"Bob" appears on
CRT's Bunk Busters show
by Cliff Walker (July, '96)

The Portland "health care professional" who is being slapped around because a co-worker "smelled alcohol on his breath" (acetone, as the result of out-of-controll diabetes) appeared on Bunk Busters tonight for a later showing. "Bob" was wearing an antique halloween mask and Cliff Walker's ever-present Chicago Cups baseball cap. He looked great!

"Bob" has already been forced to attend daily Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for five years, and has been forced to spend $12,000 for one month of "treatment" (read: AA indoctrination) in Phoenix, Arizona. Now they want him to complete three more months of in-house Twelve Step indoctrination in Atlanta, Georgia -- at his expense.

Because he has come up false-positive in two urinalysis tests during the past six months (he is not currently working) he agreed to go on antabuse "as a more reliable method of monitoring [his] abstinence." The caseworker later called his wife and indicated that his willingness to take antabuse only serves as further evidence that "Bob" has a genuine alcohol problem.

"Bob" went on to tell a horrifying tale of the absolute closed-mindedness of the addiction treatment professionals, and their refusal to budge on the "spiritual" aspect of the Twelve Step-based addiction treatment programs. By simply disagreeing with their (hotly-disputed) views on the nature of addiction and the methods of recovery, an atheist (or in his case, a pantheist) stands to "fail" any recovery program. "Bob" says that in inpatient treatment, you are locked into this world of "recovery" and spirituality, and you are given no means to contact the outside world -- including no telephone calls, no television, no radio, and only one daily newspaper. All this for a total cost of almost $19,000. Centers like this are funded from the insurance pool, from public funding, and by the clients themselves, making up a multi-billion dollar racket which admits to very poor results.

Jerry Billings, the Bunk Busters host, quoted Rational Recovery founder Jack Trimpey, saying, "Jack Trimpey says that denial really only means that you disagree with me." The hosts and "Bob" held a very accurate discussion of the Rational Recovery Self-Help Network, emphasizing its simplicity, it's focus on individual responsibility and self-empowerment, and its position that such things as religion, additional psychological treatment, etc., are one's own business.

Bunk Busters taped the program because CRT believes that forced alcohol treatment -- which is little more than Twelve Step religious indoctrination -- is an important and heated separationist issue in America today. The Critical Thinker published three articles about Alcoholics Anonymous and a recent New York Court of Appeals case in its July, 1996 issue. Bunk Busters has dealt with Alcoholics Anonymous, Treatment, and Rational Recovery several times now, even featuring RR founders Jack and Lois Trimpey on the show.