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The Invertebraes Known As "Alternatives"

Saturday, December 31, 2005 - dr.bomb

"I look into the Usenet groups from time to time, and it appears the participants aren't really interested in learning anything, but use the discussions for petty gossip and juvenile outbursts against others. Everybody there pretends to be an expert on addictions, but none of them can explain how to quit an addiction, except for a few who have been to this website. Worse, none of them are interested in how to quit drinking or using; they talk about all kinds of irrelevant stuff, especially pop-psychology and bio-babble about addictive disease. It's hardly a place to find people who are serious about quitting their addictions, or to find people who know what they're talking about. For someone trying to withdraw from A.A., Usenet is one of the worst places to check in, because one will invariably be accosted by little shrinks who found a way to be a therapist without going to college, or by A.A. missionaries with a 12-track mind."
-- Jack Trimpey

I quietly ended my subscription to the internet discussion list 12-Step-Free in mid-December, 2005. I was a member there for over six months. In that period of time I saw the other side. And, as it turns out, the other side is merely the same side with a coat of glossy secular nonsense promoting the same lies concerning addiction. I now consider my affiliation as over with the close of this year.

While my participation there has helped to get the word out concerning The ARID Site in the end it provided a window into the chaos known as the recovery group movement from a different vantage point. In fact it helped me to see how surprisingly callow and blinded-by-benevolence the participants are within the realm of alternative organizations. The blindfold, made of the Big Lie known as "choice" within the addiction treatment system, is thoroughly wrapped around their skulls to the point that their own eyes are hermetically sealed so that the daylight of truth can't creep in. What seems to be a Step-free group is nothing more than a gathering place of socialist social-worker wannabes, pathetic psychiatric posers, "harm-reduction" degenerates, right-wing anti-gangstalking militia movement bootlickers and cowards in general who dare to not speak out concerning the elephant in the middle of the living room: Addiction treatment, whether religious or secular in nature, is one gigantic fraud. For to speak out against any of this is to be labeled as being "closed-minded" against the fallacy known as "choice", the big excuse why the atrocities continue (to give credit where credit is due, the fallacy of "choice" was propagated by Jack Trimpey through the idea of a two-party Vestibule Inpatient Program, where A.A. and Rational Recovery would be offered as choices yet unfortunately, as proven through the years, A.A. and its own true believers who act as professionals within the system refuse to brook opposition to their one true Program, hence the lack of acceptance of V.I.P. by an overwhelming monopoly of Twelve-Step indoctrination facilities)(1).

Instead of taking a courageous stance to put an end to the whole police/therapeutic state-sponsored act of organized crime known as "addiction treatment" by educating people on how to KNOCK IT OFF once and for all, the alternatives opt to co-opt A.A.'s own practices.As a kneejerk reaction as evidence of "choice" certain ideas are replaced with equally preposterous ideologies.

For example, just as the religion-based disease model is a falsehood perpetrated by the RGM/ATI, the secular humanistic psychological model of substance addiction is just as wrong and useless. Instead of understanding the real purpose of why people become addicted (people thoroughly enjoy the pleasure provided by recreational drug use, in light of the bad consequences, and persist in reversing their intent in cutting down that activity) the end result is the same unwarranted psychological fishing expeditions into one's own private life, repeating the Big Lie that addiction has some hidden cause. In any case, addiction is seen as a sin with the disease model or as mental illness with the psychological model. Both models are wrong for addiction is a sign of a healthy appetite and wanting to feel good is a sign of good health. Substituting pop psychological sophistry (Albert Ellis's Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is an example, again inadvertently popularized by Jack Trimpey in Rational Recovery's early formative years prior to distilling the knowledge of the self-recovered into the simple technique known as AVRTTM) for religious dogma within the fraud known as "addiction treatment", it provides just as many excuses and lies for self-indulgent behavior. Likewise, no matter how close to one's own personal philosophy one may be, one may dispute their own irrational ideas concerning their own debauchery until they are sociopathically calm and rationally serene. The slogan, "relapse is a normal part of recovery", is effectively swapped for the identical yet apologetic secular humanistic nonsense of, "I'm not an infallible person therefore it's okay if I make the mistake to get high, for recovery is a learning process". It's a hole large enough to drive a beer truck through as a deliberate break of a commitment is made to sound as though it's okay. It's that nonsense from which all distrust of problem drinkers and other irresponsible recreational drug users deservedly flows as it becomes sociopathically acceptable for themselves to break promises. Now it's considered "good therapy".(2)

The simple fact is that people through their own intuition decide through their own stubbornness to just KNOCK IT OFF once and for all with no meetings, no support and no other eratta. That decision, no matter what, is an intensely personal decision in which the person just comes to their own senses and realizes that such behavior is wrong whether for philosophical or moral reasons. Recovery, therefore, is an event. It may involve a bit of deprivation for a couple of days while the person adjusts but by the end of a week the person is free from addiction. Any lingering doubts as to whether they can maintain control over the decision to NEVER intoxicate themselves again is nothing more that just a mere post-addiction hangover and nothing else and can be disregarded as the ultimate price for personal change into a better life for oneself free from addiction. The person realizes that addiction is a choice and therefore makes a moral commitment to never engage in that behavior again as a form of personal ethic. In other words, while there may be no one in their life who may care about them they sure as hell can care about themselves and make that decision an affirmation of their own self-respect.

Oh, but the excuses flow like Mad Dog 20/20 from the RGM/ATI as its apologists posing as alternatives legitimize them. For example, the true believers and professionals within the alternatives can be very much as vindictive and angry to the point that they'll go as far as withhold information on self-recovery, violating their clients' own right to Informed Consent in the process, due to personal politics. Nevermind the widely known fact that according to the The Harvard Mental Health Letter that 80% of those who were addicted do quit on their own. Nevermind the fact that according to the May 2001 A.A. Grapevine interview of A.A. Trustee Professor George E. Vaillant that at least 60% of people do self-recover without either treatment or recovery group participation. Likewise, according to his own book, The Natural History of Alcoholism, his Twelve Step treatment program in CASPAR was, in his own word, "appalling" regarding its own mortality rate as opposed to no treatment. Even William Griffith Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, admitted that A.A. was a failure from the start at Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith's memorial service and confirmed in the present day via A.A.'s own December 1990 internal document, "Comments On A.A. Triennial Surveys"(3). Instead of following Jack Trimpey's, James DeSena's and Secret Agent Orange's lead as to the disclosure of the big secret as to how people self-recover with no added bureaucratic nonsense, the Big Lie is instead reinforced: "You can't make it on your own." The evidence of this lie is reinforced further by the alternatives being seen as impostors to A.A.'s own authentic "recovery" as the alternatives adopt mirror-image philosophies and similar meeting structures.

And it gets worse. As the alternatives try in vain to appear to possess a more liberal stance of tolerance and compassion by name-dropping A.A. in a futile hope of being recognized by A.A., A.A. regards the alternatives as "outside issues" and therefore provides no hint to their existence within the fellowship. Even an attitude of politically-correct elitism is rampant among the alternatives as even they deny the fact that self-recovery is commonplace, is easily taught and, due to self-interest rather than the general welfare of their clientele, withhold information concerning it. Whisper campaigns, long thought to only exist within Buchmanism, is rampant within the addiction treatment industry as a whole when scrappy upstarts dare challenge the status quo. To state the obvious, that people do make it on their own, jeopardizes an entire industry which profits enormously by keeping the Big Lie alive.

This is why the alternatives cannot stand Rational Recovery. Just like A.A.'s membership, the rank and file sycophantic followers has gone as far as to orchestrate rumormongering in light of realizing the truth: That a clone is nothing more than an impostor, especially when it parrots the lies that:

  • Addiction recovery is a group project,

  • It is beneficial to congregate with other addicted people,

  • Self-improvement is an avenue to addiction recovery.

In light of their ratty posturing the current 12-Step-based system is believed to be "authentic" though fallacious appeals to nostalgia in comparison. Realizing the truth in that addiction treatment is outright organized crime preying off of those currently in addiction in the name of the corrupt social services system, R.R. disbanded its groups, known as the Rational Recovery Self-Help Network (RRSN), and works as an independent entity deliberately outside of the system.(4) While A.A. and the alternatives fraudulently pose as non-profit organizations while receiving government largess at taxpayer, client and criminal expense, R.R. exists as a family owned and operated for-profit independent business venture. It's that level of systemic independence where R.R. can go on the record and expose the lies of addiction treatment while providing direct information on how people quit their addictions for good.

Likewise, as the lie is exposed for what it is, the alternatives' cowardice is also exposed further. When one has a strong opinion there will be those who will tend to fear rather than respect such examples of moral strength. To voice an opinion which directly contradicts the party line, no matter how factual that opinion is, is in the eyes of the alternatives as being too opinionated. Because the alternatives are deep within the delusion that the current system must remain in place in order to "help" people they believe that their nonsense is just as valid as the nonsense of Buchmanism. Instead of taking a courageous stance to infiltrate and abolish the failed system in its entirety they're driven out of the identical fear that if they don't evenangelize and "save" people then more people will die. The irrational belief of these institutional Chicken Littles is that if the recovery group movement and its business arm, the addiction industry, were to collapse and disband overnight then mass intoxicated debauchery will result bringing the world into utter sky-collapsing chaos.

Which leads to the irrational belief that people who are or were addicted deserve support. This is the prime mover of taxpayer funds and bodies into the bureaucratic behemoth known as the social services system, also known as the therapeutic state. The therapeutic state serves the same purpose as the police state: To incarcerate people and to keep them away from society with the excuse that it's "for their own good". In fact that very irrational belief, "for their own good", has led to far more abuses within the social services system simply because it's easier to stigmatize someone as being mentally incompetent than as being a criminal since the latter requires actual evidence of a crime being committed. The bottom line is that with penal incarceration the penalty is over when its over and the burden of proof is ultimately on the state. With the therapeutic state one is rendered mentally ill in need of treatment in order to function in society and where the person can easily be rendered being guilty of being "disturbed" prior to being exonerated. The bottom line being that a prison is still a prison, especially when the inmates within the addiction treatment industry, posing as therapists, are running the asylum. Support is nothing more than an excuse to sift more money and fresh bodies through a failed system which simply creates more problems regarding addiction than solving them, just as the hope of using gasoline to extinguish a fire.

The only support addicted people require is direct information on how to KNOCK IT OFF to begin with. When securely abstinent, safe in the knowledge that they will NEVER engage within that behavior again, can they tackle the problems resulting from their own hyper-hedonistic behavior. The simple fact it's easier to solve problems with a clear mind and conscience. After solving the mother of all of their problems, of being trapped within the bubble of addiction, a renewed sense of inner-strength is found where they find that the remaining problems in their post-addiction life are not as complicated as they appeared to be from within the bubble of addiction as it bursts. Unfortunately, the addiction treatment industry and its cadre of two-hatting counselors, operating under the influence of a professional conflict of interest regarding their professional career and their personal membership in the recovery group movement, serves to keep its clientele coming back to the same crippling beliefs which serve to keep clients within that bubble. In fact, when one is securely abstinent, these deeply misguided charlatans will diagnose such independent resolve as "over-confidence", a sure sign of "denial" and therefore proof of the existence of the "disease" known as addiction. These two-hatters can get away with this Bill$h!t because A.A.'s own traditions contain no directive for accountability for "they do not govern". It's where "keep coming back" serves as not just another slogan within the recovery group movement but as a lucrative business proposition within the multi-billion dollar addiction treatment industry. The system is designed to foster further dependence rather than teaching independence, a distinctly authentic old American idea regarding one's own inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Finally, in regards to freedom in general, the entire addiction treatment industry has a symbiotic relationship with another systemic failure: "The War On Some Drugs". Outside of DUI's where clearly intoxicated drivers are a danger to other drivers and others on the road and where the penalty should not be the revocation of one's license to drive but one's own drinking license, recreational drug use in general should never be a crime. As long as no other person or other person's property is harmed by that person's recreational drug use then there's no victim and therefore no crime has been committed.(5) This stigma is largely the result of neo-prohibitionist drug policies which have not produced any winners, short of the mob which benefits from increased prices within the black market and the increased property crimes in order to finance the procurement of the drugs to begin with, but plenty of losers regarding civil liberties and a bloated penal system in which more people are incarcerated for drug offenses than violent crime. The irrational belief, propagated by the recovery group movement, is that people are powerless over drugs. Therefore, criminalize the drugs because the addicts can't help it if they want to get fully loaded. It's nothing more than a moralistic rehash of alcohol prohibition where now the RGM/ATI clearly profits by diverting people away from the police state into the therapeutic state (out of "choice", of course).

The proof that addiction treatment never worked to begin with is readily available here at The ARID Site and elsewhere. The very existence of the "harm reduction" movement is evidence of that. Disguised as offering freedom of choice and dignity for addicts not unlike Jelinek/Mann's organization, it's goal is to secure financing for other people's fixes through taxpayer-funded needle exchange programs (the lie is that it reduces AIDS outbreaks with no evidence backing that claim up) and physician-supervised shooting galleries. In other words, let the public pay for kindler, gentler and pretty-looking "crack shacks" with the paraphernalia to boot and provide the recreational drugs via a doctor's prescription, Hippocratic Oath be damned. It makes as much sense as having taxpayers subsidize having a tavern in every neighborhood and paying for a drink each and every day, whether one drinks or not. And all the while it promotes that "treatment works", the drumbeat slogan of a failed system, as its degenerates claim they are "diseased" and can't help but to hold their own meetings while as high as a kite. Its "therapy" is nothing more than a direct copy of the 12-Step movement without any pretense of being abstinence-oriented. I agree that people have the right to get as loaded in any way they desire as long as no one else gets hurt. However that doesn't mean neither I nor anyone else has to finance those fixes as well as the works used in the consumption thereof.

To close, just as I have called into question A.A.'s own veracity regarding its own P.R. facade which claims that it's a quit-drinking organization when the facts prove otherwise, I also call into question the alternatives which claim to support abstinence to promote other agendas unrelated to ending addiction. Just as I have examined the doctrines of Buchmanism itself and know for a fact that it is not what it claims to be, I provide a similar burden of proof which the others must prove adherence to: If there is no clear and concise directive to simply abstain from consuming any recreational drugs then it's not an organization which promotes abstinence. To claim adherence to any tenet of the disease/psychological models of addiction and the various junk science which attempts to legitimize it also should rule the alternatives as suspect as well.

Consider this a thorough evaluation of the whole movement, from left to right, from secular to religious. It's bad enough that we have an entire pro-addiction ideology masquerading as effective treatment for addiction. It's worse when the alternatives are nothing more than spineless wimps who would rather co-opt than confront and benefit just as well by keeping things exactly how they are through their own acquiescence. It's that lack of confrontation which means things will stay exactly how they are until more people fight back, sick and tired of being sick and tired, responding with a resounding "ENOUGH!!!"

Footnotes:

1) The Vestibule Inpatient Program is detailed within the late Vince Fox's book, "Addiction, Change and Choice: The New View of Alcoholism (Third Printing)" (pp. 150-162).

2) This position is not unusual regarding promise-breaking and using secular humanistic psychology to justify it. Multi-divorced Albert Ellis' decade-long flirtation with extramarital sex as a remedy for other people's marital problems is documented in his long out-of-print book, "The Civilized Couple's Guide to Extramarital Adventure". In other words, "Having marital problems? Break your 'til-death-do-you-part wedding vows by screwing around!"

3) Also within Vince Fox's book is his analysis of A.A.'s lack of effectiveness and discusses the dropout rate as mentioned within A.A.'s internal "Comments" document (pp. 61-72) as well as its highly reactionary and closed nature. Within the 1998 Third Printing of his book Fox offers the following observation regarding that key document:

"I remain utterly flabbergasted (I've always wanted to use that word) by the fact that A.A.'s "Comments" document, quoted and analyzed on pages 64-67 of this chapter, has not created a national scandal. The "Comments" report is the most revealing (and devastating) report I have ever read about A.A., and it was written by A.A.."
-- Vince Fox, "Addiction, Change and Choice: The New View of Alcoholism (Third Printing)", pp. 221

4) A nameless coalition of professionals, now known as SMART Recovery, attempted a hostile takeover of Rational Recovery as the organization evolved away from REBT and towards AVRTTM. The takeover attempt is documented in detail by David L. Trippel at http://rational.org/html_member_area/takeover.html

5) An excellent summation of the folly of consensual crimes is given within the late Peter McWilliam's "Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do". In particular, his analysis of the failed "War On Some Drugs" is a must-read. Available online.

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Last updated 2005/12/31

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