reply to post by AceWombat04
A concentration of anything can seem 'mental' to outsiders, as those who've attended seminars will attest. Writers, for example,
electrical-retailers, ten-pin bowlers, stamp-collectors, fox and hounders. When you're standing on the outside, members of a particular group can
seem obsessed by their particular and common interest.
Let's pick one out of the blue: those who sell antique jewellery on Ebay, for instance. Are you aware they have a forum dedicated exclusively to
antique jewellery? Spend half an hour reading the threads and posts in that forum and you emerge feeling you've visited another world. There are
dozens of categories within antique jewellery ... 'fine' jewellery, for example, and 'reproduction' and 'costume'. And each category splits
into several areas of specialisation. You'll hear people discussing, in total seriousness, how to remove 'green gunk' from objects discovered at
garage sales. They use vinegar, apparently. And there are in-depth and often heated discussions about any number of things. Those who post
questions are sometimes accused of sneakily promoting their items in the guise of innocent enquiry, for example. Others argue intensely about
hallmarks and various grades of silver. Private messages fly back and forth. It can get quite heated.
In real-life however, the same people look, sound and behave entirely normally. They're teachers and accountants .. dentists' receptionists,
doctors, psychiatrists, security-personnel, politicians, etc., who just happen to have an interest (passionate or fleeting) about antique jewellery.
Speak to them when they're indulging their specific interest, and sure .. you could be forgiven for believing they're one-dimensional and obsessed
by old jewellery.
They're not, of course, any more than Freemasons are 'mental' or fly-fishermen, or genealogists or Rubik's Cube afficionados.
Blunder into a Freemasonic hall when they're in the middle of conducting initiations and you might ask: ' Do Freemasons have a mental condition
?'. Because the sight of a gang of men wearing aprons and standing on one leg wearing blindfolds, or being lowered into a basement coffin might
appear to qualify Freemasons as 'mental'.
But meet those same Freemasons during the course of their day and you'd discover them to be normal as pie.
There are those who pay hundreds of dollars for a bit of wire and feathers. And there are those who spend their days, painstakingly constructing
those hundred-dollar lures. They may appear 'mental' to those with no interest in or knowledge of fly-fishing, but isn't it more correct to
described the person who lacks such knowledge as 'ignorant' ?
Posters on ATS attend jury-duty. They work in law-enforcement and the law. They are teachers and some are students. Some are young. Many are
senior citizens. And there are all those in-between.
ATS members are believed when asked to provide witness statements to police, following an accident or crime. ATS members raise children and teach
children. They raise money for charity. They paint and sculpt and write. They're members of society.
And don't you think it's strange that the police will dutifully write down Mr. Jones' account of, for example, a vehicle accident and will accord
Mr.Jones every respect and will call Mr.Jones as witness should the matter proceed to court. When Mr.Jones takes the stand and swears on the Bible
that what he says is the truth, his acount of the incident is solemnly noted. Mr.Jones in fact may play a role in the accused conviction or aquittal.
And at the end of the day, the attending police officers may thank Mr.Jones for providing to the court his lucid recounting of events .. his
assertion that the accident took place at x time of day, at the corner of A and B streets and in his estimation, the vehicle was travelling at
approximately 60 miles per hour. Mr. Jones is thanked for his concise observations and clarity of mind.
NO one accuses Mr.Jones of being 'mental'. Everyone is impressed by Mr.Jones clear recollection of what transpired on the day of the accident. Mr.
Jones is accorded respect. He has been what police describe as 'a good witness'.
Yet Mr.Jones may also post in ATS
. Mr.Jones may, in his posts, recount an incident during which he saw a ghost or other entity, or a
UFO or extraterrestrial being .. an 'alien'.
Mr. Jone may bring the same keen observational powers to his ATS posts as he did whilst a witness in court.
It's the same Mr.Jones. But in court, he's a 'good witness'.
On ATS, he's described as 'mental', as a fabricator, as delusional.
But it's the same Mr.Jones.