Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Psychopaths Dream in Black & White

            In this chapter of The Psychopath Test, Ronson's main focus is on Elliot Barker. A psychiatrist from the 60's who traveled the world observing different psychiatric facilities, Barker eventually settled down to work at Oak Ridge, a psychiatric facility in Canada. The majority of the chapter is from other doctor's perspectives on Barker, and of his patients. Ronson interviews the son of one of the doctors that worked with Barker in London. He learns that while overseas, Barker observed group therapies that involved the subjects removing all their clothing, screaming at things, and staring at one another's genitals. Then he interviewed Gary Maier, a man who worked at Oak Ridge with Barker. He explained how Barker came to the idea that LSD was helping some of his patients symptoms, and so they eventually put everyone in the facility on LSD trips. Near the end of the chapter, Ronson relates Barker's story back to Tony and Broadmoor. Tony had been locked in the psychiatric facility known as Broadmoor since he faked his insanity to avoid a jail sentence for murder. Ronson wonder's why Broadmoor doesn't apply some of the same techniques Barker used, because his patients were typically freed from their institutions.
           I found this chapter really interesting. It's fascinating to hear all the different treatment methods that different facilities used. Some of them seemed like they had no correlation whatsoever to psychopath's symptoms, for example the rooms where everyone stripped down and stared at each others genitals. But some actually made a lot of sense. For example, the paints they gave to the woman who smeared her excrements on the wall, because she wanted to make art. This chapter was, at times, pretty disturbing. But I think that's essential for the overall idea, because psychopaths generally have very disturbing behavior.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

[Insert creative title here]

Thank the good lord I'm given topics to write about, because my life is no where near interesting enough to blog about.