Journal of the AMA 1939


Vol. 113(16), October 14, 1939

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS. The story of how more than one hundred men have recovered from alcoholism. Cloth. Price $3.50. 400 pp.. New York: Works Publishing Company. 1939.
The seriousness of the psychiatric and social problem represented by addiction to alcohol is generally underestimated by those not immediately familiar with the tragedies in the families of victims or the resistance addicts offer to any effective treatment. Many psychiatrists regard addiction to alcohol as having a more pessimistic prognosis than schizophrenia. For many pears the public was beguiled into believing that short courses of enforced abstinence and catharsis in “institutes” and “rest homes” would do the trick, and now that the failure of such temporizing has become common knowledge, a considerable number of other forms of quack treatment have sprung up. The book under review is a curious combination of organizing propaganda and religious exhortation. It is in no sense a scientific book, although it is introduced by a letter from a physician who claims to know some of the anonymous contributors who have been “cured” of addiction to alcohol and have joined together in an organization which would save other addicts by a kind of religious conversion. The book contains instructions as to how to intrigue the alcoholic addict into the acceptance of divine guidance in place of alcohol in terms strongly reminiscent of Dale Carnegie and the adherents of the Buchman (“Oxford”) movement. The one valid thing in the book is the recognition of the seriousness of addiction to alcohol Other than this, the book has no scientific merit or interest.”

It then took Marty Mann and NCADD, and coercive EAP programs to promote the ‘disease model’ and gain acceptance by doctors who proceeded to be abused by their own EAPs. Here is a timeline showing what happened after this book review. NCADD History

Review of Samaritan Counseling of the Southern Tier

Here’s a review of Samaritan Counseling of the Southern Tier in NY (NYS license exempt)No wonder Samaritan deletes reviews wherever they can! I collect them just in case they disappear, because I think trusting silence is highly suspicious when an organization has been around since the 80’s and has zero reviews.

David Olsen Executive Director of Samaritan Counseling of the Capital Region trains therapists in NYS and Samaritan Institute accredited organizations like this one nationwide.

“I was shocked at the treatment that my mother received at the hands of this organization. The patients are vulnerable; the staff is poorly trained and abusive. Among the soundbites my mother and our family was treated to:

* “You are fat and no one will every want you this way. It’s probably why your husband decided to divorce you.” [my mother was being counseled following an abusive divorce and domestic violence-induced depression]

* “Sometimes death is the best option. When you are with God, all suffering ends.” [we were speechless]

* “You will never get better.” [unclear what type of therapeutic effect this remark is supposed to have]

* “Your mother should feel more guilt than she does for leaving her marriage without having first checked with her religious advisors.”

We’ve heard similar concerns from others who were unlucky enough to be subjected to this organization’s services.
Big Warning: The so-called counselors at this nonprofit are ill-trained, there are few to no controls on the more abusive counselors among them, and the damage can be worse than the dangerously low-quality assistance being rendered. Steer clear and invest in higher-quality therapy than provided to the most economically vulnerable members of our community. “

Transorbital Lobotomy

In 1948 Norbert Wiener, the author of Cybernetics: Or the Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, said: “[P]refrontal lobotomy … has recently been having a certain vogue, probably not unconnected with the fact that it makes the custodial care of many patients easier. Let me remark in passing that killing them makes their custodial care still easier.” — Wikipedia

Two Hope House Employees in Albany New York Arrested for Allegedly Having Sex with Drug Rehab Clients



Well… It’s good to hear from an insider that it happens all the time! :-/

Two Hope House employees were arrested and charged with raping clients last week. In response to these articles, I came across a chemical dependency services worker claiming that this is very normal in the chemical dependency field. This is not surprising; there have been two movies detailing serious ethical concerns (PDF) about the industry in just this last year: The 13th Step and The Business of Recovery. It’s even more complicated, she says, because “addicts are con artists”, suggesting that any ‘mutual’ sex between an addict and a professional is the “addict’s” own plot to destroy the professional. The New York State Supreme Court seems to agree with this view that an OASAS worker accused of serial sexual misconduct is probably an innocent victim of clients’ and co-workers’ symptomatic behavior.

But anybody looking at the laws and her reasoning behind why this woman said it’s pretty normal to have sex with a client — they “go to meetings together” and have “that bond” and it’s “mutual” — would say that it’s insane that someone who’s worked in this field for a long time would have never even heard of the idea that this is illegal, or that it is her duty to be concerned about it.

It would seem pretty crazy, unless, of course, they knew that Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services employees traditionally lack required basic social work training and education, and that OASAS likes it that way. That being the case, it’s not much of a stretch to think that organizations accredited by OASAS, like Hope House, would have a pretty low bar for training of employees.

You can sign the petition to make health workers aware of the problems with the culture of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Now I’m a Shill for Scientology

Some of these reviews for the 13th Step documentary are pretty out there. This guy isn’t even a Verified Purchase so it’s quite possible he didn’t even watch the movie. It’s very tough to get AA sympathizers to actually watch it before they say it’s worthless. (I bought a copy for Samaritan Counseling, considering it’s about their ‘preferred treatment’, but I didn’t even get a thank you note.)

I’m not a shill for Scientology but I do know that Scientology’s Narconon and AA’s good samaritans and the Salvation Army all compete for the fraudulent drug rehab market.

What a typical uninformed accusation for AA members to make! They automatically assume that AA critics are selling some competing snake oil and jump to attack the character of the critic.


“Iatrogenic” Effects of 12-Step Facilitation?

We shouldn’t use the word “iatrogenic” to describe the effects of 12-step “Facilitation” (somehow accepted as “evidence-based treatment” but more akin to hazing), because “iatrogenic” implies unintentional harm. The imposition of “serious consequences”, aka “aversive conditioning”, is classified by the NYS Justice Center as “abuse”, and is harm inflicted intentionally for its supposedly deterrent effect.

In other words, if it’s punishment for a “violation”, don’t call it “treatment”.

Insurance companies and the government shouldn’t be paying for an endless string of supposedly “iatrogenic” effects while 12-step Facilitators openly talk about putting the ‘well-being of the recovery community (OASAS ethics rule #20, aka AA Tradition #1: “AA must continue to live or most of us will surely die”)’ ahead of patients’ individual concerns.

on upholding the Traditions, from AA Service Manual p.69:

How deep does this corruption go?


Counselor (CASAC, LCSW-R James Garrett) accused of faking drug test results

Did David Olsen, Oona Edmands, and Jenness Clairmont of Samaritan Counseling know about five felony charges against their ‘preferred treatment’ provider in January-May 2014?

Would they have done anything differently if they had known about it? Were they deliberately ignoring repeated attempts to report criminal fraudulent practices by reframing the very act of complaining as ‘Axis 2 (harassing, fixated)’ behavior — ‘confirmed’ by James Garrett, the accused felon who was advising them to ignore me!?

Would acknowledging my similar complaint have helped prevent these charges from being seen as baseless (and apparently dropped)? Might acknowledging the problem prevent this same fraud from happening over and over again in the future?

Among everyone (including but not limited to David Olsen, Jenness Clairmont, and Oona Edmands) made aware of this at Samaritan Counseling, was not even their Clinical Director (on the Office of Professions) a mandated reporter according to the NYS Justice Center?

How do five felonies slip through the cracks and disappear, while highly related complaints are suppressed, censored, and medicated into oblivion?