The era of Trump and his rallies have led to people attending these events making the news going from total obscurity to having their few moments of celebrity while exposing to the public their diagnosable psychiatric disorders, often these days some sort of delusional condition. When they hold public office reporting about their outlandish beliefs (hello space lasers, dangerous pizza parlors, and QAnon) can be justified. I think it is debatable whether the mainstream media should give credence to the views of such people by putting the spotlight on them. They seem to be following the “if it bleeds it leads” policy which local TV stations used to be criticized for. See article about what the term means from News Literacy Matters here: newsliteracymatters.com/...
The media gives regular citizens expressing fringe beliefs, though not as fringe as rational people would like, a forum when they single them out. Most likely it is after interviewing a number of people in a rally crowd to find someone expressing the most far-out beliefs. In the instance I am writing about this was easy since the woman was wearing a shirt with a photo of Melania Trump, Princess Diana, or either Michael Jackson or Jackie Kennedy Onassis in the middle I couldn't tell though I think it looks more like the later.
I also couldn't quite make out what the lettering on the t-shirt said though the first word seems to be “Divine”.
See update for the answer to the mystery about this t-shirt.
For every interview with someone at a Trump rally who appears to be mentally rational if gullible and under the thrall of cult leader Trump, it seems to me that there are two or three who express something irrational and indicative of having a mental disorder. In fact it seems that there are two ways to get noticed at a Trump rally. The first is by not being white and the second is by wearing something that makes you stand out.
This woman making the news today was interviewed by a reporter for Right Side Broadcasting. The video was tweeted by Ron Filipkowski (below) and the story picked up by media as mainstreams Newsweek (www.newsweek.com/...) and MSN (www.msn.com/...) The later article says Michael Jackson was depicted on the t-shirt but Filipkowski tweeted “Woman at Trump rally explains why she believes Princess Diana and Jackie O are still alive.” (Update) It turns out MSN got it wrong and Jackie not Michael Jackson is on the shirt.) I saw the story first on Rawstory (www.rawstory.com/...)
The woman referenced Michael Jackson’s 123 song ( www.songlyrics.com/... ). She believes that verses like the following have special meaning:
Abc, easy as 123
Or simple as do, re, mi
Abc, 123, baby, you and me girl
Abc, easy as 123
Or simple as do, re, mi
Abc, 123, baby, you and me
She says that when people start learning “1-2-3, a-b-c” which she says Michael Jackson talked about and then adds “when people start to understand gematria, they know how the numbers work...” While I knew about numerology (en.wikipedia.org/...) I never heard of the term gematria. None of the articles I found went into this.
Gematria is the practice of assigning a numerical value to a name, word or phrase according to an alphanumerical cipher. A single word can yield several values depending on the cipher which is used.
Michael Jackson, as a web search of his name with gematria attests, figures in the lore of all of this. For example this frequently updated blog, gematrinator.com/… , finds “proof” that numbers governed Jackson’s life:
Warning -- after reading this list of celebrities who believe in numerology you may never be able to think about them the same way again: alternative-science.org/… Jackson, being dead, isn’t on the list and I couldn’t find out if he believed in it.
I spent considerable time before posting this diary in an attempt to find where this t-shirt came from so I could post a better photo of it. I couldn’t tell for certain if the individual in the center was Jackie Kennedy Onassis or Michael Jackson who the rally goer references.
Thanks to commenter CailleachNiAlba I found the t-shirt.
I wonder why the person that chose to put a mean looking photo of Melania on the shirt did so. She hardly looks divine. Perhaps they had a hidden agenda.
In the previous poll I asked who readers thought was on the t-shirt. Most people who cared by far thought it was Jackie.
The prevalence of delusional disorder has been considered rare with “the lifetime morbid risk of delusional disorder in the general population has been estimated to range from 0.05 to 0.1% (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...). Since the emergence of QAnon and the Trump cult experts like psychiatrist Bandy Lee (“The ‘Shared Psychosis’ of Donald Trump and His Loyalists --Forensic psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee explains the outgoing president’s pathological appeal and how to wean people from it” in Scientific American here: www.scientificamerican.com/...) and my own observations as a retired clinician lead me to believe that people suffering from delusional disorders represent a larger percentage of the population. Hopefully studies will be done to get more accurate numbers.
The new poll is about whether the mainstream media presents a skewed or unbalanced view of the fringe beliefs of the general population.