Governments have a number of ways that they can drive people insane. There are constant psychological assaults, and sometimes, something as simple as staying quiet and being indifferent can break someone’s mind. The following people weren’t insane to begin with, until they somehow got involved with a government agency. It led to them becoming so broken down that they may now be just empty shells of who they once were.
10 Paul Bennewitz
In the 1980s, Paul Bennewitz owned a humidity equipment company that had a number of contracts with Kirkland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bennewitz lived near the base and said he saw UFOs flying over it.
According to special agent Richard Doty of the US Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and backed up by documents discovered using the Freedom of Information Act, Bennewitz was actually encouraged to believe that he Battlefield America: T... Best Price: $1.99 Buy New $15.95 (as of 08:15 EDT - Details) saw real UFOs. Doty met with Bennewitz a number of times and passed him false documents. The false documents seemed to indicate that there was going to be an alien invasion, and it could happen at any time. Since Bennewitz was convinced that the government was hiding an imminent alien invasion that, of course, never happened, he spent one month institutionalized for paranoia.
Doty fed Bennewitz the false information to discredit him. What he actually saw was a secret helicopter training program. By convincing Bennewitz that what he saw was a UFO, it would make him look crazy, and no one would believe anything he said.
9 Christopher Kirkpatrick
Whistle-blowers are in an unusual position when it comes to the government. In the private sector, whistle-blowers can turn to the government for help, but to whom do government whistle-blowers turn? One notable example how troublesome this problem can be is the case of 38-year-old clinical psychologist Christopher Kirkpatrick.
Kirkpatrick got a job one month after finishing his doctorate in August 2008, with the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Wisconsin. His job was to work with soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Kirkpatrick’s treatment involved giving people therapy and having his patients do activities like yoga. Other doctors at the medical center didn’t agree with Kirkpatrick’s approach and chose to prescribe opiates to patients instead. However, these prescriptions were affecting Kirkpatrick’s treatment and he thought the patients were being overmedicated. How America Was Lost: ... Best Price: $4.29 Buy New $11.62 (as of 03:05 EDT - Details)
Kirkpatrick found the overmedicating troublesome and brought it up in an early 2009 meeting with the health care providers. At the meeting, there was a physician’s assistant who had been overmedicating. The physician’s assistant spoke to the faculty’s chief of staff, and Kirkpatrick was written up for criticizing the physician’s assistant. Kirkpatrick wanted to pursue the overmedicating issue but was told to stay quiet and that he should just pay attention to his own work.
Three months later, in July 2009, Kirkpatrick had a disturbing run-in with a patient who threatened to hurt him and his dog, which he had brought to work. He took off the next two workdays, which were a Friday and a Monday, to clear his head and get right mentally. When he returned to work on Tuesday, he was fired. Apparently, he left one hour early, logged a 90-minute leave incorrectly, wasn’t supposed to take days off on Mondays or Fridays, and someone had to clean up after his dog once.
Kirkpatrick pleaded for another chance; he was trying very hard and had moved away from his family and his girlfriend for the job. He said that he made mistakes, but it was an incredibly stressful job, and he was still trying to work out all the kinks in his treatment. His pleas fell on deaf ears, and Kirkpatrick left the meeting defeated. That night, Kirkpatrick went home, stuck a gun under his chin, and shot himself.
After his Suicide Pact: The Radi... Best Price: $0.49 Buy New $3.29 (as of 03:30 EDT - Details) suicide, new laws were implemented to help whistle-blowers within Veterans Affairs. Health officials also investigated the Tomah VA after a patient died from “mixed drug toxicity” in August 2009. They concluded that the Tomah VA was indeed overmedicating their patients. Compared to the national average, the patients at Tomah VA were two and half times more likely to get higher doses of opiates.
8 Iranian And Iraqi Refugees In Australia
In 2001, the Australian government made some drastic changes to the country’s migration act. This was part of their tough stance against illegal immigration. At the time, Human Rights Watch and the US Committee for Refugees wrote a letter to Prime Minster John Howard condemning the changes, saying that they were cruel. The changes involved what would happen when refugees arrived in Australia. Generally, one of two things would happen: They would either be put into a detention center, or they were granted three years of temporary refugee status.
In 2005, a study from the University of New South Wales on the treatment of the refugees looked at three different groups of refugees, all from Iraq and Iran. They found that refugees who were in detention centers or were granted temporary refugee status had high levels of mental illness, but those given permanent refugee status had low levels of mental illness. It is believed that the uncertainty of their future took a toll so terrible that it was twice as mentally destructive as the trauma they were running from.