My encounters with law and order

I have done some crazy things in my life, even if they were in the service of a noble purpose (in my view), and thus I have had several encounters with police.  They have actually been remarkably restrained, now that I think of it.
Here is the first encounter, from my book “Clues – A Paranoid Schizophrenic’s Detective Story” (2002)
cluescover
In the station was a policeman behind a desk. I walked in: “I have a strange story to tell you.” I said.
The cop looked interested. “Try me,” he said.
“I want to report that someone put a drug in a bottle of water that I had with me. I drank it and had a violent reaction to it.”
“Do you have the water with you?” asked the cop.
I was stunned. I never thought of that.
“I threw it out.”
“Where did this happen?” asked the cop.
“In my apartment. They must have gotten into my apartment.”
“Was there any sign of forced entry?”
“No.”
The cop took a pen and paper.
“Give me some background” he said.
“Well, I’ve been called names and been spit at for years now. Wherever I am, whether Cambridge, Mass, or New Haven, Connecticut.”
“Where exactly does this happen? We could get a squad car to watch you and see what happens.”
“Oh, its very unpredictable.” I said. “It would be hard to follow me close enough and long enough to see anything.”
The cop sighed. “Well then, what do you want me to do?”
“This is serious, though. My theory is that there is a movie of some disgusting episode of my life, and that the movie is circulating all over the Eastern Seaboard.”
The cop looked sad. I tried to read his expression. It did not look encouraging. “Can I have your name?” he asked.
“Marvin Cohen.”
“Do you live alone?”
“Yes, but on weekends, I go to my parent’s house.”
“Can I have your parent’s phone number?” …
[I gave the number]…
I started to leave. “I just felt that someone in law enforcement should hear my story…You should know that there are drugs out there and evil people slip them into other people’s drinks. And this drug had some pretty amazing effects. It raised my sex drive to the moon.” The cop feigned surprise. “No!” “Yes. Really. This is a new kind of drug. In fact, this is a new kind of crime.” …I tried to show the implications. “There must be a whole underground crime scene that you are unaware of. This crime must have been committed by scientists. Or by doctors.”
The cop said nothing.
“I’ve done my best.” I said. “You have been warned.”
The cop escorted me to the door. “I’ll see what I can do.”
The cop picked up his phone and dialed. “Mrs. Cohen?” he paused. “I’m with the New Haven Police Department. Your son was here. I’m afraid he needs help. Psychiatric help.”
By the way, I got my mother and twin to read “Clues” and neither liked it at all.  It does not make me look good.
To give some background, for about 32 years now, I have believed that there is a movie, taken in my dorm, that exposes some remarkably sickening behavior.  This movie has been shown all over the country, and the world.   If that isn’t crazy enough, for about 22 years now, I have believed that I’m attacked by a Mafia that has drugs – drugs such as Scopolamine, that can put you in a daze while they steal your keys, drugs that affect your various reproductive drives (yes, there is more than one drive that pushes you to reproduction), drugs that affect your heart, your brain, your body.
It was hard to go to the cops with either story – there was always a chance they would ship me out in a straitjacket.
But I tried periodically over the years.
Once I sent faxes to the Irvington on Hudson police department.  I did not send them from my home, because I believed my home was bugged.
So: a few days later, my parents (who I had to live with at this point, because I believed any job I took would quickly be sabotaged), got a phone call.  It was officer Murphy, from the Irvington police.  This was not of course what I wanted to happen.  My mother explained hastily that I was under control, and he hung up.  Then he couldn’t resist another call, and asked: “Is your son SAFE?”.  My mother, who felt like boxing me on the ears, assured him I was.  And that seemed to be that.
Except…
I walked into the Irvington Police Department on another occasion, for a different issue, and I mentioned Officer Murphy.
The officer I was talking to gave me a knowing look.  An amused look.  “We have no officer Murphy here.” he said.
“But,” I stammered – “I don’t understand!  Maybe some mistake somewhere?”
I left.
irvingtonny
Irvington on Hudson, NY

Our half-acre yard is surrounded by a high fence – high enough to keep our deer.  My father was dozing off in our back patio, which faces a large rock with some shrubs planted on the slope.  Then he snapped alert.  A man ran across our back yard, and down out the other side, where there was an exit door in the fence.    My father told me about this when I got home, and I said “We should call the police!”
My father has a wary attitude toward police, perhaps from his experiences in Germany and Israel, or perhaps its just a common-sense idea that getting on the radar of law-enforcement can have unpredictable consequences.  So he was reluctant to call.

Finally my mother called the Greenburgh Police Department, and had a long conversation, some of which I heard, explaining what happened.
Many months later, I came into the GPD, I forget the reason, and mentioned that phone call.  A policeman looked it up.  It did not exist.  He could not understand it, they record any conversation that comes in.  In fact, they were doubtful of my veracity – that is, until I had my father talk to them.
There have been somewhat amusing encounters with the police as well.   I walked into the GPD, and the policeman behind the desk asked me to sum up my story in one sentence.  I said “People are coming into my house — People who use drugs on me, and maybe my family too.”  The policeman realized from that one sentence that he was dealing with a nut, and so he pushed a button that locked the entry door.  Then he phoned my parents.  You can imagine their reaction.
Another  time two alarmed police came in front of our door and talked to my Mom – I think the reason was my sending faxes to the police station.   My father later asked why there had been police cars in front of our house, and she made up some excuse, because he is old and can’t take too much of this kind of excitement.  My mother is embarrassed also because the neighbors will see this, and wonder what is going on in our house.
Another time I visited the GPD, (being a glutton for punishment) and handed the officer a summary paper of my story.   He started reading it, and then he said to me:  “This is like a movie.  Nobody will believe this.  But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.  Get yourself a hidden camera, and if you can provide evidence, we can look into it.”
The problem, which I was afraid to tell him for credibility reasons, was that I believed I was under constant 24 hour surveillance, 7 days a week.  So getting a camera would not work.  The “bad guys” would sabotage it.  Or they would spray me with some poisonous drug with particularly unpleasant effects if I tried to get near a “spy store” or conversely, ordered such equipment on the internet.
My parents as you can imagine, have strongly impressed on me the idea that going to the police is insane.  It also strongly disrupts their peaceful afternoon reading the paper on armchairs on the patio.
For various reasons, hard as it may be to believe,  I think law-enforcement really did try to take me seriously.
The problem with taking me seriously is that the closer an investigator gets to me, the crazier I seem.  At night, for example, I sometimes go into stream-of-consciousness rants, which on some clear nights have affected the neighbors who take walks outside their house.  In one case, I heard a neighbor commenting on it.  Of course the last thing I want to do is terrify my neighbors.  My rants can also get quite embarassing, especially when I believe the “bad guys” have used their ‘aphrodisiacs’, this adds to the fun.  No wonder nobody can sell a house on my block!.
Of course a person who believes a sleazy movie of him has spread all over the world should be hard to embarrass but still, I live in many different worlds at once..
The rants are due to various things.  I believe the bad guys have a “talk drug” — a drug that makes you talk.  They also have attacked me with other drugs, and since I assume my house is bugged, I talk aloud to those bad guys.  But my brain is in a state where part of it is turned off – the part that does sanity checking – so its like having the “interpreter” (our brain supposedly has this interpreter that interprets our own actions) going full blast without the normal controls.
Its been interesting.
Anyway – what prompted this outburst?  I was drugged last night – around 3 AM.  I felt the warmth advancing like an anesthetic, and the stiffening in my chest and eyes, and I knew what was coming.  I ran downstairs, sat on my laptop, and a strong iodine-like smell arose from my seat.  I tried to lie down, because I hadn’t slept enough, but I was on a stimulant of some kind, and could not sleep.  I didn’t want to take a walk outside without putting my clothes in the washing machine first, because the “bad guys” like to poison the inner lining of my pants.
So why put this in an evil blog.  Doesn’t it belong in a lunacy blog instead?
Well, I could hop up and down and shout that its all real, but that wouldn’t convince anyone.  So I’ll just describe the scenario, and maybe in a hundred years, it will be believed.
The basic idea is that chemicals can be used as weapons.  You even hear about it on the news in war zones such as Syria.  Even ISIS has used chemicals as weapons.  So the implication is that some chemicals are gasses, or can be delivered as such, over large areas.  So the next logical jump is – can they be used as a short range weapon on individuals?  The answer is of course yes, for instance Columbian criminals spray tourists with Scopolamine which puts those tourists in a lengthy daze.  Sardinian criminals fill tourist bungalows with sleeping gas.
There was even a case where terrorists took hostages in a Moscow theatre, and Russian troops filled the theatre with a sleeping gas.  I remember some American at the time whining that this is illegal by international law.  Well, get used to it.  Its happening in the U.S.
Nerve drugs can require very low dosages, think of LSD, for example.   Scientists with a criminal bent who figure out what I’ve just told you here, can have a field day.  Our police are geared to guns and knives and maybe explosions.  They can’t save you from being hacked on your computer, and they could not stop some unobtrusive individual from spraying you out of a hollowed out cellphone, or enveloping you in a cloud of gas from a pipe sticking vertically from under the chassis of his car.
So its quite a scenario, even if I am the lunatic my family knows I am.  Maybe I shouldn’t give criminals any ideas by posting this. However, for what its worth, at least it may have stretched your imagination a little.
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2 thoughts on “My encounters with law and order

  1. Fascinating and disturbing! I feel that since we live in a crazy world, it’s no wonder we all end up crazy, in different ways. Good luck with the book.

  2. The book was published in 2002. It was a flop.
    We do live in a crazy world, but some people do seem to make it through in a sane dignified manner, and others do not. I obviously did not.
    I just picked up a book titled “the Sociopath Next Door” (with this blog in mind) and the author, a professor and psychiatrist named Martha Stout, says that 4 percent of the people around us simply do not have a conscience. They don’t feel shame, they don’t feel guilt, and they don’t feel remorse. And these people are not segregated from us in any way, they can be at our job, at our college, or in our family. And most of us are unaware of them – they disguise their nature.
    As for your comment about our crazy world, she also wrote a book called “The Myth of Sanity”. With a title like that, I have to read it.
    Anyway, as far as craziness goes, there are several ingredients to it, and one of those ingredients is departure from reality. Its not a sufficient condition, but its a necessary condition. And that’s the sticking point here. If indeed I am being targeted (which obviously doesn’t make sense, from our understanding of human motivation) then I am not crazy, no matter how eccentric I am, no matter how much I talk to myself, no matter if I walk outside having forgotten my hat and having put my shirt on backwards.
    Facts matter. Truth matters.
    That can be a problem in some cases with psychiatric diagnosis. Experiments have been done to fool psychiatrists, and they do get fooled, and they do prescribe drugs to those fakers.
    And a fact can overthrow a diagnosis. I once read (but could not find this again) that one of the pioneers of radio told his friends what he had achieved, and they grabbed him and took him to a psychotherapist. This may not be true, since I can’t verify it.
    But there are a few stories out there of people who were diagnosed as crazy because of some experience they had, an experience that eventually turned out to be true.
    That’s not to say that I don’t believe that insanity exists.
    Plato has Socrates describe a gathering of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall from things passing in front of a fire behind them, and they begin to give names to these shadows. The shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. But it is the way we all construct reality – we have experiences, and from those we construct models – models of how people behave, for instance. I believe there is some glaring gap in that particular model.
    We can trust experiences if they interlock and reinforce each other. For instance, if you were put on a desert island with a stranger, and the stranger disbelieved part of your story of your past, you would not be able to offer proof of it, but you could probably offer many memories that support it in one way or the other. If you wanted to prove what town you lived in, you could probably bring up all sorts of memories of the people you met there, the events that happened to you there, the walks you took, the stores you bought from, the commuting you did, and even though all these experiences are subjective, the combination of it all brings certainty.
    For the last 32 years, I have lived with people who believe I’m insane. They feel the insanity is compartmentalized, and their diagnosis does not prevent them from asking advice on various things, and we have good conversations, but obviously they have to believe that anyone who believes what I believe has departed from reality. I understand their point of view, I understand their reasoning, and I think I understand where they went wrong. to some extent.
    If you sit in an armchair 200 miles away (as my parents did), from a reported event, and the event does not contravene the laws of nature (just our intuition of human behavior), then you have to be cautious with overriding someone’s perceptions.

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