Not Proven

Volume Two.

Not Proven

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These five novels are grounded in the way that addiction treatment was practiced in twelve step institutions at the turn of the century. The methods, personalities, conflicts and stories in the book are as realistic as I can make them without impinging on anyone’s expectation of privacy.  I am a superb listener gifted with an incredible set of ears. I have reproduced the opinions I was privy to in my career as faithfully as I could. Delighting most in the extreme ones.

The profession has long since moved on in new directions. Much of what I describe has to be understood as belonging to a decade past. Good people did wonderful things often times at great personal cost. A whole generation of addicts and alcoholics got sober and stayed sober using these methods. This book celebrates that body of work and the remarkable people who did it.

Not Proven

At thirty-five, Channing Hart was starting to reap the rewards of hard work and sound investing. He revelled in sitting around the big table at Clancy's Tavern. Talk radio without the microphones. The last place you could mouth o without being scolded. Weekends revolved around matching wits and trading barbs over drinks on Friday night and then reassembling for steak and eggs on Saturday morning before putting a few bets down. Hart gloried in taking on the experts and calling them out on their nonsense — until he woke up bruised and hungover in a police holding cell.

... So "I asked a policeman for some water and he gave me a Dixie cup.
I asked for another and he told me to shut up. So I ask him, 'When do I get out? Why am I here?'
I was hoping for a smart answer, but this guy looked grim.
He said, 'Don't you remember?'"

The life flowed out of Hart like air out of a balloon. "I don't think there's a question I hate more than that one. 'Buddy,' he said, 'you killed a lady. The detectives want to talk to you.'" Rattled by a long stay in the Don Jail and traumatized by his treatment in the press, he despairs and agrees to read a statement prepared by his lawyer. The words choke him. The judge, suspecting corners have been cut, sends Hart to Punanai House as a part of a pre-sentencing deal. There, Reg, Kaiser, and Paul have twenty-one days to teach Hart the fundamentals of addiction. Can he see through the whirlwind of competing and contradictory points of view in so little time? Can he  nd his voice and speak the truth that needs to be spoken without giving it that little twist that would serve his best interests?