{July 20, 2012}   News from Bates Hotel

Some friends are puzzled by the name, “Norma Bates” and ask if this is a real woman. The answer is both yes and no. No, because Norma Bates (or Mother Bates) is a fictional character in the book, “Psycho” by  Robert Bloch and in the film by Alfred Hitchcock. Yes, because the book is based on the real-life story of Ed Gein, a psychotic murderer who led a duplicitous life.

Norma Bates is one of literature’s worst mothers, raising her son Norman in a climate of cruelty. We all know what happens to Norman as a result of his upbringing and it’s my belief that mistreatment of children is a single major cause of adult violence. Our prisons are full of homicidal maniacs who were abused as children. Americans woke up this morning to the news of a gunman who entered a movie theater and opened fire on people watching a “Batman” movie. It is my hope that by acknowledging and accepting that cruelty to children has consequences for society, but a brave community of truth-tellers can peel back the layers of denial and secrecy and prevent child abuse from being passed along from generation to generation. It is my belief that if we can prevent violence against children, we can heal the world.


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