In an interview with Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes on April 12, 2009, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D) firmly equated mental illness with criminal insanity by repeatedly using the phrase “criminals and the mentally ill.”
If it wasn’t bad enough that she did irreparable damage to the reputations of hundreds of thousands of folks, Sen. Feinstein stated that the AK-47 is the weapon of choice for the mentally ill.
Does the mentally ill community have an official gun? Perhaps they have an endorsement deal with Kalashnikov… “AK-47, The Official Assault Weapon of the Mentally Ill.” Or “Just Do Them.”
AKs [rifles] and other firearms, once forbidden under the ban, now fill entire tables at gun shows; you can buy them from private sellers without a background check.
“These assault weapons are essentially designed and made to kill numbers of people in close combat,” Senator Dianne Feinstein of California told Stahl.
Sen. Feinstein was the author and champion of the assault weapons ban in 1994. “They become the guns of choice of drug cartels, of gangs, of people who are mentally incompetent.”
— 60 Minutes, April 12, 2009
“Gun Sales: Will The “Loophole” Close?”
Et tu, Sen. Feinstein?
Today I learned that the Arabic word for mental illness has the same etymology as the Arabic word for evil spirits. This has an unfortunate effect on how the mentally ill are perceived in the Middle East.
Language is an odd thing. It enables you to express your innermost thoughts and feelings. BUT it almost guarantees that the thoughts and feelings you express have been totally shaped by the language itself. In the words of comedian Lenny Bruce,
“Believe me, I’m not profound, this is something that I assume someone must have laid on me, because I do not have an original thought. I am screwed. I speak English. That’s it. I was not born in a vacuum. Every thought I have belongs to somebody else.”
— Lenny Bruce, quoted on Rakes Progress: Lenny Bruce is not afraid
So what’s happening is that as long as the doctors use that old-fashioned word to describe mental illness, demon-possessed the mentally ill will remain.
Arabs don’t have a monopoly on superstition though. The following TinyUrl will take you to a google search for “mental illness exorcism.”
…Anosognosia brings questions of the origin of self-awareness to the forefront. How can someone lose the ability to know when she is or is not moving? Is this some type of elaborate Freudian defense mechanism, or is this person entirely unaware of her illness? How is self-awareness represented in the brain, and is this representation isolated from or attached to awareness of others? Though none of these questions are fully answerable at this time, research into anosognosia has provided scientists and philosophers with insight into some of these ancient questions of human consciousness.
Girl’s death stirs debate over psychiatric meds:
Parents of 4-year-old accused of intentionally overmedicating daughter
What is particularly heinous about this crime is that the parents were using psych meds as punishment instead of teaching their 4-year-old how to behave. The end came when the little girl was physically ill and the parents drugged her to shut her up.
I think they both deserve to get the needle themselves.
Referring back to Shamanism and Talking to Dog.
We have the ability to perceive *everything* until our society teaches us to block out of our minds what’s happening on the other side of the door. Privacy is how it starts. Later it becomes political. This is the definition of sanity, sharing a world-view.
My cat always has a complete aural picture of the world outside the house because her hearing is much better than mine. Her visual concept of the world is limited to what she can see by running from window to window – a very disconnected picture of the world, don’t you think? Now substitute the word “psychic” for “aural” and “sensory” for “visual.” There is nothing mystical about it. You know what you are taught to know and you de-reify what you aren’t taught.
I have no problem with concepts that lie outside the limitations of our technology. Not until some shady character tries to take my money. New Age practices, in general, are when a bunch of slightly better educated people try to sell the rest of us something that doesn’t really step outside consensus reality. Magic, after all, is nothing but a technology that you don’t understand.
I’m also an Electrical Engineer and I graduated with a minor in mathematics. I had 4 years of science and 5 years of math in high school alone. And I’ve forgotten more philosophy than most people ever read in the first place. I can tell bullsh*t from a new way of looking at reality. I’m a reiki master, by the way.
The first thing you learn in logic is that you can’t prove non-existence. Psychic ability requires breaking your mind so that you can see the things you were taught to make non-existent.
Society has a vested interest in controlling the hidden information, and quickly punishes those who step outside what is considered sane. Therapists, then, are the gatekeepers of consensus reality.
The moral? Don’t complain about your psychic abilities to your therapist unless you want to get rid of these abilities.
About schizophrenia – schizophrenia does not equal psychic ability, though a broken brain is more likely to take a big step away from consensus reality. Schizophrenia, they say, results from an inability to categorize the world in the same way the rest of us do. Imagine if your grocery store sorted things by the size of the package instead of putting sugar in the spice aisle and dryer sheets in the laundry section. Now imagine that when you complain to the manager, he sends the cops and psychiatrists over to your house to rearrange the furniture.