submission info
Victim Impact Statement

by Gustavo Gonzalez

Under the provisions specified in subsection 36(13) of the Mental Health Act, I am herein filing this Victim Impact Statement pertaining to unsolicited psychiatric treatment I received in Canada between 1986 and 1995 as it relates to CANADA PENSION PLAN - REASSESSMENT UNIT

Please note: key names have been removed for legal reasons.


My name is Gustavo Gonzalez. I was born in Habana [Havana] Cuba, on September 3rd, 1955.

Having had come to Canada in 1980, I lived and worked in Ontario for about 5 years. Then, in 1986, while in Guelph, Ontario, Dr. _________ physically forced me to take mind altering drugs under threats of violence (better known in psychiatric terms as physical restrain) in spite of not suffering from any type of mental illness at the time. After the initial abuse took place, several diagnoses (in my case excuses) where given.

How did I find myself cornered into a small room, and threatened to be overpowered with violence by a group of seven [care giver] individuals, is hard for any one to comprehend.

Having had arrived in Guelph, on September of 1986, I requested financial assistance from the local Welfare Office and received a cheque a few days later. Shortly afterwards I found a small job at a local restaurant, but it did not last more than one and half weeks. Having had worked for a few days, welfare refused to issue a cheque for the following month. Thus, finding myself on the verge of being evicted from the hotel room that was my home at the time.

Some of the people I met at the local Soup-Kitchen suggested I should ask a social worker, a doctor, etc. at "the clinic" to write a letter endorsing an extension of welfare, while I would continue looking for another job. However, having had done this, I was told that writing the letter would involve spending a few days at The _________, "a place where you can stay and rest for a few days".

Shortly after signing the admission forms I became an involuntary patient. I was denied access to a telephone to contact a lawyer, or another doctor. Then, forced under threats of violence to take medication I did not need several times a day, and sent to an institution for the criminally insane as a form of punishment!!!

The more I complained and requested legal help, the more excuses and treatment I received. It lasted about 9 years.

During this time, I was prescribed a variety of anti-psychotics, Prozac, and Lithium combined with other highly addictive mind altering drugs, such as Halcion, Atavan, Xenex and Valium. Originally I was forced, and thereafter instructed to take these drugs at the same time, or in association with vital activities, such as eat and sleep. Thus creating a triggering mechanism, by which the need for food and sleep always ensured the use of more medication.

As a result of the abuse I received, chemical and otherwise, I began suffering from anxiety, fear, shame, guilt, panic attacks, severe chest pains, respiratory problems, sleep and visual disturbances, behavioral disturbances, and depression. I remember thinking that it felt like someone had a voodoo doll. I had strange aches and pains, and plenty of involuntary muscular contractions, spasms and contortions all over my body. It was frightening and confusing. I felt and acted 35 years my senior. As much as I tried to hide the fact that my life was literally falling apart, I couldn't.

The more vocal I got about what the medical community was doing to me, the more retaliatory measures I suffered. Suddenly I couldn't get a doctor. They were rude, degrading, insulting and abusive. They seemed to take pleasure in humiliating me. Often the doctor would lie, and accuse me of having had threatened to committee suicide or been in a homicidal state of mind. Of course this was always the prelude of what was to come; "Voluntary hospitalization" under duress and coercion, and lots of mind numbing drugs.

I developed arrhythmia (an irregular heart beat) and high pulse rates that, although present all of the time, the doctors said was panic attacks. Breathing became labored, shallow and difficult. And although I still managed to drive a car, and my psychiatrist could hardly believe that I could, walking from the car to the nearest entrance, often a 50 yards affair, became an Odyssey.

I remember asking about the drugs I was being given and being treated like an idiot. No matter whom I tried to tell, I couldn't stop the torture. I spent a lot of time drooling, pacing and rocking back and worth. I was often irritable, verbally aggressive and sexually inappropriate. I would go from laughing to crying. I couldn't read, focus or pay attention. I wouldn't sleep for days on end and my body arched, rigid and stiff from the medication. I smelled things, heard things and saw things that weren't there. I often refused to shower because contact with water, or anything else including clothing, hurt. I spent as much time as I could naked. According to blood tests results done by the Canadian Red Cross and a family doctor in Toronto, my blood type was now AB positive. Having have had surgery, and donated blood on several occasions, blood tests done before the psychiatric abuse took place, always showed an O positive type. Every body knows blood type does not change with time.

I fought, screamed and sweat in my sleep. I had nightmares about doctors, involuntary commitment, about not been able to get out of the hospital, the system, about been pursued for the rest of my life. I developed a paralyzing fear of doctors - and regularly threw their literature and questionnaires in the trash can. I became horribly afraid of people. I felt helpless and unable to explain to outsiders how I was been abused, and/or seeking the appropriate legal help.

I was so impaired by the medication and the "care providers" where so persuasive, that eventually they got me to admit, "I had some problems". This, I was told, was necessary because "things will not get better until you take that first step". Remembering these things makes me feel very nauseated. These are memories I would rather, and have tried very hard to, forget.

I now realize that the motivation for keeping me medicated was "to help me forget" that the doctor I had gone to complain about the initial abuse, had kept my copies of three letters originating from Oakridge - Penetangueshen's Hospital for the criminally insane - clearly outlining Dr. _________'s actions as "highly questionable" and "a form of punishment."

Anyone who has not experienced this type of abuse in their own flesh and mind can not even began to comprehend how effectively these drugs interfere with a person's ability to deal with his life, and how difficult, if not impossible, getting off these drugs really is. Those who succeed, although better off, are left emotionally crippled, if not brain damaged.

I consider myself extremely lucky in the sense that almost ten years after the initial abuse took place, I met a wonderful woman who sincerely gave me the benefit of the doubt and did something about it.

Incapable of doing anything for myself, she took me by the hand to the local library. Within 5 minutes she had five books on the subject of medical drugs, their use and effects. As we were walking out the door, I suddenly realized that I was not capable of finding a book at a library any longer. Although it had become increasingly difficult for me to read, and focus, she concurred that it was possible, and probable, that the drugs I was been prescribed were causing most, if not all, of my health problems. With her help and that of a family doctor, who reluctantly agreed to help me withdraw gradually, I quit taking any and all drugs. I withdrew violently.

Powerful drugs are only partly to be blamed for my problems. Society is largely responsible for upholding the laws and legislation allowing psychiatrists to abuse any member of the society they chose, without ever questioning the validity of their judgement, or the reasons for what they do. It seems that hierarchic ranks are sufficient to justify anything. Doctors in this country enjoy unquestioned powers and privileges that at times are above the law.

Those involved, collectively, have violated more laws than I could ever cite. They have never and never will be held accountable. I have learned that some drunks, batterers and secret keepers are capable of attaining very high scholastic achievements and credentials, and thus capable of securing reputable careers and social status. That some of these people of power and privilege will exploit that power and privilege for their own interests, and that they are capable of destroying families without having to live in them. My entire concept of the world has forever changed. I will never feel safe again.

What did I do to make the doctors so angry?

After spending about two weeks in The _________, I received the promised letter to take to the Welfare Office. On my way there, I stopped at a retail outlet where I had an argument with a salesman over the exchange of an item. While in the _________, I had used some of the money earned from my part time job to buy a portable radio, which was not working properly. It would have been sufficient had the salesman exchanged it for another of the same value. However, he refused to do that, and refused to refund my money as well.

Angry about his inflexibility, I stormed out of the store bumping into a stack of stereo equipment that felt to the floor, leaving behind the letter intended for my welfare worker in the process. The letter briefly stated my name, and that I was a patient at the _________. It precisely stated that: "Mr. Gonzalez will be discharged in the next a few days. We would appreciate any financial assistance you can provide this man."

Upon my return to The _________ (the medical facility where I was staying as an alternative emergency shelter) a nurse led me to a room where, upon the arrival of Dr. _________ and 5 other medical personnel, I was injected with harmful chemicals under threats of force.

No charges for any wrong-doing were ever laid in the occurrence involving the salesman. And, although I did not display UN-LAWFUL behavior upon my return to the _________, the doctor refused to acknowledge my concise requests not to medicate me. I precisely stated that I did not want it, or need it. Dr. _________ also refused to let me use the phone to call a lawyer, or another doctor. The unnecessary chemical abuse I was subjected to at the time, the resulting loss of control over my life, my health, my behavior and credibility over the years that followed, has resulted in irreparable damage.

I am still trying to resolve this matter of assault, abuse, coercion to blame myself, and participation in relationships with one or more doctors built under coercion and duress, in a court of law - where it belongs. However after approaching the authorities, several lawyers, judges, legislators, and politicians, the doctor(s) who abused me are still practicing, billing insurance and tax payers for what they do, enjoying their live style and status, and probably victimizing other people. What is worse is that the laws, rules, regulations and procedures that allow this to happen have not changed. It seems that local attorneys have a grab bag of reasons to reject cases and avoid becoming involved.

Having had to struggle with chemical dependency to doctors' deliberately pushed mind-altering chemicals, I have lived in fear for many years. Although I have not taken any medication since 1996, I am now aware that medicines can be used to manipulate people as if it were fishing lines leading to the doctors' offices.

My objective is to have Dr. __________, of London, charged with assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm. And Dr. _________, of Dundas, charged with breach of trust and obstruction of justice.

More charges could be laid following an investigation, as I am aware that blatant tampering with information has been incurred in my medical files. My medical records show that I was adopted at the age of two, and abused by several foster parents. Details of having suffered child and sexual abuse are documented. References are made to a grade 8th education, and a long history of jail sentences in Cuba, prior to coming to Canada. None of these allegations are true, and I have documentation to prove it.

It took me nearly 10 years of struggling with chemical dependency to free myself from my abusers. And, only then I became able to obtain Official Documentation from the Government of the Republic of Cuba that proves that I have never been convicted of a criminal offence in Cuba, nor that I have ever been adopted. Since "psychiatric theories" are specific about mental illnesses, in particular schizophrenia, as been a physical malfunction of the brain and passed on through family genes, it appears that part of their job is to make things fit!

Further to my case...

In the summer of 1998, a plain-clothes police officer approached me to talk, and shed some light on my life. The officer told me that Dr. _________ had complained about some threatening phone calls left on his voice mail. He told me that having had listened to the recorded messages he was of the opinion that: a) I knew exactly how far I "could push it without been charged with an offence" and b) That having "carefully chosen" my words, he was of the opinion that I was "not crazy".

He then went further to read me "the story of my life" briefly recounting many of the difficulties I have experienced in the past several years, including information not related to any wrong doing or criminal activities, and therefore out of the scope of conventional police work. Apparently "Big Brother" has been busy.

He ended the conversation saying that my troubles began in 1984-85 as a result of a botched police investigation related to a crime, that later on, I was found to be not connected with. I am obviously angry because my legal problems should have been dealt with differently, and through the appropriate channels; not through a long string of deviant lies, manipulation and deceit.

To understand why anyone, including myself, would have difficulties resuming their life after such an abuse, one must think of a person, who in spite of good health was strapped and forced to remain in a wheel chair for nine years. Would you expect him -or her- to just get up and walk?

Perhaps, it has never occur to anyone that locking a person up against their will, and without an explanation would probably make the person angry... that chemically restraining someone for long periods of time would make them angrier and finally despondent.

As result of all of the abuse I endured My Three Passions in Life are: To achieve justice via a Class Action Lawsuit, To bring Media Attention into the Wide Spread Psychiatric Practice of Abuse and, To prevent the Psychiatric Legacy of Abuse from reaching new victims and been carried on to future generations of patients and abusers.

Yours truly,

Gustavo Gonzalez

Gustavo Gonzalez is a Survivor of Psychiatric Abuse [not a psychiatric survivor] who lives in Ontario and hopes to make his case in a court of law some time before his death.
comments about this article? give us feedback