A psychotherapist deprograms an environmental cult member
When Emma returned the next week (thankfully), I asked about her reaction. She flooded me with stories about indoctrination by teachers. One of her earliest memories was singing songs on Earth Day, prayerfully, when she was five.A sensitive soul, Emma became terrified that her beloved Earth would perish, and that she'd be culpable. Starting in third grade, she became an environmental fanatic. Emma went ballistic on her disabled grandmother when the old woman threw a bottle in the trash.After school, she and her friends would sift through other people's garbage to root out recyclables. While Berkeley has plenty of homeless folks going through trash, Emma and her friends were out to save the world.The poor thing would even sob in her car when she had to drive more than a few miles. She envisioned the pollution burning up the rain forests and asphyxiating polar bears. A year into our therapy/cult deprogramming, I asked Emma about her fixation with all things ecological. She replied, "I'm over it."