The Great Institute (Part 1)

There once was a feeble old man, his eyes worn by years of enduring life on earth, who lived what seemed to be a now peaceable, insignificant life.  He had no form or appearance that would make a passerby interrupt their day-to-day busyness to introduce themselves, honor his very presence, or even to help him across the road.  His name was Norm Gossler and he allowed much of the world to remain indifferent and at times hostile to the truth of who he was…

For the last 28 years, Norm would step into his 736 square foot office on Cambridge St. in Boston, Massachusetts, kiss the picture of his now deceased wife Burta and patiently wait.  He wasn’t the greatest businessman, of the 28 years of operations he had managed to just stay afloat even after filing bankruptcy and reopening.  His field of work had an odd appeal, his product appealed had a rather broad reach, though with much frustration he has never been capable of becoming the world-wide success he believed should have happened by 2013.  Yet, he would be faithful to another day’s work as he was convinced he could change any customer’s life that would walk through the double-doors.

Ding!  Norm’s eyes light up as a mother and her 4-year old girl enter.  Rising and thrusting his hand to meet the woman’s…

Norm: “Welcome, welcome!”

Woman: “Have we come to the right place?”

Norm: “I believe you have, who needs help?”

Woman: “But sir, is this really the Great Institute?”

Norm: “Yes ma’am, we are a small operation.”

Woman: “I am sorry, but I must be mistaken.”

Perplexed and clearly broken, the woman begins to walk out.

Norm: “Ma’am please! Is it your daughter?”

Pausing, the woman replies teary-eyed.

Woman: “Yes sir.”

Norm: “Are you willing to trust me?”

Woman: “How can I trust you? Everything they have said that I hoped was lies is true.  This can’t be right, it can’t work, it just too much of a risk.”

Norm: “Yes, yes, yes.  They have done an incredible job of taking millions from my business.  May I show you something to give you some peace?”

Woman: “It just doesn’t make sense, how does this work?”

Norm: “Ma’am, please sit down, give me a few minutes of your time and I will show you my product works. It is true, there is never a charge.”

Convinced simply by the man’s passion and genuineness, the woman grabs her daughter, plops her on her lap and they patiently await the man’s demonstration.  He  walks behind them and shuts all the lights off, making the woman extremely nervous.  She grips her child and pulls her to her bosom.  Suddenly, a burst of light illuminates the battered-white cement wall in front of them.  The hum of the projector is silenced as a picture of a sick young boy fills the space.  She loosens her vice.

Norm: “This is Adam, my first patient.”

Norm flips through slides of Adam with his family, his physical form degenerating before their eyes.  The woman watches compassionately:

Norm: “He was 5 years old when they found out he had contracted the disease and was given 6 months.  His parents were of the unusual sort, willing to let a man like me, no professional record, background, or certifications attempt the unthinkable on their only child.  But…they were desperate.”

A slide of Norm holding the weak child in his arms in the very office chair that he greeted the woman from pops up.

Norm: “I knew I had the answer, I knew it could be done.  I was scared to death, but I was confident and willing to face any ramifications if my product did not work.”

The woman began to shiver in her seat, uncertain of what she was witnessing.

Norm:  “This is David, the father that would receive the product.  He was a brave man, fearful yet willing and hopeful.  He made all the necessary arrangements beforehand and they were well prepared if anything were to go wrong.”

A slide of David standing with feeble Adam in his arms come up.

Norm: “So, July 26th, 1985 at 7:04am David came into my office and received the product with his family at his side, including little Adam who had less then 2 weeks to live…”




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