Russell Brand Suggests God and Sobriety Have Changed Him as a Man
Comedian Russell Brand, known for his vulgar comments and wild behavior, suggested that fatherhood, sobriety and God have changed him as a man.
The once self-professed "dyed-in-the-wool crack and heroin addict" recently released a new book, titled Recovery: Freedom from our Addictions. The 42-year-old said the book has a "Christiany feel" and is Brand's own version of the 12-step recovery program for addicts.
In a recent interview with inews.co.uk, a "thoughtful and eloquent" Brand admitted he has turned his back on his addictions. He even admitted cutting wine from his list of acceptable drinks.
The 12-step program, which is popular in AA meetings, has been known to point its participants to faith in a higher power. Brand's book reportedly does the same while broadening the message of addiction to all forms of addiction, from watching too much television to binge-eating, or the addiction most have to their smartphones.
Still loaded with obscene language, Brand's first three steps in the book use the extremity of the F-word to bring across his point. The United Kingdom native, however, does use his writing to point people in the direction of believing in God.
"I think we've been tricked into not believing in God," Brand told inews.co.uk on Saturday. "Life is now measured out, to paraphrase T. S. Eliot, in coffee spoons. This is it. Are you waiting for a damascene conversion? Not to a faith but to become yourself?"
The author pointed out that many people are on the brink of falling off this rat race of life.
"There's a duty to reclaim [the true meaning of religion] when we're in an ideological dead-end, when these knee-jerk acts of self-flagellation are happening at an international level," Brand explained.
Switching gears to talk about the social unrest in America and the "anger" that led to President Donald Trump being elected, the six-time holder of the title "Shagger of the Year" maintained that he wouldn't want to be responsible for leading a government.
"I wouldn't want to take personal responsibility for the management of an economic system," he confessed. "But what I'm interested in is truth, and what I would like people to realize is that [short-term satisfaction from drugs or buying things] ain't going to work – and you can extrapolate that to social change."
In July, Brand spoke with former atheist Alister McGrath, who is now an Anglican priest, and in that conversation, the comedian admitted he doesn't "know much about Christianity." But he also noted, "For me, without some sense of a deeper truth for me there is only hedonism, for me there is only indulgence."
"I feel like my addiction I've had per mutating addiction, initially it's drugs, then it's sex and food, then it's relationships ... managed in a certain way ... then ultimately I discover all forms of desire are engined by the desire for union, for connection, for oneness, for wholeness," he added. "And I think that it is the exclusion of spiritual pricinples from contemporary culture and contemporary conversation that has led us into something that feels worse somehow than annihilism, that feels worse than 'there is no meaning,' but there is like an anti-meaning, a negative meaning."
In a documentary released two years ago by filmmaker Ondi Timoner, titled "Brand: A Second Coming," the comedian's mother, Barbara, is shown talking about how her son had a messiah complex at a young age.
"Russell came into my bedroom and he said that he was the second Jesus. He was very upset that I didn't believe him. ... But that's not a normal thing for a son to say, is it?" Barbara was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
Brand was married to pop-star and former Christian Katy Perry in 2010, but the marriage lasted only 14 months. He is now married to Laura Gallacher and the couple just had their first child, Mabel, in November last year.