The world populace has been subjected to the intuition and thought of religious figures. In this view, there has been the ideology of the Messiah expected to save the world. As a result, some people have held the thought that they are capable of becoming the savior of the world. The behavior of acting like the Messiah is termed as the Messiah Complex or disorder. The religions of the world have had a historical account of a Messiah viewed in different perspectives. Over the years, many assumptions to savior like beliefs have created mass murder and acts of against humanity. These actions have caused a stir among believers given that it has been associated to mental illness. The purpose of the following discussion is to understand the messiah complex syndrome through a study of significant cases in history.
Human beings can become the perceived Messiah whose responsibility is to save the world. However, acting the savior like manner would be considered impossible given the case that the godly state is just a tiny subsection of the messiah complex which exists in the mind of human beings. The Messiah complex would also be defined as a state of the mind where a given person holds the belief that they are the world’s savior or would become the messiah in the near feature. Many of the victims that exhibit the type of behavior are patients that have suffered a mental condition. Over the years, patients that have had schizophrenia or the bipolar disease have been associated with the savior complex. Psychological surveys have indicated that an estimated 10% population of patients that have suffered from these conditions have been known to hold the intuition of the savior complex. In the recent years, many have confused the messiah complex disorder by labeling it as the God Complex. Logically, an ordinary human being would not qualify to represent the Supreme Creator or God. For one to acquire such a title, they have to exhibit an unshakable belief which includes inflated feelings of the personal ability or privileged. This definition would be just described as the thought of displaying an infallibility and sacredness.
The influences of the Messiah Complex and its Treatment
Individuals that have been known to suffer from the Savior complex have been identified to be significantly influential. On many occasions, the patients have gone under the radar exhibiting tremendous ability to persuade a magnitude of people on the ideology that they are the world’s savior. Such patients have displayed syndromes and features that would be regarded as medically proven. For instance, numerous cases of the Messianic complex have been associated with an unconscious state of mind. This syndrome explains that when these patients proclaim to be the Messiah have always done so while in the unconscious state. The challenging effect of the disorder is that the patients have been known to be unwilling to take medications. Even though there have been no scientific treatments for the savior complex, they have been given depressants.
The developing challenge of the disorder is that every person desires to be future Jesus Christ. Importantly, they have the desire to save humanity and accomplish the will or God. Modern psychology provides that it is logical for people to have the desire to be like the only real Supreme Being who is God. In the quest to be the Messiah, these people seek the supernatural powers that can give salvation to humanity. The reality of the matter is that people live in environments that present various difficulties. For instance, there have been continued security challenges, civil wars, and epidemics that continue to claim the lives of many innocent people. In this view, patients with the savior complex have believed in the ability to deliver the world from these issues. However, God is the only one that has continued to define destiny and protect humanity for eternity.
Example of individuals diagnosed with the Messianic complex
Reverend Jim Jones
Reverend Jim Jones is a case person that believed he was the Messiah and Buddha at the same time. Jones was of the opinion that the world needed a messiah that would help them and ease them of their pains. In this view, he gained recognition amongst societies which resulted in a diverse population of devoted followers. His believers were capable of committing their lives to the reverent who demanded that they execute innocent children for divine purposes. Jones’s actions were triggered by intrapsychic factors that ranged from mental illnesses, the continued use of drugs and alcohol. Then again, Jones exhibited religious irrationality which resulted in a mass murder of an estimated 900 people of his church (People’s Temple) in Jonestown in the year 1978. In the mass murders, the Reverend was able to command his followers through a dictatorial regime. As a result, his believers were subjected to forms of violence with the intuition that they were following Christ. In reality, Jones was a paranoid spiritual person that targeted to influence the world in the name of relieving them of their burdens. Criticism of such an individual is that he was in an unstable state of mind given that no sane leader would commit acts against humanity.
Charles Manson was a historically self-proclaimed messiah that committed heinous acts against human given his mental state. The mentally challenged spiritual leader is known to have influenced a significant number of loyal followers who were also viewed to be insane. Through his proclamation, Manson was involved in atrocities that included murder and manipulation of many innocent lives. Charles Manson had a special regulation that he enforced on the people that followed his leadership. For instance, men and women were not allowed to wear accessories while attending his services. In his thinking, he was convinced that man was at his best when he viewed images or vision through the natural angle. The self-proclaimed savior influenced his followers on an absolute path to committing murders. In the assassination cases, they focused on eliminating various celebrity members. These included a list of people ranging from Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Tayler, and the then Steve McQueen. Naturally, one would not have the ambition to eliminate a celebrity while proclaiming to be the savior at the same time. Such ideology develops from the reasoning that Messiahs have the sober mind and would not commit murder given they have to follow God’s commandments. Next, the act of taking lives is viewed as the gravest of commands that man is obliged to follow. The reasoning supports such a viewpoint is that God created man in his image and likeness. Thus, He values life more than the teaching endorsed by a spiritual leader. Lastly, he lured his followers to kill on his behalf given their unquestionable loyalty.
Warren Jeffs was a religious criminal who headed the polygamist sect Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ. Jeffs was responsibility for arranges marriages for his followers who wanted relationships with under-aged girls. The Federal Bureau of Investigation describes the religious criminal as an individual that established a polygamist sect during the early 20th century. The FLDS operated around the Arizona region in confined compounds where they sexually assaulted vulnerable girls leading to their deaths. Warren Jeffs started borrowed his cultic features from the Mormon Church. According to this religious institution, plural marriages formed part of their ideology, and they believed strict regulation. The self-proclaimed savior managed to succeed his father after he was given the responsibility to head the FDLS private learning institution.
The FDLS leader exhibited certain aspects that would otherwise be considered to be the unsound mentality. For example, he managed to lead his church shortly after his father’s death. As a result, he restructured the church’s principles and code of conducting business to include supervisory and absolute observation of rules. Thus, he married his father’s wives and decided on the fate of his followers by dictating their dress codes, women to marry and a number of children to bear. Consequently, the enforcements of his demands resulted in many civil suits from his worshippers. At a point in time, he was sued for sexual assaults on his nephew known as Brent Jeffs. A more revealing factor of the cases included evidence that was provided in court against the religious leader. The FBI acquired his personal diaries and audio tapes where he recorded his routine activities that included rape and marriages of the under aged.
Brooks, D. (2010). The Messiah Complex. The New York Times, 8, A27.
Milfull, J. (1993). The Messiah Complex: The Angel of History Looks Back at Walter Benjamin from its Perch on the Ruins of “Socialism as it Existed in Reality”. Australian Journal of Politics & History, 39(3), 381-385.
Strangio, P., & Walter, J. (2015). 3. The Leadership Contest: An end to the ‘messiah complex’?. Abbott’s gambit: the 2013 Australian federal election, 49.