by Daniel Keyes

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Cri1967Cri1967 wrote a review
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Spoiler Alert
Fake or Victim?
William Stanley Milligan is a troubled man living a troubled existence.
He is either a con man who has duped society and beaten the rap for violent crimes or he is an authentic victim of a multiple personality disorder.
Only time will tell whether Milligan has played the world for a fool or is one of its saddest victims.
Perhaps the time is now.
All the material in this book was given to the author by the fused Milligan, his other personalities and sixty-two people whose paths crossed his at different stages in his life. Scenes and dialogue are re-created from Milligan's recollections. Therapy sessions are taken directly from videotapes. He has invented nothing.

One serious problem thee faced the author began to write was developing a chronology. Because Milligan had “lost time” frequently since early childhood, he rarely paid attention to clocks or calendars and was often too embarrassed to admit not knowing the day or month. Keyes was able, finally, to arrange events in time by using bills, receipts, insurance reports, school records, employment records and the many other documents turned over to him by his mother, sister, employers, attorneys and physicians.
Billy is also the first multiple personality patient to have been carefully examined around the clock as an inpatient in a hospital setting, with findings of multiplicity attested to in sworn testimony by four psychiatrists and a psychologist.
Keyes first meets the twenty-three-year-old man at the Athens Mental Health Center in Athens, Ohio, shortly after he has been sent there by the courts. We are in the mid- 70s. When he asks him to write his story, he tells Keyes it would depend on whether or not there is more to it than has been reported extensively in the media. He assures him that the deeper secrets of his inner people has never been revealed to anyone, including his attorneys and the psychiatrists who has examined him. Now he wants the world to understand his mental illness
Out of control of his own actions, Billy Milligan is a man tormented by twenty-four distinct personalities battling for supremacy over his body—a battle which culminates in late 1977 when he awakes in jail, arrested for the kidnap and rape of three women. In a landmark trial, Billy is acquitted of his crimes by reason of insanity caused by multiple personality—the first such court decision in history—bringing to public light the most remarkable and harrowing case of multiple personality ever recorded.
There remain, however, unanswered questions: How did Milligan learn the Houdini-like escape skill demonstrated by Tommy [one of his personalities]? What about his conversations with his rape victims in which he claimed to be a “guerrilla” and a “hit man”? Doctors think that Milligan may have personalities yet unfathomed—and that some of them may have committed undiscovered crimes.
There is Tommy, 16 years old, who is a rather antisocial youth, but very clever with electronic equipment and locks.
He studies methods of escape. He reads about the great escape artists Houdini and Sylvester, and he is disappointed to discover that some of their great escapes are tricks.
When Tommy is alone he studies the knots and figure out the easiest way to turn his wrists to make them mobile so that the ropes would slide.
Tommy decides he also needs to know how to get out of locked rooms.
But he never aids anyone in stealing. He is not a thief. He practices the tenor saxophone in his spare time and perfects his talent in painting landscapes. He has to control his belligerent attitude and use it to deal with other people when necessary.
There is Arthur, 22 years old, who waves dabbles in biology and medicine. He is arrogant and he has an English accent. He is strongly intellectual and he appears to the doctors to maintain a compensatory feeling of superiority to the world at large, but he has feelings of uneasiness and he is threatened by emotionally stimulating situations.
Arthur concentrates on his scientific studies, especially those in the medical arts.
He has no emotions and he reminds of Mr. Spock in Star Trek. He’s the kind of person who doesn’t hesitate to complain in a restaurant. He doesn’t bother to explain himself to people, but he gets annoyed when someone doesn’t understand what he’s saying. He just doesn’t have time to be tolerant.
Arthur isn’t someone you like or dislike. He’s someone you respect.
He realizes that because of his knowledge, he has become responsible for a large, diverse family. They are all involved with the same body, and something has to be done to create order out of what was proving to be a chaotic situation.
Since he is the only one capable of handling the task unemotionally, he puts his mind to it and comes up with something that would be fair, workable and—above all—logical.
He’s the one who made up the rules: how to act, what to do, what not to do.
first: Never lie.
second: Behave properly to ladies and children. Women and children must be protected at all times, and everyone should come to their defense..
third: Be celibate. Never again should the males be placed in a position where they could be accused of rape.
fourth: Spend all your time on self-improvement.
fifth: Respect the private property of each member of the family.
Anyone violating these rules would be banished forever with the other undesirables.
The only one permitted to handle guns is Ragen, 23 years old, the keeper of rage. That is his specialty. But he may use them only for protection and survival. Just as he may use his great strength only for the common good, never to harm others. He has the ability to control and concentrate his adrenaline.
He is s able to absorb all the others’ fear and transform it into action.
Ragen never raped anyone. He started to commit robberies because he was worried about the unpaid bills. He admits robbing the three women, but he denies, absolutely, any involvement with that woman in August or with any sex crimes. Ragen is a thief, but he is no rapist.
He has a Slavic accent that did not sound like an imitation. His voice truly has the natural sibilant quality of someone who has been raised in Eastern Europe, has learned to speak English, but had never lost his accent.
Spot is ruled by Ragen or by Arthur, depending on situation. In prison Ragen control spot, he decides who goes on, who stays off because is dangerous place. As protector, Ragen has full power and command. He alone may commit victimless crimes or crimes necessary for survival. Because of his great strength and power, he alone may have the right to hurt others, but only in self-defense or in defense of women and children.
He is the keeper of hate.
In situations where is no danger and where intelligence and logic are more important, then Arthur dominates spot.
Spot is Arthur’s explanation of what happens when one of Billy's inner people comes out into the reality and takes over. It’s like a big spotlight, and whoever steps on it holds the consciousness.
Then there is David, eight years old, who is keeper of pain. He is the one who accepts all suffering. David is empathic .
And Allen, 18 years old, who plays the piano and the drums, he paints—mostly portraits. He is eighteen and loved baseball. Emotionally, Allen appears to be an almost detached personality.
As he is the most sociable one, it is important for him to get out and meet people.
A nineteen-year-old girl named Adalana.
She has the ability to wish any of the others off the spot.
Adalana is a lesbian and she did the rapes because she says she was desperate to be held and caressed and loved
"They don’t understand what love is . What the need for love is. What it means to be held and cared for. To be held by someone. Just to feel warm and cared for.” Adalana says,
She learns that men are violent and hateful and never to be trusted.
Then Danny who is fourteen and he is a fine artist. He paints still lifes mostly and he lives in constant fear.
Samuel who reads the Old Testament, eats only kosher food and loves to sculpt sandstone and carve wood. He takes the spot on September 27, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and says a prayer in memory of Billy’s Jewish father.
Christene, who is three years old . The comer child, so called because she was the one to stand in the comer in school. A bright little English girl, she can read and print, but has dyslexia. Likes to draw and color pictures of flowers and butterflies. Blond shoulder-length hair, blue eyes.
Christopher, who is thirteen years old and he is. Christene's brother. He speaks with a British accent, he is o bedient but troubled. He plays the harmonica.
Then there are the Undesirables suppressed by Arthur because they possess undesirable traits. Revealed, for the first time, at the Athens Mental Health Center to Dr. David Caul.
When Billy Milligan fused completely for the first time, he reveals a new individual, an amalgam of all his personalities. The fused Milligan has a clear, almost total recall of all the personalities from their creation—all their thoughts, actions, relationships, tragic experiences and comic adventures.
Billy doesn't want to hurt nobody, so the others put him to sleep, but he keeps hearing things too and he says somebody trying to talk to him .
He knows they make him go to sleep when he gets too upset and every time he wakes up, he is not hurt.
There must be some great fear inside Billy that prevents him from taking the actions that are necessary to protect him . Somehow it’s too frightening for him to do this. And so he has to go to sleep in order for that side of him to take those corrective actions.
“Why am I that way?” Billy asks the doctors

“There must have been things that frightened you terribly when you were very small.”
The patient reports that the mother and children were subject to physical abuse and that he suffered sadistic and sexual abuse including anal intercourse from Milligan. According to the patient this occurred when he was eight or nine over the course of a year, generally on a farm where he would be alone with the stepfather. He indicates that he was afraid that the stepfather would kill him insomuch as he threatened to ‘bury him in the barn and tell the mother that he had run away.’”
Milligan'snatural father's suicide has deprived him of a father's involvement and attention, and left him with “a feeling of irrational power and overwhelming guilt leading to anxiety, conflict and increased fantasy formulation.” He was thus “vulnerable to exploitation by the stepfather Chalmer Milligan, who preyed upon his needs for closeness and caring to satisfy his own frustrations through sexual and sadistic exploitation ...” Young Milligan identified with his mother, when she was beaten by her husband, it caused young Milligan to “experience her terror and pain ...” It also led to a “kind of separation anxiety which left him in an unstable fantasy world with all the unpredictable and unintelligible characteristics of a dream.
This along with the stepfathers put-downs, sadistic abuses and sexual exploitation led to recurrent dissociations.
In fact Milligan exhibits multiple personality behavior and he has personalities unaware of the actions of others. He hears voices that tell him to do things and yell and scream at him when he does not comply. Milligan expresses his belief that these voices are from people who have come from hell to torment him. He also speaks of good people who periodically invade his body in order to combat the bad people.
"Sometimes I do not know who I am or what I am. And sometimes I do not even know the other people surrounding me. The echo of the voices are still in my mind, but they have no meaning at all. Several faces appear to me, as if from a darkness, but I am feeling very fearful because my mind is totally divided.
My [internal] family, in fact, is not in continuous contact with me at all, and have not been for a long time. . . . I am not responsible for it at all. I hate everything that transpires around me, but I can’t stop it, and I can’t alter it. . . .! Billy says to his doctor.
But Billy is the Teacher.
The Teacher is Billy all in one piece. But Billy does not know.
Billy was child prodigy when he was little. He vas all of his people in one. He does not know that now.
The Teacher is the only one who can put them all together.
The main question is, how did all of his people learn the things they know? From the Teacher. He taught Tommy electronics and escape. He taught Arthur biology and physics and chemistry. He taught Ragen about weapons and how to control adrenaline for maximum power. He taught them all to draw and paint. The Teacher knows all.”
You meet each in this often shocking true story. And you are drawn deeply into the mind of this tortured young man and his splintered, terrifying world.
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RFRF wrote a review
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Spoiler Alert
他們一共 24 個人,有男有女,來自不同國家,年齡分佈從 3 歲到 27 歲,智商、樣貌、性情和性向各異,擅長的領域也南轅北轍,包括空手道高手、電子專家、電腦高手、畫家、音樂家、化學和物理專家、詩人、老千、諧星,唯一共通點是,他們全都在同一具身體裡。

1977 年,比利‧密利根(Billy Milligan)在獄中醒來,發現自己即將因綁架、搶劫、強暴三位女性而被判重刑,但他根本毫無犯罪的記憶,萬念俱灰之下企圖自殺。經心理評估後,醫生發現比利的體內竟有多達 24 種人格:主要的「10 人組」、13 名被放逐場外的「討厭鬼」,和融合所有人格的「老師」……


「多重人格」(dissociative identity disorder, DID)指超過一個人格存在,人格之間可能互通,也可能未察覺彼此。關於多重人格的成因,其中一派理論是和童年受虐有關,而比利正是此派理論的案例(註1)——他童年時遭受繼父性侵、凌虐和活埋,為了保護脆弱的核心人格,心理分裂成許多次人格來分擔傷害和痛苦,但他卻開始「遺失時間」:各種人格不預期地上場或退場,使記憶產生空白。此外,每個人格各行其是,當危險人格——毒販、暴力分子,還有多次自殺未遂的核心比利——接管意識,都可能使所有人格身陷險境,而正是在最混沌的時期,比利的兩個人格犯下了他後來被指控的罪行。

《24 個比利》記述比利被捕、受審,早期接受的融合人格治療,以及「老師」向作家交代的完整生命記憶,《比利戰爭》則描繪比利被後移送至利馬醫院後遭受凌虐,和其他病人起身抵抗,以及最終於 1991 年獲釋的過程(註2)。在這十幾年間,比利雖然因精神問題獲得無罪審判(美國史上第一人),卻得不斷承受外界暴力,以及應付與眾不同的內心世界——他的人格既獨立又緊緊相繫,既是家族又互相爭鬥,無法在融合後繼續保有各個人格,也無法將各個人格分離到 24 具身體裡。所以,比利在融合後只感覺「失去」,感覺其他人「走了」,留下他孤獨一人,雖然成了能適應現實的「完整」個體,心靈墳場卻多了 23 具棺木。



2014 年 12 月,比利的妹妹凱西(Kathy)向《哥倫布快訊》證實比利的死訊——比利死於癌症,享年 59 歲,「我想他終於得以安寧/安息,」(“I believe he is finally at peace.”)結束了迷亂紛擾的一生。

註 1:另一位同樣是童年受虐的多重人格者 Kim Noble 獲得治療後展現繪畫天賦,她和主要的 11 人格的畫風和題材各異,有的明朗,有的夢幻,有的狂亂殘暴,有的陰鬱黑暗,作品在藝術界掀起浪潮。

註 2:雖然兩本小說可被視為上、下集,但《比利戰爭》卻因揭露精神病院罔顧人權的黑幕——比電影《飛越杜鵑窩》(One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 1975)更血淋淋——,英文原版至今仍不見天日,只有中文版、日文版和法文版得以在世界上流通。