You found that you were unable to talk when the judge asked you questions. It was as if your mouth had been sealed shut. But in the end you blurted out and that upset the judge so he sentenced you to 30 days. You believed that Jesus was causing your hallucinations and was telling you things. That is a religious delusion and the authorities were right in putting you away. You were right where you needed to be, away from society. Jesus does not talk to people. It was either your imagination, the devil, or you are brain damaged.
August 12, 1971
I only spent three days in jail. When I was released from jail I was taken directly to my psychiatrist’s office. I told him I needed to speak with Father Geidman, not him. He stated that Father Geidman was not available and that he never has been available each and every time he had tried to contact him when he needed him to assist him with other Catholic patients, and others, who needed conventional spiritual support and help. He stated that Father Geidman was never around when he needed him to help him with his other patients. The psychiatrist also stated that he independently confirmed from other sources that Father Geidman was still in Europe and had traveled from Germany to Norway with some relatives and was not available to speak with me. He was not available because he did not care. He did not care to get involved with something that was entirely his fault. He was at fault for many different reasons. (1) He failed me in religion unjustly and unnecessarily which crippled my emotional well being (2) He ruined my prom night (3) He caused a demon to possess me when he yelled at me. (4) He was not available when I needed to speak with him. He just did not care. I believe he did not care and was not available because he was going through some "stuff" himself, at the same time that I was going through some stuff. I believe he was experiencing supernatural things at the same time that I was experiencing supernatural things, things he had to deal with personally. Be that as it may, no one was called in to speak with me in Father Geidman’s absence.
No priest from my parish ever came to my aid. No priest ever tried to contact me or speak with me concerning my spiritual or emotional health. Where were they in my time of need? Not one came to my aid. Why? Because they did not care. I had belonged to the one and only Catholic Parish and Church in my town all my life. I had gone to the Catholic School all my life. Why did no priest ever come to console me? The answer again is, because they did not care. Father Geidman, knowing that I wanted to speak with him, never tried to contact me. Why? Because he did not care. Why did the priest my friends spoke with at the rectory ignore their call for help for me? Because he did not care.
My psychiatrist gave me an ultimatum. Either go back to jail to fulfill my thirty day sentence or be transferred to a mental institution. He suggested I choose the mental hospital because I would have more freedom there. So I accepted the offer and signed papers to be transferred to the hospital. The psychiatrist stated that he would be glad to see me again after I was discharged from the hospital. I never saw the man again because he had committed suicide. Matt. 27:5 Why had he killed himself? I was told that he had demons. Luke 22:3 That did not surprise me.
My friend, who is a social worker, told me that the psychiatrist, whom we both knew before all this happened because we were friends with his son, could have prevented all this and could have changed the outcome. She could not understand why he did not intervene and send me home instead of sending me away. She could not understand why he made the decision to put me away from society. She said he could have talked to the judge and reversed things for me. She was just having a hard time understanding why he made thngs worse for me instead of better, since we both knew him before all this happened. I can tell you why. Because he had made advances toward me and he knew I did not like him, so he made the decision to have me committed. It was his way to get back to me since he knew I did not like him and did not give into him. It did not have to be this way. But he knew he could get away with it and so he made the decision to harm me instead of help me.
I was immediately transported to a mental institution where I became a victim of society’s social control techniques of medicating and labeling. I was diagnosed with loose association which is a rapid shifting from topic to topic, where one thought is not connected to the other, with no connection between one thought and the next. It was also noted that my affect was flattened and inappropriate; I had no emotional facial expressions. It was also noted that my thought content revealed multiple delusions. My insight and grasp of reality was poor. I was concrete on proverbs. My abstract thinking was not intact and my serial 7's were poor (subtraction of 7's beginning with 100).
I also was diagnosed with hebephrenic schizophrenia and forced on medications, along with being labeled ‘religious’. Hebephrenic schizophrenia (or disorganized schizophrenia) is one of several subtypes of schizophrenia, a chronic (long-term) mental illness - it is thought to be an extreme expression of disorganization syndrome that has been hypothesized to be one feature of a 3-factor model of schizophrenia symptoms; the others factors being delusions/hallucinations (reality distortion) and psychomotor poverty (poor speech, lack of spontaneous movement, and blunting emotion). Disorganized schizophrenia is characterized by incoherent and illogical thoughts and behaviors; in other words, disinhibited, agitated, and purposeless behavior.
Experts say disorganized schizophrenia is a more severe schizophrenia type because the patient cannot perform daily activities, such as preparing meals and taking care of personal hygiene (washing). According to the Mayo Clinic, USA, people may not be able to understand what the person with disorganized schizophrenia is saying. The patient may become frustrated and agitated, causing him/her to lash out.
What are the signs and symptoms of disorganized schizophrenia?
Disorganized thinking - the patient is unable to form coherent or logical thoughts. This inability affects speech - during a conversation the individual cannot stick to the subject, and leaps from one disparate subject to another. The speech problem may become so severe that it is perceived as unintelligible garble (a muddle of sounds) to those around him/her. Writing is also severely affected by disorganized thinking.
Grossly disorganized behavior - these symptoms may be so severe that the patient is unable to perform regular daily activities, such as bathing, dressing properly and preparing meals. For example, during a warm day the individual may put on several layers of clothing. There may be unprovoked agitation, or sexual behavior in public. Grossly disorganized behavior may feel normal to the person with schizophrenia, but appears bizarre to those around them. Behaviors may vary from being child-like and silly, to aggressive and violent.
Inappropriate or lacking emotional expression (flat affect) - flat affect, also known as blunted affect, is sometimes a symptom of people with severe depression or schizophrenia - the individual may show the signs of normal emotion, may even talk with a monotonous voice. However, the face appears blank, facial expressions are significantly diminished. The patient appears extremely apathetic. There may be no eye contact with other people or any display of body language. On some occasions the individual may display behavior which is not appropriate for given situations - this may include bursting out laughing during a serious event.
Apart from the above, which are examples of disorganized schizophrenia symptoms, the patients may also have the following signs and symptoms of schizophrenia:
Delusions - The patient has false beliefs of persecution, guilt of grandeur. He/she may feel things are being controlled from outside. It is not uncommon for people with schizophrenia to describe plots against them. They may think they have extraordinary powers and gifts. Some patients with schizophrenia may hide in order to protect themselves from an imagined persecution.
Hallucinations - hearing voices is much more common than seeing, feeling, tasting, or smelling things which are not there, but seem very genuine to the patient.
Social withdrawal - when a patient with schizophrenia withdraws socially it is often because he/she believes somebody is going to harm them. Other reasons could be a fear of interacting with other humans because of poor social skills.
Unaware of illness - as the hallucinations and delusions seem so real for the patients, many of them may not believe they are ill. They may refuse to take medications which could help them enormously for fear of side-effects, for example.
Cognitive difficulties - the patient's ability to concentrate, remember things, plan ahead, and to organize himself/herself are affected. Communication becomes more difficult. There may also be grimacing, bizarre postures, problems functioning at school/work, and clumsy/uncoordinated movements.
Patients with disorganized schizophrenia symptoms are not usually able to get medical help on their own. When their symptoms appear to have subsided, it is common for them to believe they are fine and do not need treatment. Seeking medical help is frequently initiated by a family member or good friend.
Schizophrenia is located in the frontal cortex, which is not fully developed until age 25. So somewhere it gets kicked or disrupted and a problem emerges. Mine got disrupted when I was seventeen when my brother died and when my mother disowned me after his death and probably again when I had a high fever for three solid days when I was eighteen.
August 17, 1971
My parents were interviewed by social services today. Not only was I labeled, but my parents were labeled as well. My father was labeled as dull and insensitive and inadequate as a husband and father, and he was having difficulty comprehending anything, even though he presented himself as a reasonable person. My mother was labeled as feather-headed, scatter-brain, irresponsible, heartless, feeling sorry for herself, willing to appear as a martyr and blames everything on her husband.
When my parents were asked when they first noticed a change in my behavior, they stated that it was sometime in the middle of May 1971, about a week before graduation from high school, and that it happened abruptly. Really? Dosen't that coincide with May 4th, 1971 when I felt something enter my body, then immediately after that I came down with a very high fever that lasted for three days? And for which my mother refused to take me to the doctor for medical treatment? May 4th, 1971 was a Tuesday. For the next three days, I lay in bed with a very high fever. The next three days were Wednesday May 5th, Thursday May 6th, and Friday May 7th. Saturday was May 8th and Sunday was May 9th. Over this weekend I stayed at home and confined myself pretty much in my room, even though my fever had broke and I was feeling better. By Monday, May 10th, 1971 I felt well enough to return to school where my friends and teachers began to notice a change in me. That is about the middle of May 1971. Just the date my parents stated they noticed a change in me. My friends and teachers also stated the change in me occurred a week or two before graduation from high school, which was around the middle of May. May 4th, 1971 was the day I felt something enter my body, and the day I came down with a fever. I was sick and confined to my room from May 4th until May 10th. I was not around people during these days. May 10th, which is about the middle of May, is the day I returned to society and being around people.
What does that tell us? It tells us that the change in my behavior and my personality is directly related to me feeling something enter my body on May 4, 1971, after a confrontation with Father Geidman and then followed by a fever. These three incidences alone are the reasons my behavior changed and my personality changed. The connection is very evident. The confrontation with Father Geidman, followed by the demon posession, and then followed by the fever are the factors that changed my behavior and my personality. If my mother had not been neglegent and had taken me to the doctor like I begged her to, maybe, just maybe, I could have been spared from the hell I endured. Everybody agreed on the time the change in me occurred. Not everyone agreed on the reason the change in me occurred. My parents, teachers, and the hospital staff "assumed" the change in me occurred because I was on drugs. Well, what else could have caused such an abrupt change in my behavior and personality? My friends knew drugs were not to blame, but they were clueless as to what caused the change in me. Nobody took the time to try to figure out what had actually happened. Nobody backed up time to figure out what happened just before the change occurred. Nobody tried to figure out the real reason that caused the change in me. Too many abrupt assumptions were made, and they were made without knowing the truth. I am the one who figured it out, and it took years for me to figure it out. I had to go back in time to figure it out, something no one even attempted to do.
Since the hospital staff was convinced I was on drugs, I was put in a group therapy program with others who were drug addicts. I could not understand why I had to listen to people who had drug addictions. I just basically tuned out during these sessions and refused to participate. The staff had no ethical or moral aversion to the circumstances bestowed upon me and none of them knew the whole story of what had happened. The only circumstances they were aware of where on the surface. Nobody dug any deeper to get to the core of my situation. Everybody just observed the surface dirt. No one looked under the rug to get the details of what was behind my behavior.
I never had a counseling session alone with any doctor or counselor the entire time I spent there. The only time any counseling was done, was done in a group with drug addicts. They thought they had me all figured out. I let them believe what they wanted to believe. From the very beginning of being institutionalized I began to talk about my experiences with Jesus, but I quickly learned that this was not the place to be speaking of religious experiences, and thus refrained from talking about my experiences. I knew the truth and the truth was all that mattered to me. I told very little about my experiences, before I began to keep things to myself. I became closed-mouthed and spoke no more of my experiences which continued while I was hospitalized. The staff and doctors had no clue that Jesus had and was still communicating with me during my stay in their environment. I documented my experiences only in my private journal which no one had access to. I kept documenting in my journal, which I kept private.
The first medication I was started on was Mellaril 50 mg. p.o. q.i.d. Mellaril is an anti-psychotic drug used to treat disorganized and psychotic thinking. The dosage was later increased to 150 mg. p.o. q.i.d. which resolved my inappropriate affect, delusions, and loose associations. I stayed on this medication for 35 days. I began this medication on August 12, 1971 and was taken off of it on September 17, 1971. I was taken off of it two weeks prior to discharge.
I found solace in my Rock and Roll music. I had been uprooted from my native environment and transplanted into a world I knew nothing about. I was separated from my family, thrown into a tribe of unknown people, some of whom had their arms bound, their minds drained, and their bodies exploited. I was in bondage and held captive against my will. My only escape was into my world of music.
From home, I had my portable radio and I carried it with me nearly everywhere I went. I needed the rich musical sounds of Rock and Roll burning through my veins. I did not forget nor forgo my music when I arrived in the hospital. In fact my life depended on my music for mere survival. My music kept me going and saved me from self destruction.
I had been thrown into a culture full of diversity where we communicated, intermingled, and lived with each other on a daily basis. I suffered immensely under the conditions prescribed to me, but Rock and Roll eased my pain. I found relief from my agony through my music. Music provided spiritual and emotional freedom from the drudgery I experienced. Rock and Roll inspired me and was central to my life because I was so downtrodden. Music fed my inner soul and kept my hopes alive.
Before I was hospitalized I had begun to notice that some Rock Songs had messages in them intended just for me. The lyrics in certain songs were speaking to me. They were talking directly to me. Not every song was speaking to me, not every song had a message in it for me. I was able to discern between the songs that had messages in them for me from the ones that did not. I concluded that Jesus was providing the messages in the songs for me. They were love songs from Jesus. They were songs of encouragement and survival. I believed that Jesus was communicating to me through Rock Songs I heard on the radio and that these songs had messages in them intended just for me. He had proven himself to me and that He was real. He had spoken to me. Now he was speaking to me through Rock and Roll songs I heard on the radio. This was His way to reach me, to communicate with me because He loved me and knew I loved Him and I loved Rock and Roll. Rock and Roll Songs became a tool for communication between me and Jesus.
These songs related to events in my life that either had just previously happened or were happening. They were love songs from Jesus. These songs gave me encouragement and love. Jesus was talking to me through these songs. He knew what was happening to me in my life and communicated to me through the love songs He gave me. Jesus chose these songs to get a message to me. Jesus chose the songs to communicate to me. I carried my portable radio with me nearly everywhere I went. When I wanted to get in touch with Jesus all I had to do was’ Turn My Radio On’.
Turn Your Radio On
Johnny Hartford - 1971