"They're mind benders!" said Bang-Bang. "Shrinks! They can put you in the slammer the rest of your life with no charges. You can't even turn state's evidence or plead the Fifth! They've got no sense of legality but the law and fuzz is all behind them."
There's something just... reassuring about all this. We're past the child abuse and torturous Gris "love" scenes, back in familiar territory. Listening to Hubbard give another frothing rant through his sock puppets is almost soothing.
"You don't get it," said Bang-Bang. "They just sign an order and put you away with the loonies. They jam you full of drugs and fry your brains! They even take your skull apart with an ice pick! They ain't happy unless you're a complete vegetable! And you don't have to have done nothing! The government depends on them completely to do away with birds they don't want around!"
Man, how did governments function before psychology?
His objections vociferously voiced, Bang-Bang drops Heller off for his appointment with Dr. Kutzbrain - yes, really - promising to keep the engine going in case Heller has to run for it. Bang-Bang would prefer to just blow up the place, because as always, any amount of collateral damage is acceptable if it ends in the demise of a psychologist.
Dr. Kutzbrain is scatterbrained and obsessed with Lizzie Borden, who he wishes he was working with rather than his patient ("I could have done a lot with that case. Could of gotten rid of thousands of parents.") He's got Mad Scientist hair sticking out horizontally from his head, keeps nicking himself peeling an apple before throwing away the fruit to chew on the knife, and thinks Heller has multiple personality disorder because he has a middle name. These are the evil geniuses who run the planet, folks. These are the sinister figures who have insinuated themselves into the halls of power.
The good doctor talks about Miss Simmons, who is still ranting from the Calming Ward about how she's going to fail Heller. Kutzbrain explains that this is perfectly normal.
"[S]uch a reaction is, of course, the normal female reaction to a male. It is technically called the 'black widow spider gene syndrome.' You see, Borden, it is all a matter of evolution. Men evolved from reptiles. This is a scientific, indisputable fact. But women, Borden, evolved from black widow spiders and that too is scientific, indisputable fact. It is proven by my own paper on it. But I see that I am talking over your head. However, those spiders you see up on the ceiling aren't mine. They were left by the last patient. Do you follow me," he consulted the card, "Jerome?"
Yes, here stands one of the foul overlords who hold the fate of nations in their hands, with whole populations held captive to their mad whims.
There's some logic though - Miss Simmons rants about how awful Heller is. But, Miss Simmons is currently a mental patient. Therefore everything she says is a delusion, and so Heller is a fine human being. Though she is accusing him of murdering eight men with his bare feet, the psychologists have investigated matters and determined that Miss Simmons in fact lured those men to the park so she could enjoy watching them fight over her before raping her, as per the black widow gene. On the other hand, they won't keep her locked up because "it is totally against professional ethics not to let the criminally insane loose on the public." She'll be back in the classroom soon enough.
"If she's insane, how can she teach?"
"Oh, nonsense," said the doctor. "If she's insane, it wouldn't make any difference. All bright people have to be at least neurotic. So if she's insane, that makes her a genius, so of course she can teach!" He looked at the folder. "It says here she must be released in time to take her class in the next semester. What gave you the insane idea that insane people couldn't teach school? You'd have to be insane even to try it!"
So why will Miss Simmons be returning next semester as opposed to, say, in two weeks, or when her doctors think she's ready? 'cause the plot - I mean, the folder says so. Also, I've gone cross-eyed.
Dr. Kutzbrain wraps up his consultation by providing the university-mandated advice ("when you find any stray women lying about with broken legs, leave them alone"), and passes on a message from the hospital staff. They want Heller to stop sending flowers since Miss Simmons just shreds and flushes them, clogging her room's plumbing. Interview over. Heller goes to the car and drives off with Bang-Bang, remarking that "those people are crazy!"
Well, wasn't that nice? Good ol' nonsensical psychologists. They lock people away forever, except when they turn them loose because it's unethical to keep lunatics away from normos. Their twisted science is secretly a scam, except pretty much everybody knows it's bupkis. They're terrible at their jobs but nonetheless somehow pose a threat to the whole world, much like the Apparatus.
At least until a charismatic visionary arrives to show the people the true path, in a manner that ends with him being worshiped and extremely rich.
Back to Part Twenty, Chapter Nine