Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Last True Hermit

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

Yesterday I read "The Stranger in the Woods" it was about this guy who at the age of 20 disappeared into the woods to live alone, for almost 30 years. Sadly even as a hermit, one needs to eat, and he went about it in the wrong way. He was arrested in 2013 for breaking into cabins, and trailers, where he got all his food and supplies. Psychologists later after he was arrested wondered if he had Aspergers but many of them thought schizoid personality disorder fit better. Aspies desire companions but are just bad going about getting them, this guy was happier being left alone.

 He just didn't want to deal with people. The book was interesting because it went into the history of hermits, and how many became hermits for religious reasons but there were others that protested society and went adrift. In the 18th century a fad started where, wealthy people hired resident hermits, on their estates and clothed and fed them. So in history there are people who have become hermits.

I don't know how someone could survive for almost 30 years saying HI to one guy as reported in this book, when he ran into some hikers. He did seem to live the way he wanted, if only he had not victimized some people who were on edge from the thefts, and enjoyed nature and being alone. Some people do dream about taking off for the woods, but survival is pretty rough, and this guy admitted he almost died in a few winters. His talk about the lady of the woods which is what he calls death does seem to bring up some depression issues. They put him on probation and a special court program for the thefts, at the end of the book he was living with family members who surprisingly were willing to help him after he disappeared for 30 years.

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