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
9 May 2018

Corruption and traditional leaders

[The people of North West] are angry about the threat to their livelihoods posed by alliances between the provincial government and traditional leaders, and the corruption they believe it has brought in its train. And, while the new ANC leadership might be ready to remove the premier, this is an issue they prefer to duck. In several provinces, traditional leaders in alliance with provincial governments are using their powers over land to enrich themselves at the expense of small farmers and their dependants. They do this by making deals with private companies that allow the firms to use the land, often for mining, in exchange for money which goes to local notables, not the citizenry.

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