'Gold Rush: Alaska': Harness kicked out, Jack admits morphine addiction

Behind-the-scenes happenings did indeed lead to some "Revelations" in last night's episode of Gold Rush on the Discovery Channel.

The mining season may be over, but the producers of Gold Rush on the Discovery Channel aren’t ready to let their mega-popular series fade into re-runs just yet.

Last night, on an episode entitled, “Revelations,” viewers got to see a few scenes that were kept from the regular episodes and, indeed there were a few revelations for the season to come.

READ ALSO: 'Gold Rush: Alaska': Suggestions to Hoffmans for Season 3 success

There had been allegations and rumors in the past that Jack Hoffman was addicted to morphine; turns out that one was completely true. After a tease last week, following the season finale, in which Jack was seen stating that he was addicted to the drug, speculation ran wild. Was Jack really saying that he was addicted to morphine? Or could he have simply been repeating a conversation that he’d had with Harness, an admitted morphine addict? After all, it wouldn’t be the first time editing garbled the true meaning of a tease. But, as it turned out, Jack was, indeed, talking about himself.

Turns out that a degenerative back condition had Jack in near-constant, excruciating pain throughout Season 2. His addiction to morphine was not something he was proud of—he did his best, it seemed, to hide the fact that he was taking the medication from the crew and cast—and, at the end of the season, he realized that he had to take steps to rectify his personal situation. Additionally, even with the morphine to dull the pain, Jack still seemed to have suffered quite a bit for the team over Season 2 and, ultimately, a Season 3 of the same type of physical ailment was not going to be feasible. As he pointed out, his baby is the 400, and it pretty much beats the driver up every time he steps into it—another season of that kind of battering was not going to be possible unless he got the operation he needed to fix his problem or, at minimum, alleviate it.

Jack did, in the "Revelations" episode, have the operation performed, and it appears to have been a success. Now, as to whether or not he is clean from the morphine? That was not directly addressed in the episode, but one would hope that breaking the addiction will be part of his recovery process—good luck to you, Jack Hoffman.

The crew’s openly morphine-addicted member, James Harness, had a back operation last off-season, then promptly returned to hard labor in the Klondike, seeming to undo everything the surgery had accomplished. Although it was hard not to have sympathy for the man, after awhile his complaints became, well, annoying for the context. And, it was hard to know who to be annoyed with—James, for his excuses not to work, or Todd, for insisting on having a mechanic who clearly was not physically up to the job of working on the pieces of junk he supplied as “mining equipment.” It was easier, actually, to be annoyed with Todd, until Harness started acting like he was at a mining playground, dragging his girlfriend to the site, ignoring his own work to teach her how to pan gold, then heading into town to spend some hotel time with her.

By the end of the season, the team had lost confidence in Harness, and for good reason, given the way that he had left them hanging with half-completed work on broken machines. Rumors had spread that he had been let go by the Hoffmans because he had been caught in the gold tent alone, insinuating that he had been skimming gold for himself. Fortunately, the latter was not true—he had not been caught skimming gold. However, the former, that the Hoffmans let him go, was indeed the case. Harness did, however, take the opportunity to let Todd know that he had also lost confidence in him as a leader—basically, where were the riches they had been promised? No one on the team backed him up on that one—this was a meeting directed at airing grudges against Harness, after all—but it is hard to believe that their silence indicated that no one on the team, with their five piddling ounces of gold each after two seasons, was agreeing with him as he left the building.

The more I’ve seen of Todd, the harder I’ve found it is to like him. But, seeing the “revelation” of him taking the wind out of the sails of 17-year-old Parker Schnabel really confirmed to me what type of person he is. Parker, visiting the Klondike, pulled out his freshly created 34.5 bar of gold—his haul for the season—to show to Todd and the gang. He was excited—he’s a teenager, for heaven’s sake, and, although it was a pretty pitiful haul overall for the season, it sure was a nice, shiny, pretty bar to hold. At that time, the Hoffmans had only found about 28 ounces or so of gold—and Todd simply reacted to Parker’s haul like a true jerk, and refused to reveal how much his team had at the time. Seriously? He was obviously jealous of the teen’s bar of gold, and reacted like a jerk. Would it have been such a hard thing to have been a man about it and let Parker, a teenager “in charge” for the first time, do a little preening? Apparently, yes, it was too hard for Todd Hoffman to be civil, and Parker left the site with his bubble burst and a bad taste in his mouth for the Hoffmans—at least for Todd.

Makes one wonder, in fact, if Parker’s crew got it right: Did the Hoffmans (or maybe the film crew) call MSHA on the Porcupine Creek mines?

BACKGROUND: 'Gold Rush: Alaska' mines on Porcupine Creek shut down temporarily (VIDEO)

One thing is for sure: Parker has a fantastic work ethic. He may not have found the gold in Season 2—as his mother said in an earlier episode, if the gold isn’t there, it just isn’t there—but his willingness to work to find it certainly cannot be questioned. And, as "Revelations" indicated last night, he’s even doing what he can to prepare the site on Smith Creek for next season, digging away tons of gold-poor dirt to get down to the pay dirt over the winter, so that they will be ready to go with pay dirt as soon as the snow melts. Whether or not the gold is there, and whether or not he succeeds in his quest to “save the mine,” it’s hard not to be impressed with his willingness to do the work necessary to make it happen.

Interestingly, Dakota Fred and team were not part of the "Revelations" episode. This, along with the Schnabel-dominated “Aftershows,” leads to the question, “Will Season 3 be a strictly Hoffman-Schnabel endeavor, with no Hurt crew in sight?” Fans were not pleased with Fred Hurt this season; he wasn’t that villain that viewers “love to hate.” Viewers just did not like him and his claim-jumping ways. So, could it be that we have seen the last of Dakota Fred and company?

Stay tuned.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
The gold rush show does'nt need the Fred hurt and company.Keep the Hoffman crew and Parker.A hour show is'nt enough time time for three crews to view. We wait all week to see your show,but when fred comes on I think it wreaks the show.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I agree. I dont think anyone honestly cared to watch Fred. The Hoffmans are the main attraction, and Parker was a great addition to the show. Leave it with those two groups, and it will make the show even better

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I think you may have misunderstood what Parker was getting at when he was talking about MSHA. I dont think that he meant that the Hoffman's called MSHA on him, he meant that the Hoffman's presence caused it. With all the publicity that the show got, it drew attention to the Porcupine Creek mines. I think that MSHA was brought in to that area because there were violations caught on camera from the previous season. If the Hoffmans were still at porcupine, I am willing to bet that they would have been inspected.

He could have meant that, although his crew did state specifically that they thought the film crew called them up, so I think he could have meant it either way ... I thought Parker left that one wide open to interpretation intentionally ... didn't want to accuse them directly, but he definitely blamed them, whether directly or by association ... I agree, tho', whether anyone directly called them or not, I think the show itself would have brought inspectors out ... I'm just not convinced, personally, that someone didn't call them, whether film crew or Hoffmans.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
what a load of bullshit

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
leave the hoffmans out and do a show on fred and parker thier the only people i want to see forget the stupid hoffman crew

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Im pretty sure youre the only one that enjoyed watching Fred.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Fred is a weasel.The ORIGINAL glory As hole !

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
#1 you are so right the hoffman crew are a bunch of clowns. The only way they could find their way to alaska was to follow Fred. The real reason Parker and Fred were on the show was that Todd Hoffman was eating the whole buffett table lunch that was intended for the entire camera crew. Lol and how could the cat be run out of fuel that idiot should have been fired on the spot oh wait that was just scripted. Discovery channel get rid of Chris Odoyle and the hoffman baby crew and film real gold miners like Fred, Parker and thousands of real miners....

Submitted by fredsbigboot (not verified) on
the Hoffmans couldn't find there ass in the bath never mind finding gold

Submitted by fredsbigboot (not verified) on
the Hoffmans couldn't find there ass in the bath never mind finding gold

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
the hoffmans couldnt find gold at Kay Jewelers.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Fred definantly is a claim jumper although the ignorance of the Hoffmans let it happen. Let Fred find an unexplored piece of dirt and see if he has that same smile. I didn't much believe in Karma until he lost his house after stealing the Hoffman Glory Hole.

The Hoffmans have no one to blame but themselves, really, for losing their Glory Hole ... but, Karma can be a cruel thing, it seems. ...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I aagree what comes around goes around,Fred knew what he was there for and had intentions to steal the claim from the beginning.The Hoffmans are good people working in a Shark infested waters.There to Honest for the Freds or Snakes of the world,Hoffmans Mistake was, Hes a true believer in Handshake deal.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
you talk of the poor hoffmans in a shark infested world " TRUSTING IN A HANDSHAKE DEAL" well i have to say todd was the one who did not honour the handshake deal he failed to pay the lease payments he shook on!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Amen to that. Let that oppertunist start from scratch

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
for everyone who keeps saying fred was a claim jumper first of all fred mined that property first with the owner years ago and if you owned the property and had a crew come say they were going to mine your property and give u a cut only to find out they didn,t have a clue to how to mine and you ended up with a mess on your property and all the locals complaining to you and worst off all no gold or rent payments on the lease to your property wouldn,t you go ask your friend that mined it before sucessfully to take over the hoffmans mess and make something good out of a bad deal for yourself i know i would have and i don,t think anyone else would say any diff if it was yours the hoffmans only have themselves to blame they couldn,t even keep up their payments on the deal they made they are the bad guys would you let someone stay in your apartment if the didn,t give you the rent money this last episode showed their true nature of how dirty they are bunch of drug addice rednecks parker in one episode even said he caught them stealing stuff off their property at the big nugget and i can,t stand them they spend days and money stripping and preping an area then they bring in the expert after they wasted all the time and money only to find out their in the wrong spot ever spot they go jack and todd say i know theres gold there but they don,t know anything and thats some profit 8000 worth of gold for each crew member for two years of agony

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
THIS IS THE COMPLETE TRUTH and the first person to say it exactly how it is. Business is business man.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
THIS IS THE COMPLETE TRUTH and the first person to say it exactly how it is. Business is business man.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Truthfully I am sick of all three Gold mines on the show. I am ready to see something new. How about a show on Silver or Copper mining intead.

Submitted by dislike fred (not verified) on
claim jumper fred should go, bad karma fred lost his house barely made enough to cover his exspences, and his son calls him fred. now all he needs is to be dumped by the show and things will be ware they belong.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
What exactly does this mean? I've been hearing it for a couple years now. WHo are these people trying to "save" these mines from? Doesn't Schnabel's grandfather own his?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
the hoffmans werent doin to well on the first season so the owner sent them an eexpert (fred) instead of taking advantage of his wisdom they fought him on every suggestion he made aand made his life hell thee enttire season, thats why they lost the privelage to mine that claim. they are aa bunch of fools. the claimjumper( Fred ) just gave them a dose of their own medicine (no not morphine) The kid is the only honerable one in the bunch if he was my son I would sure be proud of him. when the feds shut him down he didnt cry foul instead he immediately rectified the situation and got back to work. if anyone deserves success in their endeavor he does.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
tell me this if fred's so good why did he change everything fighting the hoffman's at the end of season one then change where they had just started getting good gold and waste the whole season to end up back at the glory hole with his biggest score. just think how his season could have been had he just started in the glory hole.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
How the hell is Dakota Fred a claim-jumper? He legally purchased the claim from it's owner after the Down's syndrome Hoffmans FORGOT to make a lease payment! Thats like forgetting to put the wings on your plane.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Fred is just as much of a screwup as the Hoffmans do. Excepth they have an excuse due to the fact that they are new to the mining game. Fred isn't. The Hoffmans fought him largely in part to Fred's a-hole highenmighty way he treats EVERYBODY including his son. Karma is a bitch, that's why he lost his house, and it's why his equipment gave him trouble and it's why he didn't hit the big money glory hole.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I like watching Fred and Dylan do there thing. He didnt claim jump, Todd missed a lease payment so Fred took it over, thats a contractual thing. Fred's crew may be on the motherlode next season now that his hole is all the way to bedrock. I dont want to miss that.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Why in the world would anyone go back to work for a guy who.is an admitted morphine addict?? Do they not see this addiction as a major "conflict of interest"? Addicts do.not make honest, trustworthy business partners!!! Helloooooooo

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
First I have to say that if I watch anymore Gold Rush Alaska it will be to see how the Big Nugget mine does. I have no wish to watch the Hoffmans with their letting go of James because He took a break. they may have helped james to get surgeryt it was only so they could push him back to work before he had time to heal properly. James seems to be an up front guy unlike the Hoffmans Jack kept his condition a secret. What else did he not tell everyone. How many times did it show Jack coming out of the area where the gold was kept, by himself. I the Hoffmans see that they have things up and running without any thanks to James. They see making good money on the next season so why share it when might not have to. James was there from the start and made some production equipment out of junk and that is the thanks he gets. By the looks of it the Hoffman crew did not even discuss anything with James before they blindsided him. That just goes to show you how the Greed for Gold will turn friend against friend and turn some into back biting Weasels.

Submitted by wilsro (not verified) on
I was impressed with the series overall. I watched most every episode, some as reruns because of my own work. I was really impressed with the hard work required to find even a few ounces of gold. I was espcially impressed by the tenacity of all involved. Parker is a fine young man and I hope he finds the riches he deserves for such hard work. I think Todd and group should try and find another site to mine since they are at such a disadvantage on the one they are currently at. Dakota Fred had some bad luck during the season and personally I was mad at him early in the season but begin to like him again in the end because he was fighting really to survive at his age, after losing everything back home. I wish all of them good luck in the coming year, and will watch the new episodes when they are available if God wills it.

Submitted by wilsro (not verified) on
I was impressed with the series overall. I watched most every episode, some as reruns because of my own work. I was really impressed with the hard work required to find even a few ounces of gold. I was espcially impressed by the tenacity of all involved. Parker is a fine young man and I hope he finds the riches he deserves for such hard work. I think Todd and group should try and find another site to mine since they are at such a disadvantage on the one they are currently at. Dakota Fred had some bad luck during the season and personally I was mad at him early in the season but begin to like him again in the end because he was fighting really to survive at his age, after losing everything back home. I wish all of them good luck in the coming year, and will watch the new episodes when they are available if God wills it.

Submitted by wilsro (not verified) on
I was impressed with the series overall. I watched most every episode, some as reruns because of my own work. I was really impressed with the hard work required to find even a few ounces of gold. I was espcially impressed by the tenacity of all involved. Parker is a fine young man and I hope he finds the riches he deserves for such hard work. I think Todd and group should try and find another site to mine since they are at such a disadvantage on the one they are currently at. Dakota Fred had some bad luck during the season and personally I was mad at him early in the season but begin to like him again in the end because he was fighting really to survive at his age, after losing everything back home. I wish all of them good luck in the coming year, and will watch the new episodes when they are available if God wills it.

Submitted by wilsro (not verified) on
I was impressed with the series overall. I watched most every episode, some as reruns because of my own work. I was really impressed with the hard work required to find even a few ounces of gold. I was espcially impressed by the tenacity of all involved. Parker is a fine young man and I hope he finds the riches he deserves for such hard work. I think Todd and group should try and find another site to mine since they are at such a disadvantage on the one they are currently at. Dakota Fred had some bad luck during the season and personally I was mad at him early in the season but begin to like him again in the end because he was fighting really to survive at his age, after losing everything back home. I wish all of them good luck in the coming year, and will watch the new episodes when they are available if God wills it.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
If you think Fred got a taste of karma in season 2 wait until you see season 3...his glory hole is finished, now all he has is really bad equipment and a tiny cut with probably no pay streak. Let's see how long he lasts or if he tries to jump Parker's new claim he leased from Neil (I think that's his name) the same owner that Fred bought the Hoffman's claim from. I also think that Dave has spoken LOUD and CLEAR about what he thinks of Todd's leadership and ability to mine when he insisted on being in charge of his own claim. Dave has the most "mining" type of experience of them all and he doesn't want to work with Todd. I have a feeling that Dave will be on his own soon and cut Todd out of the picture, his family could afford their own opperation but they wouldn't risk a dime on the Hoffmans.

Submitted by big kw (not verified) on
Dakota Fred is nothin but a claim jumper,instead of helping the Hoffmans he seen gold and did everything he could to backstab them and lie so he could mine the claim!!!!!!!!!!!

Submitted by Royce Lerwick (not verified) on
Todd Hoffman, manipulative sociopath. Know-nothing. Jack Hoffman, demented old morphine addict who played a very minor role in the gold craze of the late 70's to mid-80's. Skills: Todd: BS Artist. Manipulates religious, family and friendship connections to self-promote various grandiose projects. Jack: Has basic understanding of how an excavator works, but not the slightest clue about even rudimentary engineering or physics connected to actual excavation. Basic familiarity with panning, the most rudimentary gold mining skill. Main accomplishments: Todd--losing claims, excavating the wrong claims, the wrong areas on own claims, buying nonexistent claims on theinternet, and when finally getting a workable claim, telling the claim owner's man to piss off when he is sent out to investigate the Hoffman crew's obvious lack of knowledge, experience, performance, or talent in gold mining. Jack--spends most of his time undermining himself while mindlessly digging holes with all the skill and intelligence of a toddler in a sandbox. Reason for investigation of Hoffmann's old claim at Porcupine Creek? Parker Schnabel's operation as well? Todd and Jack Hoffman's shamefully ignorant television exposure on national and international television making the entire mining industry look like a circus run by mentally and emotionally challenged children. In the west, it's usually the wagon train following the arse-holes who pass through stirring up the natives and locals that gets retaliated against. Before Harness tried to beat up the claim owner's representative when he came out to personally report on the wisdom of continuing to allow the Hoffman's to mine on his land, they'd already run off one Jim Dorsey, and made him the butt for all the frustration over Todd Hoffman's ignorance and poor leadership skills. (Manipulation is not necessarily leadership) Dorsey was a bit too soft for the lifestyle and had no skills but his rather sharp mind to offer, but the truth is his whining came about because he was the first to realize that Todd and Jack knew absolutely nothing about mining gold and his life's savings was all down the toilet. Dorsey knew, for example, just enough to know that the money in any mining operaton is made at the concentrating table--in just one of dozens of proofs of the combined Hoffman ignorance and stupidity about mining and life in general, even though Dorsey was the only one who bothered to read the instructions, and free to spend the time to adjust the table, Jack in particular deemed this a waste of time and preferred to hand-pan some score of buckets. Likewise, both Jack and Todd bought and packed in a wavetable, entirely the wrong sort of concentration table for the claim and soils. While Dorsey was subsequently the object of scorn and abuse, he fled leaving the local authorities with not a very pretty picture of the Hoffman camp. This, as I say, was confirmed by Fred Hurt, sent by the mine's owner. Play this out on national television, and you have a Federal mine inspector next season--but of course, Todd had botched the payment on the lease and lost it. There was no skullduggery, Todd just screwed up as usual, and then made Fred out to be the villain to deflect blame from himself. It still amazes me that anyone can see the Hoffman's, Jack and Todd, specifically, not the dupes they pretend to be "partners" and "crew," as anything like heroic or admirable. Not only are Todd's idiotic moves immediately obvious to anyone knowing anything about mining or gold recovery on even the lowest level, but it becomes equally clear, as in the concentrating table, he invariably relies on a thick haze of his own mouth-borne methane to cloud the minds and eyes of his "friends" when he very quietly brings in the gear or experts he should have had in the first place, as if it was all a surprise, or unexpected. When jack spent all of season one digging straight down under himself till he almost fell in to his own "glory hole," Todd begged in Dave Turin, a guy who actually knew how to terrace an excavation. He brought in Freddy Dodge to do tables and wash plants. So basically he replaced himself and his old man and all the skills he and dad pretended to have when they conned their church and personal families into investing. The show has evolved in two and a half seasons to prove that the Hoffman's are useless and worse, counter-productive, and that their friends have actually learned how to mine in spite of them, not because of them. For instance, a recent show in the third season shows Todd being strong-armed by Turing and others, into breaking into two teams, one led successfully by Dave Turin and another a dismal failure and expensive waste of time and money led by Todd and Jack. Todd's solution is to combine the crews, and Todd's "night shift" starts off first thing by cramming so much material through the theretofore reliable wash plant that they jamb the feed belt, then erode most of the support base below the sluiceway. When Turin wastes most of the next day backfilling the sluiceway to make sure that doesn't collapse, he gets behind on stockpling material for the night shift. Todd discovers this when the dirt runs low, and sends one of his crew to back up dumptruck loads of earth in the dark to a 50-foot sheer cliff, to dump it over the side to the plant below. Hoffman actually balks at freeing up a man to watch the cliff and direct the backing process while the drive is refusing to take his life into his own hands. In summary, this season is no better than any of his other seasons, and the issue is not who showed up to investigate Parker or Dakota Dave. The issue is the non-stop, dangerous, deadly stupidity with which Todd Hoffman and his demented, dope-fiend of a father run their operations.

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