Just so people don’t say that I only attack the religious crazies, something that’s patently untrue if they’ve ever read the blog, here’s a story about a crazy man who attacked a woman’s car, dressed in medieval armor and carrying a sword, because he truly believed himself to be a high elf battling the evil Morgoth. Yes, he really thought he was in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
A woman in Northeast Portland, Oregon, called the police and announced that a “pirate” was attacking her car. When authorities arrived, they found Konrad Bass, dressed in chain mail and carrying a sword, wading into traffic and attacking her car, which was left with numerous stab “wounds”. Bass writes fantasy novels and LARPs (live-action role playing) with friends, as well as being part of a musical group that performs songs based on his fantasy adventures. He’s also a self-admitted user of mind-altering substances, in this case, a potent cocktail of MDMA, Dimethyltryptamine and acid. According to Bass, “I was here to save America, in 10 days, Obama was going to be assassinated. Morgoth was chasing after me. I was chasing shadow dragons. It was crazy.”
Yet I doubt anyone would think that this high elf was in complete control of his mental faculties, he very quickly found himself checked into Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Beaverton, Oregon for a 48 hour mental evaluation. Granted, this guy happened to be on LSD at the time, but he’s clearly out of his Sauron-loving gourd.
So why don’t we see people treating the crazy religious the same way? There are plenty of think they are really hearing God and angels talk to them. Most of them probably don’t attack innocent cars with swords but clearly, there’s something wrong with them and society tends to give them a pass than to admit that religion, especially extremist religion, is not exactly a sane thing to practice.
I don’t know, maybe if crazy Christians were out in robes, breaking up some banks or something, they’d get the same treatment, I just don’t see where one crazy belief is any better than another crazy belief, just because one is socially sanctioned and the other is not. Maybe if Bass claimed his assault on motor vehicles was part of his religious beliefs, he could stay out of the padded cells too.