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The Fall of ‘Bongo’ Phelps

©2009, Jack Trimpey. All rights reserved.

The all-time greatest Olympic star was photographed on November 6, 2008, sucking on a pot bong six weeks after winning eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympic Festival. In the frenzy of publicity following this debacle, many reports of habitual drug abuse are coming out, adding to his image problem stemming from an earlier DUI. At the peak of his career, Michael “Bongo” Phelps has crashed and is now burning down into a cinder-like has-been.

Of course, it’s painful to think of the pain Michael Phelps and his family will feel resulting from this astonishing display of stupidity. I hope he gets a grip and rehabilitates himself by quitting his use of alcohol and other drugs, so that he may go on to even greater heights of success. I believe he is capable of achieving future success, even greatness, because he has already set a course for himself at odds with the behavioral health industry.

As a restless, awkward child, Michael was diagnosed with the ‘spectrum disorder’ of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and prescribed a cocaine-like drug, Ritalin, at age 9. Michael rejected this drug therapy and his mother wisely complied with his objections.

Spectrum disorders, to be blunt, are bullshit diagnostic labels applied to people who present symptoms which are only suggestive or symbolic of actual rare, florid diseases and maladies. Examples are ADHD, dyslexia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism, sensory processing disorder (SPD), bipolar disorder, panic disorder, anxiety disorder, and depressive disorder, to name a few.

The common ancestor of most of the popular “designer” diagnoses is miminal brain damage (MBD), which received exuberant attention of status seeking professionals and self-involved clients during the 1960′s. MBD fell into disrepute when it became apparent that the purported brain damage was so minimal as to be unmeasurable using any objective measures of brain function, structure, or activity. Not to be discouraged, creative science discovered that certain pencil and paper tests could be used to ‘prove’ the existence of MBD-like pathology, which they more carefully called learning disabilities. The stage had been set for eager professionals to provide magic to an eager public seeking explanations for their adult problems in the material world rather in their own character and consciousness.

The Phelps family backed out of the muck of designer diseases of childhood, hopefully before he acquired a taste for the mind-altering effects of Ritalin, which according to its customers also makes you feel really good for no other reason than having taken it. One would wish Michael understood the gravity of drugs better than he did, and would have backed away from the gravity-hole of addiction before getting sucked into it, as he obviously has been. Alas, he was identified as a hapless victim early on rather than a kid who needed firmer discipline, so it is understandable that he did not know what is known about the nature of substance addiction.

Anyone who knows Michael or his family should direct them to the Rational Recovery® website where information on AVRT-based recovery is freely available. Although we do not solicit individuals to quit their addictions, it is a very good thing for everyone else to make independent recovery a viable option for all addicted people.

1 Response to “The Fall of ‘Bongo’ Phelps”


  1. Shaw Kopp

    …I had not even realized that Phelps had a DUI and this news of the use of marijuana….very surprising. While I’m not an Olympic contender by any stretch of the imagination, I can relate to this blog. I have spent almost every day of the past 5 years in a gym, taking vitamins, eating right. However, I’ve also spent almost every day of the past 5 years drinking. What conflicting ideologies! I think that after reading all of the information on the AVRT site, it’s my time to become a gold medalist in beast slaying :) -Thank you for the inspiration Jack!

    Shaw,

    To the Beast, your health is a commodity used to support addiction. If you’re sick, there’s no point in quitting, and if you’re fit as a fiddle, there’s no point in quitting. I hope you get gold in Beast slaying!

    Jack Trimpey



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