A Conversation for Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft - Bender and the Men In Black

It could be aliens, or...

Post 1

Baron Grim

Obviously, Mr. Bender had some undiagnosed problem that caused him to have severe visual, auditory and olfactory hallucinations. Possibly he had some form of schizophrenia or maybe a brain tumor or other lesion.

(No doubt Isaiah did as well.)

It's rather sad to think about how frightening and confusing this would be for him. Of course, in the early 50's there wouldn't be much help for him even if it was diagnosed. At best he might just be institutionalized if not lobotomized as well.

It could be aliens, or...

Post 2

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

Good point, there. Especially when you consider that olfactory hallucinations are the most alarming symptoms you can have. When whatever it is attacks the part of your brain that smells, you're in deep trouble.

But there's another question: is it always true that people who see visions are simply experiencing symptoms of mental illness? Most 21st-ccentury Westerners would say yes. Other times and places, not so much.

Almost all ancient cultures honoured visions. But they had professional tests for these things. In other words, they often regarded it as a science.

The Book of Daniel is probably mostly fiction. But it reflects Babylonian thinking of the time. Daniel's visions and interpretations are accepted, because they fit into othe belief system of the Babylonian world.

At least two of the prophets in the Old Testament ran schools for prophets, as I recall. The book itself states that there's a right way and a wrong way to go about it.

The Rhine Institute might agree - but most people today would probably scoff.

Question is: was Bender's problem that he hallucinated, or that he hallucinated uncontrollably? And that he put an aberrant interpretation on his experince?

I'm not saying I know. But then, neither does the psychiatric profession. smiley - winkeye

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