Now that we've brought you a dozen or so of Ayres' medical colleagues from Judge Baker Guidance Center in Boston who say that his old story about being trained to give physicals is a load of crock, today we'd like to share a conversation we had with Joel, one of Ayres' former patients at Judge Baker. Joel grew up in Massachusetts and he saw Ayres at Judge Baker when he was 17 years old in 1962 . Today he is 64 years old and lives in Florida.
Joel gave us permission to go ahead and publish our conversation-- "any way I can assist to put that sociopath behind bars," he said. Here's Joel's memory of his "therapy" with Dr. Ayres:
"When I was 17, I didn't want to go to college. My parents wanted to find out why I didn't like school, so they sought out the best place around, which was Judge Baker. Well, a very simple, #1 question from Dr. Ayres should have been, 'Tell me why you don't like school." I saw him for many sessions and that question was NEVER asked. Not once.
The very first session I had with Dr. Ayres, he said, "Do you know what a blow job is?"
As a 17 year old, I was not too street smart, and I tried to rationalize that odd question that maybe he was trying to figure out how mature I was. He asked me if I masturbated.
I saw him many times. He always asked about sexual things. Everything was of a sexual nature.
In all those sessions he never asked me once why I didn't want to go to school, or about my parents, or my feelings. All of his questions were of a sexual nature.
When he wasn't asking me sexual things, he would sit behind his desk and smoke a pipe and look bored. Sometimes 15 minutes would go by before he said a word. Finally one day I asked
him, "Why don't you ask me why I don't like school?." He hardly ever talked but the things he did say were always sexual . I couldn't wait til the 55 minutes was up.
I remember he left Judge Baker abruptly. He told me he was going to San Mateo in California and gave me his number and address if I ever needed his help. But he never helped me at all.
He didn't molest me [editor's note: At 17, Joel was well past Ayres' target age] If he had tried to touch me I would have killed him.
The whole experience was very strange and I never understood it.... 'til now. Recently I was going through some old papers I had from Boston and I found Ayres' name and address that he had given me when he left Judge Baker. I decided to look him up on the internet to find out what happened to him. After reading all the articles about the molestation I now understand why all of his questions and treatment were of a sexual nature.
I guess the only effect it ever had (not being aware of this til now) was to never seek out a psychiatrist or a psychologist for any problems I've had in my 64 years. Nothing ever major but at times I could have used some private professional help in figuring out some of life's boondoggles."
Finally, Joel urged those at the William Ayres blog and its followers to "Keep on keepin' on... Bring some justice to those whose lives he's ruined. "
Post script: After our conversation with Joel, we conducted an informal survey among other child psychiatrists, some of them Judge Baker-trained, as to whether they'd ever used Ayres' line "Do you know what a blow job is? " line with their young male patients in the very first session. The answer was a horrified, universal NO. Said one child psychiatrist who'd trained at Judge Baker, " I bet Ayres' supervisors had no idea he was saying that. That sort of thing was not acceptable."
We also had the opportunity to recount Joel's story to the esteemed Dr. Paul Fink, a past President of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Fink knew Ayres professionally. Upon hearing Joel's story, Dr. Fink just shook his head sadly and said that it pained him that Ayres had never conducted any therapy with his patients. We could tell that Fink was upset that he'd been duped by Ayres all these years.