Caption: A Tranquilizer Chair inside the Glore
A Tranquilizer Chair inside the Glore 

Inside the Glore

From: Michael Paul Mason
Length: 13:48

An otherworldly visit to one of America's most bizarre museums, the Glore Psychiatric Museum in St. Joseph, MO.

Tranquilizerchair_small It's been called "one of the 50 most unusual museums in the country," but the word unusual doesn't cut it. The Glore Psychiatric Museum is a testament to man's failed attempts to understand mental illness.

Inside the Glore, we're taken on a bizarre yet vivid ride into the history of psychiatric treatment. We bear witness to unusual treatment protocols, ranging from restraint cages to human-sized gerbil wheels. In the terrible contraptions, we also sense an oddly persistent theme--man's terrible failure to adequately care for the mentally ill.

After venturing into the Glore, we meet Rolf Gainer, a psychologist, who discusses our current system of mental health treatment, and speculates about the future of treating mental disorders.

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Piece Description

It's been called "one of the 50 most unusual museums in the country," but the word unusual doesn't cut it. The Glore Psychiatric Museum is a testament to man's failed attempts to understand mental illness.

Inside the Glore, we're taken on a bizarre yet vivid ride into the history of psychiatric treatment. We bear witness to unusual treatment protocols, ranging from restraint cages to human-sized gerbil wheels. In the terrible contraptions, we also sense an oddly persistent theme--man's terrible failure to adequately care for the mentally ill.

After venturing into the Glore, we meet Rolf Gainer, a psychologist, who discusses our current system of mental health treatment, and speculates about the future of treating mental disorders.

5 Comments Atom Feed

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Interesting

I toured the Glore Museum yesterday. I found the exhibits interesting and disturbing. The piece did a good job explaining some of the museum.

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Disturbingly Visual and Thought Provoking

I hesitate to call this terrific only because the images from the museum are terrifying. As other reviews have commented, though, the tone of the producer and museum guide help give some levity to disturbing instruments of mental treatment. It is a piece that has real impact.
The museum tour could actually be shortened. After abour five minutes I needed some kind of context for all the historical devices. The interview at the end gave me that context and helped me as a listener put all those images into a place in my head where I could really mull over the significance.
Also, the artifacts are presented out of chronological order. It would have been helpful to me to hear about them in a way that gave me a sense of the 'progression' of treatments. For me, that would have given this a stronger story structure, a sense of cause and effect, a beginning, middle and end - something that helps a radio piece stick in my head so I can tell others about it.
This piece does offer much-needed historical perspective on mental health treatment. I find this an important - though gruesome - tour of what humans have tried to do for one another. And, I really appreciate the final thought in this from the producer.

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Nice tone.

This is the type of piece that could be exploitive or sensationalistic, but Mason's steady hand guides us through, leaving us to make our own conclusions. My favorite part is the guide who in an upbeat way guides Mason through this Museum of the Macabre. The tension between her cheery disposition and Mason's unease is great!

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Related Website

http://www.stjosephmuseum.org/glore.php