Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on November 15, 1936 · Page 124
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 124

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Detroit, Michigan
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Sunday, November 15, 1936
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Page 124
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STRANGE WORST SURE FOR AGORAPHOBIA, . IP OF TEARS ' 4;;liX , , i vj: i pint I the Amazing From a of Mr. Kern Science Studies Liberation Psychic Prison fflHE extraordinary release or cure I of a victim of agoraphobia, dread psychic "distance disease," who mastered the malady by self-help and a sympathetic girls encouragement, has provided science with a fascinating new basis for study of the strangest of fears. Ever since 1930, John Kern, poet and SAVED from the Fear Expressed In the Remarkable Camera Study at Left, Is John Kern, Poet and Journalist, Since He Found a Girl, Elsie Clark, Shown with Him at Right, WTio Recalled to Him His Mother's Kindly Protection from Childhood Terrors. most satisfying fruit in serene domesticity. Take, for example, William Ellery Leonard, 60-year-old University of Wisconsin professor, whose plight was even more agonizing than that of his fellow-sufferer, Kern. For Leonard, famed poet and scholar, was frightened in boyhood by a railway train. The psychic "wound" thus inflicted made him a prisoner when he grew up, jailed by his own terrors. He never quit the area of a few city blocks in Madison, Wis. . Twice Prof. Leonard tried to shake off the agoraphobiac shackles But eventually ths "prison" gratM on her nerves. There were argum: n.-quarrels. Grace got a divorce. The a! a month later, she relented, agreed to a reunion. At last reports the Leonards were doing nicely and the Professor was leaving home for walks more and more. The most distinguished example of agoraphobia was Marcel Proust, famous French novelist. He spent nim-tenths of his life lying in bed. in a cork-lined sound-proof room, working on his gigantic "Remembrance of Things Past" Mark Twain, too, preferred to spend most of his time in bed and did most of his work there, but it has not been suggested that he was an acute sufferer from agoraphobia. Agoraphobia and claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces) are only two of the strange phobias that affect humans. There Is akrophobia, fear of high places, and Its opposite complex, chasmophobia, fear of physical gulfs, from which the great philosopher, Pascal, suffered. He was always in dread that the sidewalk would open at his feet and he might fall into the earth's bowels. And there is felinophobia, or fear of cats. About a year ago, Rockwell Sayre, wealthy Chicago realtor, left most of his fortune for the extermination of these animals, for which he had maintained a lifelong aversion. Perhaps, next to agoraphobia, the worst psychic complex of all is phobo-phobia, or fear of fear. Guy De Maupassant suffered from this strange malady. Phobophobia, like its allied monomanias, can be cured, as science is now learning from the case of John Kern. journalist, of Broad Channel, Long . Island, has been held in the taut coils of this strange emotional compulsion. Science records many Instances of agoraphobiacs' torments, but none more startling and pitiable than Kern's. Tsychologists define agoraphobia as a horror of venturing far into open spaces. Far more people suffer from it than one might imagine. For six long years Kern never went more than 200 feet from his home. He was always afraid that if he did 'something terrible" might happen to him. It never did. But that failed to make Poet Kern any easier In his anguished mind. Every time he overstepped the imagined boundary that shut him in from a supposedly menacing world, he shuddered. He couldn't help being controlled by fears .Impressed upon him by childhood experiences. He paid a high price for those experiences constant suffering from "distance dread," an inability to brush shoulders with other people living in other streets, cities, countries. Now, however, Kern is definitely out of his traumatic blind alley. A couple of weeks ago he boldly took a walk for himself, thought not by himself. He's getting more ventursome every day since then. His neighbors predict that if he keeps on this way he'll be crossing Fifth Ave. and 42nd St., busiest corner in the world, against a red light, regulations or no regulations. Kern, a retiring, almost self-effacing young man, is modest about his achievement. "Yes, I made-the attempt, and won," he murmurs. "But," Australian Force U HUB V H B R .Mil I k'l r I I QaEa M CaEalV he of in 111 IF m m R H lWi WiJH H H B t B B HUB ll I i llr HHlilR B i Mfci I fl W B IIIIIKIH v B B Ax- fxt: i revealed the reason for his regular trips away from home with Miss Clark to save her and his wife from embarrassment, don't put him in that category. But one can't help recalling other cases of agoraphobia where a subtle hint of the maternal in a man's woman-friend or sweetheart or fian-cee or even wife have borne the f(A night. There was no use in taking stupid chances in the darkness. The next day he learned his decision had been extremely wise. The "Mountie" came upon a band of hunting tribesmen. The cunning bushmen had waited until Barry, Larry and Davey were passing along a small pathway in the midst of dense vegetation before appearing in a threatening mass around them. Each warrior carried his womera, a cruel, shovel-bladed spear. The vicious weapons are made of flat iron, a foot Features Syndicate. Inc. .... r ' n wtiwre i-. Canada's Pride in Getting t . ft. X-K- & "W. .: " Z? ': W t agoraphobia began to fall away from him. The psycho-analysts have had their say about the so-called "Oedipus complex," maternal "fixations," and other grim phenomena that are supposed to bind mother and son together for life with invisible cords. If you want to please Kern, who i" 1 tnviiiy k" it is" 'jfT'"o v& ar - dbv .' v. W A TRAIN SCARED HIM And Prof. William Ellery Leonard Didn't Dure Leave His Home for Many Years, I'ntil the Love of Grace Golden Began to Banish His Agoraphobia. adds, with a grateful look, " could not ever have done it without Elsie's aid." "Elsie" is Miss Elsie Clark, who lives near the Kern cottage. An aspiring writer, she sought literary advice her neighbor, and formed an acquaintance with him and his wife. Later she discovered his strange phobia. Having had some experience psychology, she offered to help. Maybe John wouldn't have reacted so quickly, so trustingly, if it hadn't been for one tiny, significant fact Something vague about her manner, voice, eyes, general attitude reminded him of his mother. She led him out of his self-made prison like a child, and his Now Barry O'Neill, a Type of the Australian Mounted Tolice, Whose Ad-ventures Outdo Those of Canada's Now More Prosaic Force. a tip through the "bushraan grapevine" that two killers, Coodogadogi and "Charcoal," were the cause of a series of murders among tribesmen. Unless they Were quickly apprehended they might even kill some of the white settlers who lived in isolated outposts or cause an outbreak of savages. When O'Neill was given the job of tracking them down, he loaded two pack mules with supplies and, accompanied by his native trackers, Larry and Davey, started off on his mission as If it were a holiday. Traveling "light," they reached the scene of the crimes within three weeks. Then they had to slow down. Their S "t. '' . itvlv:: ':w miiiimi S' fmvm,m - u in matrimony. Twice he failed. Then he met Grace Golden, in her twenties. Subtly everything seemed changed. Miss Golden's approach to the problem of liberating the man she had fallen in love with was masterly. After their wedding she joined him in his "psychic prison," persuading him that now and then "Just one little walk" wouldn't do him any harm. . ' i-; afc . .. , . J ;:---. V Klmberly Warriors Dinn ing Into a Fury the Australian "Mounties" long, five inches wide and sharpened along three edges. A womera can bring down a husky bullock with one blow. O'Neill and his men showed no fear, for to do so meant instant death. Larry and Davey began to ask questions. They received no information, but they talked the hunters out of countenance and the trio pushed on unhindered. One week later, after continual hard riding, O'Neill and his aids galloped Into an aborigine village where their queries brought deep guttural replies that Coodogadogi had left the village the day before, "Charcoal" a week previously. But all O'Neill could learn was that Coodogadogi had gone hunting for flying-foxes. He knew where these hunting grounds were in the hills, and realized that a warning messenger would speed to the wanted man and. tell him to flee. When night came the patrol slipped away on foot, clambering down ravines and over hills thick with scrub, in Inky blackness. In the faint light of dawn the dull coals of a fire betrayed the camp of the hunted killer. Inch by inch the three men crept toward the embers. When they were about 15 feet from the fire O'Neill gave the signal and they closed in hurriedly ... to find the camp deserted. Coodogadogi had already left. Guessing the killer's destination to be a rocky gorge some distance ahead, Davey motioned to O'Neill to run on w.vsirf. , . ' Ofr . -'- A. v v- vom, -a r ..A., a- v.;.,-. . vy n JiS. ri t 1 II .11. V 'f Before One of the Fights That ht-rp Constantly on the Alert in a semi-circle and beat Coodogadogi to the spot. In a few moments the "Mountie" saw the wanted man. Th bushman met his charge and foug!:t tike an enraged wildcat, but was soon overcome. With the savage handcuffed, the patrol continued on in search of "Charcoal." It spotted him in a camp with other savages In the valley. Some hours later the patrol reach t the outskirts of "Charcoal's" carr;. O'Neill instructed Larry and Davey to separate and to gallop into the camp from the East and West while h would ride in from the North. The ruse took the wily bushmen by surprise. The aborigines, covered wi'.h ochre and ashes, stared in astonishment. Hands twitched at spears, hesitating that fatal second whether to throw them or run. And that moment was all that O'Neill needed. In commanding tones he ordered them to drop their weapons. Dismount:: quickly the "Mountie" ran forward r.nd placed the handcuffs on the burly, six-footed "Charcoal." The heavily-muscled killer, his body scarred by the cicitraces of warriorhood, stood resigned. ' For his resourcefulness O'Neill received a commendation from the police commissioner. He wasn't on hand to receive the honor. Another call from an outlying district had sent O'Neill hurrying on to new adventures that were "all in the day's work." Free Press Their Men SYDNEY, N. S. W. VPPLICATIONS from Americans for enlistment in Canada's world famous Royal Northwest Mounted Police have been falling off since the word began going around that the "Mounties" now patrol what is left ol the wilderness in flivvers and pass the time away while waiting to get their man with knitting and embroidery. French Foreign Legionnaires haven't had much excitement for their 25c-a-day pay since Moroccan and Syrian desert tribesmen began responding to the civilizing blandishments of machine-gun and airplane bomb. It may seem to venturesome American youths that there isn't any place to turn for wild adventure any more. But there is. Australia has a mounted police force that is today everything and more than what the Canadian R. N. M. P. of fiction and fact was in the old days. Every day stalwart members of the Australian Northern Mounted Police get danger-filled assignments in 20,000 miles of trackless wilds filled with savage aborigine killers, for ceaseless vendettas are part of the bushmnn code of life. Intrepid men like "Mountie" Barry O'Neill travel hundreds of miles to "get their man" and see that justice is administered. O'Neill's adventures are typical of those experienced by many of his fellow officers in their hazardous profession. Recently the tall and lithely built "Mountie" had to make a 1,200-mile hunt through the bush country for two wanted men. Headquarters at Perth, Western Australia, had received .A. . The O'Neill Patrol and Two Men Who Accompanied Them Part of the Way, Traveling tTp a Dry Creek on the Search for Two Killers Described In Tills Interesting Story of Courage in the Wilds of Australia, horses could barely keep their footing because of the treacherous ground beneath their hooves, O'Neill knew hard, loose rocks often caused landslides that carried both man and beast to instant death, yet he pushed on. Then ... in the distance a lazy spiral of smoke rose a significant distance in the air and slowly faded into the blue sky. Bushman scouts were signaling to distant tribes that a police patrol was coming. O'Neill pitched camp there for the Copyright. 1936. King Malcolm Bingay's "Good Morning" Column Appears Daily in the

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