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-
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-
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-
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-
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.
While languages B and C above are unfamiliar to our staff (and judging from the characteristics of the specimens would appear to be non-
Unfortunately, this regimen was largely unsuccessful. After two weeks the staff realized that heroic measures were called for, and so orbitoclastic Freeman-
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!
|Mantis Shrimp Color Terms: A Study of Research-
|SpecGram Vol CLXXVIII, No 2 Contents