Sunday, September 14, 2008


Garth Daniels wants to be a photographer – to capture a moment of exquisite beauty or a timeless truth. Garth Daniels wants to be free.
In his very neat bedroom at his parent’s Melbourne home is a poster of Nelson Mandela looking out – “There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere.” Garth Daniels knows this to be true; after twelve excruciating years of being drugged, imprisoned without trial, forced into unlawful clinical tests, abused by the Victoria Mental Health system and seen his family fight to the last cent to free him - there is no easy walk - Garth Daniels is still not free.

His parents, Marilyn and Bernard left a repressive South Africa divided brutally by apartheid when Garth was only five. It was to provide a freer life in a country that better cherished the rights of individuals regardless of your ethnic origins: Bernard is of part Kalahari heritage in amongst an exotic mix of other nations. Garth’s parents saw first hand how police beat suspects, how the legal system distorted justice and how the mental health facilities in South Africa were institutes of torture and housed some of the most despicable crimes in apartheid’s inglorious history. But Australia would be different. It was a country that offered hope to their children and Bernard wanted, like any parent, to provide every opportunity for their future wellbeing.

In 1996, after a party, being like many a 21 year old has been, slightly stoned from one too many joints, Garth Daniels felt slightly unwell and presented to Maroondah Hospital. From what was a rudimentary visit quickly collapsed Garth Daniels into a 12 year nightmare that is still not over. At a stroke of a pen, without need for charging, without trial, Garth Daniels became an involuntary mental health patient and against his knowledge, his parent’s knowledge, without consent, he was given PharMa Drugs (Rxs') usually resevered for persons diagnosed as Schizophrenic - when all he had was a drug induced headache. In 1998 , not having fully recovered from the massive "overdose " of Chlorpromazine and excessive number of intra-muscualr injections and treatment emergent Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) was forcibly and unlawfully placed into a clandestine drug trial involving the highly controversial Zyprexa made by pharmaceutical behemoth Eli Lilly.

Zyprexa has been linked with triggering strokes, exacerbating suicidal tendencies; in fact there lists of over 150 known adverse side effects to this drug of which Garth Daniels has been unfortunate enough to experience many of them over the years. But he is not alone. Ely Lilly recently settled a class action in the US for nearly $700 million for not putting warning labels on Zyprexa bottles stating that it could cause humans diabetes. It is a drug that has been removed from use in many countries, in Asia and Europe yet it shows up constantly in mental health facilities and pharmacies around Australia: Eli Lilly still help fund many clinical trials, conferences and scholarships in this country and around the world. They are also the company who brought us Prozac until it too disappeared under the massive weight of class actions around the globe brought about by it linked with increased suicide and gun rampages. Despite all this seemingly damning evidence against Zyprexa, it still forms the corner stone of Ely Lilly’s global sales pouring over a billion dollars annually into their coffers.

After 1996 Garth Daniels’ mental health spiralled downwards into a never ending abyss of more psychiatrists, more involuntary stays in Eastern Health facilities, then in 1998 Zyprexa, more “episodes,” more misery for himself and his now helpless family. The simple fact is that Garth Daniels has never recovered from that initial prescription of drugs and drug trials and looks as if he never will. But mental illness, whether caused by dubious drug trials, over recommended levels of Zyprexa, forced imprisonment is still not the real issue. Human Rights need to be extended to all human beings and this includes those subject to the Mental Health Act. In short, that is everybody whether you, family or friends believe you are mentally well or not- it is not your decision – it’s the doctors and at Eastern Health those doctors in charge are South Africans who don’t care much for questioning their treatment methods, their massive drug doses and behavioural throwback to apartheid practices when supposedly treating patients compassionately in an Australian mental health facility.

In 2006 Garth was incarcerated involuntarily at the Austin Hospital for over 6 months without access to legal rights, friends, parents and suffered terribly as a consequence. Whilst under a hospital which boasts the by line “Your partner in health” he was overdosed on Zyprexa exacerbating many of the already hideous side effects compounded even more by loneliness and fear whilst in solitary confinement. Quite frankly Joseph Mengele would be a more comforting partner in health.

Not satisfied with attempting to destroy Garth’s health, Austin Hospital then took Bernard and Marilyn Daniels’ to VCAT in an attempt to strip Bernard of his power of medical attorney and their right to be guardian over Garth. Put simply it was a disgrace that in Victoria 2006, boasting of freedom and supporting family, here was an instance where Austin Health sought to destroy the one vestige of hope Garth Daniels was clinging to. The Victorian government who were well aware of the issues and the case have stood by and allowed this evil to happen. Mercifully VCAT realised that it was manipulative and indeed unnecessary for any action involving the family break up to be even considered and threw the case out. What happened next has continued a nightmare under the auspices of Victorian Mental Health, Victoria Government and those at Maroondah and Box Hill hospitals.

In the meantime the Victorian government who are well aware of the issues and the medical and legal cases involving Garth Daniels have stood by and allowed this evil to happen. The ghost of Edmund Bourke must prowl the corridors of the Health Department and Premier's office screaming, "FOR EVIL TO FLOURISH IT TAKES GOOD MEN TO DO NOTHING." In the case it has taken many good people to do absolutely nothing.

This story has also been bouncing off the walls of 'The Age" – a media outlet constantly trumpeting that it is one of the world's leading papers. Apart from a couple of castrated articles written with no names and really nil impact. They were unable to generate any indignity among a wider media, absolutely nothing has been written of this in the wider press or exposed in the electronic media. Considering that it took the journalist Mark Russell nearly a year of constant urging to eventually write such a veiled piece for the "Sunday Age" is in itself shameful. It is shameful mainly on behalf of the Age's legal team who have constantly suppressed the article. It has meant that despite knowing of Garth Daniels dreadful plight for over two years, "The Age" has remained silent and Garth Daniels has been left to suffer and his father been made to fight for his son's safety alone.

Eventually Garth is released to allow a gradual withdrawal of Zyprexa side effects and entered Maroondah Hospital in January 2008 seeking medical assistance and was immediately and involuntarily incarcerated at the stroke of a doctor’s pen. Plunged into solitary confinement for a month, where he was allowed to shout for five minutes a day through a thick door at his distraught parents, helpless and unable to save him. Garth Daniel’s was confined in a cell for 24 hours a day where he ate, drank, urinated and defecated in the same confines. Every basic human right was trampled and if we were reading this as happening in Zimbabwe or Tibet we as human beings of a supposedly moral and legally fair society would be horrified. But to have this happen to Garth Daniels and no one in the hospital system, the Victorian government or the media do anything about this abomination; one has to wonder who is compassionate and who are cowards.

Garth Daniels was released into the care of the Alfred Hospital who, at one stage actually cared and nursed him back to health. The moment he was taken into care at the Maroondah Hospital instead of being treated as a human being he was again thrown into solitary confinement, treated worse than an abused dog and afforded absolutely no rights. This is a spiral bouncing him between the Alfred to nurse him back to health and to the Maroondah to again destroy his fragile sanity and health again.

There can be no excuse for this as it violates every tenet of human rights. It is immoral, it is deliberate and Garth Daniels will die if this inhumanity is allowed to continue for much longer. Someone on the Victorian government needs to be held responsible for what the myriad of doctors, many of whom are South African immigrants still practicing apartheid health treatments upon an innocent man. The Supreme Court made a ruling to bring about better care for Garth Daniels. This decision handed down to the Maroondah and Alfred Hospitals has been ignored by those doctors at Maroondah charged with Garth’s well being. Changing the “Treatment Plan” to a “Management Plan” had effectively derailed that 10 June Supreme Court ruling of Justice Judd. The Mental Health Review Board approved the Alfred Hospital Treatment Plan but could not rule on the Maroondah Hospital Treatment Plan as it had been retitled Management Plan, which was outside the jurisdiction of the Board.

Not surprising Garth Daniels was again transferred from Maroondah Hospital after spending three gruelling weeks in solitary confinement to the Alfred, where Garth is being nurtured back to health, and out of seclusion only to be prepared to be transferred back to Maroondah Hospital.(sic)

One day soon there may be a very small obituary in this paper stating that Garth Daniels, loved son of Bernard and Marilyn, loving brother of Andre has passed away.

What it will not say is that he has been tortured to death under the very eye of those we turn to in moments of need.

The Alfred Hospital at this time of writing have Garth Daniels locked in seclusion.

The Victoria Government touts a human rights charter that has completely and utterly deserted Garth Daniels and his family at the moment they needed it. Leaving South Africa filled Bernard and his family with hope but Garth Daniels is on the verge of being killed by the Mental Health system of Victoria.


Small Voice said...

I am so very sorry that people in the 'caring profession' show such lack of decency and human compassion towards people in their care and that Garth is living through this modern day nightmare.

It seems that, although we as human beings tend to consider ourselves more civilized and more educated than centuries past, when it comes to how we treat others we haven't evolved very far, if at all.

I am so sorry. For Garth, for yourselves fighting for him, and for the many other people in similar situations.

Keep strong and please let Garth know he's in many people thoughts.

paula uk

sense said...

" Some doctors make the same mistakes for twenty years and call it clinical experience" Dr Noah Fabricant


sense said...

Dear Matt Russell, Ms Lisa Neville, Ms Helen Shardey



so he may begin his journey of healing.


cc. Lisa Neville, Helen Shardey

nicola said...

Hey Garth

Hang in there I am sure your family will fight till the end to ensure your release and make sure your Human Rights are upheld, there are hundreds of us supporting you and we will all continue to fight until you are released from this nightmare.

kindest thoughts and wishes to you and your family

nicola and hannah
melbourne victoria

lenrob said...

I feel desperatly for Garth's parents and family. As a parent, I doubt if i could accept a diagnosis of mental illness for one of my children. However, i have had the opportunity to meet Garth and view his history in a proffessional capacity. His progress has been slow, but one day, God willing, he will be back in his home surrounded by those who obviously love him more than life itself. But... Garth is in need of assistance to achieve this. His future depends not only on his families love and support, but also on him being able to recognise and manage his illness, which he is attempting to do. I have been in many of the facilities that Garth has stayed at, and i have seen no evidence of forced, clandestine drug trials, abuse or any violation of any patients basic human rights. Please remember, sometimes things may apppear worng to us, but without all the information or training, you may just get the wrong impression and coupled with a parent's love and heartbreak, many resonable and logical thoughts don't quite win out. A patient's safety, both physical and mental is the foremost concern in any health care facility. Please consider that perhaps Garth may just be in the best place possible to give him and you a future. Having met Garth, I can see the loving man you know. My thoughts and prayers are with you

FREE GARTH said...

Lenrob - It must be difficult for you when you "Dont understand you dont understand." I too have viewed Garth's clinical files in a professional capacity and the scientific evidence, the laboratory results, the EEG, the MRIs', the off label prescriptions of neuroleptic drugs given to Garth, the shock treatments, the forced seclusions caused by toxicity creating delerium, violent akathisia and the countless side effects which of course Lenrob you dont notice... you dont notice lenrob because you merely prescribe drugs...and of course its not your son... Perhaps to you Garth is as stated...Garth is just another lab rat for you. Perhaps lenrob you should explain why even today I am led to understand his prescription of drugs are contrary to what the Manaufacturers recommend? I guess lenrob you must know more than the clinical trials revealed to the manufactuers of the drugs prescribed to you Lenrob? Maybe lenrob you should just state openly that you are another of those "ghost" writers maybe sponsored by the PharMa. Maybe tell this readership Lenrob that the poor lab is now being given injections which are prescribed for acute psychosis and not schizophrenia..."You see Lenrob it is difficult when you dont undetsnad you dont understand"

lenrob said...

I am not a prescriber of drugs. I am one of those who see what happens after the doctors have been and gone. I am sorry and my heart does break for garth's family, but Garth is mentally ill and needs help. Stop wasting your time on conspiracy theories and help Garth get better by supporting his treatment. How can he accept his illness when you won't? The difference of improvment for patients whose families stop denying the problems and those who don't, makes a huge difference in the chances of that patient getting home to a normal life.

nicola said...

To Lenrob, your comments and statements are irresponsible and dangerous. Society did not suddenly one day wake up to find 1 in 5 of the population were Mentally ill and required DRUGS. This was a well thought out plan and if you are from the industry you are well aware of the birth of this man made epidemic from the 80's attended by all the so called doctors from this profession from all over the world. I understand you need to protect your job, your income but I am sure that is exactly what the Gatespo said when they came home from a night at the camps. Torture is torture and to continually torture this young man who is clearly allergic to the drugs is INSANE. It is not Garth who requires detention but those recklessly poisoning him and your attempt to justify these acts and torture centres is simply an attempt to ensure your own ongoing employment. You are a disgrace! I personally I do not know how you sleep or hold your head up and even if you have made yourself believe this shit, you have the nerve to infect this site with your insane rantings. How dare you point the finger at his parents the most loving and honest people alive unlike yourself. Thank God Garth has such loving and wonderful people to support him to ensure this matter is brought to the courts attention and those responsible are eventually charged. Everybody eventually has to answer to somebody (that is assuming you believe in a God). Shame on you, I know Garth personally, I know the facilities he has been in and for you to condone his treatment of solitutde against the United Nations own recommendations of what constitutes Tortue and to be forced to take drugs that cause personal injury and place him at risk of an early death confirms you are partly responsible and that includes all those innocent patients you have come into contact with. That is a lot of blood on a persons hand, how do you sleep maybe you dont maybe you pop a few pills yourself (staff discount maybe). Eistenn said the definition of insanity is to continually to do the same thing and get the same outcome. Educate yourself, clean up your conscience and get the facts, you are a DICKHEAD!!!!!

FREE GARTH said...

We do have agreement on one thing Lenrob... that the patient should be getting home to a normal life.

Scientifically validated pathology charts, MRIs' & EEG's I would hardly think constitutes "conspiracy theory" lenrob.

Thank goodness Lenrob you are not a prescriber of drugs, because I would be concerned that you would have absolutely no idea about the cause of any EPSE. As you state you merely observe after the doctors have long gone. What exactly is it that you do observe? Is it the "Mental" illness Lenrob?

FREE GARTH said...

Carmen...Lenrob's comments are based on opinion... as he states..he observes...long after the doctors have gone. You have obviously not met the family...let alone Garth...I have had the pleasure. What an enlightening and refreshing experience!

FREE GARTH said...

Smithson... Treatment regimes during an acute phase of psychosis differs considerably to when a patient has reached steady state serum levels eg: the "so-called" maintenance phase. And, contrary to your statement the Manufacturers actually do recommend varying treatment regimes for the different categories of labels.

Like the terminology, Schizophrenia, Schizo-affetcive acute-schziophrenia, chronic- schizophrenia...its ALL under the same label. As you corectly state any medically trained person "would "know that... Did'nt you?

Unknown said...

I wish for Garths freedom.

The medical negligence toward him is appalling and unjust.
I hope the light is eventually shone upon them to reveal their life for profit attitude.
Some people really need to get de-registered around here!
Please become a fan of Mental HELLth in need of reform?
to elaborate and help me too extend the message out.


Sam said...

I can't help but think you have an axe to grind. While it's probably true that he's the victim of medial negligence, the writing was on the wall for Garth. I used to be his friend in primary school, he wasn't a bad kid, but he wasn't looked after -I remember certain things, and he was aloof, impressionable and shy. Perfect candidate for insubordination and self-destructive behaviour. When his family moved to an urban setting; where cultural ghettoisation was more pronounced, it was only apropos that his inadequacies come fruition
Hope he pulls through, but this is where I saw him going years ago. .

FREE GARTH said...

Sam. What an eloquent indictment upon Garth and his family. Your juxta-positioning of words and phrases are like those of a trained legal entity... "Aloof, impressionable and shy..." are you suggesting thats indictive of a candidate for insubordination? You remember things... you are left with readers wondering..what things? Gosh, psychiatrists would love you...another entry for diagnosis into their DSM! Cultural ghettoisation you suggest was more pronounced in the area in which Garth and his family moved out. Is Elsternwick or Brighton not an urban setting? Or are you suggesting that those who do not live in the more affluent areas are prone apropos to some sort of degenerative process? We wonder who has an axe to grind... Garth or you?

Sam said...

It is what it is. Garth moved to Wantirna if memory serves. And no, I'm not suggesting that people from affluent suburbs don't have problems. In some cases, they're afforded their profligate ways by virtue of their public standing. Those who can't win approval amongst the higher echelons of Elsternwick, tend to find it in alternative social pecking orders. That's fairly textbook.
You speak with reverence about the people who afflicted him early on with beatings and emotional trauma, no doubt, to divert attention from the thrust of your campaign. But I was trying to be a bit discreet, which is why I didn't make it public. I dunno, maybe that was your strategy, and I took the bait? Clearly his parents are his key to freedom which is why you pay so much deference to them. Several posters have echoed your sentiments. That is not to say they don't have his interests at heart, but you know. Love makes abuse that much more insidious.

You work on freeing Garth, I sincerely hope you succeed, even if it means confirmation bias and I'm no fan of the state either, but when I heard about this story, I wasn't the least bit surprised.

Anonymous said...

This is to Sam,
I have been reading this blogspot, but your recent comments lead me to wonder about some intriguing questions.
How is it that you being a friend of Garth about 30 years ago, as you say during primary school, that you "saw the writing on the wall" for Garth's shyness to lead to self-destructive behaviour? What is your profession now? Did you become a psychologist or psychiatrist? It is truly amazing that from such an early age, as an infant yourself, you were able to formulate quite adult concepts about human behaviours evident during infancy leading to your determination of the predicted outcome for Garth.

What a pity your astuteness wasn't able to positively influence Garth during his formative years, as you insinuate that shyness results in insubordinate and self-destructive behaviours. Maybe you are not aware that one of his older "friends" participating in a trial of substance abuse, became a solicitor - supposedly a professional of ethical upholding - whom I would not have expected to encourage other young adults to partake in. You obviously didn't keep in touch with him, after all this time, but I am curious with your "caring" obsession with his predicament some 30 years later.

For someone so concerned, I found your comment interesting that you "heard about this story"…who informed you, and why? Are you just a really genuine friend of Garth's, but just lost touch because he moved?

If you are truly concerned, why haven't you followed the most recent blog, where you'd have read that Garth was freed on the 24th August 2012? You make yourself look not as astute now, by your comment on the 29th August, "you work on freeing Garth…" when it's already a fait accompli!

I am also curious as to how your comment of the 29th August appeared minus the last paragraph, but some days later you were able to add to it? It would have appeared as a separate comment otherwise. Do you have internet hacking ability to be able to add further comment, after the date your comment was first published?

The mind boggles, who are you really…….an impersonator; a secret government operative; a member of the "legal" profession? It's interesting that you have not bothered to caringly comment on other aspects of Garth's story….I mean as a concerned friend!

FREE GARTH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

cont…….To Sam,
This is to prove that one cannot add further material to an already published comment, days later!

Your comment on August 15th 2012, "Love makes abuse that much more insidious."

Is it that you are showing your love for this young man, Garth, by making "caring" comments, or is it really that you are being abusive with your insidious pretence of "love", decades after no contact with him?

FREE GARTH said...

"...I ask him, whether his own name of Cratylus is a true name or not, and he answers "Yes" And Socrates? "Yes", Then every man's name, as I tell him, is that which he is called. To this he replies. " If all the world were to call you Hermogenes, that would not be your name." And when I am anxious to have a further explanation he is ironical and mysterious, and seems to imply that he has a notion of his own about the matter, if he would only tell, and could entirely convince me, if he chose to be intelligible. Tell me, Socrates, what this oracle means; or rather tell me, if you will be so good, what is your own view of the truth or correctness of names,.."

Plato translated by Benjamin Jowett

Unknown said...

My sister was abused at Eastern Health. One of her front teeth was broken off at the gum when she was given ECT. It is just as well it did not go into her lung it went into her stomach and showed up on a bowel x-ray. She was given Serenace a known allergen at the time because it caused Neuroleptic malignant syndome and her C/K levels went up to 13,450. She nearly died in renal failure. But eventually she did die in renal failure because she was prescribed Seroquel and I believe this caused another Neuroleptic malignant reaction but this time she died of it. The casualty department kept sending her home even when she was in impending renal failure, this when she was too unwell. The locum was not interested the night before she died.

Unknown said...

Lenrob and Sam are both cretins. I know Garth - his story is real. He has been abused and violated - I know this is true because I suffered similar treatment at Maroondah Hospital. Lenrob and Sam you do not know - so don't pretend you do. I'm thoroughly disgusted at both of you - and all your kind.

Unknown said...

Lenrob and Sam - you both thoroughly and completely disgust me! Neither of you "know" anything. Your comments are not based on experience - your opinions are insidious and damaging. I pray for both of your souls.

Unknown said...

Lenrob and Sam are both cretins. I know Garth - his story is real. He has been abused and violated - I know this is true because I suffered similar treatment at Maroondah Hospital. Lenrob and Sam you do not know - so don't pretend you do. I'm thoroughly disgusted at both of you - and all your kind.

Rob said...

I met Garth recently when I was admitted to Upton house he is a really great guy and does not deserve to be punished by the mental health system

Deepheat said...

So where is Garth now I hear he has left the state, how are things going for him now.

FREE GARTH said...


Garth has jumped from "a frying pan into a fire"... having suffered high levels of anxiety and abuse in the Victorian Mental Health System and its University teaching hospitals... as a result of dramatic stress was transported to the Royal Brisbane and Womans Hospital (RBWH)by ambulance on 11 August 2016. At this time of writing Garth has been held incarcerated in the high dependency unit (HDU) at RBWH isolated since that time. Forced under extreme duress to take clozapine the very drug he refused in Victoria. It seems they will just not give up in the abuse of Garth...

Unknown said...

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