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I Had to Say Something: The Art of Ted Haggard's Fall Hardcover – June 5, 2007
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However, Mike Jones reveals a lot of courage in what he writes about in this book. From being bullied by his older brother, which prompts him into taking weightlifting classes in high school, to the time when he first realized he could make money from his hard physique, it's hard not to root for the guy. Though he writes a little too much about all the tears he shed over the years, it is nice to know that beneath that rock hard exterior lies a true and sensitive soul. It reveals something about our society in which married men in high positions (pro-sports, business, the clergy, and political office) are willing to part with $200 an hour to be authentic with him in ways they can't be with their wives or girlfriends.
It's a good read, heartwarming, and an inspiration, even. We should all be happy and grateful for what he has done, to expose hypocrisy of the worst type: religious piousness. Jesus would be very proud of this man!
I have to confess that I bought Mike Jones's memoir expecting a fun, tawdry read. I was surprised by his depth of insight and articulateness, although I almost drowned in the tsunami of tears he sheds in the text, which is literally, as they used to call maudlin movies, a hankie-soaker.
"I Had to Say Something" was so absorbing it deserves the cliches "I couldn't put it down" and "a real page-turner."
Shameless self-promotion: As someone who literally wrote the book on gays and methamphetamine, "Tweakers: How Crystal Meth Is Ravaging Gay America" (Alyson, 2005), I offer a possible explanation for Haggard's continuing inexplicable behavior, like reviewing Jones's book on Amazon. Crystal makes you do crazy things.
A sad postscript to Mike and Ted's Excellent Misadventure: While researching two books I wrote about substance abuse, I interviewed Dr. Thomas Newton, the former head of UCLA's Substance Abuse Inpatient Services at the university's Neuropsychiatric Institute. Professor Newton told me, "Once somebody gets into crystal, they're just going to go down the toilet," an accurate description of where Haggard and his ministry ended up.
Worse, other addictionologists told me that methamphetamine is even more addictive than heroin. Like all addictions, crystal use is a progressive disease, which means it only gets worse and doesn't improve or remit spontaneously. Only professional treatment or self-help groups, optimally both, will force the disease into remission and turn it into chronic but treatable condition.
Without intervention, Haggard's use of crystal will increase, along with his self-sabotaging behavior, like lying to his Church elders about his purchases of methamphetamine, then giving an impromptu press conference in his driveway with the wife and kids in the car during which he pulled a classic Clintonism and said he bought meth but didn't use it. Before the ambush interview in the family car, his church was willing to forgive and take him back after he lied and denied any involvement with illicit drugs. After his interview aired and contradicted what he had told church elders, they made his expulsion permanent. He became such an embarrassment and pariah that the church paid him to move out of Colorado.
I haven't read anywhere that Haggard has gone into rehab. If he hasn't, we can expect many more sequels to his excellent misadventures but without his original co-star, Mike Jones.
Proof of the intractability of treating addiction comes from Jimmy Swaggart's failure to end his addiction to sex. After his "sins" were exposed, and he confessed in his church shedding more tears than Jones does in his book, Swaggart was caught trawling the same red light district that had gotten him in his original predicament. That's what a progressive disease without treatment does.
Most mystifying behavior has a drug or alcoholic component. Buried far down in a news story about the perpetrator of a particularly ghastly crime, like the father who plucked out his son's eyeball, sauteed and then ate it, there's a throwaway line or two to the effect, "Oh, yeah, and the murderer had drunk two bottles of Jack Daniels and hadn't slept in two weeks while on a crystal, crack, or Benzedrine binge." Despite the library's worth of biographies that attempt to explain Hitler's madness, it's rarely mentioned that he received injections of morphine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, steroids 4-5 times daily from his quack physician. World War II may have represented nothing more complicated than a five-year-long bad drug trip.
Something for Haggard to ponder and avoid.
This is an unsubstantiated guess, but I suspect that Mike Jones's polygraphy test indicated he was being "deceptive" because he lied when asked if he had ever used meth with Haggard or lied about some other revelation, however embarrassing, that nevertheless doesn't invalidate the truthfulness of the rest of his revelations. Or maybe he lied about not adding a "finder's fee" for the drugs he supplied his client with.
Whistle-blower and drug dealer make strange bedfellows. The double hat Jones might have worn slightly diminish his heroism and courage in exposing a homophobic homosexual with the power to shame impressionable young minds. But prostitute and drug peddler don't automatically equal liar.