Thursday, September 22, 2011

First Blog Assignment: Chapter 3 Summary "Psychopaths Dream in Black and White"

           In this chapter, Jon Ronson becomes interested in the idea of a cure for psychopaths. He comes across a man a man named Elliott Barker, a psychiatrist who believed he had the answer. After traveling to many therapeutic communities, Elliott got a job at Oak Hospital for the criminally insane. With a group of psychopaths and some LSD, he decided to take a risk and try out the first nude psychotherapy session for criminal psychopaths. The patients were challenged to tap into their deepest emotions without any distractions. Soon after, Gary Maier, a man that looked like a long-haired hippie, took Elliott's place and continued on with the research. One concept discovered was that schizophrenics dreamed a lot and often in color, while psychopaths were lucky if they dreamed at all. At first, this new therapy seemed to work wonders and be a great success. Once research was actually done, it turned out that 80% of the patients that went through Elliott's program re-offended once they were released to the outside world. In the past, only 60% of patients re-offended. This program had made the psychopaths worse and taught them how to better manipulate.
           In my opinion, this chapter was very uncomfortable. The descriptions and stories of the patients are very well written and almost seemed real. I could smell the shit and got shivers after reading about rape. Also, at points throughout the chapter I thought I would have trouble falling asleep later that night due to repulsing images dancing around in my head. All in all, I think this chapter is needed for the overall tone of the book. It shows how everything in life isn't always pleasant and wonderful. Problems do exist and there are people in the world that dedicate their lives to solving these problems for the better good of humans.