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Subject:                                         What is media addiction? The necessity for clarity v. Popular misconceptions and "terminal vagueness*" - ViFrU media ethics foundation course, Ellul colloquy update


What is media addiction? The necessity for clarity v. popular misconceptions and "terminal vagueness*" - ViFrU media ethics foundation course Ellul colloquy update


The phrase "terminal vagueness*" describes a characteristic of compulsive debtors, a systematic avoidance…



Aloha e~v~ et al / The Media Anonymous Vancouver Group:


Bcc ViFrU Think Tank & Alumni




I wrote yesterday that "…there are no “fixed ideas” in our Media Anonymous program, other than that we do not rely on the human manmade devices to medicate, cope, or self-aggrandize;  but rather we put our faith in “a power greater than our selves” a “God of our own understanding” on the other hand is very important right at the outset to understand what media addiction is.


The 12 steps, are basically 12 principles. The principal in the first step is rigorous honesty. "We admitted that we were powerless over media and that our lives have become unmanageable" let us therefore take a look at the meaning of the standard definition of media and what it implies. McLuhan defines it as "the extensions of the human". In this regard we need to view all of man-made artifice is media.


The “busyholic” behavior of the workaholic media addict abusing computers is only the tip of the iceberg.


It is not enough to isolate one pattern of obsessive-compulsive behavior and then move on to another. Here are some examples of patterns of media addiction:


The housewife that obsessively vacuums the floor several times a day, who thinks that by avoiding her soap operas, she is making progress in media addiction recovery, but then turns to romance novels, compulsive shopping, spending and debting i.e.: The commodity fetishist


The executive workaholic, who may think that avoiding the computer is progress in media addiction, but then spends hours playing the stock markets, speculating on startups and perpetually seeking the next fast buck, i.e.: the (“abstract”) power addict and money (media) addict.


The addict who avoids virtual reality bodysuits and VR, but then turns to pornography in peep shows or switches to junk videos i.e.: the sex addict, the phone freak


The video TV addict that thinks is doing well by disconnecting his television and computer and then goes out and gets his adrenaline fix from driving his SUV past the speed limit and tailgating everyone that gets in the way. Trying to beat the clock. I.e.: the gasaholic, the rush addict.


The person compulsively and obsessively renovating his home or garage, so that he can use his power tools, or endlessly fishing and hunting, to get the rush of using his all-terrain vehicle or skidoo.


The teenager that switches from videos to fashion magazines and emulates the stars, sometimes becomes bulimic, or anorexic in the process.


Another version of this is someone who listens to jazz radio till 3 AM in the morning, every night of the week, because they vicariously act out the role of being a musician. I.e.: artificial codependency


Then there is the pattern of media anorexia, where a person isolates from any media involvement due to fear of triggering obsessive-compulsive reactions, or because they are overwhelmed by the technology as a result. This pattern is especially recognizable as "under earning" in Debtors Anonymous.


Not to mention all the man-made synthetic drug addictions that are certainly "extensions of the human", starting with sucrose and ending with pharmaceuticals,


In half a century of our research on media ethics issues, these are just some of the patterns we recognize now in our society as “media addiction”.


The principal in the first step of the 12 steps is "rigorous honesty" and in order to dispel "terminal vagueness" we need to have a very clear and distinct understanding of what media is and what it is not. In short we need a very precise analytical perspective, that is objective and lucid.


For me this has been an understanding of the difference between the man-made virtual worlds, the byproducts of our new industrial state and the good orderly direction of the natural world. The very clear distinction between man-made realities and natural reality. This is a process of continual meditative and contemplative awareness seeking.


When we look at a technological device we need to see it for what it is. In order to do that we need to be connected to our own "Higher Power" you can call it the "I AM” presence, or the Buddha nature, the Christ within, the life force, the higher Arcana, or whatever you want to call it; it is the most high truth of our being. From that vantage point we can view the material world, so to speak, "from the eye of God", that is to say in an ego less state, that is detached and completely objective.


It is irrelevant whether the device is a vacuum cleaner, or a syringe, a pill or an automobile, a suit of clothes, or a machine gun, a television set, or a satellite, a computer or a romance novel, junk food on a plastic tray, or virtual reality bodysuits; all of these things belong to the artifice of the new industrial state i.e.: the matrix.


We live inside of the technological matrix. Our entire life support system is connected to it. It is not enough to say I'm going to turn off my television set or computer and I'm free of it. This is wrong thinking. Every time you stop at a stoplight on the cross roads you are looking at a computer process. Practically every piece of clothing you wear and every car on the highway, is manufactured by "steel collar workers"/computerized robots.


I've heard many people say that they are Luddites and refused to use any computerized technology whatsoever, while they are speaking on their cell phones. The cell phone is a computer. Even if you choose not to have one and you make a phone call you are doing so over the computerized network. Every time you pass through an automatic door, go up an escalator or an elevator, every time you buy groceries with your credit card and pass-through the checkout counter, every time you borrow books from the library and they get scanned, every time you look at your watch, you were using a computer.


The technology (media) is seamless,  global and universal.  As part of the recovery process we may have systematically avoided all advertising, as much as possible but we are bombarded with approximately over 1000 ads per day every day in the average urban environment, most of these are subliminal and most of them we do not notice. The sophisticated new media advertising employees computer technology, psychology, psychiatry, sociology as motivational research tools.


Some of my practices in the past have been:  Not buying any foodstuffs that have a label, buying in bulk. Removing all logos from all devices. Removing all ads from webpages, using filters to render text, screening all images, using add block technology, using shut off timers so on. But the long and the short of it is that any of these or all of them will not work in the long run. In Alcoholics Anonymous literature we have the expression "half measures availed us nothing"


Why? Because we are addicts and that is not going to change just because we decide that we want to avoid one or another particularly annoying aspect of our addiction. There is the story and NA of musical garbage cans, that aptly describes the process of moving from one addiction to another. We have five garbage cans and four lids and the faster we try to keep all the lids on, the more musical the garbage cans become.


Therefore, we urge you to look at the absolute truth from the very outset, that we are human beings living in a man machine technological world on which we are dependent for our livelihood. Our entire life support system is directly connected to this technological matrix.


We therefore cannot pretend to "get off the grid" just by shutting down one or two or half a dozen of the machines that we use on a daily basis. The other part of that absolute truth is that we have been conditioned to become consumer addicts and that this conditioning continues from cradle-to-grave every, waking day of our lives.


Given this stark cold reality, we certainly must arrive at the conclusion, if we are indeed practicing "rigorous honesty," that we are completely "powerless" over our media addictions and that all of our resources, all of our strategies, all of our money for self-help programs and what have you, are not going to change that fact. We are manufactured as industrial media slaves, plain and simple.


We then have the only other possible option left, because we cannot "fix our own wagon" or anyone else's; and that is the principle in the second step of the program, that of faith, wherein " we came to believe that a power greater then ourselves could restore us to sanity."


Insanity is defined as "doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results".


There is the story of the person who keeps going out into traffic, finally ends up getting hit by a truck, ends up in traction for six months in the hospital and after another six months of rehab is asked by the doctors and attendants, "have you learned your lesson? Are you ever going to go out to traffic again?" Moments after he replies "absolutely not I have learned my lesson and I will never do it again!" The very first thing he does when he gets out onto the steps of the hospital, is rush right out to traffic again. That's us!


So putting our faith in a power “greater than ourselves”, is like the person standing on a diving board in pitch dark and he is told that there is a swimming pool down there all you have to do is jump. That's what taking a leap of faith is like. "We don't know where were going, but were going sober, clean and abstinent" anyone whose had any recovery experience in substance abuse knows what this is all about. It applies equally to recovery from media addiction.


Well yes, once we have taken that leap of faith we need a program that will sustain us and that involves the process of "getting the ego off the center of the universe," 24/7, or as it is spoken of in SLAA: “abandoning all of our strategies". This brings us around to the principal and the third step of the program which is "surrender." "We turned our will and our lives over the care of a God of our own understanding", that is to say, as described above our "Higher Power".


And unless we make a clear distinction between the GOD (“Gold Oil and Drugs”) of the new industrial state and the most high truth of the good orderly direction of the universe ("G.O.D.”) through a process of "rigorous honesty" so that we can arrive at the first step of complete and total awareness of our "powerlessness" in the face of a total man machine technocracy, designed and orchestrated by the demands of a global disease establishment media monopoly, then there is no possible way that we can ever recover on our own resources.


So thanks to the foundations laid by the 12 Step programs, we now have a choice.


I wish you all another 24 hours… Stay free.




g~k~  / founding member and trusted servant


Media Anonymous World Service

The Virtual Free University

Media Free Times


Suggested readings on media ethics for this session  :


Jaques Ellul – introduction to his book Propaganda




Aloha e~v~:


Bcc ViFrU Think Tank & Alumni


I am available anytime …if the phone or computer (VoIP) is on:


…there are no “fixed ideas” in our Media Anonymous program, other than that we do not rely on the human manmade devices to cope, or self-aggrandize;  but rather we put our faith in “a power greater than our selves” a “God of our own understanding”


…so I would not worry about “blurring the message” …we know what works and what does not


Here are a couple of examples, but everyone must find their own connection and discover what works for the,:


…if you are familiar with the 10 ethical precepts of Moses, this idea is the first three:

 have no other gods before me

not to make unto thee any graven image

( i.e.: manmade media Icons, fetishes, adulterated substances / “designer drugs” like Sucrose)


not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain 

(our translation here is, “do not pretend to be God”)


…or if you are a Buddhist, or follower of the Bhagavad Gita in the  Vedanta, or even of Plato; there is the concept that our ego presents a false image of the world, that the real world is beyond self. The idea is to be in the real world 24/7.


This is a very simple program, that you can already grasp with your own recovery experience in NA, that comes to us when we :


1)  Get honest

2)  Get our ego’s off the center of the universe

3)  Surrender to the most high truth of our being


…but it is by no means an EZ program…in fact it is perhaps the most difficult of all of them as it involves a complete reversal of all the man-made motivation psychological implants we are mediated with by the new industrial state from cradle to grave …and even now on the genetic level.


Thank you for putting the questions …one at a time …one small step at a time…in this way the massive work can be done.


There, are as I mentioned before logistical and economic limits of what we can put out.


To this end, if we need to put questions to the data base in increments  i.e.: bottom up like the 12 Step inverted pyramid of service …it starts on the group level.


I encourage you to proceed with your intent to form a group and certainly the demands for information will present themselves in the process.






g~k~ / 12 x12 = 24  ;-)





A Media / Power Addiction Recovery Program

Media Addicts Anonymous World Service (t.m.)(inc.)

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12 Step Program for Recovery from Media / Power Addiction

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( media addition i.e.: internet / VR / fantasy / power fetish / money )




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