The paranoiac, like most psychotics, is infested with demon circuits1. He is under a heavy battery of controls. Large sections of his analyzer are sawed off by circuitry. Occasionally you are made to feel that you are talking to a person who is very convincing and who has a great deal to offer, but you sometimes feel there is something wrong. You don’t quite know what it is. He may not be a psychotic paranoiac, but he probably has psychotic tendencies. He causes a great deal of trouble but very often disguises it by trying to be a great deal of help. But the help he gives causes enormous trouble.
A very clever paranoiac was Hitler. He was going to help everybody out but he wound up with everybody dead. It just sort of happens that way. These are the hardest psychotics to detect, and they illustrate a special psychosis of criminality that is somewhat neglected. The police forces are left with this whole problem on their hands. Criminality is a definite psychosis2; it is contagious and thoroughly as dangerous as any other psychosis running around loose in society.
Dianetically, psychoses fall into two categories: inaccessibility because of irrationality, and inaccessibility because of uncooperativeness. The second breaks down into two classes: obviously uncooperative and covertly uncooperative. You substitute that for “covertly hostile” and you will have a clear understanding of that psychotic. The term “covertly hostile” has permeated psychiatry for a long time. They talk about covert hostility at the point where it comes into a psychotic classification, that is, where the person is no longer able to handle himself in the environment. That might well be the definition of psychotic, which is a terribly general term. You know them when you see them. The mind can measure these things sometimes when definitions can’t. The mind is very good at saying how red is a red bicycle, and in just such a way it can say how psychotic is a psychotic.
Rationality, of course, is one long spectrum, which at its bottom finds a person unable to solve at any time, ever, any problem relating to his own existence in his own environment. Just above that is the person who is occasionally completely unable to solve any problem of any kind in his environment. This is the acute psychotic, who is only occasionally that way; but he is just as psychotic as the chronic psychotic, the person who is that way all the time. Psychosis in its acute state, restimulated, is fully as dangerous as the chronic state, in fact, more so. Whereas we are warned about the chronic psychotic, the acute psychotic baffles us. A person goes into a screaming rage suddenly and does something, then the law calls it“crime passionel” or something of the sort.
Acute psychosis, a temporary break which will patch up afterwards, is most prevalent in the bracket of criminality. Criminals are normally acute psychotics. That is to say, they will occasionally break, and in the psychotic break they will do antisocial things.
There is another classification of psychotics: the one who is dramatizing one or more engrams, and the other who is computing. We could call these the dramatizing (or engram) psychotic and the analytical (or analytical demon) psychotic. The engram psychotic does nothing but run the engram. If you go into most institutions, you will find these are the commonest. You will be in for the little shock of seeing an engram, a beautiful engram, being run off over and over. There it is. The engram can be in the process of continual dramatization, or the psychotic can be in a continuous state of obedience to it. In other words, he either dramatizes it or obeys it. In either way he escapes its pain. This is how a psychotic gets locked down: were he to fail to obey or dramatize it, the pain would get him. He would have to take the full pain of the incident, so the reactive mind says, “Dramatize or obey.” 3