"Jerusalem Syndrome"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Nov 26 18:58:04 UTC 1999

For those not yet O.D.'d on the Syndrome, there's an article in today's New
York Times (11/26/99, A13), "Jerusalem Forecasts Sudden Surge of
'Saviors'", a Reuters dispatch.  The article informs us that the incidence
of J.S. has picked up about 50-60% already, with more in sight by the
millennium.  Here's an excerpt:
   Some sufferers arrive mentally disturbed and become convinced they are
biblical figures:  Old Testament prophets, King David, Jesus, John the
Baptist, or the Virgin Mary.  Others come to Jerusalem with visions of the
end of the world.  Still others arrive with no evident disorder, yet then
feel compelled to don white robes--sometimes the sheets from their hotel
beds--and preach rambling sermons.

Wonder if the local hostelries might consider shifting to colored sheets
until the millennium arrives.  That would either discourage the practice
or, at worst, make for a more festive syndrome.


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