A few years ago I decided to try blogging. My chosen “niche” was mental health and art. But my real mission was to develop my blog posts into a novel based on a gruesome true story. I’ll tell you about that later.

As time went on, though, it occurred to me that something was going awry in our culture.  Something much more insidious than mental illness in the “normal” sense.

But first, more on mental illness and this blog.

The Board of Lunacy

Why did I name this blog “Asylum 13 Riots? I worked for decades at a psychiatric facility. About a century earlier it was known as the state insane asylum. The designers located the entrance on 13th street.

“The Board of Lunacy” governed the asylum. Seriously.

I first thought of naming the blog “Board of Lunacy.” But I decided that was not right for a blog related to mental health. Throwing in the word “Riots” seemed somehow OK.

Man Stabs Priests to Death

While they were eating lunch in the rectory, a young man in our town stabbed two priests to death. He stabbed each priest about fifty times.

The man was found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity and committed to the hospital where I worked. We learned that he had been under out-patient psychiatric care before, and that his mother had taken him to an Emergency Room seeking to have him hospitalized. She had found his bizarre behavior frightening and sought help.

Instead of sending him to the hospital, the doctor placed him on a waiting list.

After speaking with this young man and his mother on several occasions, I thought a fictionalized story of this incident could highlight some problems within the public mental health system.

I finished the drafts of the novel and it’s a work in progress.

But Now

Something worse than people falling through the cracks in mental health services is happening.  I watch in the news media people being beaten down, literally, for holding an unpopular opinion.

Individuals trying to argue a position are shouted down, attacked, banned.

I’m not a young man.  I lived through the 60’s, yet I have been witnessing the most outrageous suppression of freedom of thought, speech, and the exchange of ideas that I’ve ever seen. 

Piled on top of that is the deliberate distortion of information by the news media, aimed at smearing people with contrary political views.

I am watching behavior that is anathema to democracy and to humane treatment of fellow humans.  I we were dogs this would be animal cruelty.

The result of such oppressive behavior has far-reaching effects on our schools, our communities, and our government. The destruction of discourse and the demonizing of citizens for their opinions is tyranny in the making.  And it ruins the psyche of dutiful citizens.

Public mental health and the peace of the democratic community depend on open expression.

This blog intends to push back against the trendy opinion groupism  and the suppression of individual conservative thought.  We all need to free ourselves and our societies of group despotism and become who we are meant to be.