Confessions of a Cayce Doctor
“We tell our participants that the real Temple Beautiful is their own body.
There is where they meet the Divine within.”
Dr. Bill McGarey
§ I remember driving into Phoenix in late August 1981 trailing a small UHaul with my few possessions in it. The heat was rugged – over 100 degrees, but I was up for it. I had let go of big chunks of my past in just a few weeks: a nine and a half year marriage and a second tour with the United States Army. I entered a large city which I had visited briefly on three previous occasions. I knew a few people who worked at the ARE Clinic, my new employer, but I had neither friends nor relatives anywhere within hundreds of miles. Yet, that thought was not daunting in the least.
When it came time to plan for life after Army medicine, joining the Clinic seemed to be “the thing to do.” I never considered looking to practice in Kansas and only briefly looked at doing a missionary job on the island of Saint Lucia. But when told, “You only have to work mornings. You have the afternoons free to do what you like,” I decided the job must have been fairly small as well as the need.
The desert has drawn me in its direction a number of times. I had then and still have no doubt about my karmic connections with the Phoenicians and its “Clinicians.” We were (and are) tied by bonds which must stretch from ancient times, by our commitments to the principles found in the Edgar Cayce readings, and by our dedication to health and healing. Surely, the ARE Clinic was a reincarnation of the healing temples of ancient Egypt: the one of Sacrifice and that called the Temple Beautiful. The surrounding desert almost reeked of Egypt, one of the few lands which has drawn me to consider some day touring. And, it was easy to recognize that there was a large contingent of reborn Egyptians in the area and especially at the Clinic. That could be readily glimpsed in costumes, jewelry and hair styles of many encountered. §
I knew when I joined the Clinic that I would be working with two of the pioneers of modern holistic medicine. At the time, the Clinic founders had been practicing Cayce-style medicine for over ten years. The McGareys had not only pioneered the Cayce Clinic, but helped birth a number of holistic organizations around the country. While raising a large family and developing the ARE Clinic, they lectured and networked far and wide.
All those distinctions were impressive and I had much respect for the McGareys. However, sometime before I made the journey to Phoenix, I had a dream which suggested that appearances were likely to be somewhat deceiving and the practice would not fulfill the images which were generally portrayed and which I had built around them. Although the dream symbolism seemed fairly clear, I didn’t know how to go about using the “inside” information. Despite the friendly tip, I began my new relationship with rather greater expectations than may have been appropriate for the time.
Within hours of my arrival, the first suggestion of problems was related to me directly to me by the Clinic Administrator, son Robert McGarey. He took me out for lunch to talk shop and get me to sign a contract. He candidly told me that a rift had developed at the Clinic some weeks past. A power struggle ensued when one faction requested that an abrasive supervising nurse be censured and disciplined over a series of controversial actions she had taken. The McGareys balked at the demand and told their Board of Trustees that they could not accept its interference in the matter. Siding with the nurse, the McGareys stood up and offered their resignations over the issue. In turn, a number of the Board members quit, thus leaving the Clinic in the hands of the real power brokers.
It ought to be noted that like many boards, the Clinic had been hand picked by the McGareys – which really meant Dr. Bill. It soon became clear to me that the ARE Clinic was really the McGarey Clinic. I was not the first to notice the situation. Hugh Lynn Cayce was quite aware of the fact. I also might note that the extended McGarey family understandably filled numerous positions at the Clinic. Sometimes, I thought that the several Gradys should change their names to McGrady. Then, I appeared to complicate things for a time. McNary confused a few folks especially as the Clinic Administrator and I had the same first names and nicknames, aka Bob.
When the Board actions were made public, the disgruntled group, a handful of employees, left the Clinic. Those persons, who included some of the more talented and energetic workers at the Clinic, headed north of Camelback Mountain to create the Wellspring Wellness Center.
I was only a little uneasy about the information I had been offered. I had made my decision long past to join the staff of the ARE Clinic. The die was already cast. All I had to do was sign on the dotted line. I contracted for an initial period of ten months at a pay cut of $15,000 from my Army salary. I believed the differences in environment, people, and opportunities in holistic medicine were going to be worth much more than fifteen grand.
With the candid news of Clinic politics tucked away in my awareness, I set about meeting my first task to find lodging in the desert city. After a brief hunt, a FOR RENT sign miraculously appeared in front of a house not two blocks from the Clinic. It became my home for all but the last few months of my Phoenix stay. And, it was more than just a home. Regardless of the desert environment, an irrigated green lawn along with a white picket fence surrounded the two bedroom house. Glorious bougainvillea covered the trellis which fronted the pale green brick house. The front yard had two tall palm trees, the back a towering evergreen. Across the alley there was even a huge saguaro cactus. The variety of flowering plants and fruit-bearing trees which populated the valley was grand.
My next door neighbor had a tall carob tree and a mature apricot as well. There also were fig trees and date palms not too distant from my yard which had two runt orange trees and three wonderful grapefruits. During a spring visit, my parents were ecstatic to squeeze fresh-picked grapefruit into juice. At the same time, my father got in serious trouble with Mom for climbing one of the trees to retrieve some fruit. He “ruined” his new shirt in the effort. But, the delicious sweet juice was apparently worth his trouble.
My first taste of the Clinic as a staff physician came even before I began seeing patients while I was finding my new abode. I was duly enrolled in the Creative Living Program so that I might gain a direct appreciation of the Clinic’s residential facility and agenda.
The weeklong Creative Living Programs were directed by Dr. Gladys while Dr. Bill led the two-week Temple Beautiful Programs. The group which I joined numbered eight or nine and was composed of a variety of health-conscious Cayceites. I don’t remember any of the participants having particularly serious disease, although many people with debilitating or terminal illnesses entered other program sessions seeking some relief.
Both programs were conducted largely at the Oak House located several blocks from the Clinic. It was a commodious two-story brick house with plenty of room for activities as well as a large yard for outdoor moments. Erika Bauer, the feisty manager, ruled authoritatively yet kindly when our Doctor Gladys was otherwise occupied. Wholesome Cayce style meals were provided and were the focal point of much community engagement. Gladys appeared bright and early to join and direct the group each morning. She had a knack for interpreting dreams which were a main focus over breakfast. Gladys easily elicited personal stories and drew out many tales from those who sat around the table. Over evening meals, we each, in turn, offered our own life stories for the edification of the group and ourselves.
I considered those “family moments” the most valuable parts of the programs. They were such great ways to get to know each other and stimulate healing!! They were were much like the benefits of the Spiritual Spa Week I attended back at the Beach, but the Clinic programs were surely much more costly. I have often reflected that moderns too often have to get sick or injured to find similar opportunities for time off, moments of reflection, and the touch of friends and family.
Between meals and clinic visits, we explored dimensions of health in various formats. There were modest exercises each morning followed by brief meditations. We did art and movement to music. At one point, we practiced the laying-on-of-hands. Everyone received a Massage to Music through the hands of Erika.
At the Clinic, exams, therapy and counseling were performed. Everyone had a physical examination. Everyone had a series of blood tests. Likewise, everyone had two therapeutic massages and a colonic irrigation as well as three biofeedback sessions and a turn on the Graham Potentializer. We all got pretty much the same smattering of holistic modalities before we went our separate ways. Dr. Bill described the residential programs as “unique (probably in many ways), especially in that we set up the same kind of therapy program no matter what problem individuals bring with them.” Unique, but the same. On a latter day of the program, participants met with primary health care providers to go over exams and test results and receive recommendations to carry home. Those were again, unique but much the same from patient to patient.
The Graham Electromagnetic Therapeutic Apparatus, named after its inventor, seems to warrant special attention as it was highly touted at the Clinic especially as used at the hands of Harvey Grady, the Director of Energy Medicine. Harvey’s ETA was a relatively simple mechanism which rotated a bed with patient (somewhat like moving a cradle in a circular fashion instead of back and forth) through a mild electromagnetic current. The ETA was touted by inventor David Graham to produce “alteration of states of consciousness” leading to “increased relaxation, inner peace, tranquillity, significant personal insights and mystical experiences” as well as “reduction of pain, relief of stress symptoms, relief from insomnia... accelerated healing of cuts and burns, and improvement of neurological disorders.”
Harvey Grady in recent times
Graham’s device may have had grand potential, but it apparently never found wide usage. One of the obvious extra features of the Clinic’s machine was Harvey, the Clinic Mystic. While Grady seems to have had a varied career before appearing at the Clinic, when he became the ETA Man his magnetic talents surfaced. His soothing voice, kind manner and genuine healing presence most assuredly factored into the benefits which people gained when submitting to the Clinic’s ETA. While the ETA on its own may have had therapeutic effects, I often wondered whether Harvey was not more therapeutic than the device he tended. Harvey Grady was a diamond in the ruff. One of a number at the ARE Clinic.
By the end of Creative Living Program, the participants acted like old friends and family. We had shared a busy and intense eight days. In the midst of them, we had exercised and meditated, dreamed and shared, been rubbed, irrigated, counseled and potentialized. Healed or not, we had experienced some honest-to-goodness innovations in health care.
While Bob McGarey’s remarks had put me to wondering, I was buoyed up by my experience of the program and looked forward to working on the other end of the system. I was joining the Clinic staff “fresh” from a stint of military service, years on the Kansas prairie, and almost a decade of marriage. I came to Phoenix with an incipient beard and spreading, curly locks. No more uniform, no more dress code, no more authority and rules – or so I imagined.
Almost before I started work I was “honored” with the title of Chief of Medical Staff. I was never quite certain what being the CMS meant, but certain odd duties did fall into my lap simply because I was the only truly full-time physician besides Dr. Gladys at the Clinic then. Many of the patients I saw fit into a similar framework – oddities and leftovers. That’s where the newby starts in most any setting and I didn’t mind at all. But, I did get my share of freaky and funny communications as well as comparable patients.
I remember getting an unexpected call at the Clinic from my own mother. She asked, “Am I speaking to THE Dr. McMary of Globe Magazine fame? Well, I didn’t rightly know what she was talking about. So, Mom read part of an article from the tabloid’s current edition to me. The next day, I ran out to get my own copy and “the rest of the story.” I found my name misspelled but in the same article with comments by the guru at the time on the subject of light, John Ott.
The Globe Headlines read, “LIGHT CURES ARTHRITIS.” A few snippets of the story were highlighted on the cover and inside page. Then, I remembered a recent caller, who didn’t explain his intentions – I didn’t think to ask as I was just taking calls and doing my CMS duties – but pried me for information on the Clinic’s use of light therapies. All I could say was that I thought new forms of light treatment would find their way into medical practice in the coming years and that we had some experience with one method. (More on that later.)
It became apparent that the Globe story was largely a fabrication of a freelancer who needed a byline and a buck. Of the several quotes attributed to me, only one had passed through my lips. I suspect that the mystery writer had first put together his sensational piece promoting a non-existent arthritis cure and then made calls looking for names to put with his article.
I still can’t get over the writer’s misspelling my name in a national magazine, tabloid though it was. Maybe it was for the best. I have not been indelibly tarnished by that single incident of journalistic intrigue, although I got phone calls and letters for months from arthritic people seeking help for their ails. I received a letter with enclosed xrays from a man as far away as Montevideo, Uruguay, who caught the Globe article and prayed for my “generous help.”
LESSON§ One of my very favorite healing stories comes out of my Chief of Medical Staff letter-writing duties at the Clinic. It is laugh-promoting as well thought-provokng. As CMS, I was charged with passing on the truths which Edgar Cayce had shared with the world in a most memorable way with a man named Graves from the East Coast who wrote a curiously pushy letter. Despite his anguish over the “Cayce Outfit” in Virginia Beach with which he had some unfavorable dealings, Graves decided that he would give the Clinic an opportunity to help him with his TWO incurable diseases.
Earl had suffered with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy for many years. He had been attended by North Carolina’s best and a variety of others. He had consulted GPs, internists, diabetes specialists, neurologists, and been tested at Duke University Medical Center. Along the way, Graves had even deigned to visit chiropractors, herbalists, and faith healers. All of his efforts, travels and travails, had been for nought. Yet, he had not given up and wrote to give the Clinic a try at long distance. Across the miles and by letter, I was offered the opportunity to aid a man with TWO incurable illnesses. I soon wrote the following to my new patient:
Dear Mr. Graves,
Thank you for your letter. I understand you have a concern about our organization. I admit that the ARE has room for improvement. Don’t we all?
At the same time, I can see that you are a very frank and forthright individual. I hope you will allow me to be direct with you as well. Edgar Cayce had much to say about attitudes with regard to illness, as you may recall. One of his thoughts was that, “There are no incurable illnesses, only incurable people.”
Mr. Graves, please take the time to reconsider that statement. See if you can shift your attitude and consciousness. Maybe you can focus on being optimistic and positive. You might become a curable person. Your illnesses then should be much more manageable and even subject to healing.
There are other suggestions which I might make, but this seems like the best place to begin. Please feel free to correspond again.
Robert McNary, M.D.
It was only a few days before a quick response arrived in the mail. The first words of Mr. G.’s letter went like this:
Dear Dr. McNary,
Thank you for your recent letter.
I’m sorry I made a mistake. I do not have two incurable illnesses. I really have three incurable illnesses. . . . §
The Clinic itself where I saw patients and tended phone and mails was spread over on two sides of North 40th Street. The medical and midwifery offices were on the west side in two separate southwestern-looking brick buildings. Across the street was a row of therapy rooms and admin offices. There seemed to be plenty of space for patients and personnel.
I only occasionally wrestled with the media and the mail, but there were always curious patients coming and going from the Cayce Clinic. The Drs. McGarey put in busy and varied schedules. Bill saw few patients at the time, but Gladys did full duty. The remainder of the staff was made up of a real diversity of professionals. There was a physician assistant, a family nurse practitioner, and three certified nurse midwives. A chiropractor joined us on a part-time basis midway through my tenure. We also had a number of massage therapists, biofeedback technicians, and colonic irrigators. We even had a music therapist who struggled to find a niche for himself.
I was involved with most all of the “professional” staff as well as the nursing, clerical, and Oak House workers. However, I had little contact with the midwives who had their own building and relatively separate operation. Despite the struggles and conflicts which arose, there was a real sense of duty and loyalty to the Cayce ideals and work. One of the other positive aspects of the Clinic operation was the communal office setup for the professional staff. All of us, except the midwives working in the adjacent building, shared a single office space. I suppose the desks covered close to 50% of the floor area in that room. We were relatively sandwiched among each other, yet maintained a semblance of comfort and cooperation.
Dr. Gladys was usually in the midst of us and set a bright and cheery tone for the group. Though graying and in her early sixties, she aged radiantly. Gladys was an inspiration to most everyone who met her whether or not they agreed with her medicine or spirituality. She greeted physicians, patients, and public in the same attentive, present manner. Gladys always wore clothes colored in Indian, Asian, or South of the Border patterns. She was never without some kind of necklace around her neck which often got commingled with her stethoscope and tethered eyeglasses. Then, she had a devil of a time to unravel the mess.
Gladys McGarey approaching age 100
A born healer, Dr. Gladdie deserved and received a biography of her own which was written by her daughter Analea. The latter recounted a wide swath of Gladys’s life, largely from the family angle. Gladys Taylor was born to two American-born osteopaths in India in 1920. From an early age, she was convinced she was to become a doctor like her parents. Along the way, she confronted dyslexia and numerous authorities who wouldn’t or couldn’t understand her. Gladys failed first grade, but quickly caught up and started Muskingum College at age 17, eventually graduating from the Women’s Medical College in Philadelphia. She spent practically all her growing-up years in India and emulated her parents, as a healer of animals, when just a child. India was in her blood and marrow for many reasons. Notably when she first visited the Taj Mahal in later years, Gladys had a past life reverie and recovered memories of having been the midwife for Mumtaz Mahal. Mumtaz was the favored wife of Shah Jehan. At her death after delivering fourteen children, Shah Jehan constructed the Taj Mahal in her memory.
Such was only one of many stories that Gladys had to share. Fortunately, I was able to hear a number of them during my time at the Clinic. I can see her now: her mystical eyes gently peering into and through the people who approached her asking for advice and attention. I suspect she was not only looking into others but into herself all at the same time. The dreamy, intuitive Sagittarian Gladys was no scientist, though she would liked to have been. Still, Dr. Gladys was a feeler and a healer – a woman with heart and a physician with charisma. In her later years, she followed her husband's lead and wrote or co-wrote a number of books on healing and medicine. Technologically, her major innovation at the Clinic was the Baby Buggy program which supported home deliveries by midwives.
Bill McGarey in later years
Dr. Bill, was a Scorpio, white-haired, neat and meticulous. Born in 1917, he grew up in Ohio and attended college in Arkansas. William McGarey was not a born healer like his wife, but found his career later on. He would eventually admit to believing that he had experienced a recent lifetime as a priest. When he met Gladys, he was considering the study of ministry. But, he had a change of mind and graduated from medical school in Cincinnati shortly after Gladys completed her training. He served for a time as a physician in the Air Force after World War II.
Bill McGarey had an incisive, probing mind which presented him as being a bit severe and demanding. His presence could even be intimidating at times. Still, Bill McGarey was physician and leader worthy of respect. He had the markings of a researcher as well. He was the brains of while Gladys was heart of the ARE Clinic. Bill appeared however to get diverted and distracted along the way from his calling as physician – trying to keep up with fundraising, researching the readings, and reaching out to this community and that. He was very controlled, organized, and efficient in his Clinic works. But, there seemed little spontaneity and rare moments when he let forth with smiles and cheer. Running a business can be a very hard task.
Bill had trouble keeping up with so many irons. While Gladys was inexhaustible, Bill had limits even as he added more jobs for himself. At the same time, he removed himself gradually from seeing patients which caused its own problems.
Dr. William A. McGarey found the time write a number of books which followed on the Cayce medical readings and became an authority in holistic medicine. Gladys wanted to do the same, but that didn’t happen until later years and with the help of Jess Stearn as collaborator. During my tour at the Clinic, Gladys took me aside asking me if I could help her organize and write a book based on her clinical researches with acupuncture. After a brief survey, I had to say that she didn’t have sufficient material or information to create one. That was probably not the direction for her go, anyway. Her life has been story and people based, which have come out subsequently in her writings and that of her daughter.
While Gladys was visible and seeing patients regularly, Bill was often otherwise occupied. So, the people on duty rarely got to see him. And when we did, there was usually a tale to tell which did not always set comfortably. Dr. Bill made infrequent appearances to pass on financial reports and inform us whether we were fulfilling our “quota” of income toward defraying Clinic expenses.
Money drives most every business. It also drives a medical practice which certainly is a business. The ARE Clinic was no exception. With a large staff, several properties, and a number of ongoing programs, the Clinic had to generate a lot of money each month. Each member of the professional staff was expected to bring in a specific amount determined through some formula that was developed in the business office. A few days into the new month, the practitioners received computer printouts showing how much we brought in versus how much we “owed.” It was an irritating moment which we confronted each month. During my ten-month tour, I never broke even once. I may still owe the Clinic some bucks.
The business of medicine surely was significant at the Clinic, but the providers were practitioners not advertisers, fundraisers, or promoters. I never understood that part of the Clinic Picture nor was I ever instructed in that direction. At the same time, practitioners were not trained in Cayce medicine. We either brought it with us or picked it up by osmosis along the way.
I was neither “into” ordering tests nor pressing for return visits by patients. I wouldn’t spend more of a patient’s money than was reasonable. Furthermore, I neither wanted to find many things wrong with my patients nor make them dependent on me. I was inclined to keep people away from the Clinic, not regular visitors.
I don’t think any Clinic practitioners consciously overspent patient monies. Nobody certainly approved of the computer printouts. The financial reports didn’t spur us to anything but frustration with a cockeyed idea generated across the street by the business office at the behest most likely of the Clinic President. Regardless of the financial situation, tests were ordered, followups promoted, and medications and remedies correlated with the frequency of particular testing. The laboratory is one of the money makers in most clinics, like others which are “manned” by non-professionals.
There was another occasion which remains indelibly marked in memory when Dr. Bill visited for a while in the doctors' office. However the topic arose, Bill had to remark about the good works of the Clinic as a place for healing patients as well as for “training” holistic practitioners. He felt honored that the Clinic had provided so many opportunities for physicians on their learning paths, several of whom were practicing then in the Phoenix area. He was hopeful that one day a more permanent staff might allow Gladys and him more freedom. Bill had to add something to the effect that, “Unfortunately, we have been doing the Cayce Work long enough to realize that the power of the Christ Consciousness can be too much for many to handle with comfort. They move on.”
I am sure that I have known Gladys and Bill in previous times and climes. My sense of them has not developed over months and years but rather centuries! And I don’t dare forget that there is as much of Bill as well as Gladys within me – shining positively as well as muddying the waters at times. We all have things to give and receive, teach and learn. That is much of why we are here on planet Earth and return repeatedly.
By the time I reached the Clinic, I was no longer a novice as physician or as a Cayceite. I understood a reasonable amount of medicine and was fairly well versed in the Cayce system and philosophy. I was pretty much able to begin work at a running or at least jogging pace.
The ARE Clinic was surely unique in its practices and practitioners as well as in the patients it drew. All types of people came with a wide range of problems and expectations. I might stop here to note some well-known TV and film stars the Clinic attracted. I remember consulting with Khigh Die who played Wo Fat on Hawaii 5-0 and Buckwheat of Our Gang days. Harmon Bro visited the Clinic joining in a program in which I was his physician. I never met Lindsay Wagner, the Bionic Woman, but knew her to be a staunch fan of Dr. Gladys.
I remember entering consulting rooms to meet patients who had expected a female practitioner or an “older doctor.” Some patients got me confused with Bill McGarey because our names were similar. One woman even told me – despite the seemingly obvious age difference, “I saw your wife (Gladys) on the television the other day.”
I consulted with a large number of Mr. Graves’s type of “incurables” – patients with multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and many others. They came early as well as late in their disease processes, but mostly late. Their hopes were high. Sometimes, they were met and more often they were not. We all like to remember and publicize successes. Even while Hippocrates’s Rule of Thirds still reigns pretty widely even in holistic circles. Hippocrates believed that one third of his patients would get better, one third stay the same, and the last third turn for the worse despite his cares.
I recall consulting with a roundish, middle-aged man who was concerned about his gout. At the same time, he had somehow become convinced of the value of holistic medicine. He claimed to be ready to do “whatever it takes” to deal with his gout. Toward the end of lone consultation, I tried to tell the gentleman that alcohol was a large stressor on the liver and that one key way to help manage gout was to cut down on alcohol intake. He reacted emotionally, “Oh, no! There’s nothing wrong with beer. I’ll do anything. But, I won’t stop drinking beer!”
I saw people with day-to-day aches and pains and ills who wanted unconventional alternatives – holistic and/or Cayce remedies. And, I saw people who wanted standard medicine for standard ailments. It wasn’t easy to shift from one approach to the next. To be sure, most everyone wanted quick answers to complicated problems. Even many who were students of Cayce.
That eventually became one of my larger frustrations with the practice of medicine – orthodox or holistic. I learned that when people were ill, they simply wanted to be fixed. They didn’t want to talk about their lives or lifestyles. They just wanted their complaints and symptoms attended to. Actually, that attitude was quite understandable. When a person is ill, he or she usually short on energy and focus. It is a difficult time for contemplation of one’s self. It is a time to be replenished.
But, when people become well – when patients recover, they don’t want to see a physician. We avoid doctors, dentists, and morticians until we have to see them. Besides, our system doesn’t support physicians who work to prevent illness. Insurance and government medical benefits are almost exclusively directed to disease care. Real health care hardly exists at all.
As an example, consider a routine physical examination on a “well” person. Most health insurance covers the exam only if a diagnosis of illness is made. At least that is how the process ran years ago. A person determined to be healthy by physical examination had to pay the full bill out-of-pocket. People are, therefore, discouraged to have examinations and consultations when they are well. On the other hand, physicians are encouraged to find something wrong with every patient. To put a diagnostic label on some problem, minor or otherwise. It’s good for business!
All my life was not work in Phoenix. I had my little house conveniently located. Curious but good neighbors as well. I shall never forget my next-door neighbor. Marie was an 80 year-old woman of German extraction. She spent hour-upon-hour on the back patio with a cigarillo in one hand, a generic beer in the other, the Bible on her lap, and caustic words for people “on my list.” She was some contradiction. Marie had her eye out for any visitor who might show up at my place and she always kept a close watch on the dog in my fenced-in backyard.
Actually, there were two dogs. The first was Albert, a Springer spaniel. Albert resided with me for a short time while his owner, Dr. Subasic, worked at the Clinic for a few months and lived in a nearby apartment. Albert was soon succeeded by another.
I met Diddles sitting next to a small boy outside the grocery story, one day. The boy had a sad look on his face and a story to tell anyone who would listen, “We are moving and they won’t let us have a dog. I need a home for her.”
I quickly determined to take the dog home if she was still there when I left the store. And, she was. When I accepted the beautiful collie/Australian shepherd mix, I decided she need a more grownup appellation. She became Lady and eventually my “Lover Dog.”
At first, Lady was my “Jerk Dog.” Well, the name was meant in some convoluted, masculine sort of way to be an endearing term. Subasic inadvertently taught me a lesson about such a name. Once when I visited Joe’s apartment, I noticed a rubber-stamped letter on his desk. It pictured a Tweetie bird staring through professorial glasses and over a huge book. The cover read, “I’m OK. You’re a jerk!”
I loved it. I thought it was great – hilarious. I considered for a moment getting a similar stamp for my own use. I could stamp my letters and share some smiles. But, I thought again, “Some people won’t understand and might even be offended. Others will understand too much. They will take the stamp as my projection on them and know who the real JERK is.”
I didn’t buy the stamp. Instead, I started calling Lady, my Lover Dog. She was a real sweetheart. Lady was also a flower girl. On occasion, I would find her curled atop the cool soil of an otherwise empty huge clay pot in the backyard. I have a “posed” photo by which to remember my lotus child.
There isn’t space to discuss all my human guests as well as family and friends visiting from far away, travelers I met through the Clinic. But, Albert’s master and a master of the streets were two unique persons who demand more than a few passing words.
Dr. Subasic spent only a few days in my home, but placed Albert with me and became a regular visitor. He came to the Clinic to get a “taste” of Cayce medicine. Having delved into several alternative systems, he came to add to his potpourri of knowledge en route to an eventual residency in neurology and another in emergency medicine.
You remember! He was for a brief time one of those neurologists who “knows all and does nothing.” He would probably agree, but add that most physicians are pretty much in the same mold except ... Maybe that is why he soon changed from neurology to emergency medicine which he continues to practice in Vermont. ER practice is a world of is own.
Subasic in present day
Subasic never used his first name and always wrote with lower case letters. Maybe that expressed some deep sense of inferiority or inadequacy. And, maybe that explains why he became a neurologist, wanting to know. Maybe, maybe not. On the other hand, Subasic was soomething of a Zen Buddhist, one of the “no-mind” people. So, at least from one angle, he believed that the answers couldn’t be known. Yet, he was walking on the earth and needed to come up with some sorts of answers for himself and his patients. He was a practicing contradiction, to be sure. So am I – and so are you?
Subasic and I had quite a bit in common. We were born four days apart in September of 1948 – Virgos. We were both physicians and humans in search of a path and some light. We showed up in Phoenix to learn a few things, share a few others, and meet ourselves coming and going.
We ran together along the Phoenix canals in the evenings. He was much more lithe and agile than I. We ate and meditated together. We talked Cayce and Clinic politics, religion and spirituality, psychic phenomena and ultimate realities. I gathered more than a bit of his terse wisdom. He even cooked and taught me his recipe for Russian Cabbage Borscht which I have used ever since and shared all over the country. I’m not sure what he may have picked up from me. Like many other friends, Subasic is not keen on correspondence. We did get in touch over the phone when I lived briefly in New York and discussed getting together at some point. It didn’t happen. If it had, I imagine we would pick up the old conversation without skipping a beat.
I am reminded that Joe Subasic stayed with me on his last day in town while clearing out his apartment. We dined at Taco Bell and both got sick on their fare. While we blamed it on the tacos, I wonder if we were both having trouble digesting the loss of our friendship.
I met another character through the Clinic who stayed at my home off and on. He was in some ways more extraordinary that Subasic. I wonder if he is still alive or still homeless. At best, he is probably in some condition similar to the one in which I first found him.
I had been at the Clinic for only a month or so when I encountered Jesse. It was a late Friday afternoon and I was working the Clinic pretty much by myself. I was getting ready to round things up for the day and the week, when one of the receptionists told me that there was a young man in the treatment room to be seen. He had been found prostrate on the front lawn of the Clinic. The staff were concerned for his welfare and coaxed him into the building for medical attention.
When I walked in on Jesse Chrisman, I met an anxious, talkative 25-year old man trying to weasel his way into some quick cash. Despite his hangover, dirty and ragged appearance, and frequent, “Thank you, Jesus,” I was not put off by Jesse in the least. He told me he only had a small pain in his side. He had just been resting on the Clinic lawn and only needed a little money to get some food and a place for the night.
I was quite direct, “I won’t give you any money, but you are welcome to spend the night in my house and share my food.”
“Thank you, Jesus.”
After closing up shop, J.C. and I walked to my place. Our first task was to get him cleaned up. I threw his clothes into the trash while he sat with the water running in the bathtub. Jesse’s body needed a real scrubbing and as he wasn’t in much shape to do it. I lent a vigorous hand to the job. It took two tubs of fresh water and plenty of soap and shampoo to get him even close to clean after which operation the tub itself was in sore need of its own scrubbing. To complete the process, I dug up some clothes for Jesse to put on. He then looked almost presentable.
Thereafter, I rustled up some plain vegetarian food which Jesse engulfed happily, “Thank you, Jesus.” It took me some time to convince him that his religious rhetoric would get him no extra points with me. We passed an otherwise quiet evening, especially as I didn’t own a TV or even a radio at the time. Chrisman turned in early and slept until midday. When I gathered that he was in no hurry to leave, I offered him the option of staying as long as he remained sober. Jesse again accepted.
Jesse’s story was pretty simple, at least on the surface. He came from a broken home. His father had either died or absented himself from the family which lived in Grand Junction, Colorado. His mother still resided there, but the Chrisman boys had long since parted for distant places. Jesse and one of his several brothers hit the streets in their early teens. They did alcohol and drugs of all kinds – but mostly alcohol. Jesse made it to Phoenix in the late 70s and stayed because the weather was favorable for street people like himself. He worked on occasion, but often used the missions or obliging people to provide him with shelter and food.
J.C.’s only material possession were the rags I had thrown in the dumpster. He had no wallet or ID card which reflected his lack of identity except as a bum. Jesse had missed the opportunity of developing any other persona. He viewed himself as a bum and he hallucinated, imagined, and believed that people called him a bum. On a few occasions when we were among strangers in a store or supermarket, Jesse would look over his shoulder toward a shopper. He would stare for a moment then gain my attention with a whisper, saying, “I heard him. He just muttered, ‘The guy’s a bum. The bum.’” It was almost funny. I could not help smiling sometimes and we even ended up laughing about his “acute sense of hearing.” But, he was really quite serious.
By Monday, J.C. was well-sobered, fed, rested, and wanting to stay on for a while. I quickly helped him get a job doing landscape and maintenance work at the Clinic. Jesse got paid “under the table,” which he liked. But, he did go ahead and get a pictured ID card so that for a time he had a job, a title, and some identity. He also befriended old Marie and Albert. Jesse was accepted by the Clinic workers and responded by working hard for his wages.
But, Chrisman was plagued by fears, angers and tantrums. The littlest thing could set him off. His paranoia reared its head at times and caused him real discomfort, but for the most part he filled his days with working and watching a used TV which he picked up during his month at my house. He stayed long enough to watch the World Series and then all of a sudden he got plastered one night.
After the fact, I heard that he had had some altercation with the office people at the Clinic. His side of the story seemed rather exaggerated. Regardless of its magnitude, Jesse had a reason and the cash to have a good drunk. On the following day, I told J.C. that if he sobered up and went back to work, I would give him another chance. He still had a job and a place to live if he wanted them. But, Jesse repeated his performance of the previous night. When he showed up the second evening, I put his clothes in a bag and sent him away.
Chrisman returned from time to time. I fed him or just talked to him at the door. Once or twice, as my door was never locked, he dropped in and fried up some potatoes, cleaned up and left. He said he would never steal from me and he was true to his word. Jesse did return for one longer visit, about which more later.
It turned out that the ARE Clinic was a real magnet for oddballs like myself and Subasic and Chrisman. The Clinic was living on the edge and so were we. So, it seemed quite natural that the Edgar Cayce Clinic would attract a range of normals, abnormals and oddballs. A few supernormals may have appeared as well.
Most of the time, the spotlight was on the patients. And rightly so. The Clinic was there to aid and succor those in need. But, such a simple thing is not easy to do in the modern world as it has become complicated in so many ways.
My own practice at the Clinic had its peculiar bent, I must admit. Maybe you can pick it up as I reminisce about some of the memorable Clinic patients with whom I worked. My favorite patients to attend were those souls who passed through, shared their stories and returned to their home land. I always thought that the Clinic “owed” them something extra, especially as they had come distances and paid handsomely to take part in programs. It was never clear how much effort was made to maintain contact or to support their healing efforts at home. My fear was that many were quite regularly and quickly “lost to followup.” I wish I had had some influence in changing that situation. I didn’t. Still, life moves on rather quickly and how often are we as Shakespeare reminds us, but players on the stage of life.
One of the very first Create Living Program patients I met was Vince Hammer. Vince was a Dallas businessman who was going through lots of life and work changes. He had high blood pressure, chronic headaches, and “carried a load of stress.” Vince didn’t know how to deal with any of those ills. Furthermore, he didn’t know how to deal with me – and quite understandably so.
I remember sitting with him in a consulting room one day. He seemed to be preoccupied and resistant to hearing the information and suggestions I was trying to share. Vince was not just distant with me. I had heard through “reliable sources“ that the Hammer was a “non-hugger“ and that he seemed somewhat out of place in the Oak House group. I prodded him during that particular visit to let down his barriers and try to join in the spirit of the program.
Vince thrust back at me, “Why don’t you get with the program? You don’t even look like a doctor. You need a haircut!”
I had to admit that he was right. The next day I dressed a little more tidily, trimmed my beard, and stopped at the nearest barbershop for a haircut. Synchronistically, Vince was the very first person whom I encountered when I returned to the Clinic. I think he was pleasantly surprised. So was I in receiving reports that Vince had begun to participate in all of the Oak House activities including hugs! The Hammer even gave me a friendly squeeze before he left the program for home.
Hugs were important in the programs though much less so in the Clinic work environment itself. One delightful story about hugging came from the husband of a Temple Beautiful patient. I heard it when Jim and Cindy Strong were ending their two-week stay at the Oak House. Cindy was an active, long-time ARE member from Kentucky. Jim was not directly involved with the Cayce organization, but joined his wife in a few of her “odd” activities. He didn’t mind most of the facets of the ARE, but he claimed to be “the most unhuggable judge in the state of Kentucky.” That made him reticent to spend two full weeks among “avowed huggers” at ARE West. Jim battled with himself for some weeks before giving in to his wife’s desire for him to join and support her during the course of a Temple Beautiful Program. Apparently, Cindy had no idea as to depth of the struggle which Jim waged with himself before and during the program.
Happily, Jim’s blocks and barricades of a lifetime – maybe lifetimes – were somehow breached through his intimate contacts at the Temple Beautiful. The tall, reserved, Southern professional man opened his heart and his arms during the course of the TBP. Jim was mildly ecstatic, beaming with pleasure over his unexpected triumph. He decided that he might consider a new title: “The most huggable Judge in the state of Kentucky – or at least my home county.”
All program stories were not quite so happy in their outcomes. Too often, we saw people coming to the programs or directly to the Clinic in the end stages of progressive diseases. They expected miracles to heal their physical bodies. “Miracles” did happen, but not usually in time to resurrect dying bodies.
I remember Jean Dusseau who transported his seriously ill wife all the way from eastern Canada. Irene was trying to cope with the oppressive effects of pulmonary hypertension. Mrs. Dusseau was rarely out of bed during the whole of the Temple Beautiful. Her situation was so serious and her problem so aggravated that even traveling to and from the Clinic was problematic. Nonetheless, I believe the Dusseaus were lifted up spiritually from their long journey. I suspect that our patient did not live long after her visit, but never heard tell.
Bill Bishop came from the high desert in California for help with his advanced lung cancer. Bill’s tumor was closing off his airways. His breathing was labored and his energy was sapped. Yet, he was determined to stall the process and “cheat death.” Bill deceived himself in a number of ways. Bishop wanted his body remade, but he could not imagine changing anything else in his life. And, he had neither the energy to change nor a deep, meaningful purpose for continuing his existence. Bill died within weeks of returning home, but not without making trips to other holistic centers in search of an elusive cure. It may have been that death was the change that he needed and that life had in mind for him.
Leonard Orton was a different case. Mr. Orton, a mechanical engineer, came from northern Washington with his wife seeking a cure for lymphoma. He had been through the diagnostic “medical mill” and refused suggestions for conventional chemotherapy and radiation. Leonard was in his mid-fifties and his disease was progressing slowly. He had the energy and the drive to make decisions and back them up.
During the course of the Temple Beautiful Program, Mr. Orton and his wife immersed themselves, worked and meditated and prayed. They accepted suggestions and followed them carefully. The Ortons eventually determined to move to Phoenix to keep close to their new-found support system as well as contribute to the Clinic and its work.
I saw Leonard over the course of eight months and the spectrum of changes which his body underwent was quite amazing. For weeks after moving to the desert, Leonard did well. There was really little evidence of his disease. Then over a matter of a few days, his face turned sallow. His abdomen became bloated and hard, and his colon stopped working. Still, Leonard refused to even consider that he only had a few days to live as was the consensus at the Clinic.
How wrong we were! In those “few days,” Leonard’s outward state of health turned around 180 degrees. It was truly incredible. From leaning on death’s door one day to smiling robustly at life the next, Leonard was transformed almost before our eyes.
His “secret” eventually came out through the lips of Mrs. Orton. She told us that, after leaving the Clinic with death staring him in the face, Leonard had gone through forty-eight hours of hell. He struggled with pain – physical and emotional, he screamed and cried, he prayed and he bargained with God. Apparently, Leonard’s pleadings were heard. As Orton’s pain decreased, color pinked, and belly shrank, he followed his decision to supervise the construction of an adjunct clinic at Casa Grande in the desert south of Phoenix. Leonard spent fifteen months overseeing the operation. Then, it was time for him to depart. Or so I was told.
The stories that people told me in the Clinic were so varied and so real. I often thought how privileged I was to enter quickly and sometimes quite deeply into the lives and experiences of my fellow human beings – and to be paid to do it as well! How many people can say to another human being on first meeting, “Take your clothes off,“ and be instantly obeyed. People not only take off their clothes for physicians, but they may even take off their masks and tell comical or tragic, bizarre or beautiful, pointed or poignant stories. It was my great good fortune to listen to and sometimes even understand those human histories.
I recall consulting with a Clinic volunteer who was having problems with intermittent blurred vision as well as head congestion. During our interview, she took time in front of me to reminisce about about her home in distant Australia. Jeanne told me about her children, their homes, and their lives. The more she spoke of them, the more emotional she became. Before long, tears rolled down her cheeks and she sputtered, “I’m afraid I’ll never see them again.” I let her cry.
When she stopped, we talked about her fears and how they might relate to her symptoms I examined her eyes and reassured her that there were no signs of physical disease. I asked her to ponder for a time on the things we had discussed. I saw Jeanne a few days later in the library. She was pleased to report that her symptoms had entirely disappeared. Jeanne almost beamed when she added, “I’m planning a trip home to ‘see’ my children in the flesh.”
Another local patient comes to mind, one I never met. I merely noticed her coming and going at the Clinic by recognizing her automobile. It seems that she had work to do and a story to tell based simply on her license plate. Her personalized plate read LUPUS. “Ouch!” I told myself, “Now, there is someone who is committed to her disease.”
I got the story from a third party that the owner of the car was a patient with the obvious ailment of lupus erythematosus and also an officer of the local society of the same name. Nothing like promoting your disease! I am sure she meant well, trying to support her cause and advertise it on the front and back of her auto. But with that kind of thinking, she was likely to carry the label as well as the symptoms of lupus until her dying day. Lupus was her identity or a large part of it writ in letter for the whole city to see.
Whatever forces brought LUPUS into that woman’s life were reinforced by her absorbing the label, having it on an office door and letterhead, wearing it on her name badge, and putting it on her personal license plate. How could she ever let go, give up an identity like that? If the woman had to label herself, couldn’t she come up with a more positive one?
I can’t help but laugh – sometimes howl – when I think of a woman called Karen Morgan. Her story is quite funny, yet sad and tragic all at the same time. I met Karen one afternoon when I was in a volunteering mood even as the schedule said I had the afternoon off. A patient had been brought to the Clinic by ambulance, but no practitioner was available to see her. I stepped into the situation and added in several ways to my lists of unique Clinic experiences and education.
As I walked down the Clinic corridor looking for my patient, a very large, auburn-haired woman exploded out of a restroom and nearly knocked me over. She proceeded toward a consulting room and I followed her in. I tried to introduce myself while she worked at emptying the contents of a lithium capsule into a urine specimen cup filled with water. Spilling some of the powder on her chest, the woman managed to make and drink her bitter potion.
My new patient was disheveled and disoriented. It didn’t really matter to Karen that she had a splotch of white powder on her navy blue dress. Karen had indeed been transported to the Clinic by ambulance (I never determined why) to find out if she was pregnant! Miss Morgan had had a pregnancy test done on her last Clinic visit.
Our conversation went like this:
K: Well, I came to find out if I’m pregnant. Am I?
M: Your test was negative. So, you’re probably not pregnant.
K: Are you sure? Those tests are wrong lots of time. I’ve been pregnant, you know. I know how it feels. Besides, I want to be pregnant.
M: I’m sorry that you’re disappointed about the pregnancy test. The tests are really pretty accurate these days. Is there anything else I can help you with today?
K: Well, yes there is. Can you call my parents and tell the SOBs that I’m tired of waiting for my SSI check?
M: Don’t you think that’s between you and your parents and the Social Security people? Maybe you should call the Social Security office.
K: Maybe you’re right. But, since you’re a doctor, you can call my psychiatrist and talk to him for me.
M: What would I say to him, Karen?
K: Tell him, he screwed up my life and I can’t get it back. [After taking a breath], say Doctor, are you circumcised.
At that point, the interview was getting out of hand. Karen was ready to seduce me in the consulting room. Somehow, I terminated the meeting and sent Karen on her way. But for weeks to come, Karen was my patient with a few notable exceptions.
The first occurred only a few days later as Karen’s obsession with pregnancy gained strength. Late one afternoon, Dr. Gladys was driving to her desert home from work when her pager went off. She stopped and called the Doctor’s Hospital obstetrical department. Dr. McGarey was told that she had a patient in labor and needed to come check on her.
Before she restarted her car, Gladys thought for a moment. At first, she was puzzled, then bewildered. Who could the patient be? No patients near their due dates came to mind. Dr. McGarey returned to a telephone, called the OB department again, and asked for details on the patient. She was told, “Karen Morgan, age 32, three previous pregnancies, no children.” Gladys still couldn’t get a fix on “her patient” until she had the nurse describe the expectant mother. The light finally dawned on her as to the identity of the mysterious “woman in labor.” Dr. McGarey had dealt with Karen several times over the years and would do so again in the future. After Karen’s identity became clear, Gladys somehow managed the “delivery” over the telephone.
Karen was back in the Clinic frequently. It seemed to be her home away from home for some weeks. Her residence was in an apartment a few blocks from the Clinic. She had been placed there some time after her last release from the State Mental Hospital. With a shattered mind, a fixation on sex, and no productive outlet in her life, it was easy for her to focus on bodily concerns and complaints.
I recall seeing Miss M. once for a cold/sore throat. It was one of our least dramatic and inciting meetings. But, it too was tragically funny. After our consultation, I escorted her out the door of the Clinic to a chilly day. Karen had brought two coats with her. Two should have kept her plenty warm in Arizona – if they had only fit properly. Unfortunately, they were both quite small. So, Karen walked out the door with her right arm covered by the right sleeve of one coat, her left by the left sleeve of the second. The portions of the unused coats hung in the cool breeze behind her back. Miss M. didn’t seem to mind a bit. At least, her arms were warm.
Not long thereafter, Karen appeared again in an agitated state asking to see Dr. Bill. She was impatient and imagining the worst. An oblivious assistant placed her in a room and said, “The doctor will be right in.” Karen couldn’t wait. She was afraid, anxious, and confused. Karen got up and wandered the hallway looking for Dr. Bill.
She eventually found her way to a room in which Dr. Gladys was performing a pelvic exam. She knocked. Hearing Gladys’s voice, Karen barged right into the room saying, “I must talk to you right now. I’ve got V.D. and your husband is responsible.”
The confusion was soon cleared and Karen was resettled under the watch of an aide until I was freed up to see her. Miss Morgan was adamant that she had V.D. despite another negative test that one of the nurse-midwives had administered. “Those tests are always negative. Why do you even do them?” Karen demanded treatment.
When the patient left the room with prescription in hand, I quite knew that Karen still had it in her head to find Dr. Bill. I trailed her as she threaded her way through the Clinic asking aides his whereabouts. I made signs over her shoulder to potential helpers not to give Karen any information. Karen persisted in her search and wended her way across the street to the Clinic office complex. I was finally forced to intercede directly and tell her that Dr. Bill was not available and was not seeing patients any longer – which was mostly true. Then I added, “Karen, you are being disruptive to the Clinic operation now. You had your consultation and the attention of several people today. It’s time that you go home.”
Miss Morgan began to get the message and turned to leave the premises, but took the long turn before departing. I decided to check her movements by walking around one of the buildings and came out as she was heading back towards Dr. Bill’s office across the street. She stopped in her tracks, staring long and hard at me. With hands on hips, Karen blurted out, “You must have been a Jew in your last life.”
Apparently giving expression to that sentiment was enough to satisfy her. Karen turned with her nose in the air and marched triumphantly away from the Clinic and down the street. I could never determine why she thought Dr. Bill was responsible for her imaginary V.D. Or how she knew that I was a Jew my last time around. The latter is an intriguing idea and quite possibly so.
The Morgan saga continued over the period of several weeks. When I next saw her, Karen had forgotten about her V.D. But then, she was convinced of having a “miasm.” I have no idea where she came up with that term. “Humors and miasms“ were last used as medical diagnoses generations ago. All I could say to her was, “We don’t treat miasms here.” I had enough work trying to deal with “real” problems. The imaginary ones were far beyond me.
Before long, Karen appeared late one afternoon in an extremely anxious state. She was decompensating and quite beside herself. I sat with her for a while and listened to her confused ramblings. Things were totally distorted for Karen, but I was able to convince her to be hospitalized. I personally drove her to Maricopa County Hospital. But before we arrived, Karen decided that she wanted to enter St. ’s Hospital instead. That was fine with me since the two hospitals stood across the street from each other. But, I rather doubted that Karen was eligible for admission at that private institution.
Karen said, “Oh, no problem. I have a card.” She flashed an official-looking laminated card at me and I escorted her to the Emergency Room long enough to watch her begin the paperwork process. I left “assuming” that she would be admitted that evening. I was quite wrong.
I received a collect phone call at home from my crazy patient a few nights later. She was excited, but not as overwrought and irrational as when I last her. That even though she had been released from the hospital. Karen felt bad, “I should have taken your advice, Doctor, I would be in the County Hospital now. My boyfriend, Bubba, is in the Psych Ward now. Bubba is a pimp, but I love him. Can you get me admitted so I can see him?”
There was no way I could accomplish such a thing at that moment even if I had wanted to. I asked Karen to return to the Clinic in the morning so we could discuss the situation in the light of day. She never came back during my tenure and I never saw her again. But, I did get another collect call from her. That time I was at work and she was calling from jail.
I tried to get her out by making a series of phone calls when I found out that Karen had gone to Scottsdale Memorial Hospital insisting that she was pregnant. She wanted her baby delivered then and there. Instead of being admitted, she was arrested for disorderly conduct and thrown in the county jail. I told an assistant county attorney that Miss Morgan was clearly psychotic and jail was by no means the right place to put her. The best I could get from him was that Karen would have to be examined by two court-appointed psychiatrists. If she was deemed sane, she would remain in jail and go on trial. It was unclear what her fate would be if she did not pass the sanity test.
In fact, Karen was pretty harmless. She was merely erratic, erotic, and irrational. And, no one had the time, energy, or knowledge to deal appropriately with her unusual state of being. Though the medical system’s understanding of physical ills seems severely limited at times, its approach to psychotic as well as neurotic ailments remains woefully inadequate.
Another Clinic patient with whom I consulted had a number of things in common with Karen. Pansy Bronte may have even topped Karen if she had stayed nearby long enough for us to really get to know her. On the surface, however, she appeared quite different than Karen. Pansy was a tall, thin, almost attractive young woman from Georgia. She had found her way to the Clinic through a contact she made at an alternative cancer therapy convention in San Diego. Pansy was led to believe that the ARE Clinic might have some novel and effective treatment for her problem which she reported to be cancer.
Bronte had a whole array of disorders which she believed were plaguing her. When we first met on a Friday afternoon, she handed me a list of what appeared to be her “Top Ten” diseases. Pansy was most concerned with cancer, which headed her list. She expected us to cure it after which we would deal with her other rare conditions. She listed no “miasms,” however.
I didn’t dare question her about how she came to have such a pile of problems, but I did get Pansy to tell some of her disjointed story. I gathered that she had grown up in the South and made her way into the U.S. Army as a WAC when in her early twenties. Miss Bronte had a psychotic break during her tour. With some vehemence, she said, “The G-D Army psychiatrists tried to make me crazy.” That sounded a lot like one of Karen’s pronouncements.
Pansy could never say what kind of cancer she had. “I just have cancer. Isn’t that enough?” Her fixation was total. The interview was terribly disconcerting and was one of the longest I had ever done. When I “escaped” the consulting room, I felt as if I was returning from another world. That afternoon, I ordered the standard tests needed for the Temple Beautiful Program which she was expecting to soon enter. I made an appointment to see her on the following Monday hoping to find some way to deal with her in the meantime.
Actually, I wasn’t really very hopeful and became less so over the succeeding hours. First, a Clinic employee attempted to drive Pansy to her room at the Ambassador Motel, but had to make an emergency stop at the Oak House en route. Alice had chauffeured Pansy in her tiny VW with the side shades down to keep out the heat and glare of the Arizona sun. Passing through Phoenix traffic, Pansy turned to peer through the side window only to see “BARS.” She freaked. Alice panicked – but managed to navigate to the Oak House and enlist help. Another car with clear windows and a fresh escort delivered Pansy to her motel room.
While that incident transpired up the street, I got a phone call through to Pansy’s physician in Atlanta. He turned out to be an orthomolecular psychiatrist. The doctor had been treating Miss Bronte for some years with vitamin-mineral megadoses and psychotherapy. He admitted no great success with her, but thought she was “in better shape than when she first came to me.” The psychiatrist told me that there was no trace of cancer or other significant physical disease in Miss Bronte’s history.
On the other hand, there was plenty of evidence that Pansy was unsuitable for a two-week residential program at the Oak House. The Clinic representative who had recommended that Pansy come for “cancer treatment” had done none of us a favor. I consulted with Dr. Bill by phone and he suggested that Pansy be offered one-on-one consults and therapy at the Clinic.
Monday arrived and I had the “brilliant” idea to bring Dr. Subasic (then still at the Clinic) into the consulting room with me while I told Pansy the news. I tried to be diplomatic and considerate as I suggested that the Temple Beautiful Program would not fit her needs. I then suggested the individualized care approach. Pansy became angry and downright hostile. “I have a right to be treated in that program just like anyone else. I have money. I can pay. I demand to be treated for my cancer here and now!”
Pansy’s demands were not met. Furthermore, Subasic and I eventually confronted her with our conviction that she did not have cancer. Pansy became even more irate. She stomped out with hurt feelings and a bad taste for two “arrogant and ignorant physicians.”
After Pansy had left and the air had settled a bit, Subasic and I reviewed the consultation. At first, we thought that we had done the right thing, there being no plausible alternative. Mulling it over for a while, S. had a brainstorm: “I’ve got a great idea. We could go ahead and treat Bronte’s cancer, non-existent as it is. We should surely cure it and even prove it to her. When we finish treating her there will be no signs of the disease whatsoever.”
For a moment, I thought Subasic had something. Maybe we had missed our chance. But, then it hit me: “I like the idea on principle. But, there is a kicker in Pansy’s case. Remember her list. Even if we did cure her cancer, we would have nine more ailments to tackle.”
I didn’t see Pansy again. Actually, she never returned to the Clinic for anyone to see her. But, her Phoenix story wasn’t over. After her fruitless trip to the healing oasis, Bronte didn’t know what to do with herself. Her hopes, however irrational they had been, were dashed when we told her that the Temple Beautiful Program was not open to her. She stayed on at the Ambassador Motel for several days unbeknownst to me until I received another one of those phone calls. The motel owner told me that, “Pansy is in jail.” Bronte had taxied to the City Hall one day to make a complaint and ended up in the slammer for disorderly conduct. Another round of Crazy vs. Criminal resulted. I contacted Pansy’s family in Georgia. Her brother flew out to Phoenix, extracted her from the penal system, and took her back home.
The reader now has had hints of the fringe element drawn to the Cayce Clinic. I will admit that some of us workers were quite out there compared to most of our contemporaries. I remember one of our young white-coated assistants who was ever endeavoring as a follower of an Eastern mystic to be blissed out. It showed in her work as well as her face. While practitioners didn’t rise to those heights, most of us would have stood out in a crowd. Then, most all of us have bits of the abnormal in us. All that said, most of our clientele were really quite “normal,” possibly more so than the Clinicians who spent so much time with Cayce’s methods and ideals.
People like Karen and Pansy and numbers of others even made me think for a time about pursuing the specialty of psychiatry. But really only for a few moments. Psychiatrists do work with the mind which on the surface of things suggests a step in the right direction - since “mind is the builder.” Yet, they are still battling disease – albeit mental disease – with insufficient insights, superficial theories and plenty of material remedies – typically drugs. What we need more of is health.
On the whole, the Clinic was a great place. But, no thing and no body and no organization is perfect. I knew that and had that reinforced in my dream prior to arriving at the Clinic. And that was supplemented by my early conference with Bob McGarey, a number of interactions with the real administrator who was the Clinic President, Bill McGarey, and a variety of other interactions.
So many positive things can be counted in the Clinic’s favor. Its foundations of holistic principles and Cayce readings, innovative residential programs, the pioneering spirit of the McGareys, the annual Symposia and numerous writings and frequent lectures around the country just scratch the surface of its contributions. Yet imperfections creep in the length and breadth and depth of the physical world. The Clinic, its works and its programs, touched the lives of many thousands of patients in unique and sometimes powerful ways. On the other hand for staff practitioners, there was a monolithic character to the Clinic which suggested, “You think this way and do this way or you can make little contribution here.”
For that and some similar reasons, the most talented physicians and other health professionals didn’t seem to stay long with the Clinic. [Since I worked little with the nurse-midwives, I could make no sense of their situation. They seemed to be largely on their own.] In fairness, the Clinic was a fine informal learning ground for many medical workers. That although there was really no training. We were simply in an environment in which we could play holistic doctors after the Cayce and McGarey models. I got the impression that doctors passed in one door and out the other. Faces continually and quickly changed, but programs and modalities shifted slowly. The basic structure and power base remained ever the same – or at least for years to come. There is evidence to show that Hugh Lynn Cayce knew the situation and accepted the model as it ran.
In my modest capacity as Chief of the Medical Staff, I was invited to attend weekly supervisory staff meetings. They were theoretically used to communicate information, to discuss policies, and to create an opening for new ideas. Ten or so supervisors/leaders came to each meeting. The Clinic hierarchy was duly represented in the group.
The early morning meeting always started with a brief meditation (before breakfast rolls and coffee got cold). A few peaceful moments intended to set an harmonious tone for the session and the day. But, more often than not, the harmony was disturbed within minutes of the “Amen” by dissension in the ranks.
The main area of debate and disagreement for several weeks surrounded the activities of the fledgling Wellspring Wellness Center. There was genuine “concern” that the Center might draw patients and business from the Clinic, even though they had no physician in their employ at the time. The Wellspring Wellness Center was developing a conference which might rival the Clinic’s annual symposium. The majority of the supervisory staff were of the opinion that it would not be “good business” to cooperate with the WWC in any way. No referrals would be made to the Center’s astrologer, psychic, or other staff.
Both the horoscopist and reader had previously worked for the Clinic until recently and their services then had been highly touted at the time. Yet, Dr. Gladys suggested that there was “no way for the Clinic to validate those kinds of practitioners and make an educated referral.”
I could not let such an attitude fly without a rebuttal. I said, “The problem seems one more of fear of competition than anything else. If we have to fear a new, shaky wellness center on the other side of Phoenix, then we do have some things to worry about. I think our best bet is to cooperate with them. There must be room for more than one holistic health establishment in the whole of Phoenix, Arizona.”
I said quite a bit more, I think, and with feeling. I was supported by only a couple in my observations and suggestions. The retort came back, “We are not being fearful, just cautious.”
From those early meetings and Bill’s stern hold on “The Christ Consciousness,” it fairly quickly became clear that I would only complete my ten-month contracted commitment and nothing more. I became convinced that there was a real crack in the “shiny armor” of the ARE Clinic. The philosophy and preachments of the Clinic were wonderful, but the practice suffered from those unadmitted fears. Instead of talking and creating cooperation, we feared a ghostly competition. One that persisted only very briefly.
Then it seemed that sharing with real candor between workers in the Clinic setting was replaced by disjointed and secretive communications. Eventually, I stuffed my concerns at meetings because I realized they would not be given hearing. The communication problem was a sign writ large for several weeks for all to see. I wonder if anyone else noticed.
You see, the Clinic was trying to dump its contracted telephone system. Complaints had been coming in for some time that outside callers could not get through to the receptionists. “No one answers the phone.”
For some reason, the expensive phone system, which had been in use for a number of years, could only accept two incoming calls at one time. A third caller heard a continuing ring, as if no one was around to take the call. People were anxiously trying to find a way to deal with the problem while I just wondered, “The system worked for years! Why is this problem happening now? What does a sick telephone system mean? Could it symbolize a deeper problem at the Clinic?”
Indirect or inadequate communication was the rule rather than the exception at the Clinic. Complaints were groused behind backs and beyond closed doors. Some people didn’t want to communicate directly. And others didn’t want to listen to straight talk.
There was another essential problem which hovered around us. The Clinic’s motto was “Pathways to Health: Adventures in Consciousness.” For patients and visitors, the adage was promoted and supported with vigor. For staff, it was either blunted or sidestepped. As there was very little real communication in the Clinic, there was also little opportunity for independent investigation or innovative input by anyone outside the hierarchy. The “Adventures” for employees were more phantoms than reality. And, the “Consciousness” was often a figment of Dr. Bill’s imagination.
Again, nobody is perfect. And, I sure wasn’t then or now. I was a young apprentice physician in a world with few master physicians. That’s why all doctors are said to practice medicine. Mastery is a far piece for most to travel in one lifetime, regardless of how many have been lived before.
So, we often project ourselves and our problems on friends, neighbors and patients. I should have been able to admit that about myself even as a 30-something at the Clinic. But, I am not sure others could have. I recall reviewing the charts of our retirement-age family nurse practitioner on a couple of occasions. Edna’s typical patient had three to five diagnoses noted on her problem list. Those generally included some combination of menopausal syndrome, seasonal allergies, tension headaches, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue, history of valley fever, and hypoglycemia. Curiously, Edna was post-menopausal, took thyroid medications, antihistamines, and headache powders, and complained of fatigue, stress, and low blood sugar. She had undoubtedly suffered from so-called “valley fever” at some period of her life in Phoenix.
The practices of other professionals were not quite so skewed. But, it was clear that, “What we look for, we do find!” Physicians look for medical-surgical disease, nutritionists search for dietary problems, and chiropractors seek subluxations. Counselors hunt for mental-emotional disorders. And, that’s exactly what they find. That’s also what keeps them in business. As a Cayce doctor, I looked through the eyes of the readings, as I knew them, and found much of what I looked for.
Another view of this phenomenon suggests that the type of problems which practitioners focus on has something to teach them. Edna obviously attracted patients like herself from which to learn. Surgeons have particular lessons placed before them in the guise of patients who submit to the knife. Cardiologists must have things to gain through their contacts with heart patients. We do create our worlds and scenarios so as to experience and learn the lessons necessary in any lifetime. Illness and injury surely take major parts in those grand opportunities that we all encounter.
I have to wonder now, if not then, about the phenomenon who became one of the Clinic’s star patients. Interestingly, I also now find it very difficult to uncover information on the internet and elsewhere on the life of Luke McClary. Luke who became the “Boy Wonder” of the ARE Clinic for a few years is all but absent from the World Wide Web.
Luke was clearly unique child with an extraordinary family – or should I say an extraordinary child with a unique family? I first met Luke at the Clinic when he was six years old, although I already knew about him from newsletters, symposia, and my medical school elective at the Clinic. Born in Australia, Luke entered the world with a host of medical problems. He was a Down’s Syndrome child who had a congenital heart defect and other physical stigmata of the disorder. His parents, both chiropractors, were faced with the huge task of coaxing a frail infant to grasp hold of life. Luke was slow to gain weight, to lift his head, to take all the simple steps which typical children race through. At the age of two, he was hardly able to crawl.
The McClarys – J.D. and Heather – determined to bring Luke and his two siblings to the United States in search of innovative care. For a time, they traveled back and forth between Arizona and Pennsylvania. At the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia, they were taught methods for dealing with Luke’s developmental delays. One of their methods was called patterning. At the Clinic in Phoenix, they got holistic medical support.
The McClarys settled near the Clinic and worked diligently with the various remedies prescribed at both ends of the country. Over time, Luke blossomed and grew and reached out to the world around him. Although he was still short and small for his age, Luke developed in various ways beyond the ability of many “normal” children. He learned to walk and talk and read – before school age. He became proficient in physical exercises which patterned and trained his body. His mental capabilities and spiritual presence impressed those who contacted him even if only for a few moments. Luke did, in fact, become the ARE Clinic’s Boy Wonder.
Luke was treated and cared for by a number of Clinic workers. They generally touched him with physical modalities and lots of encouragement. He, in return, touched them with his radiant and indomitable spirit. But, Luke’s time of physical struggle and subtle giving was to be for only a cycle.
The Clinic seemed quite possibly the major spur to his progress. From this man’s viewpoint, much of his healing came through Luke’s involvement with Harvey Grady and the ETA machine. Its inventor, David Graham, would certainly have said that the ETA gave him “transfusions of energy” to stimulate his brain and body. My suspicion was and still is that the greatest factor in little Luke’s improvements came through the hands and heart of Harvey Grady. No one can really say for sure, but it was clear that Luke began to catch up with life and overcome his disabilities through his time at the Clinic and especially that with Mr. Grady.
Some time after I joined the Clinic, Luke underwent surgery for his heart defect. The operation was a technical success, but Luke’s heart mysteriously began to fail. His parents consulted numerous physicians and healers, but to no avail. I was only minimally aware of Luke’s deteriorating condition during the latter weeks of his life. I had never been his physician and was no longer employed by the Clinic when Mrs. McClary called one Sunday morning to ask for my assistance. Luke had died as she held him in her arms during the early hours. Heather asked if I would come to their home to sign the necessary papers.
I was surprised by the unexpected request, but quickly got myself together and drove to their residence. My morning was offered freely and indeed well-spent. I entered their house and stood respectfully before the body recently released of its soul. I touched the cold form as if to make a final contact. Then I turned to Heather and J.D. They had been long prepared for Luke’s departure, but the moment of truth had only just arrived. Tears and emotions mixed freely with fond thoughts and anguished remembrances.
Heather led me through the house and showed me Luke’s playthings, his literal library of books, his exercise equipment. She told me of some of the struggles the family had endured over the years. Most touchingly, Mrs. McClary related she believed that Luke had come not to be taught or be healed but to teach – to carry the gift of healing to his loved ones. The karmic ties within the family were symbolized in Luke’s heart defect and in his father’s cardiac arrhythmia. Luke had come for a short time as a sacrificial gift.
She said Luke had come especially to teach J.D. about love. Yet, many, many were deeply affected by Luke’s spirit. His journey had not been in vain. She believed that J.D.’s heart had been jump-started and new life and love flowed through his veins. As I left the McClary home that afternoon, J.D. stood sobbing near the driveway with an arm around his teenage son’s shoulder. He wept tears which may have spanned lifetimes, having been quickened by the departed soul of his last-born child.
Marjorie Barker came to me as a patient in moments of synchronicity which could but make her extraordinary in my mind. But to this day, I don’t recognize the full implications of my care for Mrs. Barker. You see, while I attended the middle-aged patient with metastatic breast cancer, my mother was in the midst of her own battle with the disease. I might well have been treating my own mother in the guise of Marjorie.
I shall not forget the moment I first faced Mrs. B. To understate things, our meeting was a bit of a shock to me. I walked nonchalantly into the treatment room with a new patient chart which simply stated, “Fluid on patient’s abdomen.” I confronted a forlorn and frightened woman who was uncomfortably seated on the treatment table. Her story – at least the surface of it – was quickly understood. Mrs. Barker’s body was filled with fluid from her diaphragm down. Her belly was bulging and her legs were thick as logs. But, her arms were skinny and her face was so thin and drawn as to make her look half emaciated.
Marjorie’s cancer had spread into her abdomen, her lymphatic system was blocked with tumor, and her belly was filled with water. Mrs. B. merely wanted the fluid tapped so that she could rest comfortably. Sadly, she related the story of her recent visit to Doctor’s Hospital where the fluid had last been drained. According to her words, she had been mistreated by the physician who had performed the procedure. He had badgered her about getting more chemotherapy and having drugs instilled into her belly to slow the disease’s effects. The doctor bad-mouthed her when Margaret said she wasn’t interested in more therapy. With a stifled sob, Mrs. B. told me, “I have enough to deal with without fighting a nasty doctor. You won’t do that to me, will you?”
I agreed to doctor with Mrs. Baker in a way that worked for her. We made an appointment to perform the procedure the next afternoon when a drainage set could be procured. That day, with some trepidation, I performed my first “paracentesis.” Well over a gallon of pale yellow fluid almost poured from Mrs. B.’s swollen middle. Her ballooned appearance quickly changed. She was greatly relieved and equally appreciative.
Thereafter, we repeated the process every four or five days. As time went on, Marjorie caught on that the Clinic care was quite unlike her Doctor’s Hospital experience. She also gathered that I was of a different breed than the last physician she had encountered. Mrs. Barker eventually agreed to our starting some Cayce-type therapies along with her regular abdominal taps. As we initiated the new remedies, I began to get a sense of Margaret’s life and struggles.
I gave her some dietary suggestions and recommended the use of castor oil packs at home. The most curious treatment we offered her involved Ultraviolet light – earlier hinted at in my visit with Globe newspaper reporter. Actually, it was one of the most exotic modalities I have experimented with in my career after Bill McGarey suggested its use. After Marjorie had swallowed a capsule of Animated Ash in water and waited thirty minutes for the substance to begin circulating in her blood stream, we shined an Ultraviolet light through a green glass filter onto her torso for a few short minutes. According to the Cayce readings, the light treatment would focalize the animated ash and liberate healing ozone in her affected tissues.
Marjorie began to improve dramatically. Her weight increased, the tumorous discolorations of her skin began to coalesce and shrink, her need for fluid taps decreased in frequency, and her attitude was more buoyant and hopeful.
The “effect” of Mrs. B.’s tumor on her skin was something totally new to me. All over her left chest where her breast had been removed was a great dry, reddish-purple blotch. It startled everyone who ever helped with Mrs. Barker’s treatment. It must have been equally unnerving to Marjorie as well.
I mentioned the sign to Dr. Gladys and she thought it might well be equated with The Scarlet Letter made famous in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book. While Hester Prynne was branded so-to-speak with clothing with the letter A (for Adultery) by her human judges, others have spontaneously developed such marks as a result of their own self-condemnation. Dr. McGarey told me about one of her patients who had carried an upside-down A between her breasts for years after a sunburn. Gladys gently suggested to the woman that she had unconsciously somaticized (embodied) her guilt over her underage pregnancy and Abortion. She was the only one who could ever read the A in its inverted position.
In Marjorie’s case, dealing with such a revelation was not a simple matter. It became apparent to me that “Affair” was a hidden concern to her. Middle-aged Marjorie had been “living in sin” for years. She had a grown family and mother living nearby who helped her during the time of her illness. I had no sense of them ever accusing her. Marjorie’s “Affair” was actually a common-day relationship of convenience. Ostensibly, Marjorie did not marry her live-in because of financial reasons. Should she have taken a second spouse her income would have been greatly depleted.
As Mrs. B. improved, I tiptoed around trying to get her some supportive counseling. I sensed that if I was too direct with her, she would run away. I suggested that she do some biofeedback and guided imagery work. She agreed to “think about it.” And, she continued to “think about it” as long as I saw her. In her latter visits, Marjorie admitted to me that her live-in had been telling neighbors that her condition was worsening. That behavior obviously hurt her, especially since she was actually much improved at the time.
At our last meeting, she announced her crosstown move to live with her mother. She apparently left her man without a word. On the whole, the decision seemed appropriate and right. Strikingly, Mrs. Barker made another choice at the same time – to discontinue her Clinic visits and abdominal taps. The decision was not spoken directly to me. It only became apparent through her mother’s communications and her failure to return to see me.
Marjorie died a few weeks after her last trip to the Clinic. At first, I felt that maybe we had wasted her time and put her through needless procedures by treating her. Maybe I was no better than the physician she encountered at Doctor’s Hospital weeks before. Ultimately, I rationalized that we had done the best we knew how. We treated Marjorie like a human being and gave her respect. We also gave her a ray of hope which may have lasted long enough for her to make some critical decisions in her last days.
There is a short postscript to her story. At the 1982 ARE Symposium, I made a presentation about my work with Marjorie – without using her name. Mrs. B. was in the midst of her “remission” at the time, but chose not to attend the meeting. The morning of the talks, I waited my turn to speak seated in the midst of a crowd of four or five hundred. I felt relatively well-prepared for the few moments I was to have at the microphone. But, the longer I sat waiting to “go on,” the more nervous I became. My heart began to thump and my whole body seemed to buzz. I tried to center myself, relax, meditate – but to no avail.
Mercifully, my turn arrived and I said my piece. The words came out although my mouth was dry as cotton. I knew I was quivering in my shoes, but I hoped no one in the audience noticed. It should have been hard to miss my stage anxiety, but I received only compliments after my presentation. Nobody mentioned my “nerves“ that day.
Back at the Clinic a few days later, I ran into Dr. Bill. He started talking about the symposium and threaded his way into a tale about his graduation day at medical school. Bill recounted how he was to have given the valedictory speech before his graduating class. However, he became so petrified that he couldn’t even mount the speaker’s platform and left the convocation in acute embarrassment. Bill looked right through me and said, “I was paying attention during your case presentation the other day. If someone had asked me, I’d have to say you were ‘Scared Spitless.’” I laughed. We both laughed. He told me there was hope. He was right.
That moment may have been the high point of my interactions with Dr. Bill. It was personal, honest, direct, and sincere. Would that there had more such moments and that I might have parted him and the Clinic in a similar instant. But that was not to be.
In the latter days of my employment, I was finishing a medical commentary on Breast Cancer based on the Cayce readings at a computer terminal in an extra admin office. Dr. Bill passed through and opened a rare conversation. McGarey made notice of my impending departure from the Clinic. He wondered what had prompted my decision to leave even though he already had his own answer to the question. I told him that I had found many valuable aspects to the Clinic and enumerated some of them. I also said that there were other things at the Clinic which had made me uncomfortable. I went on to say, “But mostly, Bill, I’m concerned that the spirit of the Clinic does not match its reputation. It seems to me that there is a large gap between the preaching and the practice.”
As Dr. McGarey responded to my words, I felt that he was replaying a tape which had been run to many other people in similar moments. Bill spoke slowly, deliberately, and impersonally, “I’m sorry you feel that way, Bob. Leaving the Clinic is a common response in physicians and staff who lose their way and become dissatisfied. It is sad to say, but too often they are just rebelling against the Christ Consciousness. But, we must accept your decision. We wish you the best.”
I was flabbergasted. Although I shouldn’t have been, since I had heard that line before from the same man. But, how dare anyone use the Christ Consciousness as his personal banner and shield! All I could say was, “That’s a pretty powerful defense you have assumed for yourself and the Clinic. There can be no rebuttal.”
The conversation ended at that point. I am sure that Dr. Bill continued in that same way, believing that the Clinic and he would persevere in the name of Christ and Cayce despite detractors and defectors like me. I was content to tell myself that the decision I had made months before to leave the Clinic had been vindicated in that one short interaction with the Clinic President.
CONCLUSIONAh, The Christ Consciousness. How much did Bill McGarey know of the Christ Consciousness, or me for that matter? What evidence did he have to make that judgment? Was I the rebel or maybe he?
Surely, there was and is a generous portion of Bill McGarey in myself, Bob McNary. I was looking at myself from different angles. Bill was trying to be Bill and Cayce and Christ all at the same time. A large calling he had as we all do. Still, the ARE Clinic was really the McGarey Clinic for all its goodness and its several shortcomings.
Maybe had I the sense to invite Bill for lunch and entered into his thinking, I might have lasted longer at the Clinic. But, I didn’t. The Clinic passage was a moment in time. Hopefully, I gave as much as I got in experiences. Some taught me lessons about the making of claims and the taking on of the station of authority. Fortunately, there were other sides to my times and trials at the Clinic. I learned from both positive and negative angles. There is so much more to learn.
In spite of my questions and wonderments, it seemed that the ARE Clinic was a fixture in North Phoenix and would remain there almost forever. But, all is change and the Clinic inevitably passed into history. Bob McGarey got pushed out of his job as administrator. Gladys even supported the move in which a Grady took his position. She inevitably rued the day as she did when another Grady became chairman of the ARE Clinic board. Gladys was then regularly outvoted in board decisions.
She was also voted out of a 46-year marriage to Bill McGarey in the late 80s, even while the ARE Clinic was still standing as a great model of holistic medical care. Gladys then left the Clinic and started the Scottsdale Holistic Medical Group in 1989 with her daughter Helene Wechsler. Presently, Dr. Gladys is still active and revered by many as the Mother of Holistic Medicine while she approaches the 100 year mark. Dr. Bill eventually married Peggy Grady who was the nurse at the center of that Clinic turmoil which roiled when I appeared in Phoenix. William McGarey died at the age of 89 in 2006.