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From Healing to Hell Hardcover – October 5, 2011
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This book is a tale of two stories. The life of Dr Wall and his family plus a history of the CIA and its dealings with unsuspecting victims. The first pulls on your heart strings, the second is a cause for anger and concern. Woven together the book is a very worth-while read. I read the book on vacation and as soon as I finished it, I immediately handed it to my wife for her to read. Highly recommended!! --Bill Zaryski
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But the author is also honest in depicting Dr. Wall's slide into drug abuse that provided his enemies with the ammunition to do him in and, ultimately, led to his conviction and imprisonment in a federal prison. The word "tragedy" is vastly misused today, but it applies to Dr. Wall's life as it was used by ancient Greek dramatists.
Dr. Wall's journey takes an even more dramatic turn while in prison, where, according to his son, the doctor fell into the orbit of one of the CIA-directed doctors who were conducting secret drug experiments on unsuspecting patients. The author believes that this experience permanently marred Dr. Wall's mental and physical health and led to years of physical and emotional abuse of his own family.
I state without reservation: although the book is too dark and heart-rending to apply the word "enjoy" in a review, you will be glad you read it, and you will recommend it to your friends. It is a case of truth outdoing fiction. There is no doubt in my mind that this book would make a great movie. Think of it: two of the main characters in it are a real-life, mean Southern sheriff who puts the Hollywood caricature of such a person to shame, and one of the CIA's doctors of darkness. Stir in a scene where the mean sheriff calls the doctor equivalent of Atticus Finch to the jail to view the brutally beaten body of a dead black man and pressures the doctor to disguise the cause of death, and you have the makings of an Academy Award winner.
I found the aggressive beginning kind of turned me off, but then the story levelled off and the last part really made up for my concern about the aggressive start.
I was well aware of the criminal acts of Dr. Cameron, who tortured Canadians who were seeking psychiatric care in Quebec . So it made me more confidant that Mr Wall's father was caught in a similar trap.
This book should be required reading for students of Ethics, Psychology, and Sociology.
The book arrived on time and was in excellent condition.
At the same time this is a book about small-town America, especially the deep south. As the story unfolds, you feel like you're walking side-by-side with the teen-aged Dr. Walls, feeling the pressures, the humiliations, the shunning, and the occasional small victories. The book puts you right there in his tiny home town at mid-century, with the small-mindedness, racial injustice, and petty power struggles. At the same time, it's easy to extrapolate those dark elements of society to all places, and at all times. It wasn't really a simpler time, that Dr. Wall writes about.
One more thing to watch for in this powerful book. Dr. Wall, Sr., was at the heart of the author, and his unfortunate slide into drug addiction had a heart-rending ripple effect through his family and community. This book teaches caution, and care, in the actions we take as parents. Our impact on our children is profound beyond our ability to fully appreciate, at least until one reads a book like this one.