Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Pods Win

Stanton Peele gave Stinkin’ Thinkin’ a little plug in his Psychology Today post about the Pod People bringing 12-Step recovery to college campuses, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Pods Win“:

Ever see the 1956 Don Siegel cult classic, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, where hero Kevin McCarthy discovers pod people are taking over the identities of everyone in town — including his girlfriend? (I hate when that happens.) I know this disclosure is obvious: when I saw the movie at age 10, I totally identifed with McCarthy (who died in 2010 at age 96).

The same thing is happening again, only for real, as illustrated on Sunday by NBC’s The TODAY show. Today featured a segment on the growing phenomenon of on-campus Recovery Communities, where 18- to 22-year-olds declare themselves alcoholics, turn themselves over to recovery gurus, and vow forevermore to be alcoholic pods. They don’t interact with the rest of the drunken student body (I personally didn’t get drunk the entire time I was at college — okay, I smoked a little pot), busy themselves in sober activities, and surround themselves with fellow recovery acolytes.

Read the rest…

And then check out some of the comments from the Pod People:

 

Seems to be a lack of understanding here

Submitted by Dorri Olds on August 23, 2011 – 3:17pm.

Alcoholism is a disease. That’s why insurance companies pay for treatment. You better believe insurance companies wouldn’t pay a dime if it was just some silly coming of age thing. There are so many teenage alcoholics/drug addicts and plenty in their 20s. It is a mental disorder. The way to get help is to admit there is a problem. Why on earth should it bother somebody else why a young person seeks help with drinking. People should be cheering them on, not mocking the help that is available to them.

Most people who have never been addicted to alcohol or drugs do not have any idea what it feels like to have a compulsion to do something that could kill you or make you go crazy. People who are allergic to strawberries just quit strawberries. They are not encouraged to continue to eat strawberries.

and…

I would be interested…

Submitted by Dash Stryker on August 24, 2011 – 1:23am.

in learning more about the study you cite. Do the researchers understand, as you seem not to, the burgeoning understanding of the difference between substance abuse and addiction?

Lots of people are substance abusers without becoming addicted. Lots of people are physically dependent upon certain drugs without developing the alterations in neurochemistry that correspond with addiction.

(I’m also curious to know what you think of the research suggesting those alterations in neurochemistry.)

Is it so bad, if some substance abusers who probably could have managed to learn to drink responsibly find themselves in AA instead, completely abstinent? Without setting up a false dichotomy, I think such people are better off than the ones who are truly addicted and never find a pathway to abstinence. Those are sort of the two ways to err, here. So there’s a program that helps a bunch of young people, but there’s some error involved. If the error’s that people who don’t need AA get involved with it anyway, I’m fine with it; I’m not clear on why you’re not.

And yeah, I’ve been a ‘pod person’ for a while now – and yet, I find it a simple matter to interact and form meaningful bonds with non-Pods.

I meant to post this story yesterday, but this seems like a good spot for it:

 

  • Swamibedpan

    Yep
    let’s hear it for NBC and their stupid experts

  • Jonny Quest

    Scholarships to those in the program who stay sober at least six months !!?!?!?!

  • mr. mike

    Everybody here wondered how the AA cult was going to survive into the 21st century, well this is it, the scam of all scams, greater than Scientology and multi-level marketing put together: convince the naturally booze-oriented American college freshman that he/she is an “addict”, instead of what they are; kids free of parents and feeling things out for themselves.This should keep AA alive for another decade before the millemials figure out they were conned.

  • zniehsaerdna

    Brain scans – hopefully an end to this stupid “legalize it”-campaigns. Hope the criminal minded hashish-lovers get the treatment they deserve. Maybe “True Recovery” (c)* in a forensic setting?

    *

  • hulahoop

    mr. mike says Everybody here wondered how the AA cult was going to survive into the 21st century, well this is it, the scam of all scams, greater than Scientology and multi-level marketing put together: convince the naturally booze-oriented American college freshman that he/she is an “addict”, instead of what they are; kids free of parents and feeling things out for themselves.This should keep AA alive for another decade before the millemials figure out they were conned.

    Now you too can join the exciting substance abuse field.

    This is really no different to me than the Baptist church bus picking up kids on Sunday mornings. My parents placed me on that bus so they could get it on until the bus dropped me off on Sunday afternoon. It was a day of free baby-sitting for them.

  • hulahoop

    Now your kid is off at college. All you think you know is AA good. And you are just so happy Johnny or Jane isn’t boozing it up or shooting it up. So for a lot of parents (not all parents) this program is way of baby-sitting. They don’t realize what is really going on.

    AA is so harmless on the surface and enjoys such a good reputation freely provided the media that few people question it. Pod people are everywhere.

    Yesterday I drove by a church that had a banner out displaying “Addictions Program Available.” I think it was probably Celebrate Recovery, not AA because churches are getting hip to AA and are now offering their own brand of recovery even though it is based on the same twelve step garbage Bill Wilson was so successful at selling. It is all the same thing though. Lipstick on a pig and all of that. AA must recruit new members the same as the churches do. Get them believing and practicing while they are young and impressionable…you will have a member for life.

  • Chokmah

    The AA old time religion and the mega-churches are going to square off eh? This aught to be exciting.

  • KellyRyan

    I hope Passages continues it’s heavy marketing. (Passages is located in California, and it’s marketing blitz is national).

    “We are not a 12 step facility.” “I was an adict, but no longer.”

    Duke Prof: American’s religious beliefs waning

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20110824/us-rel-religion-today/

  • mr. mike

    @ hulahoop
    God, that stinks, wasting a perfectly good Sunday listening to a Baptist preacher rant about nothing for three hours, and that on top of a hour-thirty of Sunday School. I did that as a kid in the 1980s, yuck.

    You have my sympathies.

  • I see a trend here. Im sick. I just watched this video. Anti D we should get them hooked up with Smart.