This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, April 25, 2001.
Two editorials on a common subject this week, one in a monthly and one in today's Daily Camera, have propelled me to the brink and back. And back to the brink, because it's home.
There is little enough new to say about the Evergreen rebirthing horrendoplasty trial that just ended. To recap, a young girl's stepmother authorized some New Age therapists to subject her troublesome charge to this absurd technique, in which the subject endures what truly disturbed individuals have concluded is the sensation of birth. Then, spiritually, the child is supposed to be reborn into the love of and willing subordination to the adults in her life. Birthing, apparently, mandates seven hundred well-fed pounds sit on a child until she vacates and vomits, and then - re-born! - listen to her surrogate and virtual birth canals discussing real estate ventures and money while the child dies in her own crapulence. That is what happened, and of course everyone is sorry and never intended the child to die, etc. etc. The two therapists face sixteen to forty-eight years for the death of this utter innocent.The monthly publication bemoans the Colorado therapist community, which it correctly slams for being - mostly - a bunch of half educated, money hungry wannabes who have bamboozled society into accepting them as some sort of professionals with a valid service to offer. The Daily Camera bemoans the harsh penalty of the verdict for what was, they say, an unintentional result even if, as they title it, the death was due to the arrogance of the New Age practitioner. Both pander to the community of parents, the monthly by posing parents as victimized by the therapists inflicted on them by courts and society, the Camera by sympathizing with parents subjected to the horrors of unruly children who reject their love, which they call 'attachment disorder.' At the same time, by chemical cowardice the Camera panders to the establishment by painting the New Age community as drowning in arrogance. While true, apparently the Camera has never listened to medical doctors emote for our benefit, a psychologist explain the point of his profession, or a judge render a verdict.Let me repeat, as I do seemingly forty times a year these days, Dark Cloud's Dictum: the most powerful lobby group in the United States is the Amalgamated Society of Crappy Parents. These two editorials are evidence.
There is no question that the New Age is home to the genuine idiots, composed almost entirely of the emotionally desperate and financially unstable and the confidence folk who prey on them. Here you find people who have children for the emotional benefit of themselves whether or not they have the brains, cash, or stability to care for them. If there are problems, there is free therapy from a loving community, etc. Colorado allows this play time for adults by featuring no restrictions on who can call themselves a therapist. Laws that compel therapy do not often specify the education level of the therapist, who sometimes have none whatever, or even define what a therapist is. It is true that, say, unruly children upset by a divorce can be sent to therapists who are not qualified to own a pet rock, much less counsel humans. This leads to therapists with pachyderm size issues of their own to encourage malarkey like recovered memory and rebirthing in their clients, two constructs of such benefit and sense that the combined ocean of value to them would not notably increase the humidity in a condom.
But the initial problem is that parents have children for whom they either were not remotely prepared or are not willing to care for. Parents who know each other so poorly and break up so easily are ipso facto crappy parents. When it ends in court and the court errs in sending the children to silly and dangerous therapy, it is still the parents' fault for allowing their children to become subject to a court in the first place. There are competent therapists for their kids, but they cost and it takes time. Parents want the magic bullet, a pill perhaps, that will make their children love them today. It's all about the parents, you see. They want to be able to erase their mistakes and start over. Rebirth. Rebirth is an oxymoron.The Camera sympathizes with parents whose children reject their love, thus making the parents desperate and vulnerable to desperate measures. Bung muffin. This isn't about the parents, who reap what they sow, and children reject for a reason. When you become a parent, it's all about the child, who is indeed innocent and emotionally dependent till well into the teens.And what is this about unintended death defense? The Camera is convinced that the therapists never intended to kill the child. Hello? You put seven hundred pounds of lard butt therapists on a bound NFL offensive tackle with breath restrictions long enough and he'll die as well. Seven hundred pounds on a ten year old child and nobody thought there was likelihood of death? If the seven hundred pounds was composed of scrap iron placed willingly on a child, would there be doubt as to the intent? But seven hundred pounds of fat adulthood is, somehow, different? Actually, it is. The adults could have removed themselves. They did not. It may have been a subconscious desire, but those adults wanted to, at least, run the risk of killing this child clear as hell. They said as much. When the child pleaded she was dying, they inflicted some tough love between Fannae Mae insights. 'Then die,' they said. This is all on video tape the therapists made. Arrogance, yes, says the Camera. Intent to murder, no. Hello? Were they shocked that the child was in extremis? No, they are only sorry they will be punished.Maybe sixteen years isn't the correct punishment. Maybe their obese frames ought to be subjected weekly to their own rebirthing technique. Too bad the parents, step and actual, can't share therapy with them.