The Three Christs of Ypsilanti: A Narrative Study of Three Lost Men
On July 1, 1959, at Ypsilanti State Hospital in Michigan, the social psychologist Milton Rokeach brought together three paranoid schizophrenics: Clyde Benson, an elderly farmer and alcoholic; Joseph Cassel, a failed writer who was institutionalized after increasingly violent behavior toward his family; and Leon Gabor, a college dropout and veteran of World War II.
The men h
This is Ypsilanti General Hospital, where three men who thought themselves Jesus Christ lived. The author, a trained psychologist in the traditio ...more
His stu ...more
I don’t want to give too much away about the plot, but here’s the premise: Rokeach’s academic work is all about the often-glacial systems of belief we base our lives on, and he wants to see what happens when two of our most deeply-held beliefs clash against each other. And what might be the most deeply-held beliefs involve our identity, specifically who we are ...more
In order to try and get to the root of what is and isn't important in the formation of identity, Rokeach hit upon the idea of confronting people with what should be the most disturbing thing they could imagine - someone ...more
THE THREE CHRISTS met for the first time in a small room off the large ward where they live. The date was July 1, 1959. All three had been transferred to Ward D-23 of Ypsilanti State Hospital a few days before and had been assigned to adjacent beds, a shared table in the dining hall, and similar jobs in the laundry room.
Initially, my main purpose in bringing them together was to explore the processes by which their delu ...more
"Nobody can change you, you are too set in your ways," Leon answered.
"I'm God, for crying out loud!" Joseph shouted.
" All systems of belief, delusional as well as non-delusional, serve a twofold purpose: to understand the world insofar as possible and to defend against it insofar as necessary. We do not agree with those who hold that people selectively distort their cognitive functioning so that they will see, remember, and think only what they want to. Instead we hold to the view that people wi ...more
"The Three Christs were, if not rational men, ...more
I Tre Cristi – ora sapete a chi rivolgervi
Premetto che questa non è una recensione al libro, non ne sono capace, sono solo un umile servo del Signore… ma non ho ancora capito di quale dei tre.
Il saggio/romanzo racconta di 3 schizofrenici paranoidi che ritengono di essere Dio e parenti vari, anche acquisiti, fino al 3 grado (problema per altro abbastanza diffuso) e di come uno psichiatra li riunisca sotto uno stesso tetto sperando di risolvere il problema creandone un ...more
While the researcher certainly did not intend his experiments to be ...more
This book gives an account of just such an experiment, performed in 1959 in Michigan. At first, the idea seems interesting. Unfor ...more
Milton Rokeach includes this quote by American sociologist Helen Merrell Lynd towards the end of his book The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, and even though the book was first published in the 60s, this still rings true. Now, a couple of decades later, nothing is easier than creating the illusion of a community or finding interaction with another human being, and maybe it is exactly bec ...more
Regardless, the book itself is worth praising for a number of reasons:
— The Christs are a fascinating trio. E ...more
February 6. "G.M. Anderson, please. I have mentioned from my eariliest remembrances was persuasion through sex, living my life against my will, and I don't go for this stuff. It's better to live alone, relating to positive nothingness. There is no better. I'm trying to bring out that that's the focal point of human behavior -- the way they mistreated me. ...more
With its keenness for emotional details and Rokeach's surprising literary s ...more
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"Santa Claus is a negative-idealed god, the pagan god of material worship," Leon stated. "Christmas means the rebirth, regeneration. Some people have Christmas every day. The Christmas tree stands up and either the wife trims it or they trim it together with righteous-idealed sexual intercourse. Or the husband prays to God through his Christmas tree and trims his bodily Christmas tree. Christ-mast; the mast of Christ, the upstanding penis—that's what it means to me."
"Santa Claus is a good symbolization for Christmas," said Joseph. "Department stores, shopping, the coming of the New Year. Christmas means better business in the stores.”