From the Archives!—SpecGram Propaganda VII—The SpecGram Archive Elves™ SpecGram Vol CLXXVIII, No 2 Contents Mantis Shrimp Color Terms: A Study of Research-Driven Interspecies Creolization—Francis Burlingham Constable, CDR (Ret.)

Linguistic Aspects of a Recent Curious Psychological Case

by Vormela Peregusna, MD
Clinical Psychologist,
George W. Bush Institute for Faith-Based Research

While contemporary mainstream clinical psychology has a fairly good track record at ameliorating certain disorders, it finds great difficulty in treating multiple disorders occurring concurrently. In this view, each disorder has a distinct etiology; the combination makes it difficult to treat the aggregate effectively. A recent case this researcher had the good fortune to treat shows the limitations of the contemporary mainstream view and points to the great advances only possible with a revised understanding of the human psyche. The linguistic aspects of the case, particularly those useful in diagnosis, are the subject of this article.

In October of last year, patient G was referred to our institution after several years of treatment of several kinds failed to effect any marked improvement in his condition. The case was remarkable for its confluence of three disorders considered distinct by modern psychology: In short, if a bit oversimplified, G suffered from multiple personality disorder, and each of G’s personalities suffered either from glossolalia or Tourette syndrome. Each of these disorders is seen as having a distinct cause, not even of the same kind (psychological versus organic), and treatment had proved elusive. By the time G was referred to us, he had despaired of improvement and declared himself willing to try anything, however far removed from the mainstream.

G was a 34-year-old assistant professor of comparative religion. He was born and raised in Trois-Rivières, Québec, and attended university in Montréal before receiving his doctorate from an American university. He described his religious views as agnostic, and was an admitted heavy drinker of jasmine tea. Our institution has extensive experience in such cases, and we were not in the least surprised to find such a textbook case of misunderstood psychological disorders accompanying and indeed resulting from such high-risk factors.

Further interviews confirmed our preliminary diagnosis: Multiple personality disorder is simply the most extreme form of possession, either demonic or spiritual; the appearance of glossolalia points to possession by an angelic being, just as Tourette syndrome is a well-known consequence of demonic possession even when it is unaccompanied by other classic symptoms. It was clear that G was at risk from birth due to the religious environment of his place of origin, a factor compounded by his lack of spiritual hygiene, indulgence in heretical studies, and substance abuse. It was no surprise to us that he had been occupied, by engraved invitation as it were, by seven demons and six angels. The linguistic symptoms of his possessions are here detailed for fellow clinical psychologists.

This researcher first placed G under a strict regimen of spiritual ablution. When questioned, G admitted that he often sought to control his outbursts by certain Tibetan meditation techniques, in particular one in which he meditated by focusing his attention on a purple circle and “going into the purple.” Shocked by such wanton disregard for spiritual hygiene, this author prevailed upon G to replace the purple circle (well-known in possession disorder research as allowing the mental defenses to crumble before the assaults of malign beings) with a Thomas Kinkade print. This provoked a series of frequently repeated Tourette outbursts by one of the demons, including the following:

  1. [mɔ̃dʲœkɛl­blag]
  2. [kɔmseʃiɔ̃sɛt­pʲɛs­dəbuʁ­ʒʷɑzʁi]
  3. [minysabɛ̃s­mʷasiɲɔ­̃mɔnɔ̃].

These outbursts are of great significance for comparative demonology. While they were in a language unknown to the staff, they were clearly no ordinary healthsome outbursts, and as their phonetic features violate all the constraints known for glossolalic utterances they clearly were not spoken by any angelic spirit! G was immediately placed in isolation to prevent such a powerful demon from taking up residence in another poor soul, and a strict dietary regimen was instituted of thick black coffee, oatmeal, and no spices or seasonings except potassium nitrate. Physical treatments found useful for helping expel demons were then instituted: Frigid hydrotherapy in the morning, strappado-bastinado after lunch, and pau de arera before bedtime. While these techniques are not widely practiced in current mainstream psychotherapy, they are the first line of treatment at our institution in cases of possession.

As after a week no amelioration of symptoms had occurred, recourse to more radical forms of depossession (the second regimen) was indicated. First, purificational electroconvulsive therapy was performed three afternoons a week and purgative cranial electrotherapy was performed on Sunday mornings while the rest of the patients were at service. These interventions provoked more deeply seated and even more powerful demons than the one that had previously done battle with us. This is demonstrated by their varied and various utterances, of which a representative sample follows, elicited in the first few minutes of treatment.

    1. [donamiː­pasɛ­̃dominɛ]
    2. [advokata­meail­lostuos­miseri­kordesoku­losad­mekon­verte]
    3. [deus­meusek­stotokor­depænitet­meom­niumː­eorum­pekːatorum]
  1. [metːəm­cəsəbːəloː­kəsmin­maːnəsəm­bʱaːvəyeː­pərimaː­nəmu­dːʱəmədʱoː­cətirijəm­cəsəmbaː­dʱəməveː­rəməsəpəttəm]
  2. [saŋ­gʲetʃʰɶdaŋt­sokʲitʃʰok­namlatʃaŋ­chup­bardudak­nikʲap­sutʃʰi]1

While languages B and C above are unfamiliar to our staff (and judging from the characteristics of the specimens would appear to be non-human languages), our chief of staff identified Language A as the language spoken by Beelzebub in his earthly manifestation. More severe depossessive measures being indicated, the third regimen of therapies was instituted on the days not devoted to electrical therapies, such as aqueous potassium nitrate colonic therapy, hirudineal desanguination, and light mancuerda, and the standard electrical therapies were supplemented with therapeutic parrilla-picana and Tucker telephony.

Unfortunately, this regimen was largely unsuccessful. After two weeks the staff realized that heroic measures were called for, and so orbitoclastic Freeman-Watts intervention (OFWI) was proposed to G. This had the salutary effect of soliciting a wide range of violently shouted demonic utterances, of which the following were most frequently repeated: [laʃmʷalagʁap], [kʁɛvlagɶluvɛʁt], [vatfɛʁfutʁətʁudyk], [niktamɛʁ], and [vatəpãdʁ]. As G’s inability to respond in English was in itself evidence that demonic possession had reached the point that he was legally incompetent, OFWI was performed that afternoon, and the surgery was eminently successful: Although G perished within 48 hours from serious complications, during that time he smiled blissfully and spoke exclusively in glossolalia, indicating that he was finally at peace and exclusively with the angels.

1 Tone marks have been omitted for reasons of public safety. It is a fact well known in linguistic demonology that tones are an essential part of summoning certain demons, and it appears best for all concerned to leave the segmental content for diagnostic purposes but suppress all supersegmentals.

From the Archives!SpecGram Propaganda VIIThe SpecGram Archive Elves™
Mantis Shrimp Color Terms: A Study of Research-Driven Interspecies CreolizationFrancis Burlingham Constable, CDR (Ret.)
SpecGram Vol CLXXVIII, No 2 Contents