HBM048: Barrie's Mental Tempest [EXPLICIT]

Barrie Wylie has heard voices for as long as he can remember. Growing up on a small island in Scotland, the voices in his head were like secret best friends that he could play with. When he left school to become a fisherman at 15, his voices told him he was a disciple of Jesus.  He believed he could control the weather and prevent harm befalling his boat and his crew.

As Barrie got older, his voices intensified. They became more aggressive, telling him to harm himself and others.

He learned to cope by silencing the voices with alcohol and other drugs.  He wound up in police custody more than once. 

When a family friend died under mysterious circumstances, Barrie was arrested and falsely suspected of murder.  While in custody, he told his doctor about his voices.   An autopsy later revealed that the friend died of natural causes. 

But Barrie spent the next seven years in and out of psychiatric hospitals, all while heavily medicated for paranoid schizophrenia. The voices don't leave him, no matter how much medication he took. They only got worse, until Barrie believed he heard the devil himself inside his brain. 

He tried to kill himself at least twice.  [Please note: this episode contains two descriptions of attempted suicide.] 

It was a social worker from the hospital who first suggested the Hearing Voices Network to Barrie.  HVN takes an unorthodox approach.  They say that hearing voices in and of itself should not yield a diagnosis.  They encourage people to talk to the their voices, treat their voices as if they're real people.  This approach is not universally accepted.

Barrie and Rachel's wedding.

But Barrie said that talking to his voices actively gave him agency he never had before.  He stopped trying to rid himself of his voices and instead learned how to have healthy relationships with them.  He stopped trying to hurt himself.  He stopped believing that his voices could control him. 

He joined Facebook support groups that advocated the Hearing Voices appoach.  And that's where he fell in love with Rachel.  She also heard voices.   Barrie and Rachel are now married and have a young child together.   He says he couldn't be happier. 

Barrie runs a website documenting his story and helping others through theirs. 

This episode was produced by Luke Eldridge.  Luke is an independent producer living in the UK.  

The episode was edited by Bethany Denton, with help from Jeff Emtman, and Nick White. 

Music: Serocell ||| Flowers ||| The Black Spot

Track image: Temptation of Christ, By Dutch-French painter Ary Scheffer, 1854. 

We recently released another (very different) story about mental illness and delusions of Jesus.  It's HBM039: A Goddamn Missionary, in which a man with Bi-polar Disorder learns to control his manic episodes through medication and altruism. 

KCRW is currently in the midst of their fall fund drive.  Support us by supporting them.  Become a member or renew.

HBM029: Do Crickets Sing Hymns?

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A bit of stunningly beautiful audio has surfaced online recently and it's riling up two different kinds of people--churchgoers and audio engineers. Some are saying that this music proves God's intention, others say it's a load of crap. The funny thing is that it's just recordings of bugs, crickets chirping, but with the speed turned waaaaaayyyy ddoooowwwnnn. Whatever it is, it's...undeniably "church-y".

But some have argued that it's not just bugs in the recording, that there's voices or guitars accompanying the insects...it's just too good to be true.

So, in this episode, audio engineer Toby Reif takes us down the rabbit hole of audio theory to help us understand how sound-stretching works, and the reasons why this long loop of cricket noises has touched so many.

Jeff also buys 50 crickets in this episode to see if they'll chirp. Tune in to see what happens.

Toby and Jeff originally heard the cricket audio from a Croatian Sound Cloud user who uploaded the sounds and mis-attributed them to the theater director Robert Wilson. (UPDATE: the Soundclouder who uploaded this has since corrected much of the misinformation that was formerly in the sound's description).

Toby and Jeff love Paul's Extreme Sound Stretcher. It's free. (Windows/Linux only. sorry Apple folk)

Music from: The Palisades ||| Phantom Fauna

Here Be Monsters is a proud member of the Mule Radio Syndicate, which distributes some other really great podcasts. Check them out at MuleRadio.net.

Check out Lina Misitzis of HBM fame singing Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen on our new favorite Mule Radio video podcast, It Might Get Personal!

This episode is sponsored by Squarespace, the easiest way to create a professional website. They’ve got a great deal for HBM listeners. Go to SquareSpace.com and use the promo code “monsters11” to get 10% off and a free trial.

HBM020: Without Name

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Eugene up and left for California one morning without packing a thing from his apartment in Brooklyn, New York. HBM producer Lina Misitzis and her roommate Adrian got the apartment at a discount. The condition, though, was that they took the place as Eugene left it—full of his left-behind life. For two years they enjoyed Eugene's magazine subscriptions, ate out of his bowls, slept on his old couch and used his designer spices.

Content Note:
This episode discusses prostitution, drug use and animal abuse. We beeped the swears though.

In this episode, Lina goes back to her old neighborhood looking for nothing in particular. She's greeted by familiar faces, new tenants, and a series of loose ends that tell a modern ghost story.

Photos of Eugene’s apartment coming soon to the HBM facebook page

Music from: Phantom Fauna ||| The Black Spot ||| Swamp Dog

Please please please, review HBM on iTunes so that we can make their New and Noteworthy section.

Special thanks this week to the Brooklyn Historical Society.

HBM016: 10,000 Juggalos

On this episode of the Here Be Monsters Podcast, Director Sean Dunne speaks of the bizarre culture of The Gathering where he found a system of mutual respect and "practicing what you preach" in every aspect from religious tolerance to settling bad drug deals.

The FBI classifies them as a gang. Pop culture has a field day with ridiculing them. But Juggalos and Juggalettes (followers of the Detroit-based rap duo The Insane Clown Posse) aren't going away. In fact, each summer, The Gathering of the Juggalos takes place in rural Illinois, drawing crowds of 10,000 from all over the world.

Content Note:
There's a $#&%-ton of profanity in this episode.

The Documentary that Sean Dunne directed is called American Juggalo and is available for free, online at http://americanjuggalo.com/

Also, Sean is currently working on a documentary about the Oxycontin abuse epidemic taking place in West Virginia. The film is called Oxyana.

So, what is the the true nature of a Juggalo? Let us know what you think.

Music this week from The Black Spot and Lucky Dragons.

Also, check out the People Watching Photo Magazine, a fund-raiser for Here Be Monsters.

People Watching Magazine -- Available Now!

People Watching Magazine is a new project to showcase people being people. This first issue comes from a hitchhiking trip I took with Megan Harmon to Yellowstone. I was amazed by the tourists there and took a lot of candid portraits. This magazine is the result of the people watching I did that day.

People Watching: Old Faithful is available for purchase now!