The Three Christs of Ypsilanti
The Three Christs of Ypsilanti Book Report
The three christs of ypsilanti
A Review of the literature
In July 1959, Milton Rokeach conducted a psychological study at the Ypsilanti State Hospital in Michigan. This study followed three paranoid schizophrenics who all claimed to have something very important in common. Clyde Benson, Joseph Cassel, and Leon Gabor (who refused to answer to anything but Rex) each claimed to be Jesus Christ. This text documented the two years during the study. Rokeach attempted to maximize inter-Christ contact by assigning the three men to adjacent beds in Ward D-23, assigning them adjacent seats in the dining area, and arranging for them to work side-by-side in the laundry room. On one occasion, Rokeach asked the group why they were in the hospital, Clyde claimed that he owned the building and nearby lands, and that he stayed on as caretaker. Joseph explained that the hospital was an English stronghold, and that he was there to defend it. Leon, was the only one to acknowledge that he himself was a mental patient, but he stopped short of admitting to delusion. He blamed some ambiguous, jealous persecutors for subjecting him to the torment of a mental ward. Dr. Rokeach finally brought the Three Christs experiment to an end on August 15th 1961, just over two years after the first meeting of Clyde, Joseph, and Leon. None of the patients had improved, although by the time Rokeach departed Leon had indeed renounced his claim to being Jesus Christ. Instead he insisted upon being referred to as "Dr. Righteous Idealized Dung." He had also came to believe that he was one of the “Yeti people”.
The Psychology behind it all
When taking a look at the text, the main idea appears to be the question of what happens when we are confronted with the unconscionable idea that there is another person who claims the same identity as ourselves. This book also demonstrates key...