Rebirth of Reason

War for Men's Minds

Drooling Beast
by James Kilbourne

There is a large drooling beast in the middle of the room at SOLO, and everyone is trying to talk around him without mentioning him by name. The name of this beast is alcoholism.

Lindsay Perigo, you are an alcoholic. I have never been completely sure that “disease” is the right term to describe alcoholism, but I am sure that the only people who control alcoholism are those who treat it like a disease. Alcoholism is addictive behavior, and believe me, I know about addictive behavior. The important thing I have learned on this subject over the last year is that you can hate the addiction and still love the addict.

Another thing I know is that all addicts deny that they have a problem. Lindsay, you have a problem. The only way you are going to address the problem is for you to first admit that the drooling beast is in the room. You are a very smart man. It usually takes very smart men a little longer to know they have a problem, but once they know it, they can quickly see how to fix it.

There are people who drink too much occasionally and can fix that problem by adjusting their behavior. They are not alcoholics. Alcoholics deny they have a problem and put blame on external situations, which are not the problem at all. In your case, you blame your passion, your moral indignation at the atrocities of the left, and most recently and most unattractively, Barbara Branden. Barbara is the messenger. The message she brings concerns self-destructive behavior. In your case, I am now giving that self-destructive behavior its true name: alcoholism.

I know something else about addicts. The worst thing you can do for an addict is to help him pretend he doesn’t have a problem. People who do this are called “enablers,” and they only delay the inevitable conclusion that the alcoholic needs to reach. Their lives also become misery, because they spend half their time trying to help the alcoholic pretend he is not an alcoholic, and the other half cleaning up after him.

Lindsay, you may not be all there is to SOLO, but you are its central spirit. SOLO and its well-meaning members are your enablers. I am neither an enabler, nor a victim, so I must leave SOLO. My staying just delays the inevitable, and makes the final tragedy probably even more tragic.

I have learned something else in the last year about addiction. I have watched what honesty and courage can do to turn a life around. I have seen a very brave addict face his addiction, conquer it day-by-day, and become more self-fulfilled and more at peace than at any other time in his life. He gets up with me every morning, and the first thing he does is pray to his God. I know he will pray for you every day.

"God" is not the way I choose to explain things. “Man is a being of self-made soul” better expresses my view. Lindsay, you have a great soul, but it is certainly not a soul at peace. You have an internal beast to slay which is as threatening to you as any enemy you have ever fought. At stake are all the things you have achieved, all your dreams for the future, and probably your very life.
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