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A Review
Chapter XVII
Boris Sidis'
Philistine and Genius
by Doug Renselle

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Chapter XVII
Cases of Stases — Yuckness of Stuckness.
©Quantonics' contrived chapter title.


(Most quotes verbatim Boris Sidis, some paraphrased.)

(Relevant to Pirsig, William James Sidis, and Quantonics Thinking Modes.)

"In my work of mental and nervous diseases I become more and more convinced of the preponderant influence of early childhood in the causation of psychopathic mental maladies. Most, in fact all, of those functional mental diseases originate in early childhood. A couple of concrete cases will perhaps best illustrate my point:

"The patient is a young man of 26. He suffers from intense melancholic depression, often amounting to agony. He is possessed by the fear of having committed the unpardonable sin. He thinks that he is damned to suffer tortures in hell for all eternity. I cannot go here into the details of the case, but an examination of"


Boris offers some case history.


"the patient by the hypnoidal state clearly traced his present condition to the influence of an old woman, a Sunday school teacher, who infected him with those virulent germs in his very early childhood, about the age of five. Let me read to you a paragraph from the patient's own account: 'It is difficult to place the beginning of my abnormal fear. It certainly originated from doctrine's of hell which I heard in early childhood, particularly from a rather ignorant elderly woman, who taught Sunday school. My early religious thought was chiefly concerned with the direful eternity of torture that might be awaiting me, if I was not good enough to be saved.'

"Another patient of mine, a clergyman's wife, was extremely nervous, depressed, and suffered from insomnia, from nightmares, from panophobia, general fear,"

(Our bold emphasis.)

More case history.

"dread of the unknown, from claustrophobia, fear of remaining alone, fear of darkness and numerous other fears and insistent ideas, into the details of which I cannot go here. By means of the hypnoidal state the symptoms were traced to impressions of early childhood; when at the age of five, the patient was suddenly confronted by a maniacal woman. The child was greatly frightened, and since that time she became possessed by the fear of insanity. When the patient gave birth to her child, she was afraid the child would become insane; many a time she even bad a feeling that the child was insane. Thus the fear of insanity is traced to an experience of early childhood, an experience which, having become subconscious, is manifesting itself persistently in the patient's consciousness.

"The patient's parents were very religious,"

(Our bold emphasis.)
100 "and the child was brought up not only in the fear of God, but also in the fear of hell and the devil. Being sensitive and imaginative, the devils of the gospel were to her stern realities. She had a firm belief in 'diabolical possessions' and 'unclean spirits;' the legend of Jesus exorcising in the country of the Gadarenes [An ancient Palestine city which was originally one of several Greek cities of Decapolis. PDR] unclean spirits, whose name is Legion, was to her a tangible reality. She was brought up on brimstone and pitch, with everlasting fires of the 'bottomless pit' for sinners and unbelievers. In the hypnoidal state she clearly remembered the preacher, who used every Sunday to give her the horrors by his picturesque descriptions of the tortures of the 'bottomless pit.' She was in anguish over the unsolved question: 'Do little sinner-girls go to hell?' This fear of hell"

(Our bold emphasis. Our bracketed notes.)

This hogwash is still preached, even in modern Protestantism. I have personal experience (early 1980s) which outraged me almost to a point of standing up during a sermon and telling a nitwit preacher to take his negative bilge elsewhere. I no longer 'attend.' Both for their good and my own.

Protestants, who appropriately instituted reform opposing massive Catholic Inquistions against humankind and their ideas, adopted their own inquisitions of control and hegemony implemented through fear propaganda and brain-washing which ultimately harmed some individuals' mental health.


"made the little girl feel depressed and miserable and poisoned many a cheerful moment of her life.

"What a lasting effect and what a melancholy gloom this fear of ghosts and of unclean spirits of the bottomless pit produced on this young life may be judged from the following facts: When the patient was about eleven years old, a young girl, a friend of hers, having noticed the patient's fear of ghosts, played on her one of those silly, practical jokes, the effect of which on sensitive natures is often disastrous and lasting. The girl disguised herself as a ghost, in a white sheet, and appeared to the patient, who was just on the point of falling asleep. The child shrieked in terror and fainted. Since that time the patient suffered from nightmares and was mortally afraid to sleep"

And, out of that same fear, people return regularly for more injections of it. Now, that's insane.

"alone; she passed many a night in a state of excitement, frenzied with the fear of apparitions and ghosts.

"When about the age of seventeen, she apparently freed herself from the belief in ghosts and unclean powers. But the fear acquired in her childhood did not lapse; it persisted subconsciously and manifested itself in the form of uncontrollable fears. She was afraid to remain alone in a room, especially in the evening. Thus, once when she had to go upstairs alone to pack her trunks, a gauzy garment called forth the experience of her ghost-fright; she had the illusion of seeing a ghost, and fell fainting to the floor. Unless specially treated, fears acquired in childhood last through life.

"'Every ugly thing,' says Mosso, the great Italian physiologist, "told to the child, every shock, every fright given him,"


"will remain like minute splinters in the flesh, to torture him all his life long.

""An old soldier whom I asked what his greatest fears had been, answered me thus: 'I have only had one, but it pursues me still. I am nearly seventy years old, I have looked death in the face I do not know how many times; I have never lost heart in any danger, but when I pass a little old church in the shades of the forest, or a deserted chapel in the mountains, I always remember a neglected oratory in my native village, and I shiver and look around, as though seeking the corpse of a murdered man which I once saw carried into it when a child, and with which an old servant wanted to shut me up to make me good.'" Here, too, experiences of early childhood have persisted subconsciously throughout lifetime."

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