By Stephen Seager
Psychiatrist Stephen Seager used to be no stranger to locked psych wards whilst he approved a role at California’s Gorman kingdom sanatorium, identified in the community as “Gomorrah,” yet not anything can have ready him for what he encountered whilst he stepped via its gates, a triple sally port in the back of the twenty-foot partitions crowned with shining coils of razor twine. Gorman country is among the nation’s greatest forensic psychological hospitals, devoted to treating the criminally insane. Unit C, the place Seager was once assigned, was once reserved for the “bad actors,” the mass murderers, serial killers, and the real-life Hannibal Lecters of the world.
Against a backdrop of surreal beauty—a verdant campus-like environment the place peacocks strolled the grounds—is a spot of outstanding violence, a spot the place a small employees of clinicians are anticipated to control a risky inhabitants of prison-hardened ex-cons, the place lone therapists lead sharing circles with sociopaths, the place a bootleg underground economic climate thrives, and the place sufferers and physicians usually degree their lives in keeping with how briskly they could run. To move in the course of the gates of Gomorrah is to go into a looking-glass global, the place the trimmings of the conventional calendar yr exist—Halloween dances and yuletide events (complete with visits from Santa), springtime softball groups and basketball leagues, yet marked with paroxysms of brutality (Santa is going berserk), and peopled by way of figures from our nightmares.
Behind the Gates of Gomorrah gives an eye-opening glance within a facility to which few humans have ever had entry. sincere, rueful, and now and then darkly humorous, Seager’s gripping account of his rookie 12 months blends memoir with a story technological know-how, explaining either the aberrant brain and his personal, now and then incomprehensible, selection to stay in a task with a perilously steep studying curve.
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Behind the Gates of Gomorrah: A Year with the Criminally Insane by Stephen Seager