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May 28, 1955

Prisoner in Paradise

JAMA. 1955;158(4):355. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960040113037

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This novel is a well-written and absorbing story of the bizarre career of one who, in his poverty-stricken youth, made up his mind that the practice of medicine represented a goal that had as its fulfillment wealth, power, and prestige. His intellectual attainments were such that he was alleged to have been able to coach the son of wealthy parents through medical school. He might have accomplished his goal if, under questionable circumstances, he had not given aspirin to a woman in backwoods country who was suffering from tetanus. A politically ambitious local prosecutor unjustly caused him to be tried for murder and imprisoned. His subsequent career included his acting as assistant to an alcoholic prison physician. After his pardon, he was unable to obtain a license or to continue his medical education, and he turned to cultism in southern California. This had for him a reward in the form

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