Quote of the week

My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?

Nathaniel P.Morris
Scientific American
1 October 2010

The naked president, oddly enough, was rewarded with glowing press coverage. In part, this was the product of corny theatrics: youth league president Julius Malema was supposedly disciplined by the father of the nation and then comforted by its mother. The leader’s purported “success” was also built on ill- informed speculation before the council that a challenge to Zuma’s authority might occur at a congress located in KwaZulu-Natal. More pertinently, the council provided an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of Zuma’s campaign to intimidate the press. The positive reporting of his self-serving speeches — and the praise heaped upon him for properly rehearsing a speech before trying to deliver it — indicate that this campaign may be having its intended effect. – ANthony Butler in Business Day

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