Archive for the kiss my ass Category

Dr. Drew Is on Fire

Dr. Drew

In my 20 years of treating addicts, I’ve never seen anything else that comes close to the 12 steps. In my world, if someone says they don’t want to do the 12 steps, I know they aren’t going to get better. — Dr. Drew Pinsky

Jeff Conaway died today.

When he first went into a coma, America’s Favorite Anthropophagist, Dr. Drew, denied that there was any connection to the addiction that he “treated” Conaway for:


As the troubled 60-year-old actor fights to survive, Pinsky denied that Conaway’s substance abuse was behind reports of a coma.

On Friday, the doctor tweeted: “Just visited Jeff Conaway. He is stable & looks like he will recover from his pneumonia….Not an OD, like press is alleging & certainly not dead.” He also criticized Conaway’s manager for asserting that Conaway was comatose, when in fact, according to a Pinsky tweet: “He’s in an induced coma…a Propafol drip.”

The reports I’ve been reading seem to corroborate this. They’re not indicating that his pneumonia was brought on by any substance abuse. So, either Pinsky is privy to information that no one else has right now, or just took the low road when faced a choice between taking some responsibility for fucking Conaway up further and making Conaway’s death all about Dr. Drew. In response to the news about Conaway’s death today, Dr. Drew says:

“I’m saddened to report he has succumbed to his addiction, thus far we have no evidence of an intentional overdose,” Pinsky tweeted on Friday after Conaway passed.

Similarly, when Mike Starr died, Pinsky tweeted (Doesn’t Pinsky have a mom? Who tweets condolences?):

“Devastating to hear of Mike Starr succumbing to his illness,” he posted on Twitter. “So very sad. Our prayers are with his family.”

Cramming a bunch of mentally ill substance abusers into close quarters and instigating cage matches has been working so well for 75 years. What’s going wrong here?


Who Knew?!

Alcoholics Anonymous As A Spiritual Experience

That poor woman in the picture looks like she’s sick and tired of being sick and tired!

Has anyone heard about this Alcoholics Anonymous thing?

This @#$%& Woman!

Remember Carole Bennett, MA, from the Huffington Post? The woman who wrote that bitter, ugly, shaming expose about her daughter (the garbage pail), in the guise of helping other people? I know I should stay out of her blog, but for chrissakes, I can’t understand how a person like this is granted the legitimacy of a public venue. I stumbled upon her latest post today, which is just…whatever (don’t bother). But, then had a look through some of her recent posts, and found another egregiously irresponsible piece of bullshit. It’s her advice to people who have to share custody with an addict. She suggests laying down the law, in letter form: Continue reading This @#$%& Woman!

Crash This Poll

OK. I've really had it. I cannot get my head around why the Skeptics and New Atheists bloggers do not treat the religious, faith-healing takeover of an entire field of mental health with the same level of alarm and righteous advocacy that they bring to subjects like Creationism in science class and homeopathy.


It's not that I don't think the subjects they cover are important – and we all have our bailiwick. But the plain fact is that the 12 Step addiction treatment industry is a prime case in point for why it is so dangerous to allow crackpot science and religion to influence public policy. If you want a fantastic example for what can go wrong if you let the Creationists influence the curriculum, this is it!


Addiction is such an enormous crisis because our primary treatment for it is a program of spiritual awakening. Spiritual Awakening — for chrissake.


So, what's with the dead air on the subject, from the rational community? The bloggers and science writers, like PZ Myers  – people who fight to keep religion out of public policy? This is religion in public policy on a epic scale, and it's an apocalyptic disaster! A while ago, I went on a polite little campaign to see if I could get Stinkin' Thinkin' on the skeptics' blogrolls, but haven't had any luck.


Why are we out here on the outer fringes of crankland?


I have a few theories about this: It could be that addiction is just a subject that no one really wants to touch. It's messy, and everyone knows someone who's been through AA, or someone who's life has been saved, or has their own addiction issues. Or maybe it's just not as fun as antagonizing the odd creationist school board member. Perhaps they don't realize that AA is religious, and just take AA at its word that it's an altruistic group that offers suggestions and community, and saves lives – and that you don't have to believe in god. Could it be that we really are a bunch of cranks?

Why do skeptic bloggers ignore the 12 Step industry?

We really are cranks.
Creationists are just more fun to pick on.
Genuine ignorance.
Addiction is too scary.
They really believe in the Higher Power.
Web Polls

You Exhaust Me.


Continue reading You Exhaust Me.

Observations on “No Big Deal”

Big Deal, Real Deal, Book Deal

by English Rose

Thank you, friendthegirl, for giving me the opportunity to post this on Stinkin’ Thinkin’. [Thank you, English Rose!]

I don’t really know where to start with this one. This person has spent the last 18 years making a living out of 12-step quackery. He is a director of a 12-step rehab centre in the UK and has written a book called No Big Deal promoting AA and the 12-step programme. And now he has unashamedly come out with this (posted on Amazon): Continue reading Observations on “No Big Deal”

Captive Audience (part 1)

I’m so sorry that the blog has been neglected for a few days. I have been focused on some actual paying work, Speedy is writing his magnum opus, and MA is at the Home Depot. Plus I read the July issue of Grapevine cover to cover, and I’ve been incapacitated, wandering around with a thousand-yard stare, ever since.

I wanted to write about this issue, because it’s the “Prison Issue – Sobriety Behind Bars: Staying Sober on the Inside,” and that seemed very timely, considering some of the discussion we’ve been having around here lately. But, it shorted out my brain. Seriously: fzzzzt…pop.

It’s just so packed full of crazy, I don’t know where to start. I sit down to write, and I just sputter. If anything can prove to me for good and all that AA is designed to trigger brain death, this issue of Grapevine can. Continue reading Captive Audience (part 1)

Dr. Dave and Bill

I just followed a blog link that AnnaZed provided, which reprints a BBC article about a study by Dr. Keith Humphreys from Stanford, which says that,

Problem drinkers attending the faith-based Alcoholics Anonymous groups are 30% more likely than others to remain sober for at least two years, according to research published this month. The study, published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, found their treatment also costs 30% less than conventional cognitive behavioural therapy. According to lead researcher Dr Keith Humphreys, based at Stanford University, this is because it requires fewer hospital visits and admissions.

These articles always publish “findings” without offering any relevant details of the studies: who are the participants? Are they people who have been through treatment and have joined AA as an aftercare program? How were they selected? At what point in their recovery does this study start? Are these “problem drinkers” different from “real alcoholics” as AA defines them? Leaving us with these questions is standard as far as these studies go.

Next case.

So, as I was looking around for the answers, I stumbled into a regular column published in the New York Daily News, by Dr. Dave Moore and Bill Manville. This isn’t the first time I’ve found myself reading their creepy, watered-down, lifeless imitation of “Click and Clack” for the evangelical 12-step crowd. Their forced banter is utterly impossible to follow, because it’s not a real conversation and it has the same agenda every time (“OK, you say this and then I’ll say that, so that we can fit this slogan in and make it seem natural…”). But I guess that if they weren’t pretending to dialog, the column would look exactly like what it is: run-of-the-mill, bald-faced proselytizing for AA.

They have new column out today called “Religion Isn’t for Everyone, But Spirituality Can Help in Recovery,” in which they pretend to be interested in some current events (Eliot Spitzer’s sex addiction). If you’re versed in AA coercion, the title of this article will be enough to fill you in on exactly where they are headed: AA is not religious, it’s spiritual, and here, let us help you skeptics define spirituality in a way that doesn’t freak you out. It could even just mean connecting with other people – that’s spiritual, isn’t it (yes, they actually trot out the old GOD = Group Of Drunks slogan)?

BILL: Anna David, author of “Bought,” a story of high-class Hollywood prostitution, tells me an addict “is someone who feels ‘I can’t stand what I’m experiencing right now and will do anything to change it no matter how terrible it makes me feel later.’ So recovery isn’t only about subtracting dope from your life,” she says, “but more important, learning to deal with your life so that you don’t ever feel the desperate need to get out of your skin or die.”

DR.DAVE: Which brings us to AA’s notion of spiritual values, doesn’t it? There are two 12-step programs I can recommend: Sex Addicts Anonymous and Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous. Both put the same strong emphasis on spirituality as Alcoholics Anonymous.

BILL: Which — despite the great lip service accorded religion in everyday life — keeps many away from any 12-step program.

DR. DAVE: Don’t suddenly go shy on us, Bill. Didn’t you start out like that yourself?

Yeah, Bill, c’mon, tell us all about how a skeptic like you finally “got it.”

Their previous column is called “AA Alternatives: Do They Work?” The answer is “No.” In response to an “anxious wife” named Maude’s email to them, asking if there are viable options to AA for her alcoholic husband, Dr. Dave responds,

DR. DAVE: First of all, getting the facts right is critical. And a good place for Maude to start is the forthcoming September issue of Al-Anon Outreach Magazine. It will carry an article called, “Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2010.“ It’s about the need to do more than just pay lip service to the fact that alcoholism is a family disease.

BILL: Maude needs facts, not just hope and hype if she wants to help her husband?

DR. DAVE. And help herself. For instance, she needs to know that alcohol does indeed relieve anxiety – so do Valium, Librium and the other anti-anxiety medications. Second, there are indeed treatment programs other than those that parallel the Minnesota Model 12-step philosophy.

BILL: I never thought I’d hear you recommend anything like that to our readers.

DR. DAVE: Bill, slow down. By offering an alternative idea, Maude sidesteps her husband’s denial, and opens the door to discussion.

BILL: Thus giving him a chance to compare different paths to recovery?

DR. DAVE: The 12-step “friendly” Minnesota Model helps the addict through remembering the pain of drinking; which is called covert sensitization. One popular alternative is called Chemical Aversion Treatment –

BILL: Which the ads call, “a Medical Procedure to overcome your cravings.”

DR.DAVE: Sounds great until you realize that the procedure is for you to drink alcohol, and then chemically induce vomiting. Every other day for ten days.

Did you get that? They promote acknowledging alternatives to AA as a bait-and-switch tactic, “By offering an alternative idea, Maude sidesteps her husband’s denial, and opens the door to discussion.” And Maude, armed with the “facts” she has culled from her Al-Anon magazine, will be prepared to lead this discussion straight into AA: “So, armed with these facts, Maude can help her husband see that these ten-day cures will not alleviate his basic ‘sense of impending doom.’”

What’s more, the only AA alternative they discuss here is some Chemical Aversion Treatment — which Dr. Dave calls “popular” — which requires you to vomit every other day. This is plain horseshit. They may as well say that one popular alternative to AA is to flap your arms and fly into the sun.

They have a limited space in which to completely invalidate any other recovery option, so they choose the most heinous of these, and still cannot make it sound worse than AA. Dr. Dave says, “the CAT program includes coming back for two-day follow-ups every six months the first year? That’s really something the addict can look forward to, isn’t it?” Yeah, two days out of every six months in the first year is so much more of an imposition, compared with 90 meetings in 90 days, regular meetings after that — for the rest of your life — relentless working of steps, service work, pairing up with some tough-loving, panty-sniffing whackjob of a sponsor, and no hope of recovery.

Someone's on the Pity Pot!

In February 2009, A.A. member and hotline volunteer, Russel C. Mentzer Sr., was acquitted on rape charges. Here’s the story:

Russell C. Mentzer Sr. this afternoon denied raping a woman who claimed he assaulted her after she called an Alcoholics Anonymous hot line for help in November 2007.

Mentzer, 45, of Middlesex Township, who was manning the hot line, told a Cumberland County jury that the woman asked to come to his house and willingly had sex with him. She seemed to be only slightly intoxicated, he said.

He admitted to lying about having sex with her when police first questioned him, but said he did so because he thought the rape accusation would go away. Mentzer said he admitted to having sex with the woman after DNA showed he had intercourse with her.

The woman testified Monday that Mentzer prompted her to drink several glasses of wine until she became incoherent. She said she didn’t remember having sex with him, but awoke naked in his bed with Mentzer beside her.

And here’s the outcome:

 After deliberating for six hours, a Cumberland County jury this afternoon acquitted Alcoholics Anonymous hot line volunteer Russell C. Mentzer Sr. of charges that he had raped a female caller.

The woman claimed during Mentzer’s three-day trial that he had her come to his home in November 2007, prodded her to drink wine and had sex with her when she blacked out. She said she couldn’t recall the sex, however.

Mentzer, 45, of Middlesex Twp., said he and the woman had a consensual sexual encounter.

The woman declined comment on the verdict. Mentzer applauded it and said he will pray for his accuser.

Legally – in this case – this is not rape. Ethically, however, Mr. Mentzer was entirely in the wrong. Any conscientious, responsible AA member would say that his first course of action should have been to counsel her over the phone, and failing that, to help her find a meeting ASAP, and failing that, to direct her to an available female AA member for support. What he, of all people, should never have done is to invite a vulnerable, intoxicated woman to his home. He violated the “norms” of AA, but he didn’t violate AA, because AA doesn’t exist as an accountable, responsible entity. “Norms” are not policy or standards. There is no policy, no standards. Until there is accountability, what happens in AA is AA, and no one can argue otherwise.

No matter what a reasonable and responsible AA member would say about what he should have done, what Mentzer did does not fall outside the bounds of AA, because there are no bounds. There is nothing in the steps or the traditions, nothing about qualifications for manning the hotline, that prohibits him from offering alcohol to an alcoholic. But, as an AA member, what he believes is that once an alcoholic has had a drink, she is powerless to resist another one. And, so his defense that she was willing and only “slightly intoxicated” completely undermines the program. He also believes that she is unable to consent while drunk. And he gave her another one and another…. And then he had sex with her.

 And now he prays for her. And he is just sicker than others. And he does not represent AA (no one does; not even AAWS, Inc.). And this is an exception. And the victim has to “look at her part” and not be resentful or angry. Hey, which one of these people do you think is going to be shunned and gossiped about at AA meetings from now on? Which one of these people is a sponsor? Which one is on the pity pot?

Maybe she should try a different group?

I don't need a reason to gratuitously post a Betty Bowers video, do I?

I mean besides that it’s awesome?

Betty Bowers Explains Prayer to Everyone Else