Expedition and the Business of Addiction

“The stronger this faculty is, the more necessary it is for it to be combined with integrity and supreme wisdom, and if we bestow fluency of speech on persons devoid of those virtues, we shall not have made orators of them, but shall have put weapons into the hands of madmen”-Cicero, De Oratore III: xiv. 55.

* * * Geheime Reichssache (Secret Reich Business) Berlin, June 5, 1942

Changes for special vehicles now in service at Kulmhof (Chelmno) and for those now being built

Since December 1941, ninety-seven thousand have been processed [verarbeitet in German] by the three vehicles in service, with no major incidents. In the light of observations made so far, however, the following technical changes are needed:

[l.] The vans’ normal load is usually nine per square yard. In Saurer vehicles, which are very spacious, maximum use of space is impossible, not because of any possible overload, but because loading to full capacity would affect the vehicle’s stability. So reduction of the load space seems necessary. It must absolutely be reduced by a yard, in­ stead of trying to solve the problem, as hitherto, by reducing the number of pieces loaded. Besides, this extends the operating time, as the empty void must also be filled with carbon monoxide. On the other hand, if the load space is reduced, and the vehicle is packed solid, the operating time can be considerably shortened. The manufacturers told us during a discussion that reducing the size of the van’s rear would throw it badly off balance. The front axle, they claim, would be over­ loaded. In fact, the balance is automatically restored, because the merchandise aboard displays during the operation a natural tendency to rush to the rear doors, and is mainly found lying there at the end of the operation. So the front axle is not overloaded.

2.The lighting must be better protected than now. The lamps must be enclosed in a steel grid to prevent their being damaged. Lights could be eliminated, since they apparently are never used . However, it has been observed that when the doors are shut, the load always presses hard against them as soon as darkness sets in. This is because the load naturally rushes toward the light when darkness sets in, which makes closing the doors difficult. Also, because of the alarming nature of darkness, screaming always occurs when the doors are closed. It would therefore be useful to light the lamp before and during the first moments of the operation .

3.For easy cleaning of the vehicle , there must be a sealed drain in the middle of the floor. The drainage hole’s cover, eight to twelve inches in diameter, would be equipped with a slanting trap, so that fluid liquids can drain off during the operation. During cleaning, the drain can be used to evacuate large pieces of dirt.

The aforementioned technical changes are to be made to vehicles in service only when they come in for repairs. As for the ten vehicles ordered from Saurer, they must be equipped with all innovations and changes shown by use and experience to be necessary.

Submitted for decision to Gruppenleiter II D,

SS-Obersturmbannfiihrer Walter Rauff .

Signed: Just

Excerpts taken from The Ethic of Expediency by Steven B. Katz, College English, Volume 54, Number 3, March 1992, 255:

We have seen that Just’s memo is based purely on expediency; the memo itself is a technical instrument (like the vans themselves) for carrying out the organizational “task.” I have also already pointed out how in Aristotle’s conception of deliberative rhetoric, expediency seems to be the primary virtue. Deliberative rhetoric is expedient when it serves its end, that is, political persuasion. The test of success in Aristotelian rhetoric is in the persuasion of the audience (the so-called “audience criterion”). As “the art or faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion” (Rhetoric I. ii. 1355 b26), then, rhetoric could be considered a means to an end, an expedient, a techne.

Hitler takes the ethic of expediency underlying deliberative rhetoric to its logical extreme. For Hitler, propaganda, the truest form of “technical rhetoric,” replaced deliberative discourse as the preferred mode of communicating with the masses:

The function of propaganda does not lie in the scientific training of the individual, but in calling the masses’ attention to certain facts, processes, necessities, etc., whose significance is thus for the first time placed within their field of vision.

The whole art consists in doing this so skillfully that everyone will be convinced that the fact is real, the process necessary, the necessity correct, etc. (Mein Kampf, page 46)

Based on the ethic of expediency, rhetoric for Hitler was pure technique, de­signed not to encourage debate, but rather to indoctrinate: “all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan”; the reason, Hitler adds, is that “As soon as you sacrifice this slogan and try to be many-sided, the effect will piddle away, for the crowd can neither digest nor retain the material offered. In this way the result is weakened and the end entirely cancelled out.”

The ethic of expediency in extremis and combined with technology underlies the rhetoric of Just’s memo to the SS and the holocaust in general. But to some extent, technological (i.e., economic) expediency is the “moral” basis of many decisions/actions in our society that sometimes harm human welfare or imperil human life. A recent example would be the decision not to notify the public of the bomb threat to Pan Am Airlines to keep the airlines operating; in December 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York exploded over Locherbee, Scotland, killing all two hundred and seventy people on board. Ethically speaking, the difference is only one of degree, not kind. The decision not to notify the public was a “systems decision,” concerned more with the “efficient” operation of the transportation system than with the people the system is supposed to serve. In any highly bureaucratic, technological, capitalistic society, it is often the human being who must adapt to the system which has been developed to perform a specific function, and which is thus always necessarily geared toward the continuance of its own efficient operation.

Michel Foucault, French Philosopher:

‘Truth’ is to be understood as a system of ordered procedures for the production, regulation, distribution, circulation and operation of statements.

‘Truth’ is linked in a circular relation with systems of power which produce and sustain it, and to effects of power which it induces and which extend it. A ‘regime’ of truth.

In reference to the above literature on power, truth making, and expedition in our work, I would like to pose a few questions to readers:

  1. How can people redefine certain individuals as addicts? I believe this is a dehumanizing term, one filled with semantic technique that is designed to reduce humans to a single characteristic: weak-minded. Those with addictions are so much more than this simplistic term.
  2. Why are highly addictive drugs given out without an repercussions for the harm they do? I believe this expedites a system we all believe is based on scientific reason: life should never include pain of any kind, and we should trust the system engineers overseeing pharmaceutical science.
  3. What would change if addiction were not a crime? I believe those suffering would speak up and not run in fear: giving over one’s whole body to be controlled and monitored in locked facilities make people afraid to talk.
  4. What are the terms used by technical professionals concerning addiction? Disease, rehabilitation, patients, beds, treatment facilities, mental illness, and impulsivity.
  5. How much money is involved in making, incarcerating, and treating people with addictions? If addiction was completely gone tomorrow, our economy would plummet. Pharmaceutical companies, lawyers, law enforcers, prison guards, counseling center staff, in patient facility employees and investors, and anyone who makes a profit off making or controlling humans with addictions would be out of an income.
  6. Why are those with addictions so uninvolved in this system? I believe they would make sure they were not boxed without lights, were not transported without being the driver, were not defined by unfeeling scientists, and were not tattooed with a criminal record.
  7. Why do addiction treatment facilities advertise so heavily yet so exclusively? They are tied to profit. They are business-minded. So, their rhetoric must be designed to get people with insurance into their beds and paying their therapists.
  8. Do addiction businesses pay to lobby against pharmaceutical companies? I doubt it.
  9. Do addiction businesses donate to addiction charities? No, they typically don’t.
  10. Do you want to help humans suffering with addictions?

I believe we need to redefine ourselves, our loved ones, and the terms used to describe what is happening.

I refuse to say addiction is a diseasea disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance. I don’t have a simple term because the whole problem isn’t simple. We need to let people define themselves.

I believe we need to stop expediting how we deal with addiction. Expedition: useful for effecting a desired result; suited to the circumstances or the occasion; advantageous; convenient; based on or offering what is of use or advantage rather than what is right or just; guided by self-interest.

I believe we need to hear the voices of people battling addiction more than professionals. Addicts will tell us how it all began, what is keeping them down, how they really feel, and why they are turning to something besides other people to feel good. The professional community argues opinions based on observations, and only those with backing get published. This muddies the rhetoric being published. The addicts already know, but they are not published unless they are rich, famous, or somehow going to make someone a profit. We need to ask for, listen to, and value their opinions more often.

I believe all the rhetoric surrounding addiction is associated with power through humiliation. Humility toward the power of the addictive substance is quite different from walking naked through a crowd of onlookers. The whole “I am stronger than you, so do what I do” message needs to change to “I am the same as you in my humanness, but I really don’t understand how you must feel trying to fight this alone.” This should be followed by handing the person the power to cover their nakedness.

Do you agree?

Matt’s mom, Jane

Can we talk about addiction?

Remember when we couldn’t talk about ‘certain’ topics: br**st cancer, homos**uality, relig**n? Well, lately I have been talking about a sickness that has to do with the search for love and meaning. After I saw all the guys wearing the pink breast support T-shirts, everyone now has a rainbow on their bumpers, and my afterlife philosophy is based on love not judgement, I decided to start talking openly about addiction. I don’t clear the room anymore.

I still do get those sad eyes and uncomfortably long periods of silence while others are thinking. Then, the one old stoner guy in the crowd opens up and everyone joins in.

People want to talk about their losses, fears, and questions. Too long our culture languished in polite, super short conversations about addicts, which only meant someone else’s kid (who was a rotten degenerate) and a chart of statistics on poor people. Addicts’ lives were too real and immediate for anyone to really understand the relationships, the relief, and the reality associated with an addiction. Now everyone knows an addict, is an addict, or lost an addict. We are everywhere, and they can no longer hide us in caskets devoted to a singular tragedy.

Finally, Helen is Reddy and roaring, but the tune is “I am addiction hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore, and I know too much to go back and pretend.” They can’t ignore our losses, and they are startint to ask us to be a part of the conversation. At some point addicts and their loved ones need to speak up, but many are still afraid to tell the truth. They can’t always find someone who understands, and many still are hiding the truth due to the reactions. Just like Helen Reddy’s hit single, we want this single to hit the charts and change the reaction to our engendered group. Addicts and their loved ones are under-respected, and the stereotype needs to get rewritten to include who we are, what we are, and why we are.


Sit awhile and talk with Matt Edwards. He died at age 25, but he is still talking. Please join your voice to Matt’s and show the world that addicts are worth loving, understanding, and saving by putting a few dollars toward getting this film to production. We need to change the conversation to include us, the addicts and the ones who love them.



Addicts and families of addicts, you are loved (by the Huffington Post!)



Taboos in conversation:

  • So what do you think about how many people are dying from prescription drugs for pain control?
  • My son is struggling with an addiction.
  • My son got arrested for drugs.
  • My son died of a heroin overdose.
  • I need to take time off work to enter a drug treatment program.
  • I don’t believe they are bad parents just because their son has an addiction.
  • Please, stop talking about that guy like he wants to live this horrible existence.
  • Is that Vicodin you got? Did you know that is heroin? Did you know your doctor prescribed heroin? So, you are taking heroin for your toe infection?
  • I know he is on probation for drug charges, but I want to hire him to help him get a leg up. Without our acceptance, he will turn to crime to survive.
  • Judge, this is not a crime. The man was trying to feel normal again. His brain got re-wired ‘somehow.’ Can we spend the money on getting him help and leave off the stigma?
  • Pharmaceutical companies. Period.

Huffington Post is starting the conversation by crossing the taboo line. Please help us get addiction out of the casket and into loving arms!

You are loved, at least by me,

Jane, Matt’s mom

(Please add your love by reading the article and sharing it. )

Documentary Film, Matt can rewrite addiction to include Love!

Please watch the film’s trailer to see some of the footage already created.

Matt’s story, journal, and sadly beautiful life has a chance to touch and change the hearts of millions. The people who knew Matt best want to help narrate his journals and life in an independent film project, which will reach those millions. Matt loved his journals for a reason, they tell the Truth. Your help can get this truth to the general public.

Please place this link on your social media, and please consider supporting this independent film project. We all should have our names on the credits. Imagine all the names we can add! So many of us are unheard. This is your opportunity to make our voices loud. Join the struggle to remove the stigma!
In other words, please show your love to Matt and all addicts like him by simply reposting.
Together, we can change the stigma, the reaction, the approach, the rhetoric, the whole stupid mess prescription drug addictions cause in our country, families, and lives!
Sincere thanks for reposting,
Matt’s Mom

October 18, sunday 2009 rated 5

Today ends a crazy week.  I was using opiates all week, but I managed to only spend about $70 all told out of this last pay-check.  I paid off a chunk of my loan at cash-in-a-flash, and just generally spent my money on bills this week.  I’m quite happy and proud of myself–I exercised some real control over this damn habit, plan now to keep going in this direction taking little steps that lead to bigger things.  First with my money I gotta get that damn pay-day loan paid off.  Then I’m getting my license assessment and getting my damn licence back. After that I’m buying myself off probation, and then getting a car.  After I’ve achieved all that I’ll be moving with Renee to Madison and hopefully get the balls to finish my education.  Almost forgot my trip to Ukraine, that’s in the works still.  I’ve let so much time slip away, it’s unbelievable to me.

I have been doing an awesome job at the restaurant lately, and I am  now the top guy in the kitchen, and I’m going even higher than that.  I’ve found a new energy since breaking my addiction and depression at the end of August.  I’m still using but every week I bring it a little more under control. The anti-depressants really help the whole situation–need to stay up on those for sure.

I don’t know what’s up with April; I hope everyday that I don’t suffer some type of retaliation from her, but if she finds out about me answering questions I’ll be getting some retaliation I’m sure.  I hope the best for her, and myself; I need to get completely clear too.

Intake: 30 mg morphine EV, 50 mg hydroco oral, 7th

Matthew climbing that mountain….

straight day of using*BAD!!!