The Tragedy of Crookham Court School
In 1969 Ian Mucklejohn went as a supply teacher to Crookham Court School, a private boys’ school in Berkshire, where he kept a diary of its eccentricities and odd characters. But it became clear that these peculiarities disguised a sinister undercurrent. Years later, he helped to expose one of the biggest scandals in modern British education, as evidence emerged of the sexual abuse by teachers of dozens of boys at the school. He writes here about the book recounting how the abuse came to light and the lessons that need to be learned.
Schizophrenia, Spaceboys, and the Spiders from Mars
The death of David Bowie has revived both intense media interest in his work and astonishing creative legacy and also a plethora of unthinking and misleading cliches about who he was and what he signified. Foremost amongst these is the description of him as some kind of alien being, or “mysterious extraterrestrial”: “40 years ago, in millions of living rooms across the British isles,” one hagiographic BBC documentary started, “a strange alien creature was beamed onto our television screens”. Online and newspaper headlines are full of references to Starmen, Spaceboys, The Man who Fell to Earth – but there is very little attempt to explore or decode these references or to consider their psychological significance.
That’s the catch when you stop eating — food starts to eat you
Writing The Rustle of a Wing: Finding Hope Beyond Anorexia has been both a challenge and a chance to take something good out of the misery inflicted by my anorexia. I want it to reach out to sufferers, those that care for them and also professionals involved in treating this wretched addiction.
Going beneath the skin of the contemporary fascination with serial killers: the Allure of Power, Control, Dominance
‘I hadn’t started out per se to ‘study’ serial murderers, now many years ago. I was doing neurological research on the NASA Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. Increasingly I was becoming interested in neuropathology of primitive personalities. In biochemistry we go to the molecular structure of a compound to see what its chemical signature is composed of. What then was the signature of what may be the most primitive form of man; who represented man at his serially worst: A murderer who killed for seemingly pleasurable gain and who used power, control and dominance, as a way of torturing his victims before he murdered them. In those days the term ‘serial killer’ was not yet in the public sector as it resides today nor did the idea of a serial killer carry the current voyeuristic allure.