Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Offspring Murder Club: San Francisco Chapter

The Offspring Murder Club's member roster is on fire! New applicants are coming in faster than they can be processed! The newest member, 23-year-old Lashaun Harris, dropped her 3 sons, ages 6 years, 2 years, and 16 months, into the freezing waters of the San Francisco Bay last October. This woman deserves expedited application processing into the Offspring Murder Club.

Her motivation? God:

"The voice of God called upon her to sacrifice her three children," Teresa Caffese said at the woman's preliminary hearing in San Francisco Superior Court.


But of course! Lashaun was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic with delusional thought disorder. She was a perfect candidate for her afterlife-belief to serve as a catalyst for infanticide, and her God knew it.

Many a Christian would protest, "But she was crazy! Any crazy nut could kill their children! Her religion didn't do this!" They would, admittedly, be half correct. Sure, a paranoid schizophrenic with delusional thought disorder doesn't need religion to do crazy things, but it certainly does help. I would suggest one to look up the definition of the word "catalyst."

I've said it a bazillion times now, and I'll say it again. Religiosity is common among mothers who kill their children. In fact, when a child dies at it's mother's hands, the vast majority of the time it is religious/afterlife/God based motivation. What else ever inspires a woman to kill her children besides religious reasons, regardless of the woman's mental problems?

God and religion only exacerbate mental problems within people's minds. Crazy people turning to God does not help their craziness; it amplifies it. It legitimizes their craziness in their own mind. If your brain is malfunctioning, and you think you are hearing voices, those imaginary voices are given much more power in your mind when you think they literally are coming from an all-powerful creator of the universe. Going to church and having a preacher telling you to "pray" and to "talk to God" certainly won't help. Under such circumstances, these voices in your head will be given so much power that you may act on those voices, like by cutting the arms off of your baby and promptly calling 911 with the hymn "He Touched Me" being heard in the background of the 911 call. Or maybe by systematically drowning your 5 children in the family bathtub one at a time. Or possibly by suffocating your baby and then stabbing yourself repeatedly in the chest. Or finally, to use this most recent example, by throwing your 3 sons into the icy San Francisco Bay.

A good friend of mine works with crazy and homeless people on Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles. He says that the crazier the patient is, the more keen on Jesus they are. He says that the crazier the patient is, the more they talk with God/Jesus, and the more God/Jesus talks to them. These crazy people genuinely want to have a relationship with God and/or Jesus, but their reaching-out to God helps them not at all. These people are mentally sick, and the closest thing to a cure is treatment, therapy, medication, and sometimes institutionalization. The cure is not, nor will it ever be, God. God is a part of the disease.

Kill the afterlife, not children.

11 comments:

BlackSun said...

Oooohhh! Creepy. Especially the last sentence of the article where the mom said of her (now dead) children: "They're with their father."

Religion is 'harmless', my ass.

bernarda said...

Mark Twain told of the real story of a gang that murdered several people simply to rob them and killing to try to erase their traces.

One of the gang admitted it all and said that he was now a believer and put himself in the hands of god and was looking forward to joining him.

Twain commented that the church willingly accepted him and that he would go to heaven. What would happen to the people he murdered was not sure. The church didn't seem too concerned about them. They may have been non-believers and thus not saved.

god's justice is really divine.

Delta said...

Religious people scare the living shit out of me.

cali said...

I can relate to this article so much. Before I finally got help I thought that I could hear and see demons and that God was using me in some way by giving me this gift. Well, after a breakdown and several trips to the emergency room, because the voices were telling me to do horrible things, I am now on several medications and no longer hear the voice of God, demons or my dead relatives. I am finally sane and no longer blinded by religion.

streetapologist said...

Aaron-

Fantastic straw man! First, hearing voices is not normative of the Christian experience. I have never heard voices, nor do I anticipate hearing voices. I find these situations just as repugnant as all of you do. But for people to say that their *mental illness* is correlative to their religion is fallacious. I would suspect that their are many people with various mental disorders *schizophrenia,BPD,dissociative disorders, etc,etc. that have no religious upbringing or experience.

Further, to posit that people who are mentally ill become more obsessed with Jesus doesn't disprove Christianity nor does it remove the possibility of demonic possession, perhaps this is explains their obsession with Jesus.

Aaron Kinney said...

Fantastic straw man! First, hearing voices is not normative of the Christian experience.

Irrelevant. Noah's experience with God was also not normative of the Chrsitian experience. Whether or not hearing God talk to you is common is irrelevant.

I have never heard voices, nor do I anticipate hearing voices.

Good for you! This means that you probably dont have a delusional or schitzophrenic disorder. :)

I find these situations just as repugnant as all of you do. But for people to say that their *mental illness* is correlative to their religion is fallacious.

Why? The evidence supports me. The more crazy you are, the more likely you are to identify with religion. Do you have any idea how many institutionalized crazies and whacked out homeless people think they are a messiah?

I would suspect that their are many people with various mental disorders *schizophrenia,BPD,dissociative disorders, etc,etc. that have no religious upbringing or experience.

Well where are they? I havent heard of any. Can you provide any examples, or are you just imagining this with no evidence whatsoever merely to soothe your agitation over the facts that I presented? Have you ever worked with loonies?

Further, to posit that people who are mentally ill become more obsessed with Jesus doesn't disprove Christianity nor does it remove the possibility of demonic possession, perhaps this is explains their obsession with Jesus.

To claim demonic possession is laughable; where is the evidence?

Please note that I did not attempt to refute the divinity of Christ with this post. That was a strawman on your part. All this post was meant to do was to show that religious belief exacerbates and complicates, NOT alleviates, mental disorders. Religious belief legitimizes the delusions in one's head. Religion is like gasoline on the fire of mental illness, when what these sick people need is a proverbial fire extinguisher.

So where exactly was my straw man? You didnt clarify. However, I did show that YOU made a straw man when you claimed that I wrote this post to disprove Christianity, which I obviously didnt.

Did you read cali's post right above yours? His story is also direct evidence that supports my argument.

Streetapologist, I would love for you to provide an example from the last 100 years of either 1) a mentall ill atheist mother who killed her children, or 2) a mentally ill religious mother who killed her children due to non-religious motivation.

I am betting that you wont find any cases, and in the event you do, I can provide 5 religiously-motivated infanticide cases for every 1 that you can provide.

The evidence is on my side. Thats why highly respected psychological groups have done studies that have the same conclusion I have (and I linked to one of them in my post).

Varkam said...

Aaron,

Though I generally agree with your hypothesis, I think that there is something you ought to make more clear. Namely, that religion is not a necessary condition for infanticide.

You asked streetapologist to provide an example of either "1) a mentally ill atheist mother who killed her children, or 2) a mentally ill religious mother who killed her children due to a non-religious motivation". In the realm of mental illness, I can think of two disorders off the top of my head that don't involve delusions or any sort of psychosis that would lead to the same outcome; postpartum depression and Factitious Disorder-by proxy (formerly Munchausen's Syndrome-by proxy).

I believe that Brooke Shields recently came out in the open regarding her postpartum depression (and was subsequently blasted by Tom Cruise-religious nutball and actor-about her seeking treatment in the form of therapy and SSRIs) during which she recounted a tale of how she almost killed herself and her baby as a direct result of the depression.

Factitious disorder-by proxy is a little more exotic. With respect to this conversation, mothers who are afflicted will create illness or injuries in their children for reasons other than secondary gain. There have been several documented cases of this over the years, including ones involving mothers eventually killing their children. Have you seen the movie The Sixth Sense? There is a character in that movie who kills her daughter in this fashion. I'm not offering that as evidence, only an illustration.

Suffice it to say I think that you are on the right track when it comes to religion. It is true that not all religious people commit these acts, but the word catalyst fits very nicely.

Cheers.

bernarda said...

from streetapologist, "hearing voices is not normative of the Christian experience. I have never heard voices, nor do I anticipate hearing voices."

It is not just a question of hearing voices. It is very common for children up to about the age of 6 or 7 to imagine an invisible best friend. They may converse and play with this friend. But they almost all outgrow this game.

However there are many adults who return to this childish game and believe that they have found another invisible best friend. Call the invisible friend god or jesus or whatever. It does seem to indicate retarded development in a sense.

Children also believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. But they soon give that up, even though they have more evidence for those characters than they have for god or jesus. Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy actually gave them real presents or money.

Why are they logically willing and able to renounce those illusions but then some return later in life to believing in illusionary characters that have never given any evidence of their existence?

Aaron Kinney said...

Bernarda,

Good point! Also, remember that while "most" Chrsitians do not hear God tlalking to them, a great many do.

In fact, there are a great many Christians who "hear" God talking to them who never commit any crimes. Remember that one wifeswap episode with Reggie Finley the Infidel Guy? And how that one preacher dude was always talking to God even when doing dishes and gardening and he couldnt stop it for like 1 minute?

The guy may have been self-deluding but he wasnt insane or criminal or anything. He was an ordained minister with a congregation and everything!

I would maintain that there are lots and lots of Chrsitians in America alone that imagine that God is talking to them.

I mean, when I was a kid, I would pray to Jesus and I sincerely thouht that he would answer me right then and there. I wouldnt imagine distinct words, but more like feelings or sentiments being returned to me in answer to my prayers. Jesus was my invisible friend.

Thank God I outgrew that bullshit!

Anonymous said...

"Crazy people turning to God does not help their craziness; it amplifies it. It legitimizes their craziness in their own mind."

The problem is that Health Care Professionals legitimize the Religion that nearly always ends up being the primary component of the craziness. (Craziness is narcissist, and what is more grandiose than a personal relationship with absolute power?) Would it be too much to ask for a minority of vocal atheist staff in psych wards to offset the vocal theists in psych wards? My atheist friend worked in a psych ward and said she often felt like breaking out and saying, no stop with God, there is no God. Wouldn't want to offend any professional schizophrenics though.
I speak from experience of being on an extended stay in a hospital and a group home. crazy person: "I felt the presence of the Lord Jesus several times yesterday." people in church: nod, nod, smile, nod, roll eyes.

nurses: here's how to pray. (actually I liked her description.)

"Crazy" person hit his girlfriend and got on the religion hobby horse once he was in the hospital. God this god that, gonna study the bible. Same as my roommate at a treatment program for DUI offenders. Well at least the prominent Bible safety blanket.

Soon as the shame should be coming, grab hold of the God or "disease" hot wires and don't let go until the storm passes.
There's no shame any more in public figures. That's kind of a relief. We don't have to see crybabies faking for the television.

avi said...

hi The Bible indicates that people’s obsessive focus upon other people and worldly things is actually an exhibition of hatred and enmity toward God (James 4:4). Since God is the only entity worthy of worship, He will not tolerate this worship’s being given to anything or anyone else more than to Himself, without serious negative consequences eventually resulting.

rocky

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