From: George Koob, Ph.D., Director, NIAAA, a Division of NIH
Subject: Cease and Desist
Date: May 7, 2014
Dear Mr “Addiction Myth”,
NIAAA (a division of NIH) demands the immediate retraction of the false, misleading, libelous, slanderous, and dangerous article entitled “A Conversation with Addiction Guru Aaron White, PhD”. The ‘interview’ is a sham and both your original questions and the answers kindly provided by Dr White were modified to make him appear ridiculous and disparage the Science of Addiction. I can assure you he is an accredited scientist and it is a legitimate field of medicine and Nora Volkow is brilliant and may win the Nobel Prize one day for curing Addiction. So what if she sometimes practices her acceptance speech at work? That is none of your business.
You make the following outrageous claims:
- AA is a mischievous cult that brainwashes vulnerable people into powerlessness and then challenges them to prove it
- These people are then abused and exploited by the cult and sometimes kill themselves
- AA reports the deaths back to NIAAA and NIDA
- These divisions publicize the deaths as a health crisis
- These divisions create junk science propaganda about drug use and impose it on impressionable young people in the guise of ‘educational material’
- These young people then do drugs and believe they are addicted
- They are sent to AA/NA and repeat the cycle as either mischief-maker or victim
This is so absurd on so many levels. You are basically saying that there is a huge conspiracy involving all levels of society with government collusion that kills thousands of people every year just to justify a drinking club’s mischief. Do you realize how psychotically insane that sounds? In my field we have a term for it: CRAY-CRAY!
I have dedicated my life to helping people with the dreaded affliction known as Alcoholism, in which people crave alcohol uncontrollably and then drink compulsively until drunk and then engage in naughty behavior until falling asleep. The drinking may be so severe that they may not even remember the aforementioned behavior until they are reminded of it or until they have another drink or two. Don’t believe me? Just watch Nora’s interview on 60 Minutes or read the Wikipedia article on Alcoholism, complete with footnotes. Then tell me you still don’t believe it!
My staff is equally committed to the cause. You are trying to make a mockery of our life’s work. I will have none of it! If not for the First Amendment and the fact that NIH has no enforcement division, I would shut you down!
Among the numerous falsities in your ‘research’ I would like to rebut:
- You claim that detox is easy. Nothing could be further from the truth! I have many friends who went through withdrawals, and they say it was brutal! They can tell you stories! Go to your local AA meeting and see for yourself! Many of them NEARLY DIED, and AA was the only thing that worked for them and they tried EVERYTHING! And now they are happy, joyous, and free™!!
- You deny the Big Book’s claim that alcoholics drink too much and then go home and play solitaire through their tears, cursing their affliction. I can assure you, sir, that this is completely true. My best friend Harry from college did exactly this through his mid-30’s. I know because I sat with him on countless evenings wiping his eyes just so he could see the cards!
- You claim that Old Timers at AA drink normally. This is medically impossible! Alcoholism is a serious chronic relapsing disease and there is no cure. Or do you believe in miracle cures and faith healing?? If any of them had so much as a sip of alcohol, they would be back in the hospital in no time. Once they accidentally switched the punch bowls at our holiday party, and we had to rent out a whole wing at Betty Ford for 2 months!
- Dr White’s friend didn’t say he was speaking French. He said he was “using the French tongue”. Of course you are tone deaf to nuance. (But seriously Aaron, I have to say, if the girl looked anything like her brother, you should be grateful you don’t remember!)
- You claim that complex human behavior cannot be extrapolated from simplistic animal models. Let me assure you that our models are quite sophisticated and have explained nearly every aspect of addictive behavior with remarkable accuracy including the ‘blackout’ phenomenon and the ‘crack whore’ dynamic, both of which you obstinately insist to be ‘mythical’. The only thing left is the human-to-mouse tear duct transplant, which ran into technical problems last year, but once completed is expected to fully vindicate the theory! (I smell Nobel!!)
- You claim that Thomas McLellan, Addictions Psychiatrist and past Deputy Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, is the Devil Incarnate. That’s ridiculous! Just because he is a prized Higher Power in AA doesn’t make him evil. Otherwise, Oprah and Richard Simmons would be evil too! Plus he’s Nora’s bff!!
Your arguments are mendacious, twisted and illogical, and your “articles” sound like drunken, angry rants. I have instructed the employees of this organization not to look at your web site or to respond to your questions or any similar questions under the “Leaks” provision of their Contract of Employment (Section 15.3).
You are a public menace, and I fear for the still-suffering alcoholic who visits your web site. Did you even stop to consider the havoc that would ensue if they mistakenly believed they were responsible for their own drunken behavior?? It would be worse than World War Z!! (OK not the best movie but you know what I mean.)
You are obviously sad, lonely, and bitter and you blame the world for your problems. I really feel sorry for you. And for good reason: based on our analysis of your internet activity, you have one of the lowest social indices we’ve ever seen. Your score is lower than my grandmother’s! And she’s been dead 12 years! If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were alcoholic!!
I pray to the god of my understanding to remove your character defects. Seriously, get help.
George Koob, Ph.D.
Director, NIAAA, a Division of NIH – “Pathologizing bottled fun since 1968″