There is so much more to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s life and death than anyone can recount in any post, opinion or comment. Only he and his Creator can speak to it all really. He does offer us all a cautionary tale that could potentially save many lives. From the people, like myself, who greatly admired his creative genius, art and breathtaking talent; to the smug, judgmental jackasses who heartlessly and mindlessly speak ill of him after his death; what do we all know really? We know he struggled with Substance Use Disorder. We know he followed Alcoholics Anonymous. Where did it lead him? Who among us is brave enough to consider more than what is fed to us like blind sheep enslaved to popular belief and age old propaganda? I wonder.
Evidence suggests that Philip was in an inordinate amount of pain. His death has thus far been deemed an overdose; personally it looks like another quiet AA induced ‘situation’ (I’ll call it) to me. I know what such a moment or ‘situation’ looks like. I know what it feels like. No one goes off and purchases 70 bags of heroine just to have a personal “party”. It’s not fun. (So, stop ‘hattin’!) I’ve never had to grapple with the hell of hard, street drugs; but I can relate to the hellish desperation that one can be driven to from the drug called ‘alcohol’ when also suffering from the soul and mind diminishing indoctrination of Alcoholics Anonymous. (My pain was compounded by a childhood scarred by molestation and rape. AA made a bad situation worse for me. AA members abused and traumatized me further. Just pain on top of pain!) Why did Philip over use substances in his youth? Did AA help him with whatever precipitated his Substance Use Disorder in the first place? What qualifies Alcoholics Anonymous members to handle serious emotional and psychological issues? Though these questions are rhetorical in nature; they do be answers.
In AA the disciples blatantly tell you upon entering their meetings, “Oh it’s not religious. It’s “spiritual”!” Then they proceed to hold hands and recite The Lord’s Prayer and/or The Serenity Prayer in unison at each and every meeting before they endlessly discuss turning your will, life and mind over to your “higher-power” which can be a god of your own choosing. I should have run from the rooms when they suggested that my “god” could be a light-bulb, a rock, the tables…just what the phuck ever. All that mattered was that I submitted to AA and relinquished my personal power completely and without hesitation or DIE! I am certain that Philip faced some version of the usual AA indoctrination.
Dr. Stanton Peele states, “The A.A. model has struck a responsive chord among Americans. Obviously, with the rejection of Prohibition, the United States had decided against a national policy that everyone should abstain from drinking. Yet American society continues even today to show a deep unease about alcohol and about intoxication, which many people seek even while fearing its disturbing effects. Given this national ambivalence, we have been drawn to the “old-time religion” of temperance, as represented by A.A., now cloaked in the modern language of medicine and the neurosciences.” (SEE: http://lifeprocessprogram.com/the-truth-about-addiction-and-recovery-why-it-doesnt-make-sense-to-call-addiction-a-disease/)
AA does not allow you to be human; to slip, get up from a fall without serious recrimination and consequences. You must be punished! They have to bash you to hit the bottom and most devastating depths of hell, loss and humiliation. You must be broken and stripped of all dignity (a.k.a. ego) or you shall surely DIE. Philip had relapsed after 23 years of sobriety. Few can imagine what that experience was like for him. I can imagine; but I do not know. His experience was his own uniquely. My heart breaks for him and everyone who has to go through such anguish, torture and ultimately death. People who speak ill of him had better hope that they or someone they love is never touched by this type of horrible tragedy.
Heroin addiction is on the rise in this country. Substance Use Disorder has reached epidemic proportions that surely effect many more of us than just celebrities. Consider that please prior to judging the rich, famous and infamous. American youths are turning to heroine in particular more and more as a cheap fix for their addiction to prescription drugs. Many know-it-alls making crass comments about PSH right now are unaware that their son(s) or daughter(s) are currently out looking for a cheap fix due to running out of pills to swipe from the family’s (or neighbor’s) medicine cabinet(s). This typical drug-seeking behavior is the beginning of a horrible and potentially deadly spiral. Because most Americans’ children are not celebrities, however, few will know or care about this rising epidemic. Care now! It’s likely heading to your door…or under your roof already. The unfortunate celebrities who fall victim to Substance Use Disorder and the ineffectual American rehabilitation racket, are actually just the canaries in the cave. Pay attention to how they endlessly march in and out of rehabilitation centers, AA, NA, etc. and still they DIE at an alarming rate. Why is that?
Dr. Stanton Peele recently took the time to highlight and specifically identify just why Philip Seymour Hoffman has joined the large ever-growing group of celebrities who have died after recently having been in treatment.
1. Combining different drugs and alcohol. Rehab grads are not made aware that the worst usage pattern is to combine alcohol and other drugs, particularly depressants (such as narcotics, tranquilizers, and barbiturates).
2. Lower tolerance. If rehab grads haven’t been using for some time (which is likely the case when they are fresh out of the rehab facility), their tolerance for their drug of choice has diminished–particularly in the case of narcotics.
3. In for a dime, in for a dollar. Twelve-step programs teach people that any level of use of any drug or alcohol is the equivalent of a full blown relapse, so that addicts and alcoholics give up all efforts at self-restraint once they have consumed any amount of a substance. As a result, they often experience a complete relapse after a slip.
4. Failure to have safeguards in place. Since the only permissible stance post rehab is to vow never to use a substance again, graduates are not “allowed” (or alerted) to take safety precautions.
5. Failure to have available an overdose kit. If you are going to use narcotics, you should have readily accessible an overdose kit, the main ingredient of which is naloxone (brand name, Narcan), a narcotic antagonist.
Please read Dr. Stanton Peele’s entire, potentially life-saving article via the following link:
It is now being reported that Philip spiraled out of control after taking one damned drink! I can certainly believe that. You see, as absurd as it seems, in AA there is simply no provision for making even the slightest mistake. I remember during my first year, I had been 100% abstinent for 6 months. I got my lil chip and everything as I proudly stood before the group who chanted in unison, “HOW DID YOU DO IT?!” And then as was the custom, I shared on how much the “miracle” of AA and my benevolent sponsor(s) helped me and loved me through those months to arrive at 6 whole months clean. I felt so pleased with myself; like you do as a child when the dentist sends you home with a ‘Look Mom No Cavities’ certificate. My sponsor beamed with pride.
Not long after that, I was at my sister’s apartment; my first mistake. I was forbidden by my sponsors to visit my family. I disobeyed though. (They always called me “hard-headed.) I looked into the fridge to make a sandwich for my niece and nephew. Then I saw it! It was a fourth of a bottle of red wine. I quickly closed the fridge. My self-professed powerlessness kicked in. I felt compelled to just taste it. I had been trained to call my sponsor at such moments, but I knew she would just brow beat and verbally chastise me for being at my family’s place in the first place. I was powerless…(or so I thought) and the wine seemed to just beckon me. ‘Oh that cunning, baffling beast!‘ I re-opened the fridge, pulled the cork on the bottle and I just smelled it. The delightful aroma of fermented grapes filled my olfactory senses with sheer delight. I had not smelled that smell in what seemed like ages. I took a quick swig and replaced the bottle. That was IT! I had relapsed…relapsed…relapsed…relapsed… I lost my blessed 6 months. I went home devastated and dejected.
I felt heartbroken after I indulged in that taste of wine. It was an unforgivable sin. They say you are “powerless” over alcohol in AA, but they treat you like you are as guilty as sin when you slip. (I suspect that even they do not REALLY believe that you are ‘powerless’ due to the way they treat you when you slip.) I knew I would have to confess to my sponsor, my grand-sponsor and then to the entire group. “Fuck it!” I said to myself that night. Since I had already lost EVERYTHING, (as if AA bs is EVERYTHING) I went right to the liquor store and bought myself some vodka. I was powerless after all, right? That first drink had to lead to a second and a second to a thousand, according to The Alcoholics Anonymous Gospel by Bill. Well, that’s what I was told over and over and over again in AA by the old-timer-gurus with loads of self-professed time. (Shut-up! You just have to take their damned word for it!) It is no wonder to me at all that Philip Seymour Hoffman spiraled out of control after having one little drink with 23 years sobriety under his belt. He was devastated beyond what people fortunate enough to be on the outside of AA can ever fully understand. And it is said that he was considered to be an “AA guru” of sorts. If true, that only made it worse for him.
From Clean Slate: “A study showed that alcoholic men who went to Alcoholics Anonymous became 9 times more likely to subsequently “binge drink” than those who used a cognitive behavioral approach. What’s more, they were also 5 times more likely to binge than a control group who received no help with drinking. The take-home message here is: you’re probably better off learning a cognitive behavioral approach for addressing substance use problems, or you might be better off getting no help at all* – than you would be going to AA for help with drinking… This increased binge rate among those in AA really is a drastic difference, but to those of us familiar with the recovery culture, it makes perfect sense – we’ve seen it happen again and again – and it also makes perfect sense that those exposed to Lay-RBT or no recovery help at all would have such lower rates of binging.” http://www.thecleanslate.org/alcoholics-anonymous-increases-binge-drinking-brandsma-study/
“Philip Seymour Hoffman was on a heroin binge 6 weeks before he died, and told friends he feared he was destined to fatally OD . We’re told he went back to AA in a desperate attempt to clean up … but much to his great frustration it didn’t work. At one point someone asked him how bad his problem was, and he responded, “If I don’t stop I know I’m gonna die.” Hoffman went to AA meetings over the last 4 years and was considered a “guru,” because he had been sober for so long. Hoffman would give inspirational talks to people who attended.”
The thing is that ‘regular people’ may think the words: “I know I’m going to die…” are insightful coming from PSH, but what they do not know is that DEATH and DYING is all they talk about in AA. You are ALWAYS going to DIE unless you are 100% submitting to the “miracle” cure, brain-washing, controlling, manipulative freak-fest; unless you figure out how to “pray right” to your self-created “higher-power” for a daily reprieve from your incurable, deadly disease. All they talk about is death and dying in AA. They held it over my head like and axe when I disclosed that I am a teenaged suicide attempt survivor. It was always, “Do this or you are going to DIE!” “Do that or…DIE!” “Lie and DIE!” “Miss a step…DIE!” “Experience ‘anger” and DIE!” “Do what your sponsor tells you to do or…”
You get it, right?
When I was amongst them do you want to know what I said on many occasions? I said, “I know I’m going to die!” And guess what? I almost did. I didn’t buy 70 bags of heroine after a slip. I bought 3 pints of vodka. (My tolerance was only 1 half pint of vodka and I well knew it; one pint was potentially DEADLY for me. Though I was shocked to hear the stories of people who had a gallon of vodka a day habits. I never understood HOW they were still on the warm side of the soil.) Over a 48 hour period I managed to get through over a pint and a half. I was not sober. I was not drunk. I was not exactly dead…but I was not alive either. It was the weirdest, most deathly experience I have ever had in my life (and I’ve given birth several times!). If my inner voice and resolve had not kicked in…the voice and power that AA would swear does not exist—I’d be DEAD today. In the middle of consuming my potentially deadliest binge, a voice within me said, “Pour it out!” I took an entire unopened bottle of vodka into the bathroom and dumped it down the drain.
If I was truly “powerless” I could have NEVER done that in the midst of a deadly binge…NEVER!
AA is a LIAR!
I have been FREE of Alcoholics Anonymous ever since…and I would surely much rather die than to ever trifle with those cult victims ever again. I won’t even talk, listen to or communicate with any of them ever again. I choose not to. They cannot get a response from me online, offline, on my phone or in my home. Communicating with them feels like engaging in some inane discourse with my own human waste. They speak in slogans, non-squitter and utter non-sense. I just will not abide it. I’ve had enough and too much already. I refuse. That is POWER!
When Philip Seymour Hoffman experienced a simple human glitch (a.k.a. “slip”) it had to be BLOWN into a full out relapse from which he had little recourse but to claim “powerlessness” over his addiction and DEATH. But he didn’t really have to die. He believed he did though. That’s all it took. One of AA’s favorite saying is, “Some of us have to die so that others may live.” Many others are in AA and NA right now. They believe as PSH believed. Must they die to prove AA and Bill W. right when there are so many other evidence-based sources of real help out there for people? Does America love Alcoholics Anonymous and the money it generates for the 12 step treatment racket this damned much? Why? It is a sin and a shame…really.
There is another interesting twist to the dichotomy of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s state of mind that I would like to bring up. As a trained actor if he studied the Stanislavski’s Method Acting…this is even more potentially damaging when AA gets into the mix… I think that’s what made my exposure to AA even more devastating for me. Creative people and actors in particular are very sensitive souls indeed.
If as an actor you end up trying to move into the “role of an Alcoholic / Addict” and you are as gifted at channeling your consciousness into the realm of “The Magic IF” which many, many fine actors are trained at doing…can you just imagine how damaging that might have been for a sensitive artist struggling with Substance Use Disorder?
As one trained in this method, I am able to BE-COME someone. We know that Philip was particularly, geniusly adept at this… My hypothesis is that the bogus world of AA, The Magic IF & Reality can morph into a distinctively dangerous paradigm for a well-studied, gifted actor.
“It is the actor’s job to make the props and set real to himself. By using the “magic if” the actor is granting himself permission to “believe” in these imaginary objects, in the same way a young girl believes her doll is real, or a young boy believes he is really “Tarzan “, or “Konan”, or that the broomstick he is using is really a gun.
It’s magic of the kind that children possess, and few adults retain from childhood, for reasons that most of you adults reading this can relate to: Play is for kids: “Mommy, can I stay up tonight and wait for Santa to come?” Responsibility is for adults: “This damn Santa guy is costing me a fortune!” Honest expression is for kids: “I hate you! I hate you! I wish you were dead!” Diplomacy is for adults: “I’d like to visit John in the hospital, but I just can’t find the time right now.”
If you haven’t discovered this yet, I’ll tell it to you now: Actors are still kids. They have to be. And it’s a constant struggle trying to come to terms with the rest of society, which demands that the adult control the mind and body of anyone over a certain age. And that age is young (“Shh, be quiet Johnny, children should be seen and not heard” — “Sit with your legs together Suzie, like a big girl”).
Suzie doesn’t know why she has to do that, and when she grows up and wants to be an actress, she’ll have a hard time creating “public solitude” while sitting “comfortably” in her movie studio or stage “living room”.”
Philip Seymour Hoffman was one of the most gifted actors that ever lived. He became each character he played in a way that few can master. Anyone who fully appreciates the level of immersion he had to undergo physically, mentally and even physically, can easily appreciate the vulnerability this may have placed his psyche in. I have never had the blessing of actually being able to act on the professional stage, in the movies or on television; but I have experienced what it is like to actually “BECOME” a character. It is a truly surreal reality and a transcendent experience. It could be potentially dangerous depending on the character one seeks to embody. I have seen young actors’ personalities change after playing a particular role. It’s quite interesting and oft times disturbing. There are times when “talent” may border on “pathology” with some sensitive souls. I am not saying this was the case with Philip. I don’t know. It’s worth consideration, however, if it can help someone else.
From TV Tropes:
Method Acting is a controversial practice in the field of performance. The core gist of it is this: an actor tries to replicate the life circumstances, mannerisms and emotional feelings of the character he portrays, so as to give realism, legitimacy and dramatic strength to his performance. An actor playing a character from history might research the character, look for media featuring him, and try to live in the same conditions that that character lived, provided that doing so would not be detrimental to his mental or physical health. A character in a deep depression might make him reflect on his own moments of sadness and bring those feelings forth. He might gain or lose weight to fit a character who is morphologically different from him, but this is generally frowned upon (despite what Robert De Niro would have you believe). Method acting is, above all, not easy. It takes its toll on the actors, both physically and emotionally…
Philip Seymour Hoffman in a scene from Sidney Lumet’s last picture, “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.”
I am so sorry that this beautiful, talented man with so much more to offer the world had to succumb to ultimately ineffectual abstinence-cult-club of Alcoholics Anonymous and the faux 12 step rehabilitation racket. As I have taken the time to research and look back over the other celebrities who were exposed to this farce, I see that there are far more precious people than we realize that have been taken from LIFE…stolen from the world of living by the utterly made up system of faux 12 step rehabilitation. I see it so clearly; many of us do…but why don’t more people get it? The en masse cultural denial is staggering. It is depressing. I cannot express the sadness I feel with words. Will more people wake up and see the connection between the con game that Bill W. perpetrated against society and the deaths of many priceless people; not just celebrities? Who will die next so that AA may live?
Alcoholics Anonymous and its members can be harmful to some sensitive souls. Yes, there are many who are proud to chant, “It works for me!” There are just as many, likely more, that are now ready, willing and able to recount to you, “It did not work for me. It hurt me!” It’s high time we listen.
Do you know who your children and loved one(s) are “meeting” with?
R.I.P. Philip Seymour Hoffman…may your suffering and tragedy not be in vain.
Some Sources of Help with Substance Use Disorder
(In no particular order!)
HAMS (Harm Reduction, Abstinence and Moderation Support)
My Way Out (MWO)
Moderation Management (MM)
SMART Recovery (Self Management And Recovery Training)
Women For Sobriety (WFS)
SOS (Save Our Selves)
Rational Recovery (RR)