"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Saturday, September 27, 2014

My Mind Is Controlled By Radio Waves

A peculiar but recurring expression of schizophrenia is the idea that someone is using radio waves to command another to do their bidding.  This is logical even within the illogical construct of madness because anyone who is forced to do even horrific actions can be guilt-free. 

Even the severely demented weren’t always that way, and as children learned right from wrong and good from bad.

There were two seriously schizophrenic people in New York whom I passed every day walking to work.  One was a woman dressed like Black Maria who walked up and down Broadway between 114th and 115th Streets like a Marine.  She marched south, and a few inches from the curb did a precise military about face as though a tough drill instructor had barked out the order.  She marched north and when she reached the curb, again did a precision turn, pivoting on one foot, back straight, arms rigid, and head and eyes front. She kept this up night and day, 24/7 until the Department of Social Services hauled her away after she had collapsed from fatigue and hunger and crawled into a dumpster behind Starbucks at 3 in the morning. During her post-traumatic psychological work-up, she told the attending staff that her mind was controlled by radio waves.

A friend of mine who lived in the neighborhood and who worked at Social Services told me Black Maria’s story.  Her name was Mabel  Hutchins, and she was from a small town in Mississippi not far from Tupelo. 

She was a studious but mediocre student through grade school, but then became indifferent and even negligent.  Her father, the pastor of a storefront church downtown, was upset that an otherwise intelligent and responsible daughter could so suddenly slack off, particularly when in these troubled times, admission to a good college was not assured. 

Pastor Hutchins had never attended college, had received his calling while working at the lumberyard, and had ministered to the faithful in Christ ever since.  He knew that Mabel had no calling, and although it was surprising for a red dirt Alabaman, he was progressive enough to want his daughter to continue her education, if only at a community college.

Pastor Hutchins didn’t know how to react when Mabel took to praying regularly.  He found her every morning on her knees before the old wooden cross in her room, windows wide open despite the winter chill, dressed only in the flimsiest dress.  Soon, her father found Mabel praying after school, before dinner, and before she went to bed.  He would hear her praying loudly in her room, although she always shut the door firmly behind her, and at times it sounded as if she were holding a conversation with Our Lord.

“Yes, Daddy, I am speaking to Jesus”, she replied when he asked her about it. “He’s as kind and gentle and loving as we read in the Bible”.

Now, Pastor Hutchins believed implicitly in one’s personal relationship to Jesus Christ; and he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that He interceded in our affairs daily.  Prayer was a way of talking to Jesus, and He most certainly would answer.  After every service at his little pop-up church on Main Street, someone would always come up to him and tell him of their wonderful time with Jesus in his heavenly realm.  “He showed it to me”, said one woman just last week. “I could hear the angels singing and was bathed in a warm, soft light when He appeared.  ‘Don’t worry about Aunt Sybil’, He said. “She is in my care’”

However there was something a little off in his daughter’s prayers, and although he didn’t want to admit it even to himself, there was something demented.  She didn’t act like his faithful who went back to their jobs at Walmart or the lumber mill, cooked dinner for the family, went hunting, fishing, and crocheting, and thought little about Jesus Christ until he reminded them the following Sunday.  They were good, prayerful, even devout people, Pastor Hutchins thought; but they did not scrape their knees on a cold floor for hours on end, chilled to the bone, and hold long, detailed conversations with Our Savior. Maybe, he finally concluded, his daughter was not quite right in the head.

His remedy – prayer – only added fuel to the fire, and she willingly got on her knees with her loving father and beseeched Dear Jesus to deliver her from her affliction.  Of course Mabel, in her now completely demented state, had no idea what an affliction was, and so she interpreted her father’s term as yet one more troublesome sin that mankind must suffer because of The Fall.

The thought that a) his daughter had a mental illness; and b) that prayer could not cure it, was simply not possible for Pastor Hutchins; and so he joined his daughter in prayer every morning and every evening supplicating The Risen Christ for succor and release from her (and his) torment.

None of this did any good since Mabel by now had descended completely into madness, lived in a world of her own, spoken to by Jesus, God the Father, and their emissaries.  As her schizophrenia got even worse, she started hearing secular voices who told her to commit sin – like pleasuring herself – which of course she had to obey, and masturbated so long, often, and hard that she was red and raw ‘down there’, and for this her mother insisted that she see a doctor.

Added to her schizophrenia (which the gynecologist did not know about), the doctor suggested that she had an obsessive-compulsive disorder, and if her parents didn’t watch out, it could take other, more violent and self-destructive forms.

By this time Mabel was 18 and uncontrollable.  She became the laughing stock of her small town, and even those people who revered Tennessee Williams – who was born and raised just down the road in Columbus – and who loved his off-kilter characters like Laura, Alma, and Blanche, thought she was completely nuts.

In her early twenties, she disappeared; and although her father was saddened by the loss of his only child, especially to the Devil, he was relieved that he no longer had to deal with her nor face his dwindling faithful and their sneering faces every Sunday.

She was lost to everyone until she ended up in the New York City Department of Human Services holding pen for the mentally ill.  She related her history as best she could; and the social workers and psychiatric aides who took detailed notes had to have a lot of patience because Mabel’s flights of demented fantasy took some strange and unusual detours through frightful, dark landscapes and in happy, sunlit aeries.

Shortly after arriving in New York, she became convinced that her mind was totally controlled by the radio waves of an unseen but all-powerful operator who told her what do do.  Ordered her in fact, and she admitted that when the radio waves started and she could feel the synapses of her brain crackle with electricity, she had no will or authority.  She was totally submissive and at the mercy of the unseen Radio Operator.

Why this phantom ham operator instructed her to drill march up and down Broadway the attendants downtown never could figure out.  Mabel had no explanations, and the staff could only conclude that her mental issues derived from her abusive father and his overzealous belief in Jesus Christ.  Nothing happens without an antecedent.  As Tolstoy said that every event in history, either personal or political, is nothing more than an accumulation of ricocheted, random events that predetermine it.  So the young psychiatric aide who had just finished War and Peace concluded with very little evidence, that Mabel’s illness had to be caused by her father who certainly must have had his own demented and sorry past.

I tell this story because because scientists at the South Pole using a giant radio telescope said that they had detected faint gravitational waves which once and for all proved the Big Bang theory.  Their reasoning was complex and understandable to only a few cosmologists and mathematicians, but it made the evening news.  Finally, all questions about the origin of the universe had been answered; and the media picked up the story in a big way. 

Out of respect for their more conservative viewers, these news anchors nor the expert commentators invited to weigh in on the dramatic finding did not raise the question of ‘Before the Big Bang’.  Although the scientists in their academic papers did suggest what was to them a logical explanation having to do with ‘inverse gravitational properties’ and ‘beta wave interference’, the media chose to suggest that no matter what, God had created the Big Bang and all else in that eternity before everything exploded.

A few days ago, scientists who had always been suspicious of these findings – there was something hokey about researchers who did not subject their work to peer review – offered a counter theory.  The South Pole scientists had been wrong.  Not gravitational waves at all, but merely other waves ricocheting off the godzillion particles of dust on the way to earth. An an international consortium using a space telescope called Planck said that the South Pole data came not from gravitational waves from the Big Bang but from dust scattered through our own galaxy.

Few people cared at all about this reversal of fortune, given the impossible concept of infinity and the many more pressing problems to solve here on Earth; but the young son of a friend of mine cared very much indeed.

He, like Mabel Hutchins, felt that his life was beyond his control – not because Fate, Chance, or Tolstoy’s historical billiard balls were at work to deprive him of authority, but because of gravitational waves.  Every thing he did, said the boy, was the result of gravitational pull.  That was why astrology worked.  All the planetary and sun signs were devised from ancient scientists who could measure the varying gravitational influences of celestial bodies.  It was natural that when the earth moved farther or nearer Mars or Jupiter, that the influence of those planets would wax and wane. 

Dickie Alms, however, did not remain for long in the houses of astrology.  He sensed that the gravitational waves which were controlling his life and now altering his brain functions to dictate universal and cosmic orders came from a place far distant from our puny solar system.  All his peculiar eccentricities, too numerous to mention, but far more obsessional and crazed than Mabel’s, were caused by gravitational waves.

“I knew it”, he said, and jumped up and down on his bed when he heard the news of the South Pole discovery, and his active mind immediately flew to the Big Bang its fiery, cataclysmic explosion, and the radiation of powerful gravitational waves.  “So that’s where they come from”, he shouted.  “I always knew they were there, but never understood how they got here.”

In the few weeks between the so-called South Pole discovery and the recent debunking of the evidence, Dickie Alms was in seventh heaven.  He felt energized and all-powerful.  He embraced the waves controlling his mind.  If the waves ‘told’ him to dress like a girl and jump into the swimming pool, bonnet and all, he did it with joy and exultation.  If they told him to ride his bike around the reservoir 50 times, he did it, returning home so knackered and exhausted that his parents had to drive him to the emergency room.  But through all these hyper-real, hysterical episodes, he was as happy as he had ever been,.

Then came the bad news, and Dickie went catatonic.  All of a sudden all brain activity stopped and he lay on his bed staring at the ceiling.  Nothing could revive him from this coma-like state. His brain was still working, although in power-saving mode, and he realized that he must have imagined the gravitational waves, and that his whole life – his entire being in fact – had been neutered and rendered insignificant in one shattering moment.

The psychiatrists at Johns Hopkins told Dickie’s parents that they were lucky. They took it as a good sign that their son had realized the fantasy of his gravitational wave obsession.  In other words logic had trumped dementia and there was hope for his full recovery.

They were wrong, of course, surprising for a team of respected doctors at a major American teaching hospital, but still wrong.  Dickie, when he recovered from his catatonia and shock of disappointment, his fevered brain concocted another half-logical, half-wacko theory.  “Of course there are still gravitational waves around”, he said out loud in the psychiatric ward.  “How could I have been so stupid? The Hindus were right.  Stick to the Milky Way.  There are more gravitational influences there for a hundred million people on thousands of planets.”

Eventually the hospital released him.  They figured that although a belief in astrology was rather sketchy, it was accepted by at least 200 million Indians and enough of a justification to release him into the normal world.  They told his parents to watch him closely and notify them if they noticed any change; but they were happy enough with his new-found devotion to Hinduism and his plans to visit India.

Little did they know that he was as crazy as ever; but since he had learned the hard way – never again would he spent a single night in that Hopkins nuthouse – he kept the gravitational waves to himself.

He has not returned from India yet, and probably never will.  Indians are incredibly tolerant people, and people who have visions and extraordinary powers are revered.   Many Hindus believe that astral projection is an interpretation of out-of-body experience (OBE) that assumes the existence of an "astral body" separate from the physical body and capable of travelling outside it. 

With all due respect to the thousands of Vedic scholars who have studied this phenomenon, it doesn’t sound all that different from radio and gravitational waves.  So, it is likely that Dickie Ames is wandering the Gangetic plain, alms bucket in hand, controlled by gravitational waves, and working miracles.

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