Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Psychopaths Dream in Black and White

As Jon Ronson continues his journey into the madness industry, he looks at a mental institution named Oak Ridge and describes the interesting events that had occurred in this building. Ronson includes stories of patients who were sent free after the therapy sessions and tells how these sessions were run and the outcomes of such programs. The story of a psychiatrist by the name of Elliott Barker who worked at Oak Ridge and attempted to cure psychopaths by giving them LSD for therapy is included. We later learn these therapy sessions run by Barker actually made the psychopaths condition worsen and the program was eventually cancelled.

I find this chapter a bit obscure because the stories of the different people and places tend to jump around a lot. I think the story about Elliott Barker is absolutely insane; I would have never thought an institution would give patients hallucinogens in order to 'cure' them. Barker himself seems a bit of a nut, since he casually watched behind a one way mirror as patients ran around a room crazily. The result of this program didn't surprise me at all (it seems fitting that psychopaths would only learn to be even more devious through these therapy sessions). In all honesty I don't really understand the story about Mary Barnes or how it fits into the rest of the chapter. To me it seems a little detached from the overall point of the chapter itself.

Thursday, September 15, 2011