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Jun 05 2012

Dennis Markuze is being a good boy

We have an update from a Montreal newspaper on Dennis Markuze, the raging spammer who yap-yap-yapped at me and many others for over a decade. He’s free, he’s employed, he’s been ordered to abstain from participating in online discussions. That’s the good part; I also hear now and again about an occasional Mabus-like rant appearing in some obscure forum on the internet, so he might be breaking the strict wording of his orders, but at least the deluge has been dammed.

I am bothered by one thing. It sounds like his trial didn’t do him justice: he blamed everything on drug and alcohol addiction, the court agreed with him, and all of his post-trial treatment has been directed towards his addictions.

“Since the therapy team at (Freedom House) does not have the competence necessary to make a psychiatric diagnosis, it seems to us that (Markuze) absolutely needs a follow up after he leaves the centre,” Proulx wrote.

“He sometimes makes remarks that leave us perplexed.”

I’m perplexed, too. His past behaviors did not seem to be the product of being drunk — they weren’t impulsive, they were planned and obsessive. So he wasn’t actually diagnosed or treated for psychiatric problems? That’s a body of possible causes for his behavior that weren’t examined or treated in the rush to pin the blame on the simplest explanation.

38 comments

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  1. 1
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    From the article:

    “During the hearing Waxman [defense lawyer] and Nault [prosecutor] made no mention of a recommendation made, in Proulx’s assessment, that Markuze be examined by a psychiatrist.”

    Uh, oh. So the recommendation was made, but ignored (or it got lost in the paperwork)?

  2. 2
    zb24601

    I wish Mr. Markuze success in overcoming is alcohol and drug problems, and I hope he get whatever other help he need, even if the court did not order it. But most of all, I hope he is done being a problems to other people.

  3. 3
    swampfoot

    You can bet he’ll be back to his old behavior – because he’s insane and has had no psychiatric treatment. It looks like he’s not going to get any either, so the rest of the online community will have to suffer for it.

    I wonder how bad Mabus 2.0 will get before he’s hauled off again?

  4. 4
    Tualha

    Well, the article doesn’t say there was only alcohol – it says there were other drugs including cocaine. Cocaine can induce paranoia and other Mabus-like symptoms, no? And certainly other drugs such as crystal meth can, as well as causing long-lasting psychological problems that persist for a long time after the drug abuse stops. So yes, he should have gotten a better psych assessment; but I don’t think anyone’s claiming this was just a result of alcohol.

  5. 5
    Akira MacKenzie

    @Taulha

    Cocaine can induce paranoia and other Mabus-like symptoms, no?

    Yes, but so can bipolar disorder which reports indicated he was diagnosed with.

    As someone with bipolar disorder, I not sure that I can say if I was ever “paranoid,” but there have been times during a manic episode where I thought that NO ONE was going to tell me what to say, think, or do and letting me near a computer with an online connection was a mistake. This often let to several regrettable online incidents (yes, a couple here) and until I finally found a new job with health insurance I couldn’t get the mood leveling drugs I needed to help me function.*

    I wish him well, but I what ‘m reading here leaves me uncertain that he’s getting the help he needs. This may not be isn’t last we’ve heard of him.

    *Thanks so much Rethuglilcan/Loonytarian defenders of the free markert… you fuckers!

  6. 6
    congaboy

    I’m a criminal defense attorney and I see this sort of thing most of the time. There are three things that the majority of my clients have in common with each other,1 they commit crimes, 2 they abuse drugs and/or alcohol and 3 they have mental health problems that rarely get addressed. PZ is right, it’s not the alcohol or drugs that caused this guy to do what he did—it was his mental health issues. He used drugs and alcohol to self medicate. I wouldn’t doubt that he abused the drugs and alcohol in the process. If his mental health issues aren’t addressed and he doesn’t come to grips with them, there is nothing to keep him from doing this all over again once he’s off probation.

  7. 7
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    If he’s being “a good boy” that vitiates any interest we have as parties to the case.

    But as human beings concerned about another human being, I’m really surprised and disappointed that he didn’t get an evaluation. If it turned up negative, that’s fine, but an evaluation with appropriate follow up (nothing or tonnes, just as long as it’s appropriate to the assessment) is the minimum that I was hoping to come out of this case. He’s getting evaluation and treatment for addiction, but the lack of even an evaluation for other issues bothers me.

    Now, the organization and obsession may come from a motivation naturally grown out of a sincere desire that the world is ending, yadda yadda. He’s free to believe it, but checking that the organization and obsession don’t derive from something else is a minimal step.

    Sad it’s taken this course. I hope he can have a better life while allowing PZ’s, Greta’s, and others’ lives to be much, MUCH better than during his long-term cyber-stalking days.

  8. 8
    hyperdeath

    It’s all to common for the seriously mentally ill to be treated like criminals. In fact, it’s common for the seriously mentally handicapped to be treated like criminals. Take this example from the UK:

    That day in Wormwood Scrubs, I met a prisoner called Anthony. He was brought to the prison six months before, because he had been found walking around his neighbourhood naked. He was quickly diagnosed as suffering from irreparable brain damage and early-onset dementia. He is 45; he looks 65. He shuffled into the room, trailing behind him a large plastic bag full of rubbish – some screwed-up newspapers, an empty Reddy-Brek box – that he carries everywhere. He didn’t know where he was, and spoke only in slow, incoherent sentences. For a moment, he thought I was the judge who remanded him. Then he asked if I was his father.

    Unfortunately, the media couldn’t care less. Mentally ill people only make good news stories on the rare occasions when one of them attacks a “normal” person.

  9. 9
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    It is not that uncommon for people with untreated bipolar disorder to self-medicate with cocaine. If he does in fact have untreated BPD and is self-medicating with coke, then getting him off drugs is not going to fix his problems. He needs the care of a psychologist or psychiatrist who can actually help him.

  10. 10
    Glen Davidson

    “He sometimes makes remarks that leave us perplexed.”

    Pretty much true of any creationist on the web (although I’ve never been entirely sure that Markuze was that).

    And he’s been about as “perplexing” as any we’ve seen.

    It has seemed more like his bizarre tirades were more indicative of a condition that he might have been attempting to treat with licit and illicit drugs, rather than something caused by those drugs.

    Glen Davidson

  11. 11
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Now, now. We all know that attributing psychiatric problems to someone whose behavior is blatantly suggestive of them is bigoted and stigmatizing, and we’re not qualified to interpret that suggestiveness anyway.

  12. 12
    Glen Davidson

    We all know that attributing psychiatric problems to someone whose behavior is blatantly suggestive of them is bigoted and stigmatizing, and we’re not qualified to interpret that suggestiveness anyway.

    Yes, but it’s also wrong not to consider the possibility of psychiatric problems if you’re discussing these matters.

    The solution is simple–you just can’t discuss it at all.

    Glen Davidson

  13. 13
    James

    Welcome to the fun, fun, world of dual-diagnosis. Once you get diagnosed with one part of a mental-health and addiction problem, the odds of you getting proper diagnosis and treatment for the other part is next to nil, unless you can afford to fund the diagnosis and treatment yourself.

  14. 14
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Yep, I pretty much had the same reaction as PZ: Markuze’s addiction(s) probably aren’t the entire story and no one is benefitting until he’s evaluated.

    Come on Canada, I thought you guys had a better criminal justice system than your downstairs neighbors.

  15. 15
    firstapproximation

    Now, now. We all know that attributing psychiatric problems to someone whose behavior is blatantly suggestive of them is bigoted and stigmatizing, and we’re not qualified to interpret that suggestiveness anyway.

    As PZ reported last year, Markuze was ordered by the court to undergo a 30-day psychiatric evaluation. The psychiatric report concluded “Bi-polar, compounded by alcohol and substance abuse”.

  16. 16
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Audley: Tje Canadian system is easily as broken as the US one, and the harper government is trying to make it more like the American system every day.

  17. 17
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    I am logged in but my comments don’t appear.

  18. 18
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    He’s lying low, not being good. He’s still ranting; calling out atheists and skeptics by name including PZ, Phil Plait, & James Randi; and morphing into multiple identities on Youtube to post stolen snippets of a documentary on Nostradamus to prove that “Nostradamus’ divine pen” has vanquished atheists. And that was all in May before he was sentenced. As soon as the Court’s attention is turned away he will likely be up to his old tricks.

    Here he is with snarky comments uploading [dissidentphilosophy. lifediscussion. net /t1310-the-boobquake-911] PZ’s entire talk at Kelowna . See also YouTube users Atheistz Hotelz, Atheistz Paradisez, and Dave Johnson.

    Unfortunately, making the mental health care system “more efficient” means that the priorities are anyone murderous or suicidal and the rest get a prescription and a free pass to wonder the streets.

  19. 19
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Something about a link to dissidentphilosophy, perhaps?

  20. 20
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Now, now. We all know that attributing psychiatric problems to someone whose behavior is blatantly suggestive of them is bigoted and stigmatizing, and we’re not qualified to interpret that suggestiveness anyway.

    As PZ reported last year, Markuze was ordered by the court to undergo a 30-day psychiatric evaluation. The psychiatric report concluded “Bi-polar, compounded by alcohol and substance abuse”.

    Azkyroth isn’t serious. By strawmanning about an easy example which many people can agree on — since qualified professionals have evaluated Mabus — Azkyroth legitimizes his careless use of psychiatric labels for less “blatant” examples, which he indeed is not qualified to diagnose.

  21. 21
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    sgbm: good times.

  22. 22
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    And has never pretended to “diagnose,” merely observed a pattern being apparently matched.

    But let’s just ignore that.

  23. 23
    Ichthyic

    But let’s just ignore that.

    oh, if only that were possible for SG.

    but, you see, it’s morally imperative for us all that this endlessly be dragged out in every thread in existence!

    grrr.

    and, frankly, your sarcasm is just goading, now, ain’t it?

  24. 24
    'Tis Himself

    SG joins Truth Machine as the only OMs I’ve blocked:

    Comment by life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ blocked. [unkill]​[show comment]

    Now SG will pretend I’m trying to pick a fight with him.

  25. 25
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Okay, let’s pretend that’s not just a distinction without a difference.

    “Azkyroth isn’t serious. By strawmanning about an easy example which many people can agree on — since qualified professionals have evaluated Mabus — Azkyroth legitimizes his careless use of psychiatric labels for less ‘blatant’ examples, [in] which he indeed is not qualified to [claim to observe a pattern being matched].”

    So, concerning the “less blatant example”, you can’t even begin to distinguish paranoid delusions from sub-clinical paranoia from being an asshole — until you learn to apply the rule that pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate, you can’t even know which “pattern” might be being matched.

  26. 26
    ChasCPeterson

    Now SG will pretend I’m trying to pick a fight with him.

    You’re trying to do something.
    The ‘kill’ button doesn’t auto-announce.

  27. 27
    Aratina Cage

    The ‘kill’ button doesn’t auto-announce.

    But I think it could be set to do that (both for kill and unkill. That would be interesting.

  28. 28
    Aratina Cage

    Edit: Close parentheses after unkill in #27.

  29. 29
    'Tis Himself

    The ‘kill’ button doesn’t auto-announce.

    That’s true. That’s why I put Comment by life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ blocked. [unkill]​[show comment] in a post so as to tell anyone who cared, and even those who didn’t care, that I had killfiled SG.

  30. 30
    firstapproximation

    Azkyroth isn’t serious.

    Been away for a while. Forgot to adjust my sarcasm detector to the Pharyngula setting.

  31. 31
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    That’s true. That’s why I put Comment by life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ blocked. [unkill]​[show comment] in a post so as to tell anyone who cared, and even those who didn’t care, that I had killfiled SG.

    Thanks. I’ve been sweating this out for days. It’s nice to finally know.

  32. 32
    Noadi

    I’m certainly bothered by this as well. While I didn’t receive the level of threats that PZ and other more prominent skeptics did, I did routinely receive the mass twitter threats from Markuze and a handful of threats sent directly to me. I don’t want him punished if he is mentall ill, I want him to receive the proper diagnoses and treatment and I’m worried he isn’t getting that. He certainly also needs treatment for his drug and alcohol abuse but if there’s more than simply the addictions going on (and I’m convinced there are) then eventually he’s going to resume his harassment and threats or worse. I’d feel horrible if after all this he hurts someone or commits suicide because he didn’t receive the treatment he needs.

  33. 33
    John Morales

    Noadi, pragmatism prescribes patience.

    (Time will tell)

  34. 34
    taylorsmith

    I daresay it’s not very nice to post write-ups about his legal situation and therapy when he’s legally forbidden from responding.

    Not that that response would be rational.

  35. 35
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Audley Z Darkheart (liar and scoundrel) [blockquote]Come on Canada, I thought you guys had a better criminal justice system than your downstairs neighbors.[/blockquote]

    He wasn’t tried in a federal court, but in a Quebec court, under Quebec’s form of Civil Law. Quebec does not practice Common Law, except federally (and except for family law, oddly), as in the rest of Canada. Can’t blame Canada for this one. It’s a Quebec issue.

  36. 36
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Damned tags …

  37. 37
    bradreddekopp

    I’m pretty sure Markuze is posting the same old crap again, on my board and on others.

    This thread looks very much like him: http://www.graveyardofthegods.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=12025

    The IP of the opening post traces back to a coffee shop in Montreal.

  38. 38
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Yep there are reports of him heating up again. Question is whether t is him or a copy cat.

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