Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Starvation Heights...

The people who come into our store looking for books in the genre of True Crime are usually missing a prominent tooth, give you a ten feet olfactory warning that they are heavy smokers, and look like they can beat the innards out of you simply with a verbal tirade. They also usually ask for the nonfiction section. (If you ever want to be made fun of ala Jack Black in High Fidelity, walk into a Barnes and Noble and ask for the Nonfiction section.) They are the people who occupy what we call the "margins of society."

I'm currently reading a True Crime book, and I'm considering taking it up as my primary source of information acclimation.

The story is about Linda Burfield Hazzard, a hack "doctor" in the woods of Washington State about a hundred years ago who made a killing, pun intended, by "treating" patients with her "revolutionary fasting cure." The people she treated tended to be wealthy and highly susceptible to delirium when deprived of food for a couple of weeks, making them likely to sign over power of attorney to Hazzard. There were daily enemas involved. It wasn't long before their bank accounts were also wiped clean. Oh, and most of them died. It's a creepy story, full of greed, lust, and what happens when one person is gifted with powers of mental suggestion and manipulation. It reminds me of about a half-dozen preachers and "worship leaders" I've known over the years.

It also reminds me how totally jacked up the human race is. To get all religious on your asses, I'll just say that I can't believe anyone who reads these books can come to the end of them without the knowledge that we are all lost and in need of saving, whatever that means to you. I cling to the fact that their is divinity lingering in everyone, because we were all created in God's image. But reading stories like this reminds me that I also believe Paul's recitation that there is none righteous, no not one. It's a tension I struggle with daily.

That's all I've got for now. I need to get back to the book... Dr. Hazzard is about to go on trial.


Anonymous said...

i enjoy reading your post.

Gregg Olsen said...

Hi Craig,
Glad you're enjoying the book. You might like to see some pics I have on my www.starvationheights.com site. Loved your line about our TC readers! :)