Friday, July 27, 2012

A Remarkable Revelation!

I am a person who believes in a transcendent reality. I mention this only to provide a context for the book I am currently reading entitled Paranormal: My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife, written by Raymond Moody, the psychiatrist who for the past four decades has done pioneering work in the near-death experience.

While reading the memoir, I have come to the point where Moody is talking about his psychiatric residency, during which he interacted with an array of the mentally diseased, including those in the maximum-security wing for the criminally insane.

On page 123, he talks about one night finding three cards with the seal of the Secret Service on his desk with the following message (all ensuing italics are mine):

If this individual escapes from your institution, do not fail to contact the United States Secret Service!

Moody then found that he had three new patients, and "all of them had been rounded up by the Secret Service and dropped at our institution for safekeeping. President Ronald Reagan was in town, and the people assigned to protect him came in advance and institutionalized those who were thought to pose a threat during his visit."

Moody goes on to say the men were very angry about being detained until Reagan left town.

And that's all he has to say about the episode.

While I realize to the seasoned student of human nature, this is an entirely credible story about U.S. constitutional violation of its citizen's rights, I wonder if anyone can shed light on American past practices of labelling people as mentally ill in order to neutralize threats or opposition voices.

Reminiscent as it is of the Russian tendency to relegate political opponents to the gulag, I eagerly await information about this patent abuse of power.

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