An American Psychiatrist's Comments: The Fu Yibin Case is a Psychiatric Case
[Dr. Galli is an American psychiatrist who presents here her comments on the Fu Yibin murder case and Xinhua News Agency's article on December 17. Xinhua falsely alleged Fu Yibin was a Falun Gong practitioner who became insane from his practice.]
From a psychiatric point of view, it is very clear that this is a psychiatric case. Assuming that the perpetrator, Fu Yibin, is telling the truth to the reporter, we can conclude that he was psychotic in November 2001 when he killed his father and wife. Sadly, he still seemed to be psychotic during the interview that took place on December 17, 2001. He was not only delusional but he also was having command hallucinations and excessive energy at the time of the killing. He also seemed to have a chronic psychiatric condition.
His delusional thinking is revealed by his statement that at the time of the killing he was thinking, " I want them to leave suffering and go to paradise" and thinking that he would put the main consciousnesses of these three people inside his stomach to form a sun, earth and moon.
He also indicated that he heard some unknown voice commanding him by his statement, "a voice said 'it is time for action." The voice supposedly told him to destroy the three people in front of him. He continued, saying that, "I never thought they made me kill". He not only did what the voices told him to do but he also seemed to feel compelled to do so.
The newspaper article states that right before the killing he remembered his wife telling his parents that he had been confused, as if in a daze, and that his hands and feet were sweaty. He said his wife was concerned that something bad was going to happen. These were probably signs of nervousness, like when a person is getting ready to fight. He also talked about the energy that it took to kill three people, as if he thought his mother was also dead, and having to rest on the sofa afterward.
It seems that he had a long history of emotional problems. One of Mr. Fu's relatives told his colleague, Ms. Ma Ruijin, that eight years ago Fu would run in the street naked and that the family could not control him. This behavior indicates that he was delusional and exbibiting abnormally elevated energy levels. This can be even more clearly seen from a 1999 incident where he attacked his mother in a delusional episode. At the time, he thought his mother was the devil who wanted his father to die by going into his room to rest. He broke his mother's ribs, brutally beating her in an attempt to get rid of the "devil" that was supposed to be controlling her. When relating what happened in 1999, he stated, " I don't know where I got all this energy". Once again we see a combination of a high abnormal energy state and confusion. At the time, a neighbor called the police, who apparently took the case as a family conflict, releasing Fu instead of referring him for psychiatric evaluation.
At the time of the interview he still seemed to be psychotic. Not only did his statements lack logic but also they seemed to make sense to him. The content of his thinking was not coherent. Unrelated information seemed to make sense in his sick mind, like putting these people in his stomach to make a moon, earth and the sun, etc. In December, 2001, he continued to believe that he should have tried harder to get the devil out of his mother in the 1999 episode.
It is inhumane to incarcerate him without psychiatric care. It is clear that he was psychotic during the interview. It is also clear to me that he did not undergo psychiatric evaluation, otherwise the Chinese authorities would not be calling this a simple murder case but a psychiatric case.
It is unfortunate that the Chinese government resorts to twisting sad cases of severe mental illness into propaganda aimed at defaming Falun Gong. Relating Falun Gong to this case is absurd. If someone with a history of mental illness tries Falun Gong, it does not follow that Falun Gong causes their dangerous psychotic behavior. If a person studies physics or astronomy, would we blame his study of physics or astronomy for his crimes? This is irrational. It is also completely irresponsible not to have done a complete psychiatric evaluation, not to have investigated his prior mental health history, not to have interviewed family members and neighbors, nor to have conducted a detailed medical examination.
From a psychiatric standpoint this appears to be intended to mislead people to believe that this case is related to Falun Gong, a cruelly deceitful twist to this story of a sadly tragic episode of violence committed by a psychotic person with a long history of mental illness and dangerous behavior.
Viviana Galli, MD
Ft. Campbell, KY
Category: Opinion & Perspective