In the early hours of September 8th 1994 I found myself being taken up a dimly lit, winding staircase in the tower of the Fairmile Lunatic Asylum, a gothic castle of doom which had opened 124 years earlier. At the time I believed the NHS had departed some years earlier. It was now part of a network of factories planned to activate following the Berlin wall’s being brought down. The Soviet Union had let itself come into a sociological thermodynamic contact with the west planned many years earlier. Inside this factory the benighted souls of poor human beings were being taken away, stripping them down to their most basic elements. They were now ready to be reprogrammed by Warsaw Pact psychiatrists prior to release whereupon they would infest western society and make it wholly compliant with the Soviet master plan. Within days of my arrival I had an overwhelming urge to get down in writing what I believed had been happening. Only I, along with the military special forces it seemed, had the resilience to prevent their plan succeeding. British intelligence had its own plan, with me at the centre. They had fitted me with MTRUTH, Mobile Tactical Reconnaissance Unit Telecommunications Harness, the ultimate electronic augmentation for the soldier in combat. Quite apart from the horror of what was going in the asylum I needed to let the world know for posterity that the epiphany of my training for this
PhD award ceremony 1989
mission in the months prior to my arrival in the spring was a staged event. This had been designed specifically by the security services to introduce me into this bizarre, chivalrous and heroic endeavour. A £10,000,000 stunt for charity was the least that would do the exercise justice. While the medication I was given degraded the fantastic delusions it would take some ten years of drug trials, repeated forced hospitalisations and searches for meaning in the search for the future monarch’s missing pet before I really surmounted the delusions to any consistent degree. No doubt alcohol consumption throughout this ten year battle, not with the Soviet Union but with paranoid schizophrenia, the illness I was in fact experiencing, was a major or even vital factor. I found the illness inspiring and whilst on my one visit to Fairmile I had not yet got enough material to complete the book I found ample inspiration during these years and months. Much of this was in the suicidal side effect misery of what seemed a never ending series of drugs to which I was not suited and which only reinforced my initial delusions that I was living in some sort of Stalinist state within a state, my home country of Great Britain, a country I repeatedly escaped into and went to ground in. However bad things got I never gave up and always felt I was on to something worth it ultimately if only I could just keep going and get my thoughts down, a task I finally set to after six years of the experience, though I only really got to complete the book, the writing of which was my journey of recovery, a decade in. I hope the book will assist others in their own roads to recovery. I don’t think I am entirely deluded if I imagine it might save some such a rocky journey as the one I have had to make. I never found Prince Charles’s dog, but I found all one might hope to in such a noble venture, including my mental health. For what I believe I have written is far more than a story merely of medical interest: it is an adventure story, and not one without humour.