More contradictory news from Germany – September 2013

The situation here is on the one hand very promising and on the other hand quite bad.

First the good news:

Gustl_MollathIn Germany a wake of criticism and disgust of psychiatry and the justice system has rolled over the country. It has one name: Gustl Mollath. He was imprisoned indefinitely as a dangerous person in the forensic (criminal psychiatry). Everybody in Germany now knows his name, as he got countless media coverage in all TV channels and newspapers. Apparently this scandal is almost unknown abroad, so I hope you will change that by spreading this news.

Please read in these links in detail how it happened that he was finally freed on August 8:

After his release, he, together with his lawyer, was invited to a major talk-show on a national TV channel where psychiatry was depicted as completely unreasonable and arbitrary in prognosticating any mental illness and even worse, dangerousness in the future. One of the real “big shots” of forensic psychiatrists in Germany had diagnosed Mollath in order to keep him locked up. So none of the leading psychiatrists wanted to participate in this show. A psychiatric expert revealed that she herself would never allow being diagnosed (as did Mollath). The other highlight was that she admitted that the psychiatric expert opinion is simply an excuse for what the judges want to decide anyway. Therefore from the small number of forensic experts they chose the one who they knew would provide them with an obliging report. It was whistle-blowing in front of a million strong audience 🙂 All major newspapers once again reported on this.

This is the second catastrophe for the forensic after the postman Gert Postel worked as a senior psychiatrist for years:

The problem with this case is that everybody understands it as a mistake in the system instead of the whole system being a mistake.

But the shrinks are completely on the defence and tried to indoctrinate media people with a “press workshop”. Nina Hagen led our demonstration against it and we were more demonstators outside than participants inside:

Demo mit Nina Hagen am 11.9.2013To my knowledge it was the first demonstration against the obnoxious paragraph § 63 in the German penal code for the insanity defence in exchange for indefinite incarceration and torture by forced treatment. Also inside disturbing questions were permanently raised. So the president of the shrink organisation and the other psychiatric “heroes” were frustrated.

To understand the bad news, I first have to explain:

Coercive psychiatry in Germany rests on 3 different laws (#1, 2, 3). All of them are under attack and crumbling because our supreme court on constitutional rights ruled in 3 decisions in 2011 and 2013 that 3 regional state laws on forced treatment were unconstitutional and therefore null and void. The juridical and psychiatric systems seemed not to have understood the full lesson. The verdicts say there was never any law on forced psychiatric treatment reconcilable with the constitution and therefore never legal. To realize this was a shame for the highest court as well, so it sought a face-saving excuse, being that the constitutional right on freedom Art. 2 is meant as a right to a practiced freedom. They said that this freedom does not exist if a person is unable to consent to medical treatment because she/he is insane and has e.g. false beliefs. The typical example is that an appendix surgery is necessary for saving the life of the person in question but this person is convinced that the doctors are only pretending to help but in fact want to murder her/him and therefore decline this medical help. Under this condition the lawmaker is entitled, not forced!, to make a law which legally enables doctors to heal the insane person up to the degree that she/he is able as well as to consent or dissent to any medical treatment deemed to be necessary. But all these arguments were in themselves contradictory and illogical: as torture is never allowed, any law permitting forced treatment for the recovering of the capability to say “yes” or “no” to a treatment would end up in having permitted torture when the person keeps on saying “no” to any psychiatric treatment. So any law would end up in being executing torture until the subjected human consents to being heavily ill and needing treatment. This is a classic example of torture for getting any confession the torturer wants.

Here is my report on the bad news:

Law #1 – Federal Custodian Law:
In January 22 I informed you with a message Now obvious: Psychiatry is brute force! that the federal parliament ruled a new law for forced psychiatric treatment for persons under custodianship, you can read it here again:

Law #2 – Regional State Police Law:
On June 26 I informed you that the first regional parliament of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg voted on a new law allowing (under certain circumstances and a judge’s consent) forced psychiatric treatment. It acted in a sudden and secret move with ALL political parties consenting (except the party “DIE LINKE” which presently has no members in this parliament). The history of this kind of law is one of a law ruling police power. Typically it is to prevent danger to life and property which moved more and more to preventing danger to oneself – preventing suicide and endangering oneself on grounds of alleged “mental illness”.

Since we couldn’t prevent any of these new torture laws, we are at least hoping for being able to prevent one German regional state from making such a new torture law. We are afraid that after this first state (Baden-Wuerttemberg under a Green prime minister), 14 other states with labour party and/or conservative party coalitions will most likely in the near future follow. Only in one state, the state of Brandenburg, for another year until the next election there is a coalition of the labour party with the post-communist party. The post-communists, as reported in my last message, have included our core demands in it’s election program for the federal parliament election which took place 3 days ago.

Those demands:

“This requires new thinking and action by policy-makers, citizens and by the individuals themselves who are affected by this. We want to work together with the persons affected and associations to further advance this: from a more effective anti-discrimination law on barrier-free living and choices, good work for people with disabilities, self-determined forms of living to a non-violent psychiatry.”

and further down:

“Legal discrimination, particularly via special psychiatric laws as well as legal powers of coercion by doctors or custodians, must be repealed.

In Brandenburg the post-communists have in the coalition the Ministries of Health and of Justice, both responsible for any change of this police law. The task is now to move these ministers to fulfill the promises their party has made in the election campaign. We are working hard on that so that no new law will be issued there. Unfortunately the Minister for Health is taking a stand against us and we can only hope that the party stays on track because the minister definitely needs the cover of the party in her job. The post-communists have now to prove how important human rights are for them or how they even consent to torture in a law to be conform with suppressing power.

Otherwise our last hope and probably in vain would be that the supreme court on constitutional rights again cancels these unlawful new laws even if all politicians of all parties in all parliaments in Germany have voted in favour of such laws permitting torture.

Law #3 – Federal Penal Code Law § 63:
Despite the good news mentioned above, I can’t believe that the huge scandal concerning Gustl Mollath is able to break new ground on the legal system in abolishing the insanity defence and replacing it with a penal law according to the demands of the CRPD, as spelled out by the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in its statement on 26/1/2009:

47. In the area of criminal law, recognition of the legal capacity of persons with disabilities requires abolishing a defence based on the negation of criminal responsibility because of the existence of a mental or intellectual disability.41 Instead disability-neutral doctrines on the subjective element of the crime should be applied, which take into consideration the situation of the individual defendant. Procedural accommodations both during the pretrial and trial phase of the proceedings might be required in accordance with article 13 of the Convention, and implementing norms must be adopted.

Such a change would request shifting the penal law away from guilt and the ability to be guilty (which children are obviously unable to be) to measures taking into consideration only the damage caused by the act of violating another persons rights and a proportional compensation. The philosophy of law since the enlightenment is so much orientated on a division between sound and insane minds that I can foresee such a paradigmatic shift only after we have abolished coercive psychiatry for persons who have not committed a substantial crime. After we have achieved that, the psychiatric assessment as an arbitrary libel will be so in doubt that also this part of the system can be brought to a collapse. It is so ridiculous, as we all have seen with the case of Anders Behring Breivik or the proof given by Gert Postel, the postman as senior psychiatrist. But all that is not sufficient as long as the power of coercive psychiatry to slander remains legally intact.

In conclusion:
The contradictory news indicates a stalemate in our struggle against psychiatric tyranny. Nevertheless, we do have the patients advance directive, the PatVerfue which protects people who have been prudent enough to have signed one. So there is a possibility to waive psychiatric libel: “Insane? Your own choice!” But on the other hand it appears to be a long struggle until we get any of the tyrannic laws abolished which legalise the crimes committed by psychiatry. Unfortunately even the CRPD can’t prevent that. In the long run I predict that by the PAD the objectivity (reliability and validity) of any psychiatric slander will be eroded to such a degree that it vanishes.

This report was also published in the WNUSP blog here: