Reproduced by permission of the Washington Pest
Reviewed By Jonathan Inchley
Many Wives, Many Mistresses
The Story of Postlife Therapy
By Brain Schwarz, D.Sc.
Visigoth. 219 pp. $10.45
Dr. Brain Schwarz was astonished and skeptical when one of his patients began recounting post-life traumas that she planned to inflict on her philandering and bigamous husband. He quickly became a believer, when, immediately after her funeral, said husband started suffering a series of inexplicable accidents and injuries that ultimately put him in a wheelchair for life.
Dr. Schwarz tried all traditional psychiatric methods to treat Kathleen, who came to him on the brink of a nervous breakdown. She related incident after incident of husband animalry. Her husband of seven years was a serial, and serious, adulterer. Not a month went by that he did not seduce a new woman, only to abandon her on the first of the following month. Being the elder in an obscure religious community in a backwoods small town gave him ample opportunity to indulge his appetites. Kathleen and her co-wife, Caitlin, had threatened, pleaded, cajoled and tried every other means of persuasion known to them, but all to no avail. Brigham just continued his ways unperturbed.
Giving up on the traditional, Schwarz tried a few experimental therapies, including those popularized by the New Age guru, Sheepak Dogra. In particular, he thought they were making progress with Acurapuncture and Primal Icecream Therapy; but, after an initial spurt, Kathleen regressed badly and ended up worse than before. Ultimately, Schwarz watched helplessly as his patient sank into a deep depression, then drove her minivan into a deep depression in West Virginia. By the time he went to Kathleen's funeral, he was more than a little depressed himself - after all, well heeled patients who pay their bills promptly don't exactly grow on trees.
What happened after the funeral proved eye opening.
Schwarz saw Brigham at the funeral, playing to the hilt the role of the mourning husband. The hypocrisy was more than the doctor could bear; he walked out without offering condolences to the "grieving" husband, in apparent violation of his Hippocratic oath. Brigham left soon afterwards, accelerating as he moved out of sight of the cemetery. Schwarz had pulled over to fill gas in his Jag and had a clear view of Brigham roaring past in his SUV, chatting on this cell phone. What happened next was totally unexpected. Brigham dropped the cell phone, took his eyes off the road to look for it, and ran right into an 18 wheeler. By the time Schwarz got to the scene of the accident, the paramedics were rolling Brigham into the ambulance. Schwarz followed them to the emergency room and learned that Brigham was paralyzed from the neck down. As he walked out of the hospital, Schwarz thought he heard Kathleen's laughter in the background. He looked around but did not see her.
So Schwarz was ready when Maureen came to him, contemplating suicide because of a truck driver husband who had a "wife" at each truck stop. He did not waste any time on unpromising therapies. Instead, he put Maureen under hypnosis, helped her to plan her suicide and encouraged her talk about how her ghost would wreak vengeance on her husband. Needless to say, Maureen died as planned (after paying Schwarz's fee in full); her husband Joseph, on the other hand, celebrated heartily with a new sweetheart, rode his motorcycle under the influence, crashed into a tree and suffered irreparable brain damage.
Using post-life therapy, Schwarz has been able to treat several other patients and embark on a new, and enriching, phase of his own career.
Jonathan Inchley's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.