Genie; A Study into Severely Isolated Children

“James Kent, another researcher on Genie’s team, thought her condition would improve if she could form meaningful relationships with people. He began feeding her breakfast in the morning and tucking her in at night with a story and a kiss. But “doctors aren’t supposed to love their patients,” he said.

Initially, Genie didn’t respond to his efforts. Then, one day, Genie frowned and pulled Kent’s arm when he tried to leave. She didn’t want him to go…

She developed a passion for hording items, especially glasses and containers — behavior exhibited by many other severely abused children…

Genie’s rehabilitation continued. She could read and started to attend nursery school. Her team began to think and hope she might fully recover…

Unfortunately, the National Institute of Mental Health revoked funding for Genie’s treatment and research in the Fall of 1974. Because of the blurred lines between foster family and research team, no one could produce well-kept records or steadfast findings. Alleging the research damaged Genie’s recovery, her mother even sued the team and hospital for excessive testing…

Genie returned to live with her mother, acquitted of all charges. But her mother soon found taking care of Genie too difficult. Genie made the rounds to foster home after foster home where she experienced abuse and harassment.”

To see the whole article click here.

But, unknown to many, Genie had a sibling who also suffered terrible abuse.

“John Wiley was 6 years old when he stood helplessly on a California street, on his way to buy an ice cream, when an out-of-control pickup truck slammed into his grandmother and dragged her mangled body down the street.

The loving woman had taken the boy into her California home when he was only 4, believing that her son — Clark Wiley, a demanding taskmaster of a father — was an unstable parent.

Two of John’s older siblings had died mysteriously as infants: a 2-month-old sister died after her cries prompted Clark to wrap her in a receiving blanket and leave her in a bureau drawer in the garage. And a brother died shortly after birth.

John’s life was spared by the hit-and-run driver in 1958, but the event condemned him back to the home of abusive parents — a nearly blind, mentally ill mother and tyrannical father, who in 1970 would be charged in one of the most horrific cases of child abuse in modern history. He has spent most of the rest of his life estranged from his family, with little support to heal the scars of his childhood.

“I was left out in left field and no one came to my rescue,” Wiley, now 56 and living a modest life as a house painter in Ohio, told in his first-ever interview about a life spent recovering from the tragedy.

“I am a living dead man.”

To read the full article click here.



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