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On July 1, 1959, at Ypsilanti State Hospital in Michigan, the social psychologist Milton Rokeach brought together three paraid schizophrenics: Clyde Benson, an elderly farmer and alcoholic; Joseph Cassel, a failed writer who was institutionalized after increasingly violent behavior toward his family; and Leon Gabor, a college dropout and veteran of World War II. The men had one thing in common: each believed himself to be Jesus Christ. Their extraordinary meeting and the two years they spent living together serves as the basis for this poignant and often hilarious investigation into the nature of human identity, belief, and delusion. With velistic momentum and insight, Rokeach takes us into the lives of these three incredible and, despite their common claim, altogether singular personalities who find themselves confronted with the ultimate contradiction conceivable for human beings: more than one person claiming the same identity. In scenes of remarkable power and vividness ( I'm telling you I'm God! You're t! I'm God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost! I kw what I am... ) we see the three Christs argue, proclaim, and soliloquize about the nature of their contentious divinity, and are given a window onto one of the most remarkable psychological case studies on record.
Milton Rokeach (1918-1988) received his B.A. from Brooklyn College and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a professor of social psychology at Michigan State University and later at Washington State University. In 1984 he received the Kurt Lewin Memorial Award from The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. Rick Moody's most recent book is The Four Fingers of Death. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.