Remembering the Symbionese Liberation Army

Patty “TANIA” Hearst in still shot of a video depicting her holding a semi automatic weapon in the course of a bank robbery in 1974.

I’m sixty four years old as I write this today, Saturday November 24, 2018. In 1974, the year that Patty Hearst was “kidnapped” I was twenty years old. Back then I was in the throes of my heroin addiction and was going in and out of jails. In fact, I had just come home after serving 23 months in the so-called Rockefeller program. I was in a prison in the city of Buffalo called Masten Park that was classified as one of the drug facilities of the so-called Rockefeller program. The only diffierence between Prison and the Rockefeller program is the jurisdiction of the agency superiving it. Prison’s and city jails are under the perview of the Department of Corrections. The so-called Rockefeller Program was under the perview of the Narcotics Addiction Control Commission.

In 1974 I remember the breaking news of Patricia Hearst, the granddaughter of one of America’s wealthest men, media magnet William Randolph Hearst, being kidnapped by a hereto unknown revolutionary group called the SLA, the Symbionese Liberation Army. One has to remember that the 1960’s and 1970’s were the years that America changed forever. That period is the era of social revolution. From the uptight crew cut boys and bobby socker girls, to the long haired men and outspoken women. It was the era in which John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King jr. were assasinated.

In the 1960’s the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was the figure head of the Civil Rights Movement and their ideology of peaceful or non-violent resistence. In the 1970’s the climate was much more radical. Stokie Carmicheal, Huey P. Newton and Angela Davis formed the Black Panther Party and began taking a more aggressive stance when J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI began killing young black for organizing the community for self determination; Cesar Chavez following the non violent philosophy of King organized the farm workers, on the East Coast the Puerto Rican Young Lords Party were orgaininzing around health care and the deplorable housing Puerto Ricans were religated to, white College students were protesting the Viet Nam war; women were burning their bra’s and the police departments across the country were bashing in heads.

Patricia "Patty" Hearst Symbionese Liberation Army
Patty Hearst Member of the Symbionese Liberation Army

After Patty Hearst was a “kidnap” victim for about 73 days she broadcast to the world that she is not a kidnap victim but is in fact a voluntary members of the SLA, whose name is Tania. Shortly thereafter in a video taped bank robbery Patty “Tania” Hearst is seen carrying an automatic weapon during the robbery. She is seen looking at her watch as she keeps the time for the team robbing the bank.

Weeks later in a sporting goods store foiled shopping spree, Patty, who had been sitting in the car as the get away driver picked up her weapon and began shooting at the store clerks that had tried to detain William Harris as he excited the store.
It was almost two years later that the surviving members of the SLA were arrested. In the newsreels one can see Patty Hearst handcuffed and sitting in the back of the police car raise her arms in what is commonly known as the revolutionary salute. That is arms out stretched and her hand balled into a fist.

“Stockholm syndrome is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity”.</span.

I remember how I was upset because certain segments of the population and some of the media began floating the idea that Patty Hearst was a victim of “Stockholm Syndrom”. Why was I upset? Because it was her attorney who at the time was the most well known, successful criminal attorney in the United States F. Lee Bailey that was postulating it as a defense strategy. I knew, because history continues to prove it, that since she is white, female and rich she will get away with. I was upset, and as I write this get upset again, because I was suffering from a disease*, the disease of addiction and I stole to get money to buy drugs. I was a petty thief because I was hooked on drugs. I was in and out of jails and had just completed 23 months. I did not hold a weapon to anyone, I did not physically hurt anyone. I broke into a closed store and store. Yet I have a criminal record and served time.

Patty Hearst, a rich white girl, caught on video tape in a bank robbery, heard on tape admiting to being a voluntary participant in many of the crimes committed by the SLA, including one bank robbery in which one woman was shot dead. Turns on her “comrades” and accuses some of them of rape. Despite her lawyers getting several wins, namely seperating her from the murder charge, Patty gets sentenced to seven years. In 1976 me, a petty crook, drug addict gets sentenced to the same length of time.

But the story does not end here. In the end white priviladge and wealth do prevail. Petty Hearst’s conviction has been commuted. She had been out on bail during the appeals process so in essence out of all the time she was originally sentenced to she may have spent six months in jail. Then in the ultimate display of wealth, power, and white privilage her family manages to get her a full pardon. This means that she entire criminal record is totally wiped from her record. It is like it never happened. Whats this mean, well for one thing if she wanted to she could run for the United States Senate and or President of the United States. While me, I had dedicated my life to service, to making amends for all the things I did while I was using drugs. And while I have what is known as a Certificate of Relief From Disabilities, which restored most of my civil rights I am still considered a felon.

Bank robbery 1. Caught on video tape baring a semi automatic weapon and observed keeping time for the crew.
Mel’s sporting goods store shoot out, Patty Hearst is the only one shooting a semi automatic weapon.
Bank robbery 2. A woman is murdered, Patty Hearst was one of the archetects of this robbery and the get away driver.
Patty Hearst plants a bomb under a police car, fortunatly it did not go off.
Several more car bombs were planted, a few did go off luckiely no one was hurt.

So this Thanksgiving season, Patty Hearst you should be very thankful. Thankful that you are a white female born into massive wealth because you escaped prison for some very brutal and heinous crimes. While thousands of poor black and brown people serve long prison stretches for crime that do not come any where near as serious as those you participated in.

 



Disease: a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.

Fake outrage by GOP spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
GOP Spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany
“comparing ICE officers to the KKK, and it’s absolutely disgusting,”

Such obviously fake outrage by GOP Spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany regarding Representative Kamela”s comparison of ICE and the KKK. McEnany, charged Representative Kamela Harris [Dem. California] with “comparing ICE officers to the KKK, and it’s absolutely disgusting.” Where was that outrage when Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign by calling Mexicans drug dealers, murderers and rapist? I think it is she that is playing politics with jargon. In the same way that Trump used the caravan, or, as he referred to them, “invaders” to scare his idiotic base to the polls.

Trumps fake invaders are really assylum seekers

It’s ludicrous how white people get upset whenever a black or brown person makes analogies based on our frame of reference. Even well meaning white people, of which there are many, can not fathom what it is like to be a minority in the United States. We have to contend with being called invaders, drug dealers, murderers, rapist, or even terrorist- with nothing to base this on other than skin color or language. But if a member of our community uses the same type of language to describe acts by white people, acts based on fact, we get blasted.

But, let’s call a snowflake a snowflake.

Who was it that rode around on horseback wearing pillowcases over their face and lynching people?

Terrorists, so called white supremicists hide behind hoods as they ride into town on horseback.

Who was it that was gunning people down on the streets of Chicago?

Who was it that blew up the Federal building in Oaklahoma?

Who was it that walked into a crowded movie theater and began wontonly shooting?

Who is it that has been shooting up the schools, malls, nightclubs and houses of worship, the last few decades?

Who was it that mailed bombs to several Democratic leaders, journalist and media outlets two weeks before the 2018 midterm elections?

Who walked into and shot up a synoguge one week before the 2018 midterm elections?

Who is it that rampantly kills black and brown men (and sometimes even women) for being black, brown or speak a different language?

These are our reference points, don’t feign outrage when we refer to it. Do something to change the narrative


So, is ICE bring used to enforce the laws and are there any parallels with the Klu Klux Klan?” It could be a matter of perception.

EVERYDAY PEOPLE

EVERYDAYPEOPLE

It was 1969 that Sly and the Family Stone released the song, EVERYDAY PEOPLE, decrying the horrific state of race/class relations in the United States. I am 64 years old and can attest to the fact that race relations had at least become tolerable.

Unfortunately after 2016 hatred and zenophobia reared its head again.

Sly of Sly and the Family Stone
Sly of Sly and the Family Stone

Violence against non whites by white supremicist has risen. White cops killing black men, white women calling the police just because they see a black person in there neighborhood, the President saying that we need to: build a wall (to keep Latino’s out); ban muslims (those muslim nations that he has no business ties with); put armed guards in our places of worship, etc., etc.

He is my repharsing of that Sly Stone song for 2018.

Sometimes I’m right and I can be wrong
My own beliefs are in my song
The butcher, the banker, the drummer and then
Makes no difference what group I’m in
I am everyday people, yeah yeah

There is a RED STATE that won’t accept the BLUE STATE
That won’t accept the DEMOCRATS that won’t accept REPUBLICANS
And different strokes for different folks

And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo
Oh sha sha we got to live together
I am no better and neither are you
We are the same whatever we do
You love me you hate me you know me and then
You can’t figure out the bag I’m in
I am everyday people, yeah yeah

There are the CHRISTIANS that do not like the JEWISH
For WORSHIPPING A DIFFERENT GOD that wont convert to CHRISTIONDOM
And different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo
Oh sha sha we got to live together
There is a white one that won’t accept the black one
That won’t accept the brown one that won’t accept the yellow one
And different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo
I am everyday people

Songwriter for the original song: Sylvester Stewart
Everyday People (from Milk) (Re-Recorded / Remastered) lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Make America Great, Again?

I much as I disagree with almost everything Republican, I must admit that I admire their tenacity and ability to identify an issue and stick with it until it comes to fruition. By hook or by crook Republicans always seem to get thier’s.

Rebublicans have a view of America and work toward it. Even when defeated they simply move forward. They have played the long con and it seems to have worked.

As a party they made efforts to elect candidates to state-wide office, which I must say, they have managed to do brilliantly. Democrats, on the other hand, seem to have concentrated almost exclusively on the executive of both State and Federal levels. Why are state positions important to the overall Republican plan? Well for one thing the electoral college. The electoral college is made up of the congresperson and senators of each state PLUS the state level elected officials, that means State level offices and party leaders. If you recall, Both George W. Bush and Donald Trump lost the popular vote but won the office because of the electoral college. If you don’t know what the electrol college is you may want to check this out.

Millinials are to young to remember the whole hanging Chad incident that caused Al Gore to challenge the ballots. This challenge made it all the way to the Supreme Court where the conservative block gave the election to Bush. That election more than any other demonstrated how important every SINGLE vote is.

The election of 2016 had Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by a margin of 3 to 1 yet  it is Donald Trump that sits in the Oval office.

The lesson should be that there is no room for apathy among people of color and other minorities. For every person of color that throws up thier’s hands and refuses to participate in our democracy, three Republicans and or Conservatives get bolstered.

Even hustlers and players and all manner of street people better snap out of the apathic state they are in. The rights that just about every American knows of from TV cops, you know the one that says “you have the right to remain silence”. Well those rights are called the Miranda Rights and they come from a 1966 criminal case that made its way to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court, the highest court in the land interprets the law. If that court is made up of a majority of conservative thinkers, then one thing we can be certain of, they will have the ability to interpret the law in a manner that serves thier needs and views and not the views of the rest of the population or the 99% and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Why? Because Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life. They can not be fired they can only be removed by impeachment and then sentenced to firing by the US Senate. And in the entire history of the USA that has never happened. There has never been an impeachment of a Supreme Court Justice. In fact only 2 Presidents in history have ever been impeached. The first was Andrew Johnson, in 1868, for dismissing Edwin M. Stanton as secretary of war and the second was Bill Clinton, in 1998 for charges of lying under oath in regards to sexual relations with a White House intern. But never a Supreme Court Justice.

With the confirmation of Brett Kavenaugh to the high Court the Conservatives control the majority of the votes on the Supreme court. That majority on the court puts many things in jepardy. Things like:

Roe Vs. Wade which has to do with a womans right to control her own body, ie reproduction.

Immigration, Climate, Evolution Vs. the so-called intelligent design, and so many other rights that I can’t enumerate here.

But, for the first time in America’s history the Republican party controls all branches of government. This happened one time before when FRD was President thanks to the New Deal Coalition.  Because of this realignment of Government Blacks, Catholics, Jews and other minorities were allowed more participation in the electoral process in this country, which made it possible for the election of Barrack Obama, the first African-American President.  Since then, Republicans have been trying to gain control of the Government in order to reverse some of the rights minority Americans have gained. The Republicans feel that those rights have deminished the white mans rights and as they have been shouting in election after election “We must take back our country” or more recently “Make American great again” but that means building a wall, striping women of thier reproductive rights, doing away with what’s left of affirmative action, doing away with any debate for sensible gun control policy, etc, etc. We are in danger of fascism.

A dictatorship lead by Donald Trump in which the 1% will control all wealth, access to food, water and everything else that makes us free human beings. In less than 3 weeks Americans will have one last chance to put our country back on course. If the Democrats do not take back at least one house we will become another World War II Germany but this time it will not just be Jews that get incinerated, it will be everyone that is not SUPER RICH, and by the new definition super rich means being multi-billionaires. If you dont believe what I’m saying, consider this, Trump allowed a few multi-millionaires to be part of this cabinet just so he can say the poor are represented.

Until The Fat Lady Sings

I’ve been on this earth for 64 years now. I guess I’m in the last quarter, the last inning, my last down. So what am I to do? Should I lay down and just die? Hell not. It aint over until…

The Fat Lady Signs
Aretha Franklin “RIP”

One of the advantages of living this long is the ability to say what I need to without any fears “no tengo pelo en mi lengua”. I mean whats anyone going to do fire me?

That said have you ever hear the stupid expersion “It Ain’t Over Until The Fat Lady Sings”? In this day and time that expersion is so inappropriate. Its misogynistic and sexist. So I decided to Google the term to learn its origins. I found out that there are two trends of thought as to its origins. One explaination attributes the term to Brunhilde from Richard Wagner’s last show in his four-opera Ring Cycle Götterdämmerung. The character Brunhilde is a robust lady who appears for a ten minute solo at the end of the 14 hour run so it would seem to be logical that the term answers the question when is the show over? It ain’t over til the fat lady signs.

The other explaination comes, if you can believe it, from the sports world. Some people attribute the saying with former Yankee catcher and manager Yogi Berra while others attribute it to the sports
commentator, Dan Cook.

Me, I favor the saying I hope its over before the fat man’s term. The fat man being Donald Trump, who to me is and has been the worst president in my life time. Being 64 years old I have lived through several presidential administrations. The first being Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States from 1953 to 1961. Of course I don’t remember his presidency. The next president, and the first one I do remember was John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. Perhaps I remember him because of his assasination but I really think it has more to do with the fact that I was in elementary school during his years. Kennedy was the youngest man elected president and was loved by everyone, save Republicans. His book, Profiles in Courage, and the movie PT109 about his heroics while in the navy where studied in school during this time so yeah, that has a lot to do with why I remember him. After his death, Lyndon Baines Johnson became president. I remember him because he was the arcitect of the Great Society which expanded many social programs, created the war on poverty and passed the voting rights act of 1964. Becuase of the Tonkin Gulf incident, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted Johnson the power to use military force in Southeast Asia without having to ask for an official declaration of war. Under Johnson the American (solider) death rates soared, sudents burned their draft cards, the Viet Nam protest escalated and riots broke out across the country. Next came Richard M. Nixon aka “tricky Dick” the 37th President, from 1969 until his resignation in 1974, Nixon is the only president to ever resign from office. This was due, of course, to the Watergate breakin and his refusal to release the tapes of him giving the order for the (Watergate) break in. Before his resignation Nixon appointed Gerald Ford to the vacant post of Vice President, whom then became the 38th President after Nixon resigned. Ford’s 895 day-long presidency is the shortest in U.S. history of any president who did not die in office. Ford ran for re-election but lost to the Govenor, and former peanut farmer, of Georgia Jimmy Carter whom became the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. On his second day in office, Carter pardoned all the Vietnam War draft evaders. As president, Carter established two new cabinet-level departments, the Department of Energy and the Department of Education, established a national energy policy that included conservation, price control, and new technology, pursued the Camp David Accords, the Panama Canal Treaties, the second round of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II), and the return of the Panama Canal Zone to Panama. The end of Carter’s presidency was marked by the 1979–1981 Iran hostage crisis, the 1979 energy crisis, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. His response to this invasion escalated the Cold War when he ended détente, and imposed the grain embargo against the Soviets, which enunciated the Carter doctrine, and lead the international boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. While in 1980, Carter faced a primary challenge from Senator Ted Kennedy, he won re-nomination at the Democratic National Convention. Unfortunately he lost the general election in an electoral landslide to Republican nominee Ronald Reagan.

President Ronald Reagan

Ronald W. Reagan then became the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. While today Reagan is known as the great communicator, back then he was reviled by a significant section of the American public. Reagan’s supply-side economic policies, better known as “Reaganomics”, advocated tax rate reduction to spur economic growth, economic deregulation, and reduction in government spending. This translated into cuts in all social, education and anti-poverty funding. Reagan is famously known for his speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany in which he challenged the Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall!”. The Berlin Wall fell, Germany reunified the following year, and the Soviet Union collapsed. This is a great accomplishment but let’s not forget that racism began to re-emirge under Reagan and that it was Reagan that initiated the attacks on the War on Poverty.

George H.W. Bush, Reagan’s Vice President became the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993. Bush’s presidency is pretty much bland. Other than the fact that he was the head of the CIA before becoming Vice President, and being the point man on Reagan’s “War On Drug’s” which by the way created the climate for the Crack epidemic. Bush’s presidency is pretty much looked over in historical terms with no significant accomplishments.

Our next President took America by storm. His campaign message of “It’s The Economy Stupid” changed the face of the demoractic party. William J. Clinton became the 42nd President of the United States, January 20, 1993, to January 20, 2001. Before becoming president Clinton was Govenor of Arkansas. His presidency, however, was mared by sex scandels from the very begining. The “Moral Majority” spearheaded by televangalist Jerry Falwell and the Republican Party went after him with everything they could muster. Clinton presided over the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history but was unable to pass his plan for national health care reform (pre-cursor to “Obamacare”). Then in the 1994 elections, the Republican Party won unified control of the Congress for the first time in 40 years. In 1996, Clinton became the first Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt to be elected to a second full term. Clinton passed welfare reform and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. In 1998, Clinton was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice following the sex scandal involving Monica Lewinsky. To the chagrin of the Moral Majority, Clinton was acquitted by the Senate in 1999 and completed his term in office. Bill Clinton is the second U.S. president to ever be impeached, the first being Andrew Johnson. However despite this “Vast Right Wing Conspiricy” during the last three years of his presidency, the Congressional Budget Office reported a budget surplus, the first such surplus since 1969.

When George Walker Bush became the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009, he inherited a 13 trillion dollar surplus. Bush, perhaps unfairly, became known as the idiot president because of his constent mispronounciations. Bush was constantly undermined and the public perception was that he was nothing more than a glorified puppet for his Vice President, his dad’s good friend, Richard Bruce “Dick” Cheney. George W. Bush, like his father, was a blase president and was about to be nothing more than a footnote in a footnote in history. Then on September 11, 2001 the world, and Bush’s, fate changed. As american’s were in schock, and feared invasion, Bush stood by the workers in the middle of ground zero, perceived by many as holy ground, telling the world that we will track down the perpetrators and master minds of these horrific attacks and bring them to justice. Suddenly Bush was the great comforter. As the focus became getting to the bottom of the reason for and the planning of the 9/11 attacks, Bush’s status grew. His new status did not last very long because rather than going after the known leader and master mind of the 9/11 attacks, Osama Bin Ladden, Bush chose to go after Saddham Hussein. Despite the scandels with ENRON, because of Bush’s percieved leadership role after the 9/11 attacks he was re-elected. After seven years of chaos and fear, America began to function with a semblence of normalacy. But nothing good last with a Republican administration, the greed has to emerge. And it did. First in the news was the massive ponzi scheme orchestrated by Bernie Madoff. Then the news reports about the massive bonuses the top executives were giving themselves as most Americans were struggling to make ends meet. Finally we were in a mortgage crisis, had a credit crisis, major banks collapsed and the housing market crashed. Many of these major financial markets lost more than 30% of their value. Millions of Americans lost their homes and other property. Millions of Americans lost their jobs. The United States was about to go into a greater depression than the Great Depression caused by the stock market crash of 1928. This financial crisis soon began to spread around the world. It soon became a global problem, a threat to the entire civilized world. This crisis gave birth to two new movements in America. The first had to do with the dissatisfaction with the financial structure in this country. Occupy Wallstreet became a wordlwide movement almost overnight. People began protesting the financial structures in their respective countries as well as the world bank. In America, people literally did occupy wallstreet.

The second movement had to do with politics and we saw the birth of the Tea Party.

President Barrack Obama

Barack Hussein Obama II was elected the 44th President of the United States. He was a two term preident and the Countries first African American elected to the highest office in the land. He served as president from January 20, 2009, to January 20, 2017. During the campaign season the Tea Party really became animated. The ugly side of America becan to re-surface. Racism was interjected into politics once again. Despite this uglysness and the concerted efforts of the Republican Party to hinder and block any progress proposed by Obama, President Obama was able to navigate the country out of the biggest financial crisis this country, and the world, had ever faced. The U.S. government had to step in and bailout the banks. Slowly but steadily and surely the economy becan to stabilize. Then Obama did the unthinkable. He was successful in passing what Bill Clinton was unable to, he reformed America’s health care system. Republicans in an effort to mock him and his health care reorm bill began to call it Obamacare. But rather than fight it, Obama embraced it and he himself started to call it Obamacare. Before his second term was up, Obamacare was passed and the health care crisis was fixed. As I stated above, the ugly side of American politics again resurfaced and a real estate developer from New York, turned reality TV show host began to attack President Obama insinuating the Obama was in fact not an American citizen. Donald Trump gave birth to the so-called birther movement. For years Trump kept insisting that Obama was not born in the United States. This nonsense occupied many headlines giving Trump the publicity he loved and craved. Then on June 16, 2015, Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president. No one in their right frame of mind actually thought Trump had a fighting change at winning. There were many good candidates from both parties running. The nation assumed the we would have our very first female president in Hillary Clinton. Then Trump did what he does best. He cheated. In one of the very last debates he begged Russia to please find the emails hidden by Clinton and expose her for what she is. Trump went on to win the election even after having lost the popular election. Since his election till this day Trump has been the most rev,iled and hated president in American history. As I right this the special investigation into Trump’s Russian collucion is about to wrap up.

Special Prosecutor Robert Muellar

Five of Trump’s most senior and close advisor’s have either been or have made deals with the special federal investigator, Robert Mueller. Trump’s nimination to the United States Supreme Court is embroiled in a sex allegation and both sides are in negotiations asto how the hearing into this allegation will proceed. The Republicans, being the swine that they are, are trying to rush this confirmation and the accuser wants to testify before Congress with no outside attorneys representing Brett Kavenaugh (the nominee). Stay tuned as this winds down because it aint over until the fat man sings.

Fat Trump Sings

See also:
Michael Cohen | Paul Manafort | George Papadopoulos | Rick Gates |

The Fat Lady Signs

Anonymity At The Level Of Press, Radio, And Films

Anonymity At The Level Of Press, Radio, And Films
Ward Meacham member of Narcotics Anonymous

Tradition eleven states that * “Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.”

I am watching the second season of Iron Fist the Marvel Comics story on Netflix. In this Netflix version one of the principal characters, a rich guy named Ward Meacham, is a member of the anonymous 12 step program, Narcotics Anonymous.
theology-assistant

Woven throughout the story line is Ward’s drug addiction. If you go back to season one you will recall that he enjoyed inhaling drugs. In this season, Ward attends NA meetings, as he is counting days he has a relapse. Not to cast any dispersions here because, of course, relapse is a part of the recovery process. Another scene shows Meacham in bed with his female sponsor. This is wrong on so many levels. While it is not a written policy in Narcotics Anonymous, it is a common practice for sponsorship to be same sex for obvious reasons, SEX. This Netflix TV series depicts NA meetings, they talk about a higher power, the steps, and of making amends.

As I write this I am watching episode 10 of season two and Ward is in front of the room at an NA meeting “qualifying”. As the scene progresses you see Ward and his sponsor talking outside of the meeting, she is telling him to trust his higher power as he moves forward in the recovery process but that she can no longer sponsor him.

Now this TV series is a work of fiction, and there are many movies these days that refer to the anonymous programs, usually AA. Can one say that society has finally begun to embrace the fact that “normal people” can also suffer from addiction? Recently the news headlines were talking about Demi Lovato and here recent relapse. A few years ago it was Charlie Sheen making headlines. When celebrities are shown to be suffering from, and then recovering from addiction in a very public way, the face of addiction changes. It is no longer seen as just street thugs and common crooks or prostitutes that are drug addicts. Society is slow to embrace change, this is often called a cultural lag, but eventually it catches up to real life.

When Narcotics Anonymous gets depicted in a comic book storyline on TV or in the movies that is huge. Millions of people, especially young people, around the world will see this show and hear about Narcotics Anonymous. That is a good thing because in a fictional character is seen a recovering, the operative word being fictional because “Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films”

Perhaps it would, however, be even better if the depiction of NA was a little more accurate but I guess the journey of a thousands miles begins with that first step.

NA has been around 65 years. While today it is saving lives in over 173 countries around the world and has been translated into more than 70 languages it was not always so. It was only a few decades ago that in New York City addicts could not congregate to help each other stay clean. If two addicts or more were seen together trying to recover they’d get arrested for “loitering”. Much like women seeking abortions, addicts wanting to stop using had to sneak around and meet in secret to order help each other. For many years America wasted money and resources criminalizing addicts rather than trying to treat them. Without getting into a moral debate here, had those same resources been used for treatment rather than incarceration America would be a very different nation. At least today, 2018, the American Medical Association (AMA)and society as a whole is beginning to see that addiction is a disease and should be treated as such.

The thing that many get confused with this concept is that they think that proponents of drug addiction treatment want to forget the crime element. That is not so, if anyone commits a crime they must pay the penalty of that crime. The addiction issue is separate from the criminal act. But that is for the professionals to sort out. This blog is just about the depiction of NA in the Netflix series, Iron Fist.

*Narcotics Anonymous, “The Twelve Traditions of NA,” ©NAWS, 2009.
NA.org