Tuesday, January 20, 2009
THINKING ABOUT MYSTIFICATION
RD Laing had often discussed the conception of mystification, of how individuals can justify enormous evils by saying that are doing the action for someone's own good. It appears that the psychiatric establishment and the systems intimately connected to it (child protective services, justice system, educational system) are often involved in mystification. The Nazi era is one of the most tragic examples of mystification, and such examples today as the Abu Ghraib prison scandal are a more graphic example. In these situations, mystification involves dehumanization, of erasing the person's experience, and making them something other than a person. And so we see this occur in psychiatric hospitals, detention centers, residential treatment facilities, etc.