Gary Greenberg (gberg) Wed 1 Sep 99 18:57
Another way to see the problem that arises when the architects of the DSM try to solve their political problem by becoming culturally sensitive is to lookat <marie's> example of the nun run amok. She says that it is up to the nun's superiros to determine that she is not acting normally within the context of a culture of women who believe they are married to God, and then to refer the errant nun to a psychiatrist. You can see the dodge pretty easily here: why should the superior nun be trusted to make this determination? There's actually a short novel whose name and author I cannot remember at this moment, in which a novice starts to develop stigmat. The abbess or mother superior and the local district priest decide that this nun, whose name I think is Mariela, must be stopped. They don't refer her to a shrink, but it is clear that they are able to use their power to decide that her strangeness is actually heresy. Superior people, in any subculture, are the ones most likely to feel threatened by dissent. So what is the role of the psychiatrist in this scenario? To accept the superior's assessment an d then to treat the bad nun. That is precisely how psychiatry operated in the Soviet Union. MOre to the point, what happens when there is no superior to defer to, as happens in 98% of the cases that come into my office: those of people who are from the dominant culture? Then it is indeed up to the shrink to decide if it's a pathological delusion or just a very different and subversive idea. And there ain't no science in the world that can make that determination. Mental health professionals ought to just accept that they are agents of social control, openly declare their ideologies, and go from there. It would save an awful lot of trouble.
Gary Greenberg (gberg) Thu 2 Sep 99 05:46
The book is called Mariette in Ecstasy.
excessively heterosexual (saiyuk) Thu 2 Sep 99 11:58
> There is a movie, "I Confess," about a priest to whom a confession of > murder is made. I think the priest is played by Montogmery Clift. It's the > only movie I'eve ever seen that takes place in Quebec City. > For the record, this is one of the more obscure American Hitchcock films, and one of the most blatantly Catholic. The hook is that the priest is accused of the murder and can't clear himself without violating the sanctity of the confessional. For another film with a similar hook, check out the thoroughly incompetent Mickey Rourke vehicle A Prayer Before Dying, based on Jack Higgins's equally incompetent novel.
Gary Greenberg (gberg) Thu 2 Sep 99 15:03
So Salon.com, havin gsaid they would fix the problem, has not done so. I sent email to the reporter asking for clarificationbut I haven't heard back. I guess it doens't really matter, because it's only up for a day, and now it's in the archives, and who bothers to look at the past when there's so much neat stuff happening in the present? My favorite part of this story is that ther is a link from the homepage of salon.com that takes you right to this conference.
Gary Greenberg (gberg) Fri 3 Sep 99 11:22
All the excerpts thht are gonna be online are now online at www.mcsweeneys.net. There are five, numbered, inexplicably, I, II, III, VI, V. Roman numerals for dyslexics.
Reva Basch (reva) Sun 5 Sep 99 14:54
Thanks for mentioning that, Gary. I thought it was me!
David Gans (tnf) Wed 29 Sep 99 07:15
Frm the media conference: 1735, 5 of 5: David Brake (derb) Wed 29 Sep 99 06:41 9 I thought the Unabomber stuff was (more than) a little over-sold - after all, we only get to read one (rather inconsequential) letter from the Unabomber himself first-hand.
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