One of the repeating tragedies throughout history is the treatment of the mentally handicapped. It seems that every few decades, a “revolutionary” new treatment regimen comes around, or a new idea sweeps through the psychiatric community. Rarely, these new ideas result in better help for those afflicted with such diseases. All too often, however, it only worsens conditions for the mentally ill. You see it time and time again. Psychotropic drugs, horrific medical experiments, lobotomies, electroshock therapy: all of these have the dubious honor of having gained, at least for a little while, of being supported by the medical establishment. Worse, I suppose, is when we choose to ignore the mentally ill entirely. L0ck them away with no hope of treatment, or leave them out to fend for themselves in the depths of winter. Out of sight, out of mind. Thankfully, in today’s day and age, we at least attempt to help those who see things that aren’t there, think rules don’t apply to them, or even think that they have a lot more power than they actually do.
Another problem with the mentally ill is that all too often, less civilized societies have the habit of calling any outcasts or those who don’t tow the line mentally ill, leaving them to the whims of mental health professionals. All too often, of course, there is nothing wrong with these people, other than the fact that they chose to speak their minds… against whomever the current authorities are. Even the Gallente and Intaki, in their more distant histories, have tales along this line. Less surprisingly, however, is the fact that the Amarr have a history of doing this. Even as recent as the Minmatar Occupation, the Empire made a repeated effort to lock up political dissidents, both Amarr and Matari, in mental illness facilities. And those efforts, for whatever reason, seemed to focus on the Lanngisi system. I don’t think I would enjoy living in a system whose claim to fame was housing the most mental health facilities and insane asylums out of the entire Empire but, then again, it wasn’t my place to judge. In any case, most of those hospitals seem to be shut down now, thankfully. Among those with the worst reputations, however, and the one that most deserved to be shut down, was the Sanctum Psychosis. As Aura explains:
Long before the Rebellion, while the constellation was still home of the Nefantar tribe, the Lanngisi system was the main location for those with mental illnesses. Various institutions operated in the system, each preaching its own unique way of treating patients. In time, as the Amarrians had to deal with more and more Minmatar political radicals and dissidents, they started to send those they viewed as a threat to the social stability to Lanngisi for ‘treatment’. After the Rebellion the institutions were promptly closed. A decade ago the Sisters of EVE refurbished one of the old institutional stations as a local aid station for refugees.
Sanctum Psychosis was initially part spa, part mental hospital for those suffering serious psychosis and delusions. Later on, with all the seriously violent patients referred to the place, it become nothing more than a prison for those deemed too dangerous to be on the loose.
From what little I knew of the Sanctum, it’s founders initially did mean well. But time can do dangerous things to even the best of intentions. Over time, the “therapies” used became more and more inhumane, especially as the Sanctum was left with more and more dangerous criminals, more and more radical dissidents. When the goal is to simply remove people from society, rather than help them, such a slippery slope is all too easy. Back in its prime, though, the Sanctum must have been quite a magnificent sight. In classic Amarr form, the station high above Lanngisi VI evokes the feelings of a castle: tall, with spires and battlements, but made of pure gold, to shine in the sun. I had always been a fan of Amarr design, and this former mental hospital certainly highlighted it.
Today, the site is a mere shadow of its former self. Like the Asylum three planets over, it is long abandoned, and certainly no longer providing any kind of mental health services. Similarly, the station has been picked to the bone for any usable technology or relics of the Amarr age in Minmatar space, leaving only the superstructure left in orbit of Lanngisi VI. Unlike the Asylum, however, neither the Sisters of Eve nor anyone else have attempted to make use of the site of the Sanctum. The site sits all but abandoned today, the hulk of the station left adrift in Lanngisi orbit. It seemed certain that within a century or two, without station thrusters to keep it in orbit, the station would come tumbling down on to the temperate world of Lanngisi. It wasn’t a pressing concern by any means, but something to keep in mind for the Republic. No one liked having stations fall on to their heads. Even more problematic were the asteroids that had gathered near the Sanctum. A few of them even seemed to contain valuable minerals, even if it was only veldspar. But unless they were mined into nothingness beforehand, they could prove even harder to move into a stable orbit than the Sanctum.
The days of the bustling station, filled with patients, doctors, and assorted personnel, was long in the past. Today, all that’s left are a few scavengers and those looking for an out of the way place to meet with others of disrepute. Indeed, Lanngisi in general seems to have fallen off of the map. Perhaps because of its abuses during the Occupation, the system no longer seemed to be the center of mental health that it once was. But we shouldn’t take that to mean that there were no more mentally ill people out there. They don’t just disappear, they are always with us, either from the unfortunate happenstance of genetics or the horrors of life. And we must never forget that we should judge societies based on how they treat the lowest of the low, and those unable to help themselves. We should be ready and eager to help those with mental illness, and not just ready to leave them out on the streets to freeze. After all, winter is coming.
- Attraction: Sanctum Psychosis
- System: Lanngisi
- Security Rating: 0.5
- Region: Metropolis
- Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Minmatar, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
- Additional Notes: This also serves as a Minmatar COSMOS site.