Probing the Psyches of Mass Murderers

August 17, 2019

James S. Gordon, MD, contributed an editorial letter to The New York Times on the topic of mental illness, ideologies, and the understanding of how to stop mass murder.

Dr. Gordon writes of his experience having “known and treated a number of violent extremists, including mass murderers,” suggesting that “immersion in ideologies” rather than mental illness leads to extreme violence. These ideologies can create a “fearful, rigid objectification” that “allows violent extremists of many political and religious persuasions to cavalierly murder those whom they do not consider to be fully human.” He concludes by suggesting we “counter this way of thinking and acting by offering convincing and emotionally stirring narratives and examples of inclusion, by promoting mutual understanding and building community.”

Read more from Dr. Gordon and the other contributors at NYT here.