Pinel Institute–Mabus’s New Home

The Institut Philippe-Pinel de Montreal really does seem like it might be the place where Dennis Markuze can get the help he needs. Specializing in forensic psychiatry, they are also a research hub; I think he has a better shot here than in most places.

The site is worth looking around–the history of the institution mirrors the broader societal views of mental illness, and does not whitewash the “deplorable” treatment of the earlier years. From early asylum to modern institute, we’ve come a long way in terms of how we treat those we deem abnormal.

It’s an institution, not a hotel, but I’ve seen much worse, and not much better. They even have a cyberpsychology unit–not applicable to DM, I think; rather, it is a virtual reality immersion, for diagnosis and possible treatment of sex offenders. But this is clearly not just a place where individuals are warehoused with minimal custodial care.

Here’s hoping DM’s problems have not been ignored for so long that he’s a lost cause.


  1. MikeMa says

    From the quotes his mother gave supporting him, it might be advisable to see if they can get a 2 for 1 discount.

  2. Randomfactor says

    Am I the only one who thinks that, since the police have FINALLY taken action, these posts amount to piling-on at this point?

  3. Cuttlefish says

    Randomfactor– if this were a “neener, neener” sort of post, I would agree. As one of the people who have received thousands of comments, over a hundred of which were personal threats, from DM, I am interested in the case. As a fellow human being, I am concerned that he get the appropriate treatment. So I don’t think this is a matter of piling on–if it appears that way, then I have not managed to convey what I mean to.

    Why post it then, and not just be satisfied with looking at the site myself? Because I am not the only one who was threatened, and because I am not the only one who has publicly expressed concern that DM get the treatment he needs.

  4. Elf Eye says

    In what way are dispassionate, non-celebratory follow-up posts a case of ‘piling on’? To some people, the volume and the phrasing of Mabus’s spammed messages seemed to indicate that he might be morphing toward actual violence. It seems reasonable to continue to follow a case that affected a significant number of people in a serious way.

  5. raven says

    1st post disappeared into cyberspace. One more try.

    Am I the only one who thinks that, since the police have FINALLY taken action, these posts amount to piling-on at this point.

    Yes, probably you are the only one who thinks this is piling on.

    It’s not.

    Since when is hoping an obviously disturbed person who has threatened hundreds or thousands of people with death gets treatment before he does a Cho Seung or Jared Loughner and kills a few dozen people, “piling on”?

    I’m one of the hundreds or thousands or who knows tens of thousands that have gotten death threats from him. There are a lot of reasons to follow this case.

    1. For one thing, DM isn’t the only one making death threats. I long ago lost count of how many I’ve gotten from how many people. It’s been happening for over ten years and it’s almost always fundie xians. Fundie xians toss off death threats like normal people say hello.

    2. Like a lot of scientists and others targeted with death threats by fundie xians, we have an interest in what can be done about it.

    In this country, death threats are a federal crime, a felony. And DM would have been picked up long ago. One group that was harassing me a long time ago ended up being arrested by the FBI and charged with felonies. There are a lot of people in prison serving multiyear sentences for death threats.

    The trend in the US today is to be preemptive about obvious crazies who might go on a rampage and kill a lot of people. It’s happened too often lately.

  6. raven says

    I hope cuttlefish keeps following this case closely.

    For a lot of us, it is important information relevant to our personal safety and continuing existence.

  7. rwahrens says

    I am much encouraged by the reactions of the bloggers here on FTB about this unfortunate fellow in Canada.

    Here you’ve got three bloggers (among many, apparantly) who have been inundated with crazy as well as threatening email from this fellow for a period of years, and once the police catch him and put him away where he can get help, they actually express concern for his welfare – as well as hopes for a future recovery!

    No snarky comments about being cut off from the internet, no jokes about loony right wingers or guys living in mom’s basement. Just heartfelt expressions of concern for the man’s welfare.

    I don’t know if anybody in the religious community these folks contend with will ever notice, but be assured that I and others in the community of FTB readers DO notice, and I doff my hat to you all in respect!

    You give me hope for the future of my species.

  8. Art says

    I get the feeling that given a couple of years there are going to be a couple of PhD candidates presenting theses on Mabus and the interaction between abnormal psychology and anonymous mass media. The Mabus case, probably under a different name, is going to show up in textbooks and it will be a touchstone in the of study of the interactions between psychological dysfunction, alienation, social isolation, and electronic communications.

  9. anthrosciguy says

    Yeah, “piling on” with thanks that the guy is finally going to receive the mental health care he has long needed. That’s just so mean.

  10. F (entropy) says

    I’d really like to see Markuze come back to the internet communities that interest him with a new-found grip on reality.

    As to “piling on”,
    1) So what if some people do?
    2) That isn’t what is happening here.
    3) Some people really want to know what is happening, and an arrest doesn’t mean anything, so further news of Mabus getting treatment is good.
    4) It is still newsworthy even if you didn’t know anything about Mabus previously.
    5) This is not just about Mabus, but also about law enforcement.
    6) Did you even read the actual post?

  11. says

    Dear Cuttle, thank you for the update. As a recipient of “only a few” death threats and being a few hundred miles away, I wasn’t worried for my own safety but was really worried about others when he started showing up at events. Crazy people can be dangerous. And evil prejudices can make people sound crazy. It will be good to sort that out.

    Randum Fluff, if anyone deserved a few neeners, it would be this guy who made Internet life ugly for so many people for so long. But I don’t hear that at all.

    I hope that Markuze can get help — it can’t be fun crouching over a keyboard all day to spew venom or live in a conspiracy worldview. But having been so off the mark for so long, he may be beyond help.

  12. cicely says

    “Piling on” usually involves more laughing, dancing and pointing, and more comments along the general line of “Woohoo! Loon-boy finally gets his just deserts! Suck it, ________!”, and jokes about “wet packs”.

    This is not “piling on”.

  13. Lori says

    Uh, raven?

    Uttering threats is a crime in Canada:

    CCC 264.1(1) Uttering Threats – Every one commits an offence who, in any manner,
    knowingly utters, conveys or causes any person to receive a threat
    (a) to cause death or bodily harm to any person;
    (b) to burn, destroy or damage real or personal property; or
    (c) to kill, poison or injure an animal or bird that is the property of any person.

    And almost every criminal offense is a “federal” one.

  14. Joan says

    If, in Montreal, there is still institutionalized help for the mentally ill, It’s a far more enlightened place than the U.S. If Dennis had lived here, he’d have been given a 3 day involuntary commitment in hospital to evaluate, and then, hopefully maybe another week to be put on meds. Finally, thanks to our wonderful insurance system (or his non-insurance) he’d be released, probably to his mother’s care. He’s lucky to have a mother, however much in denial she might be. The average schizophrenic, of his age, will end up on the street. Unwilling, or unable to take meds because of the cost, he will deteriorate. Most schizophrenics are painfully but harmlessly delusional, and sadly cause more danger to themselves than to others, but Dennis seems to fall in that range of the army of god people who thrive on threatening those he feels to be unfaithful. He is most probably schizophrenic, is undeniably obsessive-compulsive in his endeavors. In short, he is one angry delusional young man who is getting worse. He might eventually have evolved a plot to kill one or many. The fact that he turned up at an Atheist convention was ominous. The fact that this has been going on for 10 years with nobody taking action is just absurd. I fervently hope that he is treated and will obtain some semblance of personal peace. I also hope it’s not too late.

  15. Spector567 says

    “Oh, yes, sending death threats is illegal in Canada, too. That’s why it is odd, and an indictment of SPVM’s professionalism, that Markuze was allowed to go on uttering his filth for so long.”
    I think there is a misunderstanding of perspective here.
    As much as we’d like to think the Montreal police should have done something sooner in many respects they might not have been able to or they received insufficient information.

    We of the skeptic community have been afflicted with DM for 10 years. Almost everyone knew of him. We several blog posts and people who have done there own research on him from mostly un-official sources. Many people made complaints.

    However what the police saw was entirely different.
    Before now they received a complaint maybe once a year on DM. From entirely foreign sources that had to go through there a local police and make it up and down the entire police bureaucracy both American and Canadian. I honestly wonder how many complaints made it to Montreal.

    As several have noted that they have received many other death threats from people over the years it’s not that uncommon. The police have several other threats to investigate on local targets that were of more immediate concern, most that are completely pointless and consist of them showing up and providing a warning to solve the problem.

    In all reality the police from there perspective had very little reason to be concerned.

    However, that was because they didn’t know what we all know. However, thanks to DM directly threatening several people while the police were on the Twitter feed and the petition that drew out all of DM victims at once (as opposed 1 a year) the police now had enough Physical and real world evidence as well as a local victim. Something DM had previously avoided.

  16. karmacat says

    in Montreal, there is still institutionalized help for the mentally ill, It’s a far more enlightened place than the U.S. If Dennis had lived here, he’d have been given a 3 day involuntary commitment in hospital to evaluate, and then, hopefully maybe another week to be put on meds.

    In Maryland, he would probably get the same kind of treatment. He would be admitted to Perkins hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. I think it would be about 30 days


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