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Wikipedia Trashes Rational Recovery®

Copyright 2007, Jack Trimpey, all rights reserved.

To those unacquainted with Wikipedia, it is an online, communal encyclopedia, consisting of articles on any subject by — well, by anyone. Once an article is posted, it may be revised or replaced by anyone. The problem is, just as with any encyclopedia, only one article informs the reader about any given subject. The editorial policy of Wikipedia is essentially like, “King of the Hill,” in which one goat butts the current goat off the hill, to become today’s headlines on reality.

I have been uncomfortable about the Wiki problem in recent years, as controversy has grown about its susceptibility to abuse. Alas, my concerns were justified when I recently got a “heads-up” that Wiki had gone whacky on the subject of Rational Recovery.

Until recently, there had been a fairly good, objective Wikipedia presentation on Rational Recovery written by a physican. It gave a little background and presented the essence of AVRT-based recovery, providing encouragment for addicted people that their difficulties with recovery groups and addiction treatment need not stop them from recovering independently. Here is the new article, which replaced the original.

1. The new, anonymous article starts off: “This program is considered controversial by many in the 12-step community. It offends by vitriolic attacks on 12-step programs…” Who else in the world, besides members of AA themselves, believes AA is above criticism? This is an article about the perceptions of Rational Recovery by members of Alcoholics Anonymous. The central Wiki-message for desperate people and their families is, “Rational Recovery offends!” In this first sentence, the writer appears almost certainly to be a substance abuse counselor, very likely a “two-hatter” — an AA’r doing the 12-step program on his clients for a fee, while skirting AA’s Tradition 10, forbidding members from entering public controversy. By linking the word “dissociation” with its psychological meaning, he blows his cover. He probably meant “disassociation,” but such an error is unprofessional. In an upcoming blog article, I will discuss the pretend profession, substance abuse counseling.

2. Fully one-half of the article is on irrelevant research done on Rational Recovery over a decade ago, truly meaningless research that says nothing and about which no one cares in the least. There is scant use of current references, only out-of-date citations from the 1990’s, one that even goes to an archive of obsolete websites! The author’s sense of humor is absent, typical of persons in recovery, as he bites on this page as evidence of my madness. As for his expression “independent recovery treatment,” I think the Beast got his tongue.

3. Other than one sentence showing the writer’s ignorance, there is no discussion nor linkage to Addictive Voice Recognition Technique® (AVRT®. He mistakenly says AVRT® “…shows the practitioner that he is in control of the Addictive Voice, not the other way around.” (Recognition is not control, but quite the opposite.) There are numerous “busy links” in the material, but only one Rational Recovery link, “RR-FAQ,” added as an afterthought in “external links.” External links? The authentic source on Rational Recovery is not linked in the main text but only as a obscurely named, “external link?” In a related Wiki article on “Jack Trimpey,” there is no link to the Rational Recovery website.

There is, however, a clear link to “Drink too much?” This is to a website associated with State University of New York which is obviously part of the 12-step syndicate, i.e., the addiction treatment industry and its business arm, the recovery group movement.

Independent recovery has been trashed by Wikipedia. The Rational Recovery page is now a portal to the addiction treatment industry. Behold, the 12-step syndicate in action!

Wiki-Dialectics

According to the Wiki rules, I am now supposed to go to the Wiki website and make corrections, so that some “balanced” outcome will emerge, one that is far more accurate and truthful than the Rational Recovery literature and website. However, I’m not playing ball, for this simple reason:

Wikipedia is a classical example of Hegelian dialectics, more commonly known as dialectical materialism (DM). Very briefly, DM is the belief that ultimate reality is in a perpetual state of gradual change resulting from compromises of observations, opposing beliefs, or opinions. The changes may be imperceptibly small, but when they accumulate in quantity, the quality or identity of the whole is suddenly, radically changed, as in water boiling or social revolution.

For example, if I say my brother is a wonderful person, you may possibly believe me. However, if someone else says he’s a rotten person, then you will likely see him as a basically good, yet flawed, person. As other negative opinions accumulate, you may conclude he is a real bastard. However, even if my brother is a scoundrel, that is only coincidental because you have not observed him but only considered a democratic process in action. Politics is largely a process of dialectical materialism, wherein voters consider the good and bad allegations about the candidates. Thus, politics cannot bring truth but only blurred perceptions about people driven by various agendas.

1. Thesis: My brother is wonderful.

2. Antithesis: Jack’s brother is a scoundrel.

3. Synthesis: Jack’s brother is somewhere in between.

4. The Synthesis has now become a new Thesis, to be reconciled with successive rips against it by new, anonymous critics.

I won’t subject AVRT®, nor myself, to this kind of abuse, conducted under the Wiki-guise of intellectual and academic respectability. I am under no obligation to become a Wiki volunteer, devoted to Wiki-Dialectics.

Rather than schlep over to Wiki, I would much rather send as many people as possible to the Wikipedia article on Rational Recovery, as a way of further exposing the means by which the 12-step syndicate comandeers mainstream media and maintains its death-grip on America’s substance abusers. I trust that readers and visitors will make better judgments about independent recovery (AVRT-based recovery) than the official story from Wikipedia recommends. Some of you may want to post whatever you like, to correct or confirm the current mess. By all means, have fun at this.

You might ask, “Aren’t you engaged in dialectics, with your constant AA-bashing?” Well, no, because I do not present falsehoods as a strategy of destroying fellowships of addiction. DM plays loosely with the truth, valuing change and revolution (the ends) more than honesty and ethics (the means). I am always interested in objections to this website using citations or illustrations of error or falsehood. The Wiki hit-piece has no comprehension of what he impugns.

I use Wikipedia; I suppose most everyone does. It is a lazy way to get a quick take on anything. It often has good links out for further reading. Wikipedia is free, however, and as with all non-profit organizations you get what you pay for, and that’s not much.

An interesting contrast to the Wikipedia hit piece may be found at Wiki-How, which is the best example I’ve ever seen of how to advance the cause of independent recovery without infringing on our protected trademarks. This author sees the concept of AVRT® clearly, paraphrases an outline for independent recovery, and then gives due credit to AVRT® as the original source material. You should have another article, “How to Deliver the Goods Without Ripping Them Off.” Congratulations, Wiki-How!

By the way, Readers, there are also some vicious attacks on your mothers at Wikipedia. If you want to defend her, you’d better scurry on down there, look up your family name, and get busy learning the ropes of Wiki-dialectics.*

* Aw, c’mon, I was just kidding. I hope you get my point, though.

11 Responses to “Wikipedia Trashes Rational Recovery®”


  1. Janie Clark

    Read the Time Magazine article this month….you who refer to addiction as “masturbation” are a sick lot. My pryers are with you.

    Janie,

    Addiction is very much like masturbation in that drinking/using is the pursuit of physical pleasure in solitude, using pleasure-producing chemicals.

    It helps to see addiction as it is, chemically-enhanced stupidity, rather than as a mysterious disease that requires quarantine in recovery groups. Stupidity, we can do something about; addictive disease is for life!

    Jack Trimpey

  2. DS

    You do realize that WikiHow can also be edited by anyone and in that sense is no different from WikiPedia, right? It also uses the same Creative Commons license as Wikipedia.

    DS,

    I don’t know anything about how to edit Wiki pages. I don’t plan to contribute anything to Wiki-anything for the same reason I do not hang out in the UseNet groups: lowbrow, graffiti-style participation.

    Jack Trimpey

  3. John McCready

    I read your latest RR blog entry on the “Wikepedia attack” on RR, and I can’t help but wonder if your choice to NOT RESPOND to their bias is the wrong tactic (it’s well known in the political campaign arena, that once you have been attacked, you have ARRIVED, and are considered a THREAT, and I think that is where RR is now!)I am sure you are aware of AA’s “Midtown” group scandal (dating back to April that was even in Newsweek magazine!). AA’s response was of course. . . . NOTHING (as the AA G.S.O. does not comment on what a local group does!), and AA’s long-held fallacious belief that it has “THE” answer to “alcoholism”, and sobriety attainment. I would hate to see RR get accused of using THAT arrogant tactic over this subjectively written “Wikepedia” entry. I did read that entry for Rational Recovery, and with the exception of the sentence, “it causes concern to those in the 12-Step community” (like THEIR opions are the “only ones” that matter?), most of the article appeared to be factual. I saw that one of the footnotes led to RR’s 12/31/98 “proclaimation” stating that ALL “recovery groups” were now cancelled (I loved it, am printing it, and intend to circulate it amongst my DUI program clients!).

    If there is ANY erroneous information in the RR entry of “Wikipedia”, then hold the idiots that RUN “Wikipedia responsible, by suing them for libel, or correct it yourself, and back it with the facts in a LINK TO THE RR WEB-SITE! If “Wikipedia” is indeed a “free-for-all encyclopedia”, where ANYONE, can enter ANYTHING about ANY ENTITY, then a few “choice entries” about AA, and all 12-Step groups should be made on THOSE “Wikipedia” entrys! (Remember-in political campaigns-NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNS WORK, and TWO can play the game, right?).

    The bottom line is: if RR is “under attack” by “Wikipedia” (or any other source for that matter), I hope RR can launch a COUNTER-ATTACK against the mis-informers, and any perpetuated MIS-INFORMATION! Taking the same tactic that AA does when it gets attacked (i.e. not commenting on a “outside issue”!), puts RR at the SAME LEVEL OF ARROGANCE that AA acts with, and I hope that RR is better then that!

    John,

    I simply refuse to play the dialectics game. The RR website is the authentic source on Rational Recovery®, and I won’t play ball with Wikipedia populism. Several readers have already dashed to the scene of the silliness and posted new information intended to correct the offending version, but others have also run off to AA’s Wikipedia page to “correct” that official advertisement.

    What we have in Wikipedia is essentially a graffiti war, with everybody poised for attack with spray cans drawn. Once the side of a bus is marked by one party, the other side comes during the night to blot out the offending message and place their own message in bold colors. Next day, editors look as the mess and try to clean it up a little.

    Look what’s going on among the Wikipedia editors who are processing the Rational Recovery® mess.

    The editors, still immersed in the disease concept of addiction and the recovery group paradigm, have apparently not read Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction, and have practically no comprehension of AVRT-based recovery. They still think RR/AVRT® is an alternative to AA rather than to addiction. Even the editors who favor RR fail to see that AA is a fellowship of addiction and that the 12-step program is the doctrinal form of the Addictive Voice. They want to silence the vital, ideological conflict upon which addiction recovery itself depends.

    When I’m invited to appear on radio or TV, the producer most often provides me with a 12-step chaperone to guarantee a “fair and balanced” program. The stepper then neutralizes each of my comments with confounding steptalk. I now decline such invitations, noting that I’m never called for my opinions when 12-steppers come onstage. Likewise, I decline to spray paint my version of Rational Recovery® on Wikipedia, where my version will be systematically neutralized by balancing commentary.

    Wikipedia must not be allowed to define Rational Recovery® or Addictive Voice Recognition Technique® (AVRT®), while pretending to support objective reporting and scientific truth. Neither of these priceless commodities are attainable through the democratic process. If the editors will simply make the link to the Rational Recovery® website conspicuous at the beginning of whatever else is entered, then it doesn’t really matter what the spray cans tell. If they won’t, then their agenda is flapping in the wind.

    The blogosphere is to Pajama Journalism as Wikipedia is to Academia in the Raw. There’s no use in suing a bunch of guy sitting in their undies as they play Professor-of-the-Day.

    Jack Trimpey

  4. Craig Talbert

    I am sorry you feel so negatively about wikipedia. I strongly disagree with your interpretation of it, and I have invited you (or someone who reads your blog, apparently) to contribute to the Rational Recovery article. See discussion here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Rational_Recovery#This_wikipedia_entry_makes_a_sham_of_the_online_encyclopedia.

    Wikipedia does, however, have policies and guidelines that users are expected to follow to keep things running smoothly. In my experience, when followed, they produce good objective articles.

    Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

    P.S. I agree that the “vitriolic” statement is not in keep with a Neutral Point of View (aka NPOV), and will remove it.

    Take Care,

    Craig

  5. Jim Heckel

    Ah, Wikipedia…a ghetto encyclopedia for dimwits.

    I believe Satchel Pooch from the comic strip Get Fuzzy summed it up nicely when he referred to Wikipedia as “Wackypedia”. Fitting, no?

  6. Joe

    As a believer in RR I had to check out Wikipedia to see what was up. In all fairness it seems as though the pendulum is swinging towards a more neutral/objective “definition” of RR. I add that I am troubled with the labeling of RR as “for profit” and I think we have a way to go before RR is fairly represented. Let’s face it – there are more “AA Nazi” types out there trying to defend what I see as their cult so this doesn’t really surprise me. Keep up the good work Jack and Lois.

  7. KEVIN

    Jack,
    You’re right, it is a game, but you’ve already enjoined yourself in it by entering into public debate. I find myself nodding in agreement with much of your sentiment, but shaking my head at your messaging skills. The blog post above and the article in which you attack funding for recovery and mental health programs, heck, your entire website, come across as angry and, I’m sorry to say, vitriolic. Wikipedia can be updated by whomever choses. I’ve worked political campaigns for years, and places like wikipedia are battlegrounds that tend, in the end, to balance themselves, with both sides of an argument creating a somewhat neutral perspective, but that is assuming both sides put their effort into framing the issue. Anger and harsh tones do not effectively sway the hearts and minds of men, and with an active opponent, one seeking to destroy you, one afraid you are out to destroy them, you must fight with rationality and from a calm, sensible space. Until you do this you will be seen as yet another screaching voice among the already overcrowded din that is the internet and our modern world of communications. I truly hope you can revise your methods so that your message can be heard.

    Kevin,

    I have quickly re-read my blog on Wiki-Dialectics to see if it meets my own standards of clarity, accuracy, and tone. It does.

    For twenty years, I have been criticized and chastised for the tone of my writing. Some feedback is simply hate mail from group-addled groupers, but some is from erudite passers-by like yourself sharing some reflexive wisdom. It seems to boil down to the idea that my strong, impassioned language coupled with moral outrage is inappropriate.

    I do have the ability to modulate the tone of my writing and speech, and, as you might imagine, I’ve attempted and used a number of styles to reach certain readerships. For example, when I get snot-flying, gutter-ball hate mail from the truly offended, I sometimes respond in kind with back-alley invective, but with a twist intended to pry at consciousness. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

    I have also experimented with calm, dispassionate forms of professional discourse, using less colorful language and focusing on objective, factual information, careful to avoid offending sensitive ears. Like the wearisome chirping of a cricket, my outpourings of neutral tones put both me and my audience to sleep.
    Most irksome, however, are the erudite critics who quickly assess what’s going on in the struggle between the forces of addiction and recovery, and conclude that I should “tone it down,” so as not to offend the sensibilities of those who need to know. Those erudite, self-appointed mentors often bring to the table considerable talent, education and experience in academia, health, and politics, plus a condescending certainty that the failure of Rational Recovery® to rise as a giant in our society has to do with its messenger more than it has to do with the nature of addiction itself.

    I have never found a critic of my caustic, sarcastic, biting discourse who had the faintest idea of what addiction is, for the simple reason that once such a critic catches on to the little logic engine of AVRT®, he, too, becomes yet another screeching voice communicating in outraged, sensational language, warning everyone to stay away from recovery groups of all kinds.

    Jack Trimpey

  8. Zach119

    Until recently,I didn’t know that Wikipedia could be edited by anyone.I will quit using it as a reliable source of information.I have met many people who feel that AA is a joke,but they still believe in much of the ideology,that has come from this group.I have told many people that I quit my addiction by using Rational Recovey,but they always run back to AA,where they are comfortable with the Addictive Voice.

    Alot of people don’t want to quit their addiction,and they would rather stay in the revolving door of AA,where they can drink,and people will tell them that their behavior is not immoral.I just tell people how I quit,if the subject comes up,and they can take it or leave it.People will believe what they want to believe,and if they truly want to quit,they will try something other than AA,just like I did.

    After a few years of sobriety,I went to DUI School,and got my drivers license back.The instructor,who was of course a 12 stepper,asked me if I went to treatment,or AA,and I told him that I quit drinking on my own.He told me that Self Recovery was very rare,and was completely amazed that I quit drinking without the help of Recovery Groups.I tried telling him that people do it all the time,but he did not want to believe that.I did not argue with him any further,it was pointless,I cooperated with the class,and got my Drivers License back.

    Zach,

    I love your message because it is a clear, true image of our society, our culture, and our social service system. In recent decades America the Beautiful has turned into America the Beast, forcing the lower nature of homo sapiens upon its citizens through the health and social service systems. This is a public health catastrophe, causing more suffering and death than all major illnesses including addiction. To trap addicted people in the mental straight jacket of 12-step recovery is inhumane and a fundamental violation of the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution — life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. No, the gooey, rehearsed testimonials of people in recovery are categorically invalid, the bleatings and growls of caged animals.

    Jack Trimpey

  9. Gavin

    I really love your work, Jack. RR is exactly what I was looking for. As for your scathing tone as far as AA is concerned, I believe such honesty of emotion is needed if we are to uncover this insidious beast. I have been bitterly disappointed for a long time that the only advice doctor’s and therapists could give me was to go to AA, and your writings merely mirror my sentiments exactly.

  10. Jenny

    I’ve been surfing the web all day learning about RR as opposed to the monolithic arm of AA, and have found the vitriol to be unsurprising. AA is a hegemonic belief system, vested in its power.

    I have resisted asking for medical help because it always comes with the requirement to participate in 12 step programs.

    I’ve met people for whom AA did wonders. I’ve met people for whom AA was discouraging and even dangerous. I attended meetings for a while, but hated the whole ‘disease’ paradigm, as well as the message that I was helpless, and staying sober without AA would make me a ‘dry drunk’: what a crock. I’ve met many sober people who got that way on their own. One member told me “You’re going to have to hold your feet to the fire, and if you don’t get sober with AA you’ll die a drunk.” That comment was it for me.

    I’m glad to see rational responses to addiction that don’t perpetuate the “helpless” nonsense: I am not helpless when I get into a vehicle, drive to a store, walk up to the cooler, select my drug of choice, go to the counter, pay for it and drive home. I am making a CHOICE – the message that this choice comes from the selfish, childish, pleasure seeking side of me gives me a new way of combatting that on-so-horribly-strong desire..

    Ideologically powerful groups aren’t too keen on having their message challenged. I fully expected to see attacks – and why not on Wiki and its ilk? I’m a teacher, and my students are cautioned never to use it as a source. It can be fun, entertaining, and at times informative. But what it can never be is reliably correct.

  11. Frank

    Hi. RR was recommended by some people on the forums/blogs on the wequitdrinking.com website so I checked it out. Today is my 5th day – but it is also Friday (beginning of party time), so I hope I can control this AV bastard!

    Frank,

    I hope you’ll soon figure out that drinking/using is always wrong for you, and decide to always abstain based upon that moral insight. Then you’ll be beyond hope, in the good sense that you will know that your struggle is over, and the Beast can never prevail again. Then you can stop counting time and realize that only the Beast has any interest in how long since the last yummy relapse.

    Jack Trimpey



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