Web Analytics Made Easy - Statcounter

Psychotherapist Mattias Desmet Failed to Report His Own Mass Murderer Patient

  • September 5, 2022
  • /   Peter Breggin MD and Ginger Ross Breggin
  • /   Ginger_Breggin,Desmet,Malone,Mass_Psychosis,Peter_Breggin,Globalism
Image of monkey sculpture depicting see no evil hear no evil speak no evil

Psychotherapist Mattias Desmet Failed to Report His Own Mass Murderer Patient

by Peter Breggin MD & Ginger Breggin
Originally posted on America Out Loud Sep 5, 2022 | Health, Politics, World

As I was finishing last-minute editing on this paper on September 5, 2022, at 2:57 pm NY Time, I received a call from a phone in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Voice (very dark, demanding tone): Is this Dr. Peter Breggin?

Me (hesitantly): Yes…(thinking it’s spam and ready to hang up)

Voice (continuing dark and demanding): This is Dr. Malone. Why are you targeting me? I will have to send you a cease and desist letter.

Me: Are you threatening me? (Then calling to Ginger, who’s nearby) Ginger, it’s Malone on the phone.

Ginger (entering my office): What’s he saying?

Me: I’ll put him on speaker.

The next thing I heard is the sound of Malone’s phone slamming down.

My conjecture is that Malone did not want a witness to what he was about to say.

It is possible that Malone had some hint about the incredible news we were about to break in this column, not about him, but about Mattias Desmet. The only other time Malone ever contacted us was by email to me to complain about our criticizing Desmet in an earlier column on America Out Loud.

Malone clearly wants to stifle my freedom of speech and freedom to criticize his ideology around matters of enormous political importance to society. Our debate is about how to view global predators or totalitarians and how to act in response to their predations. This question is of central importance to the future of individual freedom and political liberty.

Clearly, Desmet and his ideology are also of central importance to Malone — but he doesn’t want any public challenges made to it.

Now for our column about stunning breaking news about Mattias Desmet.


Mattias Desmet, the psychotherapist, and professor of psychology whom we have criticized as a leading apologist for political mass murderers, actually knew that one of his own patients was an unrecognized mass murderer and then let him go without reporting him because he thought his psychotherapy had cured him for life.1 The predator had been killing people since he was 22 and was an older man, with a lifetime of multiple murders when he saw Desmet in therapy.

We have been criticizing Desmet and his chief supporter, the same Dr. Robert Malone, for promoting the concept of mass formation and mass psychosis which blames the victims of totalitarianism. The totalitarian actions, in this case, are the oppressive COVID-19 policies and practices. The mass psychosis concept not only sees the “masses” or the people as originating totalitarianism, mostly on their own, but the concept also calls for letting off those who are pulling the strings behind the scenes on a global scale.

In its effects, Desmet and Malone’s concept deflect, discourage and undermine attempts to place the blame directly on global predators who have been committing mass murder under the guise of COVID-19. This directly connects Desmet’s work protecting mass murders on a political level to the dreadful irony that Desmet has even protected a mass murderer in his therapy practice.

Desmet Allowed a Mass Murderer to Go Unreported in His Practice

Psychotherapist Mattias Desmet learned from one of his patients, Ivo Poppe, during therapy, that he had killed many people in the name of euthanasia; but according to news coverage of Poppe’s trial, Desmet testified under oath that he had decided not to report the patient to the authorities.2 A psychiatrist to whom Poppe later confessed killing “dozens” of people reported him to the police. After an investigation, Poppe was jailed in May 2014, on suspicion of multiple murders3 and formally charged with killing 10 people.4 In January 2018, he was found guilty of killing his mother, his two great uncles, his father-in-law, and another woman.5

The psychiatrist who reported Poppe to the authorities testified in Poppe’s case that he was “especially afraid” that Poppe would kill more people.6 But in the trial, Desmet testified as Poppe’s former therapist that he had determined his therapy had worked so well there was no need to report him.

According to numerous estimates, Poppe murdered as many as 407 or 508 people, including four of his own family members: his own mother, his stepfather, and two great uncles. His first known victim was a great uncle, who suffocated with a pillow in September 1978, when Poppe was only age 22.9 His mother, Ivonna Vanhaverbeke, age 90, became the last known victim on January 27, 2011, when Poppe was in his mid-fifties. It is as yet unclear when Dr. Desmet saw him and determined he was no longer a killer. After being reported to the authorities by a psychiatrist, Poppe was arrested in early 2014.

Poppe was a Deacon of the Catholic church and a nurse. He killed people by smothering and by an injection of insulin, sedatives, and air bubbles. Bubbles can reach the brain, heart, or lungs and can cause stroke, heart attack, or respiratory failure.

Desmet Testifies about Poppe at the Mass Murder’s Trial

The following article was published in HLN on January 24, 2018, and focuses on Desmet’s testimony in Poppe’s trial.10,11 With a few of my bracketed comments, here is the newspaper report, starting with its title and subtitle in bold:

Psychotherapist: “Deacon of death acted out of unbearable pity”

At the assize [courtroom] trial against Ivo Poppe (61) the psychotherapist of the accused explained their conversations. Professor Mattias Desmet knew about the facts, but decided to abide by his professional secrecy. According to the witness, Poppe did act out of pity.

This morning the session was adjourned so that the psychotherapist could print his notes about Ivo Poppe at the request of the chairman. Then Professor Desmet told how he acted after Poppe confessed the facts. “When I got in touch with people from the medical world, most of them shrugged. I was amazed, I was a bit shocked in fact.” According to the witness, such cases apparently happened a lot before the euthanasia legislation. “Professor Distelmans even said in De Morgen that it involved 3,600 cases a year.” [Poppe was a mass murderer, ultimately the worst in Belgium’s history. The existence of 3,600 cases of “euthanasia” per year is irrelevant—Desmet is dealing with a mass-murder’s confession to him.]

[insert] “There was a sense of power, but it is therefore wrong as a motive. The motive, I think, was indeed an unbearable pity, which resulted in a compulsion.” [Poppe’s “motive” has little relevance. The only safe place for him is in jail. In addition, as one expert testified, none of the victims asked for euthanasia and he did not give them gentle deaths: “Smothering with a pillow or administer air symbols (bubbles) are accompanied by a death struggle that can take minutes.”]12

The deacon’s psychologist [Desmet] also explained why he did not sound the alarm. “The urge to end lives that was sometimes felt was gone after the therapy. That kind of compulsion is also very sensitive to the word and will quickly diminish by talking about it.” [But Desmet is not going to be there to “talk about it” next time the impulse arises.] The accused’s psychiatrists eventually informed the prosecutor’s office. “That was certainly not the best way. Even when it is very difficult, it is important to stay true to your profession. A soldier has to fight even when it is war.”

Difficult youth

At the request of the defense, the witness also explained the personality of Ivo Poppe. “The thin line between me and another is a central feature. He very easily takes on another’s feelings and suffering.” That personality was created by the relationship with his mother and his difficult childhood. “As a child he felt very strongly for his mother. He therefore did not blow his nose into a handkerchief, so as not to make her life even more difficult.”

The accused served his entire life, working as a nurse and deacon. “There was a sense of power, but as a motive it is therefore wrong. I think the motive was indeed an unbearable pity, which resulted in compulsion.” Poppe told his psychotherapist that the victims were terminal and unbearably suffering. “On the one hand, he partially refuses to take any blame, because he did it out of good will. On the other hand, he realizes that he has crossed a line.” [Desmet acts as if he can accept the veracity of a mass murderer describing his victim’s need for “euthanasia”] …

Psychiatrists sounded the alarm

Earlier in the day, the psychiatrists who treated the accused had testified. The deacon suddenly told them during a regular consultation that he had ended the lives of dozens of people. After consultation with the Order of Physicians, it was decided to inform the public prosecutor’s office.

At the end of 2010, Ivo Poppe first contacted psychiatrist De Troyer. After a few consultations, it took until October 2013 before he visited his psychiatrist again. “Those first conversations were about his nightmares, his father and his home situation. And then he suddenly confessed that he ended the lives of dozens of people through palliative sedation with air embolisms and insulin.” The deacon said that, among other things, he killed his father-in-law out of pity. “What shocked me a bit was a form of revenge towards the doctors, a feeling of frustration, a feeling of power. There was also a certain sense of guilt.”

The psychiatrist was especially afraid that Poppe would take new deeds. After all, at that time he was still involved in mortal [death] counseling as a deacon. After consultation with the Order of Physicians, he forwarded Poppe to his colleague Paul Lodewyck. “His nightmares were sexual scenes, father murdered, being murdered, his house on fire,” said Dr Lodewyck. Poppe also repeated his confessions. “He told me that he had helped his own mother over death. I found that smothering his great-uncle in 1978 very difficult, that’s a different matter than injecting air or insulin.”


Ivo Poppe told the psychiatrists that he felt he had done something right. “But it had also almost become an addiction. The chance of being caught creates a tension that maintains the mechanism.” The doctors then decided to inform the public prosecutor of the case. “He still came into contact with defenseless people in the last phase of life. I did have a small reservation that it was fantasy.”

When Did Mass Murderer Poppe Kill His Last Victims In Relation to His Time in Treatment with Desmet?

According to the best available reports, Poppe’s last murder was that of his 89-year-old mother on January 27, 2011.13 This raises the question as to whether Desmet began treating Poppe before that time. If so, then his failure to report Poppe to the authorities enabled the mass murderer to be free in society to kill his mother and perhaps other people.

Desmet’s failure to report that he had discovered a mass murder in his practice raises other profound questions. He not only delayed the arrest and prosecution of Poppe, but he also delayed the release of information that would have informed the relatives and friends of his victims about what had happened to their loved ones. He deprived society of the knowledge that a mass murder of previously unknown proportions in Belgium had been committed, enabling soul-searching about the societal implications, analyses of stricter protections of patients, and, more important concerns raised by such a catastrophe.

A few dates help in the discussion of whether Desmet may have failed to report Poppe before he went on to kill other people. As of October 2010, a few months before Pope murdered his mother, Poppe had started therapy with a new psychiatrist,14 and there is no indication that he was in treatment with Desmet at the time. By early 2014 Poppe had been reported to the police.15 Psychoanalytic therapy can be a long process, and the supposed successful treatment of a mass murderer would presumably take many years.

We welcome any information from Dr. Desmet to clarify the chronology of his therapy with respect to Poppe’s last known murder.

Our Conclusions

We have previously described Desmet as protecting the people behind the mass murder of millions of individuals during COVID-19 by declaring that the masses originated the problem and that there was no malicious or organized planning behind it. We have also criticized Desmet for further protecting these global perpetrators by accusing researchers who investigate the organized planning behind the disaster as “conspiracy thinking” driven by anxiety and irrationality (pp. 126-128 in his book, The Origins of Totalitarianism).

Desmet’s mass formation concepts distract freedom fighters from identifying the enemies of human liberty. So do his attacks on so-called conspiracy thinkers as mentally unbalanced. The effects will eventually discourage prosecutors, the media, researchers, and citizens from facing the global predators. Whatever we call them — the elite, the ruling class, the predatory globalists — Desmet’s work ends up discouraging their identification and, therefore, any hope of truly combatting the oppressors and holding them responsible.

Desmet’s book contrasts dramatically with our own book, COVID-19 and the Global Predators: We Are the Prey, in which we identify and hold responsible the powerful global predators whose influence and power determined the policies and practices which continue to this day costing millions of deaths around the world.

Now it turns out that Desmet knowingly treated a man who confessed to multiple murders during therapy. Desmet failed to report him because he thought his psychotherapy had cured him of mass murder. Desmet then seeks sympathy for the culprit during the man’s trial by saying that Poppe had “excessive empathy,” but empathy is the least likely motive for driving anyone to become a mass murderer. True empathy is the source of the highest human ethics and ideals.

Much more likely, given his documented difficult childhood, Poppe had rage and feelings of impotence toward his family. To vent his rage and to overcome his feelings of impotence, Poppe killed four of his family members, including his own mother, along with many other people, according to the prosecution.

My Clinical and Forensic Experience with Mass Murder

I am a psychotherapist and a psychiatrist, with extensive forensic experience with mass murders. No professional should ever give himself the right to avoid reporting a confession of mass murder by one of his patients. As a psychiatrist, under US state laws, if I become aware that my patient is a threat to the lives of others, I am required to take effective action to prevent my patient from harming others. But even without a legal requirement, it would also be unethical not to report a mass murderer, considering the potential loss of life.

Furthermore, no professional could possibly have the ability to know that he or she has cured a mass murderer, making it safe to let a “former predator” remain free and unsupervised for the remainder of his life. Even if “talking” or “words” were very helpful to Poppe, as Desmet testified, there is no way to have sufficient certainty about the man’s future. Indeed, with a man this disturbed and violent, it would be impossible to know if he were killing people unbeknownst to the therapist while he remained in therapy, let alone after he left therapy. Mass murder requires such profound breaking of moral restraints and empathy that there is no way to assure that someone is telling the truth, in or out of therapy, and no way to determine if he is fully recovered from violent impulses and will remain so.

I have, at times, concluded as a medical expert that a person who committed violence or murder on a single occasion under the influence of psychiatric drugs was, within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, not likely to repeat violence in the future. In these cases, there has been no past history of violence, behavior, in general, has been exemplary, witnesses have testified to the negative changes in behavior on psychiatric drugs, and the individual has dramatically improved when carefully tapered off the offending medicines. In addition, there must be scientific evidence that the medicines can cause violence, and there are no other feasible or reasonable explanations for the violence.

But even with all these elaborate precautions, no therapists or psychiatrists should take it on themselves to make the final decision to let the person go free. The decision to let a very violent person or a murderer go free is too difficult to make without the involvement of authorities and other experts as prescribed by law. I have given opinions, but the decision to let anyone go free was made by a judge or jury after hearing evidence or formal opinions from me and from other psychiatrists and psychologists, from defense and prosecution lawyers, from family and friends of the perpetrator, and from the staff in the facility in which the individual was being held before release. My own reports might draw upon most or all of these factors, and then a judge or jury would make the decision. In the process, massive prior medical records, educational records, and work records would have been evaluated by me, by other experts, by the lawyers, and by the judge.

These elaborate procedures under the law concerning the freedom of a known perpetrator of violence should be compared to Desmet’s self-described consults with other professionals who never saw Poppe and never did any of the necessary evaluations that I have described. Also, it seems unlikely that Desmet told other professionals that Poppe was a mass murderer when asking their opinions on what to do, because most professionals would have wanted to cover themselves, if nothing else, when it came to the risk of letting a mass murderer go unreported.

It is hard to imagine how any psychotherapist or psychiatrist in the isolation of private therapy with limited outside or independent knowledge about the patient could have such faith in his personal therapeutic ability and his ability to predict an extremely violent perpetrator’s future that he could let a mass murderer go unreported and hence free to kill again.

In Poppe’s case, he had started killing people at age 22, rendering preposterous the hope for a psychotherapeutic cure later in life. Desmet’s extreme claims in the Poppe case may provide insight into the drive behind his current political and policy-determined campaign to mitigate or remove responsibility from the perpetrators of mass murder during COVID-19.

10 https://z0sqrs-a.akamaihd.net/6905_breggin/Malone/English—Capture-001—Psychotherapist_-_Deacon-of-death-acted-out-of-unbearable-pity_—Inl_—www.hln-copy.pdf For continuity, I have removed a short, less relevant portion about record privacy or secrecy for continuity. Here it is: “Commotion about professional secrecy. After the testimony, a long discussion ensued when it turned out that Professor Desmet had to put down his notes. “It contains details about the sexual life of Ivo and of other people, such as villagers. I would like to ask you not to force me to do that.” Chairman Bart Meganck pointed out to him that the law could not be negotiated. “Then I will have to tell my students that they are not allowed to create files and not even testify anymore. This is a disaster for the psychologist profession and our professional secrecy.” The chairman stated that he did not want to lure the witness into a trap by having him print the notes. “Yeah,” shouted part of the audience. It was finally decided that the psychotherapist may delete another patient’s name from his notes. Then he speaks again.”
15 This source reports that Poppe was not reported until 2014. https://www.eurasiatimes.org/en/23/01/2018/belgium-deacon-of-death-trial-begins/
According to one source, “Poppe had claimed that his mother wanted to be euthanized, but her doctors denied that she had expressed any wishes to end her life.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/37581/belgian-deacon-on-trial-for-murder

Your items have been added to the shopping cart. The shopping cart modal has opened and here you can review items in your cart before going to checkout