Read The Three Christs of Ypsilanti: A Narrative Study of Three Lost Men 107

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Read The Three Christs of Ypsilanti: A Narrative Study of Three Lost Men 107 ç On July 1 1959 at Ypsilanti State Hospital in Michigan the social psychologist Milton Rokeach brought together three paranoid schizophrenics Clyde Benson an elderly farmer and alcoholic; Joseph Cassel a failed writer who was institutionaNt amusing and at times disturbing Displaying the sympathy and subtlety of a gifted novelist Rokeach draws us into the lives of three troubled and profoundly different men who find themselves “confronted with the ultimate contradiction conceivable for human beings than one person claiming the same identity”. This is a remarkable utterly uniue book focusing on a somewhat ethically uestionable experiment of putting three schizophrenics who all thought of themselves as being Jesus Christ into a focus group; and seeing what happened Despite being a fairly serious psychological study it's thoughtfully sometimes beautifully written by Rokeach who works transcripts of the 3 men into a narrative with all the force of a novel It's a challenging hopeless story but one with moments of warmth especially later on when you see the 3 Christs forming a sort of camaraderie but it's Leon who really makes the book interesting A tragic vaguely Christlike figure himself than the others Leon struggles to make sense of an intensely complex physiological world he's constructed for himself one where sexual anxiety metaphysics and identity become strange profound and frightening He talks like a character from a Beckette play but he was a real person and tormented And in the end no one gets better This isn't an easy book to read but I think it's a powerful and interesting one and though I read an older edition I'm glad the New York Times is keeping it in print since I suspect there will never be anything else like it

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On July 1 1959 at Ypsilanti State Hospital in Michigan the social psychologist Milton Rokeach brought together three paranoid schizophrenics Clyde Benson an elderly farmer and alcoholic; Joseph Cassel a failed writer who was institutionalized after increasingly violent behavior toward his family; and Leon Gabor. A hypnotic lyric ethically dubious case study of 3 paranoid schizophrenics who all think they're Christ Rokeach a psychologist who had the Three Christs come together in a mental hospital in the early '60s is a gifted writer of character and raises fascinating uestions of identity and belief The book is carried though by two of the 3 Christs figures that few novelists would have been able to concoct Joseph Cassell a manic letter writer and Leon Gabor whose identity constantly shifts provide much of the textual interest here I couldn't put it down after i got past the relatively dry beginning and found myself rooting for these men knowing full well that the odds of their being healed were slim to none The action is as you might expect sometimes disturbing Most of all though there are moments of staggering sharp beauty the three slowly begin eating meals together they sing in their group sessions they vote for things that speak to the inherent social goodness of the human being

Milton Rokeach ✓ 7 Read

The Three Christs of Ypsilanti A Narrative Study of Three Lost MenA college dropout and veteran of World War IIThe men had one thing in common each believed himself to be Jesus Christ Their extraordinary meeting and the two years they spent in one another’s company serves as the basis for an investigation into the nature of human identity belief and delusion that is poigna. The Three Christs of Ypsilanti is an early psychology case study involving three men in Ypsilanti State Hospital who think they are Jesus The problem with reading this now is that it seems unethical and cruel mostly because it is unethical and cruel I had to keep reminding myself that this was an experiment that started in 1959 Freud had only been dead for 20 years Erik Erikson was publishing all of his work and most of the important papers that Rokeach sites are less than ten years old They did not know anything about psychology It was still an infant practice Keeping this into perspective the whole idea is based on the concept that if a person is faced with contradictions to his delusion would it cure him The answer was not black and white so they decide to further experiments make the confrontations stronger and hopefully get positive results By today's standards this is not ethical research There is no real control group even though Rokeach mentions one at the end about three ladies but they do not believe they are the same person at all and there is no objective veiwpoint The researchers were just as much a part of manipulating the outcome as the patients were part of the experiment and the effects of this study can actually be written off as results due to researcher bias Even still this is kind of interesting There are some very funny insults and situations There are some very convoluted explainations by the patients that actually make you feel sorry for them and there are some messed up situations that the researchers put them in It was interesting but it makes me kind of sad for the patients that were involved Nobody should be a guinea pig without their permission Thankfully research has changed and it is not as cringe worthy as this