The Pinehaven Assylum






It has taken me forty-four years to accept the truth Rena Easton is mentally ill. Last night I found tears in my eyes as I accepted the truth. One tragic aspect of this truth, is, that all those who got close to Rena, and thought about getting her help, were backed off by her outstanding beauty. This is to say if she was 40% percent less beautiful, you might be able to take her to a shrink and convince him this beautiful seventeen year old beauty was not in her right mind. This would be like taking your brand new Mazariati you just drove off the lot, to ‘Bill’s Garage’ around the corner, and telling Bill;

“This car is a piece of shit. And I just bought it! Can you fix it?”

After spending about fifty days camping, our beautiful selves came to stay at Willis Court, the home of Harkins family in Oakland California. I had just found out Rena was seventeen, not eighteen, as she had told me. In discussing her going to the University of Nebraska, she told me she was very smart, and was skipped a grade. I busted her ass, and she did not like that. The age of consent in Nebraska is seventeen, and eighteen in California.

On the second day at Willis Court, Rena revealed her true self, or, one aspect of her that she did not let me see since I lay eyes on her. She showed this person to Jeffery Harkins, the youngest of the three Harkins boys. Jeffery has suffered from Paranoid schizophrenia. Jeffery lived down in the basement at what his brother, Michael Harkin, dubbed ‘The Pinehave Assylum’.

Before I show the real Rena to you, I want my reader to digest the article below on mental illness and the creative process. The nine muses are summoned. The big picture I am going to paint for you, is this…..All the major players in the Rosamond legacy are, and were, mentally ill – beginning with Rena Easton – the muse of the two crazy but creative siblings. There should be a genealogical graft that would make it easier to show how THE SOURCE OF CREATIVE INSPIRATION, fares.

From RENA EASTON, to…………………………………..LAWRENCE CHAZEN
is the GENESIS of my tale ‘Capturing Beauty’. What lies between Easton and Chazen, is a big pile of rosy prints that Michael Harkins found stacked in Christine’s garage in her home in Pebble Beach. Garth Benton did an inventory of this stock, and sent out the list you see to past customers. My aunt Lillian gasped when she opened her letter. The Probate had not begun. Vicki Presco and Jacci Belford, the two executors Christine named, refused to serve. Both of these women, along with Christine’s ex husband, made a case in a court of law, that my niece, the adult heir named in my sister’s will, was too insane to handle the creative legacy her mother left her. After being arrested, Garth’s attorney, Robin Beare, said this to court;

“I think some time in jail will do Shannon Rosamond some good.”

Now, let us swing the camera back to the scene where Jeffery and Rena are sitting at the kitchen table at Willis Court, together. Jeffery has been arrested on many occasions, and has spent time in several institutions. Jeffery is an Artist, and perhaps the most authentic and original artist in this tragic tale. Rena chose this artist…….to reveal her inner self to.

Jon Presco

Copyright 2014

I am a member in good standing of the State Bar of California and an attorney
on record for 50% interest in Shannon Rosamond. In my 16 years as a member of
the State Bar California, I have never experienced a more deliberate fraud on
any court or more reckless and calculated attempt to fraudulently take control
of a probate estate at the exclusion of the lawful heirs and total manipulation
of a tester’s intent that the present efforts of Attorney’s Robin Beare,
Lawrence J. Chazen and Garth Benton, the descendants former spouse.”

“Over the specific argument of Ms. Beare, Judge Silver refused to appoint Mr.
Chazen. Neither Ms. Beare nor Mr. Chazen disclosed to the court the very
critical fact that Mr. Chazen has the largest single creditor’s claim against
the estate and is a former business partner and business associate of Garth
Benton who the court had removed as Special Administer just moments before.”


The association between bipolar disorder and creativity first appeared in literature in the 1970s, but the idea of a link between “madness” and “genius” is much older, dating back at least to the time of Aristotle. The Ancient Greeks believed that creativity came from the gods, and in particular the Muses, the mythical personifications of the arts and sciences, and the nine daughters of Zeus, the king of the gods. The idea of a complete work of art emerging without conscious thought or effort was reinforced by the views of the Romantic era.[1][2] It has been proposed that there is a particular link between creativity and bipolar disorder, whereas major depressive disorder appears to be significantly more common among playwrights, novelists, biographers, and artists.[3]

Psychotic individuals are said to display a capacity to see the world in a novel and original way, literally, to see things that others cannot.[4]


A study by psychologist J. Philippe Rushton found creativity to correlate with intelligence and psychoticism.[5] Another study found creativity to be greater in schizotypal than in either normal or schizophrenic individuals. While divergent thinking was associated with bilateral activation of the prefrontal cortex, schizotypal individuals were found to have much greater activation of their right prefrontal cortex.[6] This study hypothesizes that such individuals are better at accessing both hemispheres, allowing them to make novel associations at a faster rate. In agreement with this hypothesis, ambidexterity is also associated with schizotypal and schizophrenic individuals. Three recent studies by Mark Batey and Adrian Furnham have demonstrated the relationships between schizotypal[7][8] and hypomanic personality [9] and several different measures of creativity.

Particularly strong links have been identified between creativity and mood disorders, particularly manic-depressive disorder (a.k.a. bipolar disorder) and depressive disorder (a.k.a. unipolar disorder). In Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament, Kay Redfield Jamison summarizes studies of mood-disorder rates in writers, poets and artists. She also explores research that identifies mood disorders in such famous writers and artists as Ernest Hemingway (who shot himself after electroconvulsive treatment), Virginia Woolf (who drowned herself when she felt a depressive episode coming on), composer Robert Schumann (who died in a mental institution), and even the famed visual artist Michelangelo.

A study looking at 300,000 persons with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or unipolar depression, and their relatives, found overrepresentation in creative professions for those with bipolar disorder as well as for undiagnosed siblings of those with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. There was no overall overrepresentation, but overrepresentation for artistic occupations, among those diagnosed with schizophrenia. There was no association for those with unipolar depression or their relatives. [10]

Another study involving more than one million people, conducted by Swedish researchers at the Karolinska Institute, reported a number of correlations between creative occupations and mental illnesses. Writers had a higher risk of anxiety and bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, unipolar depression, and substance abuse, and were almost twice as likely as the general population to kill themselves. Dancers and photographers were also more likely to have bipolar disorder.[11]

However, as a group, those in the creative professions were no more likely to suffer from psychiatric disorders than other people, although they were more likely to have a close relative with a disorder, including anorexia and, to some extent, autism, the Journal of Psychiatric Research reports.[11]

According to psychologist Robert Epstein, PhD, creativity can be obstructed through stress.[12]

Positive mood[edit]

Mood-creativity research reveals that people are most creative when they are in a positive mood[13][14] and that mental illnesses such as depression or schizophrenia actually decrease creativity.[15][16] People who have worked in the field of arts throughout the history have had problems with poverty, persecution, social alienation, psychological trauma, substance abuse, high stress [17] and other such environmental factors which are associated with developing and perhaps causing mental illness. It is thus likely that when creativity itself is associated with positive moods, happiness, and mental health, pursuing a career in the arts may bring problems with stressful environment and income. Other factors such as the centuries-old stereotype of the suffering of a “mad artist” help to fuel the link by putting expectations on how an artist should act, or possibly making the field more attractive to those with mental illness.

Bipolar disorder[edit]

There is a range of types of bipolar disorder. Individuals with Bipolar I Disorder experience severe episodes of mania and depression with periods of wellness between episodes. The severity of the manic episodes can mean that the person is seriously disabled and unable to express the heightened perceptions and flight of thoughts and ideas in a practical way. Individuals with Bipolar II Disorder experience milder periods of hypomania during which the flight of ideas, faster thought processes and ability to take in more information can be converted to art, poetry or design.[18]


Many famous historical figures gifted with creative talents may have been affected by bipolar disorder. Ludwig van Beethoven, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Isaac Newton, Judy Garland and Robert Schumann are some people whose lives have been researched to discover signs of mood disorder.[19] In many instances, creativity and psychopathology share some common traits, such as a tendency for “thinking outside the box,” flights of ideas, speeding up of thoughts and heightened perception of visual, auditory and somatic stimuli. A 2012 paper suggested that psychiatric conditions associated with psychotic spectrum symptoms, such as bipolar I, may be possible explanations for revelatory driven experiences and activities such as those of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Saint Paul.[20]


Many people with bipolar disorder may feel powerful emotions during both depressive and manic phases, potentially aiding in creativity.[21] Because (hypo)mania decreases social inhibition, performers are often daring and bold. As a consequence, creators commonly exhibit characteristics often associated with mental illness. The frequency and intensity of these symptoms appear to vary according to the magnitude and domain of creative achievement. At the same time, these symptoms are not equivalent to the full-blown psychopathology of a clinical manic episode which, by definition, entails significant impairment.[1]

Posthumous diagnosis[edit]

Some creative people have been posthumously diagnosed as suffering from bipolar or unipolar disorder based on biographies, letters, correspondence, contemporaneous accounts, or other anecdotal material, most notably in Kay Redfield Jamison’s book Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament.[22] Touched With Fire presents the argument that bipolar disorder, and affective disorders more generally,[23] may be found in a disproportionate number of people in creative professions such as actors, artists, comedians, musicians, authors, performers and poets.

Positive correlation[edit]

Several recent clinical studies have also suggested that there is a positive correlation between creativity and bipolar disorder, although the relationship between the two is unclear.[24][25][26] Temperament may be an intervening variable.[25]

Other studies[edit]

A 2005 study at the Stanford University School of Medicine measured creativity by showing children figures of varying complexity and symmetry and asking whether they like or dislike them. The study showed for the first time that a sample of children who either have or are at high risk for bipolar disorder tend to dislike simple or symmetric symbols more. Children with bipolar parents who were not bipolar themselves also scored higher dislike scores.[27]

Modern cultural viewpoints[edit]

The 2012 book Tortured Artists, by the American arts journalist Christopher Zara, shows the universal nature of the tortured artist stereotype and how it applies to all of the creative disciplines, including film, theater, literature, music, and visual art. The artists profiled in the book have made major contributions to their respective mediums (Charles Schulz, Charlie Parker, Lenny Bruce, Michelangelo, Madonna, Andy Warhol, Amy Winehouse, and dozens of others). In each case, the author attempts to make a connection between the art and the artist’s personal suffering.[28]

Notable individuals[edit]

James Joyce had a daughter with schizophrenia and had many schizotypal traits. Albert Einstein had a son with schizophrenia and was also somewhat schizotypal and eccentric.[4] Bertrand Russell had many family members with schizophrenia or psychosis: his aunt, uncle, son and grand-daughter.[4] Winston Churchill, Vincent van Gogh and Edgar Allan Poe are believed to have had bipolar disorder.

Joanne Greenberg’s novel I Never Promised You a Rose Garden is an autobiographical account of her teenage years in Chestnut Lodge working with Dr. Frieda Fromm-Reichmann. At the time, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia, although two psychiatrists who examined Greenberg’s self-description in the book in 1981 concluded that she was not schizophrenic, but had extreme depression and somatization disorder.[29] The narrative constantly puts difference between the protagonist’s mental illness and her artistic ability. Greenberg is adamant that her creative skills flourished in spite of, not because of, her condition.[30]

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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