June 15th, 2013

Zombie emails the NSA with a polite request

Funny stuff here:

Dear NSA,

…If you have any pull with the American Psychiatric Association, could you please recommend to them that the psychological state formerly known as “paranoia” should be no longer defined as a mental illness? Asylums all across the country are filled with people whose only neurosis is the vague feeling that they are being spied on or followed by unseen powerful enemies. But now we know that everyone is being spied on every time they pick up the phone, buy something, use the Internet, or walk around in public — so it turns out that these “paranoid” patients aren’t delusional after all…

PS — Tell the IRS that the best times for for my upcoming audit are Tuesdays and Thursdays, but unannounced visits from the EPA, FBI, OSHA or ATF would be more convenient on Monday afternoons or Wednesday mornings. And, needless to say, you can eavesdrop any ol’ time.

Read the whole thing.

Lately I, too, have been thinking about the need to redefine paranoia. The old joke—”You’re not paranoid if they really ARE out to get you” applies.

However, it turns out that the American Psychiatric Association is way ahead of zombie and me, because it seems that the drafters of the DSM-V (the diagnostic manual that represents the very latest in mental health classifications), which just came out on May 18, 2013 and superceded the DMS IV-TR (2000), had already made a valiant attempt to eliminate the relevant category, known as “paranoid personality disorder.” The draft version of the DSM-V (unveiled in 2010) that eliminated the disorder created such a hue and cry among practitioners that when the DSM-V was finally published in 2013 the APA reinstated the diagnosis along with various other character disorders that had been slated for removal along with it.

One of them was narcissistic personality disorder, sometimes suggested as the proper label for our president and many other politicians. But lo and behold, it’s back too.

It was a mystery to many 2010 reviewers as to why the APA was trying to throw out these diagnostic categories that had stood the test of time. For example:

“[The DSM-V drafters] have little appreciation for the damage they could be doing,” [Dr. John Gunderson told the New York Times. ...]

“It’s draconian,” he said of the decision, “and the first of its kind, I think, that half of a group of disorders are eliminated by committee.”

So, is the mystery now solved? Could it be—could it be?—that the APA has got a few thumb drives and spies of its own, and already knew what was going to come down with the IRS and NSA scandals? Were they merely planning ahead? And while they were at it, did they decide to try eliminating a major slur on the president by taking away NPD as well?

Inquiring minds want to know.

[NOTE: By the way, I wonder whether any of you have ever read Operators and Things: The inner life of a schizophrenic? It's a wonderful book first published in 1958. It made a deep impression on me when I read it some years later at the age of twelve, and has been recently re-released (there's also a free online version here).

No one seems to know who author Barbara O'Brien was. It's a pseudonym, and she claims it's a true story. Whether it is, or whether she's a brilliant but little-known fiction writer, the book was described thusly in a review in the LA Times quoted on Amazon, ""O'Brien has produced a work of brilliance and power, evoking a combination of Kafka and Joyce, with a touch of Orwell."

It doesn't remind me of Joyce. But Kafka and Orwell? Definitely. And if you read it you might agree that it has some relevance to the subject matter of this post.]

16 Responses to “Zombie emails the NSA with a polite request”

  1. rickl Says:

    My favorite new addition is “hoarding disorder”.

    In recent years increasing numbers of people have been preparing for economic collapse and social unrest by storing large quantities of nonperishable food, bottled water, ammunition, etc.

    Surprise, preppers! You’re now officially mentally ill! No guns for you!

  2. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “I wonder whether any of you have ever read Operators and Things: The inner life of a schizophrenic? It’s a wonderful book first published in 1958. It made a deep impression on me when I read it some years later at the age of twelve…” neo

    Uh no. I was reading deeper works on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in the 10th grade but at 12, I was just getting over comic books and had just discovered science fiction. Serious tomes on the ‘inner lives of schizophrenics’ was way beyond me at 12. No offense but did you have a childhood after perhaps 7? ;-)

    For IMO tremendous insight into the psychology of self-destruction, I highly recommend Wareham’s Way: Escaping the Judas Trap by the ‘corporate psychologist’ John Wareham

    “One of the key things my work has taught me is that a very large number of people are compelled by their own unconscious mental processes to consistently reject their own best interests, and to engage, instead, in acts of self-sabotage.”

    From an Amazon review: “Compared to the average self improvement guide this book stands out for it’s originality and depth of analysis. The author’s background as an expert on Executive Recruitment, comes to the fore, and he demonstrate’s an uncanny understanding of people and their motivations…’Wareham’s Way’ [is] extremely well written. It is often amusing. And the concepts and idea’s discussed are clearly explained. Highly recommended!”

  3. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    “And while they were at it, did they decide to try eliminating a major slur on the president by taking away NPD as well?”
    Yep!
    I wonder how much PC is involved. Don’t want to hurt someones self-esteem with a diagnosis. That would be so judgemental.

  4. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Of course, it’s all part of a larger plot to lull us into a false sense of security that there are no paranoids, I tell ya.

  5. neo-neocon Says:

    Geoffrey Britain:

    Yes, by around twelve or so I was reading some very adult books. 1984, for example, which certainly was the stuff of nightmares. I read On the Beach at a similar age or perhaps even a bit younger. And Philip K. Dick around that time, too.

    I had some strange, strange reading matter as a child.

  6. Don Carlos Says:

    I recently mentioned ‘hoarding’ as a new DSM diagnosis to a shrink, who responded that he’d sure seen cases where houses and garages were full of stuff, and the people were sometimes demented. But had he read the definition? No, he said, I don’t read or use DSM.

    Wiki has what seems to be a good writeup of DSM. Got its start in the military at WWII. Unbelievably political in recent decades, even for a bunch of pseudo-scientists (which is my own view), psychiatrists.

  7. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I too read On the Beach and, IMO a more grimly depressing novel would be difficult to find. Perhaps no other end-of-the-world novel has approached its eloquence and quite horror.

    On a more uplifting but every bit as serious a read I would offer author Philip Wylie, “The Disappearance” (1951).

    “The female of the species vanished on the afternoon of the second Tuesday of February at four minutes and fifty-two seconds past four o’clock, Eastern Standard Time. The event occurred universally at the same instant, without regard to time belts, and was followed by such phenomena as might be expected after happenings of that nature.”

    On a lazy, quiet afternoon, in the blink of an eye, our world shatters into two parallel universes as men vanish from women and women from men. After families and loved ones separate from one another, life continues in very different ways for men and women, boys and girls.

    An explosion of violence sweeps one world (men) that still operates technologically; social stability and peace in the other (women) are offset by famine and a widespread breakdown in machinery and science.

    And as we learn from the fascinating parallel stories of a brilliant couple, Bill and Paula Gaunt, the foundations of relationships, love, and sex are scrutinized, tested, and sometimes redefined in both worlds. The radically divergent trajectories of the gendered histories reveal stark truths about the rigidly defined expectations placed on men and women and their sexual relationships and make clear how much society depends on interconnection between the sexes.

    Written over a half century ago yet brimming with insight and unsettling in its relevance today, “The Disappearance” is a masterpiece of modern speculative fiction.”

    I read it approx. 50 yrs ago, haven’t read it since and it still resonates.

  8. neo-neocon Says:

    Don Carlos:

    Does that shrink get third-party payments, or does he only see out-of-pocket patients? Because unless it’s the latter, I don’t see how he can avoid the DMS. It’s about the billing.

    Unless he just codes his patients pretty much the same, and uses just a few general categories.

  9. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    I didn’t read On The Beach, but the movie was enough to keep me up at night and depressed for hours.
    Fortunately, my favorite Book tells of a future less bleak. After a horrible transition period I trust no one would want to endure. Heh.

  10. Ymarsakar Says:

    Back during the 70s or maybe it was 80s (things came out in the 90s I seem to remember) that psychiatrists were implanting memories of being raped as a child into the heads of women.

    The women, in turn, accused their fathers of child molestation. Conveniently, it turned out that it was all false. Hypnotically implanted memories, impressions on… foolish and weak minded souls.

    Now I ask people to consider this. What makes anyone think the Leftist alliance has not weaponized this technology for public consumption in your children, on your political tv screens, and Hollywood sex/art movies?

  11. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Ymar: that’s scary.

  12. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Ed. And the fibbies know who home schools….
    Who, I suspect, are more 2A-ish than the general population.
    Jeeezus. I used to be more optimistic, or less pessimistic.

  13. Ymarsakar Says:

    http://nation.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/10/obama-flashback-if-they-bring-knife-fight-we-bring-gun

    I do wonder though. If the Leftist alliance thinks we’ll bring a gun to the fight, what they will counter that with?

    Nukes?

    Drone bombs and GPS bunker busters?

    Forced psychology indoctrination and lobotomies for dissidents?

  14. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “I do wonder though. If the Leftist alliance thinks we’ll bring a gun to the fight, what they will counter that with?”

    The DHS, FBI, National Guard and as a final back-up the American regular military. All of which have become considerably more politically correct under Obama and all of whose leadership increasingly views Tea Party style conservatives, Catholics and the ‘religious right’ as extremists.

    “Obama administration Pentagon appointees [are] meeting with anti-Christian extremist Mikey Weinstein to develop court-martial procedures to punish Christians in the military who express or share their faith.

    …Weinstein is the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and says Christians–including chaplains–sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the military are guilty of “treason,” and of committing an act of “spiritual rape” as serious a crime as “sexual assault.” He also asserted that Christians sharing their faith in the military are “enemies of the Constitution.”

  15. Ymarsakar Says:

    http://www.alchemyinstitute.com/false-memory.html

    I don’t call it that. I call it brainwashing, which is what it is. A very amateur, inefficient, method some Leftist wannabe psych(o)iatrists took up on.

    But the program, in its bare bones, was most likely derived from personality implantation and interrogation (torture) protocols that utilized drugs, stress, and other tricks to make a person change their allegiance, change their core beliefs, or basically just be turned into a zombie fanatic for a new cause.

    There are more efficient and effective (time wise) methods for breaking a person and remaking them. This was just the Left’s civilian application test program. A mere test.

    One of the reasons why people vote for the LEft isn’t because of politics or because they get goodies. Although that’s nice. It’s because they’ve been indoctrinated. And if people think indoctrination is just “learning things” and hating what people find naturally disgusting, they should consider the other options. How a person can be stripped of free will and made to think and do whatever it is they are told to do. Such methods exist. Some people are stronger and weaker than others to it, but such methods have always worked and will continue to work.

    Most of what people know about Democrat politics and Leftist antics is really just the shallow surface of the iceberg, rather than what’s underneath it. Which is natural, but not conducive to strategic overall vision.

  16. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Speaking of mental disorders, Instapundit linked to an article by James Taranto about some new work done by a Professor Barbara Oakley on the subject of pathological altruism.

    Here’s a sample:
    “Empathy, Oakley notes, “is not a uniformly positive attribute. It is associated with emotional contagion; hindsight bias; motivated reasoning; caring only for those we like or who comprise our in-group (parochial altruism); jumping to conclusions; and inappropriate feelings of guilt in noncooperators who refuse to follow orders to hurt others.” It also can produce bad public policy:

    Ostensibly well-meaning governmental policy promoted home ownership, a beneficial goal that stabilizes families and communities. The government-sponsored enterprises Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae allowed less-than-qualified individuals to receive housing loans and encouraged more-qualified borrowers to overextend themselves. Typical risk–reward considerations were marginalized because of implicit government support. The government used these agencies to promote social goals without acknowledging the risk or cost. When economic conditions faltered, many lost their homes or found themselves with properties worth far less than they originally had paid. Government policy then shifted . . . the cost of this “altruism” to the public, to pay off the too-big-to-fail banks then holding securitized subprime loans. . . . Altruistic intentions played a critical role in the development and unfolding of the housing bubble in the United States.”

    Read it all here:
    http://tinyurl.com/klq3nhz

    Patholigical altruism seems to be the default position of the liberal mindset. They want to do good and are convinced they know what to do. The housing bubble is just one of many such attempts to do good things that end up actually causing the situation to be worse in the long run.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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