A 55 year old Iranian schizophrenic has decided that all of her material possessions have insidiously been replaced by doppelgangers. Despite the fact that these objects all are identical to the smallest feature or blemish of her existing possessions, she is convinced that they are lacking the particular quality of belonging to her. She appears to be suffering from a variation of Capgras Syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes people to believe that their friends and family members have been replaced by impersonators.
If you’ve ever read Jack Finney’s The Body Snatchers, you’ll recognize this syndrome. In the novel, there is an epidemic in a small Californian town of what appears to be a viral form of Capgras Syndrome. It is, of course, the Pod People. Another parallel to the novel is that when the pods originally float down from outer space and begin duplicating, they start not by mimicking people but objects.
So is this woman truly delusional? Or is she merely the only Iranian insightful enough to realize that her Sony television isn’t her Sony television, but an ominous alien intelligence mimicking a Sony TV?
Actually, even without extraterrestrial intervention, this woman might be on to something. After I purchased my Dell DJ mp3 player, I was initially pleased, only to discover one morning that it had mysteriously been replaced by a piece of crap. I can’t be alone in that.
Who replaced all my things? [BPC Research Digest]