Addiction solutions are big business. Make that BIG Business. From Big Pharma to recovery clinics to psychiatry, from religions to self-help to metaphysics. Enormous industries have been built up to solve this always-escalating crisis of addiction.
But undeniably the biggest and most well-known solution to addiction are The 12-Step Programs, used by Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and a long list of other recovery programs. Anyone who has ever looked into addiction recovery has come first across a 12-step ‘solution.’
In fact, they are so ubiquitous it’s hard to find anything else. The 12-step programs have not only dominated the market for coming up on a century, the 12-step program created the recovery market, thanks to Bill Wilson and the Oxford Group.
According to the Oxford Group’s 12-Step website, Bill Wilson, Frank Buchman, and Mary Baker Eddy created the foundations for the 12-Step Program.
As fate and the WWW would have it, I know a thing or two about Mary Baker Eddy.
Her “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” was selected as one of the “75 Books By Women Whose Words Have Changed The World,” by the Women’s National Book Association and in 1995 she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She was also the Founder and President of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College in the later years of her life.
She is considered a major founding figure in the Human Potential Movement, also called the “New Thought” faiths, the precursors of the New Age Movement, of Unity Church, that is of Oprah and The Secret fame.
Many volumes of her work are praised by religious thinkers worldwide and her Christian Science Monitor has won 7 Pulitzer Prizes and Christian Science Reading Rooms have been established around the world, all attesting to her remarkable influence during her lifetime until today.
My own family, on my mother’s side, are Christian Scientists and I attended their church as a child. What I most remember are the large block letters on the wall behind the pulpit that said “God is Love”.
According to Ralph Waldo Emerson on ‘Religious Science’: “The emphasis is on positive thinking, influence of circumstances through mental processes, recognition of a creative energy source and natural law (referred to as God, First Principle, Universal Intelligence, and other terms) that manifests as the physical universe, and the rejection of a good/evil duality.”
I have a copy of her most famous text where the seal on the cover reads: “Heal the Sick. Raise the Dead. Cast out Demons. Cleanse the Lepers” in fine print around a symbol of a cross and crown.
Eddy was born of an elite New Hampshire family, married 3 times, first to George Washington Glover, a well-known Mason. Christian Science and Freemasonry have maintained a symbiotic relationship to this day. Her first school of Christian Science “Mind Healing” was started in 1867.
From the Preface: “Since the author’s discovery of the might of Truth in the treatment of disease as well as of sin, her system has been fully tested and shall not been found wanting; but to reach the heights of Christian Science, man must live in obedience to its divine Principle.”
“We think that we are healed when a disease disappears, though it is liable to reappear; but we are never thoroughly healed until the liability to be ill is removed. So-called mortal mind or the mind of mortals being the remote, predisposing, and the exciting cause of all suffering, the cause of disease must be obliterated through Christ in divine Science, or the so-called physical senses will get the victory. Unless an ill is rightly met and fairly overcome by Truth, the ill is never conquered. If God destroys not sin, sickness, and death, they are not destroyed in the minds of mortals, but seem to this so-called mind to be immortal. What God cannot do, man need not attempt. If God heals not the sick, they are no healed, for no lesser power equals the infinite All-power; but God Truth, Life, Love, does heal the sick through the prayer of the righteous.
Unfortunately for Mary Baker Eddy, despite all her efforts at righteous prayer, it was not enough, as she spent the majority of her life ill.
“She was recorded as having been sick for most of her life: anxious, erratic, doubled-over, her frail body wracked by mysterious intermittent pains. Eddy’s temper tantrums and day terrors alienated her siblings and forced her parents into a lifelong tiptoe. She required constant rocking as a child, and when she was an adult her family commissioned an oversized cradle in which she spent many of her days. Harold Bloom describes Eddy as “a kind of anthology of nineteenth-century nervous ailments.”
“In her later years Eddy apparently became paranoid, believing that 50,000 people were trying to kill her by projecting their evil thoughts. She wrote that if she died it would be due to malicious animal magnetism rather than from natural causes.” (wiki)
One biography claims she had an addiction to morphine. That’s another interesting parallel, considering Bill Wilson, previously mentioned of the social engineering institution known as the Oxford Group and founder of this famed 12-Step Program, used magic mushrooms to find his inner-voice of God, who then cured him of his alcoholism, and dictated his 12-step cure to addiction.
Yes, just like the New Age ‘Bible’ called ‘A Course in Miracles’, the 12-step Program was reportedly ‘channeled.’
He later went on to help manufacture synthetic LSD.
According to the Narcotics Anonymous site, 33% of addicts get clean from their 12-Step Program. According to Dr. Lance Dodes, author of “The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science of 12-Step Programs” that figure is less than 10%.
As I skimmed through the Basic Text of Narcotics Anonymous, the parallels to Eddy’s principles are obvious. The addict has an incurable disease over which they will remain powerless for the rest of their lives unless they adhere forever to the Principles. The Principles according to the 12-step site are:
Not a tall order in the least, right?!
“NA meetings usually close with a circle of the participants, a group hug and a prayer of some sort. Prayers used to close meetings today include the “we” version of the Serenity Prayer (God, Grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”); the Third Step Prayer (“Take my will and my life. Guide me in my recovery. Show me how to live.”) or the “Gratitude Prayer” (“That no addict seeking recovery need ever die . . . My Gratitude speaks when I care and when I share with others the NA way.”) (wiki)
According to Narcotics Anonymous’ “Basic Text” the problem with the addict is the: “inability to deal with life on life’s terms.” He has a terminal disease which can only be dealt with by adhering to the Program.
“We tried drugs and combinations of drugs to cope with a seemingly hostile world. We dreamed of finding a magic formula that would solve our ultimate problem—ourselves.”
In other words, addicts cannot adapt to their environment, and the problem is not the environment, the problem is the addict himself.
According the Prayer, you need the wisdom to know what you cannot change, and what you cannot change is your environment. So it would appear to me we have leagues of folks being brainwashed into adjusting to a hostile environment.
“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
If you can’t fit in, it’s your fault, because the society is just fine, and if you can’t see that, that’s your problem. You just don’t get it! Once you are off the drugs, and healed by mind-spirit, you’ll see how great the culture really is. If not, just buy better rose-colored glasses, perhaps.
The Basic Text is peppered with similar mantras as Eddy’s about ‘unconditional love’ and our never-ending battle against our disease and selfless demands like: “We learn that we keep what we have only by giving it away. . . No matter how much we give, there is always another addict seeking help.” Double-speak. Life-long commitment. Collectivism.
I suggest what’s happening is a transferring of addiction, from drugs to the collective and the designers of the system know this explicitly and implicitly. It’s done with a goal in mind . . .(to be continued).
Welcome to the Hotel California.