Chokehold: Stop and Frisk

Black people are many times more likely to be given a diagnoses of “mental illness” especially those involving what gets called “psychosis”.

No wonder.

This from an excellent series in The Guardian, Paul Butler looks at policing in US, which may be more extreme than in other countries, but really, not entirely different.

This part focuses on Stop and Frisk / Search and impact on black men in particular.

Paul Butler in The Guardian.
Chokehold: in four Parts
Aug 2017
Part Three: Stop n Frisk

Stop and Frisk

“For African American men, stop-and-frisk is a form of government. It is the most visceral manifestation of the state in their lives.

Most black men have never been convicted of a crime.

About half of black men get arrested at some point during their lives.

But virtually every African American man gets stopped-and-frisked.”


Full article at

Posted in Ideas, sh!t is f#cked, skin I'm in, what's going on? | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Thunderstruck – Steve’n’Seagulls

Big thanks to my friend SD for this one…

Who knew Finnish Bluegrass-Metal was a thing?

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I’m Shippin’ up to Boston – Dropkick Murphys

I’m shipping up to Boston whoa
I’m shipping up to Boston whoa
I’m shipping up to Boston whoa
I’m shipping off…to find my wooden leg

“I’m Shipping Up To Boston”

I’m a sailor peg
And I’ve lost my leg
Climbing up the top sails
I lost my leg!

I’m shipping up to Boston whoa
I’m shipping up to Boston whoa
I’m shipping up to Boston whoa
I’m shipping off…to find my wooden leg

I’m a sailor peg
And I’ve lost my leg
Climbing up the top sails
I lost my leg!

I’m shipping up to Boston whoa
I’m shipping up to Boston whoa
I’m shipping up to Boston whoa
I’m shipping off…to find my wooden leg


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HV Group Toronto – Fall 2017 dates

Our HV Group starts it’s eighth year in September 2017.

We meet the third Thursday each month,
we do not meet in August

See the poster for address and dates.

Big thanks as always to Houselink for offering us use of their space.




Easy print poster [pdf]

First timer?

If you what to get an idea of what its we usually suggest you check out the HV cafe first.
The HV Cafe is for everybody including the just curious and is the easiest intro to what we’re about and how we try to do things.

To Workers

We often get workers  asking if they can “send” clients to us
– If you can find an envelope big enough I guess you could try but we’d prefer you didn’t, especially if you have not obtained prior informed consent – in writing and in a separate envelope.

We’re grateful if you share the information and let the person decide for themselves.

We’re also ok if they want you to come with them, but we usually suggest that the HV Cafe is an easier place to do that, the HV cafe is for everyone.

Our HV Group values the additional privacy and we thank your for respecting that.

We don’t take referrals
we don’t need a referral,
we don’t do referrals,
we don’t know what a referral is.
and we don’t really want to.

About HV Group Toronto

What we mean by Hearing Voices
We hear voices you don’t- voices others might think are not there to be heard but we hear them.
you might think its rare or unusual, but its actually a very common human experience, for example:

  • 75% Three-in-four humans will hear a voice no one else does at least once- often around challenging life events, like loss of a loved one
  • 50% of people in long term marriage heard, saw, otherwise sensed the presence of their deceased spouse
  • 22% of young people
  • About 10% of all people hear voices regularly
  • Two thirds of world leaders at the 1943 Quebec Conference did
  • Even 38% of Doctors do it…

The majority of people who hear voices never need seek help- they find the experience valuable, useful, even enjoy it, and  find it helps them in their life or work – eg many, many  writers do.In fact, if you don’t then maybe you’re missing out.

As for those who do struggle… it is often because they feel disempowered and disconnected from others , isolated.

  • About 80% have experience adverse experiences like abuse neglect, bullying in their youth
  • A person given a diagnosis of “psychosis” is fifteen times more likely to have been abused as a child than a person with no psychiatric diagnosis.


sh!t is f#ckedThe last two alone suggest how much this Sh!t is f#cked .

…and how much we need find our compassion.

Difficult voices always make sense in context of the life of the person who hears them- so long as we make time and allow ourselves to really listen.

Hearing Voices is not just about “voices”…

If you sometimes hear voices, hear other things, see things, smell things, feel things, think things that others don’t and when you try to talk top them about it they get their freak on, then give us a try because we do to.

We talk about “hearing voices” because it’s descriptive of the most common of the kind of experiences that get called names like “psychosis”. I hear voices [you don’t], its that simple.

It also tends to be voices that scares more people shitless and leads them to  want to control us and treat us like crap so they can feel better. We believe that’s partly [largely? ] because of the powerful simple story/myth that prevails in our culture. This story disempowers us and isolates people who are already having a hard enough time.

Disempowerment and Isolation
Some people do struggle and what we know is that people who feel disempowered by their experience of voices are often also disempowered in other aspects of their life.
If we work on those, the voices can change. if we work with our voices, it can get easier to change things in our life we need and want to change.

if you hear voices...If you want to come, come.
If you’re only coming because someone else told you to come, then try asking them something like:
“have you realised how much you  sound like a ‘command hallucination’?”

We’re totally non medical, non-diagnostic.

We’re a full charter hearing voices group –
for voice hearers
by voice hearers,
of voice hearers.



The voices are real

The voices are teh voices are realreal
– as real as real gets.

We know that you don’t make ’em up
and we know it can be a pain in the ass.

We also know it can be valuable and funny and sad and insightful and scary and everything else that life can be.

If you’re struggling and if you’re interested we can share some stuff that you can try – some is really simple, some is bloody hard, some might work for you, some might not. Nothing works if you don’t try it. The only way to find out what works for you is if you try it .
It’s always your choice.

Voices change.
You can, if you want, change what you experience.


Tthe hardest thing...he Hardest Thing…

The hardest thing people who hear voices have to deal with…Our Hearing Voices group is one place you can find we don’t treat each other that way…

We choose not to …
use diagnostic or medical language
tell you what’s wrong with you, what to call yourself,  or who you are

We choose instead …
to listen
to share what works for us, how we make sense of our own experience
we envision a society that understandsWe envision and enact a society that understands voice hearing, supports the needs of individuals who hear voices and views them as full citizens.
This type of society is not only possible it is already on its way.

We believe all  human experience is meaningful and understandable – if only we make time to listen, and to figure out what it means to us.

We believe the hearing voices approach is emancipatory…

Emancipatory for people who hear voices…

If I hear voices they are “my” voices: mine bemancipateecause it’s…

  • me who gets to hear them
  • me who gets to choose what they mean to me
  • me who gets to choose what I do about what they say



Emancipatory for people who support loved ones who who hear voices and emancipatory for workers and clinicians too…

seriously-folksFree yourself from the nonsense that says the people you care about hear voices because they haven’t taken enough tablets,   or haven’t had enough chemicals injected into their buttcheeks,
that they cant do anything for themselves, and that your role is confined to sneaking around their back and checking up on them.


Hearing Voices is not about “mental illness”

Hearing Voices is not about “mental illness” – whatever that is.
It’s not even really about illness.

It is a global emancipatory human rights movement, in 35 countries on all continents…
but mostly it’s about being human.

Heck, Canada even has a voice hearing former Prime Minister on its money…


Here’s our charter – what we’re about, how we try to do it.

Print pdf: hvn-toronto-group-charter









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Good thoughts bad thoughts…..

Travel like a king
Every ending is a new beginning
Life is an endless unfoldment
Change your mind, and you change your relation to time

Bullshit thoughts rot your meat
Think right, and you can fly
The kingdom of heaven is within
Free your mind, and your ass will follow

Play on, children
Sing on, lady

Travel like a king
Listen to the inner voice
A higher wisdom is at work for you
Conquering the stumbling blocks come easier
When the conqueror is in tune with the infinite
Every ending is a new beginning
Life is an endless unfoldment
Change your mind, and you change your relation to time

You can find the answer
The solution lies within the problem
The answer is in every question
Dig it?
An attitude is all you need to rise and walk away
Inspire yourself
Your life is yours
It fits you like your skin

The oak sleeps in the acorn
The giant sequoia tree sleeps in its tiny seed
The bird waits in the egg
God waits for his unfoldment in man
Fly on, children
Play on

You gravitate to that which you secretly love most
You meet in life the exact reproduction of your own thoughts
There is no chance, coincidence or accident
In a world ruled by law and divine order
You rise as high as your dominant aspiration
You descend to the level of your lowest concept of your self
Free your mind and your ass will follow

The infinite intelligence within you knows the answers
Its nature is to respond to your thoughts
Be careful of the thought-seeds you plant in the garden of your mind
For seeds grow after their kind

Play on, children

Every thought felt as true
Or allowed to be accepted as true by your conscious mind
Takes roots in your subconscious
Blossoms sooner or later into an act
And bears its own fruit
Good thoughts bring forth good fruit
Bullshit thoughts rot your meat
Think right, and you can fly
The kingdom of heaven is within
Free your mind, and your ass will follow

Play on, children
Sing on, lady

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Pathways from surviving adverse experiences to being deemed “psychotic

A growing body of research shows connections between enduring and surviving early adverse relationships and being told,  in adulthood that we are “psychotic”.

We will likely be told we have “lost touch with reality”, whatever that means, when the truth is it’s really not hard to understand: we are struggling to feel safe in the world.

We will likely be told we need be more resilient when we have likely already shown more resilience than anyone who says that to us.

We survived, now we struggle to survive the rest of our lives and give ourselves opportunities  in which we can learn how to live.


Poster: easy print version [.pdf]


Works great in b&w too.






Posted in Abuse, Adversity, bollocks, Emancipate yourself..., Healing, hearing voices, Ideas | Leave a comment

Hold On – Nightwulf

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There is Hope: evidence base

Even in a world of “evidence based medicine” you’ll always hear people tell you
“there is hope”.

reverse dalekEven when they put on their best Walmart Greeter/MH Worker face, you can tell they have no idea what it means and they sound like the Dalek who’s just got back from newly  mandated gender sensitivity training and is trying a bit too hard…

There is Hope!
There is Hope!
There is Hope!

ok, so we get it but…
Where’s the evidence, eh?

Well, here is the evidence base for Hope…

Get your eye holes on this, seethee: this is Hope Valley in Derbyshire. *[Click on the pic it’s big]

Finding Hope

Seethee, Hope even has a railway station with a sign telling you where it is and when you’ve found it…

You can tell by the look on his face, this Kevin Smith lookalike guy sure found it…

Solid as…

And, as if that’s not enough evidence for you, if you identify as, like, some kinda “evidence junky”, “evidence hound” or “follow-the-evidence-hipster” and you want concrete proof then know that this evidence base is solid, because its made of concrete.

Hope, seethee,  also has a cement works called, funnily enough, “Hope Cement Works”.
Or, short version: “Hope Works”.

It is right there in the huge pic above but here’s a close-er up view.

There you go, concrete proof that There is Hope.
and that Hope Works.

And that’s quite a bit more evidence than “evidence based medicine” ever came up with.


*= for American readers especially it’s pronounced Dar-bee-shur .

And if you know of a more picturesquely situated cement works then please, share the pics cuz we could all use a little more Hope.

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SBAD Innit?

That olde trope given new diagnostic legitimacy by the same process as any other psychiatric  diagnosis – we just made some shit up.

Before you give yourself a psychiatric diagnosis, check first that you are not just surrounded by assholes
– right?

If you got it bad then that ain’t good..
Find relief from knowing it now has the legitimacy of being as-real-a-diagnosis as any other…

Diagnose yersel, diagnose your friends and family…
Are you not MAD,  but fukn furious?
Do you get irritated by all the bollocks?
or just plain tired of all the shyte?
or have you been just-pissed-off for more than 13¾ days?
had the grumps on a regular basis for as long as you can remember?
even slightly miffed for a while?
or just left out because ono other diagnosis quite fits?

Try adding SBAD to your psychiatric-soup-n-salad identity-mixr.

Ask yourself…
When you look around you, does everyone look like a penis?
Do all the penises yell and insist on telling you whats wrong with you?
Do the penises tell you what to do? who to be?

Take comfort, you are not alone.
It’s not you,
its your disorder.

There is no cure,
but, blessedly, thankfully 

evidence based medicine shows us
There is hope.
Whatever that is,
where ever you find it
its there.

good luck.

You are not alone,

you’re just surrounded by assholes…

Surrounded By Assholes Disorder: SBAD

Find self-diagnosis kits everywhere.


Side effects: taking any medication may cause your actual asshole to seriously malfunction, discomfort, leading to tightness, looseness, itchyness, embarrassment,
oh, and death.

Black Box Warning

No medication sold as “Anti-Asshole” medication has been shown to be in the least bit effective against any asshole let alone the increasingly common Medication-Resistant Asshole.

Your only real escape is a private space ship to slip these surly bonds.
So let’s hope you’re some kinda rich asshole, eh?

Here’s to assholes everywhere!

Dr Ken is not a “real” “Doctor”, it’s just his name
but he sure can be a right asshole.

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Rollin in The Deep – Linkin Park




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