James Frey – Target of a 12 step Jihad?

As I read A Million Little Pieces by James Frey, I was struck by how disturbing his life of addiction had been and how candid he was about his own behavior. Consider that this is not a person plucked from obscurity, but an accomplished screenplay writer and producer.

In Frey’s book he dismisses the 12 step program as being an option for his salvation from addiction – taking more of a “God helps him who helps himself” attitude. As I finished the book, I couldn’t help but wonder when he would be viciously attacked by the die-hard 12 Steppers who believe their way is the only way. I know this to be true, having worked in the kitchen of a famous Arizona rehabilitation center for drug and alcohol abuse among other so-called “diseases”. I had the priviledge of chatting with many patients after supper.

I remember a woman who was kicked out of the program because she refused to admit she was an alcoholic. Her comment to me was that she was there for Cocaine addiction and readily admitted she had a drug problem; she would have no problem admitting she was an alcoholic too, had it been true.

I can’t help but be suspicious of the investigation which seeks to discredit James Frey. I can’t help but wonder if those who have a vested interest in the sacrosanct 12 step program initiated the scrutiny into James Frey’s memoir. But let’s put this in perspective. Frey is being criticized for some inaccuracies in his story about a time in his past where he was often high on drugs, sleep deprived and delusional. This smear is only harmful to those that found help and hope in A Million Little Pieces.


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