Visit Jerusalem, Think You Are The Messiah: The Jerusalem Syndrome

I wonder if this sort of thing happened to a certain carpenter say around 2,000 years ago? Writes Chris Nashawaty in WIRED:

Shortly after his 40th birthday, the life of a man we’ll call Ronald Hodge took a strange turn. He still looked pretty good for his age. He had a well-paying job and a devoted wife. Or so he thought. Then, one morning, Hodge’s wife told him she no longer loved him. She moved out the next day. A few weeks later, he was informed that his company was downsizing and that he would be let go. Not knowing where to turn, Hodge started going to church again.

Even though he’d been raised in an evangelical household, it had been years since Hodge had thought much about God. But now that everything seemed to be falling apart around him, he began attending services every week. Then every day. One night, while lying in bed, he opened the Bible and began reading. He’d been doing this every night since his wife left. And every time he did, he would see the same word staring back at him—the same four syllables that seemed to jump off the page as if they were printed in buzzing neon: Jerusalem. Hodge wasn’t a superstitious man, he didn’t believe in signs, but the frequency of it certainly felt like … something. A week later, he was 30,000 feet over the Atlantic on an El Al jet to Israel…

Read More: WIRED

7 Comments on "Visit Jerusalem, Think You Are The Messiah: The Jerusalem Syndrome"

  1. Comedian Marc Maron wrote a pretty funny book on this topic. The title was, appropriately enough, “Jerusalem Syndrome.”

  2. kowalityjesus | Jun 5, 2012 at 8:07 pm |

    yes I am sure that Jesus was delirious, as you are implying.  And by extension every message of humility and peace that he spoke is substance-less.  Also I am sure that the power of faith that he has brought to so many is also an illusion.  The martyrs, the saints, the ascetics, his apostles, his disciples, the clergy….If only they had read that book, then the entire Christian religion and all the fervent zealots that install faith and perform miracles would deflate into oblivion. 

    I don’t mind incredulity at religious fervor as a phenomenon.  I do mind maliciously selecting facts and blatantly ignoring the numinous to build a trial-lawyer case against cultural traditions and people’s faith. 

    So, there are some unexplained things which happen to people in the Holy Land.  Has it ever occurred to you that there might actually be some empirical experiences which have elicited this nomination?  Would it be too much to say that there is actually something TO the Abrahamic religions? 

    • Anarchy Pony | Jun 5, 2012 at 10:40 pm |

      There’s not. They have done nothing good for the world at all. 

    • Anonymous | Jun 6, 2012 at 6:18 am |

      …you mean Jesus came up with a common sense of morality or is it just a spin off of budism?yeah, they tortured a bunch of people, burned witches, killed gays, enslaved blacks, began wars, tainted politics and molested kids.
      They were truly awesome.

      • kowalityjesus | Jun 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm |

        Your argument is a red herring, trite, and a lazy copout.  There are hypocrites in any group.  Whatever ethnic or religious group you are arguing from (secular atheism, Islam, Hinduism, etc.) has points where rigorous social mores overwhelm principle. 

        Every historical people that we look at from a modern, narrow-minded, secular-liberal perspective has some degree of foolish beliefs and mores.  But also in every tradition, we must make effort to understand the perspective which has taken foothold.  Human wisdom is not something you can manufacture; traditions that develop over centuries have ideas that cannot easily be dismissed, especially by the dull.

        Because you anonymously bash my beliefs it doesn’t give you a higher platform, it makes you a coward and a hater.  I feel as though I am casting my pearls before swine.

  3. maybe thats what happened to jesus in the first place, but he just happen to know a lot of magic tricks.

  4. Anonymous | Jun 6, 2012 at 6:14 am |

    “The majority of people who suffer from Jerusalem syndrome have some psychiatric history before they get here.”I like how the article indirectly calls evangelical Christians crazy.Seriously, when will the time come to lock up these nut cases in an asylum. Its a thin line between crazy and religion. 

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