Category Archives: Addiction

UPDATE III: Is Justin Trudeau a Trauma Victim? (Left-Liberal Discourse)

Addiction, BAB's A List, Canada, Drug War, Education, Etiquette, Left-Liberalism, Pop-Psychology, Pseudoscience, Psychiatry

Justin Trudeau is no genius, but he seems to limp along despite what some would consider a traumatic childhood. This Barely a Blog exclusive features Stanton Peele, America’s leading, liberal addiction counterculturist, and fellow crusader against the Drug War.

Is Justin Trudeau a Trauma Victim?
By Stanton Peele

Justin Trudeau seems to be a highly successful survivor of what might be considered a traumatic childhood.

I am often cited for my opposition to famed Vancouver addiction doctor Gabor Maté’s trauma theory of addiction—that all addiction can be traced back to childhood trauma, and vice versa. Maté believes such trauma causes permanent brain damage. I find Gabor’s theory reductive, pessimistic, and fatalistic. Most people, after all, outgrow their childhood traumas, as they do their addictions. (I have argued with Gabor about all of this.)

This debate was brought to mind for me by Justin Trudeau’s election as Canada’s prime minister. Mr. Trudeau, after all, didn’t have a happy childhood. We know this because his mother has written about their fractured family life. Margaret Trudeau, herself the daughter of a Vancouver MP, was depicted as a flower-child. She met Pierre Trudeau when she was 18 and he was the Minister of Defense. She married the much older Mr. Trudeau when she was 22 after Pierre became PM.

Her married experience was deeply unhappy. Despite remaining married for 13 years and having three children together, the couple were habitually at odds; they separated after a half-dozen years of marriage and Margret pursued for a time a jet-set lifestyle. Margaret was often at loose ends both during the marriage and afterwards, as she has described in several memoirs, and was hospitalized for “mental illness.”

There are perhaps three theories for Margaret’s psychological problems: that mental disorders have nothing to do with people’s life experience or personality but are simply inbred, that she was always flighty and unstable. Or, finally, that being in a high-profile marriage with a stern, controlling man thirty years her senior was the worst possible situation for someone with Margaret’s disposition. Or maybe it was all three.

“From the day I became Mrs. Pierre Elliott Trudeau, a glass panel was gently lowered into place around me, like a patient in a mental hospital who is no longer considered able to make decisions and who cannot be exposed to a harsh light.”

Not very good to hear, or to experience, coming from your mother.

But Justin seems to have weathered this all rather well. In fact, he seems to be the beneficiary of both his parents’ distinctive assets. In the first place, you need to be intelligent and ambitious to become prime minister of a major nation. [Presumably, Stanton, what you say would apply, by logical extension, to George Bush and other dynastic rulers? Justin Trudeau is a rich boy like Jeb Bush, born to privilege, including easy access to the office of PM—ILANA.]

Yet Justin wears these traits well. He doesn’t seem to think of himself as above everyone else (an attitude his father often conveyed). He, as observers have noted, meets and mingles with everybody and considers every citizen and resident of Canada a person on par with himself. This openness and absence of inflated self-importance would seem to come from his mother.

Margaret Trudeau has weathered her own storms, as she wrote in her most recent memoir, published in 2015, The Time of My Life: Choosing a Vibrant, Joyful Future. I know everyone, Canadian or otherwise, has good feelings about this resolution for Mrs. Trudeau. It seems that people are often able to find their own successful level given the opportunity and support to do so.

Meanwhile, Justin’s becoming PM must be quite a source of pride and achievement for her. The two remain extremely close: a picture of an adoring mother and her newly elected son gazing lovingly at one another affirm this impression. (Pierre died ten years ago.)

For his part, Justin does not present himself as an injured victim, the unhappy product of an unhappy marriage. He seems to have born these stresses, thrust on him as a child through absolutely no desire or effort of his own, without resentment. True, he didn’t immediately rise to the top of society, first working as a bouncer, a boxer, a Santa-shopper, and a snowboard instructor before entering politics. [So would you and yours bounce around the world in a zen-like state if you had the family fortune to fall back on—ILANA.]

On the other hand, becoming Canada’s Prime Minister at age 43 (his father was elected at age 48) doesn’t exactly put him in the slow lane, either. Justin has never given the impression that he feels like an abandoned child, or the son of broken marriage or a traumatic childhood. He seems to recognize and appreciate, rather, that he had a privileged upbringing involving parents with disparate, but distinctive, gifts.

It’s all a matter of outlook, isn’t it?

In particular, Justin didn’t become a drug addict. Rather, unlike the scion of another famous political family who opposes pot legalization due to his own drug problems, Patrick Kennedy, Justin favors marijuana legalization. This attitude too seems to have come from his mother. Margaret was once charged with possession of marijuana for having a package of weed delivered to her home. “I took to marijuana like a duck took to water,” she said.

I don’t think she smokes now.

Stanton Peele, Ph.D., J.D., is the author (with Ilse Thompson) of Recover! Stop Thinking Like an Addict. His Life Process Program is available online. His book Addiction-Proof Your Child is a model for the emerging area of harm reduction in addiction prevention. Stanton has been innovating in the addiction field since writing Love and Addiction with Archie Brodsky, He has been a pioneer in noting addiction across substances and activities, in creating harm reduction therapy, and in the nondisease understanding of addiction, as well as in formulating practical, life-management approaches to treatment and self-help. He has published 12 books, and has won career awards from the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies and Drug Policy Alliance. His website is

UPDATE I: Response to Facebook comments:

We libertarians apply the same set of principles without bias to the political class. Justin Trudeau is manifestly moronic, as is “W” (Jeb is not nearly as dumb as “W” and Justin). All are entitled brats. So what if Justin’s mom and dad fought. Let them all decamp to Africa to experience real suffering. Stanton Peele is, however, hardcore in Diseasing of America: How We Allowed Recovery Zealots and the Treatment Industry to Convince Us We Are Out of Control. A very rigorous book.

UPDATE II: Unable, or unprepared, to courteously address my readers, as to the uneven standards implied in a column submitted by himself to Barely a Blog, Stanton Peele writes:

Liana – Can you remove the piece from your website? It was a bad match, I fear.

The snootiness.

My reply:

The name is ILANA.

And no—not after the time spent inputting, adding links (as you, Stanton, did not provide HTML code) and editing text.

One would think you’d be more appreciative of the feature and the generous mention and promotion of your seminal book, Diseasing.

Unseemly behavior.

ILANA Mercer
Author, Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa
Columnist, WND’s longest-standing, paleolibertarian weekly column,
Contributor, The Unz Review, America’s smartest webzine & UK’s Libertarian Alliance,
Fellow, Jerusalem Institute for market Studies (JIMS)

UPDATE III (11/1): Jack Kerwick uses precision-guided words and phrases—a “scandalous degree of unprofessionalism and hyper-emotionality,” “academic conformity,” “abuse of power”—to describe the anti-intellectual atmosphere during his Ph.D “sentence” at Temple University, dominated by left-liberals who won’t brook dissent (like the encounter above).

Drug Use, A Normal Part of Life. DEAL!*

Addiction, Pseudoscience, Psychiatry

An old friend, Stanton Peele, Ph.D., is an addiction expert who’s always streaked ahead of the pack. Still does. When I interviewed him for two of my Calgary Herald columns, in 2000, he was emphatic about avoiding the either/or, do or die, fatalistic attitude to drug use, promoted—in a self-serving and unscientific fashion—by the enabling professions and their stakeholders.

This Dr. Peele is still doing. In “We Need to Normalize Drug Use in Our Society—Deal With It!,” he explains why “drugs are … part of the range of normal human behaviors,” not a disease. (Read it here.)

Indeed, we all know users who function on a very high level. They don’t call themselves addicts. Many of them work in Silicone valley. “‘I’ve used every class of drug you can imagine,’ says one rather productive individual.

When I tell people who’ve signed off on the medical theory of addiction—baseless in science—that I’m hopelessly addicted to chocolate. Seriously addicted. They laugh. Oh, no, you can only be addicted to “real” drugs. Chocolate is my drug of choice. It is my personality or character that ensures I don’t consume 5 slabs of the stuff a day (I was doing 3, plus a quarter cake, daily, during the holidays), grow fatter every day, develop higher blood pressure, etc. But I think of chocolate ALL THE TIME.

Back when I interviewed Dr. Peele, I was consuming my body weight in chocolate a year (I weighed 50 kg, then). My husband did the math because we could not really afford it. Since I did not suffer ill effects, I never thought of this uncontrollable craving as an addiction. Now that I can no longer consume copious quantities without expanding, blood pressure rising, etc.—the fact of an addiction that needs controlling has been thrown into sharp relief.

I’m sure you have a similar story to relate.

* Deal: “A verbal expression denoting that fate cannot be changed.”

The Goods on Grain and the Big Agra-Government Alliance

Addiction, Free Markets, Government, Healthcare, Propaganda, Regulation, Science, The State

Here’s an excerpt from part II of my conversation with Karen De Coster, CPA. “The Goods on Grain and the Government-Big Agra Alliance” is now on WND:

KAREN DE COSTER: … It’s … amusing to see how often “essential” and “grains” are used together, and no, grains aren’t essential for robust health. For starters, they are not nutrient dense. Additionally, they are loaded with carbohydrates, hence their addiction. For many people, it’s not much different than eating sugar. When considering the importance of the three macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein, and fat – carbs are the only one not essential to sustain life.
Yet grains are cheap thanks to the existence of powerful political-business alliances robbing taxpayers to redistribute booty to Big Agra. To counter the anti-white attack of earlier years (white potatoes, white flour, white rice), the whole grain campaign was created. The government and its assorted offshoots – grain lobbies and national nutritional organizations in cahoots with the medical establishment – ramped up the crusade to brainwash consumers on the whole grain question. The Whole Grains Council still uses the slogan “Eat Grains at Every Meal.”
Unfortunately, people are still walking around in the fog of the unknown, believing that whole grains are, as you noted, “essential” for life and health. The government-Big Agra alliance established grains as the foundation of the federal food pyramid, and since that time we have witnessed 30+ years of mounting obesity and the prevalence of modern disease. The industrial food system is churning out a zillion gimmick products to leverage the pro-grain propaganda, and the marketing whizzes excel at throwing simplistic slogans at consumers through advertising channels. Still, people order wheat bread in restaurants, and most of it is nothing more than white bread with caramel coloring added. And they don’t have a clue! They think they are making the “healthy” choice. Other breads are labeled “whole grain,” but they only contain a portion of whole grain flour. Understandably, people are confused by the terminology of wheat, whole wheat, and whole grain. Most of this market is very deceptive.
Not only are grains not essential, but it’s also important to remember that grains can be destructive to some people. We have not evolved to eat grains, and some people cannot adapt to grains without suffering adverse health effects. Furthermore, grain eaters become sugar burners instead of fat burners, and then they can’t understand why they keep getting fatter on their “healthy” diet. Another point that most people don’t understand is that modern wheat is not your grandfather’s wheat. Modern wheat has been cross-bred and hybridized many times through the years, so its molecular structure has taken a drastically different form.
Grains contain anti-nutrients (gluten, lectin, phytic acid), and our bodies cannot break down these anti-nutrients. That is why many traditional foodies will soak, sprout, and ferment grains, even though those traditional methods don’t necessarily make grains a whole lot more digestible.

MERCER: What did you cook for your Christmas feast?

DE COSTER: Pastured ham from a half hog that came from Melo Farms, my pork/chicken farmers. The pig led a happy pig life, spending her days foraging the pasture and eating organic supplements. Probably something made out of fresh-grown yams, too. I get them from a local farmer who is not a big government certified organic, but he doesn’t spray and he applies organic methodology. Lastly, Brussels sprouts are a great early winter vegetable here in Michigan. I have a huge stalk fresh-picked. For drink, I get fresh-made Michigan apple cider (Honeycrisp apples) from Hy’s Cider Mill. I make drinks with the cider, local honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and perhaps something to “spike” it up.

Part II of my conversation with Karen De Coster is “The Goods on Grain and the Big Agra-Government Alliance,” now on WND. (Read Part I on

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UPDATE II: How Hard Is It To Stay HOT? (The Market Will Help, Not The Military)

Addiction, Aesthetics, Democrats, Feminism, Free Markets, Military, Sport

How hard is it for a “mature” lady to look beautiful?

Ask Ann Romney.

Granted, Mrs. Romney is a natural beauty. Still, she is not a healthy woman. At her age, she would have to work hard at looking like this:

We ladies know that as we age, it’s harder to look fine and stay fit. It takes an effort. We all face the same aging process, although some, like Ann Romney, have genetics on their side.

Given America’s veneration of the victim, I expect that what I am about to say next will draw ire.

Understand: No one here disputes that Holly Petraeus has a hideous husband. It should be stressed too that Mrs. Petraeus is not to be faulted for her husband’s whoring.

Nevertheless, Holly herself, who can’t be much older than Ann Romney, looks like Mrs. Romney’s grandmother.

Why is it that so many American women—so often Democratic—conflate the greying, fat and unfit look with a statement of individual authenticity? It’s as though the less feminine and more unkempt a woman appears, the more she is said to be comfortable in her own skin.

Why does Mrs. Petraeus wear those Mao suits? Why not dye the salt-and-pepper hair and get it styled? What about a lick of lipstick?

And yes, the idea that a woman should make an effort to look nice contradicts all feminist strictures, but then I’ve never professed feminism.

UPDATE I (Nov. 17): This Facebook thread is fun. Some good and funny points. My point: you are not responsible for your genes. But you can honor yourself above all by taking care of yourself. Mrs. Mao is not old. She was pretty as a younger woman. It’s my non-feminist opinion that to let your body go, above all, is to dishonor yourself. However, you honor yourself and you show respect to those around you by dressing and making up nicely. That’s all. (I’d be grey without hair color too. ..)

I have a neighbor who was an elite-unit army man. I have never seen this man (in his 60s) walk his dog looking less than spiffy. The carriage, the fitness level, the care he takes with himself—these all show a respect for self and others. When I walk around the shops, some of the girls are dressed like whores (white, dimpled flesh oozing out of short pant, crotch and cleavage for all to see). This to me shows disrespect for what nature (or G-d) gave you and for humanity. For such a vision assaults the eye and offends the sensibilities.

Mrs. Mao doesn’t work; she fiddles with charity on base. She is part of “Rome’s marching camp.” She has time to get fitter, color her hair, and dress less like a commie official.

UPDATE II (Nov. 18): The market, not the military, will help you look hot into middle-age, and beyond. Reply on Facebook thread:

Looking good is tiring? Rubbish: Stay out of the sun (Tampa tarts will look like crocodiles in a couple of years). Use a good skin cream. Get your hair cut and colored. Buy a couple of nice items online. You can find great items (made in the USA), dirt cheap. Get glorious service to your door step, b/c of the MARKET, MRS. Mao, NOT THE MILITARY.