Soul Food – A Review of the Grantsville WV Narcotics Anonymous Cuisine

Much like the connoisseur of fine foods who goes from restaurant to restaurant writing reviews on their service and cuisine for fancy magazines, I find myself in the unique position of sampling the unique fare of various Narcotics Anonymous meetings in the area. This week’s review will cover the Grantsville, West Virginia chapter of NA.

The Grantsville Narcotics Anonymous is a welcome change for the taste-buds, from the stale and vile tasting, court-sponsored, Pagan bashing, Seventh Day Adventist Bible Study in Spencer. In comparison to this greasy-spoon affair, falsely labeled and fraudulently sold as a proper Narcotics Anonymous meeting, the Grantsville meetings are a true culinary delight. The Grantsville NA is a full service establishment of the finest caliber, with a complete buffet of NA delicacies including the fine robust bouquet of Open Discussion, fresh and organic readings from NA approved literature, and the subtle aroma of camaraderie mixed with just a touch of the secret ingredient, group participation. A well rounded menu for all concerned. Calhoununderground gives the Grantsville NA group 4 gold stars AND a thumbs up.

As for the Spencer pseudo-NA, open discussion of the hate-filled religious propaganda films will begin shortly…

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Chewed Up and Spit Out – Court Ordered Religion

And this is how we help. Chapter 1

After months to years of hardship and stress, from harassment by police whose goals include violating your privacy and smearing your name in the media, to the nerve wracking trips over and over again to the court to eventually learn what punishment is in store for your particular brand of criminality, you finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now perhaps soon you can get on with your life OUTSIDE the “justice” system. But there are still requirements. And these requirements will leave a lasting impression on you.

One would think that when someone has been “bad” by breaking the law, the ultimate goal would be to teach these “criminals” how to live an “acceptable” lifestyle. To give these people the tools they need for success. But, wait, first we must meet our new masters.

To be fair, there are a FEW within the system who are actually attempting to do their rotten job in as painless a manner as possible, considering they are working for the Devil. And for those, we can be plenty thankful! However, while following this path of “legal” must-do, we discover some mighty interesting things. For starters, we find that many times, those who have been given positions of authority over us “criminals” actually have some skeletons in their own closets which might tend to make them even WORSE criminals than WE are. Things that we perhaps are not supposed to know about, but somehow ugly secrets have a way of surfacing. Like a certain well known female probation officer in Roane County who was taken to lawsuit court and found guilty of PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT for slander. Yet she is still there, telling others what to do and how to live their lives. Dolling out rules and regulations like a pro, looking and behaving all the while like someone who ate a warm turd for breakfast. Now, how is one supposed to cultivate RESPECT for someone who by all rights is a bigger criminal than they are?

But that is only a minor thing. What about the recent controversey over a certain well known home confinement officer who was sexually abusing his clients? One begins to wonder just what sort of things all those OTHER law enforcement folks do in the privacy of their own homes when we are not looking. Because once we begin to get an idea of how this thing REALLY works, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to dream up ideas that our legal system could be full of nazis, corruption, and sex perverts… However I was unprepared for what I discovered myself.

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Chapter 2
…….And so, after months, or more likely years, you can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Your court room/legal system nightmare will soon be a thing of the past. Now all you have to do is be a good little boy or girl for the prescribed amount of time and you are home “free”. Sentencing, meeting the “probation officer” and the “home confinement officer”, doing the final paperwork, paying your $8 a day fee for the pretty bracelet you must wear on your leg so “they” can keep track of you… Strange how they don’t worry too much about what you do the whole time you are out on bail, but soon as the official red tape is done and the gavel comes down, they grab hold of you like you have just committed a huge crime and “house arrest” becomes a reality (if you are lucky)….

Now for the fun part. COURT ORDERED narcotics anonymous meetings once a week for hubby. And for myself a GREAT opportunity to learn something new and perhaps find a story or two…

Upon arriving at the designated NA meeting place, a mottley crew stands impatiently at the front door of a small store-front in Spencer WV, waiting for someone to unlock it so they can go inside. The words “Living Waters Community Outreach” are painted on the window in big letters. Many familiar faces, a few good friends, and some folks never seen before, all looking more or less irritated that they have to be there. The discomfort is so thick you could cut it with a knife. I wonder why everyone looks so forlorn. I’m looking at this as a new adventure of great interest and everyone else looks for all the world like they’d rather bolt and run. I soon found the explanation for this. A head count at the door reveals that ALL these good folks are there due to court order! Every one of them! Later, a poor joke was made by the “group leader” about having a captive audience. I would soon discover just what this actually meant…..

Well, so I am the ONLY non-court ordered person there. Amazing! I am expectant that this could be a very interesting meeting due to the crowd attending, and the individual “running” the meeting is someone I am familiar with. I think that maybe we can all put our heads together and spend this hour a week doing something really constructive. Maybe I can help somehow. I’m stoked.

We were told ahead of time that this was a somewhat religious-oriented group, but that is what I expected and I relish discussion and debate of all things spiritual. Also, having not only seen how these kind of meetings go on TV, but having read the ENTIRE Alcoholics Anonymous basic text, I thought I was pretty hip to how it worked.

But I was in for a real shock.

The group leader stood up and announced that we were going to watch a film which would help us to learn how to find “truth”. Right up my alley, I was all set for a discussion of the concept of truth. But the leader had other things in mind. No one said a word but him. There were no introductions, no conversation of any kind. He hurriedly slid a videotape into the player and turned it on before anything could be said. And here is what we saw.

There was an excited preacher talking about how all the different religions in the world only had little bits of the truth, but how the SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS were the only ones who had the sabbath day right. We were told (disinformation) that the Bible was altered to make PAGANS feel more comfortable with Christianity. It seems in his book PAGANS must be a horrid thing, as the preacher kept spitting out the word over and over again as if he were talking about child molesters rather than nature lovers… (unfortunately, there were several pagans in the group who were not too happy about this…) We were also told SEVERAL times during this sermon that we should not listen to the laws of men, but we should always follow GODS LAWS. I found this very odd considering that nearly everyone there was there directly because of MANS LAWS. Huh.

As the video wore on, some folks started sleeping, some looking out the window, some whispering to each other. I kept thinking sooner or later it would be over and we would have a discussion, and I had a LOT to say about this! But I was wrong. Movie over, punch the clock, sign on the dotted line, and everybody disappeared as fast as they could. They couldn’t wait to get out of there!

What a stupid waste! Not one single thing did I see that related in any way to the reasons why everyone was there. Such an incredible disservice to these people! What if someone DID show up who actually WANTED help? There was nothing offered during the entire meeting that would help anyone! And with gas at about $4 a gallon, what a CRIME to force people to go to something like that just to satisfy “the court”! Court ordered religious propaganda. I couldn’t believe it! I felt like I had somehow stumbled into the WRONG CHURCH. Surely there must be more to it than this. Otherwise the court would simply order everyone to go to church once a week instead of this. So, I decided to reserve judgement as best I could for the time being and go again the next time to see what would happen.

During the week before the next meeting I just happened to run into several of the people I knew who were ordered to attend “NA”. I asked them if it was always like that and I was told it’s always the same kind of thing. Court ordered religious propaganda and nothing more.

Chapter 3

The worm turned in my head. I started studying everything I could find about Narcotics Anonymous. And the more I studied, the more I realized that this was NOT an NA meeting! I got online and searched the NA data bases for the United States, I searched in West Virginia. Nowhere was this particular branch of NA listed.

I formulated a plan. After all, these people had no choice. They had to be there. They were seemingly being victimized and they needed some help. And being court ordered, no one wanted to speak up.

We arrived at our second meeting. A larger crowd than before, and more friends too. Nothing anonymous about this crowd! Most of us knew each other! I attempted to get some discussion going before the “leader” arrived, and folks really WANTED to talk about how the meetings were going, but as soon as the leader showed up, everyone became silent.

We go in and sit down, nobody with anything to say. I decided before things got going I’d check out the literature in the back of the room. Guess what? I could find no NA literature, only religious pamphlets. I won’t say there was NONE, but I could not find any. (Next time I’ll ask for some if I can get a word in edgeways, just to see what happens)

Amazingly enough, we were going to watch another video. As the group leader was explaining about the movie we would watch, but before he could get it turned on, and at that perfect space in time when all talkers must eventually stop to breathe, I interrupted him by raising my hand and saying I had a comment. I REALLY hoped to get at least a few minutes of discussion going before the movie, and seeing how we were given no time to discuss LAST week’s movie, I really at least wanted him to know that his choice of video’s the previous week left something to be desired because it was insulting to those of us who were NOT Seventh Day Adventists. However, he barely would give me a minute to say anything, changed the subject, and hurriedly started the movie.

This time we learned all about the history of religious persecution. We saw a good Christian man burned at the stake due to, guess what, COURT ORDERED RELIGIOUS PROPAGANDA. It’s all about being righteous and standing up for what you believe, even if the law of the land says otherwise. Watching this film and seeing the man burned at the stake, I was reminded, and said so out loud, of what you go thru when you go to court. The result of watching the film seemed to be to make people want to revolt against oppression…

Now my mind is racing. Why are we being shown these films? Does the group leader even realize what he’s doing? Either this is just an especially stupid choice in videos or there is some hidden message here. Follow Gods laws, not man’s, we are told, more than once. People have been burned at the stake for not following the court ordered religious decree, we are told. Our group leader states that these things will begin to happen again soon.

Will we too be burned at the stake? If you are court ordered to attend NA meetings, and you don’t go, you can go straight back to jail for breaking your rules. And even tho there is nothing even remotely resembling a real NA meeting going on here, being strictly religious propaganda only, the result is the same. An entire group of people who have no choice but to sit thru an hour of COURT ORDERED RELIGION once a week, without any opportunity to talk about it or anything else for that matter. NA stands for Narcotics Anonymous, but not once does THAT subject come up. I wonder how all this is supposed to HELP anyone?

Movie over, I tried once again to discuss it, or at least talk about something REAL having to do with the actual REASON for being there, but our leader was in a hurry and did not seem to want to take the time to talk. And again, no one else even tried. They all simply dissappeared as quickly as possible.

None of this makes any sense. At one point I actually find myself wondering if the group leader is somehow trying to set this group up to REVOLT without actually saying it in so many words. Training religious revolutionaries perhaps? Or maybe he has some evil agenda instead. He says things like “this movie is along the same lines as what we have been working on” and I find myself wondering just what he thinks he is working on? He has never actually told the new folks what he IS doing, other than the obvious prostheletising… It would appear that the Spencer NA is actually someone’s own private church.

Yes, I’m probably nuts, but a little comic relief is in order here. It occured to me as I sat there in that uncomfortable room full of unhappy victims that this is what happens in the end to those unfortunate folks who have been victimized by the legal system and by “civilized society” in general. Chewed up and spit out, like so much garbage, praise God. But what happens next when you chew up and spit out something? It goes to the toilet. The NA toilet.

Chapter 4

The toilet. I am told that is the actual Arabic meaning for the term “Al Qaeda”. All these people still being victimized by the system, now being forcefed religion. And not just ANY religion, but a SPECIFIC one. Court ordered. Chewed up and spit out into the toilet. Does that make us the new Al Qaeda? Does “the court” even have a clue what they are ordering? Do they realize that these people are actually being forced to go to church? Do they realize that we are being showed REVOLUTIONARY religious films? And the burning question in my mind is, is it actually even LEGAL to court order religion?

Our “leader” has committed the first big mistake as a salesman. He thinks he is spreading the gospel to a “captive audience”. But in order to sell anyone anything, you DON’T want to TURN PEOPLE OFF. Soon as you do, they stop listening. I think I can safely say that virtually not one of these people would be showing up for this meeting every week if they had a choice in the matter. Now, how does that help anyone? Isn’t NA supposed to help? Rather than give these people something positive, they are being given something to show them just how stupid the entire legal system really is. This type of thing creates exactly the opposite result than the court intended I am sure. I don’t think anger, disrespect, and rebelliousness is exactly what the court had in mind…

I’ll be continuing on this little educational adventure, and I will keep people posted. There is something mighty foul about what is going on here. I’ll print up some NA literature myself and hand it out if necessary. The group members may have to overthrow the leader’s agenda altogether if anyone is to gain anything good from all this. But first they have to find some inner strength in order to stand up and speak their minds. I will do whatever I can to aid in this, because the NA meetings are doing just the opposite, by making these people continue to feel helpless to do anything to help themselves. And that’s just not right.