Letters, We Get Mail, CLXXVI



Date: Tue, May 25, 2010 5:07 am     (answered 20 June 2010)
From: "Martha"
Subject: forced AA treatment

I am a physician who has only been in part-time, volunteer practice since a severe burn injury years ago; I am only interested in providing only alternative/complementary and fibromyalgia care. I was board certified in Family Medicine and board-eligible in Public Health / Preventive Medicine, and was on the "fast-track" as a Public Health Service officer when, as a result largely of job stress (EVIL boss, constant no-wins, bad command, lying superior officers), I was forced into military alcohol rehab which REQUIRED me to embrace the 12-steps and GO TO CHURCH on Sun. I had already recognized the problem and was working on it in my own way, getting support, etc., but once I felt forced to talk about God it was counter-productive. Treatment was abusive except for the professionals treatment in 1992. My first counselor told me "you're a liar and everything in your life is a lie". I was flabbergasted, having been a high achiever on my own merits, not from lying. I didn't realize that would be the position of the majority of my mental health providers, and didn't realize how discredited I would become overnight.

I went before the Hawaii Medical Board as a result of "relapse" while on vacation from my job and a mostly slanderous letter from my supervisor; I was doing everything "right" and being monitored by the Arizona Medical Board, one of the strictest in the country. The interviewer (a supposedly recovering doc who I knew had sold cocaine, falsified med records.etc) shouted at me in front of 20 other docs about how I was lying about my use of cocaine, etc. Being recently severely injured, I just started crying. I felt like saying "just because you did doesn't mean I did) The doctor's health group there then refused to assist me: the head of the group didn't even meet with me face to face. I vowed then never to talk to anyone "official" about this again, and stopped going to any doctor's meeting/group when that supposedly recovering doc. might be there.

I avoided alcohol for seven years, but then had about an 7 yr period of bad alcohol use, resulting in multiple ER trips, inpt rx., ETC. I was doing well again here in Mass. when I went on a cruise with my family of origin and subsequently got a DUI. I wanted to go to court, but was stuck here in Mass. with a bad post-operative infection, so took a no-contest for wet & reckless, a misdemeanor. The Calif. medical board recently requires professionals to report any misdemeanor conviction, and use the no-contest plea as proof of guilt. They have also abolished the voluntary, anonymous doctor's group and all interface is now punitive and expensive. I have been on soc sec disability & a VA pension and don't earn big bucks (never did, being in the Public Hlth Svc)

I have done extensive reading and research since this all started, and knew that a rational emotive or cognitive behavioural approach works best for "mood management" for me; I have a strong personal and family hx. of depression related to physical challenges, not just alcohol abuse. The "treatments" for alcohol abuse have been more harm than good, and I am reluctant to even talk to the Calif. medical board investigator; I had just decided not to renew my license and just let it go, when the investigator called.

I am anticipating that I will be required to meet (and pay for) a session with THEIR selected psychiatrist, who will be 12-step based. I need assistance finding an addiction specialist or psychiatrist who will be respectful and not force a 12-step framework, preferably one who will be RET/CBT based and willing to interface with the Calif. medical board.

Jack Trimpey, the founder of Rational Recovery, will help me only if I show up immediately and shell out $4k (plus travel, etc) for his assessment, which won't be enough for the Med Board. I don't have that money, and don't agree with him on several key issues, but I did read his "Small Book" in 1991. I am trying to set something up before I meet with the investigator, esp. an appt. with a reasonable shrink, either in Mass ASAP or Calif. in July.

Do you have any recommendations? Even a phone call or e-mail would be helpful at this point. I feel very desperate about having to even talk about what I consider my 12-step trauma.

Do you know of any licensed professional (administrative law, not criminal) in Calif. who has successfully interfaced from a non-12 step point of view (either recovering "spontaneously" or with an RET approach.)? Please feel free to give out my phone number : (xxx) xxx-xxxx and e-mail: [email protected] Any assistance you can provide me at all will be helpful. Thanking you in advance.

Martha

Hello Martha,

Thank you for the letter. There are some things that you can do.

The first thing that comes to mind is to sue the bastards. You can do that, you know. It is actually against the law to force people into a religion. We were just talking about that. Read this letter.

Also see:
Resisting 12-Twelve Step Coercion: How to Fight Forced Participitation in AA, NA, or 12-Step Treatment     Stanton Peele and Charles Bufe with Archie Brodsky
See Sharp Press, Tucson, AZ, 2000.
ISBN: 1-884365-17-5
More truth from the See Sharp Press — how to resist being coerced into the 12-Step cult.
This book is now available for free download at: http://www.morerevealed.com/library/index.html

And perhaps the readers have some suggestions, too. I purposely blanked out your phone number and email address, because printing them can get you more spam than you ever wanted. But I will forward any messages that I get.

Have a good day, and don't hesitate to write back.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases think for yourself.
**        ==  Doris Lessing (b. 1919), British writer





Date: Mon, June 21, 2010 7:37 am     (answered 27 June 2010)
From: "mark mcn."
Subject: AA/NA

Very interesting article Mr Orange. You seem very angry. Did the NA/AA programme not work for you?

Would you like to correspond with me about the effectiveness of the 12step programme and the questions you ask about cultism?

Yours sincerely,

Mark McN.

Hello Mark,

Thanks for the letter. As I have said many, many times before, I didn't go to A.A. and N.A. for very long after I discovered that the 12-Step routine is just another cult. I have never done the 12 Steps, never had a sponsor, don't believe in Bill Wilson or the Big Book or Buchmanism, and I have not been to an A.A. or N.A. meeting in 8 years, and I still have 9 1/2 years off of alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes. So my "program" is working great.

You want to correspond? Sure, we can correspond. But I must warn you that I've heard all of the standard A.A. and N.A. slogans and propaganda lines before, starting with:
"You seem very angry. You have a resentment."
and
"Did the NA/AA programme not work for you?"

So do you have anything new to bring to the table?

Before you waste your time or my time repeating stuff that has already been said dozens of times before, please let me point you to some facts and discussions:

  1. Here is the information on the actual A.A. success rate: The Effectiveness of the Twelve-Step Treatment

  2. Here is the count of people getting sobriety coins or medallions, or tokens or whatever you wish to call them: The A.A. success rate indicated by the sobriety coins given away

  3. The list of Steppers who have complained that I "have a resentment".

  4. The list of Steppers who have declared that I am killing alcoholics by telling the truth about A.A.

  5. The cult religion where Bill Wilson got the 12 Steps.

  6. The list of A.A. horror stories.

  7. The list of A.A. suicides.

  8. The Cult Test

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  A 2003 study by the American Psychological Association found:
**  "that conservatism can be explained as a set of beliefs and
**  behaviors that result from a psyche controlled by fear,
**  aggression, closed-minded dogmatism, and intolerance of
**  ambiguity, compounded by mental rigidity and decreased
**  cognitive complexity [dumbness]."
**     == Robert Weitzel, The Trouble With The Entire World Is A Guy Named Ron,
**   Published on Monday, May 14, 2007 by CommonDreams.org
**  And the same seems to be true of the fundamentalists
**  and true believers of any cult or religion.





Date: Mon, June 21, 2010 10:40 am     (answered 27 June 2010)
From: "John K."
Subject: Don't Plagarize

Dear Dioxin,

Congratulations for being censored on Yahoo! This makes me want to discontinue my Yahoo Plus account.

Please be careful about attributing famous quotes to yourself. Mark Twain enthusiasts still exist. Yes, there are still people out there who read. I have been a lover of Samuel Clemmons since age 16, some 36 years ago. They are also the ones who are most likely to check into your site.

However, he was the one who said, "My enemies are numerous and I know them well, but [Heaven] save me from those who would do unto me for my own good [against my own will].

You're cutting it close, but this come to the edge of plagiarism.

With Twain, it is so tempting to do a change-a-graph. You are dead-on accurate with Lewis's Letter to Malcolm about the immorality of forced treatment.

http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-gulags.html

Hello John,

Thanks for the letter. I just learned something.

I did not plagiarize that saying from Mark Twain. That one comes entirely from personal experiences in the 'sixties, when so many people wanted to put me in prison for smoking pot and taking LSD and being against the Vietnam War, and they wanted to do it "for my own good", because they supposedly cared about me and my life.

My enemies I can handle, but Lord save me from those who would do unto me for my own good.

— Agent Orange as a young hippie, 1968

I love Mark Twain, and I always give him fair credit when I quote him. But I actually knew very little about Mark Twain in the 'sixties when I made up that line. I had received the typical American high school education where you only get a tiny dose of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, like the story about painting the fence, and then I also read the Classic Comics version of "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court". And that was it. We got the full text of The Scarlet Letter — had to read that one from cover to cover — but almost no Twain.

It wasn't until many years later that I learned what a genius Mark Twain was. And when I read what he really wrote, I understood why we got so little Mark Twain in high school. Too controversial. Too relevant. Too real. The narrow-minded parents would have a hissy-fit.

And it wasn't until you sent this letter that I learned that Mark Twain wrote that line that is so close to my own. It is encouraging to see that Mark Twain agrees with me.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

P.S.: (2011.01.15) I just stumbled across this, which is even older, and expresses a similar sentiment:
"May God defend me from my friends; I can defend myself from my enemies." == Voltaire (1694 — 1778)

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side?
**     And hain't that a big enough majority in any town?
**        ==  Mark Twain (Samuel Longhorne Clemens, 1835—1910), Huckleberry Finn





Date: Mon, June 21, 2010 4:48 pm     (answered 27 June 2010)
From: Ashley
Subject: The Twelve Biggest Lies of A.A.

I have to say, I just had the misfortune of stumbling on your web site. I guess the question is...what is your point?

I may question some AA doctrine myself, but is it helping or hurting people? What is so wrong with listening to persons sharing experiences and examining self. Many other groups from cancer survivors to battered women also utilize this tactic. I have been in rehab 3 x and not drinking is a struggle, I don't currently attend AA meetings (haven't for some time), but if it works for some people, I am happy for them not trying to pick it apart.

Did it fail you or a loved one, and that is why you are so bitter?? My guess is yes (or you run an alternative treatment facility and it is seriously messing up your cash flow).

Stop blaming AA for all of your shortcomings and get a life. My guess is whomever was involved with this is project is an addict because to waste precious time when one could be volunteering at an animal shelter, or something positive is a sick and self centered individual. Stay away from AA meetings, the people that seek help there are better off without a cynical ass like you.

Ashley

Hello Ashley,

My point is to get the truth out there.

You asked, "is it helping or hurting people?"

The answer is, "It is hurting people — more people than it is helping." Dr. George Vaillant discovered that when he tried to prove that A.A. works to help alcoholics quit drinking. And Dr. Vaillant just loves A.A., and he even became a member of the Board of Trustees of A.A., and continues to promote A.A., after he proved that A.A. kills more alcoholics than it helps. Read this.

Then you asked, "What is so wrong with listening to persons sharing experiences and examining self."

There is nothing wrong with that. If that was all that there is to A.A., then A.A. might be a good thing. But there is so much more to "The Program", like:

  1. teaching people that they are "powerless over alcohol", and insane,
  2. and then there is the constant self-criticism and guilt induction, and jabber about "moral shortcomings", and "defects of character". That is harmful to people. It even drives some people to suicide.
  3. And then there are hundreds of thought-stopping slogans.
  4. And there is the intensely anti-intellectual attitude of A.A.
  5. And there is the refusal to include new information about alcohol abuse, alcohol addiction, and recovery from outside of A.A. — it is not "conference-approved".
  6. And then there is the superstitious nonsense where a vague "Higher Power" who can be anything, or any "God" of your choosing, who always let you drink like a fish before, is suddenly going to change His mind because you confessed your sins and "worked" some of Bill Wilson's "Steps", and now He will magically make you quit drinking.
  7. And then there are the sponsors who kill their sponsees by telling them not to take their medications.
  8. And then A.A. constantly lies about its real success rate in getting alcoholics to sober up and stay sober.
  9. And then A.A. actively participates in coercive recruiting and deceptive recruiting to get more victims into The Roomz.
  10. And then there are the personal attacks on anyone who criticizes any part of "The Program".
  11. And then there is the problem that you cannot tell the truth in A.A.
  12. And then there is the problem that A.A. will not clean house and get rid of the sexual predators and rising new cult leaders.

You said, "but if it works for some people".

That is damning with faint praise. The evidence is that A.A. kills more people than it actually saves. A.A. is not a good thing when it saves one guy and kills five others at the same time.

Please note that anything will appear to "work for some people". It doesn't matter whether the alcoholics do ballerina dancing, or eat ice cream, or play tiddly-winks, "the program" will appear to work for some people. There will always be some people who will quit drinking to save their own lives, no matter where they are.

You said, "Did it fail you or a loved one, and that is why you are so bitter?? My guess is yes (or you run an alternative treatment facility and it is seriously messing up your cash flow)."

Yes, I have seen the 12-Step routine hurt people. Why don't you check out the list of horror stories that people have sent in. And no, I do not run a competing treatment center. Thanks for demonstrating the ad hominem propaganda technique where you accuse people of having ulterior motives when they tell some truth that you don't want to hear.

You said, "Stop blaming AA for all of your shortcomings and get a life."

And that is another ad hominem attack, which just goes to show that you don't have any actual facts to offer in defense of A.A.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**
**  "Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism,
**  but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling."
**     == Dr. George E. Vaillant, formerly a member of the A.A. Board of
**       Trustees, describing the treatment of alcoholism with Alcoholics
**       Anonymous, in "The Natural History of Alcoholism: Causes, Patterns,
**       and Paths to Recovery", Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA,
**       1983, pages 283-286.





Date: Wed, June 23, 2010 6:57 am     (answered 27 June 2010)27 June 2010)
From: "Peggy A."
Subject: The Heresy of the Twelve Steps

Hi Mr. Orange,

I read with interest "The Heresy of the Twelve Steps". I wonder if it should have been titled the Heresy of AA though. You have outlined is a literal explanation of some of AA's material. It's like saying and orange has tough skin, you can't eat and orange... The twelve steps were based on the book of James and much of AA's material is taken from the Book of James and Corinthians along with other books of the bible too many to mention right now.

There is much more to AA's program with deeper meaning. It leads the alcoholic who is honest, willing and opened minded to the one true God.

Many people who come to AA don't believe in God and refuse to believe in God. But they must have a spiritual connection in order to recover. Man can not serve 2 spirits- and when the alcoholic comes to AA on his own, in complete defeat, a spiritual transformation must take place. The spirit of alcoholism controlled him, something else must take over and that is where God takes over if he is willing to believe in something more powerful than his own self will. Many alcoholics who come in and are willing to believe in something, eventually believe that something is God and may begin going to a church and that is where the church comes in to teach the new "believer/alcoholic" about God.

I drank from the time I was 14 until I was 32, went to AA, had a spiritual awakening to say, joined a church and got very involved (teaching, etc.). I decided I didn't need AA any longer and about 5 years later I was back at it, and it was even worse. I went back to AA for a while, but had so much guilt I didn't stay sober, I also didn't work the steps. Step 4 is what brings us to a relationship with God, getting to know who we are and our character defects and then allowing God to (with our action) take them away. Since I didn't take any action, I was drinking again, even worse. The problem I found with not keeping AA in my religious life was that most christians cant relate to alcoholism. An alcoholic needs another alcoholic to talk to sometimes. If you are not an alcoholic, you just will not know what it is like.

I am now 48 and have been sober 3 years and could not have done it with out God's help and the help of AA. Some people can do it without AA. That's great. I think there are many people who come to AA now that have no place there. They are ordered there by the court for many things DUI to domestic violence. AA's success rate will get even worse- no doubt in my mind.

Who knows how many people actually die from alcoholism that don't come to AA? Most alcoholics blow their brains out, take a bottle of pain pills and end their life or, just drink till their organs cease to function with the obituary reading "they passed away suddenly".

When I read your paper, I thought it was so negative and would probably make anyone who might seek help from AA recoil and continue drinking. I'm not trying to change your mind about AA, you would have to be open minded and willing to do that... but I believe that AA offers some hope to the hopeless alcoholic and once they get there God will do the rest, if they let him.

Have a wonderful day and thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts.

Peggy A.

Hello Peggy,

Thanks for the letter.

Well, starting at the top:

  1. The 12 Steps are not based on the Book of James in the Bible. That is not even vaguely true. But Biblical justification of public confessions is an old claim of Dr. Frank Buchman. Dr. Frank Buchman founded the Hitler-admiring Oxford Group cult religion which had meetings where people publicly confessed all of their sins, and Buchman cited just one line out of the Book of James to justify this practice:

    "Confess your faults one to another and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
    James 5:16

    But that practice turned out to be a big mistake, and the early Christian Church soon banned public confessions. By the fifth century, only priests were allowed to hear confessions, and only in private.

    The problem with public confessions was that the old people were offended by graphic confessions (especially of an explicit sexual nature), while the young people were corrupted by the practice — they were hearing about things that sounded like they would really like to try them too. And then there is the problem with people becoming jaded from hearing about sins all of the time. They get to thinking, "Everybody is doing it..." And then people took pride in their sins: "My sins were much bigger and more outrageous than your wimpy-ass little sins."

    So James' instructions were reversed and declared invalid. Remember that James was not Jesus Christ, and his words do not carry the same weight.

    There is more on that subject here.

    There is nothing in the Bible that supports these Steps:

    • The Bible does not say that you are powerless over alcohol, or insane. Nor does the Bible say that God will restore you to sanity.
    • Nor does the Bible say that God will make you quit drinking while you sit on your duff and demand a miracle.
    • The Bible does not tell you to surrender your life and your will to God, and then God will take care of you and manage your life.
    • The Bible does not tell you to conduct a séance and imagine that God is giving you secret work orders and the power to carry them out. In fact, the Bible sentences sooth-sayers and necromancers and mediums to death.

    About the only idea that can be justified is the idea of making amends and fixing what is wrong.

    The 12 Steps are actually based on the teachings of Dr. Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman, and nothing else. Bill Wilson, Dr. Robert Smith, and Clarence Snyder learned that strange occult theology from Frank Buchman's "Oxford Groups". Even Bill Wilson said so:

    "Early AA got it's ideas of self-examination, acknowledgement of character defects, restitution for harm done, and working with others straight from the Oxford Groups and directly from Sam Shoemaker, their former leader in America, and nowhere else."
    Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, William G. Wilson, page 39.

    Where did the early AAs find the material for the remaining ten Steps? Where did we learn about moral inventory, amends for harm done, turning our wills and lives over to God? Where did we learn about meditation and prayer and all the rest of it? The spiritual substance of our remaining ten Steps came straight from Dr. Bob's and my own earlier association with the Oxford Groups, as they were then led in America by that Episcopal rector, Dr. Samuel Shoemaker.
    The Language of the Heart, William G. Wilson, page 298.

    Bill Wilson was, of course, being dishonest there when he used the name of Sam Shoemaker as the leader of the Oxford Groups. The American and British people could still remember Frank Buchman raving, "I thank heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler...", so Wilson didn't want to mention Frank Buchman. But Buchman was the real leader of the Oxford Groups, and Buchman was the creator of all of that wierd occult theology.

    Frank Buchman did not write the Bible, and Buchman's teachings are not Biblical teachings, especially not his declarations that he wanted a world run by "Christian Fascist Dicators", like Adolf Hitler. In fact, Frank Buchman and his teachings were so in conflict with Christianity that the Catholic Church banned Buchman's cult twice.

  2. This jabber is so much wishful thinking: "There is much more to AA's program with deeper meaning. It leads the alcoholic who is honest, willing and opened minded to the one true God."

    A.A. constantly declares that it is not a religion, and you can believe in any kind of God or Higher Power that you like. Doorknob Almighty, Baal Bedpan, Rock, Tree, or "G.O.D.=Group Of Drunks" are allegedly all okay. But now you talk about the A.A. program leading people to "the one true God". Well, that is not only religion, it is arrogant religion. There is more evidence that practicing Buchmanism leads you to the One True Devil than to the One True God.

  3. "Many people who come to AA don't believe in God and refuse to believe in God. But they must have a spiritual connection in order to recover. Man can not serve 2 spirits- and when the alcoholic comes to AA on his own, in complete defeat, a spiritual transformation must take place."

    Again, you are showing that A.A. is a religion. And there is zero evidence that joining the A.A. religion and believing in the A.A. "one true God" makes people quit drinking. A.A. is a failure. It doesn't work. There is also no evidence that alcoholics must get a "spiritual transformation" in order to quit drinking. The one thing that is really required to quit drinking is to stop putting alcohol in your mouth and swallowing it.

  4. It is good that you quit drinking. Congratulations on your 3 years. I'm sure that you feel a whole lot better, now that you are not poisoning yourself with alcohol.

  5. Then you said,
    "I am now 48 and have been sober 3 years and could not have done it with out God's help and the help of AA."
    I suppose you enjoy the belief that God is holding your hand and keeping you from drinking.

    I am now 63 years old and have 9 1/2 years clean and sober, and I thank God that She gave me the power to recover without having to join a cult religion.

  6. Then you asked,
    "Who knows how many people actually die from alcoholism that don't come to AA?"

    The opposite question is equally valid:
    "Who knows how many people actually die from alcoholism who DID COME to AA?"
    Apparently, it is a lot.

I notice that you did not actually address any of the other issues that I brought up in that web page, The Heresy of the Twelve Steps, besides the "public confessions" problem. There are a lot of other issues there:

  • "Any God you wish" or "anything as your God",
  • Occult practices,
  • "Miracles on demand" and expecting God to work for you,
  • Miracles that only last 24 hours,
  • The Santa Claus spirituality,
  • "Giving away your will", and the abdication of responsibility,
  • Dole out the truth by "teaspoons, rather than by buckets",
  • A.A.'s failure to do any social service work, like feeding and clothing the poor — not even the poor alcoholics,
  • The question about selling your soul to the Devil in trade for sobriety,
  • The doctrine of "powerless over alcohol",
  • The idea that you should become a good little puppet who is controlled by God.
  • The anti-Christian attitudes of A.A. members.
  • Claims that God is giving special favors to those people who do Frank and Bill's 12 Steps.

You have not addressed any of those things. Would you care to talk about those problems with A.A. theology?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     And I'm still waiting for someone to start SFS —
**     Satanists For Sobriety — a 12-Step program where
**     there is no doubt who "Higher Power" really is.
**     Then, what I really want to know is: Will the churches
**     still let that 12-Step group meet in their basements?





Date: Wed, June 23, 2010 8:25 am     (answered 28 June 2010)
From: "Bill N."
Subject: Check in

Hi Terrance,

I'm so glad you found a nice place to live. I was worried for you. I can't imagine how frustrating and difficult it must've been to be homeless and under the gun to find a home. Congrats, man. Glad to see the "Papers" up and running again, too.

I keep thinking about those scurvy AA dogs that can barely contain their glee at your temporary homeless situation. What a pathetic lot. Tell me: what kind of spirituality does one have if one looks down upon his fellow human with a sense of satisfaction when he's going through a rough patch? Why, it's the AA brand of spirituality. What a twisted, disturbed way of thinking.

I can remember some years ago when I was in their clutches and hearing bad news about fellow members. Get this: If someone in my home group relapsed and drank himself to death, which did happen every few years, people would say conceitedly, "Well, some must die so that others may live"."

Or this, "Well, he turned out to be a great teacher." Jesus, can you believe that? And they call it a "home group." Man, that's some messed up "home."

If you are new out there and reading these pages you really better watch out because you might start seeing the world this way too, if you "keep coming back."

Bill N
Annandale, NJ

Hello Bill,

Thanks for the letter and the moral support.

Yes, it is so revealing when people think that a trivial issue like being temporarily homeless proves something about big spiritual issues. That is a very shallow spirituality. And the Schadenfreude is unbecoming.

Temporary homelessness really is a trivial issue in the big scheme of things. Sure, it's a major inconvenience when you are homeless, but it is nothing compared to a problem like being addicted to drugs or alcohol. I know, because I've done both, more than once. Sleeping out in a field with a sleeping bag, and waking up healthy and clear-headed, isn't so bad at all, even if you are a little cold and have to walk a mile to get a cup of coffee. Waking up sick and hung-over, and knowing that you are going to die, is no fun at all.

The fix for homelessness is pathetically easy: just find some place else to live. The fix for addictions can be tough, real tough. You can fix the problem of homelessness in a few days: just write a check, fill out some paperwork, sign a new lease, and get the keys. Fixing addictions takes a lot longer and is much more difficult.

Anyway, now, at this minute, I'm looking out the window and it's beautiful out there. It is 7:30 in the morning, and I've been up since 5 AM, drinking coffee and working on answering email, and watching the sky lighten. The sky out there is totally clear and cloudless and a beautiful light blue now, and we are in for a week of good weather.

There are trees everywhere you look. This place is really correctly named, "Forest Grove". They cut down most of the trees a long time ago, to make room for houses and farms, and it is still loaded with trees, and all of the hills around the town are forested.

tree-lined sidewalk
The sidewalk just down the street has some magnificent pines.
(Now I have a whole new set of species of pines to learn to recognize.)

Later: I learned that these trees are actually genuine baby Giant Sequoias. They were planted in the nineteen-seventies. They are growing about three feet per year now. They won't reach maturity until they are about 800 years old, and they may live for 2000 years, or more. Like Crocodile Dundee would say, "Now THAT is a tree."

It took a lot longer to get a place like this to live, rather than some box downtown, but it was worth the wait.

Have a good day. I'm going to.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     To him who in the love of Nature holds
**     Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
**     a various language.
**        ==  Willian C. Bryant, Thanatopsis





May 18, 2009, Monday: Day 18, continued:

Canada Goose goslings
Canada Goose goslings
This is the Family of 9, taking a nap again. Notice how one of them is using a sibling as a pillow.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]





Date: Wed, June 23, 2010 10:53 am     (answered 28 June 2010)
From: OnePatrick
Subject: AA

may I ask what your mission is and why in regards to AA?

Hi Patrick,

Yes, you may ask.

My mission is to get the truth out there.

Why in regards to A.A.? Because I've been involved with A.A. and recovery for many years. I saw some bad stuff going on, and had to speak up.

The list of stories that will tell you all about that is here.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Speech is civilization itself. The word, even the most contradictory
**     word, preserves contact — it is silence which isolates.
**        ==  Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain





[The previous letters from Safwan are here.]

Date: Sat, May 29, 2010 6:08 am     (answered 28 June 2010)
From: safwan
Subject: please find out

Don't you feel that you have doubts and cowardice?
Certainly you have doubts regarding the chanting.
Doubts r important tools to verify and test.

I had the same doubts as yours. But when in disastrous situations filled with sufferings I could have an inner guidance through the chanting and definitely could overcome many situations,

then I came to believe and act to benefit my life. I know what I am speaking about.

BTW, your escapist statement in your email message: that " have a good day anyway" — was really very cheap.

You can do better.

Safwan

Hello Safwan,

Whether I have "doubts and cowardice" has nothing to do with whether Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism is a cult.

I am not afraid of meditation or chanting. I know about it.

I also know that excessive chanting can be used to mess with people's minds. It is a thought-stopping tool. The Hari Krishas — ISKCON — use it for the same reason.

I also know that Nichiren Shoshu is not Buddhism. You don't even talk about Buddha much — it's more about Nichiren and his teachings.

I also read your web site, and saw how you had to insult and denounce all of the other sects of Buddhism. Like how you called the Zen Buddhists ignorant liars.

That is the standard cult characteristic Denigration of competing sects.

You completely misunderstood what the Zen master was saying. When a Zen master answers a bogus question by saying, "I don't know", what he is really saying is that there is no ego, so there is no "I" to know. You twisted it all around and called him a liar.

BTW, I end all of my letters with "Have a good day", and when I know that the correspondent isn't going to be happy with I am saying, I often say "Have a good day anyway". Look here, for examples.

So have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth;
**      not going all the way, and not starting.
**        ==  Buddha





[The previous letters from Penny are here.]

Date: Wed, June 23, 2010 4:21 pm     (answered 28 June 2010)
From: Penny
Subject: Re: AA and Religious Faith

Orange,

I am not sure AA causes people to stop drinking. I stopped drinking many times, but found I could not "stay stopped." That was where AA helped me, helped me to stay stopped. I really believe that a person with an alcohol problem must end up pretty desperate to decide to stop and that is when AA becomes the most helpful.

Sincerely,
Penny

Hello Penny,

You are still trying to claim — just with different words — that A.A. makes alcoholics quit drinking and stay quit — for a longer period of time.

But the evidence says just the opposite. A.A. does not make alcoholics quit drinking, and A.A. does not keep them sober.

No matter whether we look at the medical tests of A.A., or count the sobriety coins given out, or even just read the historical facts, A.A. fails to get'em sober and keep'em sober.

The medical tests:

  • Dr. Jeffrey Brandsma found that A.A. indoctrination greatly increased the rate of binge drinking in alcoholics.

  • Dr. Keith Ditman found that A.A. involvement increased the rate of re-arrests for public drunkenness in a group of street drunks.

  • Dr. Diana Walsh found that A.A. just messed up a lot of alcoholics and made them require more expensive hospitalization later.

  • Drs. Orford and Edwards conducted the biggest and most expensive British test of Alcoholics Anonymous, and found that having a doctor talk to alcoholics for just one hour, telling them to quit drinking, was just as effective as a whole year of A.A. meetings and a full-blown "treatment program".

  • AA-Trustee Doctor George E. Vaillant (also Professor of Psychology at Harvard University), clearly demonstrated that A.A. treatment kills patients. For eight years, his A.A.-based treatment program had the highest death rate of any kind of alcoholism treatment that he studied. Vaillant also admitted that his A.A.-based treatment program had a zero-percent success rate, above normal spontaneous remission.

The counts of sobriety coins given out:

  • Only 5% — 1 in 20 — of the newcomers to A.A. will pick up a one-year coin for sobriety.
  • Only 2.95% got the 2-year coins. That is roughly 1 out of 30.
  • Only 2.2% got a 3-year coin. That is only 1 out of 45.
  • Only 1.78% got the 4-year coin. That is 1 out of 56.
  • Only 1.63% got the 5-year coin. That is 1 out of 61.
  • Only 1.17% got the 10-year coin. That is 1 out of 85.
  • Only 0.76% got the 11-year coin. That is 1 out of 131.
  • Only 0.47% got the 15-year coin. That is 1 out of 212.
  • Only 0.15% got the 20-year coin. That is 1 out of 666.
  • Only 0.076% got the 21-year coin. That is 1 out of 1316.

So much for keeping them sober over the long haul.

And note that those are the best-case numbers. Undoubtedly, some of those people are fibbing, and don't really have that many years of sobriety when they collect those coins.
And then there are the people who go to multiple meetings and pick up a coin at each meeting, so that they can enjoy the crowd cheering for them again and again. That inflates the apparent success rate too.
And then there is the problem of inventorying, where coins are bought by clubhouses but not earned by anybody. That causes the number for years like 10 and 20 to be too high, as you can see from the big drops at 11 and 21 years.

Then, the historical information: Everybody from Nell Wing, Bill Wilson's secretary, to Francis Hartigan, Lois Wilson's secretary, reported that A.A. only sobered up about 5% of the alcoholics. But 5% is the normal rate of spontaneous remission in alcoholism. That is the percentage of alcoholics who just sober themselves up without any "program" or "treatment". So A.A. is not due the credit for that 5%. That leaves 0% of the sober people that the A.A. program gets the credit for.

A.A. just doesn't do the job.

Oh well, have a good day anyway. And please continue to keep yourself sober.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Were it not for imagination, Sir, a man would be as
**     happy in the arms of a chambermaid as of a Duchess.
**        ==  Samuel Johnson, Boswell's Life, Vol. III





Date: Wed, June 23, 2010 5:43 pm     (answered 28 June 2010)
From: "Ken"
Subject: Chapter 18: Henry Ford and Anti-Semitism

Hi, nice web site. A couple of questions for you.

1. What evidence is there that the protocols of zion was created by Russian secret police.

Hello Ken,

Thank you for the letter and the compliments, and the question.

That is one of those questions that has both a simple answer and a very difficult answer. The simple answer is that there are at least these three books that give that information:

  1. A Rumor About The Jews; Reflections on Antisemitism and the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, by Stephen Eric Bronner, especially pages 83 to 88.

  2. A Doomsday Reader; Prophets, Predictors, and Hucksters of Salvation, edited by Ted Daniels. Includes a chapter on the "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion", pages 99-107.

  3. Der Führer: Hitler's Rise to Power, by Konrad Heiden. Many pages tell the story of The Protocols.

And I guess that there must be many more books that give the story, perhaps with a bibliography that points back to the source documents.

The difficult answer is finding the source materials that those authors used, which would provide a further degree of proof. Undoubtedly, they used some documents even older, but I don't have the first two of those books handy, to read their bibliographies.

I do have the third book, Konrad Heiden's book, but it doesn't list the bibliography. But it does say a lot of interesting things about The Protocols:

By its very nature every fascist movement strives to harness both the people and the state power to its will. The men who cooked up the Protocols wanted not only to stir up the masses, but also to take in a credulous tsar. To this end, they gave the book a political timeliness. A first version had been prepared toward the end of the nineties [1890s, that is] by Golovinski and Manuilov, two journalists in the service of Ratchkovsky. This version included Joly's most impressive bits. For some reason or other the bombshell was left unused for a few years. It was not hurled until political developments offered a particularly grateful target. In 1904-05, the pamphlet was refurbished as an attack on Prince Svatopulk-Mirski, the minister of the interior, and Count Witte, the finance minister, who were too liberal for the Ochrana [Russian secret police]. A pamphlet on financial policy, by a certain Sharapov, attacking Count Witte was appended. References to the unfortunate Russo-Japanese War and to Witte's role as peacemaker were woven in. All this, of course, beneath the paper-thin trimming of a Jewish conspiracy. Other propaganda works represented the Jews as warmongers; now, on the contrary, they had to be peacemongers; for if Witte made peace with the Japanese, he did so — say the Protocols — on the instigation of the Jews, who were opposed to a Russian victory. They did not want a Russian victory, because it would have thwarted their plans for world domination.

This is the origin of the supposed textbook of Jewish world domination. Today [1944] the forgery is incontrovertibly proved, yet something infinitely significant has remained; a textbook of world domination pure and simple. ... An impartial court has established the truth, even anti-Semitic propagandists have today dropped the myth of the Jewish conspiracy in Basel and admitted Joly's authorship.
Der Fuehrer, Konrad Heiden, pages 11—12.

[Sergei] Nilus was a religious writer. It is hard to say whether he was an honest visionary or an intriguing swindler. At all events, he became the tool of the Ochrana in a picturesque palace intrigue, which was part of the above-mentioned general fascist plan. The purpose of the intrigue was to remove a foreign wonder-worker, the French magnetic healer Philippe, from the tsar's entourage. Ratchovsky's clique wished to replace the Frenchman by Nilus as their creature. Why Nilus? He had written a book, under the influence of Soloviev, on the theme of the Jewish Antichrist. Its title: 'Small signs betoken great events. The Antichrist is near at hand.' The book is one of hundreds of documents attesting a forgotten mood, and would today be quite lost sight of were it not for a noteworthy change made in the second edition. This second edition was sponsored by the Ochrana and published in 1905 in the Imperial state printing shop in Tsarskoye Selo. Its appendix includes The Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion. This was the first publication of the Protocols in their present form, and it was claimed by Nilus that these Protocols were the minutes of speeches and debates which were made at the founding congress of the Zionist Movement in Basel, Switzerland, in 1897.
Der Fuehrer, Konrad Heiden, page 14.

These speeches were taken down in shorthand and entered in the minutes. A courier of the congress was supposed to bring the terrible papers from Basel to the German city of Frankfurt am Main, to be preserved in the secret archives of the Rising Sun Lodge of Freemasons. But the courier was a traitor. On the way he spent the night at a little city in Baden. Some officials of the Ochrana were waiting for him there with a staff of scribes, and that night the Protocols were copied in a hotel room. This was Nilus's story in 1905; but in a later edition he has quite a different version; the mistress of a French Zionist stole the papers from him and delivered them to the Ochrana. In later editions he gives still other versions. There is but one point to which he always adheres: that he himself had received the papers from a certain Suchotin, marshall of nobility in the district of Chernigov, who had received them from Ratchkovsky.

The book was laid on the tsar's table. Its effect was strong but not lasting. At first the tsar was shaken, praised the book's wealth of ideas, its mighty perspective, and believed it all. But Ratchkovsky had gone too far. At that time, perhaps, the deepest sources of the forgery were not discovered; but it soon became clear to the Russian public, who for a hundred years had been only too familiar with the methods of the secret police, that such documents from the hand of the Ochrana did not carry much weight. Minister Stolypin even succeeded in convincing the tsar of the forgery. The tsar gave orders that the book should no longer be used as progaganda, for 'we must not fight for a pure cause with unclean weapons.' Not Nilus but Rasputin became the tsar's confessor.

Nevertheless, the Ochrana did its best to spread its product among the masses. Butmy, the leader of the Black Hundreds, also published a version of the Protocols. In 1917, during the World War and after the tsar's downfall, Nilus published the last edition of his book, with the Protocols in the appendix. This time it was: 'He is near, he is hard by the door.' It is this edition which was placed on Alfred Rosenberg's table. It was from this edition that the loquacious and seductive demon of world domination spoke to the young man.

Rosenberg believed in the secret session of Basel, at least he did then. For this we cannot be too hard on this lad of twenty-four.
Der Fuehrer, Konrad Heiden, pages 15—16.

With this book in his bag, he [Rosenberg] fled at the beginning of 1918 to his native city of Reval, later called Tallinn. German troops took the city. Rosenberg remembered that he was a German. He volunteered for the German army, to fight against the Bolsheviki who for some months had been in the saddle in Petersburg and Moscow. The German commandant distrusted the German Russian and rejected him. He remained a civilian, earning his living as a drawing instructor at the Gymnasium.
...
For at the end of 1918, Rosenberg was forced to leave Reval with the remnants of the withdrawing, disbanding German army. The Bolsheviki pressed after them, occupied Reval, took Riga, approached the German border. He fled with them, crying: The plague is coming! An infected army, on the point of mutiny, flowed homeward, carrying him along. Thus he left Russia, came to Germany, bearing with him a treasure, the message of the Russian Antichrist, the Protocols. In a swarm of Russian fugitives, officers, intellectuals, barons and princes, Rosenberg reached Berlin, then Munich.
Der Fuehrer, Konrad Heiden, pages 17—18.

Then Heiden goes on to describe how Rosenberg showed the book to leaders of the Thule Society in Munich, which contained some of the political radicals who would later form the Nazi Party. And Rosenberg himself later became a member of the original Nazi Party inner circle.

Rosenberg brought the conspirators of Thule the secret of world domination and therewith their program. The Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion appeared in German. A certain Ludwig Müller signed his name as publisher. The impression on German intellectuals was extraordinary. Edition followed edition; the little volume was given away and widely distributed; the good cause found backers who preferred to remain anonymous. Not only in Germany did it become the book of the hour. A respectable British newspaper, the Morning Post, devoted a series of articles to it. Even the Times demanded an investigation to determine what truth there was in the Protocols. The same occurred in France. In Poland the Bishop of Warsaw recommended the book's dissemination. The Protocols were published in America, in Italy, in Hungary, in Turkish and Arabic. The story of the circulation of The Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion would seem to indicate the existence of an international network of secret connections and co-operating forces, the actual aims of which did not become known to the world until twenty years later. And yet this network is described clearly enough in the Protocols themselves.
Der Fuehrer, Konrad Heiden, pages 19—20.

There is much more, too much to type. Konrad Heiden's book is fascinating.

Heiden's book was published in 1944, when Hitler was still alive. Heiden had "fought Hitlerism from 1920, when it was only a bad smell in Republican Germany, until he had to escape from the country". [January Book-of-the-Month Club News there. I can't tell which year.]

Anyway, to make a long story short, I imagine that there must be dozens of books that tell the story of the Protocols. To trace the story back to the original documents will require further sleuthing, although we have some of the names of the original documents there.

Oh, and there is one more book of interest that I just found at the local library in response to your question:
The Plot: The Secret Story of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, by Will Eisner.
This book is definitely something different — it is a very serious comic book that tells the story of the creation of the Protocols, complete with supporting bibliography. The author of the Introduction, Umberto Eco, described this book as a tragic book, not a comic book. Umberto Eco is himself a scholar of The Protocols, and he gave two more references in his Introduction:

  • Umberto Eco, "Fictional Protocols," chap. 6 in Six Walks in the Fictional Woods (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1994).
  • Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide, (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1996), chap. 1.

2. Do you know if a list exists of the names of the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust?

I don't know, but I imagine that one does exist — or at least, a good attempt to create one exists. I can't believe that the survivors of the holocaust would let the names of their murdered friends and relatives vanish into oblivion. I would ask the Holocaust Museum that question. I think they are located in Washington, DC.

Thanks

Ken.

You are welcome. That is an interesting subject.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     There is a road to freedom. Its milestones are Obedience,
**     Endeavor, Honesty, Order, Cleanliness, Sobriety, Truthfulness,
**     Sacrifice, and love of the Fatherland.
**        ==  Adolf Hitler





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