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Archive for July, 2006

Why All the AA-Bashing?

©2006, Jack Trimpey, all rights reserved.

  • Why can’t you just say what Rational Recovery is, instead of attacking other methods and organizations?
  • Why do you have to constantly put down AA?
  • I can’t accept any sales pitch or product based on criticizing some other product.
  • AA has helped millions of people, so it doesn’t make any sense to keep criticizing it.
  • AA is proven successful, the only thing that really works, so there’s no sense in putting it down.
  • You’re a dry-drunk; get back to meetings and you won’t be such an angry, miserable person.
  • You’re just in it for the money.
  • How many alcoholics have you killed today, Trimpey?

These are among the more polite complaints Lois and I have been receiving since we launched Rational Recovery® twenty-one years ago. Outrage over our “AA-bashing” continues, as part of an unending, ideological firefight between the force of addiction, AA, and the force of recovery, AVRT®. Alas, it cannot be otherwise, for both addiction and recovery are in the balance as the debate rages on. Addiction recovery depends largely upon doing the exact opposite of the guidance given by Alcoholics Anonymous. We criticize AA not to put people in recovery down, but to give them hope for freedom and dignity through secure, lifetime abstinence.

The force of addiction
The force of addiction is the bodily desire for the pleasurable effects of alcohol and other drugs. It is a stong desire, one that arises from the force of life itself, the pleasure drive associated with survival. Hunger and sexual desire are both good examples of survival drives, and we all know how compelling they can seem to be. One’s thoughts, feelings and behavior become organized around addictive pleasures, as if one’s life depended upon the use of alcohol and other drugs.

Because addictive pleasures are so much greater than mere food and sex, nutrition and family relationships cannot compete with addiction, with devastating results. Such inverted priorities usually lead addicted people onto the rocky shoals of misery and hopelessness — and, too often, into the recovery group movement.

Newcomers to recovery groups are nearly always looking for the means to quit their addictions and stay quit. They are not looking for a new religion, nor for a new circle of friends, nor for a new family or home, nor for juvenile dependency on others. They simply want to get alcohol and other drugs out of their lives so they can live in freedom and dignity.

All newcomers know, or at least strongly suspect, that they will have to cease drinking/using altogether, very likely for the rest of their lives. As they prepare to attend their first recovery group meeting, newcomers are ready for change, prepared for the bittersweet pill of lifetime abstinence, hoping to find some inside tips on self-restraint and some encouragement from those who succeeded.

The force of addiction, however, creates a special way of thinking, the Addictive Voice, which dignifies and preserves the option of self-intoxication. Substance abusers will eagerly believe recovery group doctrines that frame the stupid and immoral act of self-intoxication as a disease symptom, thereby making them appear as innocent disease victims instead of stupid or immoral people.

Sweet venom
Imagine a newcomer’s amazement, to be met by men and women who have not resolved their own addictions, saying that recovery is a lifetime struggle against encroaching bodily desires and diseased thinking! Groupers present newcomers with the standard line of shocking, seductive, bad advice, “If you could‘ve quit, you would’ve quit, but you didn’t quit, which proves you can’t quit.” Then comes the bait, “You don’t have to quit forever; just stay sober one-day-at-a-time and keep coming back. It works if you work it.” The hook of continued self-intoxication (yummy relapses!) is thereby set, satisfying the first rule of addiction: Never say never to alcohol and other drugs. Finally, the sinker is the disease concept of addiction, which weighs down healthy men and women at precisely the moment they are wisey trying to rise above bodily desire and leave alcohol and other drugs behind.

Chip5.jpgHook, line, and sinker, each AA member swallows the poisonous bait of one-day-at-a-time sobriety, along with an inverted lifestyle based upon the force of addiction, rather than upon the force of recovery. Addicted people are profoundly suggestible to any continued self-intoxication; after all, isn’t it because they feel powerless over their desire to get high that they are looking for help?

All mottoes aside, millions of men and women have not been helped by AA. Millions of men and women, however, have been waylaid by AA precisely at the time when they were on the brink of total recovery, during a moment of clarity and circumspection when they intuitively knew that they would soon have to quit drinking/using altogether, not one-day-at-a-time, but for life. Sadly, they were met by the friendly, cunning face of chronic addiction, “You don’t have to quit for life; just one-day-at-a-time. Keep coming back; it works if you work it,” and so on, and OnAnon. Recovery groupism has destroyed more lives than addiction itself. Unaided by recovery doctrines, addiction may be easily and promptly defeated through moral judgment and free will.

Continue reading ‘Why All the AA-Bashing?’

The Intervention Plot

©2006, Jack Trimpey, all rights reserved.
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This blog often uses male pronouns when
gender is irrelevant, the old-fashioned way.

Family addiction intervention is a practice with its origins in the 1970’s, when American society was in flux from social unrest stemming in part from an outbreak of mass, runaway addiction to alcohol and other drugs. The result of that turmoil has been the emergence of a social movement based upon the values and beliefs of addicted people themselves, a quiet shift in mainstream thinking that has gained considerable momentum in recent years. Concepts from the recovery group movement have given rise to an enormous addiction treatment industry, hungry for the lucrative, repeat business of clients in the throes of unresolved, chronic addiction. One anomaly spawned by the addiction treatment industry is an aggressive marketing concept, addiction intervention, which was hijacked from its legitimate 32nd cousin, crisis intervention.

Addiction intervention is based entirely upon 12-step recoveryism, which denies that free will exists among addicted people. An intervention is a conspiracy by a family to abduct a family member, whom I’ll call a subject, into a treatment center. Not surprisingly, a professional guild of interventionists has formed around this legally and ethically challenged practice. Under the guidance of an Interventionist, families convene a little “surprise party” for the addicted family member during which they use highly manipulative, frankly dishonest, and deceitful means to coerce submission to addiction treatment. These house parties are usually presided over by an Interventionist whose professional ancestry is closer to bounty hunter than to social worker or therapist, although many social workers and therapists engage in or advocate addiction interventions. Nearly always, Interventionists are members of AA/NA themselves, giving rise to inherent conflict of interest.

Interventionists work weeks or months in advance of the planned hit, making preparations for abduction with the cooperation of the family. The Interventionist recruits the subject’s near and distant relatives, co-workers, employers, old friends, neighbors, and anyone else who can be enlisted into the noble cause of abduction. Various means of emotional blackmail and intimidation through shame and guilt are rehearsed, and sensitive information about the subject is collected for later use during the hit. Interventions are carefully scripted, to be done “just so,” so that the chances of escape or backlash are minimized. Informed consent to treatment is denied and suppressed, often under the pretext that the proceedings are ethically proper, legally sanctioned coercion similar to arrest or detention.

van.jpgIn essence, the intervention is sprung exactly like a surprise birthday party, except that the prevailing mood and agenda are considerably different. The room is already stacked with VIP’s from the subject’s life, and the Interventionist calls the abduction to order. Each VIP exudes love as the only purpose in being present, and then recites rehearsed lines about the subject’s disgusting behavior and betrayals. Outside, is likely an idling, white van, treatment center logo on door. When the intervention is successful the subject implodes emotionally, falling into a sobbing heap to be led off to the waiting van.

Continue reading ‘The Intervention Plot’

The Jersey Girls and Other Sacred Cows

<br /> JersyGirls.txt copy<br /> I very much liked Ann Coulter’s recent intervention on the American victim racket. Unimpressed by the Naked Emperor, she has spoken critically about the subsequent political activities of four women who lost their husbands in the 9-11-01 attack on America. The women, all from New Jersey, became a high-profile clique of political activists very soon after the WTC tragedy occurred, prompting official investigations into their pleading question, “Why did my husband die?” One widow even appeared in a presidential campaign, hurling accusations and angry, political invective aimed at helping the candidate of her choice to get elected. It’s significant that the same campaign also used a man in a wheelchair, a double-amputee at that, who assaulted the political opposition.

In one, fell swoop, Ann Coulter defied the victim racket and violated the sanctity of victimhood itself. “I’ve never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much,” Coulter writes of the Jersey Girls in her new book,Godless…. Ann Coulter has dared to tread on the sacred victim, and it has howled in pain and rage. An outpouring of public anger ensued after Coulter’s candid observation, as talkshows took up the cause of the Jersey girls. The horror seemed shared across the political spectrum. Hillary Clinton lashed out, and even Bill O’Reilly Continue reading ‘The Jersey Girls and Other Sacred Cows’

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