Reproduction and Mind Control


Written by Joseph Dunsay. After earning a Masters of Science in Ecology and Evolution, Joseph Dunsay became a science writer for international audiences. Find more Jewrotica writing by Joseph here.

Rated PG-13

A wedding is a grand event with many details for a couple to consider. Is the cake baked yet? Are the flowers arranged? Deciding who sits with whom is an exercise in diplomacy. A Jewish couple has additional items on their check list. Is the ketubah written? Will a dybbuk visit them later that night? Marrying under the chuppah is not for the faint of heart.

Back when arranged marriages were the norm, a bride or groom might behave very differently after the wedding if the couple were a bad match for each other. Jews attributed this change to a tortured spirit, called a dybbuk, that possessed the unhappy spouse. Symptoms of possession included speaking rudely, exposing oneself, or refusing to eat or talk. About 75% of spouses diagnoses with possession were women. According to a modern expert, belief in dybbuks provided a socially acceptable way for a spouse to express distress over being trapped in an unwanted marriage. Now that Jews have more freedom to select partners and less belief in the supernatural, reports of dybbuks are very rare.

Dybbuks are mere folklore, but mind control does exist in nature. The mind rests in the nervous system, and chemicals can alter how it functions. Some animals utilize mind-altering chemicals to provide for their offspring. The lioness uses teeth and claws to kill a gazelle so she can bring its carcass home for her cubs to eat. Other mothers in the African savanna have more subtle ways to obtain sustenance for their young. Wasps have a reputation for being parasites, and they are not above using mind control to secure a victim.

A Scientific American video shows how the emerald cockroach wasp injects venom into a cockroach to eliminate its urge to flee. The venom she injects into the cockroach makes it groom itself and become docile. The wasp then leads the willing victim to her lair where she lays a single egg on the cockroach’s body. She seals the den before leaving the scene. The cockroach lives like a zombie as the younger wasp hatches and consumes it. The new wasp methodically eats the cockroach one organ at a time to keep the meal alive and fresh for as long as possible.

Biological evolution gave rise to many different adaptations for producing offspring and nourishing them. Interactions between animals and their food can be stranger than myths. Cultural evolution produced its own set of adaptations that helped people cope with difficult situations. Behaving like one is possessed is a natural consequence of a marriage that was not meant to be. Therefore, if you find yourself with a spouse that seems to be possessed by a dybbuk, don’t worry. Simply do what it takes to rectify the situation and be grateful that you did not meet a wasp.

After earning a Masters of Science in Ecology and Evolution, Joseph Dunsay became a science writer for international audiences. His LGBT erotic e-book launched in the summer of 2015.