Church Group Prays For Addicts, ‘Helps’ Them Even More By Asking People to Narc On Them to SWAT Unit December 24, 2013

Church Group Prays For Addicts, ‘Helps’ Them Even More By Asking People to Narc On Them to SWAT Unit

While skimming news headlines on Google, I swear I thought this one said

Church alliance pays for those with drugs, alcohol addiction.

Such charity of the financial kind would have been refreshing. Alas, it turns out that I missed an “r” and that the church team is praying — not paying — for addicts to get help.

The initiative would scarcely have been worth mentioning in this space if it hadn’t been for the final paragraph of the piece.

The group passes out signs that carry the logo Praying Against Drugs and Alcohol to interested community members. The phone number listed on the sign, (606) 836-0442, connects callers with the FADE Drug Task Force, where they can report drug activities or get information on where they or others they might know can get the help they need to deal with addiction.

The FADE Drug Task Force is a straight-up law enforcement unit:

FADE Drug Task Force operates in Greenup, Carter and Lewis Counties and is comprised of officers from the Flatwoods, Russell, Raceland, Vanceburg and Olive Hill police departments and the Carter County Sheriff’s Office.

As the picture above (from FADE’s Facebook page) helps make clear, FADE is a team of armed-to-the-teeth, battering-ram-wielding drug warriors, who live for putting drug abusers behind bars — even non-violent ones who appear to be guilty of nothing more than a marijuana “crime.”

The reverend Dave King, pastor of Argillite United Methodist Church, nonetheless claims that by encouraging people to narc on drug users, he’s doing Jesus’s work.

“It isn’t about pointing fingers,” King said. “The Christian faith is about compassion and love, and we want to let people who have become addicted to alcohol or drugs know that there are people who care about what happens to them.”

I don’t begrudge King his prayer group — it is as harmless as it is useless. But for the pastor to make drug abusers stare down the barrels of a SWAT team’s submachine guns, while selling himself to the local press as a great Samaritan who just aims to spread “compassion and love,” is to make an outright mockery of those virtues.

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  • WallofSleep

    Brings to mind the D.A,R.E. program from the 80’s, where students were encouraged by law enforcement to turn their parents in if they were using illegal drugs.

    Of course, that also brings to mind an old punk song…

    “Keep your eye on your parents, They’re guilty of crimes against the state! We destroy the family!”

  • Juan

    I suppose the pastor will also pray for the souls of the users killed by the SWAT team he rated them to…

  • Fentwin

    When in undergrad, the D.A.R.E. program kept me drug free; (old joke warning)

    Drugs Are Really Expensive!

  • Sendian

    The most entertaining aspect of DARE, to me, was also shared on a radio station a few weeks ago. A group of parents and administrators were clucking their tongues over the outbreak of children snorting crushed mentos and pixie sticks like they were cocaine. A younger caller pointed out that he and his friends wouldn’t have given a second though to snorting anything through their nose at that age had the DARE program not introduced the idea of getting high by snorting chemicals in the first place.

  • Fentwin

    *double post, I’m an impatient little cuss at times*

  • Fentwin

    I wonder if Jesus wore a balaclava during his sermon on the mount?

  • A3Kr0n

    I hate to invoke Godwin’s Law on myself, but didn’t the Nazis used tell people to report their neighbors too?
    Robert Gellately wrote:
    “I had found a shocking fact. It wasn’t the secret police who were doing
    this wide-scale surveillance and hiding on every street corner. It was
    the ordinary German people who were informing on their neighbors.”

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Lovely that the pastor sees nothing wrong with reporting people for crimes to the state in order to “help” them. As long as the person is not harming me I have no problem with them doing whatever drugs they want to.

  • Randay

    Why, someone might even think of calling the FADE to David King’s address as he is aiding druggies. Or a person might call Fade to report on suspicious activities of other members of the church.

  • ZenDruid

    The Stalin regime as well. They would encourage children to rat on their parents.

  • CottonBlimp

    Seriously, how uneducated do you have to be in 2013 to think that law enforcement handles drug addiction appropriately?

    By all means, throw some addict in prison. They’ll be stripped of their basic decency and locked in a box with career drug-criminals and literally nothing to do for months or years. I’m sure that’s a perfect environment for trying to quit.

  • ZenDruid

    What’s worse, they will have learned some sneaky tricks for when they get out.

  • CottonBlimp

    Even more insidiously, they’ll be let out with a conviction on their record that will almost entirely bar them from ever being hired in the legal work force AND they’ll have “networked” with members of drug gangs.

  • Stev84

    It’s a trait many totalitarian governments share.

  • I can buy why a SWAT unit would need the ballistic shield and the assault rifle (drug dealers do have a tendency to be heavily armed), but why the hell do they need a suppressor on it for crying out loud?

  • baal

    It’d be more fun if he’d worn Baklava instead.

  • baal

    You don’t want the neighbors to know what’s going on … like when they hit the wrong house.

  • paulalovescats

    Report drug activities OR…OR…OR get help with addiction. So?

  • $925105

    I tell people never to trust fundies. It seems fundies won’t even be trusting each other. But maybe it’s merely a case of a pastor just not wanting to share his weed anymore.

  • Preaching the Word of Judas!



  • Once they are in prison the preachers will have a truly captive audience.

    Find Gods and lighten your sentence.


  • Nomad

    From what I’ve heard its actually entirely practical. Using a suppressor means that the gun is quiet enough that they can fire it without needing hearing protection or getting hearing damage. I imagine going into a raid wearing earplugs could be a bit inconvenient.

  • Except you don’t need passive hearing protection. My kit has sitting on it a set of Peltors, which are basically noise-canceling headphones which filter out explosions and gunfire.

    I shoot with them at the range all the time, and have used them while firing systems as loud as mortars and recoiless rifles like the Carl Gustav.

    I suspect this is less practical and more mall-ninja than you think.

  • DavidMHart

    Please remember that the vast majorities of drug users are not also thieves, though, and that the whole policy of criminalising drug use creates a link between drugs and violent/acquisitive crime where none would have existed otherwise. To the extent that prohibition drives up the price of a drug, it makes it less affordable so that those who are most desperate to get it are more likely to be tempted to steal to raise funds. And of course, if you are already branded a criminal simply for using a drug, you may well consider that you have less to lose by stealing than someone whose drug of choice was legal (like alcohol, say).

    Also, sending someone to jail is a terrible way of addressing problematic drug use (if they even were a problematic user in the first place). It is almost always far better to make treatment available to those whose drug use is a problem, rather than leaving them to rot in a prison environment where there is little else to do for entertainment apart from taking drugs, and where people often end up using far more dangerous drugs than they were when they went in. And of course, it is also important that no one be compelled to attent drug treatment unless their drug use is actually a problem – exactly the same as how you can support making treatment available for alcoholics without thinking that anyone who ever drinks alcohol must be in need of treatment.

    And that’s before you even get on to the matter of the fact that prohibition puts the entire market into the hands of criminals who often have no options other than violence to resolve their disputes, whereas if they were sold by licenced legal outlets, with appropriate restrictions, drugs could be made safer and the black market massively undercut, making life safer for users and non-users alike.

    Tl;dr – sure, drug problems, especially among the poor, can make a neighbourhood unpleasant. But there is basically no good evidence that the policy of sending people to jail for using drugs is an effective way of addressing those problems, and quite a lot of evidence that it makes them worse.

  • Ah, D.A.R.E.

    Yeah, brilliant idea, that one, bring the cops in to lie to the kiddies about drugs (via exaggeration, hyperbole, and reefer-madness-era propaganda). Bloody awesome, equating “drugs” with “nasty adulterated street drugs”, make kids think that ALL “drugs” (including medication) are “bad”. And making kids take a fucking pledge to stay drug-free, when half the kids are already doped to the gills on various highly-regulated forms of methamphetamine, and none of them actually understand what they’re saying?

    How many of us found out later on that drugs really aren’t all that terrible? Further, how many of us lost a bit of trust in the local PD when we figured out that they lied to us?

    Look, full disclosure, I’m a little stoned right now, I rather like cannabis, and I’ve yet to become addicted to it, or, for that matter, to crack/cocaine, PCP, meth, heroin, pills, or whatever else people get fucked up on. I really wouldn’t know, I’m not interested in experimenting, and haven’t tried anyth- well, there was the one time years ago I tried crack. I didn’t like it, and have no desire to go “there” again, or to try anything “harder”. Except LSD, someday, before I die.

  • cr0sh

    Worse than that:

    But the motives Gellately found were banal—greed, jealousy, and petty differences.

    He found cases of partners in business turning in associates to gain
    full ownership; jealous boyfriends informing on rival suitors; neighbors
    betraying entire families who chronically left shared bathrooms unclean
    or who occupied desirable apartments.

    And then there were those who informed because for the first time in
    their lives someone in authority would listen to them and value what
    they said.

  • katiehippie

    More than unpleasant. Ask the two people who were murdered a block away from me last year how “unpleasant” that was. People who are in to hard drugs will steal and do steal. And they don’t care who they steal it from. Ask anyone (including me) who has been close to a user. Dealers should go to jail for the damage they do to families and neighborhoods. The main reason that users shouldn’t be forced into treatment is that it’s not going to work if they don’t want to do it. Better to get the person totally out of your life.

  • katiehippie

    Careful of the wanting to ‘try’ something. My ex had no problem with recreational drugs, until he did. He’d always wanted to try heroin. Then he did. Now he’s lost everything because of the mindset of “I just want to try it once”.

  • Portugal begs to differ. So does Toronto, in Canada. Decriminalization and treatment works. Wholesale incarceration doesn’t.

  • Oh. So you’re one of those assholes who think smoking a joint on Friday means you’ll be addicted to heroin by Monday.


  • Pfffft, whatever. You sound like one of those after school specials.

  • katiehippie

    He took anything out of the house he thought he could trade or sell for drugs. Wedding presents? No problem. Our kid’s toys and games or money they were saving? No problem. His wife’s jewelry? No problem. Tools, a freezer, furniture, anything. Plus he spent every penny I made and got for tax returns. We lost our house, we had no car for me to get to work. He tried to make me feel it was all my problem, that he was just having fun. I had to get a court order to get him out of the house. Even now he thinks he didn’t do anything wrong. This is what can happen to someone that a drug user supposedly “loves”. Drugs for “recreational” purposes are stupid.

  • You’re stupid for blaming the drugs for his bad choices.

    Yeah, I smoke pot.

    I have yet to sell any of my possessions for it, let alone steal.

    How about blaming HIM for CHOOSING to steal? How about blaming HIM for all the shit he put you through? Don’t make excuses for him!

  • katiehippie

    He wasn’t like that before he was an addict. His choice of doing drugs led to all the other “choices” he made. He no longer has control. He no longer wants to have control, he no longer cares if he has control. He is entirely to blame for the choices he makes. I’m just saying that it can control his life is ways he never dreamed. So the thinking that it’s no big deal at first is a very dangerous thing. I am able to understand a bit of what he has gone through without condoning it in any way.

  • “He no longer has control” == EXCUSES

    Stop acting like you speak for every person, ever, who has even smoked one joint, because you don’t. Your experience was an extreme outlier, and you need to fucking acknowledge that.

    The MAJORITY of drug users are functional, productive, responsible citizens.

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