The Magick of DARE

Today calls for celebration! Drug experimenter, occultist and the "world's wickedest man," Aleister Crowley, successfully transcribed the first chapter of The Book of Law from the Stele of Revealing, on April 8, 1904.

Followers of Thelema may be upset to learn, however, that today also marks National DARE Day. Thelema follower believe that to "do what thou whilst, shall be the whole of the law." It's a mantra that's sure to clash with DARE's "Just Say No" message.

On the website, DARE backs up its ritual chanting with this:

This year millions of school children around the world will benefit from DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), the highly acclaimed program that gives kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence....

[DARE] is now being implemented in 75 percent of our nation's school districts and in more than 43 countries around the world.

Sadly, the program itself is about as effective as summoning Babalon. Studies have found that this "highly acclaimed" program doesn't do diddley squat. This is old news for Reasonoids, of course. Choice bits from Senior Editor Jacob Sullum's great coverage:

One study after another has found that students who complete DARE...are just as likely to use drugs as students who don't. Yet DARE claims it is constantly revising its curriculum, so any research indicating that it doesn't work is immediately outdated. And with a few exceptions, school districts–four-fifths of which use the program–always seem willing to give DARE another chance.

A study in the latest issue of the journal Health Education Research concludes that many schools use "heavily marketed curricula that have not been evaluated, have been evaluated inadequately or have been shown to be ineffective in reducing substance abuse." The lead researcher, Denise Hallfors of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, does not mince words in her evaluation of DARE. "There's no scientific rationale whatsoever for maintaining DARE in the schools," she says.

But such criticism does not faze DARE. The organization's executive director, Charlie Parsons, told the Associated Press the research cited by skeptics "refers to DARE's old curriculum, which is no longer used."

Read the whole debunking of DARE magick here. Exorcize your DARE diamons here, here, here and... here. In 2001, Senior Editor Brian Doherty discussed Crowley's beastly individualism. And below, The Prince of Darkness sings for The Beast:

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    The DARE people should all be hog-tied and forced to watch The Happy Little Elves Meet the Curious Bear Cub.

  • hmm||

    Why Reasonoids and not Reasonites? Wouldn't the later be more accurate in reference to those that follow or those that are a resident of something or somewhere? Rather than the former implying the presences of a specific quality.

  • SpongePaul||

    todays national dare day! well, I guess after i leave the office i will have to smoke a J take some pills have some fun and go to the office tom, just like nothing happened. JUST TO PROVE THEM WRONG!

  • Menstrual Retardation||

    I and my friends were among the first kids ever to get drug educated (not DARE, but rather a precursor. This was in 1970. More than anything, it's what made us want to try drugs. And we did. Best education I have ever received. Well, that and porn.

  • Preparation R||

    "Why Reasonoids and not Reasonites?"

    I have often wondered that too.

  • ||

    Reasonoids while in space, Reasonors while burning up in the atmosphere, Reasonites after we crash into the Earth.

  • ||

    "Reasonoid" is a play on "Randroid," which clueless assholes drop by to call us all the time.

  • Naga Sadow||

    SugarFree,

    "Reasonoid" came from Blade Runner?

  • Warty||

    If enough of us get together in a room, we cause a Reasonance cascade.

  • ||

    In drafting my latest Urkobold posting, I learned a new word: gynoid. It's a female android.

    I'm not sure what a female Randroid is called.

  • ||

    "That was irrational of you... not to mention unsportsmanlike."

  • ||

    I'm not sure what a female Randroid is called.

    NULL SET
    TRY ANOTHER SEARCH?

  • DADIODADDY||

    My children think the t-shirts are a hoot.

  • BakedPenguin||

    SF, no, I went out with one once. Unfortunately, I was too "irrational" to make it work. Meaning that I didn't want to discuss the philosophical meaning of screwing before screwing.

  • ||

    BakedPenguin,

    Sort of...

    I THINK IT WOULD BE RATIONAL FOR YOU TO APPLY A 13% INCREASE IN ROTATIONAL RATE TO THE CLOCKWISE STIMULATION OF MY CLITORIS. AND THEN RAPE ME.

  • hmm||

    How about discussing it while screwing?

  • ||

    Lawrence Sutin, who wrote the excellent Divine Invasions: A Life of Philip K. Dick also wrote the highly entertaining Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley. I'm normally not a fan of biography, but these are both fine reads.

  • ||

    Ooh, Divine Invasion was good. Very good. I shall have to track down this Crowley biography.

    Thx for the tip, SugarFree.

  • Warty||

    Man, Ozzy was cool when he was alive.

  • BakedPenguin||

    SugarFree - that conversation would have been preferable to the ones we had. hmm, that would have also been preferable.

    It was essentially the same "what does this mean" thing you'll often get from women, but soaked in Objectivist language. Since I was never more than a dilettante in that land, I often failed to get the correct tone.

    I'm still not sure why, though. I was selfish as hell.

  • ||

    My best friend was president of Drug Free Youth in high school. Me? DARE student of the year.

    Now? Drunks and potheads the both of us.

  • ||

    I'm still not sure why, though. I was selfish as hell.

    It's not enough to be selfish. You have to construct a highly detail rationalization to excuse your selfishness. Rather than just, you know, wanting to be left alone.

  • phalkor||

    In 1996 I won a DARE essay contest concerning peer pressure and drugs. Yesterday I taught the local herb dealer how to use credit to control the inventory/revenue ratio thus ensuring no more dry times. Today I put the finishing touches on a finite element model to examine seismic forces.

    DARE has helped me become a contributing member of society while being a responsible drug user. DARE works!

  • ||

  • The Chad||

    Aynoid?

  • ||

    Rapemeoids?

  • ||

    But such criticism does not faze DARE. The organization's executive director, Charlie Parsons, told the Associated Press the research cited by skeptics "refers to DARE's old curriculum, which is no longer used."



    That's a common excuse in failing school districts. "Pay no attention to those decades of failure, we fixed all that last year.
    Can we have more funding?"

  • phalkor||

    define failure though.

    DARE does fail at its stated goal, but it has certain aspects that are good. DARE educates, most of the education is factual. Kids of the learning type will have their curiousity piqued and see that while meth addiction is a terrible thing, smoking a joint won't kill you.

    If DARE somehow became more honest with kids about the real consequences of substance abuse (not merely use) it could be truly effective.

    Don't hate on DARE. Should pot be legalized there will still be a need for DARE.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Yeah, I "exposed" DARE back in 1993 in that shameless tab "YOUTH TODAY." Obviously, it had little effect. Besides, they've changed the curriculum!

  • ||

    "Reasonoid" is a play on "Randroid," which clueless assholes drop by to call us all the time.

    I always assumed it was a reference to Bobby Heenan's favorite term for wrestling fans, "humanoid".

  • ||

    I'm not sure what a female Randroid is called.

    Ayn?

    I mean, there was only one, so why not call her by name.

  • ||

    Dagnoid?

  • Karl||

    The DARE program was doomed from the start. It failed to incorporate the other three keys of the Magus: KNOW, WILL, and KEEP SILENT. Any Crowley-ite could have told them that!

  • Joel||

    Randroidess?

  • Jeff P||

    Ozzy Osbourne has the easiest job in Rock n Roll. All he has to do is stand there and suck.

  • jtuf||

    Yet DARE claims it is constantly revising its curriculum, so any research indicating that it doesn't work is immediately outdated.



    Yeah right, this time the new social engineering plan will work. I've heard that line enough to stop believing it.

  • ||

    Hey now, I like Ozzy and Black Sabbath.

  • Warty||

    Fuck you, Jeff P. FUCK. YOU.

  • Brett Stevens||

    Of course DARE fails. Telling kids that drugs are bad when they have a one in 400 chance of getting busted even for dealing... giant fail.

  • Arthur||

    Of course Crowley's novel Diary of a Drug Fiend detailed how one could overcome a drug addiction through the application of ceremonial magick. Sort of a 12 step program for the magickally inclined, I guess.

  • ¢||

    "Reasonoid" means "like but not reason."

  • nebby||

    I will never forget the day in 1978 when they brought the drug education van to my school. It had all kinds of drugs in a glass case with little typed labels next to them. It included a joint rolled with an american flag paper.

    I immediately knew I wanted to try that cool ass joint.

  • SIV||

    Ooh, Divine Invasion was good.

    Sucked even worse than "Our Friends From Frolix 8"

  • ||

    Ooh, Divine Invasion was good.

    Sucked even worse than "Our Friends From Frolix 8"


    Meant Divine Invasions - the biography. Frolix 8 was alright though.

  • ||

    Isn't Jeff Winkler the same guy that said he had a 'Winter Solstice Bush' last Christmas?

    Or ar the reason staffers all in the same coven?

  • dhex||

    i love that ridiculous hat.

  • ||

    When I was a kid in Germany, we had the nursing staff from Landstuhl hospital come and teach us about "The dangers of drugs". I couldn't help but pick up on a certain element of "And this drug is really awesome, uh, I mean dangerous and awful" in the presentation.

    Later, when I was a teen, I learned that the nursing staff were some of the biggest dopers in the military, behind the firefighters and the MPs , of course.

  • IAO13||

    Do what thou WILT shall be the whole of the Law... not whilst.

  • the innominate one||

    Mr. Crowley is Ozzy's best non-Black Sabbath song, though that's damning with faint praise

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