Monday, 21 January 2008


Just over a year ago, The UK Advocacy Network, (UKAN), sponsored a competition for poets who had had experience of a variety of mental health problems. A selection of the chosen poems has been published as an anthology under the title:

“Greater Goings On… Than You Could Ever Guess.”

It is available through the UKAN website 

This is my poem, which was 'short-listed' -

Early Closing Thursday by Roy Vincent (1925 - )

It will make you much better, he said,
No, it won’t make a hole in your head.
The current’s quite small,
Hardly any at all,
And of course you won’t wake up quite dead.

The nurses, all gentle and kind,
Never told me that bits of my mind,
Would soon disappear,
That I’d feel very queer,
And not know before from behind.

Memories once precious to me,
Have vanished, no trace, all agree.
The voice of my child,
That amused and beguiled,
Was erased by the ‘cure’, E.C.T.

At Work was I then in disgrace
From this hole in my mind – this great space?
For I found, to my shame,
This face - What’s his name?
Or this name – Who’s got the right face?

Who began this outrageous farce?
Who decides to switch on and to pass
A current designed
To ‘repair’ this bent mind?
Do they really know elbow from arse?

Why ‘Early Closing Thursday’?

 Because it makes just as much (or as little) sense as

 ‘Electro Convulsive Therapy’.

“There is no theoretical basis to justify it. There is considerable criticism of its extensive use because it may produce permanent brain damage, especially losses of memory and intelligence.”
So writes the Oxford Companion to the Mind. For most people, the implication of ‘therapy’ is of some process that will aid recovery from whatever ails them, physically or mentally, and achieve it benevolently, without harming them. By what stretch of the meaning of words can a process be so described that actually harms the very thing, the human mind, that it is claimed to be saving?

“My mind to me a kingdom is,
Such present joys therein I find,
That it excels all other bliss
That earth affords or grows by kind.”
The poet, Dyer*, could not have guessed
What would be done to minds distressed.
This precious place with knowledge filled,
Shocked, drugged, benumbed - then killed.

(*Sir Edward Dyer 1540)

Read: “..listening to the silences..” Available free on 

I shall be grateful if you will tell others about the book and my website.

Thursday, 10 January 2008



These words have figured very frequently in the media over recent months - particularly ‘skunk’. The reason being that there has been widespread reporting of the major increase in availability of ‘home grown’ cannabis. Reports say that this home grown product is very potent, so potent in fact as to prompt a senior British drug enforcement officer to say that “a single ‘joint’ can cause psychosis.”

I do not want to detract from his message – for I entirely share his concern – but to take issue with the notion that cannabis causes psychosis or schizophrenia. It may seem like nit picking, but it is important to understand that cannabis and other and similar hypnotic substances may create the conditions in which individuals begin to hear voices and experience a variety of other undesirable phenomena.

I have never used ‘substances’, but I do ‘hear voices and experience a variety of undesirable phenomena’. I have never been ill from this cause, but nevertheless can claim to speak with the authority that 30 years continuous experience can bring. Furthermore, I know without any shadow of doubt that what I experience is the result of spiritual intrusion into my mind, body and senses.

In virtually every part of the world in recorded time, there has been the ‘shaman’ figure – the ‘oracle’, the ‘seer’ – and almost without exception it has been noted that some hypnotic substance, be it cannabis, mescaline/peyote, ‘mushrooms’, opium, has been used to facilitate the entry of the shaman’s spiritual ‘other’.

This, then, is my contention, namely that in modern times, the use of one or other of these hypnotics may inadvertently open a vulnerable individual to adverse spiritual intrusion, usually of a malevolent type, and to all that may follow as personal control is lost.

 My whole book is aimed at creating an understanding of the phenomenon of spiritual intrusion and the effect upon the mental health of individuals. 

In addition to the book, I have written an article that deals specifically with the consequences of ‘substance’ abuse. Entitled  “I Don’t Believe It!”, it is available with other essays in Chapter 16 of my book, which itself is at : 

Monday, 7 January 2008


Following the completion of my book and its publication on line, I have continued to write on a variety of topics that are still relevant to an understanding of the problems faced by voice hearers. In particular, I have tried to promote an understanding of the total phenomenon that normally goes under the heading ‘voice hearing’. I have assembled a total of eleven articles and essays in Chapter 16 of the book, and recently I have posted numbers Ten and Eleven.
Article Ten is entitled “Two Fools” and is a study of mood creation, dominance and oppression, physical presence, compulsion, addiction and paranoia, together with aspects of manic depression. All of these, I claim, can be included with voice hearing as the unwanted effects of spiritual intrusion. In this article I leave out hearing voices, having described my experiences thoroughly in my book and concentrate on the remainder - the ‘silent intrusions’ – trying to promote understanding and ways of coping and supporting.
Article Eleven has the title given above – “All Fur Coat And No Knickers” – which appears to have no relevance at all to mental health! I was impelled to write the article after learning of the experiences of a young friend who has been saddled with a diagnosis of ‘dissociation of personality’. If you are unfamiliar with this term, it is what was formerly called ‘multiple personality disorder’. Even this latter term has a chequered history, and the some are convinced that ‘dissociation’ is a construct of the North American psychiatric ‘industry’, and that the condition does not exist at all. Conversely, I am convinced that much of what happens to my friend can be explained as being the result of adverse spiritual intrusion. I know, I can equally be accused of seeing ‘spiritual intrusion’ in many mental health problems. All I can say is that once this has been experienced, knowing with certainty that it is happening, the results can be identified in other people as they describe what is happening inside their minds and bodies.
I urge you to read the articles – Eleven follows on from Ten, and the two should be read in sequence – and hopefully you will want to read the complete book, knowing as you read that my whole purpose in writing is to increase understanding of these conditions and phenomena that I now have experienced continuously since 1979. (And please tell others about my website
And finally, why 'knee knickers? To find out, I'm afraid that you will have to read the complete article. So, why not?