I Don't Have to Go to Jail to Write My Story

In the dark, with the shades drawn, my patient droned on about sending foreigners back home: African-Americans to Africa, Jews to Israel, and millions of others to their countries of origin. If I had told you that a potential American Hitler was lying on a couch in my office, you would have thought me paranoid.
But John Gerard's bigotry was not expressed openly. He was in trance when he revealed his prejudices and grandiose ambitions. But what could I have done? Called Homeland Security? The CIA? The FBI? He was in a trance state and hypnosis is not considered credible evidence. Besides, he had not, as yet, committed any illegal act. He could just have been considered a kook. That was until he started talking about meeting with "patriots who weren't just shooting off their mouths, but were ready to take action against cowardly politicians."

I had asked Buddha, whose five-inch statue sat on the corner of my desk, whether I should honor patient confidentiality and risk Gerard blowing up a building. After Oklahoma City – and especially the Twin Towers disaster – there was the threat of foreign and home grown terrorists. I doubted then that he was capable of so well planned a crime. Only later did I discover that he posed a danger greater than blowing up buildings. Just as our security authorities had underestimated bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, as well as native terrorists, I underestimated Gerard. But if I called Homeland Security – hadn't the government asked us to report suspicious persons? – would I seem like a fool?

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