Saturday, 10 January 2009

Darren Marton - No Way!

I had some great feedback to the Bucket Head of the Year Awards including from several of the nominees. One award winner, Darren Marton (Anti-Drug Propagandist - Rising Star Award for 2008) left a few long comments which basically accused me of not being worthy of other addicts who had a much tougher time than me ... especially referring to himself. After pondering his last reply, I thought I should expand on some interesting points. Darren Marton’s No-Way Campaign appears very similar to the “Just Say No” school of thought where anyone can avoid drug addiction by being strong willed and simply saying no to drugs. This was made famous in the US via Nancy Regan’s “Just Say No’ campaign. Of course it was a huge flop but is still the corner stone of most anti-drug campaigns today. I would guess that most campaigns have good intentions but the usual scare tactics and moralising doesn’t seem to be very successful. The D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program in the US is a classic example where no one bothered to examine it’s success and it was just accepted as the gold standard for schools. After some much needed analysis, it seems that apart from not lowering the rate of drug taking amongst students, it actual has the opposite effect. What shits me is the blind acceptance of the “Just Say No” strategy. Even though there is research indicating it’s ineffectiveness, many campaigners march on anyway ignoring the facts. More importantly, some of the more unscrupulous types try to trick the public into accepting this strategy as being highly successful and will discredit anyone who opposes them. Is Darren Marton one of these people? Unfortunately for him, it’s a double edged sword. Either he does know the facts and continues on with the charade or he doesn’t know the facts but he should. Either way. it’s a problem. So when he pulls one of the old anti-drug, propaganda stunts and asks me to provide a plan for heroin legalisation even though I have never supported it, it’s time for me to act. What can I do? Ignore it? Ring George Soros for campaign funds? Lobby the government? With so many options I decided to be brave and direct ... after washing the dishes and cleaning up the dog poo, I opted to write this article. Tough issues need tough action! I awarded Darren Marton the Anti-Drug Propagandist - Rising Star Award for 2008 so I expected some retaliation but when it’s just more of the very thing that got him the nomination in the first place, I will gladly play along. It isn’t very hard for I have several factors on my side ... the truth, evidence, facts, expert support, medical support, scientific support and common sense. Lastly and most importantly, this is my website so I can say what I want. Maybe it’s this fact that is changing attitudes because no longer do the MSM and the government have carte blanche on information. The MSM is not the only source of information anymore that has so much of the public believing anti-drug propaganda. Anyone is now able to find the facts in an instant which is opening up much needed debate on issues like drug policy.
Darren Marton's comments are in red
January 7, 2009 Re: TERRY GOOD - SHOW ME THE PLAN !
I know what you’re thinking but I have no idea either what “Terry Good” means
Special note: I am not affliated with Drugfree Australia nor am I affiliated with any other organisation to set the record straight Terry Good. I distanced myself from them a long time ago.
That sounds ominous. Were they too hard core even for the winner of the Anti-Drug Propagandist - Rising Star Award for 2008 - Darren Marton? Interestingly, Darren’s No-Way Campaign website includes pictures of and endorsements from DFA members.
Terry Good, memoirs of a heroin addict’s dairy! I must confess I find it extremely difficult picturing Terry Good sitting in a holding cell with holes in his arms the size of key holes about to descend into heroin withdrawal. Hang on a minute - nah, but hang on, nah, not Terry Good, the professional addict. Think about it, a day in the life of an academic professional addict ; sourcing and scour ring for products to sell just to even feel normal, seven days a week, 365days of the year, year in and year out, decade to decade, no birthdays, no Christmas days. I’m not picturing it, can you??? Take a big pause my friends, ah, if only 1/4 of us addicts (junkies – that’s how he likes to refer to them) could have lived the life of a professional addict like Terry Good. All the while maintaining one's dignity with a home, a job, a car, the pets, not to mention the legitimate shopping once a week – ah Terry Good, if only just to shop legitimately for one day - even just to purchase a razor once without having to rip of a bar code. If only it were so easy. I never thought that going to jail or stealing was a prerequisite to be considered a “real addict”. Most of the addicts I have met are not homeless and many have jobs. Some are on the dole, some are professionals, some are criminals and some are tradespeople. Some live with mum and dad, some move between friends and some are married with children. Some are young and some are old. The only constant is the lack of guidelines on who becomes an addict.
It seems Darren has a problem with anyone who didn’t fall as far as he did and like any self respecting, street tough, knockabout lad and footy player turned junkie, he rubbishs anyone who is educated or has not had to deal with life on the streets. The problem is he is wrong. I have been to jail, I have stolen and cheated, I have lived recklessly and I am not educated. My street days are in the past and my blog starts well after that. The irony of Darren’s assertions is that he had what many addicts don’t have - support from their family. When he received the the Pride of Australia Medal 2007 - Role Model, Darren dedicated his medal to his mother, Maureen Marton. She said, "I never gave up on him" which is good for Darren but someone cynical could say that he didn’t do it tough because he always had his family to fall back on. Of course this is ludicrous but so is saying that a heroin addict who functions adequately within society is somehow not a real junkie.
I think Terry Good’s mind has been open for far too long and it needs to be closed for renovations. He is obviously another academia educated beyond his intelligence.
I am flattered. To be called “another academia educated beyond his intelligence”, pleases me greatly. You see, I left school when I was 15. It wasn’t until I was about 20 years old that I discovered work as a way out of a directionless existence. I worked my way up through the financial markets as a clerk and ended up being a money market dealer for one of the big banks. I then worked in various industries over the years until eventually I started my own business which was growing quite nicely including several employees. Then my wife died suddenly and I turned to heroin. The next 8 - 9 years were hell and included all the juicy bits that would make Darren proud. I got to achieve success in my career through hard work and determination, not because of my education. If that makes me sound ‘educated’, that’s a bonus. I find it bizarre that Darren Marton can criticise me for this. To pull myself out of a glut and try to make the best of a bad situation. To be fair to Darren, he didn’t read enough of my site to know my history but there also lies the problem. Darren’s side of the drug debate often don’t get all the facts and are prepared to make wild accusations to suit their argument and get their point across. Reading through Darren’s response, you will also see the contempt for research and facts that tear at his strategies and the mocking of academia and science as some sort of evil, reminiscent of the religious argument against evolution vs. creationism. I don’t doubt Darren’s motives but having gone to the DFA school of propaganda, I feel his mission might be somewhat askew.
All I can say is; SHOW ME THE PLAN TERRY GOOD!
The rest of Darren’s reply is pointless. It is all based on the usual misconception that anyone pro-Harm Minimisation or anti-prohibition wants an open market for the sale of drugs. I have never once suggested that heroin should be sold freely to the public. I am opposed to that idea but Darren again assumes something without knowing the facts.
It’s all well and good to have all the answers there squire – but where’s the plan on how Terry Good is going to implement it all and save the lives of all the worlds junkies. I have been around long enough now to learn all the academia jargon Terry Good – document the deliverables, client centered approaches, and my favorite, EVIDENCE BASED OUTCOMES!!! Come on Terry, you can do it. You know the score, 96% of all us know that 69% of all evaluations are made up on the spot. You’ve got the upper hand my friend. Just smudge and fudge. Come on – you can do it.
Like the argument many centuries ago that the earth was flat or the creationist dogma still going on today, science is ridiculed by those who are threatened by it. For example, the statement “96% of all us know that 69% of all evaluations are made up on the spot”. Funnily enough, it reminds me of another observation - 88% of percentages are made up. Darren’s brainwashing from DFA obscures the fact that his argument against Harm Minimisation is actually the argument used against his cohorts. They are constantly accused of referring to junk science using useless statistics in an effort to appear legitimate. Harm Minimisation supporters, on the other hand, base their arguments on evidence and well established research but when it doesn’t suit the anti-drug zealots, it magically becomes “academia jargon”.
My challenge to you Terry Good is! Can you please document for us, the public, a 2 to 5 year strategic plan with all of your aims and objectives on how you’re going to legalise and administer heroin please. Just post it on your website, come on, it’s not that hard. You’ve posted that many things on your web site most would think you wouldn't have trouble posting a letter to Santa by the looks of it, and Santa actually even replying to it.
This is the first time I have been criticised for having too much content!
Who will administer the heroin TERRY GOOD? The government sector or the private sector? Who decides on the level of dose TERRY GOOD? Will it be the client's just like the methadone program? At what age will the criteria be set to for perspective uses to engage in heroin use TERRY GOOD? Come on TERRY GOOD – SHOW US THE PLAN. P.S If you were to accept the challenge to which I doubt, don’t let it take up to much of your time though mate. You have to work remember whilst all the time managing to keep your web site ticking over, which looks like to the average punter it would take probably 5 of Bill Gates best just to keep it ticking over for a week. Go figure!!!
There are several references to the time I spend on this site and the amount of content being excessive. If I compare my site to other blogs that I often read, I have less content on average. There are millions of bloggers who have a lot more content than me which raises the issue of Darren’s ability to intake information. If my site is overdone with content, how the hell would he go reading a government enquiry or research papers? Maybe it’s because it has too many hard words and not enough pretty pictures or because Darren’s blog only had one article, 13 comments, included the word “mate” 14 times and lasted about 2 hours. More importantly it again raises the issue of being criticised for achieving something. I might understand if The Australian Heroin Diaries was accused of lacking substance or not being maintained adequately but to be criticised (wrongly) for having too much content is bizarre. Do I spend too much time writing? That’s debatable but you would have to include a million or so bloggers as well. I wonder if regularly talking to school kids and filling their heads with misinformation is a bigger waste of time?
P.S.S.TERRY Don’t forget to feed the pets. TERRY,GET OFF THE COMPUTER. Terry you’re neglecting the pets. GET OFF THE COMPUTER. NOW! And feed the pets.
I don’t know what to make of this one. I think it’s humour like calling me “Terry Good”. Maybe it’s an in-joke between Darren and himself?
Darren Marton
Correct. You spelt your name right.

18 comments:

RVB said...

Such great literature from Darren Marton.

Terry Wright said...

Thanks RVB.
Obviously an 'educated' fellow.

RVB said...

From the Leon Bertrand school of thought If I knew any better (I probably don't)...

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised Darren would respond like that. He started off ok but soon started making himself out to be someone wealthy and famous because he know's some people....and he's not...Yet this same person can't even afford to buy his own coffee when you meet with him :( I have. Thanks for the Blog Terry...very accurate indeed.

Anonymous said...

In response to mr/mrs anonymous, you could have at least put a name to your comments. I am the first to admit, that I certianly did lose my way and have payed the consequences for that dearly. However, I can honestly say that I never pretended to be famous or wealthy for that matter in any way whatsoever. Yes, maybe I was somewhat dogmatic and a liitle to vocal about my beliefs. But to suggest in some way that I don't pay my way, is a low blow and untrue. But even worse, you won't even back up your claims with a name.

Darren Marton

Jayne Cobb said...

i just want to know if Darren really believes what he says. Me thinks there's a bit of showman in putting out the 'just say no' message because it's popular at the moment. How can anyone really be against harm minimisation and claim they are christians? Answer that Darren.

Anonymous said...

I respect your comment Jayne and will do my best to answer. The aim of harm minimisation was not to reduce the use - but to reduce the harm. With aims and objectives such as this, obviously drug use will continue to rise, and that's what concerns me. All drug users who become drug dependant, were once first experimenters. There is no magic number it takes before someone becomes addicted to drugs. Because I am a christian and beleive this policy is going nowhere, doesn't make me any less of a christian. Christianity is all about healing and breaking strongholds and setting people free. I have seen so many people over-prescribed methadone, it breaks my heart. These people are going to find it almost impossible to shake of their liquid handcuffs, and it saddens me even more when they sadly confess it themselves. In concluding, there's nothing popoular about making such a strong statement which goes against the fabric of society. However, I will continue to do my best no matter what, prodiving I still recieve positive feedback from the audience I am trying to reach - the youth. And once, that ceases, only then and only then will I cease to exist.

Darren Marton

Terry Wright said...

The aim of harm minimisation was not to reduce the use - but to reduce the harm. With aims and objectives such as this, obviously drug use will continue to rise, and that's what concerns me.

This is just wrong Darren. Those that support Harm Minimisation also strive to make the patient drug free but they realise that many addicts will not just magically quit drugs when in rehab. Applying the "Just Say No" mentality means that those who still use drugs have failed. Like all abstinence only programs, there is no middle ground which is where most addicts are.

The common myth that you are portraying has been explained a million times but you and others continue to push your abstinence only agenda.

Because I am a christian and beleive this policy is going nowhere, doesn't make me any less of a christian. Christianity is all about healing and breaking strongholds and setting people free.

From memory, I thought Christianity was about helping those who are less fortunate than themselves ... the poor, the sick, the needy etc. The bible must have changed. The modern version of Christianity is so perverse and crooked. It's all about right wing conservative ideology which is the opposite to what Jesus preached ... remember Jesus and his teachings?

Terry Wright said...

Oh, and thanks Jayne for your comments.

Anonymous said...

I thought I was answering Jayne’s question, not quite real sure why Terry had to answer it? But nevertheless, thank you for your reply Terry. There’s nothing magical about my turn around – it’s called God’s grace my friends.

In regards to the ‘Just Say No’ mentality and those who still use drugs, have somehow failed. You said that, not me. I still have friends who continue to use and I support them 100% no matter what, and will continue to do so. The only requirement Terry for abstinence based programs, is the desire to stop using, honesty, an open mind, and a willingness. And as for failing, the only time you ever fail – is when you give up!!!

Terry, I don’t run seminars with dependant drug users. I run seminars for young people aged between the ages of 10-18 years – focused on prevention and early intervention. So to suggest that I’m sending the ‘Just Say No’ message to this audience you refer to is incorrect. I’ve included a couple of testimonies below from three 15 year olds from a seminar I ran last week, and one from a police officer. Now this is the evidence you constantly dismiss and say doesn’t work;

“I have been to many drug and alcohol seminars and this is by far the most powerful, honest, and spiritual of them all. Loved it.”

“I am definitely now never going to take drugs and I may not even touch alcohol.”

“It was excellent and I will take on board the advice he gave us today. It was the best speech I have ever heard.”

“Darren spoke with our Year 5 & 6 students, teachers and parents at Warragamba Public School. His address was outstanding in every aspect, starting from when he was a young sporting star and progressing in chronological order through his life giving us an incredibly valuable insight into the shocking effects of drug and alcohol addiction. The kids didn’t lose interest for one moment as Darren; sounding very Steve Irwin like; showed his video, involved them with reading his pamphlet, asked them questions about what he had said, and handed out t-shirts. Only a person who has experienced the curse of drug addition can tell this story and make such a huge impact on young minds. As a police officer of 24 years I know exactly what drugs would have done to Darren. So to see him now, totally against the odds, out there doing this type of work for our kids is just unreal. I don’t know him at all but I’m incredibly moved to see this guy doing so well. Darren was absolutely outstanding. His presentation was hard hitting and incredibly valuable. It can only be done by a drug addict and there aren’t many who make it out, and then have the oral communication skills to talk to kids. Please, please, don’t let this man go. It’s so important that he delivers his message to as many kids as he humanly can.”

Encouraging and empowering young people young to say, no-way, to drugs doesn’t work hey?

I have a stack of evidence like this to back it up. But unfortunately, the reason why you and many others ridicule people like me who carry this message is because there aren’t many around who can do it. Young people are crying out for leadership – not confusion.

In regards to the bible, let’s be honest please. You don’t like Christians Terry and the overwhelming evidence is quite clear on that one. There is no point making any comment about your views on Christianity, because you just don’t get it. Other than to say, when Jesus healed many, he said, ‘go and sin no more’. Not to continue on sinning! However, yes it is true. There are a lot of Christian hypocrites in the church and I’m included among them – but the church is always looking for more Terry? God bless you. +

Darren Marton

Anonymous said...

thankyou also for your comments Jayne.

cliffyshuffle said...

Darren, congrats on abstinance.
I did every course including harm minimisation during a 2year stint in the big house and i injected 2 weeks after release.
I have been clean for 3years, run marathons and am a karate instructor.
I work as a planner for multiple trades for a large steelmaking firm.
For me i must abstain from the lot, with alcohol being my biggest form of relapse to drugs.
I attend my brothers bible classes on Wed nights.
I wish you all the best and believe hitting them hard whilst their still able to be turned around is a smart move.
Go hard mate, Clive

Anonymous said...

"GREAT" news Clive, and well done. You keep on going strong mate - the best is yet to come. Oh, and many thanks for your kind encouraging words. +

Darren Marton

Terry Wright said...

"In regards to the bible, let’s be honest please. You don’t like Christians Terry and the overwhelming evidence is quite clear on that one. There is no point making any comment about your views on Christianity, because you just don’t get it. Other than to say, when Jesus healed many, he said, ‘go and sin no more’. Not to continue on sinning!"

There's the problem, Darren. You claim drug use is a sin. Alcohol is a drug too but I can't imagine you and your cohorts would slam drinking as a sin. Drug use is NOT a moral issue but a medical/social issue. Taking drugs is someone's right and their decision alone. No one should be arrogant enough to judge another person who wants to use drugs (including alcohol) as long as it doesn't interfere with others.

And why do I dislike Christians? People are free to believe in what they want. My wife, my father and many of my friends have strong religious beliefs. I was raised in a strict Catholic family but never really believed what was put to me. I simply learnt to take people on face value regardless of what they believed and kept my views to myself. What I do detest though is religious hypocrisy and those who sermonise. It seems religion is no longer about the teachings of Jesus but cherry picking parts of the bible to suit someone's agenda or ideology.

In my opinion, those Christians who support "Tough on Drugs" strategies or Zero Tolerance are completely hypocritical.

Try these links:
Christians Against Prohibition
Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative

Anonymous said...

You are indeed of probably more support then I realised, Terry. You can't even find it within your heart, to congratulate Clive on his tremendous achievement - of abstinance.

It's not easy mate, and YOU know it. Otherwise yourself, and many others would have achieved it also. There is one who has all that power though, Terry, and that ONE is GOD. May you find him today!!

Terry Wright said...

If the last comment is from Darren then I must say his foray into politics has him speaking like a politician very quickly.

It seems I can't win. DM badgers me for answering a comment directed to him and then badgers me again for NOT answering another comment directed to him.

BTW Darren, you didn't respond to my last comment ... why? You simply responded like a true politician and dodged anything tricky.

Anonymous said...

I'll humbly concede defeat - you've won, Terry. And all the best with "your" mission. +

Darren Marton

Terry Wright said...

Thanks Darren.
I'm glad you have finally seen the errors in your logic.

Will you be publicly announcing that you no longer support failed, out-of-date and barbaric Zero Tolerance drug policies?

I also look forward to your support for Harm Minimisation

Terry.