The goal of the WC is to clearly paint LHO as a man whose personality and mental composition was rapidly decomposing up to the time of the JFK assassination.
He certainly has been described by the WC supporters as a man who is psychologically compromised. That would include authors like Guy Russo, Gerald Posner and Norman Mailer.
Certainly their portraits of Oswald’s mental makeup is compelling, especially when you throw in phrases like schizoid features.
When you hear that word schizoid, it has an effect on you. It must be the those hard consonants, the K and Z sounds that conjure up the image of fracturing glass.
Unfortunately Oswald wasn’t subject to that effect, at least not in his interview on WDSU radio in New Orleans, nor his ability to compose himself after his arrest.
He handled himself well in that radio interview according to Ed Butler. You can listen for yourself. His thinking doesn’t sound disorganized as well. Here is the transcript of the debate.
Here in this video, you can watch Oswald yourself. This is a short clip.
Ask yourself whether this man is well-spoken or not.
Even after his arrest, he is remarkably composed. He asks for representation. He seems aware of his rights. He knows enough of a police lineup composition to protest its unfairness.
Let’s return to that word schizoid because it’s thrown out a lot in the common press. It’s a compelling word, but what does it actually mean?
Lets’s begin with the definition from Wikipedia. That seems like a fair place to start. As a professional in medicine, I have found Wikipedia to be fairly reliable as a starting point. It’s fairly consistent with medical information found in traditional medical journals. I have even discovered a remarkable consistency between Wikipedia and test questions that are asked in mock board examinations.
Schizoid personality disorder, often abbreviated as SPD or SzPD is a personality disorder characterized by a lack of interest in social relationships, a tendency toward a solitary or sheltered lifestyle, secretiveness, emotional coldness, detachment and apathy. Affected individuals may be unable to form intimate attachments to others and simultaneously possess a rich and elaborate but exclusively internal fantasy world. Other associated features include stilted speech, a lack of deriving enjoyment from most activities, feeling as though one is an “observer” rather than a participant in life, an inability to tolerate emotional expectations of others, apparent indifference when praised or criticized, a degree of asexuality, and idiosyncratic moral or political beliefs. Symptoms typically start in late childhood or adolescence.
Well … this sounds like me. It doesn’t sound like it applies to LHO at all.
- A lack of interest in social relationships. Everyone agrees that Oswald loved his children. He loved other children. He played with them every day.
- A tendency toward a solitary or sheltered lifestyle. Oswald certainly doesn’t always go into his room at the end of the day. He is seen happily smiling on the streets of New Orleans handing out pamphlets with other people. Who are these people? We are told he is a loner. We are told he is the only member of the FPCC. Apparently not.
- When he is at different functions in Dallas in 1962 and 1963, he seems to be quite the social butterfly, speaking about communism. He engages Volkmar Schmidt for a few hours in lively conversation at George DeMohrenschildt’s party. At the Katya Ford party he spends hours talking to a Japanese girl, Yaeko Okui, Apparently this didn’t go down well with Marina.
- Secretiveness. In what way? He openly publishes his aliases, assuming he was the one who set them up, to the public. He prints his name and address on his flyers in New Orleans. He doesn’t hide his communist credentials at all. He tells everyone that he was a defector. And, if we are to believe the WC story, he carried a rifle openly by foot or by bus on his way to the General Walker shooting.
- Apathy. He is openly passionate about his feelings for socialism and communism. Everybody knows where he stands. Shouting out Viva Fidel to ordinary passersby doesn’t sound like a person who couldn’t care less.
- Emotional coldness. Detachment. Aloofness. I don’t see this. Apparently Marina and Lee fought constantly. Does an emotionally detached, aloof person engage in such lengthy, combative behavior.
- Stilted speech. There is ample audio evidence that his speech is not stilted.
- A rich and elaborate but exclusively internal fantasy world. I don’t see where this has been established at all. Saying it doesn’t it make it so. As for those who might think his desire to go to Cuba fantastic and unrealistic, why might this be? LHO finagled his way into the Soviet Union; Cuba seems like a cinch. Many Cuban expats and Americans had been running secret missions into Cuba for years; why not LHO?
- Idiosyncratic moral or political beliefs. Oswald was heterosexual; his Marine Corps mate, Nelson Delgado, testified as much. He didn’t drink. Apparently he didn’t smoke either. His political belief in communism hardly seems aberrant.
IF LHO is so dysfunctional, how is he able to outwit the Secret Service, the DPD, and other assorted teams of professionals that number in the thousands?
Finally, why do Warren defenders preoccupy themselves so much with the psychological health of Oswald when bigger fish to fry such as Allen Dulles are far more worthy? That Norman Mailer would even dare to discuss someone else’s psychological deficiencies is beyond laughable.
As a matter of fact, Norman Mailer as an adult nearly killed his wife with a knife; and he was known as being handy with his fists. LHO as a boy chased a family member with a pen knife but did no damage. He also had a few minor skirmishes in his life but not to a degree that seems noteworthy.
One could easily suspect that the psychological health of LHO might be more stable than that of his critics.
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