The problem of prenatal alcohol exposure is to the alcohol industry what second hand smoking was to the tobacco industry in the 1980s – masked by a society of consumers, deaf and numb to the long term, social, financial, and medical consequences. The fact that this problem leads to an average life expectancy of 34 years old and can result in consequences as catastrophic as death row calls for social transformation. Thank goodness there are billionaires now concerned about social and biological determinants of criminal behavior. I’d like to talk to them personally for their efforts.
In our modern era of the Cosmic Internet, I believe it is possible for two people whose journeys are so different yet whose paths are so aligned to connect through a couple of degrees of separation. A year and a half ago, a new friend of mine, a corporate real estate executive, also named Susan [Boren], introduced me to a realtor who (10 minutes after receiving my email) found a 6.5 acre farm for me (2 miles from where I was living). Within months, I bought the farm to grow my psychiatric practice and as home for my 501c3 nonprofit, http://www.7thGenerationFoundationInc.org. Susan had just completed a deal with the Public Storage company, owned by B. Wayne Hughes, Jr., a California philanthropist, thought leader and change agent. She suggested that we visit his therapeutic ranch after reading an article about his work with veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In the interim, I opened Dream Catcher Farm – a therapeutic farm animal sanctuary in Potomac, MD and published a book, The Silent Epidemic: A Child Psychiatrist’s Journey Beyond Death Row [www.prenatalalcoholexposure.com].
A recent Forbes article reported that Mr. Hughes’ efforts are funding prison ministries and transforming the pipeline to prison [http://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Billionaire-s-transformation-from-real-estate-11077225.php]. As the first in my family to attend college and now a child psychiatrist, my book highlights this prison-pipeline connection in individuals with prenatal alcohol exposure and childhood trauma. My father, a 30 year police officer and veteran, Billy Wayne Rich, Sr., founded a prison ministry in New Bern, NC. Though our roots may be different, our missions are cosmically connected. Like Mr. Hughes, I believe that we have the capacity to transform the pipeline to prison – beginning when we are still in the quantum state…before entering the womb.
Recognizing the impossibility in this request to connect with such a profound reformer, I would like to donate a copy of my book to Wayne Hughes and trust that the Way will open for this to happen. In the words of Deepak Chopra, “You (We) are the Universe.” Nothing happens by chance. We are all connected by a force so profound as to create a tsunami by the flapping of butterfly wings on the other side of this beautiful planet. I have faith that Wayne Hughes will one day read, The Silent Epidemic then dance with me in the holograph to transform this complex problem.
I’ve decided to take Susan up on her idea of visiting SkyRose Ranch near Paso Robles.