Jean Roux, an eccentric who advertised a special conference in Montreal newspapers last Wednesday, only attracted 15 persons Thursday evening to his Sheraton Hotel conference hall with a capacity of 500.
Mr. Roux stated that he had for several years done research in all areas touching upon "traditional medicine, mental illness" and various other illnesses. He also claimed that on Thursday evening he would expose the secrets of "the most advanced human texture".
Curiously, the incoherent text of his advertisement failed to shed light on what exactly is this "texture" and it provided even less information on who Jean Roux is. He simply presented himself as author and lecturer.
In a meeting with journalists not long before the conference, Mr. Roux gave no details on his education, his supposed research, or anything else.
Claiming that he had memory problems, he did not specify which books he had written, with which laboratories he had supposedly collaborated, nor did he disclose the sources of his funding.
The full-page advertisement that he purchased in La Presse cost $15 000, and it was undoubtedly with the $40 paid by each member of the audience Thursday that Mr. Roux hoped to make his conferences feasible.
During the conference, his far-fetched ranting and raving did not prove to be any more enlightening about his obscure theories and his true intentions.
As an excuse for an introduction, Mr. Roux explained that he spent "eight years on a bed and that he explored the territory of the insane." However, this strange lecturer was careful not to say where and how he lived those years. Similarly, he omitted explaining why today he was spewing nonsense to an audience that was unsure whether to laugh or cry.
Continuing to link words and sentence fragments without heads or tails, Mr. Roux listed numerous concepts that seemed to be of importance to him and in which he saw great hope for improving the sort of human beings.
He seeks to "set off the spontaneity of human chemistry", declares that "all is true and that all is false" and deplores the "chemical imbalance" that affects him.
Only once did Jean Roux summarize the essence of his ideas to his disconcerted audience: "For those who have never had a mental illness, what I am going to say will not make any sense. What I have to say is not logical.
"I know that when you come with something that is not logical, but yet is interesting, it will disturb some people. It's chemical."
From all appearances, last Thursday, few people hit it off with Jean Roux.
This article, by Yann Pineau, was published in La Presse [Montreal], November 26, 1994. A somewhat rough translation to English.
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