Governments have a number of ways that they can drive people insane. There are constant psychological assaults, and sometimes, something as simple as staying quiet and being indifferent can break someone’s mind. The following people weren’t insane to begin with, until they somehow got involved with a government agency. It led to them becoming so broken down that they may now be just empty shells of who they once were.
10 Paul Bennewitz
In the 1980s, Paul Bennewitz owned a humidity equipment company that had a number of contracts with Kirkland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bennewitz lived near the base and said he saw UFOs flying over it.
According to special agent Richard Doty of the US Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and backed up by documents discovered using the Freedom of Information Act, Bennewitz was actually encouraged to believe that he saw real UFOs. Doty met with Bennewitz a number of times and passed him false documents. The false documents seemed to indicate that there was going to be an alien invasion, and it could happen at any time. Since Bennewitz was convinced that the government was hiding an imminent alien invasion that, of course, never happened, he spent one month institutionalized for paranoia.
Doty fed Bennewitz the false information to discredit him. What he actually saw was a secret helicopter training program. By convincing Bennewitz that what he saw was a UFO, it would make him look crazy, and no one would believe anything he said.
9 Christopher Kirkpatrick
Whistle-blowers are in an unusual position when it comes to the government. In the private sector, whistle-blowers can turn to the government for help, but to whom do government whistle-blowers turn? One notable example how troublesome this problem can be is the case of 38-year-old clinical psychologist Christopher Kirkpatrick.
Kirkpatrick got a job one month after finishing his doctorate in August 2008, with the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Wisconsin. His job was to work with soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Kirkpatrick’s treatment involved giving people therapy and having his patients do activities like yoga. Other doctors at the medical center didn’t agree with Kirkpatrick’s approach and chose to prescribe opiates to patients instead. However, these prescriptions were affecting Kirkpatrick’s treatment and he thought the patients were being overmedicated.
Kirkpatrick found the overmedicating troublesome and brought it up in an early 2009 meeting with the health care providers. At the meeting, there was a physician’s assistant who had been overmedicating. The physician’s assistant spoke to the faculty’s chief of staff, and Kirkpatrick was written up for criticizing the physician’s assistant. Kirkpatrick wanted to pursue the overmedicating issue but was told to stay quiet and that he should just pay attention to his own work.