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MI5 Persecution: Hotchkies FAQ (1476)

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Date: 18 Jan 2007 23:18:57 GMT
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From: (Iain L M Hotchkies) Newsgroups: uk.misc,,uk.politics,,soc.culture.british Subject: Corley FAQ (v0.1)
Date: Sat May 4 19:30:34 1996

Mike Corley FAQ
version 0.1
first edition 5th May 1996
last updated 5th May 1996
Iain L M Hotchkies

Mike Corley is a 'net personality' who has been active on the following newsgroups (uk.misc,,uk.politics,,soc.culture.british) since....? Well, at least as far back as the summer of 1995.

He posts long tracts, the tone of which approximates that which one might expect from a reasonably intelligent paranoid schizophrenic.

No details are known of Mike's 'real' personal life or background. Once would presume that he came from a reasonable family and was reasonably well educated before the first symptoms of schizophrenia began.

Schizophrenia: Clinical features
(from the Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry, 2nd Edition)

The acute syndrome

Some of the main clinical features are illustrated by a short description of a patient. A previously healthy 20-year-old male student had been behaving in an increasingly odd way. At times he appeared angry and told his friends that he was being persecuted; at other times he was seen to be laughing to himself for no apparent reason. For several months he had seemed increasingly preoccupied with his own thoughts. His academic work had deteriorated. When interviewed, he was restless and awkward. He described hearing voices commenting on his actions and abusing him. He said he believed that the police had conspired with his university teachers to harm his brain with poisonous gases and take away his thoughts. He also believed that other people could read his thoughts.

This case history illustrates the following common features of acute schizophrenia: prominent persecutory ideas with accompanying hallucinations; gradual social withdrawal and impaired performance at work; and the odd idea that other people can read one‘s thoughts.

In appearance and behaviour some patients with acute schizophrenia are entirely normal. Others seem awkward in their social behaviour, preoccupied and withdrawn, or otherwise odd. Some patients smile or laugh without obvious reason. Some appear to be constantly perplexed. Some are restless and noisy, or show sudden and unexpected changes of behaviour. Others retire from company, spending a long time in their rooms, perhaps lying immobile on the bed apparently preoccupied in thought.

The speech often reflects an underlying thought disorder. In the early stages, there is vagueness in the patient‘s talk that makes it difficult to grasp his meaning. Some patients have difficulty in dealing with abstract ideas (a phenomenon called concrete thinking). Other patients become preoccupied with vague pseudoscientific or mystical ideas.

When the disturbance is more severe two characteristic kinds of abnormality may occur. Disorders of the stream of thought include pressure of thought, poverty of thought, and thought blocking. Thought withdrawal (the conviction that one‘s thoughts have been taken away) is sometimes classified as a disorder of the stream of thought, but it is more usefully considered as a form of delusion.

Loosening of association denotes a lack of connection between ideas. This may be detected in illogical thinking (knight‘s move‘) or talking past the point (Vorbeireden). In the severest form of loosening the structure and coherence of thinking is lost, so that utterances are jumbled (word salad or verbigeration). Some patients use ordinary words in unusual ways (paraphrasias or metonyms), and a few coin new words (neologisms).

Abnormalities of mood are common, and of three main kinds. First, there may be sustained abnormalities of mood such as anxiety, depression, irritability, or euphoria. Secondly, there may be blunting of affect, sometimes known as flattening of affect. Essentially this is sustained emotional indifference or diminution of emotional response. Thirdly, there is incongruity of affect. Here the emotion is not necessarily diminished, but it is not in keeping with the mood that would ordinarily be expected. For example, a patient may laugh when told about a bereavement. This third abnormality is often said to be highly characteristic of schizophrenia, but different interviewers often disagree about its presence.

Auditory hallucinations are among the most frequent symptoms. They may take the form of noises, music, single words, brief phrases, or whole conversations. They may be unobtrusive or so severe as to cause great distress. Some voices seem to give commands to the patient. Some patients hear their own thoughts apparently spoken out loud either as they think them (Gedankenlautwerden) or immediately afterwards (echo de la pensee). Some voices seem to discuss the patient in the third person. Others comment on his actions. As described later, these last three symptoms have particular diagnostic value.

Visual hallucinations are less frequent and usually occur with other kinds of hallucination. Tactile, olfactory, gustatory, and somatic hallucinations are reported by some patients; they are often interpreted in a delusional way, for example hallucinatory sensations in the lower abdomen are attributed to unwanted sexual interference by a persecutor.

Delusions are characteristic. Primary delusions are infrequent, and difficult to identify with certainty. Delusions may originate against a background of so-called primary delusional mood - Wahnstimmung. Persecutory delusions are common, but not specific to schizophrenia. Less common but of greater diagnostic value are delusions of reference and of control, and delusions about the possession of thought. The latter are delusions that thoughts are being inserted into or withdrawn from one‘s mind, or broadcast‘ to other people.

In acute schizophrenia orientation is normal. Impairment of attention and concentration is common, and may produce apparent difficulties in remembering, though memory is not impaired. So-called experiences result from illness, but usually ascribe them to the malevolent actions of other people. This lack of insight is often accompanied by unwillingness to accept treatment.

Schizophrenic patients do not necessarily experience all these symptoms. The clinical picture is variable, as described later in this chapter. The table below lists the most frequent symptoms found in one large survey.

The most frequent symptoms of acute schizophrenia (World Health Organization 1973)

Symptom                    Frequency (%)

Lack of insight                97
Auditory hallucinations        74
Ideas of reference             70
Suspiciousness                 66
Flatness of affect             66
Voices speaking to the patient 65
Delusional mood                64
Delusions of persecution       64
Thought alienation             52
Thoughts spoken aloud          50

Various theories exist about Mike Corley:

  1. he exists and is disturbed and has net access and for reasons uncertain spams a selected number of newsgroups on a regular basis - if you are reading this FAQ then you will almost certainly have seen one of his posts.
  2. Mike Corley is a 'virtual schizophrenic'. Mike displays the relevant features so well that some people think he may be a construction of one or more people with intimate knowledge of mental illness and the mentally ill. Perhaps they wish to monitor the effects on the internet of the posts of a schizophrenic. Moving into X-Files territory a bit, ourselves, here.

Mike's posts attract different responses:

  1. cruel, humourous, dismissive posts from those who've seen his posts many times and have become generally irritated by his behaviour while accepting that he probably has a mental illness.
  2. posts from Corley-newbies - those who have come across relateviely few of Mike's posts. These may be humorouous or disbelieving.
  3. posts from people who have been sucked in (for one reason or another) into Mike's Wild & Wacky World (TM)

That's enough for now.

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