Monday, September 28, 2015

The first time as therapeutic psychodrama, the second time as a primary debate

Dr Rokeach, we have 19 18 17 patients each convinced that he or she is the One appointed by God to become president and make the US great again into a theocracy to protect the constitution IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROPHECY!
OK, let's bring them all together in a mock debate and see if they get any saner when their delusions collide.
"Rokeach brought together three men who each claimed to be Jesus Christ and confronted them with one another's conflicting claims, while encouraging them to interact personally as a support group. Rokeach also attempted to manipulate other aspects of their delusions by inventing messages from imaginary characters. He did not, as he had hoped, provoke any lessening of the patients' delusions, but did document a number of changes in their beliefs.

"While initially the three patients quarreled over who was holier and reached the point of physical altercation, they eventually each explained away the other two as being patients with a mental disability in a hospital, or dead and being operated by machines."


ckc (not kc) said...

explained away ... as ... dead and being operated by machines

I find this very useful (and surprisingly predictive) in my day-to-day interactions with some of my colleagues.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Kinda like C.S. Lewis' silly "liar, lunatic, or lord" bit. Did they determine which of these men was which?

Jamie Parsons said...

The graduate students who worked with Rokeach on the project have been strongly critical of the morality of the project because of the amount of dishonesty and manipulation by Rokeach and the amount of distress experienced by the patients. Rokeach added a comment in the final revision of the book that, while the experiment did not cure any of the three Christs, "It did cure me of my godlike delusion that I could manipulate them out of their beliefs."

So, reverse gaslighting, or just regular gaslighting? Not sure if I can figure it out.

In any case, if any of the patients were to find out about the experiment/treatment/whatever, I can only imagine that it would not make them feel less paranoid.

Yastreblyansky said...

I wonder if we should criticize Politico, or the RNC, or whoever is responsible for bringing the 17 candidates together, for the same lack of professional ethics. Certainly some of them seem to have become more disturbed and potentially violent than they were before.

Smut Clyde said...

I think they're still at the stage of "quarreling over who was holier".
Is 'reverse gaslighting' a thing? I daren't look at TVTropes.