From: Jim Fehlinger (fehlinger@home.com)
Date: Thu Jan 25 2001 - 17:43:48 MST

Brian D Williams wrote:
> One of the saddest things I ever saw was an ethnography film about
> a little girl that had been raised in a cage in a cold dark
> basement by uncaring parents. Then she had the misfortune to be
> raised in the household of a psychologist called in when she was
> discovered (for "study").

This sounds very much (but not precisely) like the notorious case of
"Genie", as first documented by author and journalist Russ Rymer in
two successive issues of _The New Yorker_ in 1992.

> My fists clench and unclench at the thought, and I feel rage wash
> through me when I think about it. The parents would face worse at
> my hands, and that psychologist would be in for major attitude
> adjusting as well.

Your rage might have been deliberately fanned by the film
you saw. There were several sides to this story, as I recall,
and recriminations flew thick and fast among the parties
involved. The parents (the father, in particular) had a little
more wrong with them than "uncaring" implies (not that that takes
away from the enormity of the wrong they committed against their
daughter). It's true that, whatever happened, the story of
"Genie" is not as pretty or romantic as that of the woman
depicted by Jodie Foster in the movie _Nell_.

See, for example
(there are references at the end), or Google search
the keywords Rymer and Genie.

Jim F.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:25 MDT