By Virginia McClaughry
Part 2 of Camarillo State Hospital Background
This article is going to cover first hand accounts, from both a patient and a nurse’s perspective. These are both from the time period of early to mid 1970’s, which is the time period relevant to my mother’s story.
The first account, is from Bobby Jameson. Bobby now has a blog, where he is telling his life story, and one of the things he discusses is his experiences in Camarillo State Mental Hospital.
If anyone else out there has their own first hand account of this terrible place, I’d be happy to include it here.
*Note: January 1, 2014 – I have created a special page that contains links to articles in this series.
Without further ado, let’s see what Bobby has to say about Camarillo.
Bobby Jameson was a music star in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Credited as Bobby James, he made his first record, “Let’s Surf”, with Elliot Ingber on guitar, on the Jolum label in 1963.
The following year, he hooked up with Tony Alamo and recorded a single for Alamo’s label, Talamo, “I’m So Lonely” / “I Wanna Love You”, both self-penned songs. The record became a regional hit in the Midwest and Canada.
Tony became his manager and promised to make him a star. Alamo mounted a major promotional campaign in the music press, describing the 19-year-old Jameson as “The Star Of The Century” and “The World’s Next Phenomenon”. Jameson later wrote: (at hollywoodagogo.com)
“For some reason, that is still a mystery to me to this day, Tony just started promoting me in Billboard and Cashbox magazine without ever telling me he was going to do it. He just showed up one day in a coffee shop in Hollywood with a copy of both publications and I was in them. We had no contract, no agreement of any kind and no record. But there I was, world wide in both mags. I don’t know what I can say to describe how weird it was to be nobody and then have that happen….The ads continued to run for 9 weeks doubling in size with each new edition. Half page, three quarter page, full page and so on. By the 8th week the ad ran in Billboard only and was a 4 page, full color fold out…”
The relationship was not a good one, and as time progressed Jameson just wanted to get away from Alamo’s increasingly manipulative behavior. (Alamo later became an evangelical cult leader and convicted child sex offender.)
Jameson also went to England in 1965, and recorded an album which became an underground cult classic. He recorded it under a pseudonym, Chris Lucey.
Jameson was using drugs, and drinking heavily, and one day he climbed onto the roof of the Continental Hotel in Los Angeles and the resulting public spectacle became a media frenzy.
In his own words:
…roof of the Continental Hotel that day in 1973 or 74, I don’t remember for sure.
…Rather than ending the day’s giant public happening positively, and without injury, I was being arrested, handcuffed, and transported to Camarillo State Hospital.
I soon found myself in the grip of an angry group of cops, who were determined to have me, not only locked up, but put away, and this would prove to be one of the most frightening experiences I’d yet to encounter.”
The year is 1973. Ronald Reagan is Governor of California, and early in the year he had announced his plans for the Center for the Study and Reduction of Violence that Dr. Louis Jolyon (“Jolly”) West had been selected to run.
West worked for the CIA mind control programme MKUltra, confirmed by CIA records.
In California, the publicity associated with the Dr. Vernon Marks and Dr. Frank Ervin and Dr. William Sweet report,  aided in the development of The Center for the study and Reduction of Violence. Both the state and LEAA provided the funding. The center was to serve as a model for future facilities to be set up throughout the United States.
Thirteen behavior modification programs were conducted by the Department of Defense. The Department of Labor had also conducted several experiments, as well as the National Science Foundation. The Veterans’ Administration was also deeply involved in behavior modification and mind control. Each of these agencies, including LEAA, and the National Institute for Mental Health, were named in secret CIA documents as those who provided research cover for the MK-ULTRA program.
Eventually, LEAA was using much of its budget to fund experiments, including aversive techniques and psychosurgery, which involved, in some cases, irreversible brain surgery on normal brain tissue for the purpose of changing or controlling behavior and/or emotions.
Camarillo State Hospital, was one of the main places used for these “experiments”.
In 1972, the Director of the Neurophyschiatric Institute and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA, Dr. Louis Jolyon West was selected to run the Center for the Study and Reduction of Violence.
Dr. West’s specialties include interrogation using deprivation techniques, hypnosis and psychoactive drugs, behavior modification through electrical stimulation of the brain, and electronic devices to track and monitor his victims. Governor Ronald Reagan was a strong supporter of West’s ideas.
Camarillo State Hospital was one of the major testing grounds for Doctors such as West, Lapolla, and others.
The horrors that took place in this and other hospitals, in the name of “research”, would begin coming to light in the Senate Subcommittee Investigation of 1974.
For more on all this, see:
The Man Who Murdered My Mother – Camarillo State Hospital (which is the first in this sub-section of articles)
Bobby was “processed”, wherein usually the patient was made to strip and bathe, as well as be interviewed by the Doctors (psychiatrists). In Bobby’s case, they kept insisting he was “suicidal”.
He was placed in the LOCKED ward, which is in the South Quad of Camarillo. This area, is where most of the truly horrifying atrocities took place.
Camarillo has since been turned into a State College, but the South Quad has yet to be done anything with and has been avoided. In my opinion this is because it is KNOWN by the new managers, just exactly what that Hell-hole was used for. This is not a sign of responsibility in my opinion, in fact the managers of the State College could be viewed in an opposite light. They have been slowly destroying the record of what really happened there, and even are extremely un-cooperative with activists who want to memorialize the victims of Camarillo’s dark past. Probably using that vicious statement “It’s just business.” to white-out for themselves what that place really is.
“Once inside, I am cut off from the rest of humanity. On entering this surreal world, I am struck by the grotesque feeling of desperation and terror that clings to every surface in this building.
The history of the place, and it’s past horrors, scream out from the walls, begging for mercy that never comes. It takes no intelligence to recognize that this is purely a part of hell on earth.
The sheer darkness and rabid spirit that nests here would be apparent to a dead man. Bodies wander aimlessly up and down the long dark corridors, until they literally run out of space. They bounce like caroms off the walls and dead-ends, only to return again to their endless wandering.
The staff regards most of these as less than human, and treats them like animals. I watch, as men with large leather belts around their waists and their wrists, chained and buckled to those belts, stumble forward like lost zombies in a perpetual state of slow motion.
Within minutes, the smell begins to turn my stomach, as the stench of urine, feces, and vomit hang in the air. I stand in awe of the wretched scene before me, realizing that I, too, am an inmate in hell.”
“The sheer darkness and rabid spirit that nests here would be apparent to a dead man.”
What an incredibly accurate statement Bobby made there.
You could say, and you would be right, that anyone who worked there and DID NOTHING when they knew of such atrocities?
Is a person who is living their life as something worse than Dead.
Indeed, a Monster.
I said, in my opening post of this series honoring my mother, that:
Wherever Evil lives, it only lives because no-one is willing to see it as evil as it is, and no-one is willing take it on directly and defeat it.
As you can see, that very much applies to the majority of the staff of Camarillo State Hospital, and especially the Doctors.
First rule for a Doctor? Physician Cause No Harm.
The moment they walked into that House of Horrors and IGNORED WHAT THEY PERCEIVED, they were no longer deserving of the title, the prestige, nor the authority of “Doctor” – not a single one of them.
These men (and women) need to be dragged out into the light of day; their white mask stripped off, and their dark mask of evil revealed to the world.
Because wherever they are today, alive and living in obscurity, or re-incarnated or haunting the buildings still – the targets of this horrendous campaign still know what was done there, and they will never forget.
JUSTICE! They cry, and justice they will have.
But this can only be done by people who are willing to see evil as evil, and who do not try and “push it away” because it’s not positive, or doesn’t make me feel good, or I only want to focus on the good, any other such nihilistic and cowardly tripe. If you want GOOD? You must LIVE it, and part of that is NOT LYING TO YOURSELF.
Bobby Jameson saw what Camarillo was, and now he’s begun to do something about it – he’s telling his story.
Bobby Jameson was given the usual “cocktail” of drugs on admittance to Camarillo – drugs such as Haldol and Melleril.
“I awake with a jolt, to the sound of a loud electric buzzer screeching through the dim gray of morning. I feel lost and afraid, and am quickly engulfed by a murky sense of dread.
“Something is different,” I think to myself, “something is terribly wrong.” I am not able to collect my thoughts as I normally do. They are jumbled and erratic inside my head. “The drugs,” I think, “What did they give me?”
“Anti-psychotic medication, such as Haldol and Mellaril, can cause psychosis in a person who is not psychotic in the first place. In Camarillo, that was what was happening to me.”
“A doctor, or doctors, had decided, on some basis, that I should be placed on anti-psychotic medication, which was quickly causing me to become psychotic.”
“The more I was given, the worse I got. When I say worse, I mean paranoid, beginning to hear things, unable to finish sentences, terror, and a growing inability to keep track of my thoughts.”
“I would start in on an idea and then forget what I’d been thinking in the first place. I knew it was the medication, and attempted to refuse taking it. I struggled with my words saying, “I don’t want it.” I labored to repeat myself, “No, I don’t want it.””
As you can see, the medication is not designed to help the person, it is designed to INTERFERE WITH THEIR ABILITY TO FIGHT BACK.
That is it’s real purpose.
Plus, due to the interference in the body’s operational status, it is also designed to GIVE THE IMPRESSION TO OTHERS THAT THE PERSON IS FEEBLE-MINDED WHEN THEY ARE NOT.
The drugs Bobby was given, for example Mellaril, are well-known to “cause” psychosis.
This same year, 1973, Dr. Jolly West writes a letter to Stubblebine, concerning getting use of one of the military bases in that area for his Center.
” If this site were made available to the Neuropsychiatric Institute as a research facility, perhaps initially as an adjunct to the new Center for Prevention of Violence, we could put it to very good use. Comparative studies could be carried out there, in an isolated but convenient location, of experimental or model programs for the alteration of undesirable behavior.
Such programs might include control of drug or alcohol abuse, modification of chronic anti-social or impulsive aggressiveness.”
You can see what the REAL agenda is there, Bobby’s story tells it well.
For the full letter, see:
The Man Who Murdered My Mother – Camarillo State Hospital (which is the first in this sub-section of articles)
Let’s take a short break here, and learn a bit about these drugs that Psychiatrists are so hot to use on other people.
Most of them are in a class called Phenothiazine.
What is a Phenothiazine?
You might say: What???? It comes from an insecticide?
Phenothiazine itself was introduced by DuPont as an insecticide in 1935.
What are the types of Phenothiazines and their more easily recognized names?
Types of Phenothiazines and their trademarked names are as follows:
- chlorpromazine (brand name: Thorazine),
- fluphenazine (Duraclon and Prolixin),
- mesoridazine (Serentil),
- perphenazine (Etrafon and Trilafon),
- prochlorperazine (Compazine),
- promazine (Robinul and Anectine),
- thioridazine (Mellaril),
- trifluoperazine (Stelazine) and
- triflupromazine (Robinul)
The most commonly used Phenothiazine is thorazine.
Drugs are often mixed, and have often severe contraindications (meaning it HARMS the patient).
For example when Mellaril and Thorazine are mixed, it may result in elevated plasma concentrations of both drugs.
In layman’s terms, both drugs become STRONGER AND MORE CONCENTRATED individually then they would be other-wise, which is already bad enough!
Prolixin, one of the phenothizines listed above, is described in modern Drug manuals as:
“PROLIXIN has activity at all levels of the central nervous system as well as on multiple organ systems. The mechanism whereby its therapeutic action is exerted is unknown.”
Prolixin was introduced in 1959.
In the Journal article pictured above, it is described as:
“…being about 25 times as potent aschlorpromazine [which is Thorazine]. The rapid and sustained action of the drug andits administration as a single daily dose are distinctly advantageous.”
A Camarillo State Hospital staff Doctor was involved in the “testing” of Prolixin in 1963, as well as listed in the following article as “administering it to male patients”. (the image is a bit messed up, but you can still get the idea).
He is also mentioned in 1965 as obviously having been aware that Prolixin CAUSED PARKINSON’S DISEASE.
And here in 1978:
“LaPolla and Nash studied 49 inpatients…”
which means the patients at CAMARILLO STATE HOSPITAL.
Lapolla is also mentioned in 1979 here:
In the References section:
“Goldstein, M.J.; Judd, L.L.; Rodnick, E.H.; and LaPolla, A. Psychophysiological and behavioral effects of phenothiazine administration in acute schizophrenics as a function of premorbid status. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 6:271-287, 1969.”
Check out the list of side effects as per the NIH.ORG website:
“What side effects can this medication cause?
Side effects from fluphenazine are common:
- upset stomach
- weakness or tiredness
- excitement or anxiety
- dry mouth
- skin more sensitive to sunlight than usual
- changes in appetite or weight
Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- difficulty urinating
- frequent urination
- blurred vision
- changes in sex drive or ability
- excessive sweating
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- jaw, neck, and back muscle spasms
- slow or difficult speech
- shuffling walk
- persistent fine tremor or inability to sit still
- fever, chills, sore throat, or flu-like symptoms
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- severe skin rash
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- irregular heartbeat “
Here’s what Prolixin was like, from a forced patient’s perspective:
Prolixin lasts for two weeks. One patient describes how the drug does not calm or sedate nerves, but instead attacks from so deep inside you, you cannot locate the source of the pain. “The drugs turn your nerves in upon yourself. Against your will, your resistance, your resolve, are directed at your own tissues, your own muscles, reflexes, etc..” The patient continues, “The pain grinds into your fiber, your vision is so blurred you cannot read. You ache with restlessness, so that you feel you have to walk, to pace. And then as soon as you start pacing, the opposite occurs to you, you must sit and rest. Back and forth, up and down, you go in pain you cannot locate. In such wretched anxiety you are overwhelmed because you cannot get relief even in breathing.”” – Napa Sentinel
“The pain grinds into your fiber….”
Both patient and Doctor perspectives of drugs like Prolixin, Mellaril, and Thorazine, taken from Chapter 3 of Toxic Psychiatry by Peter Breggin
“People’s voices came through filtered, strange. They could not penetrate my Thorazine fog; and I could not escape my drug prison.” – Janet Gotkin, testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on the Abuse and Misuse of Controlled Drugs in Institutions (1977)
My concern is that people are having their minds blunted in a way that probably does diminish their capacity to appreciate life. – Jerry Avorn, M.D., Boston Globe, November 25, 1988
“It’s very hard to describe the effects of this drug and others like it. That’s why we use strange words like “zombie”. But in my case the experience became sheer torture.” – Wade Hudson, testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on the Abuse and Misuse of Controlled Drugs in Institutions (1977)
“Frequent Effects: sedation, drowsiness, lethargy, difficult thinking, poor concentration, nightmares, emotional dullness, depression, despair . . .” – Dr. Calagari’s Psychiatric Drugs (1987)
Is it any wonder Bobby Jameson fought against taking these medications?
He was RIGHT.
Bobby: “I stubbornly held my ground in front of the nurse’s station med window and would not take the medication. The nurse called for staff back-up on a hospital intercom.
In less than a minute, two male orderlies showed up and confronted me in front of the medication window. After checking with the nurse inside about the problem, one of the staff moved toward me and said, “You have to take your medication, Mr. Jameson, those are the rules.”
“No,” I moaned, “I don’t want it.” “If you don’t take it, we’ll be forced to put you in restraints and inject you with it,” he said coldly.
I stood there in a growing state of fear, staring at his face, knowing he meant what he said. I was in no shape to fight them or continue to refuse, I was going to lose this battle either way.
I reluctantly reached down and picked up the first paper cup and downed the contents, then the next, followed by the last cup of water washing it all down. I turned and opened my mouth wide so the orderly could verify that I’d swallowed the contents of each cup.
– Bobby’s blog, 2009
To illustrate that the people that work at Camarillo, do know about the kind of force applied to a defenseless patient, take a look at this photograph of 2 Camarillo Staff members, taken at Christmas in the early 80’s.
I sure sincerely hope that was their idea of a dark political cartoon, and that these 2 men did NOT participate in forced drugging of patients.
If they did do this, or knew of it being done, then let this stand as an example of what kind of MONSTERS work at Camarillo.
Bobby continues: “When it was over I slinked away, fearing I was in danger of losing myself altogether into some black hole of terror.
As I waited for the drugs to act, I anticipated the worst. I was not disappointed. They hit me like a Mack truck after fifteen or twenty minutes, and I felt myself sliding deeper into psychosis and the darkness beyond.
I sat huddled against a wall, trying to gather my thoughts, but they evaded me. I sensed that someone was standing right next to me, but when I looked, there was no one there.”
“I couldn’t figure out where to go. I stood up and started in one direction and then stopped and went in the opposite direction. I stopped again, then started, thinking I’d better go the other way. Over and over, until I just broke into tears, trying to remember what I was doing.”
Bobby: “Psychosis is the term used in explaining, amongst other things, breaking with reality. The worse the psychosis becomes, the greater or deeper the break will be.
A psychotic person will find it increasingly difficult to respond appropriately to the situation they are in, and in time may break completely away, as if they had disappeared.”
I think this was the GOAL of drugs like this. Make it seem that the person, the real person HAS DISAPPEARED.
At the time Bobby was incarcerated, the usual drugs of choice were Mellaril, Thorazine or Stelazine, as well as Prolixin.
“As I fought the effects of the medication, I knew I was beginning to lose myself. I was then summoned to a small office by staff. I sat on a wooden chair in a room, along with a male psychiatrist and a female stenographer.
After locking the door, the psychiatrist began speaking to me and asking questions, while the stenographer took down every word. I was trying to answer, but kept losing my place and would start again.
I continued to struggle, and the psychiatrist was saying, “What’s wrong with you? Why are you so weak? Answer my question, you weakling.”
I began to freak out and started crying. I tried to explain that the medication was doing something to my mind. “The psychiatrist interrupted me saying, “Nonsense, you’re lying to me, what’s really wrong with you?”
This went on for sometime until I suddenly got a single clear thought about what was taking place in that room. It will take longer to explain it than it took me to think it.
I realized the stenographer was there making a record of each of my answers for legal purposes. I also knew that my answers sounded incoherent, because of the effects of the medication.
These answers would ultimately be used against me in a legal hearing, to ascertain my own competency. I immediately clammed up. I would not say another word.
Even in the dim recesses of thought I still possessed, I had correctly figured out the purpose at hand. The medication’s effects had been anticipated to do this to me, by whomever had prescribed them for the purpose I just described–to use my own confused words against me.
“I was finally was let out of the room. I fought to keep my mind cognizant of the one reality–the medication, find a way to limit the medication, “Find a way, Bobby,” I said to myself, “find a way.” I kept repeating it, over and over, as I walked through the dim corridor.
“Find a way Bobby, find a way.”
“Now in a mental hospital setting, I perceived, and rightly so, that the staff was not interested in helping me. They were determined, in fact, to commit me, and thereby be done with me, as well as my antics on the streets of Los Angeles and Hollywood.
This may sound irrational or highly unlikely to some readers, but unless you have been in this situation yourself, you really wouldn’t understand.”
– Bobby’s blog, 2009
Bobby then correctly figured out that the real purpose of the drugs was to make him LOOK crazy, so they could keep him there:
Legally at this point, they could only hold me for 72 hours, unless I exhibited some form of dangerous or otherwise bizarre behavior, which I had not, other than the interview where I had stopped talking to the psychiatrist and stenographer.
This is why the doctors had insisted I was suicidal at check-in, and why this God-awful medication was forced on me. They were attempting to make me appear a lot sicker than I was, and in turn could then legally hold me for a longer period of time.“
What it took to get him out of there, was NOT “niceness”, it took threats that mean something, and toe-to-toe aggressiveness:
“It was now a face to face, eyeball to eyeball showdown, in which my mother demanded that I be released into her custody. She did not believe the hospital had my best interests in mind, and told them so in no uncertain terms… “What have you done to him?” she demanded.
The various doctors and higher ups got together and had an emergency conference, to assess their position in the now volatile matter before them. Whatever the hospital’s position had been in the beginning, the situation was now rapidly changing.
They were stuck on the legal aspects of what my mother was threatening them with, which was to get an attorney, and have me legally removed from their care.
In the final analysis they agreed amongst themselves, that her position, if tested, would be victorious. For the administrators, holding on to me now would be pointless.
With that in mind, Camarillo State Hospital was forced to release me into the custody of my mother, which they did.”
Bobby was one of the lucky ones – he got out. Many, were not so lucky.
These more recent pictures of the South Quad lockzones, stand as testament to the mentality that thinks that LOCKING UP someone is “treatment”.
Nurse at Camarillo in approximately early 70’s
In 1975, Governor Jerry Brown took office in California.
“Jerry” Brown served as the 34th Governor of California (1975–83), and is currently serving as the 39th California Governor (2011–present). He is the son of Pat Brown, the 32nd Governor of California (1959–67).
Nadine Scolla wrote a book, called Keeper of The Keys, which was published in 1976, about her experiences working as a nurse at Camarillo State Hospital.
This was not an easy to find book, but I did dig up a copy of it out of the Internet Archive, and have uploaded it in pdf form here:
She talks, in her book, about the staff scurrying around one day to try and make the Wards look like they were clean, and the patients well cared for, which of course – they were not. She wrote that this was done because the Governor was coming to visit, and I wondered if she could have meant Jerry Brown.
However, she speaks of “governor” coming to tour the hospital – investigating charges. So I would say this was Governor Brown, and that she wrote the book based on experiences in 1975.
In the same year the book was published, the Ventura County Grand Jury indicted eight employees in connection with a dozen patient deaths at the institution.
But justice was not done, prosecutors recommended and a judge ultimately dismissed the charges, which included manslaughter, neglect toward an insane person and perjury.
A cover-up occurred, and some of the excuses for letting these monsters off the hook were:
“There was a question as to whether it was intentional or not,” said former District Attorney Mike Bradbury, then the top assistant in the DA’s Office. “The office approached it under a negligence theory instead of intentional homicide. … There were a couple that could have crossed the line into intentional conduct, but it was completely unprovable.”
There is documentation of that more than 1,000 people died at Camarillo State Hospital of both natural and suspicious causes in the years before the institution for the mentally and developmentally disabled closed. This is only the documented ones.
Nadine often worked in the “locked” wards, such as what Bobby Jameson mentions, in the south quad.
Wards she mentions in her book that she worked at, are Wards 44, 48, 38, and 25.
28, is said to be one of THE worst of the Wards.
What follows are excerpts from Nadine’s book, and I think she gives an illuminating, (and horrifying) view into the minds of the staff and doctors there at Camarillo.
July 25 Wednesday (after graduation in May)
A young girl was tending the food counter and she took our orders. Ann asked, “Do you work here all the time?” “No,” she said, “I’m going to be leaving soon. I can’t wait to get out of here.” “Why?” Ann asked. “I hear people screaming and moaning all the time and you should see the large needles they use to give shots to the patients. If you complain, you’re told that it’s none of your business.” Ann asked, “What if the patients refuse the shots?” (Nursing students are instructed that if a patient didn’t want any medicine you must chart it and explain the reason to the doctor). The girl replied, “It doesn’t make any difference, they give it to them anyway.” We looked questionably at the girl as if we didn’t believe her. We wondered how she could know so much. After all, she wasn’t a nurse. How could she possibly know the procedures of the nursing staff?
August, Interview, new job
Mrs. Sitton, the Director of Nurses, opened the door and greeted me. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Her hair was unkept, bushy, and looked like she hadn’t combed it for a month. Her tight pants were bulging at the seams and her blouse was faded and worn. She was a big woman, with a man’s stance. She stood there jangling her keys. I thought her appearance was disgraceful. Never had I seen a nurse look so terrible.
“…explained to me that I was to become a medication nurse. She pulled” out a large round key chain containing six old fashion keys. (for ward 48)”
“Ward 48 was ugly and badly in need of paint. Feces was on the walls, and the floors were just as bad as Ward 44.”
“Why aren’t there more people who would want to work here? They pay the highest salaries of all hospitals.”
“As I settled into Ward 48 this morning, I was told by my superior, Bob Ames…”
USING PATIENTS AS PROSTITUTES
Today I toured the outside facilities, the state-paid establishments that care for the patients after they are considered well enough to be partly released.
…The final important stop, and one that I would never forget, was just off the freeway. A shabby, run-down group of motels right at a major intersection. I walked inside the main office to announce myself and to give a report on the new patient. People were mulling around in and out of the motel rooms. Men and women lived together in one room. I asked one of them, “Who is in charge?” He motioned to one of the back rooms. I entered the dark room. I only could hear sounds of deep breathing and groans. As my eyes adjusted to the light I could see that a patient was being raped by the manager, and she seemed to be enjoying it!
DOCTORS ARE PAID 100,000 DOLLARS A YEAR
[that’s a LOT OF MONEY back in the early 70’s]
…I thought of all the tax dollars that the public was paying the staff. Doctors receive one hundred thousand dollars a year starting salary, and the nursing personnel receive the highest pay in the profession, and yet the patients get the worst of- care. The staff is feeding off these patients and they are not doing one damn thing to improve their lives.
…Most of the staff is uneducated formally, and yet, they determine the patients future.
[day she is leaving] I saw a new group of patients being taken to the admissions office. They were handcuffed and being forceably pulled into the office by the police. I wondered why the new patients had to be handcuffed and treated so badly.
My thoughts returned to my diary and especially to the day I was required to assist in admitting new patients as part of my training ….
s I, arrived at the nurses cage, I received a call from the admissions office. Mr. Shaw advised me that he was bringing new patients to the ward.
The patients, individually handcuffed, arrived at the admissions office in police cars with sirens blaring. They were pushed and dragged into the admitting room, finger printed and their mug shots were taken. All their jewelry, money and legal documents were taken from them.
I gave them a routine bath to remove Pediculi or any other removable disease they might have, so as not to infect the other patients. They were then dressed in hospital clothes, and given one of the routine tranquilizers; Mellaril, Thorazine or Stelazine. One of the patients was a little hard to manage, therefore, he was given a large dose, in injection form, for quicker action.
Reality had hit him as he realized he had been stripped of his freedom. They were then shown their rights which included their right to refuse a lobotomy. The notice was hanging on the wall and written in two languages. If the patients were unable to read, while drunk or psychotic, that was too bad.
After ninety days, a conservator will visit the patient and ask him the date, his name, the staff’s names and what unit he is on. [while he is practically mindless on Thorazine etc.] Then he is requested to sign an agreement to remain on the unit for voluntary rehabilitation or treatment. If the patient does so voluntarily, he will get out sooner. Since the patient is told this many of them don’t realize what they are signing. The “agreement” may keep them imprisoned indefinitely.
…I was informed that if I felt any patient wasn’t getting enough or if he showed any signs of anger or resentment, I was to pour more of the medication in his cup. The poor patients staggered off to sit in a chair or on the floor like zombies, trying to lick away the bitter taste of the drugs. Not even the kool-aid given to them was sufficient to take away the awful taste.
Most of them could hardly stand erect due to the previous doses of Mellaril, Stelazine, Thorazine, or the large injections of Valium. The aware patient, and there are many of them, knows he does not need the medication, but is forced to take it against his will. Any refusal is charted as negative behavior.
…They fear for their own lives, when, at all hours, they hear the screams of other patients.
…even if they are able to get over that twenty foot wall, there are police guards on the outside to handcuff them and drag them back in. They are forced to strip off all their clothes and are then given larger doses of tranquilizers. The only privilege they are then left with is walking up and down the dingy hallway in a hospital gown with no shoes. They are told that if they try to run away again, they will be tied down and locked in their rooms. Yes, tied down and locked in their rooms with restraints around their waist, hands, and both of their feet. ,
How can people continue to live with such barbaric measures as these? We treat our pet animals better.
What about the mentally retarded children that are living in these institutions? The children whose families have entrusted them to the care of these people, when there is no place else for them to go? These patients provide jobs for the staff and the staff is supposed to promote the health and welfare of the patients, and try to bring them back to as near normal as possible, so they can live in society. Yet, the hospitals are just the opposite of what they should be. How can those on the staff, who are conscientious and care about the lives of the patients, do anything when they, themselves, are threatened among their own peers? They either conform to the old standards such as giving overdoses of drugs to the patients, manhandling them with hammer locks, twisting their arms, and arching their backs, until they are forced to the floor to submit, or peer pressure from all levels is applied. Arms, legs, and facial bones are broken, and finally, perhaps, death for the patient. It is then charted, possibly, as patient hostility and aggression towards the staff or another patient. The technicians support this testimony, which is expected, and can easily be done because no employee on the unit will dispute what has been said.
It is difficult to say exactly how many people try, but it is known that there are many with little success. Those who do escape, are kept out of the papers. The staff is not allowed to talk about what goes on within the institution after they go home.
Those who do talk about it, do it behind locked doors to people they can trust.
“These are some of the reasons why the public has never known the truth about our state mental institutions.”
Roll call – The patients that didn’t respond and get into the line were forceably pushed into the line, by Bob, even if they were handicapped. If they spoke back because of the abuse, they were refused their breakfast. Bob informed me that this was part of their rehabilitation. The staff was positioned at the front, middle, and rear of the line.
…One of the patients didn’t move fast enough to suit the technician, so he grabbed him by the arm and pushed him to the table. The patients were given five minutes to eat, and most of them had to eat like wild animals. The staff stood guard to maintain order and to keep them from stealing food from one another. One old man said, “This is unfair and I’m not going to eat this garbage.” Immediately, a technician dragged him from the dining room, and informed the patient that he was not going to get any food until tomorrow. The old man screamed, “I’m going to report you.” The technician shrugged his shoulders uncaringly, laughed and said, “Do you think anyone is going to believe you? You’re mentally ill.”
NICOTINE INTERFERES WITH THORAZINE
It is well known that nicotine not only interferes with the chemical interaction of psychiatric drugs, it also SPEEDS it’s metabolism out of the system.
No wonder the patients felt it was so important! Nadine writes:
The patients push, shove, hit, and hate, if they are denied their cigarette privileges. Their hands would tremble as I handed them their two cigarettes. They smoke the butt until their fingers are burned and yellow.
Nadine moves to 3 to 11 shift
[dinner] when, suddenly one of the entrusted guards, a large bulgy man about 50 years old, lashed out and beat a helpless patient because he asked for more coffee.
I openly objected about the incident to Jack, my night supervisor! “How can you allow a patient to stand guard over another patient? What gives him the right when he is here to be rehabilitated himself? How can he possibly know how to deal with another patient when he isn’t trained?” Jack said, “Shut your mouth and mind your own business. If I want to use a patient as a stoolie, that’s my business! Besides, you’re still on six-month probation.”
A staff member was moving from table to table, spearing the patients meat and potatoes, dropping them into a plastic bag. Some of the patients bitterly objected, became angry, and started swearing at him. He left the room and made entries on every complaining patients chart: Patient hostile and angry. No reason for the hostility was charted, and again, the complaining patients were not allowed to have their next meal. The new patients in the unit soon realized it didn’t pay to complain because they would have to go hungry.
…Is the end product of the environment for the staff members to become greedy and powerful after working here for many years?
It sure is Nadine, it sure is.
Stealing Patients Treats – Even Birthday Cake!
The staff would heavily sedate them and chart: Patient hostile, uncooperative, upsetting unit and other patients. At this rate these few justly complaining patients maytnever be released.
I had a hard time accepting these rules, but, after all, this was my first nursing job and I did have a lot to learn.
Tonight is Mr. Bartin’s birthday. The kitchen staff decided to bake him a cake. To my surprise, Jim had packed the cake and milk to take home to his family!
Tom and I confronted the staff, and, with stiff opposition, they decided to let the patients have the cake. The patients loved the cake and milk. It was the first time they had a birthday party on the unit. Later, I overheard the staff talking in the hallway, “Well, she’s new here and she might say something to the wrong person about the cake so let’s drop the incident so no trouble arises.”
…A large candy corporation donated a huge quantity of candy to the hospital, which was hauled in on stretchers. It was intended for the patients, but they never saw it. It was taken home by the staff members. I saw them carrying their brown paper bags stuffed with the donation. They asked me if I wanted to take some home. One staff member commented, “Only a fool would refuse. After all, look at the cost of food today.” I said, “You must have a storage room full of all these things?” “Sure, we’ve been doing it for years. We take whatever we can get. This is part of the fringe benefits.”
Doctors Rape and Impregnate Patients
Did you hear about Dr. Kelley? He got one of the young patients pregnant and they told the girl’s parents that the hospital can’t be fully responsible for the patients actions. This makes me angry! How can a doctor help a patient if he takes advantage of her condition? This place is unbelievable.” [her talking to another nurse]
THE GOVERNOR COMES
October 1 – The unit received a directive advising all personnel that the Governor [Brown] is arriving tomorrow. He is to evaluate the hospital because he received reports of mistreatment of patients. All nurses and doctors are to dress in their white uniforms. The hospital maintenance people were ordered to paint the flag pole, and spray paint the grass to make it look green. The hospital must be completely scrubbed, even if it requires working all night, and overtime pay will be allowed.
OCTOBER 2 WEDNESDAY
The Governor arrived today in his helicopter. Every ward was prepared for review. The hospital management took him on the same tour that they take visitors and volunteers. This meant they steered him away from certain wards, eating areas, and only showed him what they wanted him to see.
None of the staff dared say anything against the hospital or they would be reported to the Administrators Office and a permanent adverse file maintained on them. They would never get another job in any other hospital.
SADISTIC POWER PLAYS BY STAFF
This man had simply had a good time, and was becoming happy, and treated nicely by another person. The ward where he was kept, was run by a truly sadistic man, and this is what Nadine said happened:
I had a call from Ward 38. David, the charge nurse for Mr. Dean, was complaining that Mr. Dean brought cigarettes back with him from the exercise session. Mr. Dean was on my ward at one time, but was sent back to Ward 38, a lower regressive ward. I understood from some of the staff that he used to be well-kept and cleanshaven, until one of the staff took a personal dislike to himand had him moved to Ward 38. Then Mr. Dean went through a personality change and didn’t care what happened to him. Windy had taken a personal interest in him. She would bring him into the other wards to play the piano for the patients. He enjoyed feeling wanted and needed, but when he had to go back to his ward, where the patients were treated like animals, he would regress even more. Mr. Dean was an alcoholic, not schizophrenic or paranoic and he wasn’t dangerous to anyone.
David resented Mr. Dean because he was able to go off the unit.
[David] “I don’t want the hassle of Mr. Dean going back and forth on the units. He might get bad ideas. This is the last time Mr. Dean will play for any ward!”
I decided then, that I would visit Mr. Dean on his ward. When I entered the ward, I saw him sitting in a chair all hunched over, withdrawn, uncaring and no spark of life in him. He spoke to no one, not even me.
DRUG RINGS, DEATH THREATS, and TORTURE
I asked him, “What drug ring?” “Don’t you know about the pills, hash and other stuff being pushed from one ward to another?” “God no!” I exclaimed. “How is this possible?” AJ. explained, “The drug ring connections are picked up by the police and put into jail. They act like dope addicts while in jail so they can be transferred out here for rehabilitation. If they behave themselves after they get here, they know they’re allowed the privilege of a phone call. The hot stuff is brought in and exchanged between wards.” “Has anyone been caught doing it?” I asked. “No,” he replied.
“You never fink on your fellow employees. It’s a fate worse than death.” “What do you mean, value your life? What can they possibly do?” I asked. A.J. laughed and asked, “You haven’t heard rumors about the grave yards in back of the hospital?” “God no, grave yards, what grave yards?” “I don’t know exactly where, but supposedly, here, on the grounds. Many times I have gone home at night and when I returned the next day a patient had disappeared.” “Didn’t the staff tell you in the report meeting what happened to the patient?” I asked. “No, and I know better than to ask questions. The first thing you learn here is to keep your mouth shut. You know, there’s a big profit in drugs. This is big business!”
“But A.J., alot of the staff are licensed. What about them?”
“Anyone who has been here for more than two years has fallen into the ‘pit’ (clique)—you know, birds of a feather flock together.”
“A.J., do you really think it’s hopeless because these people have lost their feelings for humanity?”
“I sure do,” he replied, “Do . you remember the young rape victim and how they treated her—the girl with beautiful olive skin and long brown hair? She loved all living things, especially birds and horses.”
Yes, I did remember. Tammey was about 17 years old and had been raped by fourteen men. Her mother placed her in the hospital because she didn’t know how to cope with Her. Tammey was terrified of men now. She froze like an ice cube every time a man spoke to her. One day, in the kitchen, when A.J. approached her, she picked up a pie pan and held it up to her face, with her back to him. When she saw his reflection in the pan, she began to talk to him. After many weeks of slow and deliberate efforts of seeing his reflection, he gained her confidence.
Bad judgment was made by seemingly sadistic people, when they decided to use shock therapy on Tammey.
“Yes,” said A.J. “It was bad enough when they used the cold shock treatment on her.” They filled the bath tub with cubes of large ice and dropped her into it. Then they removed her from that and placed her in scalding hot water. She came out red as a lobster. Her body was badly blistered.
THAT, is what is called “hydro-therapy treament”.
This treatment didn’t help, so they decided on the shock treatment. “I never saw anything so awful in all my life. They forcibly strapped her down, tied her hands and legs, stuck the electrodes to her head and placed a tongue blade in her mouth. She couldn’t scream, wiggle, or do anything. After the treatment, they asked me to go into the room and get her. Tammey was dead. Her body was limp—she was still trapped in the chair. It was more than I could take. I had to go off by myself and cry. I felt it was so useless. She had started to come around— she had communicated with me. …
I think they need a Federal Grand Jury Investigation, but I don’t think it will ever happen. The hospitals have too much pull in the government and it might put all these people out of work. Besides you’d never get anyone to come forward and tell the truth because they don’t want to get involved—no wonder the good help doesn’t stay long. Just look at how many years these institutions have been in existence.”
“”I can’t stand the physical abuse they give the patients. I have seen too many unexplainable deaths, with doctors quick to sign the papers, without a thorough investigation, because they are afraid of losing their positions.”
“Well, Nadine, I’m not going to be around much longer, I just can’t take it anymore.”
“Last night another unanswered death took place. He was a well-oriented man. The technician said he fell out of bed, but he had a huge laceration and bruise on his forehead, the shape of the ash tray lying on the floor next to him—and you know patients aren’t allowed to have them in their rooms. I wrote it up in my report that I thought the patient had been struck on the head with the ash tray.
When the doctor came in, he told me I would have to change my report and say the patient fell out of bed. I told him what I thought; that someone had deliberately hit him with the ash tray. He said I had to be mistaken because the autopsy showed that the patient fell out of bed. I was about to say that I’d just been in the patient’s room a few minutes before, and there wasn’t an ash tray in sight, but he wouldn’t even let me finish. He said the patient had seizures all the time and the accident had to be due to that. He warned me that I could be dismissed for making false statements.”
“I see what you mean, A.J. Who is going to question his authority? After all, he signs the death certificate and what he says goes, and no one questions what he writes.”
That particular passage, well-illustrates the quality of “men” that pose as Doctors at Camarillo State Hospital. MONSTERS, every one of them.
Routinely, if the patients do not respond according to the technicians desires, they’re transferred to a lower functioning mental unit, and so it was with Mr. Cortez. He was send to Ward 38. This is the ward where patients are supervisors over other patients and some of them have to wear football helmets because they’re so mentally ill. Without the helmet they could do serious damage to themselves. This is also the ward the staff cares least about.
This is the ward where the sadistic “David” is the charge nurse, as previously mentioned.
STEALING PATIENTS TEETH FOR GOLD
I noticed Mr. Johnson’s pearly white teeth had beautiful gold fillings.
NOVEMBER 9 …. SATURDAY
Today Mr. Johnson’s face was swollen up like a big balloon. “My God, Mr. Johnson, what happened to your beautiful teeth?” “I don’t know Miss Nadine, they done pulled um out.” My God, I thought. Did they have the right to steal the gold right out of his teeth? I couldn’t believe it. Once again, I had to remain silent while my heart ached.
LET THEM EAT SHIT
Tonight, in the dining room, the little girl who has epilepsy was having a hard time eating her dinner. The technician got mad and shook her so hard that she became incontinent of feces. The technician took it and put it on her plate and stuck her face in it and said, “Eat it.”
“Oh God, A.J., that’s sickening. It makes me feel like vomiting. I just don’t believe it.” He shook his shoulders and said, “Neither do I.” “You mean she got away with treating the child that way?” “She sure did. No one said anything to her about her actions. You know damn well Nadine, no one is going to do anything, because she has seniority.” I screamed, “I don’t give a damn how much seniority she has, she has no right to treat anyone like that.”
DECEMBER 23 MONDA Y
Today, on the unit, came the final blow. A young boy was ordered for shock therapy, and, after treatment died.
A.J. argued bitterly with his supervisor over the incident, but, to no avail. His supervisor warned him that he would discharge him if he continued causing trouble. A.J. swore, “You bastard! You and this place are worse than the local dog pound!”
DECEMBER 24 TUESDAY
I learned today that A.J. had resigned.
The newspaper had an article in it about a patient that was accidently run over on the hospital grounds. The article said A.J. was the key witness. He blurted out his fear, apprehensions, and concern for the patients to the press. Investigators toured the hospital and stupidly concluded that what it needed was a few more employees. Several of the employees joined together to try and clean up their units, but the only thing that did was to create more chaos.
My thoughts are drawn to Mr. Johnson, who lost all of his beautiful pearly white teeth, and all of his gold fillings. I saw him yesterday and he had aphasia. He was still sitting huddled in a corner, saliva drooling heavily from the side of his mouth, withdrawn, uncaring, unaware.
This, is what they call “treatment”.
This concludes the second part of the Background of Camarillo State Mental Hospital.
This series is my way of honoring my mother.
It will also serve to show others out there, that Evil can be defeated and that:
JUSTICE WILL BE DONE.
Dedicated to my mother, Barbara Ann Freeman.
– All Rights Reserved –
The Man Who Murdered My Mother – Introduction
The Man Who Murdered My Mother – Camarillo State Hospital
The Man Who Murdered My Mother – Camarillo State Hospital: First Hand Accounts
The Man Who Murdered My Mother – Camarillo’s Demons and Ghouls
The Man Who Murdered My Mother – Camarillo Scourges of Humanity
The Man Who Murdered My Mother – MKULTRA And Drug Kickbacks
The Man Who Murdered My Mother – Definition of Murder and Drugs That Destroy.
The Man Who Murdered My mother – Duke University – The Anti-Life Zone
Dr. Anthony Lapolla was The Man Who Murdered My Mother
Article image sociopath real person was compiled, created, and/or edited by Virginia McClaughry.