Gary Beck’s latest book “State of Rage” Excerpt (Releasing 2017 from Rainy Day Reads Publishing)

Now that Bradley was obviously on the road to a productive professional career, Dr. Padgett advised him to find a signature personal project that would bring him meaningful attention from the scientific community. Padgett urged him to also try to distinguish himself from the multitude of colleagues dreaming of international renown. To conceal his real interest in human behavior modification, Bradley worked on assessments of several behavior modification trials for pets, using a range of pharmaceuticals to alter disturbing behavior patterns, such as excessive barking, clawing furniture, uncontrolled urination or defecation and stubborn disobedience. Some of the treatments were encouragingly effective and Bradley began to consider how pharmaceuticals could better be used in human behavior modification, without panicking the liberal left with the specter of ‘Big Brother’.

A series of homicidal rampages by enraged men who had been rejected by wife or girl friend, or had been fired from a job, or aggrieved enough by someone or something to  seek revenge, captured his interest. He noted the increasing frequency of the rampages, with a corresponding increase in the number of fatalities, almost always followed by suicide. The Virginia Tech rampage on April 16, 2007, by Seung-Hui Cho, in which he killed 32 people, wounded many others, then killed himself, took place in the same building where Bradley’s sister Ellen taught math. This personal connection disturbed him enough to focus his attention on the problem of homicidal rampages.

He drafted a proposal for developing a measuring tool that could be used in high schools to identify potential future at-risk subjects, along with a program that would modify their behavior with appropriate medications. He submitted the proposal to Dr. Padgett, apprehensive that he might have been too aggressive. Dr. Padgett realized the potential of new uses for pharmaceuticals and approved a test project. Then he sent the proposal to his contact at Planck, Arthur Lindgreen, a stocky, dark haired, deep tanned glad-hander with the soul of a lobbyist. Lindgreen set up a not-for-profit fund that awarded Bradley a very large grant that would insure his financial security for the next several years.

At the next department meeting, Dr. Padgett described the project and the usual conflict of responses occurred; approbation from the behaviorists supporting one of their own, criticism from the therapists, always fearful of intrusion on their fragile turf. A neo-Jungian, Professor Laura Cordell, a slim, taut, not unattractive blonde in relaxed moments, demanded to know how Thurston would identify violence-prone people already out of school. Dr. Padgett fielded the question with a politically correct answer of ‘one target group at a time’ that placated her. But it started Bradley thinking about the problem of adults no longer in a testing environment.  Without consulting anyone, Bradley began sketching out ideas and concepts to identify the target group of adult

 

Releasing early 2017

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