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My synopsis of Scumbag Sewer Rats


My Second Book

Published by

If anyone has questions concerning addiction/recovery, feel free to 'Contact Me' at the top of this page 

Carl Gustav Jung wrote that:

"Anyone who wants to know the human psyche will learn next to nothing from experimental psychology. He would be better advised to put away his scholar’s gown, bid farewell to his study, and wander with human heart through the world. There, in the horrors of prisons, lunatic asylums and hospitals, in drab suburban pubs, in brothels and gambling-hells [sic], in the salons of the elegant, the Stock Exchanges, Socialist meetings, churches, revivalist gatherings and ecstatic sects, through love and hate, through the experience of passion in every form in his own body, he would reap richer stores of knowledge than text-books a foot thick could give him, and he will know how to doctor the sick with real knowledge of the human soul" (Jung, 1945, 1953, p. 244 [CW 7, para. 409]).

Criminalized drug addicts (mostly male), who I also refer to as jointsters, personify two archetypes:

the Puer Aeternus (eternal boy in Latin) and the Trickster


The short answer: depth psychology is the psychology of the unconscious. To elaborate, depth psychology is a tradition initiated by Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and developed by others, including James Hillman with his Archetypal re-visioning of Psychology as well as many of the phenomenological schools. The spirit of depth psychology is cultivated by understanding literature, spirituality, alchemy, and mythology.

Then Read a Description of

Your Psychological Type

 Take Carl Jung's

Personality Test


From the Back Cover of Scumbag Sewer Rats

An Interesting and socially important psychological review of the criminal archetype, that reviews the phenomenon of criminalized drug addiction both from the inside, as well as the academic perspective. Dr. John Smethers takes us on a deeply personal journey, looking at the root causes and effects of a sub culture populated by society's social outcasts. Drug addicts, alcoholics, and petty criminals are studied from the unique perspective of someone who has not only 'been there', but one who has successfully struggled against the social and psychological forces that have lead so many of our young men into hopelessness and despair. This is a keen and insightful look into a little-known underworld in which we all, in one way or another, have helped to create. (Stephen Manning, Ph.D., author of Color of Truth)

Depth psychologist John Smethers' Scumbag Sewer Rats offers a unique, fascinating and heart-felt glimpse into the world of criminalized drug addicts, revealing both self-indulgence and the outgoing humanity of the puer and trickster images that is so prevalent in the social order of this shadowed underworld. (Mike Denny, MD, Ph.D., and author of Second Opinion and Nobody's Boy)

          My First Book

​From the back cover of Addict to Academic:

I went to a party when I was twelve and didn't get back until I was 45. My early years wasn't as dynamic or event-oriented as my later years, but in the opening chapters of this book I describe what I believe predisposed me to a life centered around drugs and alcohol. I also discuss my relationship with my parents and how they enabled me to continue on a self-destructive path. From junior high through high school, my story is all about my progression from weekend drinking forays to the early stages of alcoholism and all the chaos of that age period. My five county jail sentences and one prison sentence is characteristic, more or less, of most drug addicts. For over 30 years getting stoned was the very most important thing in my life--even more important than a succession of girlfriends, three wives and a beautiful daughter that I somehow managed to raise. I've had an interesting life. I tell about moving counterfeit money, drug smuggling and drug dealing, writing my own medical prescriptions, and how I defrauded the public in service stations selling shocks, tires, and other automotive accessories. And of course I explain my journey through the prison system. At 45 years old, after being released from the California Department of Corrections, I started a clean and sober life that allowed me to pursue an education culminating with a Ph.D. The latter chapters of Addict to Academic takes the reader through my education process, much like the earlier chapters takes the reader through the addiction process. 

"An open and honest account  of one man's remarkable personal journey from a life of crime and addiction, to that of respected author and academic. A well-written, moving and informative read." STM CheckPoint Press