[IWAR] Atrocity 'syndrome'

From: Michael Wilson (MWILSON/0005514706at_private)
Date: Fri Dec 19 1997 - 16:21:22 PST

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                      Mass killers may suffer from deadly syndrome
          Copyright ) 1997 Nando.net
          Copyright ) 1997 Reuters
       LONDON (December 19, 1997 6:30 p.m. EST http://www.nando.net) - From
       Rwanda to Cambodia mass killers may have fallen victim to a deadly
       syndrome that turns them into callous murderers, research showed on
       Sufferers from so-called "Syndrome E" show no emotion about killing
       frequently. They can spend the day herding children into gas chambers
       and then return home to supper with their families.
       "The transformation of groups of previously non-violent individuals into
       repetitive killers of defenceless members of society has been a
       recurring phenomenon throughout history," said Professor Itzhak Fried of
       the UCLA Medical Center at the University of California.
       Fried, writing in The Lancet scientific magazine, said this sinister
       transformation is characterised by a set of symptoms that suggest a
       common syndrome.
       These repeat killers on a mass scale are obsessed with beliefs directed
       against minorities. "Metaphors such as 'cleansing' are often used to
       justify violence," he said.
       The killers are not seized by a burst of frenzied battlefield emotion.
       Instead they kill calmly "with flat effect."
       They show no outward signs of acting abnormally and rapidly become
       desensitised to the enormity of their crimes, Fried said.
       "They may lead a normal family life while in parallel engaging in
       killing of families," he wrote.
       Fried believed that manifestations of Syndrome E were due to what he
       called a "cognitive fracture" between various parts of the brain that
       determine emotion, mood and reaction to events.
       The neurosurgeon argued that it was vital to isolate victims showing
       signs of Syndrome E because their blood lust could be contagious to
       others who might be similarly inclined.
       "Prompt diagnosis would be of paramount importance as prevention may be
       effective only in the early stages," he said.

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