Feb 012021

Pictured, Jorge Riley from his social media at the Capitol

I was sent a copy of the 10 page charging document from the Federales related to Jorge Riley. He is facing 20 years in prison.

I have known Jorge Riley for almost 20 years. He was one of the first people I met in CRA that embodies the bad image CRA has as a haven for wackjobs. My memories of Jorge are him carrying around a flask at conventions, nipping on it and more than once where he told me “Jesus Loves You” with the strong scent of alcohol on his breath. There was usually so much of it, I could not tell what type it was.

I never drank with Jorge at a convention as I quit drinking November 1, 2002. But, I always saw him literally with a siphon in hospitality suites in the conventions he was at. I also know that he hated me and I wondered if my sobriety had anything to do with that.

The real story as I see it with Jorge Riley were the number of people around him in political groups enabling him. Coddling an alcoholic-addict is actually cruel as it extends the misery and extends the pattern of devastation. In the case of Jorge, he always had a chorus of people making excuses for him or helping clean up his messes.

I knew he smoked weed because of PTSD. I knew he drank because of anxiety. It was really hard to stay silent as I heard this stuff because I know what I overcame in my own life while I was getting rid of alcohol and tobacco. I surrendered my will to the Lord and I also had a lot of opposition around me in my early days of sobriety that gave me clarity of the stakes.

Conservative Mugs 970×250

Alcohol takes years to wreck someone. The sensational DUI accidents are the rarity. I remember early in sobriety when someone in a meeting with 16 years of sobriety relapsed and ironically killed someone in a head on DUI collision on Highway 16. That has stuck with me forever as a reminder that I am never cured and no one else can fix stuff for me – weather I lost everything or died was 100% up to me and I needed God to save me from myself every day.

I believe Jorge Riley knows God. I don’t believe Jorge Riley ever surrendered his will to God. He would not do what he is doing.

Jorge Riley’s addiction is taking him to the brink of prison. I know anectdotally that he has lost children (or had custody issues) over his drinking and drugging, lost jobs, lost family, etc. All of this is second hand, but is 100% consistent with hundreds of stories I have heard in AA over the years. I sincerely wish he’d turn his will over to God and stop. Only Jorge can admit he has a problem with alcohol, marijuana and whatever else it is.

Alcoholism also has an area effect. Other people get hurt, I mentioned family, but also the CRA was dragged in to the headlines over his behavior at the capitol. I was told that within the CRA’s board many of Jorge’s remaining enablers were arguing against forcing him out of the oganization. Then he got arrested. I’d lay odds that the several weeks he has been incarcerated is the first extended period he has had without drugs or alcohol in years. (unless he got some in prison)

Right now, I am working on the campaign of a candidate for a Republican Party Office. In the course of that campaign, I have been able to re-connect with many people within the CRA. I feel for them having to deal with this issue. The CRA is a volunteer group and this should never happen. I respect the leadership of the group for finally prevailing and for holding a hard line against Riley’s bad behavior.

I will be turning 50 in just a couple of weeks. I can’t believe I have lived to be 50 given what I did before I quit drinking. I have seen over the years that Politics attracts extreme people and am presented with examples of the destruction and havoc of addiction as a result. It happens more often than I can imagine. Two people have lost kids to addiction in the last couple of years. Another former Republican leader died in a flophouse. DUI’s are a dime a dozen.

God’s will is what is best for us. I learned that as a kid. I had to believe that as an adult when I was dazed, sick, wrung out, confused, angry, bewildered, demoralized and trembling from the alcohol leaving my system. Finally, somehow I made it through to work the 12 steps of AA to put the pieces back together.

I don’t want Jorge Riley to go to prison. I also get zero joy out of seeing the CRA, an organization that banned me for life over garbage issues, get dragged in the press because of Riley. I do hope the people that have been close to Riley wake up and realize that when they thought they were helping him, they were enabling him to have his addition get worse. Pray for Jorge, when he gets out of prison in 5-10 years, perhaps he will have had a real chance to connect with God. The only God that can save him from himself.

We Do Recover
When at the end of the road we find that we can no longer function as a human being, either with or without drugs, we all face the same dilemma. What is there left to do? There seems to be this alternative: either go on as best we can to the bitter ends—jails, institutions or death—or find a new way to live. In years gone by, very few addicts ever had this last choice. Those who are addicted today are more fortunate. For the first time in man’s entire history, a simple way has been proving itself in the lives of many addicts. It is available to us all. This is a simple spiritual—not religious—program, known as Narcotics Anonymous.

Today I have 18 Years and 3 Months Sober and Counting.

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  3 Responses to “Jorge Riley – a Case Study in How Alcoholism is a Progressive Destructive Disease. He is Facing 20 Years in Prison”

  1. Since I’m relatively new with CRA but have met Jorge in the past, I was not aware of all this. I’m so sorry that he has not been able to come to terms with his addiction.

    I admire you for taking your addiction seriously and cleaning up your life. You are certainly a role model that it can be done.

    God Bless!

  2. Intrepid Blogger, thanks for sharing. Addictions are awful. Many think they can get close to the cliff and not fall off. Even those that get away from the addiction cliff, the effects are difficult to overcome. My mother-in-law often said, “The devil never sleeps.”

  3. Aaron,Congratulations on your many years of sobriety. Knowing Jorge, though not his addition problems, I hope he sees the Light and turns to God & AA and/or Narcotics anonymous for help and support.

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