10. Manic and out of control

Isobel realized something was seriously wrong with me. She tried to calm me down in the afternoon amidst my unusual ravings and unreasonable statements. My best friend and his wife came to see me late that afternoon. I tried to explain my thoughts, but they could not follow. It was to be the pattern for years to come. God and I had embarked on a long and lonely journey. I was out of control in my thinking. My eyes and ears heard and saw things which to anyone else were nothing out of the ordinary. My brain would toss and turn flashes of thoughts around, link them anywhere into my life story, which was slowly becoming more and more incredible.

A tradesman's van drove by. I took it as them checking up on me, because I had reported Monica’s father, the tradesman, to the police some time earlier for suspected criminal activity. At the time I had received outdated money from the daughter of a client. My active brain started thinking and questioning. As mentioned in chapter 5 it had taken me years to find the courage to “report” my suspicion that the old money was either drug money or old money from robberies. And I had left my name and address.

The phone rang later that afternoon. “Jacky Noble, please”. I knew no one by that name and told the caller so. A moment after hanging up the phone rang again. It was the same male voice again saying: “Jacky Noble, please”. I assured the caller that I don’t know a Jacky Noble, and to check his number. After this second wrong number my mind immediately made a connection. A Jacky worked for the church. Not long prior I had auditioned with Jacky (not Noble) to play in the orchestra. I was unsuccessful, despite having had years of experience. Later I suspected that someone in a previous church gave me a bad reference, because I was just an average trumpet player. It was Jacky’s father, saying in coded form that Jacky was not part of the conspiracy, buy noble. My mind went wild.

A van with a sign The Advertiser did a U-Turn in the road junction right opposite our house. I took this as a sign to contact the Advertiser, which I did. A female journalist seemed to play along with me and gave me a kind of interview on the telephone. I then wrote a letter to the Advertiser, which contained some raving about a conspiracy and corruption in the government. Just as Isobel was distracted by a telephone call to my son Ben in Sydney, I slipped away and ran across the road to a member from church that lived in the neighbourhood. We did not know them very well, but they were the only people I could think of to run for help.

I used their phone and rang Radio 5 DN. I told the girl at the switch I needed to speak to Jeremy Cordeaux, the talk show host I had rung before regarding my fight against the government log book. After they told me I had to wait 15 minutes or so I insisted on speaking urgently, somebody is trying to kill me. My paranoia had taken on enormous proportions. I gave up speaking to Jeremy. Today I'm glad I never got an air that morning.

I asked my neighbour if she could drive me into the city, 15 kilometers away, to drop a letter into the Advertiser Newspaper. She must have been frightened as she realized I was a mental case out of control. Immediately and without questioning she packed her three little children into her sedan and drove me into the city. On the way in, we passed a vehicle the number plate which I recognized to be that of our Pastor. After delivering the letter to the newspaper I asked my neighbour to drive me back past our pastor’s car. I figured he must be visiting someone at the Hospital nearby or is attending the cricket match at the Adelaide Oval just down the road.

In my paranoia I was looking for some security from him, someone who understands me and protects me. My neighbour dropped me, I thanked her and she drove home possibly with a feeling of great relief. The Pastor was not in the hospital. No way would I find him amongst the crowd at the oval. What would I do now? I scribbled a note on a piece of paper, borrowed from the hospital receptionist and left it on the pastor's car's windscreen. I then walked to the house of a Christian family we knew from many years earlier and whose daughter was my only student taking driving lessons at the time.

They must have thought I was crazy, just rolling up looking for sympathy and understanding. The lady was friendlier and more relaxed than her husband. I sensed some hostility in his manner. I was by this time totally exhausted. I slept at their house for a few hours. Not knowing what action to take, they were going to phone for a doctor or ambulance. No way would I want to see either, fearing to be locked up forever. I literally ran away from their place. A passing taxi took me home.

Meanwhile word must have gotten around that I was going crazy. An old friend appeared beside my bed that night. He urged me to visit a doctor. I said I would the next day, but did not mean it at the time. I was on a mission to rid the world of corruption.

Isobel urged me to see the doctor the next day. She went with me. I remember after walking into the surgery, I shouted to the staff to sell their Telstra shares. I blamed Telstra for tracing me via my mobile phone. My doctor did no know what to do with me. I agreed to an assessment from a team sent by the Mental Health Department. They arrived late in the evening and concluded that I should be taken to a mental institution. I protested fearing that this was all done to silence me. Who would listen to anyone in a mental institution? I protested vehemently and resisted being taken away. I rushed to the phone to make a call to a friend who had been our house fellowship leader as a last moment plea.

But Isobel had called the police. The three officers, after failing to persuade me to come with them, lied to me. They said, they would take me for a drive to Victor Harbour, a holiday resort 80 km south of Adelaide. I agreed to that suggestion. It was my chance, so I thought, to tell these police officers my story in the car. I was desperate for a listening ear. Instead I was driven to Glenside Mental Institution near Adelaide’s Victoria Racecourse.    

On admission I was given drugs and led into a cell with only a mattress on the floor. No other furniture, just bare walls. I prayed for a long time. I prayed for forgiveness and a blessing on the government officers that hated me, for the parishioners that let me down, for my wife who had betrayed me, or so I thought. I paced the floor, to and fro like a caged tiger, for what seemed hours, until I collapsed onto the mattress in total exhaustion.      

Chapter 11


1. More in number      2. A sound mind       3. Now I'm found       4. Candle and the Wind


  5. Realm of Nature      6. All in his Hand        7. The Wonder of it All     8. To Think God loves