Nervous System Loyalty


Yen Lo approached human behavior in terms of fundamental components instead of metaphysical labels. His meaningful goal was to implant in the subject’s mind the predominant motive, which was that of submitting to the operator’s commands; to construct behavior which would at all times strive to put the operator’s exact intentions into execution as if the subject were playing a game or acting a part; and to cause a redirection of his movements by remote control through second parties, or third or fiftieth parties, twelve thousand miles removed from the original commands if necessary. The first thing a human being is loyal to, Yen Lo observed, is his own conditioned nervous system.

The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon

Army of Dolls

Dr . Jonas is a psychologist . She’s petite with short grey hair , wears thin glasses , and dresses like a nun . I heard about her through a friend who told me she’s not only good , but sees students at a discounted rate . I’m like a desperate whore these days when it comes to therapists . I’m willing to give anyone a go. She’s currently on the phone.

While I wait across the desk from her, I glance around her peculiar office . It’s actually a spare room in her house , and that makes me uncomfortable. The walls and floor are a pale pink . Numerous old – fashioned dolls in Victorian dresses and doll houses are scattered throughout the room . It reminds me of a five year – old girl’s playroom . I hate dolls . They’re creepy, plastic , miniature humans who probably come alive at night and kill people…The label doesn’t feel right to me, like an ill – fitting jacket . She’s the expert , so there’s no convincing her, but it can’t be right. I squirm in my chair. I want to tell her every single person on earth exhibits some traits of mental disorder, but I don’t want to start a fight . It’s not like she’d believe me . She’s the doctor and I’m the patient, even though seeing patients among an army of dolls hints of her own mental issues . I look up , straight into the eyes of a beautiful doll with long locks of golden curls. I want to smash its porcelain face .

Manic Kingdom: A True Story of Breakdown and Breakthrough by Dr. Erin Stair

By the Book and According to Protocol

She nods but looks dissatisfied. Her expression betrays that she already knows the root of my problem and wants me to provide her with supporting evidence. I don’t think she’s going to change what she’s decided , even if our conversations don’t support her theory. I sigh . She’s one of those people who goes by the books . The medical rule books, that is . The books are the rules that shrinks and therapists follow, full of guidance and expert opinions, the Bibles quoted by professionals when their judgment is questioned. Deviating from the books is too risky , both emotionally and legally , too intimate , and too involved . No one has the time or the energy to deviate from the books , and no one wants to get sued . It’s tough to get sued if you follow the rule books exactly .

The problem is , I don’t feel like my mind fits an exact diagnosis . My mind , like everyone’s mind , is a mysterious , vast world that’s barely been explored . How could it fit under one confining category? Whenever I see a shrink or a therapist, it seems as if they purposefully tweak and manipulate my mind till it does fit, or until I believe the label I’m given. The goal is a nice clean classification, and since I despise labels, I despise the books.

Again , Jessica interrupts my internal monologue and asks me a few more questions . I stay pleasant and answer as best I can . She hands me a few forms to fill out , mostly surveys , and excuses herself . She is back in a few minutes and hands me a script along with a sample of pills .

“I want you to try these,” she says , handing them to me . A psychiatrist , who oversees the Eating Disorder clinic, has prescribed them . I haven’t met him and probably never will . The drugs are given to me almost like protocol.

Manic Kingdom: A True Story of Breakdown and Breakthrough by Dr. Erin Stair


Has anyone succeeded in erasing someone’s memory? by Gagan Bir Singh

The possibilities for abuse are massive and terrifying.

Super-Predator Mythology


The predictions of “super-predators” proved wildly inaccurate. The juvenile population in America increased from 1994 to 2000, but the juvenile crime rate declined, leading academics who had originally supported the “super-predator” theory to disclaim it. In 2001, the surgeon general of the United States released a report labeling the “super-predator” theory a myth and stated that “[t]here is no evidence that young people involved in violence during the peak years of the early 1990s were more frequent or more vicious offenders than youths in earlier years.” This admission came too late for kids like Trina, Ian, and Antonio. Their death-in-prison sentences were insulated from legal challenges or appeals by a maze of procedural rules, statutes of limitations, and legal barricades designed to make successful postconviction challenges almost impossible.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson