Chapter 4: I Am a Spiritual Terrorist
And every pub owner thought that this would be an impossible job. He had so many kinds of alcohol - how is this man going to manage? So he would give him a glass and the man would immediately say, “Thirty years old, a French wine,” and a certain trademark. Amazed, the whole pub crowd would gather around, and he would take both the notes and say, “Do you want another try?”
The owner would say, “Okay, you put another hundred dollars.” So he would put down one hundred dollars. The owner would again put one hundred dollars, give him another wine, and immediately, just by tasting it - such a refined taste, such sensitivity - he would tell everything about it.
Once it went on for ten times, and the owner was losing one hundred dollars every time. He said, “My God! This man is unbelievable.” Then suddenly a man came from the crowd and gave the man a cup. He took one sip, and he said, “My God! This is human urine!” And the man, who had gone behind the crowd again, asked, “But whose? Unless you tell whose, you are a loser! How old.?”
Intoxicating drugs are as ancient as man. No country has ever been able to prohibit them. Alcohol has been prohibited by many countries, and they all failed finally because it turned out to be more dangerous. People were taking all kinds of things, and people were creating all kinds of things in the name of “medicine.” But it was all illegal so there was no way to check on it and see whether it was the right stuff. Nobody knew its constituents. So it killed thousands of people in every country, wherever there was prohibition. And it attracted more people who had never been drinking before.
Prohibition always attracts. You prohibit anything, and just see: people who have never bothered about it will start searching for it, thinking that “There must be something in it; otherwise why is the government so interested in prohibiting it?”
Just try. Prohibit ice cream, and suddenly you will see the whole country becomes interested in ice cream - people who have never bothered about it. And when there is such a great demand, there will be suppliers. And it will not be the right stuff, because ice cream can be made of blotting paper; just the blotting paper has to be soaked in water, mixed with milk, and you can have ice cream made out of blotting paper! It looks exactly like ice cream! Just prohibit it and people will find ways, and even those who were never interested will become interested.
Now Gorbachev wants to prohibit Russians from drinking alcohol. This is not revolution. If you want people not to drink, you have to give them something higher that takes away their anxieties. They drink because they are tense, they drink because there is anxiety, they drink because they want to forget. They want to forget the wife, they want to forget the husband, they want to forget the small kids, they want to forget their business, they want to forget their financial troubles.