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Relapse for Cash: How Patient Brokers and Unscrupulous Rehabs Prey on Addicts Looking for Help

Amy Dresner writes:

Patient brokers know there’s more money in relapse than in getting people sober.

If you think patient brokering, also known as “body brokering,” is just about “professionals” getting kickbacks for referring a client to a certain rehab, you are wrong. It’s much more complicated and sinister than that. I did a deep dive and interviewed the head of a watchdog group, a rehab counselor, a rehab business development guy, and the head of an ethics association to try to get the full picture. And despite patient brokering being officially illegal in California and Florida since January, it’s still terrifyingly prevalent.

I was first prompted to write this piece after an experience with a sponsee. She was in a sober living and was offered money by another client at the house to relapse and then check into an upscale rehab. Because you must test dirty for your insurance to start over and cover treatment, she got loaded and was shipped off to a fancy Malibu rehab for a week. She was ecstatic.

Recovering Addicts Preying on Other Recovering Addicts
Of course, soon she was sent to a shitty sober living which she described as a “flop house.” Thankfully she didn’t die during the relapse, and she didn’t get her money either. The “body brokers” in this case, recovering addicts preying on other recovering addicts, ran off with the kickback money they got from the rehab as well as the money they were supposed to give my sponsee. If this sounds bad, it gets worse.

I spoke with David Skonezny, the admin for the closed Facebook group “It’s Time for Ethics in Addiction Treatment.” As Skonezny moved through the ranks of drug and alcohol counseling, eventually becoming the COO of a treatment center, “body brokering,” an open secret in the business, came to his attention. He started the group to “separate the wheat from the chaff” and to identify the people he wanted to work with to create a solution for the myriad problems plaguing the profession; however, he underestimated how pissed off and hurt people were.

“It quickly ended up being a referendum of sorts on addiction treatment as people started posting snapshots of text messages, naming names… It got really deep really fast.” As a result, one of the moderators of the group set up a site that provided a comprehensive list of agencies for the reporting of illegal and unethical activity, including credentialing and accreditation bodies, law enforcement, state agencies, and insurance investigators. People can now report the facilities as well as the brokers engaging in this illegal and unethical behavior. That site is: Ethics in Treatment (

“Body Brokers” Buy and Sell Patients
As Skonezny explained to me, in the referral game it’s about buying clients. Initially a treatment center might pay perhaps $10,000 for a client (that figure has dropped substantially as a result of immense competition), but it was worth it because you could bill the insurance for six figures over the course of a treatment episode. As it became harder to acquire clients this way, body brokers and rehabs started to offer other inducements such as air travel to treatment, clothes, cell phones, and cigarettes. And because people with these premium insurance policies are hard to find, brokers would find a prospect and then buy the policy for them. The rehab pays the first month’s premium, and then once the insurance is active, bingo.

Once the benefits are exhausted, however, the client gets kicked out, usually with nowhere to go and no return ticket home, and ends up homeless and desperate. But now they know the drill. They realize if they get loaded, they’re eligible for treatment again and can go back into rehab. This revolving door, “going on tour,” as Skonezny calls it, became a common strategy for both the brokers and the clients in order to maintain free housing, food, and other perks.

“This has created an artificial recovery community in Southern California, particularly in Orange County where kids are getting flown in and then kicked out. At one point it created a massive homeless population of young addicts, especially in Costa Mesa,” Skonezny told me. Some of those kids die on the streets, some go home, some keep cycling through treatment.

How did we get to this place? I asked. Well, when the Affordable Care Act went into effect, behavioral health issues, including mental health and addiction, became essential medical services.

“This created an unprecedented availability for people to get insurance coverage, and people who wouldn’t have otherwise had an opportunity to go to treatment now could,” Skonezny explained. “This should have been a good thing, except that with addicts flooding addiction centers, the owners and others began to realize that there was a lot of money to be made.”

There are two types of insurance policies: an HMO, where you need a referral from a primary doctor and must go to a place in network, and a PPO, where there’s no referral necessary and because it’s out of network, there are no contracted or set rates. Rehabs want the PPOs. They can charge whatever they want, and they do. They can bill the insurance for ridiculous amounts for daily services ($2,500 for a daily session from a PPO vs. $300 from an HMO) including huge charges for urine tests.

Alumni Get Kickbacks for Bringing in New Patients
Soon insurance companies got wise to the game and began reducing the financial reimbursement to rehabs, as well as the length and level of care they would allow. As a result, the rehabs were making less money and thus needed to up their referral game even more, so they got their alumni involved. Newly sober addicts who have been in a 12-step program have access to a network of possible patients: newcomers in meetings. These newly sober ex-clients start getting kickbacks from rehabs to bring in new clients. And then those clients do the same once they get out of treatment. Now you have a new cycle: predators creating predators.

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NYT: The Racist History Behind Facial Recognition

From comments at Steve Sailer:

* Criminal face has three big factors: high-T features, poor symmetry and other signs of genetic load (like narrow eyes), and fetal alcohol complex.

The Chinese did a large study based on national ID photos of criminals v non criminals, it has lots of good examples.

* Most of the top 50 pictures of C.S. Lewis on Google show an intelligent-looking expression, although that might just be selection bias.

Lewis was pretty similar looking to John von Neumann, who I would presume to consider the gold standard of intelligence for whom we have a lot of photos.

* Von Neumann looks smart to me: huge forehead, large eyes, very symmetrical.

The same for Lewis, but he also has a friendly and unpretentious mien that you could imagine a butcher having (they are friendly and outgoing in my experience. It is a sales job partly, but meat sells itself in a way cars and clothing don’t, so their friendliness doesn’t feel forced.)

* From years of daily perusing of this website it is clear you do not have to be a police detective to notice the overwhelming majority of men arrested have facial hair. If you are a cop and see a man with facial hair and tattoos its game over. Run him for warrants, search his car and person and be ready to draw your gun.

* Because humans are not engineered based on independently developed components but grow from a single cell that differentiates the body into parts over time. Formation of facial structure and the brain modules that deal with the muscles thereof are practically certain to be correlated with various ensembles of behaviorial traits.

* Chinoy’s arguments on facial recognition slide into one another.

1. It doesn’t work perfectly and is thus useless.
2. It’s based on discredited pseudoscience and thus can’t work.
3. It works, but it does better on white faces than on black faces.
4. Its use will entrench racism, because it can be made to usefully address important questions.

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When Criticism Helps

Comments at Steve Sailer:

* The internet is turning into a disaster for Jews. It is the ultimate dis-intermediary which is a big problem if your job is to get in between transactions. This is especially true if you control the media and depend on it to hide and punish your enemies. I am sure part of what is bothering Howard Lovey is that not only is Jeffrey Epstein’s exposure bad for his tribe’s image but it distracts of the more important mission of making the goys out to be Satan. We will resume our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

* “Personally, as somebody who has been criticized upon occasion, I find that criticism, while unpleasant, tends to make people better.”

What are some specific examples of criticisms directed to your race and ethnicity that you have personally found unpleasant, but that made you a better person?

I ask Steve, but I’d be curious for others’ examples too.

Personally, I cannot think of any.

* – NW Europeans approach geopolitics with universalism, wide-eyed enthusiasm and the ability to organize. This has caused a great deal of past suffering in the Americas and Africa, and most recently in the Middle East. Everyone would be better off if NW Europeans did not attempt to “rescue” cultures.

– NW Europeans put way too high of a priority on courting in their teens and early 20’s, in which input from parents and grandparents is ignored. This is likely baked-in culturally and genetically, considering Romeo & Juliet has always been considered a tragedy in western cannon, as opposed to a tragicomedy about two moronic kids.

– NW Europeans have a unique mix of intelligence, testosterone, and off-the-charts creativity. This has lead to major breakthroughs, but also a great number of atrocities.

* The lovely and talented actress Rachel Weisz said in 2001:

“RACHEL: Hollywood’s run by Jews. I was advised by an American agent when I was about 19 to change my surname. And I said “Why? Jews run Hollywood.” He said “Exactly.” He had a theory that all the executives think acting’s a job for shiksas. … In some way acting is prostitution, and Hollywood Jews don’t want their own women to participate. Also, there’s an element of Portnoy’s Complaint — they all fancy Aryan blondes.”

* It doesn’t piss me off that Jews run Hollywood, but it does piss me off that it can’t be spoken of, or the implications of it. Same with the national news media. Local media still does a pretty decent job. Or I guess, same with banking, and political donations.

Maybe if we were all allowed to say this stuff openly without fear of professional retribution (most people, middle class anyway, couldn’t care less about losing friends over this) it would make the country stronger. But, alas, it devolves into the old saw about paronoia.

* The Netanyahus, father and son, are playing up the Epstein scandal because he is connected to rival former PM Barak.

* We have a similar problem in the UK: the perception that Pakistani muslims rape a lot of English girls. But what the Pakistanis have to realise is that it doesn’t matter how many girls they rape because the prejudice against them is wholly irrational and has nothing to do with their behaviour.

* The problem with stereotypes (when you are a victim of them) is that while they may contain a nugget of truth in relation to certain members of your race they don’t necessarily apply to you and it feels very unfair to you when you are tarred with that brush. Maybe Italian-Americans are (or were – it seems like a fading phenomenon) members of organized crime families more often than other Americans, but most Italian-Americans aren’t. Maybe blacks mug taxi drivers at far higher rates than whites but if you are a black banker trying to get a cab in NYC it seems unfair that the cabs keep driving past you – YOU never mugged anyone. My grandfather was not an international banker as imagined by Henry Ford and Adolf Hitler, he was a poor fisherman.

One of the beauties of the American constitutional system (when it works) is that it is based upon notions of individual responsibility and not collective guilt. Race prejudice is based on collective guilt, which is why it is so “anti-American” and repulsive to all fair minded Americans (and not just Leftists).

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Reality Vs Propaganda

A friend in the academy: “The approach of giving straightforward arguments/evidence isn’t working. We just get steamrolled by emotional propaganda. I think it’s important for race realists to be focused on results–what is actually going to lead to positive change. Rational arguments have the potential to influence people (if not directly then indirectly), but we’re not presenting them in the right way. Or we’re making some kind of strategic error.”


When I think of examples of race realists winning debates, they seem to depend on ‘facts and logic.’ Big case would be kraut&tea vs JF and Alt-Hype. When I think of more successful race realists in terms of staying in the debate they seem to depend on ‘facts and logic’ approaches, William Shockley, JP Rushton, Charles Murray. Those who use emotional approaches seem to get crushed like pathetic bugs. Your Spencers, your Enochs. People LOVE technobabble explanations for things. That’s why KMac is popular for instance. His idea is complete nonsense but sounds technical. So people think ‘whoa, deep’.’Ozone hole’ rhetoric gets regulation. ‘Silent spring’ rhetoric gets legislation passed. ‘Global warming’. These are all very technical ideas, not something broad and emotional like the sierra clubs environmentalism. ‘Peak oil’. I don’t see a lot of race realists running around giving straightforward arguments and evidence, and those that do seem to be moderately successful – those I mentioned before, Cochran, Emil Kirkegaard – they aren’t doing anywhere close to as terribly as the alt-right. The race realists who give good arguments don’t tend to be political zealots, not coincidentally. Political zealots make terrible scientists. I think political fervor needs to be combined with race realism in a healthy way, which means race realism can’t and shouldn’t be the main focus. The HBD umbrella should be the focus – individuals are different, genders are different, races are different, classes are different, age groups are different, every individual and group is meaningfully different – so politics that depends on a blank slate can’t work. I think this lends itself fundamentally to conservative and libertarian ideology – assume people are where they are for good reason.

Friend: “I’m not sure I agree with this. Shockely and Rushton were/are written off by the mainstream as Nazi cranks. Charles Murray has been successful in a sense, but only because he is very wishy washy about race realism. In TBC there’s only a vague statement about how genes probably make a contribution to black-white IQ differences, and when it matters Murray often denies even this. (There’s the notorious incident on the Stephen Colbert show where Colbert asked Murray if he said that genes play a role in IQ differences and Murray responded, “I never said that.”) Murray would never make a serious effort to think through the *political* implications of race differences, or at least he wouldn’t comment on this publicly. Emil Kirkegaard is so toxic in mainstream academia that even being associated with him can sink your career.”

Jones Very: “Why won’t the racial underclasses recognize their low station? — are we, the privileged & enlightened Sino-Jewish overcaste selling it wrong?”

“How can we explain to the masses that the status quo is actually good and that the Jewish-Asian global elite class that rules over them is necessary and just in a way that they’ll agree and submit to a yoke of slavery?”

Friend: “Watching now. I agree with KMG that deplatforming conservatives might might hurt Trump’s reelection. I’m not sure this matters in the long run, since Trump’s actual policies (e.g., de facto open borders) are difficult to distinguish from the democrats’. I still don’t think it will do much to suppress the ideas/ideologies the censors are targeting. There are different ideas about what it means for deplatforming to “work” or not.”

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