15 minutes to Dundas and Bathurst. Another opportunity to "meditate through reflection" while walking. A bit like my ability to now sleep standing up.
Narconon. The first Rehab I visited in December 2008. In review. Ten years on. Was very good. Its methodology for assisting people with substance disabilities. Unique. An understatement.
They were not perfect of course. Adherence to criminalizing language and the erroneous idea that all persons entering are bad and good once they leave is naive of physical and social science validity. Stereotyping persons in need of support - as bad - is wholly deficient for the greater good. The humanistic reality that substance dependence is a legitimate mental health phenomenon is incontestable. And therefore, Narconon's ubiquitous use of the degrading label Addict signaled a less than perfect wholesomeness.
That said, knowing what I know now. Having lived what I have lived through. The Narconon experience was actually better than very good. It was brilliant. In touch with reality. Bordering on sensational.
Narconon's "undoing", is that they are a part of Scientology. An apparent religious cult. Never felt any pressure myself while there. And whats the difference when compared with the religious cult of Christianity or any other religion. Never seen or heard of Scientologists partaking in Crusades or the pernicious acts of blowing buildings to smithereens to make a point.
Scientology is a make-believe chink in the armor for others to attack. Of course seeing as we live in Canada, in 2012 the Quebec government closed down the Laval facility I was a part of in 2008 because of complaints. By persons who never even attended the facility. The hypocrisy of living in a world of such utter madness, ignorance and weakness. Who cares where Narcocon's philosophy originates. Their mantra that substance dependence is not an illness or disease fits with modern day neuroscience. The frontal lobe can be rebooted into action to defend the need or urge to use a substance once the frontal cortex has been purged.
Heavy loads of meditation. Rinsing the body through Sauna's. 90 day programs. Repetitive walking to and from objects drawing out aha moments and then of course Bull-baiting. All seemingly outlandish but collectively scintillating. Combined with eating and sleeping well. As I look back, it really was a magic wand formula. At least for a "long-short term".
Like all programs their main flaw surrounds "the no consideration" for the social aspect of living and working once returned to normalcy and the consequential stigma of people knowing your status. It guarantees that some purged cortex's will return to a substance of need as the social nexus of a persons life is inextricably intertwined with their well being. And therefore needs to be solved - as in the simplicity of Maslows hierarchy of needs.
The subsequent consequential use of some, gets magnified as an issue every time. No rational composure or common sense. And seemingly. Not from any corner of society. Deducing substance use of any illicit substance as badness, illness, or disease creates a diabolical, irresponsible vicious cycle of incompetent conditioning that is flat out wrong. And the dreadful aftermath on the psychology of users of illicit substances is brittleness when faced with such painful brutalized stigmatization.
The tragic miscalculation of the unwarranted medical diagnoses and societal labels is something to behold. Being devoid of self-management education plays a significant role in the demise of so many with substance disabilities. An enormous economic burden which apparently remains invisible to the masses. The paucity of an alternative way of thinking away from abstinence has been missed. And if and where it exists. Its implementation and rationale very clearly inadequate- the negative consequences of which filter down to the mainstream, as citizens garner Gestapo Sheriff Badges the moment they hear the assignment of a substance disability. Stigma Untouched. A careless, "thoughtless" error from those in positions of power and authority. And the slaughter as a consequence has been and is, totally unacceptable. Our greatest preventable immorality of ALL time.
And you need no greater illustration than the pseudoscience of 12 Step Programs.
Narconon when compared to the Sporting Chance clinic in England which I visited in 2009 whose philosophy focused on the hocus-pocus of the 12 Step program was a "millions miles" closer to reality. Pragmatic. Realistic. Useful. Far better results.
The 12 Step criminalized programs do much more harm than good including perpetuating how poorly we treat substance dependence persons guaranteeing most users in need of support will remain underground to the detriment of everyone.
Conversations with a Graduate of the 12 Step Program recently illustrate the appalling by-products of the 12 step labors. A cult in desperate need of severing and annihilation. Too often rude, arrogant, hypocritical, invasive of a persons privacy, judgmental and deceitful of anyone not a part of the hypocrisy itself. The anonymity segment of the program stigmatizes all who attend. More important. It permits public judgement, punishment, and ridicule. Most often from rolling of the eyes satire.
The "steps" when there was nothing else, was - they say - better than nothing. That said. Even then. Valid it was not. Objective it is not now. But from the other side. Cheap. It is. And therefore good for profit. It is.
In 2018, speaking to the "steppers" justifications and rationalizations is like arguing with metaphorical pigs. Mark McCormack's famous, "Never Wrestle with a Pig". A pig. An ignoramus who can never see the light even though it head butts them. Instead they will argue their position seemingly to the death. Persons to be avoided.
So when you think 12 Steppers. Think Ali G.
Ali G asking Buzz Aldrin,
"duz yu fink, man will ever walk on the sun....aaaarrrrittte...then, what about in the winter months.... duz yu fink man could walk on the sun then?"
The level of irresponsibility and incompetence by those Canadian politicians in power, remitted to understand the subject matter of substance dependence is comprehensively staggering when one considers that Bruce Alexander from British Columbia, discovered the devastating consequences and significance of social isolation on substance dependence way back in 1982. Yet even today in 2018 the vast masses are oblivious to the significance of his discovery most unacceptably within the mental health care industry remitted to be of assistance.
Results of Alexanders' "Rat Park" science experiment have a smorgasbord of potential uses to making the world a better place. Including. Why Stigma has to be penetrated as a top priority. Without de-stigmatizing those persons who are diagnosed with substance disabilities social inclusion will remain elusive to be replaced all too often by solitary confinement and isolation. The Paul J James story is a pristine illustration.
Almost at internet cafe. I remember December 9, 2018 as if it were yesterday. 3.30pm was when I arrived. Stomach was turning on not knowing what to expect.
Recent communications jump to mind though as I wait at the lights to change on Bathurst.
Richard Elliot (Aids/Law) and Donald McPherson (CDPC) two gentleman I wrote about in such a positive light and shared with the world only to receive no reply from Donald (stigmatizing weapon to ignore) and one from Richard Elliot which was patronizing, bordering on rude (two stigmatizing weapons: patronizing and treatment as third class citizen).
It highlighted the Tribal warfare in Canada. Richard a member of his very own cult and Tribe similar to my own association with Cardiff City Football Club. The vicious mob of Canadian lawyers when dealing with self-represented applicants. Or "Crazies" as we are not so fondly referred through industry speak. More importantly Donald and Richard highlighted the self-centered Bad Politics approach of Structural Stigma. Persons parochial of their territory. Ego over taking commonsense and humanity. Donald and Richard appear uncomfortable that a person not of their ilk will make a difference. I detected it the third time I met Richard for a coffee at Bay and Bloor. As he approached "PJ" noticed eye's rolling in back of head syndrome. A genuinely nice and smart man yet so unaware of himself. It is the bad politics element of Canadian society which so restricts us from maximizing our potential. And it is why when people tell me to get on with it and advocate. Or to lobby other groups. I just cannot do it. Been there. Seen it. Done it. I am not a political person. A lack of consensus from looking for too much consensus is a significant part of the problem. Going it alone is my only chance.
As I sit down at the terminal now at the internet cafe. Patrick appears out of no where.
PJ announces once again. Funny. Every time I arrive. Patrick appears. Don't trust him.
I say he's good. He is kind and harmless enough. But you are correct. He is from the other side.
I have known Patrick ever since I entered the internet cafe a few months ago. Since that time whenever I arrive. He arrives. And he of course along with all others on the other side, he asks me if I still use. Asking me if I wanted to smoke a joint was a new one however. Which I politely declined. Wants to be my friend. And so I play along with keeping my wits about me courtesy of PJ.
The obsession from the other sides needs to know whether I still use or not is double edged. Are they scapegoating or. More pointedly. Are they asking. Please admit. You do still use . In either event. Their behavior itself has bordered on obsessive/compulsive. Bob Rae, Adam Vaughan, James Maloney, Deborah Schulte, Maureen Armstrong, JP Savage, M, Patrick and of course the innuendo of the Toronto Star, the CBC and all others collaborating - which is many.
Funny enough B is not part of the humiliation cull of Paul J James on the issue of whether I still use. B always kept to a threshold of decency. B is smart. Needs to keep my trust in tact.
My usual demeanor around Patrick on this most uncomfortable of days is different. I am purposely sullen. Unapproachable.
"What you up to Paul?" as Patrick tries a peer over my shoulder to see what it is, I am writing.
"Just the same old stuff Patrick".
"Listen I don't mean to be rude but I have to get some assignments completed. Patrick. I don't have much time". A gentle shot across his bow.
"I see you are eating. That's good says Patrick", as he again drones over the area I currently occupy.
My next response was like hitting him on the head with a hammer, igniting his mission for the day.
"Well it makes absolutely no difference now".
Soon after that shot, Patrick leaves. Unusual for him to only stay 15 minutes. First time, since I have known him. But then this is not a normal day.
After an hour of writing on a Word document I decide to finally open my gmail account.
Well PJ now they will no for sure where I am. Even without the assistance of B and P.
I survey my emails. Tracy V, Sharon, Phil and Randy Samuel all sending humanistic messages of support but also in desperation. After reading Tracy's I thought I was going to buckle and call her. To do so would have been a mistake. Cat out of the bag. Not even Peyvand and Kevin know. A tightly kept secret but plenty of clues along the way.
"I trust and have faith in you. All I ask of you is to never lose faith in Paul J James". It was the message I sent the PJJ supporters a month earlier.
I still feel sick from my circumstances and so I run to the bathroom. But nothing doing. Just watering of the mouth. What if I get to 12 midnight and nothing has happened. Then I conclude I am fucked - aside from proving that the Prime Minster would have let me die. The problem of trying to explain supporters of a RUSE not quite working out however was not something I was looking forward to.
I send out an email announcing the deadline for my non-existence is only 5 hours away. Randy Samuel gets in contact immediately. So desperate was his message and knowing our photograph linking us forever I agree to speaking with him. Kevin will connect us at the pay phone around the corner.
There's only one Kevin Tierney rings in my head as if I am in attendance at a 70's Cardiff City game.
Message suddenly appears from the considerate, humane, kindhearted Ralph Ginese. A former player for me at LeMoyne College. Ralph I had recruited from San Diego. Desperate for me to stay alive. I blush when I see some of the names of players I use to coach on his list. Steve Belge, Michael Gibbs, Danny Finnegan, Frank Barbuto. Ralph includes them all but also Brian Quinn the person who helped me acquire Ralph back in 1994.
As Sequentia - Don't Surrender - plays in my headset I think about Brian Quinn former United States International having played over 60 times for the national team itself. Possibly the best player I have ever played with. All courtesy of the clever recruitment of John McGrane. Certainly Brian was a truly brilliant midfielder for the level we were playing at. And as sublime a person on the field. He was even better off it.
It was on a night out with Brian Quinn and other Hamilton Steelers players back in 1988 that I start to reminisce about. Some Thursday night in the summer of 1988. Don Cheery's Grapevine. Ladies night. Last call. Slow dances. All players up on the dance floor. Except Colin Miller who was drunk as a skunk. Playing a game of Spoons with some unsuspecting wally.
Quinny seeing my comfortableness and awkwardness even after night soaked in beer and shooters, shouts out in his beautiful Irish accent, come on Jamesy, "Grab a chair"
And with that up on the dance floor we go serenading with two bar stools only to be followed within minutes by Spikey Miller who not to be out done started necking with his stool.
Out of no where I feel a tap on my shoulder. The sudden jolt of electricity waking me up from the fantasy world I was caught up in. As I turn, removing my headset I see two smart looking Toronto Police Officers.
"Are you Mr Paul James?"
With a meek smile I replied, "What took you so long. I am indeed Paul James".....(to be continued)