Letters, We Get Mail, CC



Date: Tue, October 19, 2010 8:48 pm     (answered 25 October 2010)
From: "Facebook"
Subject: William M. posted on your Wall.

William wrote:
"Congratulations on your 10 years of sobriety!! You have contributed so very much about the big lie of aa and the treatment industry. I have been reading you since you were 2 years sober. Keep up the great work; I'm sure it's hard with all the crazies that write you and call you names. I wrote you on the night of my 2ed anniversary of sobriety about Aldous Huxley, and I just pasted my 5 year mark last July."

Hello William,

It's good to hear from you again. Thank you for the compliments. And congratulations on your 5 years.

And I still need to get around to reading more Huxley.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human
**     stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and
**     justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism
**     and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or
**     political idols.
**        ==  Aldous Huxley





Date: Wed, October 20, 2010 10:00 am     (answered 25 October 2010)
From: "MICHELLE J."
Subject: Congratulations Orange

Dear Orange,

Congratulations on your 10 years!!! You are certainly deserving of your sobriety and happiness. I know the 12 steppers want you to drink and die. Never give em? the satisfaction!!! I have been meaning to write you, have started on it several times, but I never seem to be able to put my extreme gratitude in words.

Hello Michelle,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments. And I sure don't intend to give them the satisfaction. And I've joked about that before: I am so stubborn and determined to never give them the satisfaction that, you know what? A.A. really is keeping me sober!

I have 13 months of continuous sobriety and have been in AA for 14 months. At first I was excited because both my brother and sister have long term sobriety and love AA very much. I consider them both to be intelligent people and respect them immensely.

Then I started hearing things that made even my foggy mind say "Huh' That doesn't seem right, feel right, that's a lie or that is just plain stupid." I very quickly picked up on things that would be said, or at least thought, to shut down my questions, debate or opposition, especially the idea that since I am an alcoholic I am unable to think for myself, I'm not rigorously honest etc., ad nauseum.

Yes, you understand. Shut down the questioning, and stop the critical thinking, by telling you that you are not qualified to think. The Nazis said the same thing too, you know: "The average man is too stupid to think for himself. He should just loyally obey the orders of a superior."

As the fog lifted I found myself questioning more and more of the program. I have sincerely tried to find myself in Bill's cruel stereotype of an alcoholic since I was told that this is the only way I could get and stay sober and be happy. If I didn't I would surely drink and die. I told myself all of the things AA told me even though I questioned their validity. While I'm neither stupid nor immoral, I started to believe it again. Instead, I'm a person who had a lot of emotional pain who self-medicated and got addicted to alcohol at age 39. It only took 6 years for me to drink myself almost to death. My self esteem has been damaged by trying to fit myself into Bill's characterization of the alcoholic. I soaked it all up like a sponge, having been abused again like my alcoholic father did, telling me that I'm selfish, stupid, immoral, unworthy, unlovable, and abused by my egocentric mother who shut down all communication except her own, shut down all independent thinking. I had worked hard all my life to fight off all these messages and find a little self esteem and all that hard work just melted away in AA. I had no trouble with my 4th and 5th steps once I found the right sponsor, yet I was too ashamed to admit to anyone my misgivings and was somewhat even ashamed to admit them to myself. Even though when I first got sober I hit the ground running trying to find a job, I now find myself too paralyzed with insecurity and fear to do that.

I found this site, all this wonderful and empowering information, and started to really challenge the information that I have been half taking in. I started to think about my positive attributes, you know, the ones that Bill Wilson says no alcoholic could ever have. I started thinking of my achievements, you know, the ones that Bill Wilson says make you arrogant. I actually started to feel good about myself again, like I could look for a job. I could stand AA no more. I told my sponsor (a very kind and good person that I have been fortunate enough to know after firing a couple of sick sponsors) just some of the many reasons why I wanted out, I can't begin to tell her all of it, it would take forever. I told her how I never spoke at Big Book and 12&12 meetings, not because I'm stupid, but because I disagree. She minimized everything. She minimized that AA is abusive and a bunch of lies and just made excuses. I showed my brother, (who I'm indebted to because he saved my life and I now live with him like a worthless sponge) the SMART website. He barely looked at it and said it wasn't as good as AA. I told him AA was doing me more harm than good and I told him I had been mentally better off when I was drinking. He wanted to now why I felt it was harmful. But I love him and can't tell him why. It's like criticizing someone's religion. I can't bring myself to criticize something he loves so much, something he feels it is so wonderful and oh so spiritual. But I don't find a system of abuse to be spiritual. And I felt guilty knowing just what their AA thoughts were about how my thinking is so faulty and that if I left AA I would drink and die and that they would always be expecting this to happen. So I decided to trade my well-being for their piece of mind and announced that I would go back to AA and commit myself to it, and they were happy. I know they think that I'm doing what's best for me but at the same time it feels like they are saying, "Yay, she's dying inside." I feel betrayed.

So I've made the decision to get off my medications because it's the only way I can feel bad enough to comply with and try to fit into AA. It's the only way I can attend and not scream. Once before, I tried to go down to half my normal meds when my brother urged me to stop taking it. At the time, I warned him that this could be very dangerous for me, but he still felt like it was a good idea. I did this for one day and could not stop crying to save my life. I wanted to die but didn't have the courage to get a gun and blow my brains out. I was seriously considering getting extremely drunk and walking the edge of a bridge, not jumping, just hoping to fall off. Or just walk away and go homeless and hope someone else would kill me. Only my mental health care professional and my sponsor know this. I told my sponsor I was going to stop taking my meds so I could be, as the 12&12 says, 'right sized' and become compliant. She never questioned the danger in doing this. I plan to do this next week after I fulfill a commitment. I hope I don't kill myself. My brother noticed my depression yesterday. He thinks I'm having a problem with sobriety. I have no problem with not drinking. It's the 'solution' that I have a problem with. I know all this sounds stupid. I know I'm not thinking correctly. Not doing what's right for me. But AA tells me it would be selfish and arrogant to do otherwise, and being beat down, in some sick way I believe it because I can't stand to hurt them. I have been put in a position to either betray myself or him. I guess I just love him more.

I see AA as being like the battered wife syndrome in so many ways. If someone tells you that you are a piece of shit long enough, you will believe it. In fact, you have to believe you're a piece of shit in the first place to stay but then you just start to believe it more and more. You will blame yourself for the abuse. Your children (newcomers) will learn to be either the abused or the abuser.

I want to tell you my version of the Lizard Brain theory, but I'll save that for later.

I will print this out in case I don't survive this getting off my meds thing, so some people will know what happened. But AA will say I didn?t work a strong enough program or that I couldn?t let go of my resentments.

Again CONGRATULATIONS ORANGE!!!! YOU DID IT YOURSELF!!!

A HUGE FAN,

Michelle J

"Tell a lie often enough, loud enough, and long enough, and people will believe you."

Hello Michelle,

Thank you for the letter and the compliments.

And please, please, please do not stop taking your medications in order to please some Alcoholics Anonymous members. Changing yourself, and messing up your mind just to fit into A.A., is another kind of suicide.

Please show your brother this letter. If you love him, then you should tell him the truth, and this letter is a real good start. It will let him know what is going on. If he rejects what you are saying, and just starts criticizing you and putting you down, and telling you that you cannot think such thoughts, then you will know that he loves A.A. more than he loves you.

Please think about getting another job and moving out of your brother's house.

And if your "mental health care professional" doesn't have the brains to see the dangers inherent in quitting your medications just to fit into a cult, then fire that incompetent counselor and find a good one.

Please take care of yourself first. To hell with those other people who want you to be their mental slave.

And please try to have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty.
**     I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have
**     finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
**         ==   Buckminster Fuller (1895—1983)

[The next letter from Michelle J. is here.]





October 20, 2010:

We went to a lake, but there was very little wildlife there. Apparently the powerboats scared them away. We ended up at the Fernhill Wetlands, which was amazing. The migratory geese use it as a resting and feeding spot. I have literally never seen so many geese at one time, in one place, in my life. Apparently, the geese really like it there because they can rest in peace in the middle of the largest pond, and they can fly to the surrounding farms where the farmers have already harvested their crops, and poke through the stubble and eat grass and weeds.

Canada Goose gosling Canada Geese migrating above the Fernhill Wetlands
(click on the picture for a much larger image.)

[More gosling photos below, here.]





Date: Tue, October 12, 2010 5:15 pm     (answered 25 October 2010)
From: "James G"
Subject: Re: TV promoting XA

Terry,

Thanks for all your help on the AA promotion vids. I am afraid that I have been unable to get enough content for a film, however I do plan to download all the shows/films mentioned and complete it at a later date.

In the meantime I have been looking at documentaries on cults and revisiting the cult question with regards to AA. Have you watched Lifton's lectures on Youtube? Whilst they don't mention AA, there are many characteristics that can be linked. If you do a search for "Destructive Cults" in Google Video (I know they are not your favourite organisation) you'll find a great summary on the matter.

Finally, the BBC recently made a documentary challenging Scientology — they obviously upset someone as Scientology responded with this...
http://www.freedommag.org/

If you have any ideas for what to include in the Cult film they would be much appreciated. It is going to be much longer than my usual ones as it is such a massive subject.

Kind regards,

James G

PS: This sounds like a great book to read too — Malignant Pied Pipers of Our Time: A Psychological Study of Destructive Cult Leaders from Rev. Jim Jones to Osama Bin Laden [Paperback]

Hi again, James,

That Scientology web site is something else. I really don't know why we can't have laws against such cults — other countries do. Cults like Scientology are just criminal enterprises, genuine organized crime. Calling it a religion is just a dodge.

Yes, tracking down all of that old video footage is a big project. Perhaps some readers have some old videotapes in their closets...

The anti-cult video sounds like a very good idea. I'll have to think about it for a while to come up with some suggestions.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Rev. Jim Jones said, "Drink the red koolaid. It
**     has cured millions. RARELY have we seen it fail...
**     But then again, the green koolaid is good too.
**     Take what you want, and leave the rest."





Date: Thu, October 14, 2010 7:44 pm     (answered 26 October 2010)
From: "Carla H."
Subject: 12 step Snake Oil

I am really enjoying the articles — especially this one — I completely agree that when we are getting sober and starting to actually feel good and get our self respect back — AA wants to focus on your character defects and shortcomings, etc. — just what I don't need — I was always good at cutting myself down and probably apologized way too much when I was drinking — now I just want to be happy and rejoice — no more whining and complaining, please.

Thanks so much for this website — I feel free again — just like when I decided to stop (before another round of AA) — I know I do not want to drink anymore and believe in self reliance more than dependency on a strange set of rules to obey. . . .

Thanks,

Carla


Date: Sat, October 16, 2010 11:17 am     (answered 26 October 2010)
From: "Carla H."
Subject: Published books — Goodbye AA

Dear A. Orange,

Have you published any books? I would love to get a copy. I do not have a laptop — and started printing out some of your Orange Papers excerpts. If not, I will just keep your website on my desktop — lots of good reading to look forward to.

I have recently removed my self from the AA community — thanks again for your exceptional insight — it just makes so much sense. I am going to try to purchase some of those books recommended in your Top Ten list.

Also, FYI I was sober for 6 years (4 yrs ago) forced to go to AA by Courts (DUI felony) I eventually relapsed — because I chose to drink again not because of no more meetings, but this time I quit on my own and started attending meetings again — I just forgot what it was I did not like — . Now I choose not to drink ever again — my choice

Thanks for letting me have my brain back — I knew it was there. One of the worst things is to lose your own self-respect and belief in yourself — I don't want anyone to take this away from me or even try — it belongs to me.

Sincerely,

Carla

P.S. See below — my goodbye letter to my sponsor. I also sent it to my brothers and son — so they do not get worried about me — although, they are all skeptics as well.

[note; spending time w/ family & friends at Thanksgiving (even though they may be drinking — get used to it) has got to be more real than attending a Brainwashing AA retreat — whew — I lose $150 but I don't care — someone else can join the Clan.]

I also included the response from my sponsor — 20 years and still brainwashed. .. . . . glad I found out early — Thanks to you and your website!

TO BROTHERS & SON

I had mentioned I was going to a retreat at Thanksgiving — changed my mine — I do have a choice — Don't worry — I am still very sober and happier than I have ever been in a long time — just can't swallow the AA lingo — sort of feels like a "cult" brainwashing, etc. I have too much belief in myself and found a better way — trust me.

See below — letter I sent to sponsor (I tried it for 3 months) Oct 18th is 90 days! Woo-hoo! I have also discussed all of this with [son] — he understands.

Love, Carla

P.S. I guess this is my amends to all of you — living a sober life and being a better sister and mom

Subject: AA is not for me — Thanks for your effort

[To Sponsor]:

I have just decided to take another path for my own peace of mind and do not believe that AA is for me — I have found other means of support and have decided to rejoice and be happy — I am so sick of hearing about how we need to remove our resentments and character defects (repent our sins) — I can do that with a priest or talk to God myself and apologize if possible to the person if necessary — I do not hold grudges and have no problem apologizing and usually can forgive people unless it is absolutely unforgivable. I have confessed my sins (I pray to God on a personal level) and apologized to every one probably too much and have dealt with guilt and shame all my life — I do not need more of it instilled (just ask my brothers) — (I also believe most of my amends are living amends to others and myself — just by not drinking and being truly happy makes me a better person to be around) I am ready to live and be happy — and move on.

I love the freedom of sobriety and I do believe that God has given us free will to choose evil or good — I choose good and I choose not to drink alcohol (for me it is best because I cannot control alcohol consumption but I can control not drinking) — I have a brain and it is working much better now, I trust myself and feel happier than I have ever felt in my life besides when my son was born (that one is hard to beat) — when I go to meetings they depress me and bring me down — lower my self confidence (I am powerful when I do not drink and my life was always manageable but without alcohol it is now much more manageable emotionally and spiritually) — not for me — no more pity parties and put the past behind — let's live today — Happy & Sober.

I do not believe that my sobriety and happiness is because of AA and I will not relapse if I do not attend meetings — I believe in myself and I believe in God — I believe in co-workers, true friends and family that love me. I believe in hard work and I am the only one who knows what makes Carla tic (I have been with her for 50 years) so removing the alcohol is the best thing — I have living proof — I just wish I had another 50 years to live (I don't have lots of longevity in my genes, but will see) — now that I have so much to look forward to. Life is beautiful and I just want to relish whatever is left of mine.

I wish you the best and thank you and the group for allowing me to attend your meetings — I am not judging or criticizing — Everyone has a choice and I respect that. Please respect mine. Whatever keeps you sober — keep doing it. Enjoy Life!

Feel free to give me a call anytime. I just do not want to do the Step work anymore — I gave it a try but feel it is more of a brainwashing experience to get everyone to join the group and succumb to focusing on your negative traits and feeling mindless and helpless so you have to keep going to meetings for the rest of your life and listening to everyone's past misery instead of living today in true acceptance of how much better things are when sober — a better outlook — acceptance of yourself and personal growth for areas you want to improve — I believe that we do have our own free will — God gave us a choice to take responsibility for our lives and make our own decisions. We cannot control everything but I believe we should take credit for our triumphs and give it our best shot.

Thanks again for putting up with me — I wish you the best of life!

Love, Carla

RESPONSE FROM SPONSOR:

Hi Carla,

Thank you for letting me know how you feel. It saddens me greatly that you will not continue sharing the journey of our Program's road is "brainwashing", then I choose to continue being brainwashed.

Whatever you feel you must do, then, I wish you all the best. Please know that I will miss our new-found friendship.

One final thought and I pray you remember this:

Of the 20 years I have been a part of this miraculous Program, I have never seen Religion keep an individual sober.

I am here for you, whenever you need a friend.

Take good care and keep your wonderful joy.

Love,

Laurie

Hi again, Carla,

Thank you for the letters. Congratulations on your newfound freedom and your ongoing sobriety. Of course I couldn't agree more. Self-reliance is what really keeps people sober, not depending on a group of drunks.

Which brings up a line in your ex-sponsor's reply:

Of the 20 years I have been a part of this miraculous Program, I have never seen Religion keep an individual sober.

That is a switcheroo. You never said that you were going to use religion to keep you sober. What you actually wrote to your sponsor was:

God gave us a choice to take responsibility for our lives and make our own decisions. We cannot control everything but I believe we should take credit for our triumphs and give it our best shot.

But your sponsor couldn't stand that idea, so in her mind, your sponsor changed it to "Carla will try to use Religion (with a capital 'R') to keep her sober." The sponsor just can't accept the idea of self-reliance and taking care of yourself. She just cannot think of any method of sobriety other than depending on somebody or something else.

She really has chosen the path of continued brainwashing.

In addition, your sponsor reveals that A.A. is actually backstabbing the religions in whose basements they meet. A.A. claims to be completely compatible with any religion — "no conflict", they brag — "There is no friction among us over such matters" the Big Book says — but then they actually denounce those religions as "not effective" and "won't keep you sober". Only the A.A. religion is good enough, they really believe.

There is no paper version of the Orange Papers. What I recommend is that people download the archive files and then make a CD copy of all of the files. The archive files are listed on the main menu page, here. Instuctions on how to burn the CD are here.

Have a good day, and a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance
**     is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators,
**     but names and customs.
**        ==  Ralph Waldo Emerson [1803—1882] Self Reliance

[The next letter from Carla H. is here.]





From: "Richard B."
Subject: Zombie2.jpg (JPEG Image, 400x242 pixels)
Date: Wed, October 13, 2010 5:08 pm

13 October 2010

You may want to add this to your graphics.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_K7tNNOYzXSg/SjzoAlmGYSI/AAAAAAAAEAM/KMW03sl2a4c/s400/Zombie2.jpg

Zombie needs a meeting

Best
Richard B.

Hi Richard,

Thanks for the laugh. That's good.


Date: Wed, October 13, 2010 5:36 pm
From: "Richard B."
Subject: Disulfiram for alcohol abuse: Why is such an effective drug so under-prescribed? — doctordeluca.com

13 October 2010

FYI

http://www.doctordeluca.com/Library/AddictionMeds/WhyDisulfiramIsUnderused01.htm

The author strikes me as no friend of AA.

Best
Richard B.

Yes, I get that impression too. And it's such a relevant question: "Why are the things that actually work not used, while the worst solution in the world is what all of the treatment centers are selling?"


Date: Wed, October 13, 2010 10:12 pm
From: "Richard B."
Subject: 1964 Nation magazine article about AA

*Attachments:*
Nation_Mag-13148089.pdf
Size: 673 k
Type: application/pdf

Ah, thank you. That is a very interesting piece of history. It's kind of funny how the author starts off with lavish praise of A.A., and even repeats some of the standard mythology, like how A.A. is based on the teachings of Carl Jung, and then, on the last page, starts listing the faults of A.A. It's almost as if he had to regurgitate the party line before he was allowed to start telling the truth.

Some of the lies are so blatant: "A.A. has no secrets but the names of its members" is a hallowed tenet... So does that mean that the Alcoholics Anonymous headquarters will now unlock the sealed historical archives and let investigators see the real historical records and see what Bill Wilson really did?

Then the author repeats the falsehood that Bill Wilson was a Wall Street broker.

The story that Bill Wilson was only getting $25,000 from royalties is another falsehood. Bill was getting a lot more than that, as well as a house in the country and Cadillac car and string of mistresses, supported by the headquarters office. The number I got is that Lois Wilson, who inherited Bill's royalties, was getting about $900,000 per year from those royalties at the time of her death.

And of course the author repeats the mythology that Bill Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith founded A.A., apparently soon after they met. No, they both started recruiting alcoholics for Dr. Frank Buchman's fascist Oxford Group cult in 1935. They would remain in the Oxford Group for years more, before Bill Wilson was kicked out for failure to obey orders. And then Dr. Bob would still stay in the Oxford Group for another couple of years before establishing independent meetings.

Which brings up the interesting note that one of the members of the Board of Trustees was an arch-conservative who was distributing literature for the John Birch Society. Well, that is consistent with the fascist, anti-Communist, politics of Frank Buchman.

The author tells the truth about several important issues, like that A.A. will not change or update its literature. And his description of the leadership is devastating:

Everybody was an expert, with a cluster of ideas closed to amendment. Bill W., the movement's traditional leader and a main source of its spiritual inspiration, had lost out in committee maneuvering to a policy of "putting the thing on a business basis." Committee politics took up half the working day; gossip was venomous. In quick succession I was told that the co-founder (in my opinion still sharp-witted at seventy) was senile, that a staff worker was a hypochondriac and a committeeman a homosexual. The accused were at pains to assure me, separately and without encouragement, that the accusers were a nymphomaniac, a schizophrenic and a megalomaniac. I observed nothing to substantiate any of these charges. However, there was no inclination toward the "fearless and searching moral inventory" recommended by A.A.'s Twelve Suggested steps.

The non-alcoholic board of Trustees responsible for national policy was ultraconservative (one member, Archibald Roosevelt, had furnished literature for distribution by the John Birch Society) and this, I reported, had served the movement poorly. The board's rigid conservatism was reflected in a number of unfortunate policies, the most odious of which was a tacit endorsement of racial segregation within the branches.

Hmmm. Do you want to bet your life on that?


Date: Thu, October 14, 2010 10:12 am     (answered 27 October 2010)
From: "Richard B."
Subject: Where conforming AA members get their theology — a very smart piece

The founder of AA. — By Wendy Kaminer — Slate Magazine

HOME / books : Reading between the lines.
The Puritan Hangover
Bill Wilson, theologian of AA.
By Wendy Kaminer
Posted Monday, March 15, 2004, at 5:44 PM ET
Salesmanship, self-help, and surrender to a deity, or some other higher power, form a central trinity in American popular culture, giving rise to religious movements fueled by therapeutic strivings and therapeutic movements infused with religious ideals. That's why it's sometimes difficult to distinguish between therapy and religion in America. Freudianism and a tendency to regard evil as a sickness may be anathemas to some religious beliefs, but practical, formulaic programs for personal development are apt to offer spiritual as well as psychic fulfillment. Similarly, religious movements aiming for broad appeal are apt to promote self-help and self-love while preaching self-surrender and love of God.

[Full text here:]
http://www.slate.com/id/2097144/pagenum/all/

Thanks for the tip, Richard. That is an interesting article. This line hits the nail on the head:

Unfortunately, Cheever's account of AA demonstrates only a vague understanding of the broader context of religious belief and personal development movements in America, and her version of Wilson's life is familiar.

Yes, Susan Cheever's "biography" of Bill Wilson, called My Name Is Bill: Bill Wilson — His Life And The Creation Of Alcoholics Anonymous, was a total white-wash. She even condoned and made excuses for Bill Wilson's practices of necromancy and sexual exploitation of newcomer women. (Also look here and here.)

Susan Cheever's reward for publishing that package of lies was a Directorship on the Board of Directors of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency — the NCADD — the A.A. front group that was founded by "Mrs." Marty Mann to promote Alcoholics Anonymous.

I'm glad to see someone at least pointing out that Cheever's book fails the reality check.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Some old-timers remember that Bill had larger financial dreams for Helen.
**    They worked together on the experiments and distribution of LSD
**    and niacin,4 which became one of Bill's late-life enthusiasms.
**    My Name Is Bill; Bill Wilson — His Life
**       And The Creation Of Alcoholics Anonymous,
**         Susan Cheever, pages 231 and 287.

[The next letter from Richard B. is here.]





From: "Chris S"
Subject: stumbled on your web site
Date: Wed, October 13, 2010 10:35 pm     (answered 26 October 2010)

Wow, is all I can say. You really have spent an awful long time go to "any lengths" LOL to make a case that AA has failed, it's a cult etc.. one question... Why?

Hello Chris,

The answer is: Because A.A. is a fraud and a hoax, and hurts more people than it helps. And promoting quack cures for a deadly disease or fatal illness is a crime.

Another really important question. What other "treatment" has a better success rate than AA for the biggest and most misunderstood social problem of all mankind?

What other treatment? Many, many others are better. Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the worst ways to treat alcoholism, and it produces one of the highest death rates of any way of treating alcohol abuse.

Professors Reid K. Hester and William R. Miller (UNM, Albuquerque — Center for Alcohol, Substance Abuse and Addictions, Dept. of Psychology, University of New Mexico), rated treatment modalities by success rate. Here are the results:
http://www.behaviortherapy.com/ResearchDiv/whatworks.aspx

Prof. Miller's biography (on the back of his book Controlling Your Drinking, says:

Prof. William R. Miller is Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico. He is the author of numerous books, including Motivational Interviewing, a modern classic in the field of addiction treatment. Dr. Miller's research, which focuses on providing a broader and more effective range of treatment approaches for people with alcohol and drug problems, has been supported by a 15-year Research Scientist Award from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. He is a recipient of the international Jellinek Memorial Award for excellence in alcoholism research.

I don't have Prof. Hester's biography handy, but I'm sure that it is also impressive.

The most successful treatment in that chart is "Brief Intervention".

Notice how "Twelve-step facilitation" is so far down the list that you have to look for it. It's number 37 out of 48. Also notice how 12-Step treatment has a negative success rating — the "Cumulative Evidence Score" is a minus 82, while the best treatments are rated positive 390 and 189.

"Brief Intervention" consists of a real doctor talking to the patient for usually less than one hour, questioning him about all of the ugly details of his drinking and telling him that he will die if he doesn't quit drinking. One time. That's it. No long counseling sessions, no great guidance, no on-going advice, no shoulder to cry on. And no 28-day treatment program. Just one "Dutch Uncle" session and it's over. And that's the most effective thing going.

That kind of puts the whole expensive "drug-and-alcohol treatment industry" to shame, doesn't it?

Plenty of other medical tests have also shown that A.A. is a complete failure as a treatment for alcoholism:

  1. Dr. Jeffrey Brandsma found that A.A. indoctrination greatly increased the rate of binge drinking in alcoholics. People who were sent to A.A. ended up, after 9 months of A.A., doing FIVE TIMES as much binge drinking as another group of alcoholics who got no such help, and NINE TIMES as much binge drinking as another group that got Rational Behavior Therapy.

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

  3. Dr. Diana Walsh found that "free" A.A. just messed up a lot of alcoholics and make them need more expensive hospitalization later.

  4. Doctors Orford and Edwards conducted the largest and most expensive test of A.A. in England. They found that having a doctor talk to alcoholics and their wives for only one hour, only one time, telling them to quit drinking or they would die, was just as effective as a whole year of A.A.-based treatment.

  5. This one is the most damning evidence of all, because it came from a doctor who loves Alcoholics Anonymous, and is one of its biggest promoters. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous [World] Services, Inc.. Doctor George E. Vaillant (who later became a Professor of Psychology at Harvard University), clearly demonstrated that A.A. treatment kills patients. For eight years, while he tried to prove that A.A. works, his A.A.-based treatment program had a zero-percent success rate above normal spontaneous remission, and worse, it had the highest death rate of any kind of alcoholism treatment that he studied. Dr. Vaillant candidly called the A.A. death rate "appalling". At the end of 8 years, the score with his first 100 A.A.-treated patients was: 5 sober, 29 dead, and 66 still drinking.

By the way, your statistics on AA's success or lack of it are impossible to calculate. Wherever you got them, they are wholly inaccurate as the success rate of AA will always be impossible to calculate.

Please prove that statement. Let's see your numbers. You cannot dismiss my numbers, and many doctors' numbers, without even knowing what the truth is, so let's see your version of "the truth", and let's see how you calculated what the truth is.

Your statement is self-contradictory. You are claiming that you cannot calculate the A.A. failure rate, so you don't know what the truth is. But you are also claiming that what I have said is wrong, because you do know what the truth is, and my statements disagree with your ideas of the truth. You can't have it both ways.

It most assuredly is possible to calculate the A.A. failure rate. Even Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob did it in Akron, and they calculated that they had a 95% failure rate. They found that they got a mere 5% success rate, which is the same as the success rate of people who go it alone, and quit on their own without A.A. or any "help" or "treatment".

AA is not without it's problems, in my view the biggest problem is that not enough people in the fellowship (which is different than the program by the way) really study the text. AA's biggest problem is it's made up of many many alcoholics who think they know what the program is from hearing about it yet from other people who think they know what the program is etc.. etc..

Baloney. Reading and studying the book of lies that Bill Wilson wrote is not a cure for addictions.

You speak of "the program" as if A.A. actually had a program that really works. It does not, and never did. "The Program", as you call it, is just some recycled old cult religion practices from Frank Buchman, who was a pro-Nazi nutcase in the nineteen-thirties. Bill Wilson joined Frank Buchman's "Oxford Group" cult in December of 1934, and learned all of Buchman's crazy religious ideas there, and Bill just kept on using them when he stole "The Alcoholic Squadron" and made it into his own cult.

Friend you've got it so wrong, I really pity you. Pick up a big book and study AGAIN and listen along to a big book study seminar by a couple of old drunks called "Joe and Charlie". They will set you straight. Friend, you really don't have any idea what it's all about. You have completely missed the idea.

I've read the Big Book enough. I feel like I have typed half of it. It is a pack of lies, deceptions, logical fallacies, and propaganda tricks. And reading Joe and Charlie won't "set me straight", either. Neither will reading the cult religion diatribes of L. Ron Hubbard or Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Why would I want to get indoctrinated by more cult religion salesmen?

Most people just look for what they want to see as is your case ... looking askance and looking for the bad.

And some people look for the truth about all things, and notice that there are some big lies going around. Alcoholics Anonymous, Scientology, Synanon, The People's Temple, they all claim to have a "spiritual" cure for drug and alcohol problems, and they are all frauds and cults.

BTW AA is the best thing that ever happened to me. I'd be dead with out the program of AA (I would be OK with or without the fellowship)

Correction: You would have died if you had not quit drinking. You don't even know what would have happened if you had quit drinking and gone and done something else. You could have quit drinking and joined a monastery, or joined the Navy, or gone mountain climbing. Or you could have quit drinking and joined a non-drinking church and become a true believer in that church. You could have joined the Mormons, or the Seventh-Day Adventists, or Jehovah's Witnesses, or one of the dry sects of the Southern Baptists. What would have happened then?

When you say,

I'd be dead with out the program of AA (I would be OK with or without the fellowship)
...you are repeating another standard A.A. dodge. A.A. promoters routinely switch back and forth between claiming that the magic is in the Big Book, or in the Fellowship. When I talk about the bad things that many A.A. members do, like sexual predation and telling newcomers not to take their medications, the A.A. defenders claim that that doesn't really matter because the magic is in The Book and the 12 Steps and "The Program". When I point out all of the insane things that Bill Wilson wrote in the Big Book, and that the 12 Steps are just a rehash of Frank Buchman's Nazi philosophy, they switch to claiming that the magic is in the contemporary Fellowship, and that old history is irrelevant, and they never even read the book.

Congratulations for choosing to get yourself sober, and then keeping yourself sober. You did it. No cult religion did it for you.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Almost any argument against AA is met with "Oh, that's not really AA."
**     Some say The Real A.A. is "the Fellowship", others
**     "the Program", and some possess the ability to
**     switch back and forth depending on the argument.
**     Bullshit, it's all AA.
**          ==  An unknown critic of A.A.

[The next letter from Chris S. is here.]





Date: Thu, October 14, 2010 2:02 am     (answered 26 October 2010)
From: "Facebook"
Subject: Chris L. posted on your Wall.

Chris wrote:
"happy birthday orangie :-) rock on"

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the good wishes, and you have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     An actual recent spam email that advertised a diploma mill:
**     "Obtain a Univesrity Dergee based on your professional experience.
**     article related to technology in education"





Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2010
From: "Catherine F."

Subject: Re: aacultwatch are awaiting a response from you

Dear Orange

I started this thread in aacultwatch.

http://forums.delphiforums.com/aacultwatch/messages/?msg=15.1

They say they have written to you and are awaiting a response. Just to let you know. It is very hard to get these people to engage so I hope you take this opportunity to sock it to them.

There is a link to this question on the site, stinkin-thinkin. I hope you have time to look at st occasionally.

http://stinkin-thinkin.com/

All the very best to you sir.

Thanks for the tip. I never saw any email from them. But I registered. Now I'll have to think about what I want to write.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*           [email protected]         *
*           AA and Recovery Cult Debunking   *
*           http://www.orange-papers.info/    *
**      "Now I know what it's like to be high on life.
**      It isn't as good, but my driving has improved."
**      == Nina, on "Just Shoot Me", 13 Jan 2006.


Date: Thu, October 14, 2010 2:21 am     (answered 26 October 2010)
From: "Catherine F."
Subject: RE: aacultwatch are awaiting a response from you

Hello there. I am watching the conversation on aacultwatch. It is so rare for these people to engage with their detractors that I am surprised to read that they feel they have dealt with your (ahem) objections. I have flagged this up on stinkin thinkin and will watch with interest. I wonder whether you look at stinkin thinkin. I think that it is going fairly well, and ftg and ma are very good writers. (Once again, much gratitude for your work).

I am Primrose on st.

Hi again, Katherine,

I poked into the delphi forum, and said hi, and got no response. And haven't been back since.

I am just not online much (no DSL connection any more), and when I get online, I am usually busy with downloading or answering email, or researching something, or uploading web site updates, or downloading updates to something else. I just don't have much time for online debates on other web sites, or Facebook, or anything like that.

I'll try to poke in there again, and see what is going on.

Perhaps other people would like to get in there and debate for me?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "...there just aren't enough rocks."
**          ==  Forrest Gump





Date: Thu, October 14, 2010 5:01 pm     (answered 26 October 2010)
From: Long Island Bob O.
Subject: Another idea — more work for you

Mister T,

Thank you for all you do. I suggest adding to your site the "AA definitions" of words and phrases. I understand you cannot speak for AA but you might say "In my opinion AA is saying...." The definitions may be dispersed in your site now and you might give linkages the way you use "here and here" . Things like: self will run riot, surrender, amends, recovery, alcoholic, sponsor etc. I know this is easy to say but difficult to do, as is most of your work. Maybe you can start with a few definitions and let it grow. You may get more input than is reasonable. Just a thought.

Thank you again.
Long Island Bob O.

Hi again, Bob,

Thanks for the thanks. That sounds like a great idea. It could also be done in both a straight and a humorous fashion, sort of like Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary.

I have a page of definitions of some commonly-used A.A. words, but it gives the straight dictionary definitions of the words that A.A. tries to redefine in "loaded language" twists.

But I'm probably not the best one to define the words. The people who really know all of the definitions are the ex-members who spent 10 or 15 or 20 years in A.A. before quitting, and who are hip to all of the "other" meanings of the words. Anybody got any words and definitions to offer?

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Christian, n.
**     >> One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely
**      inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs
**      of his neighbor.
**     >> One who follows the teachings of Christ so long as they
**      are not inconsistent with a life of sin.
**        ==  Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary





Date: Sat, October 16, 2010 2:48 am     (answered 27 October 2010)
From: "Alex P."
Subject: thank you

Hi Orange

I would like to ty for your work — I think it prevented me from making a big mistake —

Was on a website where people were posting on a thread re their problems with alcohol — Myself I have had substance abuse issues for a good 25 years with a long 'dry' spell in between which fell apart after a break up. Anyway there was one person really pushing hard the AA and I sort of thought well I tried stopping before and I am back to square one ( despite numerous attempt over the last 9 years .. ) so why not — Luckily one of the other posters posted a link to your website which I devoured over the last few days and I am glad I did — I will walk a mile before going to the AA as I got enough problems as it is ..

On a separate note — I wondered whether you have heard this before — the first time I stopped ( I was 22 ) I actually stopped by myself and I did it by basically doing a mea culpa and asking god for help ( catholic upbringing + feeling depressed ) — I then spend the next 8 years until my relationship fell apart keeping myself in check by telling my self — dude you're a substance abuser for life so don't touch anything and basically feeling miserable though out that period ( I am sure that contributed to that relationship falling apart as I was hiding in a shell throughout that period ) . What I am trying to say is at that time I had no concept of the 12 steps nor the AA — I was doing coke speed ecstasy etc (I was one of those early 90's raver's ) and alcohol even though consumed in large quantities never was the central tenet of my addictive personality it only be came that after I fell off the wagon 10 years ago . So I guess in a weird way I sort of did my own steps and they look quite familiar to the 12- step program — Have you ever heard of other people experiencing this?

Anyway I am now 10 days off the booze ( early days I know ) and am using your inner monster page to keep check on myself without reverting mumbo jumbo .. I have decided to try and find why I am like I am and I believe I might have a might form of Bipolar disorder which would explain a lot of stuff that has happened in my life. Allthough am a bit reluctant to go see my GP — don't like people probing me head )

So thanks again for all the effort you put in to this web page.

Alex P.

Ps you can use this just don't publish the email address

Hi Alex,

Thank you for the letter and the compliments. And congratulations on your new sobriety.

About finding yourself doing things similar to the 12 Steps: Yes, I can see that. But the similarities are mostly just similarities in appearance; there are some big important differences. I am all for introspection, and recognizing that you tend to have an "addictive personality" where you go non-linear when you get some intoxicants into you, and just want more and more. I have the same problem too, which is why I don't take that stuff any more.

And I am all for any kind of sane meditation and self-awareness and self-examination. That can actually be a very good thing. And religious beliefs are okay too. And faith that the Creator of the Universe is basically loving is just fine. But A.A. twists it all around and perverts it, and makes it into a negative cult religion that does more harm than good.

Likewise, you will often hear A.A. members claiming that the 12 Steps are "based on the Bible", or that they resemble something in the Bible. Same problem. The Bible most assuredly does not tell you to do the 12 Steps and pray to "anything as your Higher Power". The Bible does not tell you that praying to a bedpan or a parakeet will save you from drugs and alcohol.

Since you are a Catholic, you will probably appreciate the web page on The Heresy of the Twelve Steps. I covered a bunch of those issues there.

And I'm happy to hear that you are using the self-awareness technique on the web page about the Lizard Brain to keep your base brain from fooling you into drinking. That helped me a lot, back in my early years. Basically, as long as you don't let old Lizard Brain talk you into believing that "just one" will be okay, you can't lose. So my favorite slogan is still,

Just don't take that first drink, not ever, no matter what.

Have a good day and a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "I have sworn, before the altar of God, eternal hostility
**      against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
**         ==  Thomas Jefferson, from a letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, 1800





May 20, 2009, Wednesday: Day 20, continued:

Canada Goose gosling
Canada Goose Gosling
I think this might be Carmen, but I can't tell for sure from this view, and I don't remember which gosling I was photographing in this shot.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]





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