On Enterprise (the TV series) the Vulcan science officer T'pol catches a fatal disease spread by the "highly intimate" act of being the receptive partner in a mind meld. Both T'pol and the Vulcan doctors indicated that having this illness was a shameful disgrace, and that the mind melders were small a subculture of Vulcans, considered deviant for practicing unsafe telepathy and potentially sharing emotions.

There was little left to the imagination—the writers made it abundantly clear that this was a metaphor for HIV/AIDS.

However, if my memory serves, Spock relatively frequently engaged in mind melds in both the original TV series and the movies (?).

On Enterprise, they specified that while any Vulcan could receive a mind meld, only a small subset of Vulcans were born with the ability to be the penetrative partner in a meld.

Didn't Spock both give and receive melds?

Was Spock a part of this small group of outcasts or had all Vulcans starting giving and receiving melds by his era?

Did he catch the disease?

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    Spock definitely initiated the mind melds, but I don't think he ever received one. I guess they had cured the disease by then? – Hack-R Feb 13 '16 at 3:00
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    In the future, try to ask the question without the bigotry. – Wad Cheber Feb 13 '16 at 3:03
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    I seem to vaguely recall that initially the mainstream Vulcans claimed that only a small, deviant subset were capable of telepathy. But towards the end of the episode or story arc (was it a two-parter?) they finally admit that all Vulcans were capable of telepathy. Mainstream Vulcan society feared telepathy and was trying hard to suppress it. Something like that, IIRC. – Joe L. Feb 13 '16 at 3:06
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    @WadCheber: Given that the source material seems to be indicating that it is considered to be a deviant act, and that a disease is being spread that way, the fact that you're labeling it as "bigotry" says more about your cultural insensitivity than about the querent. That said, I understand the edit to prevent others from similarly acting negatively. – FuzzyBoots Feb 13 '16 at 15:37
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    @FuzzyBoots - Seriously? "Perverse subculture spreading.... AIDS"? – Wad Cheber Feb 13 '16 at 20:14


At the time of Star Trek: Enterprise, mainstream Vulcans couldn't perform a mind meld (or rather weren't trained and viewed it as distasteful). Untrained attempts to mind meld potentially resulted in a mental condition known as Pa'nar Syndrome. ENT: "Stigma"

When Surak's true teachings of logic and emotional discipline were rediscovered in ENT: "The Forge", "Kir'Shara" it also rediscovered the knowledge of and cure for Pa'nar Syndrome, which required a corrective meld from a trained individual.

So by the time of Spock, the knowledge of how to properly mind meld and the cure for Pa'nar Syndrome would be ubiquitous throughout Vulcan society.

  • You're right. I didn't know the details about the cure yet, because I hadn't gotten far enough into the series. I had only seen the first episode dealing with Pa'nar Syndrome. – user60653 Feb 14 '16 at 17:54

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