Brian David Mitchell suffers from bizarre delusions, doctor testifies
"I understand you have your work to do, I also have my work to do," Mitchell told DeMier, comparing the objectives of the two men to wine mixing with water.
In other segments of the interview, Mitchell tells DeMier that "we're all mentally ill to some degree."
DeMier agreed a person's delusional beliefs occur within the culture that person is most familiar with. In Mitchell's case, it is the LDS Church.
"The delusional part is he's inserting himself," DeMier said.
In one example given by the prosecution, they noted a passage that DeMier had used from Mitchell's "Book of Immanuel David Isaiah" that he cited as being hard to understand and delusional. The passage was actually lifted straight from the Book of Mormon and inserted into Mitchell's manuscript. The only change was Mitchell inserting his name into the passage.
Prosecutors also noted that Mitchell often referred to the "one mighty and strong," a phrase taken from the Doctrine and Covenants and used by other leaders of fundamentalist groups. When asked if that meant all those fundamentalist leaders are also delusional, DeMier said the potential was at least a possibility, but he couldn't make a judgment based solely on that information.
Prosecutors also raised the question of whether those who claim to be the "one mighty and strong" might just be narcissistic rather than delusional.
"When one claims to be the right hand of God, it generally goes beyond narcissism," DeMier said.
Prosecutors also spent time trying to show that Mitchell wasn't sincere about his religious beliefs. DeMier, however, said, "I believe his delusional beliefs are sincere."
But prosecutors also got DeMier to admit there was no foolproof way to determine a true delusion from a psychopathy, which is considered a personality disorder and not a mental illness.
DeMier has been asked to testify on many competency and insanity cases in the past, but this was the first time he ever testified on behalf of the defense.
Even though the defense rested Thursday, the case is still not close to being done. Prosecutors are expected to call about five days worth of rebuttal witnesses. They started Thursday with Daniel Peterson, a professor of religious studies at BYU and an expert in religious texts.
During Mitchell's 2009 competency hearing, Peterson testified that the Book of Immanuel was intelligently written, coherent and "marinated in scripture."
"It's astonishing how many references there are to previously canonized scriptures," he said. "It's a quite impressive production. … These are not poorly chosen examples. They are very sophisticated," he said in 2009.
Peterson is expected to finish his testimony today.
On Wednesday, the defense filed a motion to have Peterson's testimony excluded, saying it wasn't relevant because he was not qualified to make a determination as to a person's mental health.
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