About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unread


Post 0

Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 3:09pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I and some other present and former members of the local Libertarian Party received an e-mail from a local claiming that his parents and the authorities were trying to poison him.  He wanted one of us to put him up in his house to protect him from them.  I kindly directed him to some local homeless and abuse shelters and suggested his story sounded too outrageous to be true.  He chastised me for my disbelief.  Schizophrenia sounds like a good explanation in this case, too.



Post 1

Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 3:16pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Yeah, I wish I had a dime for every time Amy told me she thought she was being poisoned in the early days of our relationship. In some cases it goes as far as thinking bathwater is poisionous so they refuse to bathe.

But to quickly answer, that sounds textbook. Conspiracy theories, meds as poison.

---Landon




Post 2

Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 3:32pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Landon -

You wrote:

"L. Ron Hubbard was diagnosed with schizophrenia before beginning his science fiction career or the church of scientology."

In the interest of more precise communication, may I suggest that a slightly different pattern of punctuation would help the reader to better understand this sentence?

Repunctuated, the sentence reads:

"L. Ron Hubbard was 'diagnosed' with 'schizophrenia' before beginning his science fiction career or the Church of Scientology."

Helpfully,

JR



Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Post 3

Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 4:23pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Jeff, Why do the scare quotes seem necessary?

---Landon




Post 4

Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 4:39pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Landon, Amy must have some exceptional virtues for you to deal with her mental illness, even if it is currently being treated effectively.



Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Post 5

Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 4:41pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
She does. =)

---Landon




Post 6

Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 4:43pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I just reread my comment though, the bathing thing is just general it's not something that affected her specifically.

---Landon




Post 7

Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 5:07pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Landon, sanctioned post 5. LOL at post 6.:-)






Post 8

Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 5:33pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Thanks Bob.

---Landon




Post 9

Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 9:30pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Calvin and Hobbes - one of the best.....



Post 10

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 3:19amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
The question is, why would a bunch of allegedly sane people (i.e. those who haven't yet had a psychiatrist diagnose them with something) go along with Hubbard's schizophrenic ravings?

I know! I'll bet they're all schizophrenic, too! Yeah, that must be it!

During the press conference, David Rice, President of the National Coalition of Human Rights Activists, makes a blanket insinuation about the mental health of all Scientologists and then suggests that Tom Cruise's agitation against psychiatry "ought to be against the law in the USA."

I have no love lost for Scientologists, but I think we also ought to question the sanity of people who fly off their handles anytime someone suggests that psychiatry's psychotropic medications should be considered in more complex terms than simply as "life-saving health care." That goes double for odious censors like Mr. Rice.

From the comments section of the article, an excellent post by a Mr. Jerry Ross:

Scientology is nuts, but schizophrenia is not necessarily so.

The term "schizophrenia" simply means "broken brain". Anyone who undergoes acute trauma of any sort, are oftentimes diagnosable with schizophrenia in the immediate aftermath of the trauma. It's not really that different from post-traumatic stress disorder, otherwise known as "PTSD", which results from some acute life trauma.

It's utterly wrong to use the label of schizophrenia to dismiss L. Ron Hubbard's ideas. His ideas are wrong for logical, objective reasons that have nothing to do with schizophrenia. It's childish, underhanded and lazy to throw the term "schizophrenia" at Hubbard, rather than expend the energy to logically decipher his stated facts as impossible -- or at least highly unlikely -- paranoia.

Along these lines, the mental health system, as practiced today, is largely mystical rubbish whose purpose is little more than intimidating and stigmatizing society's dissenters into frightened conformity to the status quo, no matter how corrupt that status quo.

Had Hubbard based his denunciation of the industry on this sort of rationale, it would hold water. But because he chalked it up to "space aliens" or whatever, all subsequent criticism of the industry has been falsely dismissed as "crazy" talk, simply by association with these mad notions of one deranged man.

The automatic dismissal of the notion that the mental health industry is corrupt, based on the preachings of one maniac, is a logical falsehood known in philosophy as an "ad hominem" attack, meaning "attack against the person, rather than the merits of their argument". It's a dishonest and unethical form of attack, in addition to being just plain false.




Post 11

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 3:27amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Landon wrote:

Yeah, I wish I had a dime for every time Amy told me she thought she was being poisoned in the early days of our relationship. In some cases it goes as far as thinking bathwater is poisionous so they refuse to bathe.

But to quickly answer, that sounds textbook. Conspiracy theories, meds as poison.

 
That's funny, because at the height of my own brief bout of insanity four years ago, I had many of the same symptoms: conspiracy theories, a belief that the water in my dorm was poisoned, refusal to take meds. And yet, when the shrinks consulted their manuals, they diagnosed me as bipolar. It would seem odd that such different diagnoses could be derived from such "textbook" symptoms.

I still think the meds are poison. Maybe I was misdiagnosed.




Post 12

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 8:29amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I just read a book called "Natural Cures THEY don't want you to know about" (sense any paranoia there?) by Kevin Trudeau. I am not sure if he is a Scientologist, but he isn't a pushy one. The book is over 500 pages long, and about midway through he spends about one paragraph talking about Scientology/Dianetics and their scanning method or whatever it's called. While I was reading it, I was thinking, "Oh, great, here we go" but it was the one paragraph and nothing more. I thought it was an interesting book, not sure that I buy into all of it. I don't find the horror stories about the FDA and FTC all that unbelieveable, but I suppose they could be called paranoid delusions.

I am going to edit this to say that this book was interesting to me because I am interested in health and natural healing, and I also found some of the stories about the FTC and FDA interesting - although almost certainly exaggerated and overwrought. I posted here to note the Scientology - paranoid delusions link. I am not recommending this book to Objectivists, unless you happen to be very into organic food and naturopathy.
(Edited by Ashley Frazier
on 9/12, 8:54am)




Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Post 13

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 11:42amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Andrew, All Scientologists schizophrenic, probably not.  All PROPHETS, I think there's a damn good case for it.

One afternoon I was with Amy at the local community mental health center, one of the patients started a conversation with us.  He had an elaborate case for how to reconcile Christianity and Budhisim.  Afterwords we joked that if you put a nice suit on the guy and gave him a building to preach out of, he could probably build a large congregation and maybe even get a fair level of respect for his new religion.

A big reason people who have strange beliefs are successful is because they believe their own hype.  If you actually believe you had a 3 hour conversation with Jesus Christ when you were 15 and he told you specifics about how all other religions got it wrong, you then had other experiences that complimented that first one and spent years refining those theories your new religion would seem pretty comparable to existing religions,(maybe even more logical than some of them).

When you're a schizophrenic mysticism is a luxury you cannot afford.  If you believe for a minute in ghosts, god, the devil, or any number of other mystical ideas you'll have people lined up around the block to validate your delusions if they fall in that spectrum.  Thus we still have occasional exorcisms. We have people thinking they're on missions from god to murder people, in the literal sense that they actually think god spoke to them.

I'm working greatly from anecdotal experience here but I've also read a lot of material on how the illness actually works.  It does share some common factors with bi-polar (mostly in the schizoaffective spectrum).

It just scares the hell out of me that people who could live normal lives might be scared away from it by people in a flying saucer cult. 

What should've happened the first time someone heard his ideas is recommended he get help, not help him build a church.

---Landon

edit fixed a small grammar error

(Edited by Landon Erp on 9/12, 5:19pm)




Post 14

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 10:49pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Landon,

Thanks for being so patient with my somewhat snarky posts! Your point about mysticism -- that the mentally ill must take great care to avoid it, lest they find their delusions nurtured by religious hangers-on -- is an excellent one. And I think we're agreed that flying saucer cults aren't really helping anyone.


Ashley,

I've heard that Trudeau's book is full of all sorts of unsubstantiated garbage. You can see the details of a former FTC action against him here. It sounds to me like he's trying to play on people's fears and suspicions of the "evil big pharma" companies.




Post 15

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 - 4:32amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Jeff Riggenbach wrote: "Repunctuated, the sentence reads:
"L. Ron Hubbard was 'diagnosed' with 'schizophrenia' before beginning his science fiction career or the Church of Scientology."
Andrew Bissell wrote: "That's funny, because ... And yet, when the shrinks consulted their manuals, they diagnosed me as bipolar. It would seem odd that such different diagnoses could be derived from such "textbook" symptoms."
Young Mr. Bissell could have been "diagnosed" with almost anything they were capable of "curing." 

It is not that some people are "bipolar" but that statistically speaking some individuals have "poles" that are very far apart -- and at different times in their lives.  

"Schizophrenia" (so-called) has fallen into disrepute as a diagnosis and "bipolar" (and other labels) have taken its place.  Schizophrenia was associated with such a wide range of combined symptoms that even as a "syndrome" it lacked a rigorous definition.  In the Thomas Mann picaresque Confessions of the Confidence Man, Felix Krull, our modern Tyl Eulenspiegel evades military service by pretending to be mildly but convincingly schizophrenic.  That was before World War I.  The same tricks would work today. "Schizophrenia" (so-called) was also called dementia precox, a disease common in "high strung" children: any child who will not sit down and shut up must have something wrong with them.

See the discussions on genius and statistical "equality"
http://solohq.com/Forum/GeneralForum/0601.shtml
and
http://solohq.com/Forum/GeneralForum/0602.shtml

In The True Believer, Eric Hoffer identifies people who move from one cult to another, from fascist to marxist to christian this and christian that.  He says that they are unhappy with themselves and attempt to find an external cause for their lack of material success.  That may well be true.  On the other hand, from the same era we have Colin Wilson's The Outsider.  Some people just understand more than others: genius or madness, take your pick.




Post 16

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 - 6:37amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Andrew, it's cool. You're passionate about the issue too. I tend to not mind debating you, so we can both make our cases clearly and at least the issues are being discussed. 

 And we're definitely agreed on the flying saucer cult thing.

Also thanks for beating me to the punch on the Trudeau thing.

---Landon




Post 17

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 - 11:58pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Interesting FTC link, Andrew.

One of the FTC suits regarded Dr. Callahan's tapping Thought Field Therapy. It is of note that one Nathaniel Branden is an advocate of such (though that -- in no way -- makes it any more reasonable, or supportable). A while ago, on the Branden Yahoo thread (where our own "Rich Engle" served as moderator), I argued against tapping therapy -- by emphasizing the scientific method. I was -- admittedly -- outmatched by a master rhetorician in that debate, but that does not preclude me being more right than he (a view I hold to this day).

One thing about Trudeau's book, it has gems. Some of his statements in that book -- are dead on. Don't throw the baby out ... . Yeah, sure, his string of infomercials with Bob Barefoot (regarding Coral Calcium) are absolutely bunk -- and yes, I would literally pulverize B. Barefoot in a debate about the relative merit of calcium from coral (I have a 4-point rebuttal to his entirely-unfounded claims of this snake oil). But just because lil' ole' Kevin couldn't see how wrong others (e.g. me) could prove his guest, doesn't mean that anything coming out of his mouth is ipso facto unfounded or wrong-headed.

Some founded-on-solid-research examples:

-His mention of Omega-3 fats for ADHD has conventionally-unacknowledged, scientific merit.

-His mention of cranberry for bladder infection has conventionally-unacknowledged, scientific merit.

-His mention of Omega-3 fats for blood clots & heart disease has conventionally-unacknowledged, scientific merit.

-His mention of lysine for herpes/cold sores has conventionally-unacknowledged, scientific merit.

-His mention of St. John's Wort & Omega-3 fats for depression has conventionally-unacknowledged, scientific merit.

-His mention of magnesium & Omega-3 fats for hypertension has conventionally-unacknowledged, scientific merit.

-His mention of shark cartilage for tumors has conventionally-unacknowledged, scientific merit.

Ed




(Edited by Ed Thompson
on 9/14, 12:46am)




Post to this thread
User ID Password reminder or create a free account.