What Would Jesus Do?

A story in This is True about a delusional guy who thought he was Jesus brought this interesting reply from a psychologist-reader.

The seminal figure in hypnosis, Milton Erickson, M.D., had an interesting experience in upstate New York:

When Erickson was on the staff of Worcester State Hospital, there was a young patient who called himself Jesus. He paraded about as the Messiah, wore a sheet draped around him, and attempted to impose Christianity on people.

Erickson approached him on the hospital grounds and said, "I understand you have had experience as a carpenter?"

The patient could only reply that he had.

So Erickson involved the young man in a special project of building a bookcase and shifted him to productive labor.

Posted November 10, 2004

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