The Story of Ox is a very unique concept. For one thing, it provides an exemplary example of why it is most unwise to assume that a "professional" is telling the truth on any given subject, or even accept a professions as valid, without
doing a certain amount of background checking and research, respectively. Nor is it wise to dismiss, stereotype and underestimate the oppressed and downtrodden amongst us. Many other moral and practical lessons are subtly woven into the fabric
of the text.
The story begins with a man, whom we later come to know as Ralph Oxner, "breaking into" the room of an elderly woman in an assisted living facility. She is terrified and dies of a heart attack, although this was not Ralph's intent.
He is a psychiatric patient at the same facility and, motivated by deluded thinking, he was simply in search of a bed for the night due to superstitious angst over returning to his own room. When confronted by a police officer in the morning, he fights
back and makes a dramatic, gun-stealing/car-jacking, escape. This lands him on the weekly TV show, North America's Most Wanted, and the man-hunt is on! Interviewed on the show, his psychiatrist, Walter Krouse, indicates that he is extremely
dangerous and, opportunistically, warns lawmen not to hesitate in using deadly force during apprehension, or Ralph may take another life.
We come to find out, however, that Krouse isn't really concerned for the safety of the public. Instead, he's
worried about his own reputation and legal ramifications. He and his partner, Allen Thorne, have a LOT to hide!!! Throughout their careers, they've been practicing experimental, and often torturous, medicinal techniques on their patients, Ralph
Oxner included. The main reason that Ralph is a scatter-brained, large, muscular and lumbering "zombie" is that Krouse has been pumping him full of a mix of steroids, sedatives and hallucinogenics. He and Thorne regularly over-medicate their patients,
play tricks on them for their own amusement, and generally delight in the ruination of others. Krouse is worried that once the meds wear off, Ralph's mind will clear up and he'll start talking. That's why he desperately wants him silenced!
Police suspect that Ralph has traveled from the psychiatric facility in North Carolin to Florida, where his brother resides. Richard Briggs, a young Floridian police officer (who had once dreamed of pursuing a life of ministry, but felt that he could
better help the general public in law enforcement) is called to a supermarket parking lot where Ralph Oxner has reportedly been seen. The man, matching Ralph's description, does not show the slightest indication that he has heard officers' demands to
stop or place his hands on his head, so Richard, remembering what Krouse said on North America's Most Wanted, takes the shot. The "suspect" turns out to be a deaf young man, similar in appearance to Ralph, and does not survive. Briggs,
understandably, is shaken by this and begins to question his faith. An "automatic writing" experience, in which God tells him not to blame himself, sets things straight, and he finds a new comfort in the local reverend, who has also experienced automatic
writing. The writings are stolen, however, by other-worldly beings, and Briggs does his best to move on with his life.
The car Oxner stole while escaping the facility belonged to a lady named Frances Queen Prescott. Now she finds herself
in a shop run by a Gypsy woman. After accidentally gazing into Gayle's crystal ball, she cannot keep away from the store, and wants to learn about the mysterious ways of the universe. Gayle breaks Gypsy law by teaching her, and an interesting and
unusual friendship forms.
Meanwhile, Krouse is suffering recurrent telephone harassment by "The Caller," an unknown person who seems to know way too much about Krouse's "business." Krouse and Thorne become increasingly paranoid, and continue publicizing
the need for Oxner's capture/death.
Ralph, with help from his brother, Harold, finds himself aboard 'The Sea Gypsy,' a cruise-liner owned and captained by a man known only as 'The Leader.' He's also the founder of an organization called The
White Light Liberators. The group's main goal is to expose psychiatry for the sham it is, and they rescue those like Ralph from its clutches. It turns out that Ralph was merely energetic as a child, but that led to a 'hyperactive' diagnosis
which started him on a downward spiral; they put him on Ritalin, which altered his mind and personality and ultimately led to electric shock 'treatement' years later, and continually being in the grip of psychiatrist for abuse and torment. Now out of
their hands, Ralph is a happy, competent and brilliant young man. He finds the love of his life, Angel, a former porn star, aboard the Sea Gypsy, and the two are wed. Meanwhile, a huge celebrity and member of the W.L.L., Aaron Hughes, publicly
denounces psychiatry and expresses his support for Ralph during a TV stint. Soon, Krouse finds himself out of business and spiraling downward. He eventually loses his mind and winds up in a psychiatric facility, himself. Ironically, Ralph,
on the other hand, is flourishing. The Leader explains to him that many psychiatrists are actually descendants of an alien race who are determined to control the masses of Earth.
When Ralph returns to shore, the field of psychiatry has all but
crumbled, and his charges are dropped. He has, by that time, achieved superstar status. Frances and Richard meet, believe that fate has brought them together, and announce their engagement. It turns out that Gayle was a ghost, and Krouse
is killed/commits suicide after an officer arrives at the psychiatric facility to transport him for trial. It's finally revealed that the lover of Krouse's (now ex) wife was the one dubbed "The Caller" who got the ball rolling by sending the messages
that started driving him crazy.