Friday, July 31, 2009

The Product Of Fear-Mongering

There was a bit of excitement in Fort Worth Wednesday afternoon. Hundreds of people evacuated the Bank of America building, and the Fire Department was called to help along with several ambulances. The Fire Department had been told there was a carbon monoxide leak in the building -- an invisible and odorless gas that can be fatal.

It all started when two ladies became dizzy, and reported that to their supervisor. The supervisor then made an announcement " over the building’s PA system saying that anyone feeling these symptoms should exit the building to an outside location." Many of the approximately 2,000 employees went to the parking lot, and emergency personnel were notified.

Twelve people were taken to the hospital by ambulance, while another twenty-two went to the hospital on a city bus. About 110 people were evaluated and released at the scene. The Fire Department used their detection equipment to find any dangerous gases or chemicals in the building, and what they found was -- perfume.

That's right, it seems the first two women had gotten dizzy because they were close to someone spraying a very liberal amount of perfume (brand unknown). After that, Fire Department officials said "psychosomatic behavior" took over and a lot of people convinced themselves they were sick.

According to psychologist Hap Klinefelter, "Emotions are real contagious. A lot of times people will reason from their feelings. It introduces the power of suggestion and it makes them real susceptible to misinterpreting physical cues or it will distort their perceptions."

Psychologist Mary Lynn Crow agreed, saying, "Your thinking can actually cause you to feel pain or discomfort. Fear is one of the most contagious emotions there is. When you say to people, 'Hey, there is a contaminant in the building and it is making people sick,’ then it easy for them to feel accordingly."

I can't help but think this kind of hysteria is a product of the fear-mongering Bush administration. Bush and Cheney wanted Americans to be afraid, because that allowed them to seize more and more power -- power our Founding Fathers never meant for government to have. Bush and his cohorts had people thinking terrorists were hiding under every bed, and no one in America is safe.

The result of that kind of fear-mongering is 34 people going to the hospital and emergency personnel being called because someone used a bit too much perfume. I think we need to get a grip on ourselves.

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