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The Mysterious Case Of The Silent Gibbons Twins

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Post by eddie on Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:35 pm

Read about this a while back and it simply facinates me:


“We once were two/We two made one/We no more two/Through life be one/Rest in peace.”
-Jennifer Gibbons' headstone


The Mysterious Case Of The Silent Gibbons Twins Img_7313


Though you may not have heard of June and Jennifer Gibbons, you'll soon learn why they were called the Silent Twins, and why everyone is fascinated by their story.

The Mysterious Case Of The Silent Gibbons Twins Img_7314

The Gibbons twins were born 10 minutes apart in a Royal Air Force hospital in Aden, Yemen, in 1963. They were quiet-natured children who seemed well-mannered, but strangely, they didn’t speak until they were 3 years old.

Though they didn’t speak, they often look at books, drew pictures, and wrote little notes. Even after they were 3, though, they were famously tight-lipped.
Their father, Aubrey, was in the Royal Air Force and the family moved around a lot, which didn’t help the children become adjusted. They turned more inwards toward each other as each school would result in new bullies and torment due to their odd nature, lack of speaking, and skin color.

By the time they were almost teenagers, the twins stopped talking to their parents and would refuse to be in the same room as them or their three siblings.

They would walk in synchronicity together, turning at the same position, mocking each step, and when someone looked at them, they froze like deer caught in headlights.

Their odd behavior was becoming a constant strain on the family's emotions. People around the neighborhood backed off from the entire family; the twins had no friends and showed no interest in letting anyone else into their strange world.

It became too much for their parents and the twins were sent off to Eastgate Center for Special Education in 1977, a few days after their 14th birthday.

There, they were tested on their behavior and education, which showed that while they were socially inept and mildly depressed, they were shockingly independent.

The oddest discovery was how the twins acted when they didn’t know they were being filmed: “The most stunning example of June and Jennifer’s bizarre behavior was provided by a videotape of the two made with a hidden camera. Thinking they were unobserved, the girls cavorted, laughed and talked happily with each other," People magazine wrote in a story about the twins in 1986. And yet their weekly therapy sessions were a failure because the girls simply refused to speak.

They left the school a couple years later and moved back in with their parents and immediately, they burrowed themselves in their room.

Their mother, Gloria, would deliver their mail and slid it underneath their door, leave a tray of food outside of it, and yet they never spoke to her or anyone else in the family.

Yet their parents would hear them talking or laughing or fighting behind the closed door. No one knew what was truly happening between them, as they screamed and fought, and then giggled in the privacy of their bedroom.

Writing was their main focus and they wanted to be famous authors. June wrote a novel, Pepsi-Cola Addict, while Jennifer wrote one called Discomania. By now the twins were 17 years old and becoming full-on delinquents when they weren’t writing.

They routinely got in violent fights with each other, and after some legal trouble that ended with an injured fireman and over $200,000 in damages, they were sent to Britain’s high-security psychiatric hospital, Broadmoor. It was one of the largest and most dangerous maximum security mental hospitals throughout Europe.

Their time at Broadmoor has been summarized at The Lineup:

“At Broadmoor, the doctors found June and Jennifer to be deeply disturbed, even dangerous. The two took turns eating, one indulging one day while the other starved. And though they were split up and housed in cells on opposite ends of the hospital, nurses often found them eerily frozen in the same distinct poses. This went on for 11 years. Until doctors agreed to transfer the twins to Caswell Clinic, a lower-security facility in Bridgend, Wales.”

While at Broadmoor, an interviewer and journalist by the name of Marjorie Wallace met with the twins weekly. She was writing a book about them and the twins were happy about it, giving her their journals and poems and such. However, as the time went on, a darkness grew between them.....



I didn't want to post it all up but if you've got this far, read the rest including details of the weird way Jennifer died and photos of the girls.

http://www.urbo.com/content/the-mysterious-case-of-the-silent-gibbons-twins?rtg=wordables-nYncs1¶m4=urbo-fni-fbss-2106-eint-mo-ocpm¶m5=10154632504216186¶m6=23842592356730116

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Post by Syl on Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:32 pm

Fascinating. The human mind is still a mystery.
How sad that the girls could never live a normal life....and one seemed to sacrifice herself for the other.
Some things are stranger than fiction,

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Post by eddie on Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:53 pm

I wonder what was actually 'wrong' with them?

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Post by Syl on Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:28 am

I dont think even the experts knew.
Mental illness is fascinating. Take dementia for eg....no two people will develop it in the same way....all under one banner, but countless different journeys down the same road.

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Post by Cass on Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:43 am

Very interesting. I'm going to see if I can use my librarian super powers to find more information. I may even see if can get a copy of the book/articles mentioned.

I think Syl is on the right track with a diagnosis of mental illness...possibly schizophrenia. The brain is a very powerful organ. Hence hypnotism/blind trials etc...

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Post by Tommy Monk on Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:38 pm

Very strange...


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Post by magica on Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:07 pm

Weird, they spoke and did things together when alone, but not in front of others.
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Post by HoratioTarr on Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:59 pm

Syl wrote:Fascinating. The human mind is still a mystery.
How sad that the girls could never live a normal life....and one seemed to sacrifice herself for the other.
Some things are stranger than fiction,

I love that movie, Lucy...where she's able to use 100 percent of her brain.
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Post by Syl on Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:13 am

I just looked it up, sounds like my kind of film too....I will look out for it.

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Post by eddie on Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:34 am

magica wrote:Weird, they spoke and did things together when alone, but not in front of others.

That's why I'm not totally sure they had any type of mental illness at all.  It's so easy to bang that label on someone's medical folder, doesn't mean it's true.

The fact that Jennifer pretty much willed herself to die is odd in itself.

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Post by magica on Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:52 am

I don't think their mentally ill, I think they just adapted to each other and no one else got a look in.

Maybe it's the dual personality twins shared and they had too much of it maybe?

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Post by Original Quill on Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:07 am

HoratioTarr wrote:
Syl wrote:Fascinating. The human mind is still a mystery.
How sad that the girls could never live a normal life....and one seemed to sacrifice herself for the other.
Some things are stranger than fiction,

I love that movie, Lucy...where she's able to use 100 percent of her brain.

Currently my favorite film.  It is said to be writer Luc Besson's theory of the universe and beyond, in particular his theory that reality is time.

Rolling Stone wrote:We're still in a recognizably Bessonian world as the bespoke-suited bodies begin to pile up — then the telekinesis, time-tripping and Dawn-of-Man sequences commence in earnest, and you wonder if you've been dosed. You could propose that Besson has always included food for deep thought (ideas on gender politics, arguments about the concept of free will) into the pulpiest of his superficial, stylishly violent works. But Lucy uses his obsession with the brain's fascinating evolution to transform this multiplex fare into something far more warped and ambitious: an attempt to chart humankind from its finite prehistoric age to the era of a fully evolved Homo sapien with 100% brain capacity — what Besson calls "the ultimate cell.



But we digress. Back to the Twins. Cool

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