Adventures in Maritime Quackery: The Leslie E. Keeley Gold Cure Institute of Fredericton, N.B.
Warsh, Cheryl Krasnick
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The Keeley movement in North America, which provided great riches for its founders, sobriety to some of its followers, and blindness and pain to a few unfortunates, is simple to dismiss as an isolated example of 19th century greed and credulity. However, as even its detractors admitted, the system was successful for a great many alcoholics. This success was due as much to the spontaneous actions of its overwhelmingly male adherents as to the mysterious remedy that contained little, if any, bi-chloride of gold. The socio-emotional satisfaction of mutual support, non-judgmental attitudes, and recapture of lost dignity, which foreshadowed the goals of Alcoholics Anonymous, may have been the true Gold in the Cure.