Letters, We Get Mail, CCIX



Date: Mon, November 29, 2010 9:13 pm     (answered 15 December 2010)
From: Long Island Bob.
Subject: Spreading the truth

Mister T,

Thank you for all you do. What are your thoughts about me printing business cards with the orange-papers web site address and giving them out? Do you have any objections? Someone told me the word authoress is sexist. These things are beyond me so I will just pass it on to you.

I was pleased at how easy it was to use pay-pal to contribute to your work. I was told many years ago at AA meetings to put the price of one drink into the basket. I now say to your supporters to send the price of one drink to you on occasion. Iris there an easy way for me to p

Thank you again,
Long Island Bob O.

Hello again, Bob,

Of course you may print up cards with the Orange Papers URL and give them away. That sounds like a good thing to do. And, if you are in a printing mood, I've also suggested printing sheets of the jokes, and giving them away. (To the right audience, of course. Watch out. Some people totally pop a cork when they see jokes poking fun at their religion.)

I do not see the word "authoress" as sexist. It is just the correct word to use. There are lots of word pairs that reveal gender, like "actor — actress", and I don't think that is sexist. (Also "King — Queen", "Lord — Lady", "Baron — Baroness", etc.)

Some word pairs are now considered archaic and have fallen into disuse, like "manager — manageress", and "governor — governess", and "master — mistress".

Still, as far as I know, "author — authoress" is still the correct usage.

Have a good day and a Merry Christmas.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     We must think things, not words, or at least we must constantly
**     translate our words into the facts for which they stand, if we
**     are to keep the real and the true.
**       == Oliver Wendel Holmes, Jr.
**          address, New York State Bar Association, Jan 17, 1889.





Date: Wed, December 1, 2010 10:21 pm     (answered 15 December 2010)
From: "mark G."
Subject: FORMER P.G.

DEC 1
Used to be part of the Pacific group in LA. Got 11 years clean and sober now. No relapse.

They gave me the structure I needed coming homeless off the streets zonked out of my mind. But I'll be honest... a lot of stuff in PG, under Clancy's direction I didn't agree with.

Not the AA way, but Clancy's way. I stuck it out and did it exactly their — Clancy's — way.

But after 5 years... no matter how hard I tried having a normal life; getting real work, even with my BA and MFA,things kept crashing and burning. I didn't drink or use, but a real, normal life I wouldn't call it.

It was only after I left LA — left PG — that 6 years later now, things are slowly going up. Many ups and downs in these 11 years... but I've done one thing more right than anything else:

No matter what has happened — I have not taken a drink or used a drug. No matter what. And that is not because I won the lottery or married a beauty queen... or have all this outside stuff. It is not because I've networked or have had doors open for me. I saw too many relapses in my first few years in LA... and these were people with money; great cars; great outside success. I think a lot relapse... because they're not willing to do whatever it may take to stay clean and sober no matter what... like I did.

I owe it all to my higher power... whatever that force is. But, it's not a human being and it's not a group. And I owe it to bringing the 12 steps into every part of my life — especially how I deal with people and life.

There's a lot of giving up I do every day. But I am no longer a door mat for anyone like I might've been my first few years, doing everything other drunks ordered me to do... like I found WITH SOME — NOT ALL — in PG.

My first year foundation is solid. No cracks in it. That's a big part in my new way of life. And I thank my higher power, not PG, every day. But, I thank PG for waking me up when I needed it, and when no one else did.

All the best to you and yours. One day at a time.

MARK11

Hi Mark,

Thank you for the letter, and congratulations on your sobriety. It's good that you got a grip and quit drinking, and have kept yourself sober for so many years. I see that you are convinced that somebody or something else made you quit, and there is probably nothing that I can say that will make you see that the 12 Steps are not good for your mental health.

So all that I can say is, have a good day and Merry Christmas. And good luck.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Often we can help each other most by leaving each other alone;
**     at other times we need the hand-grasp and the word of cheer.
**       ==  Elbert Hubbard, The Note Book (1927)





Date: Wed, December 1, 2010 1:42 am     (answered 15 December 2010)
From: "jake r."
Subject: I know that you will probably not read or reply but worth a shot.

I have many questions and comments. But I will only ask one question. As I don't wish to debate the effectiveness of AA or any other 12step program. Are you or have you ever thought of yourself as an alcoholic, "problem drinker" or addict (currently or formerly) ???

Thank you,
JR.

Hello JR,

The simple answer is, "yes".

You can read my history here:

But watch out for the definitions. Alcoholics Anonymous routinely uses three or four different definitions of the word "alcoholic", and mixes them up, with really muddies the water and confuses the issues. Read the definitions here.

Now I have a question for you: Why don't you "wish to debate the effectiveness of AA or any other 12step program"? Do you believe that the failure rate of A.A. is really indefensible?

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Somebody has to have the last word. If not, every argument
**     could be opposed by another and we'd never be done with it.
**       ==  Albert Camus, The Fall (1956)





Date: Thu, December 2, 2010 7:01 am     (answered 15 December 2010)
From: "Dennis M."
Subject: More Snake Oil

Here's another offspring for your snake-oil page, if you haven't seen it already. Here I thought I couldn't get a better paying job despite my efforts due to the economy... turns out it's because I'm powerless and insane, and need a higher power to do it for me.

http://finance.yahoo.com/career-work/article/111383/a-program-for-poor-aholics?mod=career-salary_negotiation

Keep up the good fight, Orange.

Hello again, Dennis,

Thanks for the link. That is really something else, isn't it?

"Poor-aholics"? "Under-earners Anonymous"? So people are underpaid and poor because they are sinners and need to do the 12 Steps and confess and surrender to "Higher Power"? Wow. This really is some toxic snake oil.

On the other hand, do they give you another sobriety coin every time you get a raise?

And, finally, thanks for the laugh. Every so often I need to be reminded that these hairless monkeys are basically crazy.

Have a good day and a Merry Christmas.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Those who have not, and live in want, are a menace,
**     Ridden with envy and fooled by demagogues.
**       ==  Euripides, The Suppliant Women (c. 421 B.C.), tr. Frank W. Jones





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

Canada Goose goslings
The family with orphans is taking a nap

Now that they are stuffed again, it's time to take a nap again and sleep it off.

The girl of the family is in front, closest to the camera. The three other large goslings are the boys, and the two small adopted orphans are tucked in between two of the boys.

[More gosling photos below, here.]





Date: Fri, December 3, 2010 6:54 am     (answered 15 December 2010)
From: "Laura Y."
Subject: Need Help

I am the mother of 9 children. My husband who had been sober for over 13 years started drinking again 4 years ago. A year and a half ago he got involved in AA. He has stopped drinking but the teachings of AA and his over-involvement with AA is ruining our marriage. Since he found AA our life together has been a living nightmare. He stopped communicating with me, only communicating with his sponsor or others in the group and telling me that if I had a problem I needed to get into Al-Anon and get my own program going and my own sponsor to talk to. My husband left me this past week (with 6 children still at home), choosing his AA family over us.

The L-rd led me to your website. I have found numerous books and publications that I would like to read myself and hopefully show the counselor who is trying to help us. But, some of the ones that seemed like they would be helpful do not have ISBN or Dewey #'s. Can you tell me how I can go about obtaining these particular publications? Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

Blessings,
~ Laura

Hello Laura,

Thanks for your letter. I'm sorry to hear about your troubles.

The first place to look for information about books is in the bibliography, here. I list all of the ISBN numbers and Dewey numbers, if the books have one. You can quickly find individual books by using your browser's built-in search function, usually a slash. In Firefox, for instance, just type a slash and a little box opens at the bottom of the window for you to type in key words. So go to the bibliography page, and then search within it.

Most all books published after 1950 or 1960 have ISBN numbers; but before that, the publishers had not invented the system yet. Then, you have to go by the author's name, book title, publisher, and year of publication.

For finding rare old books, I have not found anything better than Worldcat. Worldcat is something that the libraries use. It means something like "world catalogue". Somehow, most all of the libraries in the USA and Canada are in it. That means universities, and city and county libraries, and medical schools, and theological seminaries, and everything.

Exactly how the system is accessible to you differs from one library to another, so I would go to your local city or county library, and ask for help. My usual routine was to use the libraries' computers and get into their search system. Now, I have my own laptop, and get into the library's catalogue through their web page. Both ways work just fine.

And if you don't have a library card, definitely get one. Here, they are free to county residents. In fact, even the inter-library loans are free. That is, if you want some rare old book or obscure book that the local library does not have, you can request it through Worldcat. It usually takes about two weeks, and you have the book — for free. (Isn't Big Government wonderful?) That is how I got all of those rare old books about the Oxford Group and Moral Re-Armament. (Yes, taxpayer-supported libraries helped to finance the research for the Orange Papers.)

You can also use the catalog of Amazon. That is often helpful too. Mind you, you don't have to buy the book from them, but you can find it and get ISBN numbers or Dewey numbers, and publisher's name and year, and all of that, from the listing that Amazon has for the book. I have seen Amazon also have rare old books that are so rare that not even Worldcat had a listing.

Good luck, and I hope your life gets happier. So try to have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Hard-covered books break up friendships. You loan a hard-covered
**     book to a friend and when he doesn't return it you get mad at him.
**     It makes you mean and petty. But twenty-five-cent books are different.
**       ==  John Steinbeck, news summaries, April 25, 1954





Date: Sat, December 4, 2010 1:53 pm     (answered 15 December 2010)
From: jason
Subject: IRAN success on twelve-step CLASSIFIED????

Hi Orange,

Found this on wikileaks

Why would the US government make an IRAN success on twelve-step CLASSIFIED?

The link

http://213.251.145.96/cable/2010/02/10ASHGABAT245.html [Now a dead link.]

also posted below

Found it interesting,

Thanks
-Jason

Viewing cable 10ASHGABAT245, DRUG ADDICTION IN IRAN: THE SUCCESS OF TWELVE-STEP

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the
structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others.
See also the FAQs

Understanding cables
Every cable message consists of three parts:
The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by
whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification
was.
The middle box contains the header information that is associated
with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as
well as a general subject.
The bottom box presents the body of the cable. The opening can
contain a more specific subject, references to other cables (browse
by origin to find them) or additional comment. This is followed by
the main contents of the cable: a summary, a collection of specific
topics and a comment section.
To understand the justification used for the classification of each
cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.

Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please
link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific
paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the
appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark
messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash
tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g.
#10ASHGABAT245.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10ASHGABAT245 2010-02-25 12:12 2010-12-03 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Ashgabat
Appears in these articles:
http://www.spiegel.de

VZCZCXRO3053
PP RUEHAG RUEHBC RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHKUK RUEHLH RUEHNEH
RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR RUEHTRO
DE RUEHAH #0245/01 0561220
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 251220Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4294
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 6293
RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI 0024
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 4537
RHMCSUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASHGABAT 000245

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/IR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/25/2020
TAGS: IR PGOV PHUM SNAR PREL TX
SUBJECT: DRUG ADDICTION IN IRAN: THE SUCCESS OF TWELVE-STEP PROGRAMS

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Sylvia Reed Curran. Reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

¶1. (C) An Iranian specialist in the treatment of drug
addiction spoke to Iran Watcher this week about medical and
legal approaches to the problem in Iran. xxxxxxxxxxxx
(please protect), xxxxxxxxxxxx contrasted Turkmenstan's punitie and
abstinence-based, rather than treatment-oriented, stance
towards drug abusers with that of Iran. There, he said,
criminal laws governing drug use have evolved significantly
in the xxxxxxxxxxxx years he has been working in the
field of addiction. In the 1980s, Iran's penal code imposed
harsh sentences on narcotics users, but began to change in
the 90s. This was due in part, he said, to the input of
experts like himself who emphasized the effectiveness of
treatment over retributive justice. These days, drug users
in Iran who are actively seeking treatment are not subject to
criminal penalties.

Narcotics anonymous: 50,000 members

¶2. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx said that about 20 years ago, three young
Iranians, recovering drug abusers, returned from long
residences in the U.S. and started a branch of Narcotics
Anonymous. Since then, it has grown to an organization of
50,000 members with branches that hold regular meetings
throughout the country. He added that drug use in Iran is a
long-standing problem, dating back several hundred years, and
that it knows no particular socio-economic boundaries. He
cited depression as the most common reason that Iranians
abuse mood altering substances. Despite a significant drug
abuse problem in the country, Iranians actually use (though
do not necessarily abuse) alcohol much more than they do
drugs. In his view, there is a portion of these suffers from
depression that does not respond successfully to therapy and
will always seek mood altering substances. They account for
the 150,000 Iranians who receive regular,
government-sanctioned doses of methadone.

The success of twelve-step programs

¶3. (C) According to xxxxxxxxxxxx twelve-step
programs have been highly successful in treating drug
dependent Iranians, in sharp contrast to other Muslim
countries, such as Egypt and others in the Middle East. He
attributes this to the comfort that Iranians feel culturally
with the tenets of the program, particularly the concept of
"evil." Whereas in Islam, evil is considered to be "a
creation of God that must be eradicated," he said that
Zoroastrianism, the ancient religion of Iran, in contrast,
acknowledges evil as a normal component of human nature that
can be acknowledged and overcome.

Recent problems...

¶4. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx noted that the ambassador
to the UN was later also relieved of his position and is back
in Iran, with no promise of another government job. He
frequently sees him strolling through a local mall in Tehran.
xxxxxxxxxxxx, says he gets
"a lot of support" from xxxxxxxxxxxx. "If it weren't for

Ashgabat 00000245 002 of 002

him," he said, "I would probably have lost my job long ago."

¶5. (C) COMMENT: Our interlocutor has devoted his career to
learning about and treating drug addiction. xxxxxxxxxxxx
He said that, despite the recent
setbacks and problems he has encountered, there is nothing
else he would rather be doing. "The key," he said, "is
learning to treat those who are drug dependent with
compassion and humanity." END COMMENT
curran

Hello Jason,

Thanks for the tip. Now that is interesting. I didn't know that Steppism had made such inroads in Iran. I would have thought that the Islamic fundamentalists would strongly object to such heresy and idolatry as "anything as your God, a light bulb, a motorcycle, a doorknob, a tree..." I guess that the A.A. promoters must gloss that over and say that only Allah is acceptable as the Higher Power.

Also guessing, I think that the reason that the Dept. of State classified that is: they classify everything. It's just habit. And they did have reason to protect the identity of their informant, whose name is safely redacted in the released text.

I have my doubts about how "highly successful" the 12-Step programs have been in Iran. It is easy to assume a cause-and-effect relationship where there is none. Specifically, if Narcotics Anonymous is so highly successful, why do they have 150,000 addicts on government-approved Methadone? The author of that cable did not supply any numbers to indicate how much 12-Step programs reduced the problem, if they did at all. Maybe the 12-Step programs are only successful at recruiting cult members.

This statement is actually quite intelligent and perceptive, in spite of the mangled grammer:

In his view, there is a portion of these suffers from depression that does not respond successfully to therapy and will always seek mood altering substances. They account for the 150,000 Iranians who receive regular, government-sanctioned doses of methadone.

Unfortunately, the treatment is not intelligent. Neither Methadone nor guilt-inducing 12-Step religion is appropriate treatment for depression. I know that there are better medicines for depression than Methadone.

Then the report says that Iranians use alcohol much more than they do drugs. So that means that they have a large number of alcoholics. That does not sound like a highly successful program. There is actually zero evidence that 12-Step programs have done anything good for Iran.

Have a good day now, and have a Merry Christmas.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Little secrets are commonly told again,
**      but great ones are generally kept.
**       ==  Lord Chesterfield, Letters to His Son, Sept. 13, 1748.





Date: Mon, December 6, 2010 8:33 am
From: "Lee Storey"
Subject: Up With People Movie in Portland

Hi Terry,

Woohoo!!!!

SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS: The Up With People Story opens in Portland on December 17.

You can catch a screening at the Hollywood Theatre. 4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd., Portland Oregon. It's supposed to run for two consecutive weekends so perhaps you are in town? Also, please tell everyone you know as I think the film generates a lot of interesting discussion!

You can check for details at http://www.hollywoodtheatre.org/engaging/index.html

or on the smiletilithurts.blogspot.com website. I hope to have a Q&A by Skype.

Please let me know if you can suggest ways to get the word out.

All the best,
Lee

Okay, Lee, will do.

READERS: You can also peruse the "Smile 'Til It Hurts" web site:
http://www.smiletilithurts.com/index.html

The "Up With People" show was of course the song-and-dance show that Moral Re-Armament did that was popular in the 'seventies. You can read about it on my web page, The Last Hurrah: Up With People.

The movie will be showing for two consecutive weekends, 6 days in all: 17-19 Dec., and 24-27 Dec.

And then of course it will continue to tour the country.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Boom, boom, boom, boom.
**     Okay everyone, let's try it again.
**     We are "BLOWING UP WITH PEOPLE!"
**       — Unknown person's wise-crack





Date: Sun, December 5, 2010 9:16 pm     (answered 16 December 2010)
From: "Todd Q."
Subject: Can you link us up?

Hi Terry!

Could you pleas add some of our Stinkin' Thinkin' stuff to your links?

We're working on an outreach project to bring change to the addiction treatment industry, and yours is the loudest voice in the arena.

Stinkin' Thinkin' Blog

http://stinkin-thinkin.com/

Stinkin' Thinkin' Outreach on YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/user/SToutreach

Once again... You are helping a lot of people! I can't thank you enough for helping to wake me from my trance, and escape the mind-trap. When I first left AA I struggled with that old inner stepper... I could always turn to your website... It's an excellent deprogramming tool.

Thanks... Todd

Hi Todd,

Thanks for the thanks and the compliments, and yes, I'll give you a link.

Have a good day now, and a Merry Christmas.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     We do not live to think, but, on the contrary,
**     we think in order that we may succeed in surviving.
**       ==  José Ortega Y Gasset, The Dehumanization of Art (1925)





Date: Sun, December 5, 2010 7:22 pm &nbps;   (answered 16 December 2010)
From: ashaziz
Subject: Answers???

I would like to hear your "solution" to help the alcoholic who CANNOT stop drinking, fully recover to live a useful, purposeful, & fulfilling life? Please educate me, because I can use a good laugh...

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Hello Ashaziz,

First off, I reject your hypothetical case of someone "who CANNOT stop drinking". That is just the standard A.A. stereotype of "the alcoholic" that declares that alcoholics are "powerless over alcohol" and cannot quit drinking without joining Alcoholics Anonymous.

Now if someone is badly addicted, then he needs detoxing in a detox center or hospital.

After that, there are a variety of treatments and aids available, all better than A.A.

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

The most successful treatment 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. No years of A.A. meetings. Just one "Dutch Uncle" session and it's over. And that's the most effective thing going.

One of the least successful things going is Alcoholics Anonymous, which just raises the rate of binge drinking in alcoholics, and raises the death rate.

People who want a support group can find companionship in a variety of organizations that do less harm than A.A., like SMART, SOS, Lifering, and Women For Sobriety.

Have a good day and a Merry Christmas.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Being surrounded by a group of people who keep
**     telling you that you are powerless over alcohol,
**     and that your will power is useless, is not
**     getting "support". It is getting sabotaged.
**     With friends like them, you don't need any enemies.





Date: Tue, December 7, 2010 3:49 am     (answered 16 December 2010)
From: "Mark S."
Subject: At long last

Orange,

Will you be my sponsor? I've heard it said that sunlight is the best disinfectant. Found your sight and have been up all night basking in the sunlight of truth. I have been in and out of AA for over 20 years and have found it to beneficial but am getting tired of being accused of thinking too much. In all the years the thing which has kept me sober the longest was getting married to a mormon girl and having 4 kids. Ironically she died of addiction related issues three years ago and I have been unable to stay sober for more than several months at a time since. I keep going to AA and while I do get something out of it I am getting tired of a bunch of cigarette smoking automatons telling me that my thinking isn't that great and that self knowledge will avail me nothing and so I go back drinking. I quit smoking over 18 years ago after getting married and cant figure out why I cant seem to apply the same sort of will power to my drinking. Now I know I can, if I choose to.

I think the bullshit about getting a sponsor and confessing my powerlessness to feed someones ego is one of the prime factors in my feeling depressed and is playing a major role in my choosing to drink again. Plus every time I do it doesn't get worse than before, but it is a lot worse than what choosing sobriety is. I want sobriety and I crave social interaction so I keep going back to AA and while I find some things I hear there work for me, they wont seem to let me take what I want and leave the rest. The mormons frankly are seeming more tolerant of my thinking for myself these days than are the AAs, but thats a tough fit as well. Anyhow, thank you for all of your hard work and research in hashing out the truth.... Its ironic that the AA coins say "to thine own self be true" but when I am immediately shamed by some old timer who thinks I want to hone in on one of his cigarette breathed 13th step prospects.

Anyhow I could go on and on, but it is late, Suffice it to say I don't know if I will continue to go to AA, but if I do I will know that my sponsor is honesty and openmindedness and my mind sober is higherpowered enough to stay that way if I am willing. Thanks for the fresh air.

Mark

Hello Mark,

Thank you for the letter. I'm sorry to hear about your troubles, and hope you are feeling better.

For the sober social group, there just might be a variety of choices available. You will have to check to see what is available in your area.

Here is the list of the usual suspects:

  1. SMART: Self Management And Recovery Training.
    http://www.smartrecovery.org/
    Rational, sane, common-sense recovery techniques. Based on Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, the brainchild of Dr. Albert Ellis.

  2. WFS (Women For Sobriety) also has online chat groups: (guys ignore this one)
    http://www.womenforsobriety.org/news_conferences/chat.html
    For local group meetings in your area you can also call 1-800-333-1606.

  3. SOS, Secular Organizations for Sobriety, a.k.a. "Save Our Selves".
    SOS is an alternative recovery method for those alcoholics or drug addicts who are uncomfortable with the spiritual or superstitious content of widely available 12-Step programs.

  4. LifeRing Secular Recovery (LSR)
    LifeRing provides live, online meetings on the Internet, and they are also starting meeting groups in various cities.

  5. Harm reduction, Abstinence, and Moderation Support (HAMS)
    http://hamsnetwork.org
    HAMS is peer-led and free of charge. HAMS offers information and support via a chat room, an email group, and live meetings — as well is the articles on this web site.

  6. Moderation Management
    http://www.moderation.org/

  7. Rational Recovery
    http://www.rational.org/
    Rational Recovery is no longer "a recovery group", it's a book, and a technique — basically the same idea as the Lizard Brain Addiction Monster.

  8. And then there are these forums and message groups:

  9. You can also get some more links from the start of the links page.

It is also possible to find non-drinking clubs and organizations that range from the local library's book club to hiking and adventure clubs. And mountain climbing and hang-gliding and bungee jumping. Some of those things you would not dare to try drunk.

There are actually a lot of people who find happiness without alcohol. They are around; it's just a matter of finding them.

Have a good day and a good life now. And Merry Christmas.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     We drink one another's healths and spoil our own.
**       ==  Jerome K. Jerome, "On Eating and Drinking",
**         The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow (1889)





Date: Mon, December 6, 2010 3:17 pm     (answered 16 December 2010)
From: "iamnotastatistic"
Subject: A.A. admits to anti-medication stance and suicide AND that Bill Wilson wrote the Big Book

Hi Orange,

Sorry to bombard you with all this stuff but I'm going through all my old files and I keep finding it. So as long as I do I'll keep sending it on if that's OK?

Attached are two pieces from the book "Living Sober" copyright 1975, 1998, by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc., from its 39th printing in 2005.

I don't think that you can use either whole piece but you can quote from them on your site? I'm not sure about copyright law.

Hi again, "iamnotastatistic",

Don't apologize for all of the stuff. This is interesting. I like getting it. And yes, I can use these fragments under the "Fair Use" clause of the copyright act. Quoting pieces for analysis and criticism is okay.

  1. Living_Sober-Admission_of_the_Anti-Medication_stance.pdf

    Anti-Medication: all this in *"a report from a group of physicians in A.A."* No names, no qualifications — Nothing. Why do A.A. members have to take specialized medical advice from an unnamed group of alleged physicians in A.A? It contains...

    • — The implication that the recovering (any) alcoholic is prone to becoming addicted to other medications. Who made that up?
    • — More stereotyping of the alcoholic's natural response to go overboard on medications. Seriously?
    • — More garbage about a *"peculiar susceptibility"* of alcoholics to certain medications. Total nonsense.
    • — Advice to find another doctor if the one you have doesn't agree with A.A. teachings, i.e. s/he doesn't understand.
    • — Admission that an anti-medication stance is displayed by some A.A. members. Surely important enough for a newcomer to know that it be printed on page one of the big book instead of buried in the appendix of Living Sober?
    • — Claim that the anti-medication stance has *"undoubtedly prevented relapse for some."* According to what studies?
    • — Admission that this anti-medication stance has resulted in suicide, sorry, A.A. describes it euphemistically as *"disaster".*

    And it's still legal!?

    Good points. And they basically try to reduce A.A. members to some cry-baby whiners who are just complaining about minor aches and pains and want to take pain-killers. Again, the real A.A. attitude towards alcoholics is one of condescending contempt.

    At the end, they admit that A.A. members have killed mental cases by telling them not to take their medications. Still, the attitude of the whole paper is a confused contradiction: "Don't take any painkiller medications, you whiner. But maybe somebody might need to take something."

    And they call that instructions that everybody should read?

  2. Living_Sober-AA_admits_that_Bill_wrote_first_11_Ch_of_Big_Book.pdf

    In the other attached file: A.A. admits that Bill Wilson wrote the first eleven chapters of the Big Book!

    When I quoted this at A.A. meetings members would most frequently respond with the usual "NO! It was written by the first hundred." One member with 7 years sobriety even told me that the Big Book was *"written by 100 people over a period of 6 years!"*

    When I pointed out that there was only 3yrs and 10mo between Bill and Bob meeting and the publication of the Big Book I was met with a glassy eyed stare and a tight lipped silent grimace that cannot easily be described but it was strange and wonderful to behold.

This is also interesting because in the lawsuits in Germany and Mexico, representatives of the A.A. headquarters commmitted perjury in court and declared:

  • In Germany, that Bill Wilson was the sole author of the whole book. Not just the author of the first 164 pages, but of the whole thing.

  • In Mexico, that the Big Book was written rather recently, by "Wyne Parks", so it is still under an unexpired copyright.

Finally, in regard to your opinion that A.A. members should be legally held accountable for dispensing harmful medical advice. I don't think that argument will fly. There is no contract between the newcomer and the A.A. member in regard to the advice dispensed. It is simply bad advice. Horribly bad in some instances but without any legal responsibility it seems. *"You can carry the message but not the alcoholic"* as A.A. regulars will say when a member commits suicide. *"They committed the most selfish act"* according to one A.A. member of 25yrs at my home group. Disgusting, degrading attitudes to suicide abound in A.A.

Probably true. They will probably escape with technicalities and weasel words. Like, "We never promised you anything. Show me the contract."

However, can medical/treatment professionals: doctors, psychologists, counselors, social workers, psychiatrists, etc., be held legally responsible for their recommendations to attend A.A.? I think so. If they are recommending A.A. as a method of treatment, or part of treatment, in a professional capacity then surely they must be bound by medical/ethical/legal principles? If so, then a law suit against a medical professional for malpractice for recommending A.A. attendance which resulted in either emotional trauma, abuse, suicide or attempted suicide would have to be fought and proved in court. It may be hard to argue but at least it would be debated in public and hopefully before a judge who would have to adhere to U.S. Constitutional Law and not merely "traditions." Why the trial lawyers are not all over this one I do not know? All it would take is one bad decision against a medical professional and that might scare any other professionals from recommending A.A. as a treatment method. Don't you think? Just ideas....

I also don't know why lawyers are not all over that one. It sure looks like some money for someone to take.

Keep up the good fight,
iamnotastatistic

*Attachments:*

Living_Sober-Admission_of_the_Anti-Medication_stance.pdf
Size: 138 k Type: application/pdf

Living_Sober-AA_admits_that_Bill_wrote_first_11_Ch_of_Big_Book.pdf
Size: 171 k
Type: application/pdf

You have a good day too, and Merry Christmas.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If alcoholism is really a disease, then A.A. sponsors are
**     guilty of practicing medicine without a license. They are
**     also guilty of treating a life-threatening illness without
**     having any medical education or training.  They have never
**     gone to medical school, and never done an internship or
**     residency, and yet they presume to be qualified to make
**     life-or-death decisions in the patients' treatment. That
**     is what you call quackery.





Date: Mon, November 29, 2010 11:11 am     (answered 17 December 2010)
From: "paul c."

who are you???

Hello Paul,

I've answered that question many times. Look here: Who are you?.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     A strong sense of identity gives man an idea he can do no wrong;
**     too little accomplishes the same.
**        ==  Djuna Barnes, Nightwood (1937)





[The previous letter from Barry Y. is here.]

Date: Tue, December 7, 2010 12:20 am     (answered 17 December 2010)
From: "Barry Y."
Subject: u r who?

Message not printable

*Attachments:*

Alano Clubhouse
ALANO SMALL FOR MAILING.jpeg

Size: 358 k
Type: image/jpg
(Click on image for larger version.)

Hello Barry,

I've answered that question many times. Look here: Who are you?.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Be what you are. This is the first step toward
**      becoming better than you are.
**         == Julius Charles Hare and Augustus William Hare,
**            Guesses at Truth (1827)





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

Canada Goose family with goslings
The Family of 9.

In this picture, the division between the two families that make up the "Family of 9" is obvious. One couple has 7 babies, and one has 2.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]





Date: Tue, December 7, 2010 1:53 am     (answered 17 December 2010)
From: "Taylor W."
Subject: Thank you

A. Orange,

I was recently reading some of your articles about Alcoholics Anonymous and Bill Wilson, among other things, and wanted to share my experience with "the program" with whoever might (or might not) read this e-mail. Before I even start with the AA story, I feel I should mention that I was addicted to drugs, but that hasn't been a problem for years. I accomplished this with the help of a close friend and some serious dedication to my cause. No treatment programs or self help groups. I did keep drinking though, and that was looking a whole lot like a problem.

I went to AA at the suggestion of a long time friend. I don't know what he said to me, because I was trashed, and I showed up to my first meeting that way. I went because I wanted to get my buddy off my back, and because obviously I had a drinking problem. I didn't plan on quitting the booze, I just thought if I hung out with a bunch of drunks for a while, I'd be able to drink normally. I continued to go to meetings for a short while until my car battery died. In truth, the club I attended meetings at is within fairly easy walking distance of my home. Even before I decided I would not continue to attend AA, I'd decided on three things that ran contrary to the general program: 1. No higher power for me 2. I had no interest in working the steps 3. I didn't want to be in that same room 25 years from now (and we did have those guys). In retrospect, having established those ground rules was more or less a rejection of AA, although I continued to attend meetings. I don't regret that I did, however I'm equally glad I stopped and that I didn't spend any great deal of time involved with AA. In the end, it was the Big Book that sealed the deal. I had my doubts, but the constant mention of God, Creator, etc. reinforced my fears. So did the chapter "We Agnostics". The newest version reads like this "As long as you believe in an omniscient, interventionist deity named God, and kneel to pray to him constantly, your higher power can be anything". There's also a bit that explains a man is only ready for AA after he's given up on all reasonable, rational and logical methods of achieving sobriety. That sure as shit wasn't me.

Anyway, I wanted to thank you for the Orange Papers. Because although I was happy with my decision, and was still quite sober, I couldn't shake the nagging guilt that'd been instilled in me in such a short time. I mean, here I was sober and happy with that fact, and I was still thinking "But I'm not going to meetings, I'm sure to fail any day now". Of course, my AA brain, which has replaced my Alcoholic brain, tells me that if your very well presented, organized and articulate articles make sense to me, they must be wrong, you must be diseased also. You should probably seek help... a specific kind of help, involving God and some steps.

Look forward to reading more of the website,
Taylor

Hello Taylor,

Thanks for the letter, and thanks for the thanks. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well.

And yes, isn't it insidious how they plant ideas and phobias in your head that make you feel like you cannot live without them? What a dirty trick.

Yes, that's why it's a cult.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Weep for the dead, for he lacks the light;
**     and weep for the fool, for he lacks the intelligence;
**     weep less bitterly for the dead, for he has attained rest;
**     but the life of the fool is worse than death.
**       ==  Apocrypha, Ecclesiastes 22:11.

[The next letter from Taylor is here.]





Date: Tue, December 7, 2010 11:30 am     (answered 17 December 2010)
From: "Jack B."
Subject: Hello

I was wondering if you could tell me if your article is peer reviewed. I happen to be a successful participant in A.A. and remained there for the first 15 years of my sobriety. I have remained sober now for 21+ years and I would like to explore this "spontaneous remission" you speak of as possibly being true that I was going to get sober anyway. However, I would tend to disagree in that A.A. in the beginning did assist me in losing the obsession to drink.

I have a blog: Mylifeafteraa.blogspot.com

Jack B.

Hello Jack,

The term "peer-reviewed" usually refers to scientific journals, where other doctors or scientists will read articles before publication, and decide whether the article makes enough sense to publish. Obviously, the Orange Papers is not a medical journal.

However, the web site most assuredly is "peer reviewed" in the sense that thousands or hundreds of thousands of fellow "alcoholics" or "ex-alcoholics" have read it, and commented, and both approved and criticized it. Read the letters section.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

P.S.: The information about spontaneous remission is here.

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Keep a watch also on the faults of the patients,
**     which often make them lie about the taking of things prescribed.
**       ==  Hippocrates, Decorum (c. 400 B.C.), 14, tr. W. H. S. Jones





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