The Konformist

February 2000

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Beast of the Month - February 2000

Barry McCaffrey, Drug Czar


"I yam an anti-Christ..."

John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of The Sex Pistols, "Anarchy in the UK"

"Just say no."

Nancy Reagan


In California, two men, Todd McCormick and best-selling self-help author Peter McWilliams, potentially face life prison terms. Their crime? Growing marijuana for the purpose of distributing it to those with a medical need. (McWilliams, being an AIDS and cancer patient, personally understands the horrendous pain that marijuana is the perfect medicine for.) Meanwhile, millions of children are being "treated" with Prozac, Ritalin and other pharmaceutical drugs with serious side effects, often forcibly over protest from the children who dislike its effects, and huge chemical giants such as Novartis and Eli Lilly earn billions legally in the process.

Such hypocricy wouldn't make sense if one believed that the so-called "War on Drugs" was a battle to stop the often tragic consequences of drug abuse and protect children. On the other hand, if one was to look at the law-enforcement crusade as a cynical scam to centralize authority and ensure the enrichment of korporate monoliths, the actions would be quite sensible. How else do you explain the targeting of McCormick and McWilliams, who mistakenly assumed the federal government would obey the law of the land via the passage of Proposition 215, which legalized medical marijuana in California? Or why the attack on 71-year-old Dr. Hulda Clark in Indiana, who is being charged with "practicing medicine without a license", a felony which can face up to 8 years in jail? Her real crime is treating sick patients - with smashing success - via therapies which don't include pharmaceutical drugs. (Coincidentally, Indiana is also the headquarters of Eli Lilly.) Contrary to the propaganda, the drug policy of the United States is not about "Just Say No." Rather, it is to say yes to drugs that the medical establishment can monopolize, patent and profiteer off of. Most notorious of recent is the promotion of Ritalin: as Jon Rappoport notes in his article "Why Did They Do It?":


The well-known Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics reveals a strange fact. It states that Ritalin is "structurally related to amphetamines... Its pharmacological properties are essentially the same as those of the amphetamines." In other words, the only clear difference is legality. And the effects, in layman's terms, are obvious. You take speed and after awhile, sooner or later, you start crashing. You become agitated, irritable, paranoid, delusional, aggressive.


No street pusher would force children on speed, yet that is what is done regularly by the health industry with Ritalin. What a coincidence that so many children involved in violent school shootings are forcibly prescribed drugs which induce violent psychotic behavior.

As Dr. Benjamin Rush warned during the creation of the U.S. Constitution, "Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize itself into an undercover dictatorship." The Founding Fathers failed to heed his warning and omitted his suggestion from the Bill of Rights, and the results prove Rush to be a prophet. The "War on Drugs" has become the greatest battleground in the destruction of civil liberties, and to call it a dictatorial war would not be hype. Even the feds admit as much, giving the title "Drug Czar" to the leader of the battle, Barry McCaffrey, head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and our Beast of the Month.

The violation of basic civil liberties sometimes takes on an overtly Orwellian turn: last month it was revealed that ONDCP made a deal with all six television networks to exchange money originally paid for commercial time in exchange for anti-drug messages their producers would weave into program plots. Among the shows that participated in the deal: Cosby, The Drew Carey Show, The Practice, General Hospital, 7th Heaven, Chicago Hope, Beverly Hills 90210, Providence, Touched by an Angel, Home Improvement, ER, Promised Land, Boy Meets World, Trinity, The Smart Guy, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Wayans Bros. All told, up to 100 episodes of television programs were financed by the scheme, at a tune of $22 million. "Script changes would be discussed between ONDCP and the show -- negotiated," says one participant. Rick Mater, the WB network's senior vice president for broadcast standards, even admitted that "The White House did view scripts. They did sign off on them -- they read scripts, yes."

As Andrew Jay Schwartzman - president of the Media Access Project, a public interest law firm - put it: "This is the most craven thing I've heard of yet. To turn over content control to the federal government for a modest price is an outrageous abandonment of the First Amendment ... The broadcasters scream about the First Amendment until McCaffrey opens his checkbook... It's monstrously selfish and irresponsible on the part of the broadcasters." Former FCC chief counsel Robert Corn-Revere called the campaign "pretty insidious. Government surreptitiously planting anti-drug messages using the power of the purse raises red flags. Why is there no disclosure to the American public?"

Good question. When the covert deal was revealed, the ONDCP tried to defend it, claiming that it was necessary to fight the evil scourge known as drugs. Which sounds exactly like Oliver North's crooked defense of the Iran-Contra deal. Left unsaid is the even bigger scandal: that the $22 million is part of a billion dollar package of anti-drug propaganda already flooding our airwaves.

Don't look for much investigation of this scandal in Congress, or attacks on Bill Klinton and McCaffrey over it. Indeed, the reason McCaffrey, a lifetime military man, was appointed as Drug Czar in the first place was ironically in response to criticism of Slick Willie for being too "liberal" in fighting the Drug War in the first place. The truth is, Klinton has actually increased the fascist policies promoted by both the Reagan and Bush administrations in fighting the Drug War (and gotten away with it more easily since he supposedly is a "liberal.") Appointing McCaffrey cemented these policies, as a Czar was finally picked who could take the mantle of hysteria-mongering once held firmly by "Book of Virtues" blowhard William Bennet (who once proclaimed virtuously, "I have no problem with beheading marijuana users, only legal ones.") As Steve Dasbach of the Libertarian Party put it: "To the degree the government uses its economic clout to exaggerate the dangers of drugs, to frame its War on Drugs as a moral issue, or to cut off discussion about the important political issue of reforming national drug policy, then it becomes pure propaganda."

In any case, we salute Barry McCaffrey as Beast of the Month. Congratulations, and keep up the great work, Barry!!!




High Times Magazine


Drug Office's Dollars-for-propaganda Deal on TV is "Insidious Censorship"

The Libertarian Party ( ) 1-21-2000


White House Doctors 'ER', January 14, 2000


Drug Money: How the White House Secretly Hooked Network TV on Its Anti-Drug Message, Daniel Forbes

Salon Magazine ( ) 1-13-2000


White House Cut Anti-Drug Deal With TV

The Washington Post, 1/14/2000


The Cure For All Diseases, Dr. Hulda Clark


The Emperor Wears No Clothes, Jack Herer


Pills-a-Go-Go, Jim Hogshire


Why Did They Do It?, Jon Rappoport



The Konformist

Robert Sterling

Post Office Box 24825

Los Angeles, California 90024-0825

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