A Case Of Psychosis

by A. Mary
(France)

Original Text: A case of psychosis in a cult leader and a collectively built mystical delirium.


T. is the founder of a small cult of about twenty members. He built a delirious system on the basis of a decisive hallucination (christophany) and according to his intuition of a universal logical law. His system went more and more stable as people joint his community. T. regularly found materials among some members’ hallucinations or dreams to support his delirium.
A meticulous attention is given to the articulation between the psychotic structure of T. and the structure of the group he organized: strangely enough the group compensates the psychotic foreclosure (Verwerfung) of the castration complex. Transference (within the group and toward the leader) determines the functioning of the group in accordance with the singularity of its various members.
Some violent drives eventually leads to suppose that T. goes through decompensation episodes. Those acts of violence provoked many leavings. Their underlying logic will lead T. until a trial he will go through as a persecution.
Subsequently, we will focus on his trial in 2010. Particularly: how such an ordinary and simple character can create on the one hand the illusion of a skilful manipulator among his victims and those who support them (lawyers, victims’ associations and even the forensic psychiatrist) and on the other hand the phantasm of a conspiracy against T. among his partisans (lawyers, support committee)? Those two defensive modalities – a perverse seduction theory and a conspiracy theory – both reject a traumatic enjoyment (from a victim’s perspective) or an overflowing enjoyment (from the psychotic leader’s perspective). Finally, we will show how the trial itself tended to reflect T.’s delirium to such an extent that the distinction between his messianic nature or his divine substantiality was eventually discussed.

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Revised Text:

T. is the founder of a small cult of about twenty members. He built a delirious system on the basis of a decisive hallucination (christophany) and according to his intuition of a universal logical law. His system became more and more stable as people joined his community. T. regularly found materials among some members’ hallucinations or dreams to support his delirium.

Meticulous attention is given to the articulation between the psychotic structure of T. and the structure of the group he organized. Strangely enough, the group compensates the psychotic foreclosure (Verwerfung) of the castration complex. Transference (within the group and toward the leader) determines the functioning of the group in accordance with the singularity of its various members.

Some violent drives eventually lead us to suppose that T. goes through decompensation episodes and these acts of violence provoked many leavings. Their underlying logic will lead T. until a trial which he will interpret as a persecution.

Subsequently, we will focus on his trial in 2010, Particularly on how such an ordinary and simple character can create, on the one hand, the illusion of a skillful manipulator among his victims and those who support them (lawyers, victims’ associations and even the forensic psychiatrist) and, on the other hand, the phantasm of a conspiracy against T. among his partisans (lawyers, support committee.)

These two defensive modalities; a perverse seduction theory and a conspiracy theory, both reject a traumatic enjoyment (from a victim’s perspective) or an overflowing enjoyment (from the psychotic leader’s perspective.)

Finally, we will show how the trial itself tended to reflect T.’s delirium to such an extent that the distinction between his messianic nature or his divine substantiality was eventually discussed.

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