It would perhaps seem obvious to assume that in some cases people with specific mental health problems might come to believe in outlandish and incredible things. That aliens exist and are controlling them perhaps? Or maybe that their loved ones have been possessed by some malevolent spiritual entity? But it is by no means necessarily a given people who can only be described as utterly sane believe all manner of outlandish and ridiculous things. Is everyone who believes that 9/11 was an inside job a paranoid and delusional schizophrenic? Is everyone who has faith in a higher power nuts?
No. Not in the least. The idea that to hold outlandish views you must be insane holds about as much water as a fractal sieve.
Indeed I would wager that the vast majority of people who believe in aliens, ghosts and conspiracy theories are perfectly normal in mental health terms and indeed any other area you care to consider. To label them as otherwise based solely on their beliefs is dangerous, dismissive and grossly offensive.
Yet time and again Skeptics and Atheists will resort to the language of mental health and mental aberration when describing the views and opinions of everyone from homeopaths to Catholic priests. This is not big and it’s certainly not clever.
Given this happens so often you might wonder what straw it was that broke the camels back this time. Well wonder no longer it was this post by parapsychologist Dr Barry Taff. Taff holds a doctorate in psychophysiology, claims to have investigated over 4,000 hauntings, has appeared on numerous TV shows and was technical consultant on truly woeful horror film “The Entity” which was based on one of his investigations.
Taffs post is condescending, a little bit misogynistic and utterly, utterly disgusting in it’s unethical treatment of individuals that Taff believes have mental health problems.