( This civil action brought before the High Court, where the plaintiffs were seeking damages for libel, following an article written by Bigot-Johnson describing their club " as a bizarre and alien world, full of misfits, weirdos and strange beings ". Bigot of course elected to defend himself, and this short extract from the transcript of the trial tells the story of what happened. )
Counsel ( for the plaintiffs ) : Do you deny making such a derogatory statement ?
B-J : No....
Counsel : Are you aware that your perception of bridge clubs, and that the Walnut Tree club in particular, as bizarre and alien worlds is simply down to the fact that you....yes you.....have a derealization disorder.
B-J : That's new to me....
Counsel : Well, allow me to call up as an expert witness, Dr. John , who will explain all.
Dr. J : Yes, derealization is the alteration in the perception, or experience, of a world that has now become strange or unreal to anyone, who has this disorder or syndrome. The detachment of realization can be described as an " immaterial substance that separates a person.... like Bigot..... from the physical world he occupies ". He therefore sees his bridge club surroundings through a sensory fog, a clouded pane of glass, or a veil.
Counsel : Interesting....please continue....
Dr. J : Bigot, clearly has this disorder, because despite the degree of familiarity with the club's premises, he finds himself blocking out any identification he has with his surroundings. He is unable to tap into the sensory and psychological data he has stored in his memory about the place, based on his past visits and experiences. This blocking contributes to the difference between his perception of the bridge world he finds himself in ( under derealization )......and what his perception would be in the absence of derealization. Ironically, the more familiar a place is to him, the more unfamiliar it seems, when symptoms of this disorder are particularly acute.
Counsel : So what you are saying is that Bigot is " crackers " , and the comments he made in that article were the rantings of a mentally ill person.....lacking any validity or truth whatsoever.
Dr. J : Not necessarily so....your perception of the Walnut Tree Allotment BC ....and mine... along with many others, would paint a reality picture that sees the club as a typical place, where normal decent folk go to play a friendly game of cards. Bigot , on the other hand, because of his condition, sees the club.... in his reality..... as a bizarre world. From his perception he is telling the truth, but of course everyone else will take his statements to be careless or wicked lies.
B-J : Whoa there.....just hold on a minute.....allow me to have my say. Why, just because my view of reality is different from the majority's that doesn't mean to say I'm the one with the derealization disorder. So you just tell me Dr. Up-your-own-arse John.....is it not the case that you have on your books hundreds of deranged clients who are all bridge players...
Dr. J : ...Yes...
B-J : All of them racked with abnormal psychological, psychiatric, neurological, personality and behavioural disorders....and this situation is, in your very own words, " the tip of the iceberg " .
Dr. J : Yes
B-J : And is the incidence of afflictions found within the bridge playing population so high, it would be correct to describe the situation as bizarre ?
Dr. J : Yes
B-J : And it is also true that people who play bridge ....and get so wound up by even the smallest set backs ......behave in a weird, inhuman way.
Dr. J : Yes....that is a valid point of view.
B-J : And....is not the case that bridge players display alien qualities....when they transform themselves into wild savage animals......who behave in the most appalling and beastly way ?
Dr. J: Yes, I am familiar with the research undertaken on lycanthropy......
B-J : So whose reality is closest to the truth ?
Dr. J : Yours.... I guess
Judge : Hell, I'm agreeing with the Bigot man also. This bridge world you all live in is indeed on another planet. I find for the defendant......and the plaintiffs are to pick up all the costs.
B-J : Well, what a result........bugger me