RIP David Vantrease

Discussion in 'Narconon' started by muldrake, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. Anonymous Member

  2. wanderer Member

    Re: RIP David Vantrease

    Hmmmmm. Never thought I'd write a bit of a eulogy, let alone here, but I think David would be amused by all this. So, as a friend and recovering (AA, not scientology) addict myself, guess I'll try and do my best.

    About 4 years ago, David VanTrease, an addict, landed in Battle Creek, MI. Prior to that he had tried several 12 step treatment programs, but with limited success. Being smart, sometimes it's frustrating to find that we only seem to have one option. To sit in AA meetings and hear that we suffer from a "disease" and that we are "powerless" and that only God can remove our affliction. Sometimes we are told that being smart in AA is a liability. We are told to quit questioning and to turn our lives over to God.

    David was smart. It wouldn't be uncommon for him to be reading Nietzsche and the Tao of Physics at the same time.

    David found the Narconon program on the internet, after trying to find a different approach, and asked his family if he could try it. After being there for about a month, his family found that Narconon was connected to scientology and were quite upset. David asked to stay. He explained that most of the staff members were just ex-addicts and not scientologists. He explained that he wasn't being pushed into believing anything. By the time he finished the program, he agreed with much of it (taking responsibility, being ethical, taking control of your life). But there was some parts that he didn't. That's pretty much how it goes for most who graduate.

    He signed on as a staff member, first working in Withdraw, then as a Course Supervisor. Prior to attending Narconon, he worked as a teachers aide for "in-crisis" kids. He apparently had a gift and a purpose towards helping others. When you have spent your life as an addict, being given the chance to help others who have addictions is a pretty good honor. It's a chance to help, to give life a bit more meaning.

    David was a musician and a seeker. Never one to blindly follow anything, he sought answers. Tried Buddhism, Philosophy, Christianity, etc. He even tried out a couple of courses at the Church of Scientology. Again, he agreed with some, other parts he found a bit "out there".

    After a few years working as a Course Supervisor at Narconon, he wanted to move on. Unfortunately, being a Course Supervisor is more of a "facilitator" than a teacher. You're not really allowed to teach. I think David was born to teach, myself. David quit his job at Narconon and applied to work at A Forever Recovery. At the time, it was a bit of an upset. It's not really considered that ethical to move from a Narconon to another treatment program. But, that was David.

    At A Forever Recovery, he liked the approach. They weren't assuming that there was only "one way to recover". Although at Narconon, they "technically" couldn't push Scientology, it was sort of assumed that Narconon was the "best way" to recover. You were looked upon as a little odd if you pursued other avenues, especially as a staff member.

    I guess the A Forever Recovery philosophy fit with him. Many addicts find that "one magical thing" that works. Many of us do not. Some people find success at Narconon and never become scientologists. Others find success there and do become scientologists. So people embrace AA, others don't.

    David, like me, hated when people told us that there was "only one way" to recover. The Christians, the AAs, the scientologists. I guess he was still searching.

    David helped a lot of people and tried to make a difference with his life. And then, about a week ago he left work, went home and took his own life. Sometimes it's easier to help others than ourselves...or even to ask for help.

    Nobody saw it coming. I saw David about a month before. I talked to him a couple weeks ago. He was talking of the future. Things he wanted to do. How much he liked his new job.

    There was no dark conspiracy.

    I wish that he had found what he was looking for. I wish he found it in the music that he liked to play when strumming his guitar. I wish that he found it in all the philosophy books he would read. I wish he found it in the Christian faith he was raised with in the South. I wish he found it in an AA meeting. I wish he had found it even in Scientology. And I wish that he found it at A Forever Recovery.

    Why do I think David took his own life? Because sometimes it sucks being a drug addict trying to find answers.

    David wasn't a statistic. Nor was he part of some grand conspiracy. He wasn't really 100% for or 100% against either side of the equation. He was just trying to find his way.

    There is no "right" in these arguments. Times like these it's better to be kind than to be right. He was a friend to many people. He was someone's son. And in the end, I guess he was and still is a teacher. He taught me, through all this, to enjoy the moment. Enjoy the relationships that we have. For one day we may look up and find that they are gone.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. chrisanon Member

    Re: RIP David Vantrease

    Thank you very, very much for this post, wanderer. I really appreciate your taking the time to come here and tell everyone about your friend.

    I am very sorry he wasn't able to find his way, and I'm pleased that for once it doesn't sound like Scientology added to someone's burdens.

    One thing I am certain of is that David had wonderfully dedicated friends. He was very fortunate for that.

  4. Re: RIP David Vantrease

    Wanderer, thank you for writing that. When I was on here before I was simply in no condition to write anything like that. I was only trying to defend my friend at that point and was just deeply deeply hurting. \ It sums up everything nicely. Since I was here before I have been looking around on this site. Not really sure what I am looking for, but I find myself here again and again. I started a new thread called "Im new to this" because I can see where this community really does have the best intentions at heart, and that the people here are fighting for a good cause. I never mean to attack this cause. When I first came here I was in shock and still reeling from the news. I googled Davids name and found this. It hurt me greatly and I reacted fiercely. Please understand.
    • Like Like x 3
  5. Re: RIP David Vantrease

    David would be cracking up over this shit though....
  6. Anonymous Member

  7. Re: RIP David Vantrease

    Though they are related in some way....and Im not even sure what way that is because I was already gone at that point... I know that the new program was different from the original program implemented at narconon. I know that it had more to offer than the original stone hawk program.
  8. Re: RIP David Vantrease

    Im just so sad....
  9. AnonyMary Member

    Re: RIP David Vantrease


    Location: on a rollercoaster right now


    Dear Wanderer and YOUDONTEVENKNOW,

    I know it's hard because you have lose someone you cared about. It's very sad that David committed suicide, whether presures from his job had anything to do with it.

    All staff from Narconon Stonehawk went to work at A Forever recovery until Narcnon Freedom Center was legally set up. This as due to legal and tax problems Per and Kathleen Wickstroms had with each other as owners of Stonehawk and with Narconon International. Kathleen Wichstrom sued Per and Narconon Int while Per Wickstrom's brother, who runs Wickstrom Chevrolet, ran A Forever Recovery. He now has his car company corporate secretary, Pamela Anderson, running A Forever Recovery. She is listed as an officer with the state. This was also done to prevent Kathleen fromgetting at assets of Stonehawk. That backfired and they settled in court with her last year.

    So for all intents and purposes, A Forever Recovery was Stonehawk when David transferred there.

    Some questions:

    Didn't David get to Narconon at Arrowhead in OKLA first?

    How did he wind up working in Battle Creek and wind up doing the Narconon program there? He was from Vicksburg, MS.

    Any information on that would help. I want to make sure I have the facts.

    Thank you. You can PM me if you prefer privacy in your reply.

    ~ Mary McConnell
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Re: RIP David Vantrease

    I'm glad to see that this thread pointed itself in the right direction, and even more so that I can say that without the usual jaded sarcasm.
  11. patriot75 Member

    Can this thread be moved to the Narconon Situation Room???
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. grebe Member

  13. Pique Member

    • Like Like x 1
  14. patriot75 Member

    ah thank you so much Pique.....:)
  15. Just to let everyone know...and I don't know if this will even work. But it's been 6 years and I still think about David every day. Along with that, occasionally, I can't help but think of this thread. Because it hurt so bad to read some of the comments left here. Honestly, it makes me nervous to tell anyone new in my life the real story about David's death...which sucks. I'm not here to re-open an old can of worms...I just wanted to let you guys know. David wasn't some alienated scientology drone without friends. He was an amazing person and I still love and miss him everyday
  16. anon8109 Member

    Having a discussion on the internet is like having one with random strangers on the street. You'll meet all kinds of people who say all kinds of things, some nice and some not so nice. Some people even get their jollies by taunting others for sadistic pleasure.

    There's no point getting upset about mean things that random strangers write, some of whom are just 12 year old kids or mentally ill.

    Reply to the posts that are worth replying to and ignore the rest.
    • Like Like x 3
  17. anonysamvines Member

    And one of the things that make so many fight Co$ and NarCONon is the way they manipulate and destroy so many great people, people who want to help make the world a better place, people that want to help ease other's pain. The trail of death and destruction of families that Co$ and NarCONon leave in their wake is immense.

    That is why the interest in David's death you found so offensive then was there. They weren't and aren't (mostly -there is always one tho huh?) disparaging David but grieving him even tho they didn't know him. We may not have known about him till then - but we have and do know so many just like him, both alive and dead.

    If Co$/NarCONon were implicated then Anons didn't want that to go unnoticed and hopefully unpunished. And nor in vain - to help prevent others being drawn in and used and abused by them. To give the kind of meaning to his death that the David you describe would have done had he been able.

    Speaking truthfully about his death does not disparage him as a person.
    Rather the opposite.
    It honours him as the person he was. The full him.
    Just as acknowledging his addiction does not diminish him or how great a guy he was - see the esteem that David Love aka Intelligence is held in. David Love was an addict who went through NarCONon and he too joined staff after graduating because he wanted to help others. His experiences on staff and what he discovered then led him to where he is today. And when he came here with his story he too was told Dox or GTFO. He provided the Dox and hasn't stopped fighting since.

    No one is "perfect" or without "flaw". No one is without redeeming features either

    If you don't want to speak publicly then maybe message David Love. He for sure will be able to relate to anything you may have to say. Something about his death certainly seems to be troubling you or you wouldn't use the phrase "the real story".
    But expect to be checked out if you do. Co$ have been known to impersonate innocent people.

    I am glad you remember your David. He should be remembered.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. God Bless You, 'You Don't Even Know'. Thank you for your kind remarks about David. They mean so very much to people who loved David more than anything in the world. It saddens me tremendously to read the callous remarks written by people who never knew David. Every life is important and family and friends are heartbroken.
  19. Thank you Wanderer for your kind remarks about David. They are very special to me. I wish you the very best.
  20. EVERY life is of value.
  21. Zak McKracken Member

    This thread is sorely lacking in INTELLIGENCE
    if you get my drift.
  22. The Internet Member

    I was enjoying the self to self discussion until Zak had to ruin it.

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