Well the New York Post broke the news yesterday reviewing a book called, “Sybil Exposed: The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case,” whereby it turns out the multiple personality disorder is a fraud. It seems it was cooked up by a shrink and a publicist to make money. I wonder what else reminds me of faux scientists getting together and using peer reviews of “scientific work” for grant money for each other. Where is Dr. Peter Venkman when you need him? Seriously though, smart people get caught up in these “movements” and these notions gain traction in the culture until you get nitwits like the “occupy” crowds believing it hook, line, and sinker.
Okay, these are things they want you to believe, a young girl raised in a repressive Christian home who is sexually abused has her psyche fractured into sixteen personalities she depends on to cope with various situations. If you read the article linked above the scary thing is that suddenly there were 40,000 cases soon after the publication of the book. They want us to believe that we are the problem and “they” are here to help, for money of course. In today’s climate, no pun intended, we have everybody complaining about the weather and “climate change”. It doesn’t matter that there have been numerous disclosures of scientific fraud used to sustain the thesis. Once that was discredited then they just moved the peas around the plate if you will and said even more earnestly that mankind is ruining the planet. I do get a kick out of the fact that they had to change the movement from “Global Warming” to “Climate Change.” What is climate? Weather, and what does weather do? Hmmmm……..
The question is why? Why do people buy into this nonsense? Why are snake oil salesmen able to shape the culture? Is it to belong? To identify with something and be part of a larger group? Is this just an academic version of team colors? When we examine our own lives, is it a collection of groups, our church family, our clan, our employment, our teams we follow, our hobbies that define us? I think our interests and our experiences mold and shape us, I have no doubt that we are very social animals who need interaction with like-minded people.
For 40,000 women to suddenly have multiple personality disorder is shocking. Malcom Gladwell in his book THE TIPPING POINT explores similar phenomena in our culture. “What must underlie successful epidemics, in the end, is a bedrock belief that change is possible, that people can radically transform their behavior or beliefs in the face of the right kind of impetus.” In one chapter he examines the contagiousness of suicide in two totally different cultures, and eerily that examination corresponds with the outbreak of multiple personality disorder after Sybil was published. So why do these intellectual epidemics sweep through society time after time? It obviously doesn’t matter if there is any veracity or usefulness to the fad. Do we collectively talk ourselves into believing things? Does this discredit miracles that groups have witnessed?
I wish I had some answers for you gentle reader, as well as for myself but I don’t. This is troubling on several levels, first we can see the effects of a cultural epidemic in the complete mindlessness of the “occupy” groups. These are people who complain about huge tuition bills yet are unable to articulate any ideas beyond begging forgiveness of their debt. Looks like somebody wasted a lot of money. Second is the cottage industry of trashing Christians. Sybil gained traction because people wanted to believe fundamentalist Christians are abusive to their children. How many of you remember the offshoot of this in the eighties with the child abuse scandals against Christian daycare centers? People believe the worst regardless of the facts. Third, there is enough traction to the global warming movement that the sceptics are forced to respond instead of ignore the idiocy by opportunists in government and media making laws and influencing the ill-informed. All of these movements or epidemics are tied together in deceit, false hope, and corruption and yet people are still buying it. All we can do is try to educate people one gullible person at a time.