Another day, another report about a Trump administration employee with some, uhhhhhhh, odd beliefs. This time, it's the newly appointed deputy assistant secretary for health technology at the Department of Health and Human Services, former Louisiana House Republican representative John Fleming. He has some questionable ideas about what causes substance abuse. In 2006, Fleming (who is also a physician) wrote a book called Preventing Addiction: What Parents Must Know to Immunize Their Kids Against Drug and Alcohol Addiction, where he suggests that there's a correlation between tattoos and substance abuse, though he concedes that "not all Goths are drug addicts." BuzzFeed looked into this book and published a list of excerpts. Among the gems:
- Why opiates are proof of God's existence: "Were it not for these drugs, many common and miraculous surgeries would be impossible to either undergo or perform. In my opinion this is no coincidence at all. Only a higher power and intellect could have created a world in which substances like opiates grow naturally."
- How pornography can lead to fear of dick: "Another recent example I can cite is that of an adult woman who was allowed to see a pornographic movie as a child. As an adult, she has suffered from a phobia to male genitalia."
- On the correlation between tattoos and substance abuse: "Body art comes into play in drug addiction as well, although obviously, not all who have a tattoo are addicts. A sailer who gets a single tattoo on his arm or an adult woman who has a small butterfly tattooed on her lower abdomen are not necessarily drug addicts or even rebellious — just dumb, at least temporarily!"
- On whether Goths are predisposed to drug addiction: "Goths usually smoke cigarettes and many practice an odd sort of devil worship, although kids in the 'punk' culture may not have any interest in these non-mainstream beliefs. Not all Goths are drug addicts, but a high percentage experiment with all types of drugs, including hallucinogens... When you see that your child has become interested in body art or has a fascination with the Goth or other subculture, then be on alert, because your child is likely headed into rebellion and possible drug experimentation."
Before being appointed to Trump's cabinet of horrors, Fleming was known for believing an Onion story about Planned Parenthood building an $8 billion "abortionplex" was real, and propagating phony information he read on Breitbart on the House floor. BuzzFeed also pointed out that in an interview, Fleming recounts making his 16-year-old son take a breathalyzer test every time he came home after he caught him drinking. "Believe it or not, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association have come out against the use of home breathalyzer and drug testing," Fleming said, but then called his parenting techniques "necessary in today's environment."
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