‘Ask Alicia’: A preaching book on drugs that turned out to be a lie

In 1971, a literary phenomenon broke out in the United States. Not long after, I hit the front of the store glass bellthe only novel by Sylvia Plath, an anonymous title appeared with a suggestive name: Ask Alicia. in the form of a life diary, One teenager recounted her experience of running away from home and being under the influence of drugs.

The girl was angry at her parents, her teachers at school for being boring, and angry at herself for being bored. Thus, he did horrible things like washing his hair with mayonnaise. At a yearbook signing party, where Yankee teens are signing yearbooks to each other, someone starts handing out bottles of Coca-Cola, but with an extra ingredient: lysergic acid, LSD:

Dear Diary, I don’t know if I should be embarrassed or happy. I just know that last night I had the most amazing experience of my life. It turns out that the things I “heard about LSD were clearly written by ignorant and uninformed people like my parents who obviously didn’t know what they were talking about,” notes Alice in her memoir.

Beatrice Sparks.

But strictly speaking, it’s not that the girl was really called Alice, the name was chosen in reference to the song white rabbitFrom Jefferson Airplane. Soon after the book was published, the book became a phenomenon, and a psychologist began appearing in the media, claiming to be the author of the volume. he was called Beatrice Sparks.

The idea for the book was as a lesson for teens, according to its author. But yes, he commented, the diary actually exists. She commented that she “found” a teenage girl’s diary, and that she simply “edited” or “compiled”. Of course, he commented that there is no real adolescence as he described it. Instead, he based his book on the diaries he accessed.

The book was quickly bannedAlthough this increased the desire of teenagers to read it. Certainly, he exposed the world of drugs and sex to an audience that crave new experiences. The book was even adapted for an ABC movie starring William Shatner as the historian’s father and Andy Griffiths as a priest taking her off the streets.

But the American writer Rick Emerson made it clear in his latest book that this is true. in Alice’s Mask Revealed: LSD, The Satanic Panic, And The Impostor Behind The World’s Most Famous Diary, He reveals that, strictly speaking, what he did was invent a story. There was no diary for teenagers.

Sparks may have compiled his stories from the multiple case studies he found‘,” explains literary critic Casey Sepp in The New Yorker. “The truth is something that is hard to measure, especially when it comes to plays rooted in adolescence and true extreme forms of addiction or trauma. some critics Jay’s Diary -His second book – They base their suspicions on emotionally forged passages that they consider unlikely to have come from a teenager.”

Beatrice Sparks.

A native of Pima, Arizona, strictly speaking, Sparks was a high school dropout and worked as a waitress in Santa Monica, California, and fell in love with a Mormon named Lavorn Sparks, originally from Texas. They married and moved to her husband’s state where they started a dry cleaning business. Over time the financial situation improved and they moved to Utah. There she met Beatrice Art Linkletter as a corporate client. It was he who took the book to a literary agent.

It so happened that the youngest daughter of Linkletter committed suicide in 1969. He blamed the girl’s death on LSD and began a campaign against recreational and narcotic drugs. Beatrice Sparks volunteered at a local hospital and cared for troubled youth. So, in an attempt to calm him down, she gave him a manuscript with her title Buried Alive: Diary of an Unknown Teenager.

Prentice-Hall Publishing was interested in publishing it, but the publisher thought that giving her a voluntary status in the hospital, could affect the success of the book and so they decided to make it anonymous. “As you know, Mrs. Sparks is dedicated to helping young people, and she is willing to remain anonymous to get the message across to the public,” her attorney wrote when signing the contract for the book’s edition.

However, Rick Emerson claims that Sparks didn’t just make his source., but also ads from fake experts. She even noted that when confronted with the script’s authenticity, Sparks justified herself by hinting at the record’s authenticity, with its candid scenes and outrageous language. He claimed that he wrote about troubled teens “so that other kids don’t have to go where they’ve been. They can see the price one has to pay and make up their own mind.”

“Emerson sees Sparks primarily as a fraud, but she emerges as a true believer, both in evil and in her ability to combat it by directly intimidating teenagers,” notes Casey Sepp. Almost certainly she saw herself as part of the historical tradition of taking vice as its subject in an effort to glorify virtue, modern Dante or modern John Bunyan.”

Sparks never gave up his desire to compose books and publish other volumes: Jay’s Diary (1978), It happened to Nancy (1994), Almost Lost: The True Story of an Unknown Teenager’s Life on the Streets (1996) or find katie (2005), his last book. All about troubled teens. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 95.

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