“Turkmenbashi’s acolytes had recently pronounced him the “national prophet,” a harmless enough conceit if you’re a civilian, but a pathological,if not fatal, one in a despot. In support of this claim, Turkmenbashi had written a sort of national Bible, called “Ruhnama” (“Book of the Soul”), and he regarded himself as an accomplished writer—a clear sign of madness in anyone.”

—Paul Theroux, “The Golden Man: Saparmurat Niyazov’s reign of insanity.” From the May 26, 2007 The New Yorker

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