Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Aug 27th, 2010

Summary: A total of 46 students and nine teachers were treated in a Kabul, Afghanistan, hospital after what an official at the education ministry described as “an apparent poisoning” attack by “the enemies of women’s education.” However, the pattern of the reported illness bears the hallmark of a group psychological reaction known as mass hysteria. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on August 27, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) announced a joint town hall forum with Rep. Ron Paul as her guest. He also reported a summer of setbacks for the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan, with rising casualties, a divisive election, and growing public doubt about the war.

Jun 12th, 2010

Summary: About 50 Afghan schoolgirls became ill and were taken to a hospital after a suspected gas poisoning in their school in Ghazni, southwestern Afghanistan — the latest in a spate of similar incidents, some of which have the hallmarks of mass hysteria. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on June 12, 2009 Aubrey Immelman featured the daily summary of security developments in Iraq, as reported by Reuters.

Apr 25th, 2010

Summary: Scores of Afghan schoolgirls in Kunduz were “knocked unconscious” or made ill this weekend by “suspected poison gas attacks” on their schools and authorities are blaming insurgents who oppose educating girls. However, according to clinical political psychologist Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., “authorities would be well advised to investigate the alleged poison gas attacks as a possible case of mass hysteria, or mass psychogenic illness.” … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on April 25, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee created a Web site devoted to U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s false and controversial statements, intended as a virtual “truth squad” to expose Bachmann’s “fantastic claims and lies … that can quickly be disproven.”