I am completely baffled

How do people not see that addiction is completely fake, and is created by AA brainwashing and perpetuated by government pseudo science propaganda? I’ve been writing this crap for over 3 years now and still nothing, not a single god dam person out there (other than Trish – hi Trish!!) will agree with me.  Lots of people will agree that AA is a cult, AA is evil, etc etc but no one will say, “AA creates addiction.” I don’t get it. We live in a world with 6 BILLION people. Surely there is ONE other person out there as crazy as me??? (Well, me and Trish — no offense Trish.)

I’m completely baffled. Lots of other crazies attract followers. For example, the anti-virus panics, the anti-police hysteria etc. Just last week I saw a huge procession of THOUSANDS of people protesting the deaths of TWO people on the other side of the country.  But THOUSANDS of people are being killed by the cult yearly.  Where’s the outrage?  Where’s the protests?  Whether I’m right or wrong in my claims is not even my point. At least there should a few people who will claim to agree. Isn’t it ironic when something is actually TRUE that EVERYONE steers clear???

I’ve known of many addicts who admit to being brainwashed by the 12 Step cults.  They say, “Yes I was brainwashed into addiction.  I wasn’t really an addict.  AA might be fine for some people, but it wasn’t right for me and we need other ways to treat alcoholism and addiction.”

WHAT???  You just admitted you were brainwashed into addiction by AA, and now you’re saying that we should have other ways to treat ‘addiction’???  Do you not see anything weird about that?

Surely the ‘powers that be’ know what’s going on. People like Keith Humphreys and Mark Kleiman and George Koob. Of course I don’t expect them to agree. But if I’m right, then surely one of their co-horts knows they’re wacko? Surely someone out there will say, “You’re right, I know this guy and he’s bats HIT crazy!” Or, “Yes I’ve read their academic papers and they’re nuttier than a jar of peanut butter!”  I’d even settle for, “I’ve known him for years and he’s a perfectly normal guy if a bit tedious.”  But no, nothing, not a peep from anyone.

Which is particularly weird because I’ve satirized Angela Hawken and Aaron White, and other than threats of lawsuits, I’ve gotten no feedback.  None of their colleagues or students have made any attempt either to defend them (“your ‘satire’ is psychotic nonsense like the rest of your ‘work'”) or expose them (“I laughed I cried I check your site every day for new articles – what an indictment you handed down”).  Nope, nothing.

I am completely baffled.  Am I the crazy one?  But like I said, surely there are others out there who are JUST AS CRAZY.  But there aren’t!  (Other than Trish — no offense.)

And surely one of the addiction psychologists that oppose AA knows the truth, e.g. Stanton Peele, Matt Slate, Maia Svalavitz, Carl Hart. But no, they absolutely still believe in addiction. In fact, Peele is still peddling ‘mindfulness training’ as his antidote to the plague.  Dr. Hart still recommends AA to help people with ‘socialization issues’.

Seth Mnookin wrote a whole friggin book about the wacko anti-vaccine conspiracy (Panic Virus).  And it got tons of interest and attention.  But here’s an issue that’s even bigger, in terms of mortality, public policy, and world peace (drug war violence).   And not only is no one interested, but literally NO ONE is interested.  NO ONE.  (Sorry Trish I know you’re not chopped liver, but other than you, NO ONE.)

And I’m not talking about the “AA is a cult” issue.  I know that people believe that.  I’m not denying that.  I’m talking about “Addiction is completely fake and AA brainwashing creates addiction.”  Please, don’t confuse the 2 issues.  They are not the same, and if you are going to confuse the 2 issues anyway after I told you not to then please just go away because then I will truly flip my lid.

I am completely baffled.  I just watched the movie The Giver.  Well it’s a great movie.  It lays out the dystopian future we can expect if these policies prevail – enforced equality and coerced drug ‘therapy’ compliance.  Millions of people will watch the movie, but NO ONE will say a peep if it’s actually happening in real life??  What???  Helloooo out there???

There are tons of movies about this stuff, warning us about exactly what is going on right now.  But NO ONE says anything if it’s actually happening IN REAL LIFE??  NO ONE who WROTE the movies.  NO ONE who ACTED in the movies.  NO ONE who WATCHED the movies and said, “Wow that’s a great movie it would really suck if that actually happened in real life” and now that it’s actually happening in real life AND they read my blog saying that it’s ACTUALLY HAPPENING IN REAL LIFE AND they have a penchant for conspiracy theories AND they signed the petition to free Aaron Swartz and STOP SOPA AND they had a friend who went to AA even though the guy OPENLY ADMITTED he went just to meet chicks, well still they are sure that addiction is real, and if they had any doubts have expressed absolutely zero degrees of interest in resolving them, even though they read the entire SOPA document from beginning to end and even took notes on it and disagreed about certain points.  I am completely baffled.  Baffled I tell you.

The movie connection is particularly ironic considering the suicide cult recently took the lives of two great actors – Robin Williams and Philip Seymour Hoffman – both of whom had played drug addicts and recently attended AA meetings.  Do you seriously not see a connection?

OK people this is your opportunity to get on record as being on the vanguard of rescuing our world from the forces of evil.  Any takers?  Or do I have to create themed avatars like in WoW or GTA?

And even after I’ve PROVEN that AA is a suicide cult with lying, vicious, angry members who clearly take pleasure in verbal abuse and insults and clearly have lots of experience and practice with it and many even admit to sponsee suicides, still EVERYONE just passes on by.  NO ONE stops and thinks, “Hmm.  Well I’ve known one or 2 AAs in my life and they are pious sanctimonious hypocritical, lying assholes.  Maybe this guy has a point.”  (I don’t mean just ‘no one’, as in ‘no one understands me’ or ‘no one does anything about trash on the highway’.  I mean literally ZERO other human persons on the planet including you*.)

Or they might say, “Obviously this guy has an axe to grind against AA and hasn’t proven shit.”  Of course, that’s fine.  Perfectly understandable.  Expected.  But EVERYONE?  EVERYONE who actually takes the time to review my lucid, carefully reasoned and documented claims written in friendly engaging language with pith and humor will find a reason to discredit them?  EVERYONE who actually has a stake or interest in the topic will pass by without saying a word (other than nasty insults)?  NO ONE will agree?  NO ONE will disagree (other than nasty insults)?  I know that lots of people read my stuff.  I KNOW that my site has been reviewed by top experts in addiction and mental health FOR OVER 3 YEARS NOW and there is a passing familiarity by people with interest in the field, whose comments I’ve seen on many other sites and blogs, and who have explicitly stated that they genuinely want to help people AND are interested in the question of whether AA helps or hurts people.  I KNOW they know that I’m saying “AA is a pagan mischief cult and creates addiction”.  But NONE will say anything either for or against.

Of course, you will say, “Of course they won’t say anything.  You are basically calling them brainwashed idiots.”   So what?  Then let them say that!  If they are seriously accusing me of pushing an agenda by relying on personal insults instead of logic and facts then I’d want to know!  That would make me as hypocritical as the cult I criticize.  Of course you will say, “That is not their responsibility, to educate any mentally ill jerk with a ‘theory’.”  Well then they are in the wrong friggin field.  And I’m not just ‘any’ jerk.

Then you’ll say, “You are trying to destroy their livelihood.  Did you ever think about that?”  OF COURSE I thought about that!  I am well aware of that.  BUT what about the people who were once in the addiction field and are now in real estate?  Now in the hospitality industry?  Now in tourism?  Am I still trying to destroy their career?  If you think so then YOU’RE the crazy one, and if you had a blog then I’m sure that’s the reason that no one agrees with it.  But it doesn’t explain why they won’t agree with MY blog.  Something like, “Yes I was in the rehab industry for 3 years as a front desk secretary (and now I’m in public relations) and I can tell you that every single one of those so-called ‘addicts’ was a slime bag liar and for the life of me I couldn’t understand why no one said anything.  Addiction is obviously fake but that never seemed to bother the guy who ran the place.”  Nope, not once did that ever happen.  Not one time.

Of course, you will probably now respond that people just don’t know enough about the subject.  You will say that people don’t care unless it affects them directly, or are only interested in ‘trendy’ issues.  Well of course, that is true for 99% of people out there.  Oh, am I overestimating human nature again?  Ha, so typical of me.  Fine, that is true for 99.99% of the people out there.  But that still leaves a cool friggin HALF MILLION people.   Now you will say these people are all on vacation?  For the past 3 years?  And have no internet access?  No communication with people who watch TV 6 hours a day?  Sorry, I don’t buy it.  I mean I’m pretty gullible.  And my stat skillz are pretty crappy.  But I can say that the chances of that are PRETTY FRIGGIN SLIM.

Of course now you’ll say, “Yes I will grant that perhaps a few of those HALF MILLION intellectual, motivated, civic minded people with a demonstrated interest in addiction and mental health and drug war policy are not all currently on vacation in Tuvalu for the past 3 years.  But so what?  They’d probably mostly agree with you that AA is a cult and the old-timers are dying off anyways so what are you complaining about?”  UNLESS I CAN PUNCH YOU THROUGH THE COMPUTER SOMEONE BETTER GET ME MY BLOOD PRESSURE PILLS RIGHT NOW.

Of course you will now say that I have anger issues and it’s no wonder that no one will engage with the site despite the google stats that indicate normal, decent visitor engagement: “Everyone knows that those stats are bs – I hope you’re not seriously relying on them for anything and anyway people just don’t have time these days to read every blog post by every wannabe activist out there with their own cause du jour – YAWNNN.  Do you seriously think that anyone would want to criticize a multi billion dollar industry that probably has lobbyists everywhere influencing us how to think?”  Well yeah, I do.  I mean, are we already in this dystopian future that we’re supposed to be so scared about?  Honestly, I have to wonder.  Or is this just some Truman style joke?  Haha, very funny people.

I am completely baffled.  Obviously AA creates addiction, but no one seems to care or at best are only interested in explaining why no one seems to care.  Or maybe I’m just crazy — maybe mother was right all along.

Unless you are Trish, of course.  God I hope she’s not just a figment of my imagination.  Wouldn’t that be the ultimate irony.

65 thoughts on “I am completely baffled”

  1. If you’re sitting at a poker table and you can’t figure out who the sucker is, it’s probably you (and Trish).

  2. I hope you don’t mind, I haven’t read all the comments and I only first came to your blog today. However, I’m slightly confused about what your essential notion is. I’ve only ever been addicted to cigarettes and, once I got treated for anxiety and depression, I was able to stop smoking. I’m not so sure why people want to limit “vaping.” I think nicotine is great for anxiety and it’s too bad about the lung cancer.

    As far as other drugs go, I don’t know. I would definitely say that the dangers of addiction are overhyped. On the other hand, I’ve known people who have told me that they tried to stop drinking and had great difficulty. Do have any posts that summarize your ideas?

  3. Hey AdickShun Meth, has anyone ever given you a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenic?
    Be honest now!
    If they didn’t, you must not have been honest with them.
    The garbage you spew here sounds just like the 9/11 truthers, chemtrailers and other common internet loons.
    Think that one poster was right, it would make a fine comedy act.

  4. This message is directed to trish Because of what you said about opiate withdrawal being so minor. Maybe a small percocet habit is as you described it. However heroin is a different story and I am speaking from personal experience. I went to jail and had to kick a 2 bundle iv heroin habit cold turkey. I’m sure that amount means very little to you as you know less about drugs than you do about aa but it’s a high amount of drugs. The withdrawal from that was about a week of not being able to eat, throwing up, dry heaving, diarrhea, hot and cold sweats, shakes, and some hallucinations followed by 2 weeks of insomnia and soul crushing depression. I have also been through xanax (benzos) like the Ativan that addictionmyth can’t live without. And it was very similar only that detox came with seizures. And before you say it doesn’t matter, there are cited cases of people dying from benzodiazapene withdrawal

  5. I go to AA. Some meetings are good, some are hell. I’m not forced to do shit. It says in the book that these steps are mere suggestions. I don’t agree with everything in it, but I see it as being beneficial in my life. I am in now way ignorant either. It’s mainly about finding some higher power and trying to be a better person. How is it harmful? You say it is, but I guess I would need some concrete examples or some empirical evidence. Without that my friend, all you have are theoretical constructs. I’ve read some of the blogs out of curiosity. The evidence you’ve shown is really weak. I fear you may have some undiagnosed histrionic personality disorder. And what’s the end game for this site? People believe what they want to believe, that’s how it is and always will be. I hope you and your friend Trish spewing vitriol gives you some sense of empowerment. I do feel bad for all the pain patients who have hard time getting meds because of addicts, my mom has MS. Honestly, you have a pretty unhealthy obsession going on here. Saying Opiate Withdrawal is (minor) is the epitome of ignorance. There is a million different levels of dependency. You lost all credibility there

  6. Hey AM, I’e given a lot of thought to this recent essay & collection of comments.

    I can assure you I don’t believe that truth is relative – if it were, I would not be so baffled by people who put a groups “truth” above actual evidence. I believe that truth is truth, even if only one – or no – person believes it.

    I do believe that truth eventually wins out – but it takes tim and sometimes weird happenstance before the tipping point happens and everybody stops believing in phrenology or hysterio-epilepsy or limbo.

    But I have observed through my life that most humans are remarkably willing and able to delete truth from their conscious thought processes. Just watch some Supernanny reruns, keeping in mind people believe that parents know their own kids (especially small kids) better than anyone. The parent will say, “If AidenKadyenJadenWayden doesn’t get her way, she becomes completely unpredictable.

    But the kid is *Completely* predictable – if she doesn’t get her way, she screams, “I hate you!”, kicks anything within range and tries to bite Mommy. At the first attempt to put the Special Snowflake onto the naughty bench, or into bed for the night, the kid rebels, and the parents says, “We’ve never seen her behave this way.” Really? I saw her behave that way in the scenes from your own submission video!

    It’s almost like the truths that are closest to lived experience are the ones many people are most blind to.

    1. Thank you. I also believe that the truth wins out. I think in this case it will be because of people who were directly victimized by the cult who speak out, and because of people like you and me who are affected indirectly. Thanks to government imposed healthcare bureaucracy I am unable to get the ativan I need to sleep, until my appt which generally takes weeks to get. So I am suffering too (albeit not as bad as a chronic pain patient).

      As for supernanny I am a fan too. I think that part of it is that we are terrified of hurting our children’s feelings for fear that they will later blame us for their mental health problems. For example, we must constantly raise their ‘self esteem’ even though such efforts will probably backfire (even though most kids will do fine anyway).

      But we will definitely see more violence caused by ‘mental health’ problems, and what happened so far is just the tip of the iceberg.

      Again you didn’t say who else knows what we know, but that’s ok I think that the truth is coming out and we will know soon enough.

      1. I’m sorry to learn that your medical situation is also being negatively affected because of AA/NA/WhateverA-recovery propaganda. Every time I learn that another person I know is in that boat, it gets me more mad. You have my sympathy – sleep is one of my favorite activities, and to imagine you are being deprived of good sleep to support the claims of a collection of losers is disheartening.

        I can’t really say who else knows. I don’t have the power to see what goes on between other people’s ears. All I can say is I suspect not nearly enough for a tipping point.

        I don’t talk to many people about this IRL because it’s risky. I don’t want criminals or law-and-order types to find out that I have large amounts of pain meds in my house. I don’t usually talk politics because of the very real danger of getting sucked into some simultaneously super boring and super contentious conversation with some libertarian blowhard. I find it difficult to get through to people who haven’t had direct experience of how hard it is to get pain – and other meds – meds to either believe that it is that hard (“But look here, the AMA supports treating pain with sufficient meds” – ignoring the fact that there’s a long distance between AMA policy and practice in PPOs & HMOs that also include in their scope of care “addiction treatment”, or to get most Americans to even entertain the idea that “addiction” is a bogus disease and the “treatment” is pantomime medicine.

        I can say that when I talk to my small number of rational friends that they seem to find my arguments compelling, and that nobody I have discussed this with IRL has come up with compelling arguments in favor of the claim of addiction-as-disease/12-steps-as-treatment.

        I have a friend who has a relative with chronic pain from an injury, who was getting insufficient meds then was caught buying on the black market (far cheaper than going the pain-clinic-Rx-drug route) and she seemed comforted by my views.

        It seems to me that it might even be getting worse overall in the U.S., in that many more drugs besides opiates are being treated as more and more dangerous – especially sleep medications, muscle relaxants, migraine meds. All because “addiction professionals” (i.e., losers who f-d up their own lives so bad that they could “demonstrate experience” with so-called addiction) keep upping their dire claims, and politicians who want to look like they’re tough-on-crime/sympathetically-promoting-“treatment” find it easier to make life harder for pain patients (what are they gonna do if they don’t get pain treatment? Sit on the couch in misery – no worries that they might get political).

        Another thing that cheeses me off about pain medication in this country is that opiates should be among the least expensive medications – there’s no patents on the plant-based versions. But because of the newer supposedly high-free formulations (you know, like the oxy- ones that are now supposedly used in huge quantities by criminals), the actual monthly cost for my meds (if not for the insurance coverage) is $850 a month – that’s just for the pain meds, not counting my medications for other conditions ( like allergies and acid reflux). That also doesn’t count the years of once-a-month doctor visits (because any law-abiding pain patient can’t be trusted to go more than 4 weeks without being reviewed, even though my own doctor calls me a “model pain patient”, I’ve never been in trouble with the law over anything including opiates and I’m not bloody rich).

        And this is not financial, but it is also a gigantic hassle when I need to deal with other medical professionals. For example, when I have surgery, the nurses always try to delay giving me my scheduled pain meds, acting like waiting an extra 20 minutes is some gigantic victory. According to the American Pain Society (which posts actual science to support their observations), keeping chronic pain patients on a fixed schedule results in better pain control and smaller doses working better in the long run, while intermittent schedules cause the patient to need larger doses over time to keep the pain under control.

        But of course AA is just a little group of people who want to talk about their problems among themselves – they do not know, wish to know, or care about the horrible effects their little group is having on people who didn’t f up their lives enough to need a get-out-of-jail/trouble card.

      2. I guess I was born with an extra helping of ‘curiosity’. I need to know about things that others say is difficult or impossible or irrelevant or not worth it to find out. My curiosity manifests as bafflement, a perplexing and uncomfortable emotion. But like I said, I think we will know soon enough. And then everyone will say either, “Ah, I knew he/she knew all along!” Or, “Obviously they were in such denial. Self-deception is the human mind’s greatest skill.” 🙂

      3. I think you’re not the only one, I too, was born with an extra helping of curiosity and desire for logical explanations, as well as bafflement when the facts are not accepted. I can understand a lot of things, but one thing I can’t is a person refusing to see facts directly observable right in front of them – this is part of why I find Supernanny so fascinating – it’s like live-action refusal-to-observe-reality. (I have to ask, do kids really Bite as often as shown on this program? Even the “bad”kids when I was growing up didn’t try to bite parents!)

        Another Supernanny-based aside, on the topic of “not damaging the kids”. I don’t know if it’s that, or if it’s more based in the parent preferring to be a friend to the child over being a parent. Probably depends on the household. But I do think the view that “damage” to a child’s psyche causing permanent catastrophic harm not only was the cause of the Satanic Daycare Sex panics of the late 20th century, but also the root of the whole concept that sex abuse of kids, and now sex abuse even in the mildest form of wolf whistle on the street, is the Worst Possible Thing Anyone Can Suffer. The remarkable thing is that our society and the creepiest criminals in prison are on the same page, that this is worse than actually killing someone. (Of course our society is also on the same page with the creepiest criminals that “addiction” “causes” their crimes, is a “real” disease yadda yadda)

        Another thing is, there’s plenty of knowledge even within the U.S., about the fact that humans are perfectly capable of convincing themselves that their suffer from entirely imaginary diseases, that people are not only able to believe but willing to shout from the rooftops that some entirely bogus remedy “cured” them of real or imagined illness, that people can get sucked into believing entirely irrational things and do even horrific things just to maintain membership in even a relatively small & relatively powerless group. Also many scientists use the rule of thumb concept that an unfalsifiable claim is not a scientific claim. And yet, if one claims (say in court to get a reduced sentence) to have an “addiction” there’s no way for the prosecution to disprove that claim. If someone accuses a person of having an “addiction” there’s no way for the person to disprove that accusation. But in the case of “addiction”, just saying the accusation is false is taken as evidence that the accusation is true. (BTW, if “addiction” is a lifelong disease that can only be controlled not cured, why is it that calling “addiction” would get one a reduced amount of time in state custody – shouldn’t that make them eligible for life-long parole?)

        And yet, no one with the professional chops, has applied any of this knowledge to the question of whether “addiction” (which has not one single physically distinguishing feature -no infection, no birth defect, no traumatic organ injury no organ malfunction, no hormone excess or deficiency) is a disease, or whether 12 steps – or any form of “recovery” actually “works” (using as the definition of “works” “getting people who’ve been behaving badly and who also use drugs and/or alcohol to stop the bad behavior, law breaking and consumption of intoxicants.”). Even Carl Hart, who has done some work busting some myths about “addiction” doesn’t address the actual root question – is “addiction” a disease. Maybe someday he will notice that he has not yet addressed that question.

        As for Oprah, I think she believes in whatever gets her good ratings on TV. I think she’s cunning in business, but a curious mind, not so much.

      4. Supernanny – Yes the desire to be the child’s friend is a big factor. The need for approval and fear of being blamed for subsequent problems both stem from deep insecurity and loneliness.

        Satanic cult abuse scare – was planted by 12 Step agents to deflect attention and to discredit their critics. It actually worked for a while. I am presenting that as conjecture not fact but I find my intuition is strangely prescient. Still like I said, my intuition is not guiding me on whether others know. I can say that my initial assumption that most people knew and it was all just a ‘big joke’ was completely wrong. Definitely most people don’t know (even though addiction is often the butt of jokes and cynical comments).

        Oprah – I like her but I think she has a tendency to believe in what is ‘useful’ more than what is true. So I don’t really care about her thoughts on the matter.

        Prominent scientists and government agencies – The fact that they threatened to sue me and then crumpled so quickly is evidence that they are completely clueless and baffled themselves. If they knew, they would have just ignored me (like AA now instructs their members) or would be more thoughtful and persistent in their threats. (Sorry, just talking to myself here. Spare me the cliches about government cluelessness and incompetence – that misses the point entirely. (Entirely!) And would only demonstrate more “live-action refusal-to-observe-reality” and I don’t want to run out of my blood pressure pills before my next appt.)

  7. Trish,
    I do feel that behaviors are done either on or off drugs that are blamed on addiction. Sitting in a drug detox center as a patient years ago a couple of guys came in from gamblers anonymous and I was blown away how they said they were just like drug addicts or alcoholics and I disagreed and still do. I think they have a unhealthy judgement issue not a disease. I was physically addicted to opiates for years as in I got withdrawls if I didn’t have them. I never thought I had a disease but that I liked the effect more than staying clean. I’ve been diagnosed with a mood disorder by a professional and they told me that narcotics were not an option due to my disease and gave me the book Questions and Anwers on addiction by Howard Wetsman. I’ve been in AA and stayed Sober for the last 4 1/2 years but there is things that I don’t agree with. I go because I’m afraid of relapse. AA says in the literature that they are not the only path to Sobriety and only the individual can say for there self that they need the program. It’s the members who give it a bad name with some being sexual predators and some just doing it to stay out of jail. I go so I can be a better Father to my girls and so I can have a better life than before when I was hell bent on killing my self with drugs and booze.
    I don’t know if it’s the program,the people or both that you have an issue with which I can see your point of view on every side and even agree with you on the disease factor but I know people are predispositioned to be wreck less and abuse substances based on genetics because my family tree proved that. I think it’s a genetic issue or a moral issue,maybe even a capacity issue but I do know that the program has helped me in a simple way just by filling a void that I needed filled. I used 24-7 so when I stopped I had nothing to do with a lot of my time and that’s what I did. I went to AA. I do enjoy helping others by giving them hope that they can get their life back. I’m open minded to anything or any other paths but I get fulfillment and feel useful to people who abuse drugs and want to stop. The whole disease concept and allergy thing is unknown science and until they have a test for it I’m just gonna go with the idea that maybe drugs and alcohol are bad for me and I do stupid things while using them so I better keep doing what I’m doing until something else comes along that’s better.

    Thank you for your reply,

    1. Your comment is full of contradiction and hypocrisy. You say you did drugs because you enjoyed them, and then you said you kept doing it because you feared withdrawals (which are minor), and then you said you were ‘hell bent’ killing yourself, and then you said you did them because you were bored. So which is it? You need to decide if you wanted to do them or not. The simple truth is that you enjoyed doing drugs, and then you got tired of it, and then you stopped. Well that’s the same story for everyone. Except that some people later claim to be ‘addicts’ and their job is to convince others that they too have a disease that will kill them. Even if not doing drugs was just a simple choice for you. You are actually killing people with your dangerous dogma under the guise of ‘offering hope’.

      1. It was a cycle starting from enjoyment which ended up in the form of physical pain and fear of withdrawls. No contradiction at all. It was a process of wearing me down. There was a time that I could stop without withdraws but after the process went further I couldn’t get out of bed without them so in the end there was no joy, just pain. I actually wanted to stop for years and never had success past a couple of weeks until I tried AA. The hope I speak of doesn’t apply to any one unless they have actually been at rock bottom due to their drug use. Relating and experience are not false hope, they are used all of the time in other human issues such as relationships ending and grief of a passed loved one. In this case it’s a different kind of pain, a self inflicted pain which I had no self esteem or worth until I was shown I wasn’t the only one and there was a path, not the only, but a path that could show me how to live without drugs. All I offer is my experience and only to those who ask for it.

      2. Minor withdrawls from opiates! Lol! You’re living in Oz! Try kicking methodone,opana,roxycotin,OxyContin,clonapen,suboxsone,
        hydrocodone,alcohol,adarol,xanaax,cocaine and Prozac all at the same time using levels high enough to be over 100 on your liver enzyme count. You obviously know very little about drug usage. With all do respect of course. I’m blown away by your false,minimizing,disrespectful comment to any one who’s ever endured the indescribable misery of kicking opiates and other powerful pharmaceuticals. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

      3. Robert,

        First thing you should know is that no one has ever died from opiate withdrawal. In fact, some drug users purposely stop for a while so it won’t cost them so much to get the same high.

        Watch some “Lock Up Raw” – they show people “withdrawing” – and it seems to consist mostly of moaning about the fact that they’re “in withdrawal”. “Lock Up Raw” doesn’t skimp on the gruesomeness – showing stabbings, cell extractions, pruno-production, etc., – if they had footage of people in “withdrawal” puking, shivering, convulsing, they would air it.

        You should read some of the scientific studies done on “withdrawal”. Back in the 1930s, a study showed “addicts” being withdrawn from morphine could not distinguish between injections of morphine and water – injections of water that they were told was morphine, made their “withdrawal” symptoms disappear.

        Studies in the 1960s found that when asked to describe how bad their withdrawal would be, self-identified “addicts” would report symptoms that would be far more severe than the symptoms they’d actually have. And if such persons were cut off without being told they were cut off (giving them placebos and telling them they were being gradually given less, as in the 1930s study mentioned above), many had no withdrawal at all.

        Also, read up on the famous morphine-user Hermann Goering. When he was in an Allied prison, he arrived using dozens of pills a day. The staff didn’t even tell him they were going to wean him off he morphine, they just gave him one less pill a day – and he didn’t even notice until he was getting half the dose he’d been using when he’d arrived.

      4. No, never been through withdrawal, like I’ve never been abducted by a space alien, had a visitation by the Virgin Mary (or any other saint), suffered “hysteria” or videotaped a bigfoot.

      5. I’d like to argue your points but then I’d sound like all the other AA puppets with all the slogans of self perpetuation. I have learned valuable life lessons in AA. I’ve also witnessed a lot of the behavior you speak of. I dont believe the disease bit either.
        I always refer to Mark Twain.
        All generalizations are false including this one.

  8. If I hadn’t made it clear in other comments I’ve made, I will now. In terms of the AA is a cult and creates “addiction” issue, yes I am with you! Addiction is made up. It cost me years of my life. This past summer, I finally saw the truth, released myself from the slavery of a thought that I had accepted as a truth since I was a child, and I am finally free. It’s scary how many off shoots of AA there are, how widely accepted they are, how Hollywood stars endorse them… I’m with you. It’s costing our country and world for that matter, many many lives. And it’s all made up. It IS unbelievable.
    As a side note, I think some of the things you write about religion give me a similarly creepy feeling, so I’m not sure I’m with everything you say, but in terms of addiction being fake and AA and its offshoots being dangerous, YES.

    1. Thank you! I’m feeling less baffled. Though I’m still so curious as to who knows what we know! (Yes in fact you were pretty clear in your previous comments a while ago — I had forgotten.)

    2. H, you’re so right! It costs not just Americans, but the entire world! The War-on-Drugs has poisoned other parts of the world (like Mexico with paraquat and Columbia with herbicides, introducing fungus into regions where poppies grow), the huge black markets that have caused criminal organizations to grow rich and powerful, making life miserable for people who have the misfortune to cross paths with them, the expense of police response to drug transport & use, the expense of imprisoning millions of people in & outside of the U.S. over the past half century for “drug crimes”.

      Gotta say, H, I don’t agree with everything AM says about religion, either, but after 6 years of convent school, I don’t view religion as a benign influence on society either.

  9. What hypocrisy — insisting on truth from others while you persist in your paranoid fantasy. Next will you demand ‘rigorous honesty’?

    At least I need not put a devil aside for you. Clearly you are up to the task yourself.

  10. I understand your point. for me personally, “addiction” or substance abuse stems from early childhood abuse. going to aa made me think that certain behaviors were ok- that my mind was out to get me- and that I am a self centered egotistical lunatic. all not true. I have severe PTSD and maybe for some people abstinence is the best answer but ive even been talking to my therapist a lot lately about how there is no ‘ alcoholic” or “addict” brain. it just doesn’t exist.

    1. Recovering from aa, I do agree with you that substance abuse can be caused by childhood abuse and PTSD. Those two things is what caused my substance abuse. I only went to AA meetings when I was in treatment. I have not been to one meeting since I’ve been out of treatment and off drugs for 2 years and 5 months. I even forgot how long it had been, because I know AA wants you to count every second of every day. I don’t know if AA is a cult, but addiction is a disease. A brain disease that is hereditary and doesn’t just involve alcohol and drugs; examples include food, gambling, obsession, sex, etc. Yes, I read the blog. I can’t say whither I agree or disagree with him saying AA is a cult, but I did get inspired by my rehabilitation treatment to go to college and I am now studying to become a Chemical Dependence Counselor. I had depression and PTSD for 48 years and used drugs to cope with it. I started using drugs at 43 and tried to commit suicide 8 times in 5 years. I had been to countless numbers of psychiatrists and therapists, none could help. After I woke up in the psych unit from my last attempt, I felt God wants me to give rehab treatment a try. It worked for me, and I am inspired to help others. No one wants to be an addict or alcoholic. Just Saying!

    2. Have you ever heard of a phenomenon called “retrofitting”? It’s when a person’s current beliefs and/or emotions color their memories. It happens in 2 ways – the current mood/beliefs affect which memories come to mind (If one is depressed, then memories of depressing events from the past are easier to recall), plus the memories seem even more depressing when recalled while in a depressed mood than thy seem when recalled while not depressed. The person doing the recalling does not morph memories intentionally – it happens on a subconscious level.

      Elizabeth Loftus has done amazing scientific work on the functioning of human memory, which is not at all like a video recording. When a person recalls an incident from the past, things they’ve learned or come to believe, as well as their current situation, influences the form of the memory reported. It’s less like hitting “play” and initiating a replay and more like hitting “record” and telling the story, while recording over the previous version.

      Just the understanding of human memory available to medical science today completely undermines the basis for “diagnosing alcoholism/addiction”. (And is complicated further by the fact that if someone says, “I don’t think I’m an alcoholic (addict)” it is labeled “denial” – and “denial” is counted as a symptom of “alcoholism” (“addiction”). The Party in Airstrip One could not come up with a more effective mindfuck.

  11. Hi Addiction Myth,

    Thanks for the shout out, one person not buying the “addiction is a disease” meme to another. I’m a real person (though those who think AM made me up will continue to assume I am – but I’m not going to dox myself to satisfy such persons that I’m not a sock puppet (they would then probably just think Trish made up AM)

    I disagree about AA being a form of Satanism – maybe because I’m an atheist & I no more believe in Satan, or God, than I believe in Zeus or Hathor, but also because AA, unlike any other religion in the modern world, is recommended by religious organizations to their members, and there is only one religion that doesn’t – Scientology – and they don’t question the “addiction is a disease” meme, the COS just has their own version of AA, “Narcanon”.

    I believe AA is a cult – but one that is not a religion, more like a multi-level marketing scheme. Instead of selling recruits a garage full of soap, it’s a “get out of trouble free” card and, and instead of “downlines”, new opportunities for steady employment that doesn’t require heavy lifting.

    Is your family, spouse, boss, parole officer or a judge fed up with you? Even if you don’t drink or use “substances”, you can be addicted to gambling or sex or shopping or rage or any other activity humans engage in. Then you just cry about how your “disease” did all these things – things like cheating on a lover/spouse (requires a lot concocting and selling lies), slacking or embezzling at work (if “addiction” is soooo powerful that it will motivate people to do *anything* to get a fix, why does it not motivate keeping that paycheck coming?), beating spouse &/or kids (yet not being so messed up as to pick a fight with a random person who might win, like say a bouncer or cop or motorcycle gang member).

    Once you are on record of having an “addiction” you can be an “addiction professional” – in fact, many such jobs require a history of addiction on one’s resume. In this case, it truly is the inmates running the asylum!

    I suspect the “addiction is a disease” meme is so persistent in American culture (BTW it is *not accepted in the rest of the world) is that it has something for both the political left- a “disease” that requires “treatment” and the political right – a “crime” (specifically black market drugs, plus making any consumption of alcohol by parolees or probationers a crime, even when their conviction is not alcohol or drug related ) that tough-on-crime politicians and cops can use to terrify the population and squeeze out funding for more police investigations & equipment, and jails.

    The saddest thing is that the skeptic movement – usually dear to my heart – seeing the conglomeration of false claims and failures that is AA/NA/allAs, just created a new “addiction” treatment “secular sobriety” instead of actually pursuing the question of whether addiction is a disease and if AA doesn’t “work” why it continues to exist.

      1. Here’s why I’m not baffled – there are an awful lot of people in America who have a vested interest in “addiction” being a “disease”, including

        -anyone who owns or works at any rehab facility
        -anyone who has a criminal punishment lessened in exchange for attending 12 step meetings &/or going into residential treatment
        -defense attorneys who get their clients “treatment” instead of jail
        -anyone who gets a second chance (or more than one second chance) from friends, family, employers, etc., because of sympathy about their “disease”
        -writers of “self help” books &/or magazine articles about “addiction”
        -politicians who get to look “tough on crime” by keeping drug prohibition on the books
        -politicians who get to look “liberal” by pushing for “treatment” instead of prison for those who get caught violating drug prohibition
        -employers who can get info about employees/job seekers they’re not entitled to have (urine can show approximate age, pregnancy, health conditions & medications taken)
        -employers who want to make sure they employ people who are cowed by the powerful or need a job so badly they won’t object to be treated as guilty til proven innocent
        -anyone who uses the “disease” to give themselves a pass for behavior they know to have been bad or criminal behavior

        And why would the government want to change his state of affairs? A lot of people who rely on elections to keep their jobs see addiction/recovery as a tool for burnishing their public image.

        It might take a long time, or a substantial upheaval, for this country to end its “addiction” to the addiction/recovery storyline.

        This state of affairs demonstrates just how powerful and necessary the first amendment is – protecting the citizen’s right to stand as an individual and say, “No, I don’t believe that.” “No, I don’t want to belong to a group.” “Look at what’s wrong here.”

      2. How can you say that and you’re not completely baffled? So do they know or not? You never actually said. I am willing to admit I DON’T KNOW (though I think they do). Do you know? Will you tell me or must I keep wondering? Inquiring minds want to know.

        Fortunately I am more optimistic than you. I think we will know the answer, and pretty soon. In fact, I think you are hoping that we don’t get the answer soon so that you can retain your ambivalence about whether they actually know. Are you in denial?

      3. And if they know that AA is a suicide cult of mischief doesn’t that make them evil? So actually that’s a reason I think they DON’T know. Because no one would be evil intentionally. (With the notable exception of our friend Simon Astaire. Who I am confident knows very well. He’s the only person I’m confident about, but if one person knows then surely others do too.)

        And I remain completely baffled.

      4. I’m working on the comparison to Nazi Germany of course. But there are huge differences. Obviously in that case many people knew about what was happening, but they thought it was for the ‘greater good’. Or they thought ‘nothing I can do I better keep my mouth shut’. But that is NOT the case here. No one feels that way. No one says, “Yes people are being bullied into suicide but it’s for the greater good.” Or, “I want to help these people but I might get in trouble.” Quite the opposite in fact. We are raised to despise bullying and call it out when we see it (except of course for those of us still on vacation in Tuvalu). We have freedom. Individuality, innovation, and independent thinking are encouraged (even though some will insist otherwise, but that is just a blatantly hypocritical red herring and I can only laugh).

        Of course, most people just don’t know. Yet. I understand that. I understand completely and that is not the problem. The problem is that not EVERYONE is on vacation on Tuvalu. Some people MUST know. Or not. I feel I have been split into a superposition. Is that the mark of a genius? No, it’s the mark of a total douche bag. Fortunately I know my wave function will collapse soon.

        Until then I remain completely baffled.

      5. The thing is, I think a false idea is much harder to dislodge when a large variety of people have different reasons to find that false idea useful (or lucrative). It doesn’t require some sort of Ilumanti-style conspiracy, it’s more like a convergence of numerous different strains of self-interest. On top of that, in the case of belief in “addiction-as-disease” in the U.S., people who don’t have personal or professional interaction with law enforcement, the rehab industry or the medical establishment don’t necessarily have a compelling reason to question a narrative that is as firmly entrenched as is the addiction/recovery Sin-and-Redemption narrative.

        I was actually a little baffled, and surprised, when A Million Little Pieces was exposed as a fraud – I sincerely hoped that this would blow the lid on the whole rancid mess. But it didn’t – it turned into Oprah Chastised James Frey, back to business-as-usual.

        I think in someways, I am like you, AM, as I find a lot of human behavior in which individuals put the interests or beliefs of a group over their own self interest or over the truth unfathomable. M y husband says this is because I’m a Vulcan.

      6. OK you make a good point about James Frey back-to-business. Thank you! But otherwise you didn’t actually answer the question about whether anyone actually knows other than us. You say that you value the group interest, and yet when it comes down to it you won’t take a side to understand the individual dynamics that create it.

        I understand completely why people put their self interest over group interest and I do it all the time. That is not unfathomable to me. What is unfathomable to me is why you refuse to answer the question even after saying that you want to dislodge the ‘addiction-as-a-disease’ narrative. (And if you forgot the question, it is: Does anyone other than us know or not (that addiction is fake)?)

      7. One other thing, there’s a tendency of many humans to be reluctant to “rock the boat”. If other people want to believe that they, or their slimy relative, have a “disease” and they believe it “helps”, Americans are unwilling to ask it there really is a disease and the technique really helps.

        The problem is, it’s so easy for people to believe that they suffer imaginary maladies (from alien abduction to zombification) and that they’re helped by anything from a box with wires sticking out that don’t connect to anything within the box, to bleeding fever patients, to knee surgeries that have been proven useless – hell, it’s probably easier to sell a fake cure if the “disease” it treats is fake, that way there’s no pesky evidence of failure to come to light.

        But the AA/NA/WhateverA-rehab “cure” has the additional layer of the group dynamics usually employed by Multilevel marketers, or fringe religious cults.

        It’s a particularly persistent infection in the U.S. body politic.

      8. I don’t know if we are the only people who know, Twilight Zone style. I think Orange Papers at least questions the “AA works” part, and The Clean Slate addresses the addiction-is-not-a-disease part. There’s also the “Expose AA Site” which views AA as harmful but still takes the position that quitting drinking is a necessary project that people might need help accomplishing.

        That there’s not a whole lot of other people who are clued in is irrelevant. You are clued in, and a valuable voice in a nation that seems to sing only one song when it comes to this.

      9. Maybe I’m misunderstanding your question.

        I don’t believe “addiction” is a disease.
        I don’t believe 12 steps or rehab (essentially the same thing) do anything that is helpful for individuals who attend or for our society at large.
        I believe it would be better is America would give up its addiction to addiction/recovery.

        I don’t know if there are more people than us who have this view – as a chronic pain patient, I feel it necessary to be discrete in discussing these issues IRL (it’s enough with the pee testing to prove I take my meds, the photos, the ID to pick up prescriptions, the dentist trying to discourage me from having nitrous for root canal – just generally being treated like a criminal)

      10. What about Oprah? Obama? Top addiction scientists like Koob and White who also push AA? What about Humphreys, Kleiman, and Hawken who push for public policy of clubhouses for addicts with enforced drug compliance, and who have blatantly lied and shilled for AA? If you don’t know these people then fine. But what about rehab operators? Do they know that addiction is fake and addicts are just liars? How about psychologists like Peele and Slate? (I know they believe addiction isn’t caused by AA, in fact Peele once totally freaked out on me when I told him it was.) Or will you now jump to the addicts’ defense? That’s fine if you do. I’m not offended or disappointed if you disagree with me. Because I know I’m right whether others realize it or not, and I think soon all will know anyway, regardless of whether you think I’m an asshole.

      11. Of course you’ll probably respond that ‘truth is relative’ and ‘we can never really know what other people think so no point in asking the question’.

        I’m starting to think you all really are a figment of my imagination. 🙂

    1. Once again you show your willful ignorance of something you know nothing about. No 12-step program says they are a get out of jail free card. In fact every step has something to do with taking accountability for one’s own actions. Go ahead and keep trying to turn broken people away from programs that work. If anything and your friend addictionmyth are harming more than helping with your libelous diatribe.

      1. Yes it is a ‘get out of jail free’ card because AA attendance is required in some jurisdictions regardless of drug/alcohol use and seen as ‘good behavior’ and AA is about how NOT to take accountability for your behavior for decades, as your drunkalog would amply demonstrate. It’s a sin mortgaging scam.

        LOL of course you will now deny being a member. You will all deny her!

  12. when I graduated from Grosse Pointe high school in Michigan I had a 2.02 grade point average I couldn’t read for comprehension and when I took my SAT I scored 280

    Now I don’t like to read very much I find reading boring I find it unrealistic I find it in sensitive I find that it makes up concepts and contents in the process of needing to abstract myself into someone else’s mind. That is very much fun for me

    I know who you are and I know what you’re doing

    This is a test to see how upset people become when you make statements that fly in the face of peoples experience. Your words and concepts are all made up in your head without any experience it’s like reading a book it’s not real it’s fake because it’s in letters and sentences and paragraphs that go away outside to 3 feet in three minutes of someone’s life.

    Outside of the 3 feet in three minutes of someone’s life is abstractions. Abstractions or concepts made up believes that come from someone’s imagination like your work here which I really do appreciate.

    I think over the days or years that you do this you’re going to see that there’s a resounding power in peoples resentments that come out and attack you personally and I’m actually laughing right now.

    I know who you are and I know what you’re doing and I actually think it’s really quite wonderful because the fact that you say that you can’t find one person to agree with you and that’s just signed them someone making things up in his own head no one can agree with someone else’s imagination

    I do not feel resentment toward you I do not feel any kind of anger towards you I do not feel that you are actually believing what you write

    your writing it because you yourself have recovered from addiction you yourself have recovered from something that hurt you very much and now in the face of all of the healing therapies you come along to make a statement that rallies those who have actually recovered from a disease that they contracted from attempting to make themselves feel better.

    Please add me to your list of individuals that you keep reporting this wonderful wonderful fantasy because I believe that what you’re doing is you’re accumulating a very valuable response.

    What you are doing is actually proving that which you say is not true!

    Keep up the good work and please feel free to post my comment at any time.

    With warm regards for the infinite fantasy of our imaginatio

    I remain

    An anonymous child

    1. I got 1210 on the SATs. And I don’t believe there’s any scientific evidence that “addiction” is a disease (as opposed to a collection of bad behaviors – all of which can be accomplished with or without consuming alcohol &/or drugs) or the 12 steps or any other form of “treatment” results in improved behavior.

      1. Apparently your high ACT score didn’t help you much Trish. There is tons of science about the disease of addiction. You choose to ignore it.

      2. I won’t say what I got on my SATs. But I will say that my brother did significantly better despite the fact that I actually STUDIED. Thus the only thing I learned was that life isn’t fair and I haven’t stopped accumulating resentments since.

  13. well obviously I don’t know you personally but you are a comedian right this is a website that you’re sitting up material for a stage show so that you can make people laugh I’ve been recovered for many years now and awls I could do was laugh my belly still hurts from laughing you got some great material here got to keep really barking in this this is hysterical you should apply to be on the Tonight Show you were incredibly funny

    1. Sadly, what AA, NA, and “addiction professionals” have done to this country is not funny, and although there’s clearly satire in this site, the issue it addresses, that “addiction” is Not A Disease, is not a joke.

      1. Robert,

        Sorry it’s taken a couple of days to reply – had some stuff come up that needed immediate attention.

        I don’t think we need a theory to explain “addiction” since I don’t think addiction is a thing – what Americans currently label “addiction” is a collection of behaviors (all of which can be done with or without alcohol or drugs in one’s bloodstream).

        What actually does need to be explained is why the American public as a whole – including, say the medical establishment that originally rejected the Big Book – now seems to view all human interactions &/or behavior through”addiction goggles”. For example, I’ve seen several current & former FBI agents on TV saying that this or that serial killer is “addicted” to killing.

        Even though there is no viable mechanism proposed to explain how “addiction” caused people to engage in completely voluntary behavior while claiming that those persons are completely “out of control” of their behavior, in the U.S., just saying someone has an “addiction” or has been using a substance (except when it’s not a “substance, like gambling or sex), is treated like an explanation. It’s a vicious tautology.

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