“He will not be mocked…” but you may be: Stenographer snaps

Crazy stuff, man. Everyone is stressed out. This woman needs to chill. It’s not known what caused her to behave this way but it freaked out onlookers.

Video of House stenographer yanked from floor after Masonic outburst, as lawmakers vote to end shutdown – Boing Boing.

“During House vote a stenographer, seated in House well, goes to microphone on dais, yells, and is removed from the floor.”

The stenographer was chanting “God Bless America” and ranting about freemasons, according to reports.

Fox News identified the stenographer as Dianne Reidy, who went to the Speaker’s Chair while the vote was in progress and began yelling about God and the government. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., banged the gavel to restore order several times, but did not deter Reidy, who screamed “You cannot serve two masters” as she was removed from the floor.

Lawmakers said she was yelling about the House being divided and the devil. Texas Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro said she had a crazed look on her face.

Here is the original AP story.

More: Who Is Dianne Reidy? House Stenographer Yelled ‘This Is Not One Nation Under God’ During Shutdown Vote [VIDEO, AUDIO].

Public Radio International reporter Todd Zwillich quoted Reidy as saying:

“He will not be mocked! This is not one nation under God. It never was. The greatest deception here is this is not one nation under god! It never was. Had it been, it would not have been! The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons! You cannot serve two masters! You cannot serve two masters! Praise be to God, Lord Jesus Christ.”

Yay for zealotry. The world would sure be boring without it. *rolls eyes* I’m starting to wonder about this whole mind-control thing. “Normal” people seem to be snapping. Thoughts?

Tip: Jeb Card

  30 comments for ““He will not be mocked…” but you may be: Stenographer snaps

  1. Dale S
    October 17, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Good for her! No one ever tells these dictators how it is!

  2. October 17, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    I blame the lizard people.

  3. Chris Howard
    October 17, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    “Crazy” always lurks just below the surface, of most of us.

    Mental health is best viewed as being on a continuum. At one end is full-blown illness, and on the other side of the spectrum is perfect health.

    Most of us are never solidly on one end or the other, but rather somewhere in between. The “in between” isn’t a constant fixed place, either. It fluctuates depending on external stressors, duress, and perception.

    Psychotic episodes happen, and most of the time we don’t know (beyond an educated guess) why.

    Opinion: removing one possible undue stressor from government (religion) has always seemed perfectly reasonable to me.

    But then humans aren’t inherently reasonable creatures (which is why the idea of rational self-interest is a joke, psychologically, and philosophically)

    To get this stuff out of government would require our populace to value and cultivate rationality and critical thinking over ideology, and egoism.

  4. spookyparadigm
    October 17, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    More than a few of the comments on the linked pages and others repeat Dale’s post, but unironically.

    If this ends up being mental illness (which seems probable, but perhaps not), the large number of people who use such outbursts or other actions to prop up radical and/or religious/paranormal conspiracy theories, is large.

    And it is related to the shutdown itself. The shutdown is part of the internal battle within the GOP, and that battle is being brought by a populist conspiracy theory-informed section of the electorate. The biggest problem US politics have had for years is that ever since Nixon, one of the two major parties courted a conspiracy-theory, religious and ethnically oriented identity politics concerned chunk of the electorate. For a generation, this chunk worked as dutiful foot soldiers, but starting in the early 1990s, they began to take the party over, pushing the GOP further and further towards domination by culture warriors who see themselves as distinct from the race of the nation. This has finally come to a head and is plain for all to see.

    The mainstreaming of Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, and the larger movement of apocalyptic conspiracy theories cannot be separated from this political tectonic shift. Perhaps with this debacle, the business backers of the GOP will start to try and quench the fire they started. The problem is, with the gerrymandering of House districts to make safe partisan zones, this is not going to go away anytime soon. Conspiracy theory will be a prominent part of conservative electoral politics in the US for at least a decade.

    This isn’t about political views. One can disagree with taxation or government reach or military or domestic stances from the DNC or the business wing of the GOP, or your politics may lie somewhere else. This is about the mainstreaming of radical religious and anti-factual conspiracy rhetoric and theory by people with power and influence, who should have known better, and the damage it is doing to the political culture of the US.

  5. spookyparadigm
    October 17, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    The next to last sentence in my third paragraph above should be “as distinct from the rest of the nation,” not the “race of the nation.” Though my slip is telling given that ethnicity is a significant part of the issue here (as apparently the next on the agenda is immigration, you’re going to see the same breakdown again between TP and the business wing of the GOP, the latter of whom are quite ready to get immigration reform as they say latinos as the future of the GOP, while the TP, well, yeah).

  6. John Nowak
    October 17, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    My first question is how much sleep she’s gotten in the last few weeks.

  7. Chris Howard
    October 17, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    And I would only add, to Spooky’s excellent commentary (as usual), that we don’t have to consider personality disorders, or even mood disorders.

    All we need to consider for questionable mental illness is the tenacious ideological big brother of the lie, AKA delusion.

    Delusional people are, by definition, suffering from a mental illness. It doesn’t matter if there is a grand philosophical, political, or theological ideology behind their delusions.

    We’re seeing the mainstreaming of madness in our politics.

  8. Chris Howard
    October 17, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Actually the sleep question is very valid. Good point.

  9. October 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Last night I saw a reporter (https://twitter.com/jamiedupree) tweeting about this and thought how bizarre it was. He linked to this story, which has an update:
    Her husband apparently didn’t see anything wrong with what she did…

    If I interpret her right (which I have doubts), the woman does have a point (even a broken clock is right twice a day) about “One Nation Under God” which Congress added to the Pledge of Allegiance in the 1950s in reaction to the Commie Scare. Some quick research with Google Ngram (such a neat tool) shows the first appearance of that phrase was in 1936 (sorry for the long link):

  10. neko
    October 17, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Yep, John hit it on the head, it’s a likely thesis. Sleep is underestimated by almost everyone as a factor in accidents, mental episodes, and cognitive errors of all types. Or she may simply have had another sort of chemical imbalance. It’s been a long week at the House, with lots of idiots yelling that federal employees aren’t worth paying for.

    But, it is also possible she is NOT mentally at all.

    I don’t generally use all caps, but I think this is an important point. She may, actually, believe the crazed tripe she is spitting and be completely free of mental disorders. It’s hard to contemplate if you don’t share her mindset, but you can hold such beliefs and not be insane.

    I think more than anything else, the commentary on this story from Fox and Friends is the most telling. Although not terribly bright or honest, they actually seem to entertain similar notions and are are calling this a protest or inspiration from YWH, you pick.

    It’s not impossible she actually believes the world is ending or out of line with her Jesus and figured this was a legitimate act of civil disobedience.

    Finally, I have to say that I still believe people who think conspiracy theories lead to mental illness have it exactly backwards.

    They are subscribing to the same fallacy people who believe Video Games / Movies / Pornography / TV Cause Violence believe in, or as I like to call it the “Mental illness is contagious” fallacy.

    There is no conclusive or even good scientific evidence for CT “feeding” mental illness, even though it’s a go-to idea in pop culture and it makes sense at a gut level, if there is an effect it’s so small it hides near statistical significance or just below it.

    People who have mental illness sometimes construct CT-like ideas, or embrace CT itself, just as sane people do. People inclined to CT sometimes sound like the mentally ill.

    Why? Because they both embrace invalid logic and the conclusions of invalid logic, so they sound the same.

    Thinking “these two things are similar, maybe they are related” is not a bad reflex, and not logically invalid, until you remove the word “maybe”.

    Searching for a link has not found any. If you think about it harder, why would you need a link to begin with? Occam’s razor should tell you “everyone can make up a story, even my 3 YO child makes up bizarre stories sometimes.”

    People with mental illness which leads to violence are generally already afraid, and look for stories that explain their fear. CT can do that, or folklore or TV dramas about Venusian invaders from Mars. It doesn’t really matter, they usually already know their minds are crumbling and, if it comes to it, they will believe they are being humiliated in a giant reality show everyone is in on.

    OR, they will just make up their own fantasy. They need to explain their pain somehow.

  11. October 17, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    I take it back, after reading a transcript and listening to what she actually says I can’t really discern WHAT her argument is:

  12. October 17, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Poor woman! At least when I’ve had my less-than-rational moments, it hasn’t been on nationwide TV.

  13. spookyparadigm
    October 17, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Neko: “Finally, I have to say that I still believe people who think conspiracy theories lead to mental illness have it exactly backwards. ”

    I at least am not saying that. I am saying that people already selling conspiracy theories and paranormal beliefs use the delusions of the ill as creative raw materials (I’ve referenced several cases of this in previous discussions). And that this in turn is not only super exploitative, it means that people with delusions may be encouraged by that community to keep producing more delusions, rather than get mental help. An example of this are TI (targeted individual) support groups and the like, that take the delusions of being watched and turn them into beliefs that others than endorse. Does that contribute to cases like the guy who shot all those people at the Navy Yard, who was clearly versed in TI rhetoric of microwave weapons and such?

    Generally: As you may have noticed in my earlier message, I wasn’t certain this is mental illness or not. Now it is starting to look like it is not. That the politics of the TP base, of the Fed and Gold and evil conspiracy of the sort that swirled around the Ron Paul community and then Glenn Beck, and are now mainstreaming Alex Jones (and on whose sites commenters are rallying to the defense), cannot be easily distinguished from delusions of the mentally ill, is exactly my point.

  14. Chris Howard
    October 17, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    To be clinically correct, a delusion IS a type of illness, DSM TR and all that.

    People may be highly functional but that does not mean they aren’t ill, or at least have poor mental hygiene, with regard to what they’re delusional about.

    Some delusions have more traditionally / culturally respected pedigrees, but that is nothing more than “churching up” a delusion (mental disorder).

    There’s really no way around it, and ethically speaking its wrong to enable a persons delusions.

    Again, I worry less about perceived stigmas surrounding mental illnesses and more about helping those with debilitating beliefs, that help to perpetuate their illnesses.

  15. Chris Howard
    October 17, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    Operational definitions, and all that:

    delusion, in psychology, a rigid system of beliefs with which a person is preoccupied and to which the person firmly holds, despite the logical absurdity of the beliefs and a lack of supporting evidence. Delusions are symptomatic of such mental disorders as paranoia, schizophrenia, and major depression and of such physiological conditions as senile psychosis and delirium. They vary in intensity, extent, and coherence and may represent pathological exaggeration of normal tendencies to rationalization, wishful thinking, and the like. Among the most common are delusions of persecution and grandeur; others include delusions of bodily functioning, guilt, love, and control.

  16. neko
    October 17, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    @Spooky —

    I did read your post, and I do understand, but just to be sure, I was not responding to you with my post ( although echoing part of your post that she may not be crazy… I thought it was worth repeating… ), I was referring to the invitation from our host:

    @ kindly doubt host:

    ” I’m starting to wonder about this whole mind-control thing. “Normal” people seem to be snapping. Thoughts?”

    And to discussions in the past on such topics. The answer to our gracious host is: yes, I think “seems” is the only word in there that keeps it from being a complete fallacy. Seems is very true, but only seems.


    To put it simply a mistaken belief is not a psychological delusion. Most Americans believe in God, but that is not a clinical delusion even though they have no evidence. Even if, in some ways, it may create difficulties. Conflating delusions and misconceptions is also a mistake. If you will, it’s not the conclusions but the thinking behind them.

    I think you are committing a logical error, not committed to a belief. If I followed your line of thinking, either you or I would be “deluded”, wouldn’t we? It creates a false dichotomy.

    @spooky_again —

    However, since you have also invited me to comment…

    Tinfoil hats. Microwaves. Invented by TI groups? Oh, dear.

    I’m not sure, but maybe you are as old as I am, but I can certainly remember tinfoil hats and microwaves being a go-to story of the mentally ill long, long before these “TI” groups existed. Or color television in the US.

    I can’t take that as evidence the shooter was meeting with TI groups, anymore than having Wiccan groups around meant that a mentally ill person who believed magic curse was tormenting them was “versed” in the Wicca “rhetoric”.

    He was hearing voices and feeling something was wrong, and describing it to himself in a way that made… ummm.. sense. To him. that’s all.

    As for TI support groups, they are probably a bad idea, but I’m not totally sure where we are going here… or where we are either… forgive me as I swim a little…

    Are you saying the TI groups are causing the mentally ill to believe their delusions are correct, and not seek help from psychologists? As a follow on, this is also linked to right wing politics ( mainstreaming of CT-like ideas ) and the whole thing forms a larger structure? Follow follow on, that Alex Jones and so on may not cause mental illness directly with their yammering, but their ideas look like mental illness, and feed the TI groups and get general mainstream acceptance, and the TI groups then gather around the mentally ill, feeing these ideas back to them, and they also pick up this stuff from mainstream news, making them shoot up their offices and co-workers, or etc, instead of seeking treatment?

    Does that sort of sum it up?

    All and all this is not the best facility for this sort of discussion perhaps we should to elsewhere before these comments go longer. I am open to suggestion, but I know of no other way to contact you. I can create an ID on the skepticsforum … (http://www.skepticforum.com/). I don’t have one now, I used to but I forgot the password and abandoned the email it used.

    Hopefully neko isn’t taken.

    I bought their Skeptic Inquirer rag at the B&N last week with that gift card I can’t seem to use up, so they owe me for that. In my mind. Anyway, it’s free of charge, and this conversation would be on topic there. Although I’d rather talk about the basabasa, personally. Sadly, sightings are rare, so there is little to say. Dibs on the name, though, if neko is taken.

    If you like, just start a forum thread and comment here and anyone interested my hie there, forthwith. Tally ho.

  17. October 17, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    I think spookyparadigm has absolutely hit the nail on the head here.That is to say ‘spooky’ seems to be channeling my brain,so of course is 100% correct 😉
    But seriously, I doubt that this person is truly mentally ill,as I have several acquaintances on Facebook that regularly and prolifically spout this same type of delusional argle-bargle . The lack of sleep and high emotional stakes probably did have a part in why she decided to ‘break bad’ and disrupt the chamber,but my guess is that what she said in a public forum on that day,most likely is what she privately rails about to her friends and family on a day to day basis.

  18. spookyparadigm
    October 17, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    Well, here’s the answer. And no, it’s not lack of sleep, keep reading


  19. October 17, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    So she was, sort of, speaking in tongues I guess.

  20. Chris Howard
    October 17, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    Stress plus lack of sleep = psychotic episode. Short lived, but technically still a sign of duress.

    I think there’s a misunderstanding of what constitutes an illness. It doesn’t have to manifest, or be present for an extended period of time to be classified as a psychological episode/disorder.

    It’s like if a person gets food poisoning that only lasts and hour. The short duration and lack of severity of the food poisoning do not disqualify it from being an illness. The same is true of mental illness.

  21. October 17, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    Sharon Hill wrote, “I’m starting to wonder about this whole mind-control thing. ‘Normal’ people seem to be snapping. Thoughts?”

    In his groundbreaking ‘The Search for the Manchurian Candidate’, writer/researcher John Marks noted, “While I was doing the research for this book, many people approached me claiming to be victims of CIA drugging plots. Although I listened carefully to all and realized that some might be authentic victims, I had no way of distinguishing between someone acting strangely and someone made to act strangely.”

    There it is. That’s the rub.

    Solutions include accurately differentiating between evidence and proof, practicing constructive debate protocol during discussions, and conducting and presenting quality research. A great deal of information is available from professional, quality sources that establishes precedence for state-sponsored behavior modification ventures. However, that of course does not indicate every anecdotal claim is accurate or that every bizarre human action was intentionally induced.

    Finding the truth will continue to come back around to involving quality, systematic research, and accurately identifying differences between beliefs and facts, as are the cases in so many other topics as well. Are there actual connections between certain events, or is it just being assumed so? Can actual proof of someone’s intentions be presented, or are theories based more on speculation than evidence that can be cited and made available?

    Those are examples of the questions that must be resolved, as Mr. Marks did in his work, in order to turn speculation into fact. Such issues must be embraced and addressed head on, not avoided. That is the case whether we are talking conspiracy theories, alien abduction, Bigfoot or anything else. Aversion from objections has never been and never will be on the path to the sale. Find them, address them and close the deal.

    I appreciate that Doubtful News does a good job at keeping such concepts front and center. It’s not always easy to do.

    Is there anything to the mind-control thing? It depends on who you ask, which makes it all the more important to note their research and reasoning abilities. As for me, I think further research is justified, else I would not have been conducting it.

  22. neko
    October 17, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    Spooky —

    Saw the articles to me. Amusing that one was in Fashion section. Well, the important thing is what it says, of course. And of course, it’s the fashion section of the NYT. So.

    And what it says is .. not news. Really, this is nothing new, not even the media attempting to make something new out of something old.

    Groups like this have been around in the last century and probably the last millennium. Other names were used for them, but people with crazy ideas have always gathered in groups, especially if their ideas were political or conspiratorial.

    The only thing that’s a little updated with these TI groups is the sort of AA support group format, and use of social media. The former is irony on the onion level, the latter is simply irrelevant. Flyers about a lecture meeting at the local howard Johnson’s or posts on face-book, what’s the difference? I’m not sure what I’m supposed to take away.

    Finding these is more convenient than it used to be?

    The other thing, I guess, is some delusional people “present well”? I know. But again, I’m not sure where you are going with this.

    So… OK.

    The other article… not addressed to me, so forgive me, but I read it anyway. This answers the question, and It’s not a lack of sleep?

    But, Sppoky, he husband admits she lacks sleep in the article, doesn’t he?

    I can’t even guess where the answer is. I’ve got to know… what do you mean?

    We have the testimony of here, frankly, unreliable husband. I can’t trust a word he is saying, he seems to lack a sense of the gravity of the situation. Why is he even talking to the media? Didn’t she just risk her job and embarrass herself on national television? Well, maybe not in his mind. But in any case, he should probably say nothing right now to the media.

    To me, She could be utterly crazy, judgement impaired due to insomnia, or totally, utterly sane.

    She just told her bosses off, live on national television, and said bosses are officially the most unpopular congress in memory, and she told them off from her personal God. And, for bonus, she told off America and the freemasons too.

    I’ve quit a few jobs, but, ummm, I can’t even imagine how high she is flying right now. And, she’s a self-made martyr for fox news to adore, a new career lies ahead. Or, maybe she’s utterly deluded and hearing voices, literally.


  23. Chris Howard
    October 18, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    It’s actually pretty simple.

    If one has a false belief, but then discovers that they were wrong, and then changes their belief to conform under pain of said new evidence then that isn’t delusional. That’s being open minded.

    If one is arguing from ignorance, and refuses to consider new evidence even though they know that they’re wrong then that’s ego.

    If, however, one sincerely believes a falsehood, despite good evidence to the contrary, that is the very definition of a psychological disorder i.e., dilusion.

    So if one claims that the earth is flat, despite all good evidence to the contrary that is delusional, and therefore a psychological disorder.

    Creationism, racism, climate change denial and Conspiracy Theory deny the best evidence, and are therefor delusional beliefs.

    So while it may be true that believers in said delusions aren’t all suffering from a axis specific diagnosis it is true that they are suffering from delusions. That means disorder. Probably NOS (Not Otherwise Specified)

  24. Gem
    October 18, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    FOX & these politicians who have been encouraging Evangelical fanatics in their apocalyptic rants & to believe our President is the Anti-Christ are pushing these zealots to mental breakdowns. I’m afraid we’ll see even more extreme examples of this next year.

  25. October 18, 2013 at 7:43 AM

    Jack, well obviously it was a joke. But an outside observer falling for the availability heuristic might see a pattern and will probably assume “there’s something to this”.

  26. neko
    October 18, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    @Chris —

    Chris, what you are saying is interesting. It is simple. That’s a real silver bullet.

    Anyone who disagrees with indisputable truth is, literally, deluded. Oh, and the DSM backs you up on that. You have proven that, to paraphrase a certain fictional ship’s captain, with geometric logic.

    Also, clinical delusion is the same as the looser meaning in day to day English. So, it’s all the same. Homophones, meanings, same.

    That’s some thinking Orwell would be proud of. But I don’t think most psychologists would agree with you, my friend. What you have done is perform a very simple, very old rhetorical trick. But this is not logically sound, it’s only sounds logical, as my old professor would say.

  27. JeffJeff
    October 18, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Perhaps mental illness is not a continuum that is scaled from Health to Illness, but from Illness to Health to Illness. In order to maintain my own “health” I must maintain many delusions which help to constrain my actions. Delusions such as, belief in truth, justice, harmony, love, ego, significance of self, etc. Without these delusions the world appears to be a different place, often harsh and threatening. Perhaps “health” is only an amalgam of generally accepted delusions that we collectively call Health.
    Just ’cause you’re crazy, doesn’t mean you’re ill and vise versa, just ’cause you’re healthy doesn’t mean you’re not crazy.

  28. October 18, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    Several have commented and speculated on Sharon’s initial comment about mind control and what is normal. Mind control is real, but it may not be what most people think it is. This cheesy but classic video demonstrate how it works in “high demand, coercive” groups, yet it doesn’t mention any specific (existing) group – it’s 12 minutes long, and shows lots of techniques described in many books on cults:


    If one goes through enough such programming, it may be “normal” that one joins the group.

  29. Axzaxis
    October 29, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    “La mente es un laberinto en el que cualquiera puede perderse.”

    The mind is a labyrinth in which anyone can become lost.

Comments are closed.