I write with a great deal of consternation and concern regarding the Aug. 10 column by Bankole Johnson questioning the efficacy of rehabs and Alcoholics Anonymous (“Why rehab doesn’t work”).

What purpose does Mr. Johnson serve by disparaging AA and 12-Step focused rehab centers other than stirring up controversy to promote his upcoming book which will be published in January?

Somewhere out there in our society today there is a suffering alcoholic considering AA or rehab who read Mr. Johnson’s column and decided not to seek help.

What are they supposed to do, await Mr. Johnson’s answers in January? I’m sure their publication will solve this horrible disease forever!

The reason that AA came into existence in 1935 is that medical science was at a complete loss as to how to treat this affliction. The solution at the time was electro-shock treatment and long-term incarceration in mental wards.

To quote Dr. William Silkworth, who repeatedly and unsuccessfully treated AA cofounder “Bill W.” in 1935; “We doctors have realized for a long time that some form of moral psychology was of urgent importance to alcoholics, but its application presented difficulties beyond our conception. What with our ultra-modern standards, our scientific approach to everything, we are perhaps not well equipped to apply the powers of good that lie outside our synthetic knowledge.”

I am very skeptical that the men of science, such as Mr. Johnson, have found a better solution than AA in this modern era. Perhaps the magic pill will be announced with the January publication. Mr. Johnson does not offer any plausible alternative to AA or rehab, thus my charge of irresponsibility and self-promotion. Shame on you Mr. Johnson!

James MacLeod


With his column trashing rehabs and AA, Bankole Johnson was just protecting a source of income.

If clinics can’t get Lindsay Lohan sober, they must not work. There are rehabs and there are spas that call themselves rehabs. Lohan goes to the latter.

I have no idea if she’s tried AA because AA does not keep records or statistics that are any more than a guess — which blows a paragraph or two of Johnson’s article right out of the water.

Johnson is paid by a pharmaceutical manufacturer to do statistical research supporting drugs used to treat alcoholism. They probably see AA, a free treatment, as competition for their drugs.

I’m betting he’s told the outcome they want and tailors his model to support that outcome. I wonder if his column paid well too. I hope so.

Where I come from, that is called blood money. The label is especially apt because alcoholism is a fatal disease of denial and he just gave a drunk somewhere the perfect excuse to ignore sobriety and die drunk.

But, Johnson is an academic and department chair at University of Virginia. So he wouldn’t really do that for money, would he?

If you believe that I’m betting you believe the sun will rise in the west tomorrow morning.

Tony Nazar


Next nuclear holocaust worse than Hiroshima

This month, the 65th anniversary of the dropping of the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, the world’s arsenals contain one megaton bombs which have the explosive power of 50 Hiroshima bombs exploding all at one time and all at one place. This is an accomplishment of horror beyond imagination.

Can you imagine your community being hit with such a bomb? The initial flash is so intensive that it will blind an observer up to 35 miles away. The instantaneous explosion causes every person within one-eighth of a mile to be vaporized or disappear in a crater 200 feet deep.

Within 1.7 miles from the center, the strongest buildings will collapse under intensive pressure. Objects and bodies become missiles traveling at high rates of speed as a result of the associated wind velocity. Ninety percent of the people in this area will die instantly. Others will die quickly from severe burns and radiation sickness.

Huge uncontrolled fire storms would burn, sucking oxygen out of basements and bomb shelters, resulting in asphyxiation or incineration of any living being. Huge clouds of radiation would be carried miles away by prevailing winds to fall on water, fields of vegetables or animals. Those exposed suffer severe anemia, internal bleeding, vomiting from radiation contacts. Death takes many forms.

Is this what we may expect from the use of future fission or the more powerful fusion bombs? What can we do to prevent similar outcomes?

Terrorists want to use them and accidental firing of such bombs is increasingly possible. Recognizing these possibilities, we and other countries possessing nuclear bombs must cooperate in the gradual reduction of stockpiles of such bombs.

We must continue to utilize pressure against rogue countries which claim to have produced such bombs or are in the process of making them. Eventual reduction to zero possession should be the ultimate goal of any concerned country.

John Radebaugh


Afghan-bound soldier bids farewell to southern Maine

In a couple short weeks, I will leave my wife, my family and most things I love in life and will deploy to Afghanistan for a yearlong tour.

I would like to thank southern Maine for a very relaxing leave before my deployment. Body surfing at Higgins Beach in the crisp 58 degree Atlantic, a cookout with friends and family at Fort Williams pavilion, breakfast at Becky’s, lunch at the Weathervane, drinking good spirits with old friends at Gritty McDuff’s, shopping at L.L. Bean’s and Cabalas, cycling on Route 77, morning swims at the Cape pool, shooting at Scarborough Fish and Game, cooking out at Pine Point and running my dog on the beach are some of the things I enjoyed on my leave.

When I return next year, you will find me climbing up Tumbledown Mountain; a tradition that started when I returned from Iraq. Thank you and God Bless.

First Lieutenant Casey Doody 


B Battery, 4-320th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division

Fort Campbell, Ky.


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