Anyone who’s been keeping even half an eye on David Shurter’s YouTube channel recently will have noticed that his mental health seems to have been deteriorating rapidly over the past few weeks. Most recently, videos with titles like “I just wish this would kill me already” and “I’m begging you to stop- Ill take everything down” show a weeping, distraught Mr Shurter, apparently in the throes of a fully fledged psychiatric breakdown.
It’s painful stuff to watch. For one thing, Mr Shurter—who we understand is in his 40s—looks like a man in his 70s. And he sounds desperate, pleading with his tormentors to turn off the rays they are beaming into his brain.
He did seem to have the wherewithal to post his videos on Twitter and Facebook, and to carry on conversations with his followers there. As you might expect, some of his friends’ suggestions were less than helpful:
Marcus’ advice: “Don’t take the documentation down, that only places you in MORE RISK. The more public you go, the more you are protected. But prayer and trust are your best protection of all….ALL whistleblower types get killed when tricked into going into isolation, hello! Sure, they are made to FEEL LIKE self-isolating, but that just deepens control, abuse, stalking, and ups the chances of death”.
Yes, tell a paranoid delusional person that they’ll die if they follow their (presumably licensed and trained) therapist’s advice. Just. Fucking. Brilliant.
By yesterday, Mr Shurter seemed to have recovered enough to put out a request for donations…to enable him to buy more heavy-duty tinfoil. You really cannot make this up. And his friend Amy gave him a few helpful tips on Paranoid Loony DIY:
And by last evening, Mr Shurter was rarin’ to go on a live interview:
So the question is: which is real? Is Mr Shurter really in as much distress as he seemed to be, or is he playing it up for the benefit of his audience? Or is it some combination of the two?
We had a bit of a confab about that yesterday; some of us felt that if Mr Shurter was really as upset as he seemed to be, he’d have had a runny nose and actual tears (fair point). However, others felt that it would be better to err on the side of caution, and assume that Mr Shurter really does need professional help of some sort.
After all, we’ve seen several Hoaxtead mobsters succumb to severe mental illness: JC, Arthur K, and most recently and tragically, Aaron Dover. In fact, we learned from Mr Dover’s friend that he’d jumped out a seventh-floor window to his death, while in the grip of paranoid delusions.
Bottom line: none of us here are mental health professionals, and it’s not up to us to decide whether Mr Shurter is faking it. That’s why we decided to play it safe by reporting him to his local mental health team. We also flagged his posts on Twitter to let them know that he could be a suicide risk. Whether they are able to help him or not, at least we’ll feel that we didn’t just sit back and watch him suffer.
But he’s on the other team!
He is. And ultimately, that doesn’t matter.
We know that it’s highly unlikely that he’ll appreciate any intervention we might make. In fact, he’ll probably read this (because he always does), and decide that we’re in collusion with the people who’ve been shooting death rays or whatever at him. That doesn’t matter either.
What matters is that he is a human being, and he seems to be suffering from some form of mental illness. And whatever revulsion or antipathy we might feel toward him as a person, we wouldn’t feel right about ourselves if we sat back and did nothing to help.
Will our small gestures actually do any good? We honestly don’t know. We hope Mr Shurter will recover, for his own sake and for the sake of his neighbours, who he’s apparently been terrorising.
A final note
For some time, we had a policy on this blog of not discussing Mr Shurter and his antics. After today, we’ll be putting that ban back in place, as we feel this blog could be one of the factors exacerbating Mr Shurter’s paranoia. We hope our readers will understand and co-operate.