Jun 6Liked by Kitty Hundal

It looks as if the intention was always to put Greta Goede into the mental health system rather than prison and there are several reasons why those involved might have wanted that:

The mental health system is more faceted than the prison system and in modern democracies it is very hard for a prison to be run as someone's own personal empire, but as the mental health system contains both private and public provision and both care-orientated and research-orientated establishments there are more cracks for someone to fall through (and into the wrong hands) in mental health care than in prison.

And it is much, much harder to separate a prisoner from legal help and advice than it is to separate a mental patient from legal help and advice. Not least because most of one's fellow prisoners will have a pretty fair knowledge of what their rights are and how to get them! And a prison is administered on the assumption that EVERYONE will want and be entitled to professional legal advice at times. A mental hospital, even today, is run on the basis of medical, rather than legal argument and judgement and it is inherently difficult to challenge medical judgements even if legal advice is available. If the judgements against one are purely legal ones, then they are inherently open to scrutiny, challenge and if necessary, appeal. Back in 1958, even the inadequate legal help available to a mental patient in the present day, wasn't available and even now it's not provided in such a robust, accessible and abuse-resistant way as in prison.

Abuse does take place in prisons (and even more so in youth custody centres) , but lessons do get learned (people get let of jail and tell their stories, people believe them, too) and systematic sexual or sadistic abuse of particular individuals by rich and powerful people from outside the institution is most improbable in a prison (where some of the prisoners are likely to be professional blackmailers) and much more likely in a mental institution where disbelief is baked-in to the whole system and it's more normal for individual patients to be isolated from each other.

Such systematic abuse is known to have occurred, over a long period of time when Sir Jimmy Saville had privileged access to Broadmoor secure hospital in Berkshire, England. Prior to which, the management was of its time, but professional and basically well-intentioned. What Saville did was create a situation where the mental health professionals were supplanted by himself and other amateurs. This went completely unquestioned by senior civil servants, mainly because Saville was an expert manipulator and all he needed to know in order to bend the civil servants to his will, was their own definition of a successful institution. (Almost entirely financial!) When an elected minister, Edwina Currie, tried to ask questions she ran up against a brick wall: not because the civil servants knew what he was doing and were helping him out of deliberate evil, but because Saville's manipulative skills also ran to raising huge amounts of money from the general public and this meant every institution that he infiltrated (there were several) looked successful to the civil servants because every statutory duty looked as if it was being delivered within budget and lots of extra activities were being self-funded. Saville did not use money as a bribe: he used it to camouflage maladministration!

In Canada, it looks as if a much higher percentage of mental health funding (especially for "research") comes as gifts from the rich and powerful than is the case in the UK, so the principle of not looking a gift horse in the mouth is going to be even stronger. Taxpayers usually demand that taxpayer's money is accounted for: they can be persuaded that private gifts are none of their business!

Once Greta was in the mental health system, it would have been possible to move her to whichever institution was convenient to her abusers, simply by attaching appropriate charitable funding to her case!

Experiments without informed consent are abusive, even if the professed intent is to benefit mankind in some way. Experiments that serve only the general good and are not in the interests of the subject are still abusive even if that person, for whatever reason, perversely consents to be harmed. And experiments devised outside of proper scientific rigour, scrutiny and peer-review are also inherently abusive, because idle curiosity does not justify risk or harm, or even the use of resources.

So, whilst just using someone in Greta's position as an experimental subject was almost certainly abusive even if that was all that happened, the potential for prolonged and repeated sadistic or sexual abuse was at least as great as at Broadmoor during Saville's reign of terror. The planning and resources that went into Greta's frame-up and incarceration suggest that those involved saw a payoff in it, and it's hard to see what they could have gotten out of it other than personal gratification of a perverse nature. There was no valid science being done, nobody was being protected from harm, the patient was not being healed or helped.

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