Archive for December 17th, 2010

From: Gagan


Subject: Another Type of Addiction

Date: Thu 16 Dec 2010 14:39:02 -0000







In the USA, state and local governments are resorting to lotteries and gambling to generate income. The article appended below talks about this matter and if you listen to the podcast (see link below) there is a more in-depth interview detailing the effect of lotteries and gambling on the general populace.


Here – in very brief – is an overview of the affect of gambling on the human condition according to the stand of Ananda Marga. We should all be aware of how gambling affects one spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and socially.


1. The main problem with gambling is that in increases one’s greed: one thinks that they can get more money – totally free. It creates a feeling in the mind of malcontent. Because the gambling addict always feels, “I want more.” In that case they can never have peace of mind. Gambling ruins any sense of santosa and goes against the code of aparigraha as well. Because when any vrtti is encouraged, like greed, then one becomes intoxicated by that vrtti and one loses their sense. Thus those involved in gambling totally destroy their mental structure and lose any semblance of mental equipoise and inner peace. This is the root problem with gambling.


From this above noted spiritual and psychic problem, so many social offshoots result:


2. A gambling addict will destroy their family because of their addiction. They will spend all the family’s money and resources on their negative habit (addiction to gambling) and overlook basic needs like food, clothing for the children, and so much more.


3. When someone gambles they invariably lose all their wealth and in turn become depressed. Here again that leads to the destruction of the family as people resort to alcohol and other drugs to seemingly alter their depressed mood. That invites divorce and so many marital problems like abuse. In sum one’s home-life is wrecked.


4. When one loses in gambling then they need more money to support their addiction and many times they resort to cheating, theft, robbery and deception in order go get more money.


5. A gambling addiction will totally one’s ruin own health: physically, mentally and in all kinds of ways. Because gambling itself is an intoxicant. Intoxicants need not always be things like wine and drugs; gambling and other sorts of bad psychic habits also intoxicate the mind.


6. Thus the array of problems is vast. It is not just three or four points but many. Where there is gambling so many social crimes and psychic problems will mushroom. Gambling invites a negative, downward spiral.


7. If the casino business were a losing proposition then why would greedy moguls enter into this enterprise. Why? Because the “house” or the casino never loses. In the end the casino always wins and the common people suffer. This itself is proof that those who gamble are bound to lose.


8. Unfortunately in our Marga we have also undergone the ill effects of gambling. For instance, some years ago Dada Mahadevananda secretly took the entire Prout bank account from the Washington DC Prout office and went to Atlantic City, NJ in hopes of winning but he lost every penny in the casinos – thousands and thousands of dollars. Tragically this is not an isolated incident. Due to greed people try to win more money by gambling. If such an instance has occurred in your unit, do let us know as all such incidents should be dealt with and the person rectified of their problem.


9. Here below is Baba’s guideline for how to heal those who suffer from an addiction or bad habit like gambling.


Baba says, “The best psychological cure for addicts is to put them in an environment where they will be unable to think of their object of addiction for any length of time. To proclaim, “Don’t do this, it’s bad,” is futile, for it is a negative approach. If you say, “Don’t drink wine”, you are still injecting the concept of wine into the alcoholic’s mind, thus making it impossible for him to forget it and kick his bad habits. You are giving alcohol negative publicity, and it again becomes his mental object. Thus whenever he gets the opportunity he will certainly drink it again. And it may be that this negative approach encourages the alcoholic to become even more addicted. It is a defective approach.”

“These days the sign “No smoking please” is placed in many public places, but it will not reduce the amount of smoking. If society wants people to stop smoking, its approach should be to divert the smoker’s mind to other objects. A chain smoker should be encouraged to get involved in various pursuits such as music, dance, songs, culture of fine arts, etc., for if the mind remains engaged in these things it will forget its object of addiction. But the person who thinks, “I’ll stop drinking wine the day after tomorrow – no, let me see, why not tomorrow” can never kick the habit, for wine remains the mental object. The mind will try to materialize whatever it thinks about in the external world – this is its nature.” (APH-6, “Vyatireka-1)


10. Here below is that news article about the effect of gambling – and again the podcast (audio) is a more detailed interview with the Professor McGowan.





To listen to the podcast visit this below link. At the 9:45min mark of the interview, the Professor McGowan addresses the many social and negative offshoots of legalised gambling.




For decades, Las Vegas was the only place in the United States where casino gambling was legal. But in the late 1970s, Atlantic City, N.J., followed suit. Since then, more and more state and local governments have gotten into the game, lured by the promise of new jobs and tax revenues. Forty states now permit some form of casino gambling.


Recapturing revenue lost to neighboring states is now the primary reason why states legalize gambling, says economist Richard McGowan. McGowan, a professor at Boston College who has studied and written about gambling for years, tells Fresh Air contributor Dave Davies that many states legalize gambling so that money spent by gamblers doesn’t travel across state lines.


He points to Pennsylvania as an example of a state trying to make up for huge budget shortfalls by introducing casino gambling.


In 2009, Pennsylvania legalized slot casinos across the state. At the time, thousands of Pennsylvania residents were streaming across the state’s borders to New Jersey in order to play the slots.


“In 2008, New Jersey made $4.5 billion on gambling [while] Pennsylvania made $1.6 billion,” says McGowan. “In 2009, New Jersey’s revenue went down to $3.9 billion. Pennsylvania went up to almost $2 billion. So you had a gain in revenue in Pennsylvania of around 20 percent. And you had a negative effect in New Jersey of around 13 percent. Clearly Pennsylvania declared war on New Jersey.”


But the two mid-Atlantic states are not alone. Ohio approved gambling in the last election, McGowan says, because “it’s surrounded by states now that have casino gambling, with the exception of Kentucky.”


And California recently allowed tribes across the state to open a series of Native American casinos, with California receiving 25 percent of all revenue from slot machines.


“Clearly California was declaring war on Nevada,” McGowan says. “And it has hurt Nevada. And you see this in state after state after state.”


McGowan tells Davies that he thinks sometimes states get addicted to the new source of cash flow, in the same way that gamblers in the casinos do. And states that relied on gambling revenue to generate income — but are now losing money to neighboring states — are looking for newer ways to generate income.


“Not to pick on New Jersey, but New Jersey is now saying we have to revisit sports gambling,” he says. “In other words, they’re going to up the ante on gambling. They’re saying, ‘To make the Atlantic City casinos more attractive, we will start sports gambling there.’ I’m sure the two Native American casinos in Connecticut [Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun] are thinking about sports gambling. That’s another whole area that nobody wants to touch right now but clearly they’re going to have to touch it.”


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