violent, abusive psychiatrist who subsequently worked at the Hergest Unit, although it was patently obvious that he was a completely unsuitable person for a career in medicine even before he applied to St Thomas’s Medical School (please see post ‘Buying Bruised Apples and Other Worrying Character Traits’).

One e mail conversation that Cathy Fox and I had before she suggested that I write a post about institutionalised child sex abuse concerned the failure of the mainstream media to publish anything about the corruption in legal and medical circles that props up institutionalised child sexual abuse and abuse in the mental health system. You will not find any details there, although Cathy, me and others are blogging about it extensively and naming the people involved having obtained documentary evidence. The only publication who has ever really gone anywhere near it is Private Eye. I approached Private Eye some years ago with documentary evidence of serious criminality in the north Wales mental health services which was easily enough to have given them a real scoop – although I’ve now got even more evidence – but they chose not to publish it. I always wondered why – could it possibly have been the words that strike terror into the heart of everyone again, ‘psychiatry, social work, north Wales’? Then I saw Ian Hislop interviewed after Gordon Anglesea was finally convicted of child sexual abuse. Gordon Anglesea had of course famously won a libel case against the Eye back in the 90s – because they had accused him of child sexual abuse. Ian Hislop wasn’t cracking open the champagne when Anglesea was jailed though – he looked rather sombre and observed that the saddest thing about all this was that the witness whom the story had been based on killed himself after Anglesea won the case. It was assumed that the trauma of ‘not being believed’ had caused him to commit suicide. That witness was Mark Humphreys. His body was found hanged in the stairwell of the block of flats in Wrexham where he lived. Now if I wanted to hang myself and I had a choice between the privacy of my own flat upstairs or the stairwell, I’d choose to do it in my own flat. A stairwell is a public place where allsorts of people come and go. And if I’d just given evidence against a member of a vicious paedophile ring with criminal contacts all over north Wales as well as mycelia reaching as far as the police, the social services, the medical profession, the legal profession and local politicians, I think I’d be spending as much time as possible safely locked in my flat upstairs. Who knows what might happen to you if you spent too much time elsewhere – even in the stairwell.

No wonder Private Eye didn’t publish the evidence that I’d given them. They might have been concerned that my body too would have been found hanging in a stairwell in the wake of me being overcome by the world not believing what is completely fucking self-evident. So I’m blogging about it instead. Not that I am worried about being called a liar by Dafydd et al – I have nearly 10,000 pages of documentation now as evidence. Should my lifeless body turn up somewhere no, it will not have been a case of goodbye cruel world. So Dewi Pritchard Jones and co will have to conjure up some other unlikely explanation to explain away my death.