February 4th, 2012
05:12 PM ET

Contentious meeting reflects N.Y. community divided by medical mystery

A community meeting Saturday at a school where over a dozen children have developed tic-like symptoms quickly became contentious, further dividing an already-polarized community.

The meeting came after calls for more thorough environmental testing.

Doctors have diagnosed most of the children and one adult suffering from the symptoms with "conversion disorder," a condition induced by stress. When occurring in clusters the condition is sometimes called "mass hysteria."

But some environmental activists have suggested that some sort of toxin may be causing the condition in the western New York state community.

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Filed under: Health • New York
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    Mass hysteria caused an "epidemic" of appendicitis in my Mississippi town years ago, resulting in many unnecessary operations.
    The mind is very powerful. When I was eighteen and nineteen years old, my hands were covered with warts. My wise MD would not remove them: I was a pianist and there was a danger of the removal's leaving scar tissue. The doctor told me that the warts would disappear when the psychological turmoil at the root of their appearance was overcome.
    Knowing that, I went to a backwoods psychic healer known as "Cousin" Lula. She told me not to look, rubbed a penny over them, and gave me the penny to carry until the warts were gone.
    A few weeks later, the warts were all gone with the exception of the one wart where I had peeked when the healer rubbed the penny there.
    This sounds too outlandish to be true, but most readers here know that I am honest to a fault. Now you know that I am also a very good hypnotic subject.
    The possibility that a toxic agent or contagion could be causing the disorder at that school remains. I thought of pesticides.

    February 6, 2012 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. BOMBO ©

    We need to test this scientifically. Ship some other unaffected kids there from other cities and see what happens to them. JIF, if you still have the penny, maybe send it to that school.

    February 6, 2012 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

      I don't have that same penny, but, for a fee, I could visit the school with other pennies. If the pupils Believe, I can try what the healer did. Depending on the subjects' minds, I might be of help.
      I'm pretty busy. Maybe this is a job opportunity for somebody else.

      February 6, 2012 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    Sorry! I meant "BOMBO's film."

    February 6, 2012 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
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