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1 calochortus  Wed, Nov 14, 2012 7:22:29pm

She was interviewed on "Fresh Air" on NPR today. Really fascinating.

2 SanFranciscoZionist  Wed, Nov 14, 2012 8:44:49pm

I think it's foolish to suggest that THIS is the source of demonic possession stories. Sure, it would have been interpreted that way. So would schizophrenia, and MPD, and Tourettes, get my point.

3 lostlakehiker  Wed, Nov 14, 2012 8:51:04pm

Nero and lead in the wine. Hitler and carpet-chewing rages. Some people are both insane, and deliberately and purposely evil. There's surely a naturalistic explanation; this neuron goes zing and that one goes pop and it's wired thus and so. But that explanation is at such a low level, and so intricate that we can never trace it out, that it serves no purpose.

The executive summary is that these people are possessed by demons. Meaning, that they do not act like others would, that they exult in evil and cruelty, and that they do so even when it doesn't bring them any reward. Even when it will get them killed. It's like they're addicted and evil-doing is their fix. And maybe that's it.

Note added after proofing: nothing in this post is meant to suggest that the victim of this encephalitis was evil. Just talking about cases where "demonic possession" made at least a little sense as an explanation.

4 Obdicut  Thu, Nov 15, 2012 2:00:41am

re: #3 lostlakehiker

Note added after proofing: nothing in this post is meant to suggest that the victim of this encephalitis was evil. Just talking about cases where "demonic possession" made at least a little sense as an explanation.

Your explanation made no sense, though. I couldn't even tell if you were being figurative or literal. Which is it?

5 Gretchen G.Tiger  Thu, Nov 15, 2012 10:19:46am

From the NPR interview I got the impression that the specific behaviors exhibited by people with this condition truly mimic what we think of when we think of possession --or what the movies have shown us as possession.

I'd like to think there are non supernatural explanations for such things. Remember years ago they reported a blood condition that probably explains vampire lore?

It doesn't explain every possible case, yet it gives clues as to how myths begin.

Add to that, 75% of autoimmune disorders suffers are women and you get an idea why witches were burned at the stake.

The light of science is a good thing.

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