*from “The Deadly Attachment” Series 6, Episode 1 of the British television sitcom “Dad’s Army”. Story by Jimmy Perry and David Croft (recorded Friday 22 June 1973).
From: What Are Delusions of Persecution? By Natalie Slivinski at WebMD.com (Medically Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on November 20, 2019):
“You’ve probably believed something one time or another that turned out to be untrue. But if you have a rare mental illness called delusional disorder, no amount of facts and reason can shake your thinking. People with delusions cannot tell which beliefs are real and which are imaginary.
Delusions come in several types. The most common is delusions of persecution. It’s when you’re convinced that someone is mistreating, conspiring against, or planning to harm you or your loved one. Another type is grandiose delusions, where you have an unrealistically inflated sense of yourself or your achievements.
Someone with persecutory delusions might seem normal. But if their delusions are severe enough, they might become obsessed to the point that it disrupts their everyday life.
Sometimes, their false belief can be something improbable but not impossible. They may, for instance, suspect their neighbors of spying on them, or fear that the police want to torture them. Other times, their delusions are irrational, such as believing an evil spirit plans to abduct them.
Usually, the delusions spring from misinterpretations or exaggerations of real feelings and experiences. For example, they might perceive a stranger’s innocent glance as threatening…”
From: The Changing Scene (1937), by Arthur Calder-Marshall:
“…It is possible that a certain form of persecution mania will be found to result from working in Broadcasting House: a trade disease like silicosis or pellagra…
(Not clear what is meant regarding pellagra: Wikipedia says “Pellagra can be common in people who obtain most of their food energy from corn, notably rural South America, where maize is a staple food. If maize is not nixtamalized, it is a poor source of tryptophan, as well as niacin. Nixtamalization corrects the niacin deficiency, and is a common practice in Native American cultures that grow corn, but most especially in Mexico and the countries of Central America.”)
…When it was first built, Broadcasting House was hailed as an architectural triumph. The Corporation had only managed to secure a site shaped like a cock-eyed flat-iron. In order to obtain silence for the studios, they were placed in the centre of the building, without windows, but with conditioned air. The offices were placed on the outside, looking on to the street and acting as sound-insulators. All corridors were internal. The shape and plan of the building gives visitors the impression of ‘being in a ship.’ There is the same lack of freshness in the air, the same sense of enclosure in the corridors and the inside rooms. There is, however, no upper deck for the workers to get a breath of fresh air. During their day’s work they exist in conditions which, though they may be physically quite healthy, are psychologically abnormal.
Furthermore, any room which is used for broadcasting has a microphone connected with a listening room: and in the larger studios there are observation chambers. This means that in the small broadcasting rooms what you say can be overheard without your knowledge: and in the larger you can not only be overheard, but spied on…”