Over the years since I have developed the Hypoism paradigm I have related it to current issues presented in NY Times's articles in the form of letters to the editor. None have been published but all are important as examples of the new way to perceive Hypoism issues. I include them here for your perusal to put a new slant on how the P/R paradigm of human nature and addictions leads to public attitude and policy mistakes as well as mistakes in understanding current events. The fact that none have been published shows censorship is still alive and well in mainstream media.
It's a shame that it takes the death of a promising medical student at Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, Jennifer Timbrook, to bring to the fore our total lack of understanding of addiction ("Death Highlights Drug's Lethal Allure to Doctors," NY Times 11/11/95). In fact, countless thousands of our beloved children are dying for the same reason: our obstinate and perverse refusal to see addiction as stemming from a real disease. Addiction today is seen as the fault of the addicted. Its victims are scapegoated to death or ignominy. The biological reality of this disease with its loving and revitalizing consequences must replace the outmoded and rigidly closedminded way we see it today. The outmoded way of looking at addiction, as the fault of the addict, is put forth by the physicians quoted in this article. On the one hand, the experts state that the rate of chemical dependency among medical students is about 10%, roughly the same as in the general population. On the other hand, experts call for "greater information" apparently to help the medical population resist addiction. If greater information were the key to wiping out addiction, however, there would be no addictions among medical students who are fully aware of the addictability of mood altering drugs. Likewise, if availability of drugs had anything to do with addiction, there would be the highest rate of addiction among physicians. That the prevalence of addiction is the same in the general population is proof that availability and knowledge have nothing to do with the incidence of addiction. In fact, conscious decisions have nothing to do with addictions. The Hypoism paradigm explains why this is so, exactly like any other disease whose victims don't choose but have happen to them usually due to some underlying susceptibility. In addictions, the susceptibility is genetic deficiencies in the brain's decision making apparatus that act mostly unconsciously and inexorably. This change in perception of addictions destigmatizes these behaviors, puts an end to the drug war and allows addicts to seek recovery at earlier stages of the course of the disease. All this leads to massive recovery and minimizes all personal and societal consequences of addiction, not through force and coersion, but by acceptance and real knowledge. This is how to prevent addictions and the loss of our brothers and sisters.
I must respond to the letter published today by Dr. Halpern, a psychiatrist promoting psychotherapy for Princess Dianaís "severe emotional disorder," as manifest by suicidal depression, bulimia and loss of self-esteem.
Dr. Halpern states that Diana was helped by psychotherapy to overcome her emotional disorder. Is he kidding? If this is successful therapy, Iíd hate to see a failure! The reality is exactly to the contrary. Decisions she made preceding her death, decisions affected by her "emotional disorder," led directly to her death. We all blame the photographers for her death, but arenít the people in the car to blame? Didnít someone instruct the driver to ditch the paparazzi? Wasnít that the fatal decision? Didnít Diana choose (decide) to be in that car with the same people (Dodi or Diana, I suspect) who made that fatal decision? Diana was not the victim of the paparazzi, but of her disease! This disease, which I call Hypoism, is the disease that causes all addictions, and it is not an "emotional disorder," but a decision-making disorder. Diana had this disease as manifest by her eating disorder, which is an addiction to food and self image, the same disease (Hypoism) that causes alcohol addiction, heroin addiction, gambling addiction, people addiction (so-called "co-dependency"), etc. If the disease doesnít kill them, it causes them to make DECISIONS which lead to disasters in their lives, and they live a miserable existence. In my opinion, it is a disease caused at conception by genetically determined deficiencies in neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, etc.) that result in a thinking disorder which leads to all the addictions, as well as many other disastrous life style decisions. She clearly had this disease. It led her to seek the marriage to Prince Charles, ruin the relationship with him, blame her ex and the "royal" family for the divorce as well as her eating disorder, then seek out a playboy with whom to "fall in love." She wasnít a successfully treated eating disorder patient. She just switched addictions from a food and image addiction to a people addiction. It got her high ("She was so happy for the first time in her life.") but dead. Thereís no recovery there at all.
In the same issue of the Times, page 7, last paragraph, we get to see the attitude which ran Dianaís life (and all non-recovering hypoics lives). That attitude is addiction to her instincts and ceaseless belief in those instincts, "Nobody can dictate my behavior. I work through instinct, and instinct is my best counselor."
See my book on-line at http://www.hypoism.com concerning the role of the instincts in addictions. They have a critical role in that addicts are addicted to their instincts, and when they believe them, they get into severe trouble. I suspect her psychotherapist told her to trust her instincts and let them guide her. This may well work for non-hypoics, but is disaster for hypoics as I detail in the book. The ideas I discuss in my book are not known by psychotherapists because they want to be our gods and high priests, but their power is their own delusion, especially for addictions! The whole concept they push, "Take control of your life," doesnít work for addicts. When addicts control their lives, they end up deadójust like Diana.
I beseech Dr. Halpern and his colleagues to keep their moist hands off hypoics (all addicts) and direct them to 12 step treatment, which is the only effective long term treatment for Hypoism-which must be life long. The keys to 12 step treatment are 1. Acknowledgment of being an addict, 2. Surrender of all addictions to your sponsor and your program, and 3. Living your life according to his/her/their direction. This canít be done via psychotherapy or by using your own thinking to run your life.
Dianaís death is a good example of the insidiousness of addictions and their ceaseless power over their unsuspecting victims, as well as the complete uselessness of psychotherapy in this disorder as well as itís severe damage to hypoics of all kinds.
Neither managed care nor nationalized medicine are necessary for effective treatment of Hypoism. Treatment is free and available to all people irrespective of their social status. All they need to do is make the diagnosis as discussed in my book, get to a 12 step meeting appropriate to their particular addiction, then do what they're told.
Whether you realize it or not, youíre promoting psychotherapy (for Bulimia and other addictions). I think it is irresponsible and potentially severely damaging to many women, families and husbands to use Princess Dianaís use of psychotherapy ("Dianaís Death Resonates With Women in Therapy," NY Times Sept. 13,1997 pg. 1) as an example to be emulated. You may well be just reporting what people think and do in this article, but you do not give the opposing view. All these people sited in your article may well be WRONG! The oppossing view was presented to you in a letter I wrote (enclosed below) last week explaining that Dianaís death may well have been enabled by the exact therapy that you are so clearly promoting. There is NO evidence whatsoever that Bulimia is successfully treated by psychotherapy. Bulimia is an eating disorder, and as such is really an addiction to food and self image (as I explain in my book referred to in last weekís letter). It is well known that addictions are not successfully treated by psychotherapy--they never have been and never will be. This is a fact that is actively ignored and covered up by the psychology and psychiatric community because they have a conflict of interest (finance and power) about admitting it.
Diana should not be used as an example of successful therapy since she died as a result of that therapy. Youíre giving out bad information, bad advice, bad conclusions and all this will lead to even more women, men and children being injured by their addictions. Non-addicts may or may not be helped by psychotherapy, but that really doesnít matter since they donít die from their problems, addicts do! Use Diana as an example of failed psychotherapy in Bulimia and people addiction (so called co-dependency) and you may well help some people, women included.
This letter comments on the piece by Felicia Lee, "The Honest Dialogue That Is Neither." (12/7/97) I agree completely with her critique of "talk therapy" for racism. Talk therapy (dialogue or even psychotherapy) can not deal with instinctive issues like racism, drug and other addictions, AIDS, war, spouse "abuse", homeless and poverty issues, and religious fanaticism or self-righteousness. These are all instinctively based and therefore, by definition, irrational. The instincts these are based on (xenophobia, sex, pride, envy, superstition, etc.) reside in the unconscious limbic system and are therefore inaccessible to rational dialogue. We act them out in the context of rationalized and justified "beliefs" invented by the cerebral cortex to fit whatever context is most advantageous to us as an individual or a group. Liberals always try (and fail) to change instinctive beliefs and actions via dialogue (and psychotherapy), while conservatives donít see a need to change since they believe their beliefs are correct. Thus nothing changes. The only way to deal realistically with instinctive "beliefs" is to first admit we all have them (acknowledgment), then surrender them to the common good (surrender), irrespective of how we feel about them, then make anti-instinctive decisions about them for the sake of the particular society in which we live (acceptance). Acknowledgment that we are all racists must be the first step. Only then can we move on to the reality of (anti)racism policy decisions. True spirituality and loving (anti-instinctive) actions only come when all three steps are done.
Dear magazine letters,
All the letters in response to Steven Pinkerís article miss the whole point about the utility of evolutionary psychology (E.P). E.P. explains the biological roots of what it is to be a human, or anything else, for that matter. It takes no position and makes no judgements on the morality of these concepts. Moreover, it makes one important assertion that Stickgold and those like him donít see and donít want to see. That assertion is, that if we donít understand who and what we are as biological humans, we have absolutely no chance to take responsibility for our actions, collectively or individually, since our instinctive thinking will usually be acted upon, like it or not. Of course, we all must take responsibility and be held accountable for our behavior, but how can we allow ourselves to be consciously aware (and thus be able to get help) of some of our socially unacceptable thinking and decisions if when we come out of the closet of our secret thinking world and share these unacceptable thoughts we get punished, ridiculed and shamed for the thoughts. E.P. merely gives acceptance to these thoughts so that we can express them in public in order to get help with them. Like so many others, Amy Grossberg, Mellissa Drexler and Susan Smith were not allowed (by people like Mr. Stickgold) to publicly express their secret [unacceptable] thoughts about their future unacceptable behaviors and were thereby forced to act them out. In other words, denial of E.P. perpetuates unacceptable and damaging behavior. In my book on the evolutionary basis of addictions (yet to be published), I call this concept "societal denial"óthe denial of the biological and evolutionary basis of our thinking and decision making mechanisms and instincts. Societal denial is the basis of most of our woes as individuals and society (all those mentioned by Mr. Stickgold and more). E.P.ís brilliant insights into human nature allow all of us to be aware of what a human animal really is and thus raises our consciousness about our individual diverse natures. Once out of this closet, whose doors are presently kept closed by people like Mr. Stickgold, these instincts can be dealt with in a healthy and open manner, thus preventing future tragedies like the oneís illuminated by Mr. Pinker.
The American Enterprise Institute has done it again! It has managed to turn logic upside-down and backwards one more time. I refer to Mr. Novakís "The Most Religious Century" op-ed 5/24/98. Yes, there is a crisis of moral responsibility in our civilization, but it is caused by religion, not solved by it. The actual logic of Mr. Novakís laughable argument proves this. Every single conclusion he makes is diametrically opposed to the truth. Just because the intellect doesnít have an answer to all our unanswerable questions concerning the origins and meanings of life or the universe [and I could care less what secular humanism says] doesnít mean that we must answer them with superstitious and mystical answers. Sometimes, "I donít know," is the best answer rather than "My God says so and so." When my god says so and so, and your god says so and so, bloodshed and tears are not far behind. If the next century becomes the most religious century, I predict it will be the bloodiest one too. We need more attention to the questions we can answer and have answered, and more tolerance for our fears about the ones we cannot answer. Jumping for a quick superstitious fix has always caused more suffering than the relief it was meant to deliver. If this is not an example of weakness and dangerous laziness and stupidity, I donít know what is. By the way, it is natural for man to be superstitious, it is absolutely instinctive, but that doesnít mean man must blindly act on it. Must we remain thoughtless and impulsive cavemen for all eternity? Our country is based on religious freedom, not religious illogic, irresponsibility and stupidity.
Subject: On Gay Issue, Psychoanalysis Treats Itself by ERICA GOODE
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 1998
I'm not a homosexual, I'm a physician addict, sober and straight for
over seven years. I never injured a patient, missed an appointment, or
commited any crime other than prescribing opiates for myself, before and
after my medical license was surrendered, like any other addicted
physician. As a matter of fact, I originated the first free-standing
dialysis unit in Nassau County in 1983 which is still helping many
hundreds of renal failure patients. My addiction was between 1986 and
1990. I have yet to get my medical license restored. Psychiatric myths
and misrepresentations of addiction, similar to the ones discussed in
the above article about homosexuality, have allowed the state
legislatures and the departments of health to demonize addicts like me
and destroy our lives, while blaming and punishing the victim because he
supposedly willfully and negligently got himself addicted. I don't see
these same psychiatrists changing their psychiatric concepts about drug
addiction as they are about homosexuality. Drug addiction is no more a
psychiatric disease associated with "character defects" and other
"psychiatric diagnoses" than is homosexuality. It, too, is an inexorable
neurobiological phenomenon, and for addicts at least, the addictive
manifestations are recoverable. Some addicts, like
some homosexuals, have psychiatric diagnoses unrelated to their
addiction and some don't. Yet, this information is withheld from policy
makers and the general public for the same prejudiced and moralistic,
rather than realistic, reasons. I applaud these homosexual psychiatrists
who are requesting acceptance from their peers for their own natural
harmless sexual proclivities. Physicians should be held accountable for
damaging behaviors to patients, not for the mere presense of an illness
which may or may not be damaging anyone. I don't know how many patients
Dr. Roughton has injured with his outdated psychiatric concepts of
homosexuality, but I'll bet there were many. I can also predict that Dr.
Houghton has injured countless drug addicts, directly and indirectly,
with his outdated psychiatric concepts of addiction. Yet he still has
his license to practice, I don't. As he discovered from his own
experiences with self and other-stigmatization and demonization,
outdated psychiatric concepts hurt people. I confront these
psychiatrists to re-evaluate their prejudices surrounding addictions and
promote within their ranks in addition to within the public policy arena
the fair treatment of all addicts in this country as well as physician
Fox Butterfield's article, "Offenders' Drug Use Increases but Treatment
Declines, Study Finds," implies several ideas, all unproven by the statistics,
experts, or table cited in the article. 1) alcohol and drugs cause (violent)
crime, 2) drug and alcohol "treatment," voluntary or coerced, decreases
alcohol and drug use, and 3) the resultant decrease in alcohol and drug
use would a) help these convicts in some way b) would decrease crime. As
you well know, or should know, association studies don't prove anything
about causation. You could just as easily look at the cited tables and
see that most violent crime is perpetrated by inmates off drugs and alcohol.
This association would prove, using your style of associative proof, that
not using drugs and alcohol causes violent crime more than using drugs
and alcohol. Therefore, a valid conclusion would be that drugs and alcohol
decreases violent crime. Drugs decrease negligent homicide the most. Thus,
we should treat perpetrators of this catagory with illegal drugs.
What I'm saying is that this kind of article which
abuses statistics and expert opinions has only one effect: to demonize
drugs and alcohol and their users. Sure, addicts need recovery, whether
they are in jail or not, but demonization and stigmatization of drugs and
alcohol, their users, and their addicts has never been shown to help addicts
of any sort. It only helps people justify their inhuman and inhumane punishments
of them. Also, there is no valid proof that coersed "treatment" of incarcerated
criminals decreases crime. A.A. puts it this way to addicts who are criminals
(to motivate them into recovery): Get sober and you'll be a better criminal.
When you can prove that drugs and alcohol cause (violent) crime, please
publish that study. Until then, don't publish any more ignorant and misleading
association studies implying causation and other demonizing and stigmatizing
There's a thread running through your paper today. The articles by
Fox Butterfield, Maureen Dowd, and the letters about hate crimes (let alone
all the stuff about the Kosovo genocide) are all about people hating people
while claiming to love people. The kind of hate we are dealing with in
these instances stems from the powerful and unconscious human instinct,
xenophobia. Discrimination of all kinds, genocides, racism, and religious
persecution are all about unconscious xenophobia. All people have this
instinct, yet no one is aware of it or how it works. The conscious rationalizations
and justifications of this instinct lead to murderous policies and laws
while espousing the politically correct, "We're only doing this because
we love you, and we want to help you." Since people are unaware of the
instinct, they deny their obvious (to me) hate. The deeper the denial (self-delusion),
the better the lie (justification). We will only be able to rationally
and lovingly deal with this instinctive hate for those different from us
by admitting it and then acting anti- or counter-instinctively. You can
not "love your neighbor as yourself" until you admit you hate him first.
Love is an action, not a feeling. Just say no to hate works as well as
just say no to drugs. Not only does it not work, but it perpetuates that
which it purports to be against.
I want to strongly support Mr. Friedman's stance on "the war on drugs"
and reiterate some realistic and humane points, not just economic ones.
1. The war on drugs is based on the wrong premise - prohibition and
interdiction will stop addiction - that addicts are made, not born. NO!
Addicts are actually born, not made. Johnny is going to be an addict
whether or not there is prohibition, war on drugs or jails filled with
addicts 2. Criminalization of selling and possession of drugs
stops addiction and decreases crime and violence. NO! Actually,
addiction is present whether or not drugs are available (an addict will
inexorably find something to get addicted to even if drugs are not
available). The war on drugs actually perpetuates and enhances drug
availability, crime and violence, not the reverse. If given a choice, the
drug cartels would favor the war on drugs rather than legalization of
drugs since the later would destroy their business completely. There is
only one way to rid society of the drug cartels and drug addiction
associated crime and violence--legalize drugs. 3. The war on drugs and
mandated treatment of addicts is motivated by our desire to reduce
individual and societal harm caused by addictive drugs. NO! Actually,
the motivation is xenophobia, a 50 cent word for racism, but not racial
racism, diversity racism. Mainstream society will always find some way
to discriminate against and persecute people who are different. Addicts
are different--so, demonize them and get rid of them. The war on drugs
is actually genocide disguised as helping people--right into their
The Swiss policy of dealing with drug addiction is close to the perfect
system to dealing effectively with addiction, to really helping addicts
and at the same time, ridding the world of the drug cartels and
associated crime, violence and disease.
I applaud Mr. Friedman's courage to be rational, a hard thing to be in
this superstitious and irrational world of anti-people
self-righteousness disguised as family values.
What's amazing to me is not the shooting, (Littleton, Colorado) but the relative rarity of similar
events among children and adults. Our society is based on the wrong concept
of human nature, and as a result we don't know who and what we are. A consequence
of this is that we don't know how to deal with our human (animal) instincts
as individuals and as a society. Instead of acknowledging, understanding
and accepting our instincts, we instead revile them and deny their humanness.
We call them deadly sins, base desires, and animalistic urges. They must
be pushed below consciousness. We cultivate civility instead of acceptance
and true tolerance. Civility is the intellectualization and cultural control
of hate, the hate which all civil individuals deny. Civility does not stop
persecution which is an art form in our country. Persecution is hidden
by the legal system, administrative law, and self-righteous religious psudo-spirituality.
There is no real spirituality in this country. Ostracism, xenophobia, judgmentalness,
punishment, control, ignorance, and superstitious tradition rules. Love
is seen as a feeling instead of an action.
In this cauldren of unrealized hate brews revenge, the only meaningful
redress. It is always justified with some intellectual blah blah blah,
followed by more control, but less understanding. The explosion follows
and we wonder why. I don't wonder why. Civilized (implicit) hate spawns
explicit hate. Boom! Bury the dead and continue as if the problem lay with
the perpetrators. If nothing changes, nothing changes. Guns don't kill
people, people kill people. More control, more hate, and more revenge.
You can't have it both ways America.
Contradictions, no. Confusion, yes. When reality doesn't fit your concept
of human nature, you need to reevaluate your concept of human nature, not
the reality. What's wrong with the picture of the Littleton tragedy? The
misconceptions of the people observing it. This is the only lesson of Littleton:
our misconception of human nature and resultant human behavior is the problem.
Until we admit that we haven't a clue about the determinants of human behavior
and the true basis of human nature, similar tragedies and worse will reoccur.
They happen everyday all around us and we collectively shrug our shoulders.
Just like O.J. Simpson being sent to irrelevent spouse abuse "therapy,"
prior to Nicole's murder, these poor kids were "treated" by the well-meaning
juvenile criminal justice system right into their graves. The perpetuation
of the myths of the psychological paradigm behind these "treatments" and
the "contradictions" discussed in the article are the problems here. Unless
this is fully recognized and appreciated, similar individual and societal
tragedies caused by our mass delusion of human self-invention, need to believe in the conscious control
of behavior, and of man being made in God's image will continue. The current
psychological paradigm on which the article's confusion is based has already
been debunked countless times, yet we continue to hold onto it and use
it to understand and treat ourselves. There is neither experts nor expertise
concerning human behavior. We are ignorant. We need to begin again. This
is the only lesson here. When will we learn it?