Schizophrenia, Possession and Freedom - with Jerry Marzinsky

#1
Hello everyone,

Here is an interview I've recently conducted with psychotherapist Jerry Marzinsky, about his work with people tormented by hearing abusive voices. Jerry came to believe these were the voices of vampiric entities, generating then feeding off negative human emotion. I ask Jerry what he has ascertained about the nature of these entities, their ability to use deception to scam people, there role in world affairs, and crucially what people can do to be free of them.

Jerry has offered to come back on to answer questions arising from this interview. I have a couple in my mind, I'll post them later, I'd be interested in what other people think first.


https://deepstateconsciousness.podbean.com/

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-deep-state-consciousness-podcast/id1338867921

(Note - the interview was long so I split it into the main body and three bonus clips)
 
#2
Thanks for raising this thread, Richard.

On the one hand, Jerry Marzinsky strikes me as a sensible and grounded guy. On the other, I can't help myself questioning his interpretation. I suppose it's the old superpsi vs. paranormal phenomena thing; I believe what he says about his experiences, but can it definitely be said that the sources of schizophrenic voices are evil spirits?

I can't say for sure, so I'm sitting on the fence. What I will say is that it's so very sad that psychiatrists won't at least try the option of taking the voices of schizophrenics seriously and seeing if there are therapeutic possibilities with that. He says he's actually cured people by doing it, so why don't they at least try it? If as they say schizophrenia is incurable, could it be any worse than pumping them full of drugs to the end of their days?
 
#3
Jerry came to believe these were the voices of vampiric entities, generating then feeding off negative human emotion. I ask Jerry what he has ascertained about the nature of these entities, their ability to use deception to scam people, there role in world affairs, and crucially what people can do to be free of them.
Hi, I havent frequented the forum very often. This topic intrigues me. I work in a large skilled nursing facility that has a separate floor for psychiatric patients. Im an 25 yr experienced occupational therapist and have 4+ years now working with people with so called mental illness. I have befriended so called residents with schizophrenic diagnoses. Yeah, theres a slew of different behaviors there. I often wondered about the voices these folks talk about. What is the genesis? I've also known people, friends actually in my youth who changed approaching adulthood and exhibited aspects of schizophrenia and even became hospitalized and incapacitated. Theres a lot to chew on here such as medications and negative effects over time. Im seeing folks who have been on neuroleptics and other meds for years, decades. Its hard in some cases to parse out the organic disease from the behaviors caused by long term med use.

The one aspect with this behavior is when it develops. People dont seem to develop this split voice symptom until roughly 18-22 and mostly affects young men. I'd have to check the stats on that but im pretty sure its mostly men. There tends to be a perseveration of ideas which play over and over and its seems really impossible to break that compulsion to repeat certain ideas. I have to go to work now but happy to participate.
 
#4
Hi, I havent frequented the forum very often. This topic intrigues me. I work in a large skilled nursing facility that has a separate floor for psychiatric patients. Im an 25 yr experienced occupational therapist and have 4+ years now working with people with so called mental illness. I have befriended so called residents with schizophrenic diagnoses. Yeah, theres a slew of different behaviors there. I often wondered about the voices these folks talk about. What is the genesis? I've also known people, friends actually in my youth who changed approaching adulthood and exhibited aspects of schizophrenia and even became hospitalized and incapacitated. Theres a lot to chew on here such as medications and negative effects over time. Im seeing folks who have been on neuroleptics and other meds for years, decades. Its hard in some cases to parse out the organic disease from the behaviors caused by long term med use.

The one aspect with this behavior is when it develops. People dont seem to develop this split voice symptom until roughly 18-22 and mostly affects young men. I'd have to check the stats on that but im pretty sure its mostly men. There tends to be a perseveration of ideas which play over and over and its seems really impossible to break that compulsion to repeat certain ideas. I have to go to work now but happy to participate.
It is absolutely great to have someone with clinical experience of this condition here on the forum.

This also means, I assume that you see the possibility that psychic phenomena and schizophrenia behaviour may be linked. If, for example, we are to think about the "television analogy" for consciousness, it doesn't seem impossible that more than one spiritual entity gets coupled to a single brain. Indeed, to take the analogy a little further, a de-tuned TV set (at least in the days of analogue broadcasting) can end up picking up more than one broadcast. Perhaps those drugs help to fix the de-tuning?

Also, I suppose, Mediums could be diagnosed as schizophrenic, where they to describe their experiences to a psychiatrist.

Having watched the film, I couldn't help wondering if talking with patients about what their voices were saying makes a lot of sense, because then you can encourage them to ignore them or argue back. Telling people they are hallucinations probably doesn't help!

David
 
#6
Having watched the film, I couldn't help wondering if talking with patients about what their voices were saying makes a lot of sense, because then you can encourage them to ignore them or argue back. Telling people they are hallucinations probably doesn't help!
I havent watched the film, yet. But yeah I totally agree. It works but it doesnt derail the program its temporary. This is a deeply imbedded thought form. But being accepted as a bedrock reality interpretor or arbiter is crucial. There has to be a special bond of trust else you may become part of the paranoid delusion.

So in my work, I dont do any official psychological treatment. I see people who may have a wide range of 'functional impairments'. I do try to bond with my patients and eventually just through unconditional support and frequent bribery (treats, small cash offerings) I become a somewhat trusted friend. These types of relationships develop way past treatment periods and the ones I refer to here took several years of interactions.

My point is I've had residents who hear voices come and ask me if what they say are true. Voices usually invoke paranoid delusions of people conspiracing against them. Sometimes they believe police may become involved. "Dan, are the police looking for me. I think I may have murdered someone". Or Dan, Did I murder somebody. I keep thinking I murdered somebody. "
I remembered one gentleman would occasionally ask me if his suspicions were true. That certain persons or groups of people were planning against them. I would take the time to let them know I took their suspicions seriously. I would say no, absolutely not. Thats not true. I would give some reasons. This person seemed to already know maybe they were inventing paranoid ideas. They spent their adult life in institutions. They could rationalize. It would seem to me maybe they were on the fence about what they believed and needed reassurance.

Thats not always the case, but most people deep in the delusions will listen and maybe agree with you but a few minutes later it starts back up.

I had 2 close friends in my twenties who heard voices. One I lived with for two years within a small group. I saw the transition and this person never sought treatment. Instead he self medicated and became obsessed with listening to loud music. He would lose himself in music and later in life the main thing he required was a high quality sound system. He also became an alcoholic and died a few years ago of I guess alcohol poisoning. He was someone who really constantly heard voices. They were mostly negative and his life philosophy was cynicism. He was functional, kept a regulate job as a school janitor. On his own time he spent all of it drinking beers with headphones on. I never analyzed it before but, this was his tactic to escape his thoughts.
 
#7
I havent watched the film, yet. But yeah I totally agree. It works but it doesnt derail the program its temporary. This is a deeply imbedded thought form. But being accepted as a bedrock reality interpretor or arbiter is crucial. There has to be a special bond of trust else you may become part of the paranoid delusion.
I think perhaps the guy in the film worked at an institution that took a particularly hard line about therapists taking voices seriously - you should listen to it.

Also, suppose you totally accepted that the voices came from distinct, real entities. Couldn't you still avoid becoming paranoid yourself, by simply constantly reminding yourself that real or not, these entities were malevolent.
So in my work, I dont do any official psychological treatment. I see people who may have a wide range of 'functional impairments'. I do try to bond with my patients and eventually just through unconditional support and frequent bribery (treats, small cash offerings) I become a somewhat trusted friend. These types of relationships develop way past treatment periods and the ones I refer to here took several years of interactions.

My point is I've had residents who hear voices come and ask me if what they say are true. Voices usually invoke paranoid delusions of people conspiracing against them. Sometimes they believe police may become involved. "Dan, are the police looking for me. I think I may have murdered someone". Or Dan, Did I murder somebody. I keep thinking I murdered somebody. "
That must be particularly hard - because maybe they really did murder someone! A strange, but maybe related fact is that after a murder, innocent individuals sometimes 'confess' to the crime!
I remembered one gentleman would occasionally ask me if his suspicions were true. That certain persons or groups of people were planning against them. I would take the time to let them know I took their suspicions seriously. I would say no, absolutely not. Thats not true. I would give some reasons. This person seemed to already know maybe they were inventing paranoid ideas. They spent their adult life in institutions. They could rationalize. It would seem to me maybe they were on the fence about what they believed and needed reassurance.
Clearly you were taking the voices seriously enough to discuss them in depth.
Thats not always the case, but most people deep in the delusions will listen and maybe agree with you but a few minutes later it starts back up.

I had 2 close friends in my twenties who heard voices. One I lived with for two years within a small group. I saw the transition and this person never sought treatment. Instead he self medicated and became obsessed with listening to loud music. He would lose himself in music and later in life the main thing he required was a high quality sound system. He also became an alcoholic and died a few years ago of I guess alcohol poisoning. He was someone who really constantly heard voices. They were mostly negative and his life philosophy was cynicism. He was functional, kept a regulate job as a school janitor. On his own time he spent all of it drinking beers with headphones on. I never analyzed it before but, this was his tactic to escape his thoughts.
That sounds tough - and maybe voices or some similar phenomenon are responsible for a lot of people who seem to degenerate.

David
 
#8
think perhaps the guy in the film worked at an institution that took a particularly hard line about therapists taking voices seriously - you should listen to it.
Hi Dave, i started watching the video and surprized about similarities i.e. using headphones. I had not thought about it until this thread.

Also, suppose you totally accepted that the voices came from distinct, real entities. Couldn't you still avoid becoming paranoid yourself, by simply constantly reminding yourself that real or not, these entities were malevolent.
Ah well no. Even if i supposed they were separate distinct enties. Why would i become paranoid. Im not sure i understand. But I believe i have had my own experiences with discarnate entities separate from this discussion and did not feel susceptible or concerned in that way. Personally, i think it has a lot to do with frequency.

because maybe they really did murder someone! A strange, but maybe related fact is that after a murder, innocent individuals sometimes 'confess' to the crime!
Yes, this could not be construed as true in any form. Theres aspects not worth going into, but please accept this is a total delusion and only one among many for this poor suffering soul. They also have a very severe anxiety disorder which can confine them to bed for months. Its true mental suffering i wouldnt wish on a worst enemy.

For some reason my iPad isnt cooperating with copy and paste tonight. Suffice, i deeply respect these residents and since they believe something is true is reason enough for me to listen. This is not a psych hospital. Its a warehouse. State governments have decided they cant afford state run facilites for the mentally ill. This is a large skilled nursing facility. Theres a visiting Psychiatrist, MDs, RNs, LPNs, Recreation staff, Security staff etc, etc, but these mentally ill residents dont get any special therapy. Theres no group counseling sessions or one on one sessions. They have to create their own social network. So how do totally disfunctional persons do that? Mostly badly or not at all.

I'm getting away from the topic at hand and I would like to explore that angle.
 
#9
Maggie Cox wrote -

How sad the book wasn’t finished Richard, has any of it published, perhaps as an article?
It must have been almost twenty five years ago that the work of Professor Marius Romme became known in the UK, workshops were held, and the Hearing Voices Movement began. Marius wrote books together with Sandra Escher, the first, Accepting Voices, was published by the charity Mind who were keen to promote their work. Sandra went on to do ground breaking work with children who heard voices. Their books are worth reading, also one called Hearing Voices by John Watkins. If Jerry does come back to answer more questions I would love to know if their is an equivalent organisation in the USA.

I mentioned that Jerry had said there was no evidence of a chemical imbalance in the brain to a friend but he said that there was in the dopamine system. Of course that doesn’t explain why the voices are for the most part so nasty and tormenting but I would like to hear Jerry’s comments.



Hello Maggie,

I asked Jerry about the book he was co-authoring with William Van Dusen, he's still working on it and releasing some of it soon.

I've just posted the interview on a hearing voices forum. Often talks like this get a mixed reception there. There's divergent views over whether the voices are ultimately malevolent or not, as people report that they change and become positive as they are more integrated. This would suggest a more psychological explanation – but I'm sure you're already familiar with this. I interviewed Dr. Joachim Schnackenberg a while back, he talked through how a malevolent voice can change to benevolent during dialogue.


https://www.podbean.com/site/EpisodeDownload/PB8D5BD28BPNJ

I'll think more about how to approach the chemical imbalance aspect. I didn't go deeply into it as the kind of people who listen to my podcast don't need much convincing on it. Jerry did tell me that drugs can help a person gain enough release from the voices to do some spiritual treatment work, but wouldn't cure a person. It does raise chicken and egg questions of, do people have hear voices because they have lowered dopamine, or do they have lowered dopamine because they hear voices...
 
#10
Thanks for your replies everyone, here are some general comments.

It's interesting that Jerry does take such an extreme position, where not only does he attribute all schizophrenic voices to external spirits, but also all the negative thoughts we take to be our own. It really doesn't strike me a obviously true, but then we can't really know where thought come from. I was interested to ground the interview in how do people gain freedom from such thoughts, irrespective of their ultimate origin.

Great to have people with clinical experience here commenting!

Mediums could indeed get into trouble if they reported their experience to psychiatrists – indeed I suspect many have!

I agree that telling people they are hallucinations probably doesn't help. That doesn't mean people have to believe they are external entities – but rather that the voices have meaning. Both Jerry and Joachim Schnackenberg (interview linked above) concur that the voices in some way reflect what the sufferer truly believes about themselves. Jerry thinks they do this because they're playing on our weaknesses to feed, whereas Joachim might tend towards an explanation unintegrated aspects of the psyche. Either way, they point to what is going on deep within us and shouldn't be dismissed as meaningless hallucinations.
 
#11
Ah well no. Even if i supposed they were separate distinct enties. Why would i become paranoid. Im not sure i understand.
I think you read what I wrote the wrong way round!
This is not a psych hospital. Its a warehouse. State governments have decided they cant afford state run facilites for the mentally ill. This is a large skilled nursing facility. Theres a visiting Psychiatrist, MDs, RNs, LPNs, Recreation staff, Security staff etc, etc, but these mentally ill residents dont get any special therapy. Theres no group counseling sessions or one on one sessions. They have to create their own social network. So how do totally disfunctional persons do that? Mostly badly or not at all.
This is what gets me nowadays, politicians and administrators generate loads of guidance and best practice, etc. etc., but then there are no resources to implement them!

Is it just my impression that there is a lot more mental illness around nowadays?

David
 
#12
Thanks for your replies everyone, here are some general comments.

It's interesting that Jerry does take such an extreme position, where not only does he attribute all schizophrenic voices to external spirits
I guess there is an Occam's Razor argument to select one or the other - not a mixture of the two.
, but also all the negative thoughts we take to be our own.
I wasn't sure I understood that. Do you mean ordinary negative thoughts?

David
 
#13
An interesting person who worked a lot on a connection between spirituality and madness is Seth Farber:

http://www.sethhfarber.com/index.htm

He also regularly defends parapsychology and psychic research - as well as immaterialism and anatheism - on the anti-psychiatry / post-psychiatry / critical psychiatry websites like "Mad in America".

I even tried to contact him, in order to invite him as a interviewee to the Psience Quest forum, yet he didn't respond. Maybe Alex would be more successful? This guy could be a wonderful Skeptiko podcast guest.
 
#14
I guess there is an Occam's Razor argument to select one or the other - not a mixture of the two.

I wasn't sure I understood that. Do you mean ordinary negative thoughts?

David

Yes, Jerry attributes all negative thoughts to the actions of external entities. He's quite clear on this and I do get him to be as it's such an unusual claim.

I'm not sure Occam's Razor helps us much, we experience voices coming from seeming others in dreams, that upon waking we take to be our own. This experience can be induced whilst awake too.
 
#16
It's interesting that Jerry does take such an extreme position, where not only does he attribute all schizophrenic voices to external spirits, but also all the negative thoughts we take to be our own. It really doesn't strike me a obviously true, but then we can't really know where thought come from. I was interested to ground the interview in how do people gain freedom from such thoughts, irrespective of their ultimate origin.
Im definitely with you on this one Richard . I compare my meditation practice and past experiences during meditation with those of my patients/residents. I believe there are what I would call unhelpful entities, discarnate humans. I don't know how they can invade such personal space. There must be a kind of lower frequency alignment. For my residents though, Its not just hearing voices. There's generally a mix other DMS diagnoses, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar, Schizoaffective. Delusions are common. Complicating this are the medication side effects, especially 1st generation, which in some cases really give a psych pt. their crazy look I.e. Tardive Dyskinesia, spasms, poor motor control, shakes and tremors thing.

Its almost better for me to look back at my 20 something friends which heard voices and didn't in general receive regular medication. I have a friend from a Pennsylvania high school. He's hopefully still out there. His name was Lanny (fictitious). In later years he preferred Treeplanter (really). He became an arborist in his 50s. He did give battle to his voices. He was hospitalized a number of times. One time I had take him myself to Salem Psych Hospital in Ore. in 1973. He almost went unresponsive. I actually consulted with one of the psychiatrists that was later featured in the movie, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. So he was certifiable. However he was completely non violent and mostly a vegetarian. In his twenties, I remember he engaged in paranoid thinking, but as time went now. He entertained and embraced all sorts of Christian and Eastern spiritual beliefs and was a conspiracy theorist as well as claiming he had visitations from aliens and UFOs.

Now this guy became a talented grifter in time. He got himself declared mentally disabled in California. Collected a monthly sum which enabled him to buy a van, but he never had a home. He was a kind of wandering sadhu. He liked to walk around in the nude. Sometimes in public. I think either he didn't care or there may have been times when he got too far out there. looked to get hospitalized to have a warm bed and regular meals. He mostly used Eastern Spiritual Ashrams as temp homes. He would sell himself as a devout follower of whoever. It was a scam mostly. Rashneeish was one of those places. He robbed another Ashram in Fla in the early 80s only because it was too loose, nobody seemed to be in charge. He would do menial chores work in the gardens and then score on the ladies. He developed a gift for sweet talking women. He had no fear with woman. He told me he was part woman, he understood them and knew exactly what to say to get their clothes off. He had thick long hair and was a decent looking guy. I heard some good stories. No they were true. I saw him in action, saw pictures.

Now did he cure himself? I don't know. I think he did. Never took psych meds voluntarily. He did like to smoke pot and do various hallucinogens. I never heard him talk about voices later in life and if he did, they weren't malicious. He found love and he embraced love. Not sexual love alone but he loved animals and trees and people. These unhelpful entities are vampiric, I think that stuff is like garlic and holy water to them if they were external.

Don't let me draw some enlightened idea about him. I found myself avoiding him as much as possible just due to his completely different ideas about things and his lifestyle. He wasn't inwardly happy. He did the best he could given his personality and so called demons. I apologize if I went on to long
 
#17
Thank you for answering my questions Richard I have listened with interest to the Joachim Schnackenberg interview.

At the time of his death, over twenty years ago now, my husband was a regional chair of the charity Mind, he did talk to people about their voices because he wanted to understand, especially if he thought they may be suicidal, but not directly to the voices. He felt that if you listened carefully there was always meaning often symbolic. A couple of years before his death he had been reading some of the early work on psychedelics and getting quite excited that eventually there may be hope for a variety of mental illnesses including addiction. I doubt that anyone with schizophrenia will be prescribed a psychedelic in my lifetime but they were sometimes used then with good results.

I am not sure about using the word schizophrenia, it may be an overall word given to a variety of conditions and the people admitted to a psychiatric hospital those whose voices are particularly nasty, clearly from a Professor Marius Romme’s work hearing voices is more common than we have previously thought in the general population. I have on my bookshelf a book called Healing the Split - Integrating Spirit into Our Understanding of the Mentally Ill by John E Nelson MD. it has a forward by a Ken Wilber. Doctor Nelson adjusted the drugs he gave to the patient’s situation at the time, they can be a mercy and necessary to live any kind of a normal life but are often over prescribed.

I look forward to reading Jerry’s book when it is published.
 
#19
Probably David but more simply than that – just by suspending the entry into sleep, the hypnagogic state, dream like images arise whilst fully awake which look and speak as separate people.
I know - if I read a book in bed until I am about to go to sleep, I hear them!

Don't forget that these might be distinct entities - after knocking about on the forum for a while, nothing seems impossible!

David
 
#20
I know - if I read a book in bed until I am about to go to sleep, I hear them!

Don't forget that these might be distinct entities - after knocking about on the forum for a while, nothing seems impossible!
When I first started meditating 4 yrs ago, I had several anomalous experiences. These subsided after the first year but there was a weird experience of being accosted by images of faces while I was in bed but completely awake. I was meditating supine. However Im sure it was a prehypno state, but I cant be sure. I always felt confused at their orgin. It never happened before and it trailed off after a couple weeks. There was one evening where faces erupted one after another, there may have been hundreds and they were all looking at me. As if I was being examined as some curiosity. Some of the faces would come up nose to nose. Mostly those appeared male, none were familiar, none attractive, no smiles, some frowning, but no gargoyles.
I wondered are they trying to frighten me? I merely observed. I didnt know if it was internal or external.

At a later time I was subjected to every possible horrible image one can imagine. When it occurred I thought well ive seen 10,000 movies. Maybe my subconcious is regurgitating all the crap stored in here. It was curious.

I still struggle with going hypnogogic during my meditation sessions. But for me this state is always tangential and fluid and consciously nonsensical. These prior experiences were never revisited.
 
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