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
4 March 2011

Critics have wrongly slammed as “conspicuous consumption” the Guptas’ modest demand for helicopter landing rights in the leafy Johannesburg suburb of Saxonwold. They do not realise that the family has for some weeks secretly printed a newspaper called The New Age. An air-drop distribution system may be essential if this cult publication is to be brought to members of the wider reading public for the first time. – Anthony Butler in a scathingly funny piece on the Gupta family

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