The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 64: “Read My Lips”

As a superhero with a secret identity, it’s true that Batman knows a thing or two about alter egos. But when he asserts that The Ventriloquist has “Multiple Personality Syndrome,” he isn’t exactly accurate. The Ventriloquist, or Arnold Wesker, is a timid, mild-mannered man who “voices” the puppet Scarface, an ill-tempered, rude and violent villain. But this bizarre performance raises some issues: Why do others believe that a wooden dummy like Scarface has his own personality? And if it’s true that The Ventriloquist is providing Scarface’s voice and his actions, isn’t he the true villain of this story? Does his ventriloquist “act” provide him an outlet to engage in antisocial, aggressive, and murderous behavior without having to deal with the moral consequences?

Multiple Personality Disorder is now called Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), and remains a controversial and divisive topic in the mental health fields of psychiatry and clinical psychology. We discuss the aspects of DID that many clinicians find problematic, as well as explain the more likely cause of The Ventriloquist’s “split personality.” Listen to the episode below for the full analysis on “Read My Lips!”

The Arkham Sessions is a podcast dedicated to the psychology of the show, Batman: The Animated Series.  Have psychology related questions about Batman? Write to us via twitter @ArkhamSessions or on Facebook. Or visit our official website.

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One Response to “The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 64: “Read My Lips””

  1. […] behavior. For a primer on DID, we recommend checking out our analysis of The Ventriloquist here.  In this Two-Face-centric episode, we discuss the controversy of the diagnosis of DID and provide […]

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