Old Scapegoat New Scapegoat

Remember the old scapegoat, meet the new scapegoat. Funny thing, but they are the same. I mean by scapegoat people who have been through the mental health system; people who get dumped by their relatives, associates, neighbors, and just plain strangers into the loony trash bin.

I recently came across a petition calling for the  opening up of all closed State Mental Hospitals, and my first thought thereupon was thank heavens so many of them have been demolished. You’d think we had enough problems with the largest prison inmate population in the entire world. Do we really need an extra large mental patient population to boot?

An article encountered suggested “sick” people “helped” by St Elizabeth’s were now being “forced” back into their families and communities by the Community Mental Health Act of 1963, and that this was what was wrong in the nation today. I don’t know how the author could ignore the fact that people forced into St Elizabeth’s were now free to go back into their communities and to have families. I guess that was some kind of minor oversight, or inattention to detail,  on his part.

There is a fine line dividing the “sick” from the well, and this fine line is determined by so-called expert opinion. These so-called experts, in other words, are the people who have been trained to think they know which people should be scapegoats, and which people should be allowed to go about their merry way.

Mental hospitals are places where the functionary staff make all possible effort to kill the spirit of the people imprisoned therein. I think it no wonder that the poet Ezra Pound was held for treason for so many years at St Elizabeth’s. Mental hospitals may be the closest thing we’ve ever had to an Auschwitz in this country.

It is always inconvenient to remember that the NAZI’s rehearsed their Final Solution to what they saw as the Jewish problem on people deemed ‘useless eaters’, people in mental institutions, especially when you want to blame violence on people who go into, and people who have come out of, such institutions.

Mental institutions are not, and never will be, the solution to the violence perpetuated by a very few frustrated and failed individuals with a vengeful fury to unleash. Failure, frustration, and revenge are not pathological conditions. We’ve got a social problem, and we’d do well to look to the social causes of it for a real solution, a social solution. Emphasis on real.

We live in a world that some people find unbearable. Maybe we would do better to make a more livable world for everybody, all of the world’s inhabitants, without exception. We could work on caring more about our neighbors for a start. When you get a solitary individual declaring war on society at large–yen/yang–do you have a raving madman come out of seclusion, or an isolated terrorist without a terror network? Take a good long hard look in the mirror. It happens.

Scapegoat and monitor more people for alleged “mental illness”, deprive more people of their first and second amendment rights, excuse a lack of automatic weapon control measures because of the high rate of traffic accident fatalities ( The 2 wrongs make a right, or a “lesser” wrong, theory.), etc, etc., etc… None of these proposals address the real problem. Again, emphasis on real.

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One Response

  1. When someone is taught to be a scapegoat by those around them, they begin to act like a scapegoat and expect to be treated like one; the so-called “experts” interact with this pattern without realising. They are so blind to their own behaviour that it is frightening to think that with the stroke of a pen these people can control one’s life.

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