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The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think

Discussion in 'Books About Cults and Extracting Oneself from Coer' started by Type4_PTS, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. Type4_PTS

    Type4_PTS Diamond Invictus SP

    I just read an article in the Huffington Post by Johann Hari, the author of 'Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs' published just a week ago.

    In the few minutes it took to read the article it completely changed my view on addictions, and how to help people with them. (not just addictions to drugs, but any addictions)

    Here's an excerpt of the article:

  2. Intentionally Blank

    Intentionally Blank Scientology Widow

    Excellent article. Here's another excerpt that dovetails with the work I did with addicts at one time. This idea has been around for a long time - perhaps not so succinctly or cogently stated. And, I think, as in all belief systems that are growing and evolving as more data becomes available philosophies overlap as the new research is being integrated into what we already know and observe.

    The foundation we worked from is USE/ABUSE is the symptom of the addiction not addiction itself. At a primal level addiction, as we posed it, is a perverted, faulty, and incredibly painful self perception and accompanying set of beliefs about the rest of the world. This set of faulty beliefs made it nearly impossible to fully connect or engage with another human being with any degree of intimacy. As this article states, bonding -- and therefore some level of relief from the pain -- is with the substance of choice.

    In un-healed addicts when one substance is removed it is replaced by another substance at a very high rate. People with food addictions who choose surgery to manage their weight loss have a significant rate of exchanging food for alcohol, shopping, gambling, etc.

    Addiction is a fascinating subject. My former business partner - the one who lost all my money and destroyed my business but who made me savvy enough to never comingle funds again and therefore saved me from letting a future scn spouse fritter it all away -- was an addict with, most likely, borderline personality disorder. (Imagine the fun!) For some years after my business failed I worked in the addiction community while I figured out how to put my life back together. Fascinating stuff. This makes me nostalgic. Thanks for sharing.

  3. sallydannce

    sallydannce Gold Meritorious Patron

    This is fascinating stuff. I looked at addiction when I left the cult because I craved. I mean I craved, my skin crawled (literally) and my body ached. I just wanted "the tek". I knew I couldn't touch "the tek" because I had to break the habit. It was that simple and that complicated. A deeply entrenched habit that had a hold over me.

    So I started wondering what the hell had happened. By chance I had a conversation with a young woman who had been a cocaine addict. She graciously described the path into her addiction and the miserable path out. For some reason, which I still fail to comprehend, I felt just like her though my addiction had not been a substance I put into my body.

    A bit later as I began my long messy journey back into a world I felt very alienated from, I revisited some of my youth and thought about a friend I had had. She had died from drug-related illnesses, aged 40 years, having been an opiate addict for about 20 years. I went to her grave, sat quietly, wept and tried to work out what was different from her addiction and mine. And it hit me, there was very little difference except I had lived to tell the tale and she hadn't.

    What I concluded, in my very unscientific manner, was the thing we all wanted was to belong, to connect, and we each used a diversion. Mine was a group/system that held me tightly (and I let it), their diversion from something deep within was drugs.

    A bit later I read about oxytocin (the bonding hormone). I started experimenting with ways to increase its levels. I danced, I watched comedies, etc, to observe my internal responses. I felt better. So I deliberately began a daily increase-my-oxytocin levels practice. These days that simply involves playing a song I like and dancing around the living room for a few minutes.

    I'm convinced that scientology has a huge habit forming factor. Funny because even now if I feel lonely or a bit down, I still have a slight craving for an o/w write-up or a tape play. It is a deep longing which doesn't make an iota of logical sense. Just last night I sat here wishing I could still plug in to my "drug of choice". And I knew exactly why I felt like that. It was about bonding, belonging, connection. That's what I work on when I feel lost without my "drug of choice".

    In a hurry here so posting this with all and any typos and non-nonsensical construction.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
  4. Leland

    Leland Crusader

    If taking drugs are among other things....a sort of desire to get relief from "pain".....(of what ever type...mental, physical, spiritual)

    and one reads a Cult book...or is body routed....or whatever...and gets involved with the Cult...

    Are there "doingnesses" in the Cult that can relieve that pain??

    The Dianetics book.....does say the "human condition" has been figured out...and that Dianootics is a solution... (I bought that one)

    And the other "doingnesses" such as a Comm Course...or some such.....REDIRECTS the mind away from established patterns...and gives one a "new direction" , "new goals" ,"new obstacles " to redirect ones attention...and such.

    Then KSW.....

    And one has started on the Cult route.....

    It is a sort of take....or a miss-direction. It is a "slight of hand" type thing....a controlling and altering something else.

    Just some thoughts.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
  5. Intentionally Blank

    Intentionally Blank Scientology Widow

    Sally -
    I knew and worked with a folks who identified as religiously addicted. I just did a quick search and some of the signs and symptoms are listed below. In looking at them one can't help but wonder if there are studies of the intersection between religious cults and religious addiction.

    The interesting thing about religious addiction and work addicition is how these behaviors are perceived in society. Unlike drinking too much or being strung out on heroin we don't typically think of work or religion as having a destructive influence on the rest of one's life (cults aside, of course).

    The other interesting neuro-chemical in addictive studies is dopamine and its role in both behavioral and substance addiction. This is where it becomes particularly fascinating -- the confluence of the chemicals we inject, ingest, or imbibe with the neuro-chemicals created in the brain, and our innate need to connect intimately in order to survive.

  6. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    :clap: :clap: :clap:

    Thanks, Type4. This is really enlightening.

    So much more precise than words like "holistic approach." lol

    It's all about bonding. Wow.

    What an eye-opener. The pieces are still falling in place for me.
  7. Type4_PTS

    Type4_PTS Diamond Invictus SP

    This author said some things I really didn't believe, but then followed them up with real life examples that were very convincing.

    I'm seeing that his book has some great reviews as well:

  8. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    I think the author nailed it.

    It has been about ten years since medicine and counseling in Australia has emphasized the holistic approach, which means handling all of a person's needs, looking at their entire person, socially, physically, economically, spiritually. It has made a huge difference in Aged Care.

    That's just a bit too big, though. Here, the author is precise, and there are behavioural experiments and human societies that have proven what she says is true, it's the bonding. the social contact.

    We are social creatures. We cannot deny ourselves our natural needs. The denial leads to addiction to fill that big hole. Makes perfect sense and I've seen it plenty, too.

    Awesome article. Best one I've read in a very long time. I really appreciate you posting it. :thumbsup:
  9. sallydannce

    sallydannce Gold Meritorious Patron

    Thanks for this Blanky. I'll sit down later and have a good read for sure.

    The subject of attachment is relevant in all this. I explored attachment as a subject from various perspectives. Then I dug in and explored my own attachment style. The vulnerabilities lay there. The need to bond and the way it is achieved is, imo, variant depending on early attachment styles.

    The need for intensity, attention, etc, seems to be a derivative of those early attachment needs being twisted or unmet to some degree. I loved all the attention one got in the cult (hey I ain't gonna hide in shame all my life, it happened, I'm trying to move on). I lacked stable attention, bonding, as a small child. I could write heaps about how this all worked for me but simply don't have the time. I was very vulnerable to unhealthy attachment and addictions. Please don't think I write about me-me-me all the time on some sort of attention-kick. I actually get very nervous when I get too much attention and want to hide. I understand myself in these areas - most of the time. I have a therapist who specialises in attachment work so have had the good fortune of going deep into how I tick in this regard.

    People feel so healthy, so well, so energetic when they fall in love. Those heady days are full of bonding, attention, the oxytocin levels are roaring. The cognitive processing is altered, the cortisol levels, relaxed. The sense of belonging is powerful. Belonging is a key thing with addiction and breaking habits. Some of the sense of being lost after leaving the cult is losing that powerful sense of belonging. Why do some prisoners re-offend simply to get back into a prison? A sense of belonging. People stay in abusive relationships for similar reasons.

    Naturally none of this is black and white and to fully understand self in these matters takes deep work. It wasn't as simple as reading something, having some sort of cognitive shift and woo hoo, all was resolved. It was moving through the range of emotions and behaviours that were induced and had been life-long patterns.

    I am still working hard on an attachment thing that was totally fucked up by betrayal. I get a physiological change in certain situations which to most people is a "normal" situation but for me I have raging cortisol levels and want to run and hide in panic mode. Doing work in the head (cognitive work) only helps to some degree, understanding does help, but it is not the full story. To break deep habits, to re-wire responses, and to "master" internal physiological shifts takes a full-body awareness, in alignment with thoughts and being aware of what is going on. It gets back to "know thyself, love thyself". Four simple words which when walked (i.e. "walking the talk"), takes a lot of energy and commitment and takes one to places that aren't too thrilling to discover.

    It would have been so much easier to stay in the cult and hide in the tunnel of delusions. Instead I jumped and violently assaulted every pattern, every response, and found myself in that place where there is that shitty untenable recognition that you have fucked up most of your adult life and now have to find a way out of the mess.

    I was addicted to a cult but it could have been any number of other unhealthy self-destructive things.

    I am not proof-reading this so if it doesn't make sense, I am responsible for that. :)
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
    FoTi likes this.
  10. Free Being Me

    Free Being Me Crusader

    A very interesting article well worth reading with insightfully meaningful information of value to everyone. I think this article ties in profoundly with sociologist Brene Brown regarding her researches into shame and worthiness. Thanks T4!
  11. Type4_PTS

    Type4_PTS Diamond Invictus SP

    From Johann Hari's website:

    There's some other interesting things on his website including this:

  12. nice one

    thanx pitsy...
  13. chipgallo

    chipgallo Patron Meritorious

    :clap:I paid $10 to read Johann Hari's book, "Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs [Kindle Edition]." ESMB writers do a huge service by connecting others up to this kind of material. I am about 40% completed with the book and it is changing my perception of the so-called War on Drugs as well as shifting my views on addiction.

    Hubbard grew up in the period where drugs like pot and the opiates were being demonized, lead essentially by one man (Anslinger). It must have greatly influenced him and that bias is reflected in concepts he forwarded such as "the biochemical personality" as defined in the Purification Rundown bulletins. NARCONON forwards that agenda. Luckily for all of us, these sham ideas are being exposed for what they are.
  14. DeeAnna

    DeeAnna Patron Meritorious

    Addiction. Always a fascinating subject. The name of this author sounded familiar to me.

    He's had some serious charges of plagiarism and unethical behavior leveled against him in the past. For which he has apparently apologized profusely.

    His past mistakes may not be relevant to this book. But it is always best to know who's doing the writing.
  15. Type4_PTS

    Type4_PTS Diamond Invictus SP

    I ran across these allegations back when I posted the OP and clearly he crossed some ethical boundaries in the past, and he did acknowledge that.

    I didn't mention it as I felt it wasn't relevant to this book. Hari seems to have done enough to regain the respect of some of the veteran journalists in the UK.

    But for those who don't trust him (understandably), he's released full audio recordings for sources he interviewed for this book. So you can actually hear what is being said to him. I listened to a number of them myself, just out of curiosity. They're available on his website over here:
  16. chipgallo

    chipgallo Patron Meritorious

    I finished the book yesterday. My cousin wants to follow up on some of Mr. Hari's references due to the issue(s) mentioned in the author's past. There is too much at stake to ramble down the same old "war on drugs" path without considering potentially more rewarding and humane alternatives.
    FoTi likes this.
  17. Teanntás

    Teanntás Silver Meritorious Patron

    I've put this book on my reading list, also the book MAD IN AMERICA which I found referenced here - quite an interesting video.

    Here's a recent article from the LA TIMES which shows the crisis we're in in relation to mental health. A new paradigm is desperately needed.
  18. Teanntás

    Teanntás Silver Meritorious Patron

    I just finished reading Chasing the Scream | The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs. I ask you all, "Is any Cult more "backward, heartless, disastrous" than this 'War on Drugs"
  19. AnonyMary

    AnonyMary Formerly Fooled - Finally Free

    Because of my Narconon efforts, I deal on a daily basis with people who either have or have loved ones who have addiction issues. It's been very busy this past year and while I may have an opinion right now based upon the little I read of the book, I am not going to comment until I have some uninterrupted time to read the book, look at all the issues and factor in what I have come to know and learn. Then I'll post a comment on it.
  20. Type4_PTS

    Type4_PTS Diamond Invictus SP

    While searching for something else I happened to come across a TED Talk done last summer by the author of this book, so posting it here: