Dear Jurgen, 

I had problems answering because I had problems telling you how I am doing—I just do not know this myself. Last year was pretty interesting. In May I had to go to emergency services. It showed that I had a blood sugar value of more than 1500. This was my first hospital stay ever. Some people go into a coma with a value of 500. For a short time, I was a celebrity at the hospital because they had never seen anybody who had survived a value of more than 1500. After that, I had all kinds of bodily difficulties and pain, which changed continuously. At the moment, I am doing better. However, since I do not know whether it is going to stay this way or whether I will not drop dead this year, I will send you a report of what I experienced in the USA. This might be relatively boring if it were a purely autobiographic report. However, I believe it might say something about this country, what is not known in general, because nobody will get into the situations I have gone into. 

The first question is why I did go to the USA at all. Karl Popper and Paul Feyerabend, two famous philosophers, encouraged me to get an American Ph.D., in order to be able to publish what I had found out. What was that? I was always interested to find a way of reasoning or an attitude, which makes ideologies unnecessary.We humans do not have a common language. And that causes conflicts and wars. At 17, I had read through the Collected Works of Sigmund Freud, which were soaked in his personal ideology. His designated heir, C.G. Jung, had developed a radically different psychological ideology. This led to Jung becoming so intolerable to Freud that Sigmund fainted in Jung’s presence. The same phenomenon also happens in marriages. The partners develop a mutual allergy towards each other, which makes life with each other impossible. 

I had corresponded with Anna Freud, Sigmund Freud’s daughter, for many years. Another letter friend was Rudolf Carnap, a famous logician, who had been Frege’s student. Frege had created mathematical logic out of the blue in the late 1800s. I took a letter of recommendation by Anna Freud and went to the University of Maryland and later to Boston University. These two universities had programs in Heidelberg for American soldiers and their dependents. Six years later I had a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, both summa cum laude (Psychology, Counseling, Sociology, Mathematics). Using my degrees and letters of recommendation, I applied at 40 American Ph.D. programs. None accepted me. Later on, when a had made an appointment with a professor at the University of Notre Dame to find out why they, too, had rejected me, the professor could not be reached by anybody. He probably had found out in the meantime, who I was. 

Finally, the Counseling Program here in Greensboro accepted me because a friend had recommended me. Two years later, Popper and Feyerabend died. I knew that I would run into trouble with my dissertation on critical thinking in counseling. And so it was: I was forbidden to proceed with it. By chance, I found out that a famous logician had been invited by the neighboring department for one semester because his house in California had burnt down. It was Michael Scriven, the father of critical thinking (informal logic). Michael, decades ago, had brought Paul Feyerabend from Austria to the States and had been his colleague at Berkeley for a long time. Michael supported my idea and became an adjunct professor at the university to be able to be on my doctoral committee. And all of a sudden, my formerly bad idea became an excellent one in my department. Shortly thereafter, I got my Ph.D. in Counseling with minors in mathematics and statistics, essentially two master’s degrees which were integrated in my Ph.D. degree. 

At first, I tried to get a job with the school system. They had asked me to help them out because a math teacher in a so-called elite high school had just stood up from her desk and walked out of the room never to return. The school system had received all my official transcripts. I wondered why the money I earned was so little and why I would not get the job of the escaped teacher. I never received a job offer from the school system. Years later, I found out that they had just entered the math classes from my Bachelor’s degree into their computer and had thrown away my master degrees. High-school principals, who were eagerly searching for math teachers, never considered me because they only saw a few undergraduate math classes in their computer. 

Now, I established a private practice in counseling. I did not want to become a professor at the university because I did not want to teach what I did not believe in. I got along with people, but was very skeptical towards psychology. An American researcher (Dawes) had found out that all the advanced degrees and training and experience at universities and elsewhere had no real value. A paraprofessional with a few courses was doing as well as they in counseling. 

My decades-long work with reasoning had made me too good for my own financial well-being. Students and clients just got good too quickly. I now got the idea to recommend my very effective method in counseling to the biggest insurance company in North Carolina. They should be interested saving money. Man, was I wrong! They did not want to admit that they had wasted tons of money for a long time and began to sink me financially. At the beginning of 2018, I had to close down my private practice—and then I got sick. 

Looking backwards, it was all good: Like a dog, who had milled around, I now found my place. I would not have if I had worked for all these idiots. 

I hope that I did not bore you. 

Gerhard