Letters, We Get Mail, CCXI



Date: Tue, December 14, 2010 1:04 am &nbps;   (answered 20 December 2010)
From: "jamie g."
Subject: Hi again

Hi again Orange,

Hope you are well. Just one or two even more things i forgot to mention in my previous letter which I'm sure you will appreciate.. Members are repeatedly told to "use a Group Of Drunks" in the third step as an understanding of God.... Ok here's the problem with that one..... Does that mean that AA members in step 5 have to go around all of AAs meetings and confess to the group their moral failing etc etc as they have done in step 4.... Also how on earth does a "Group Of Drunks " "completly" as said in the step remove all our defects????? Also how does a "Group Of Drunks" take away somebody's shortcomings?????? Does that mean that we are a looking at a collection of AA members as God??

Also how can one pray to a group of drunks in step 11????? I have heard people say that "your defects and shortcomings don't get taken away; you just become aware of them" Hmmmmm doesn't that PROVE the steps dont work???? They say COMPLETLEY remove our defects. If that's the case, and they don't get removed — just highlighted so to speak — the steps dont do a damned thing????? (Am i right in that?)..

Also now this one's my favourite.. If we can have a Group Of Drunks as our higher power (that word makes me cringe), then we are looking to a human aid to solve our alcoholism, and it even says in the big book that human aid was useless... Page 60 4th edition

  • a) "that we were alcoholic and we could not manage our own life"
  • b) "THAT PROBABLY NO HUMAN POWER COULD HAVE RELIEVED OUR ALCOHOLISM"
  • c) "That God could and would if He was sought..."
So that more or less proves the steps are a tool for conversion. Repeatedly folks will say "your best thinking got you here" "dont trust your mind" etc etc but in step 3 they say its Ok to use human intelligence in the form of an AA group?????? Does that smell fishy or more importantly Plain stupid and hipporcritical????? Its always one-sided with AA — they want it both ways all the time and cant see the obvious flaws and mistakes in their program.. Or ignorantly they fail to acknowledge them.... Now personally speaking if a person chooses faith of one kind then I'm all for that person provided they have CHOSE to follow faith, not had it rammed down there throat and told they will relapse etc etc .... Basically what AA doesn't understand is that regardless of what alcoholism is (I personally prefer the term compulsive behaviours) whether it's a disease, illness, or whatever, you can go round and round trying to figure out why we drank — were we diseased, did we fail as people, are we weak, etc etc. you always draw upon the same conclusion and that is "JUST DO NOT PICK UP THAT FIRST DRINK" and it really is that simple.... Complicating things like AA does just repeatedly makes you question things and also makes you very paranoid especially if you are vunerable towards mental health conditions......

Anyways orange just thought I'd throw that one in the mix and look forward to what you think of it so to speak...

So take care and keep up the good work keep on enjoying life the way you do and all the best.....

Jamie

Hi again, Jamie,

Thanks for the letter.

Yes, using a "Group Of Drunks" as your "G.O.D." is barking mad. Theologically, it is beyond insane, it's practically Satanic.

Quite right: Just "highlighting" your "defects of character" is totally different from God actually removing them. Bill Wilson wrote in Step 7
"Humbly, on our knees, asked Him to remove our shortcomings — holding nothing back."
(Of course Bill later rewrote that Step to "Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.", but that is another story.)
Bill did not write anything about "just highlighting" your defects and wrongs and moral shortcomings; he wrote "remove". Somebody is playing switcheroo word games again. But that is normal for A.A.

I like your points about Bill writing that "No human power would save us", but then suddenly the A.A. group (as G.O.D.) is human power that works and will save us. That smells like another bait-and-switch trick. And so does the "remove, no highlight" excuse.

And yes, the final answer to alcohol abuse is simply,

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

Have a good day and Merry Christmas.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The secret of my success was that I always managed to live to
**     fly another day.
**       ==  Test pilot General Chuck Yeager





Date: Wed, December 15, 2010 3:49 am     (answered 20 December 2010)
From: "Parrish S. K."
Subject: They're at it again...

Hi, Terry:

One of the feeds that I subscribe to gave me these two stories yesterday. The first is a study claiming that twelve-step attendance for women who have been incarcerated (starting during incarceration and continuing after release) reduces drinking:

http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-12-effects-alcoholics-anonymous-women-prison.html

And this one claims that there is a "robust association between an increase in attendance to AA meetings with increased spirituality and a decrease in the frequency and intensity of alcohol use over time."

http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-12-effects-spirituality-alcoholics-anonymous-alcohol.html

Both of these studies are being published in the March 2011 edition of a journal called "Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research", which I hadn't heard of before. According to Blackwell Publishing's web site —
http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0145-6008
— the journal was founded by the National Council on Alcoholism. Hmm, that name sounds familiar.
*cough cough AA front group cough*

Considering the source, I'd say it's pretty much a given that both these studies are flawed. I hope you'll take the time to review and critique them, publishing your findings on your web site. I'd pursue this myself, but I'm afraid I just don't have time right now. (In a few weeks, things will slow down for me.)

Hope you're doing well.

Best, P

Hello again, Parrish,

Thanks for the links. That is some interesting sleuthing.

The first paper, the one about the women prisoners, has numerous flaws:

  1. It was not a controlled study. The proper way to do such a test is to get a large group of women and randomly divide them into two equal groups. Then send one group to A.A., and send the other group home to do whatever they wish. And then see what happens. Check back a year later and see who is sober, and who is dead, and who is in jail, and who is unemployed, and so on. That will tell you what the effect of Alcoholics Anonymous really is.

  2. The people who went to A.A. were a self-selected population. That is, the women who really wanted to stay clean and sober, and who had been lied to and made to believe that 12-Step meetings would really help, went to A.A. (and/or maybe N.A.), and also kept themselves clean and sober, while the women who just wanted to get high again didn't go to 12-Step meetings. A.A. is not due any of the credit for any sobriety there.

  3. The women were prisoners. That is not a normal population. You know that a lot of them were out on parole. You know that their parole officer told them that they must stay clean and sober, or else they go back to prison. And you know that if a woman had any prior problems with drugs or alcohol, she got sent to A.A. or N.A. meetings. And in fact, the article says that the women in question were "incarcerated hazardously-drinking women returning to the community."

    So, then some four-eyes "researchers" come along and want to study the women. The women get taken into an office where somebody is questioning them about their meeting attendance and sobriety. Does anybody imagine that the women ex-prisoners are going to say anything but that they are going to meetings all of the time, and they are 100% clean and sober?

    It doesn't matter how much the "researchers" promise confidentiality, there is nothing like a few years in prison to teach distrust of authorities. No way is a woman going to hang herself by confessing that she has been drinking or doping. She has too much at stake. You can bet money that the women will report that they go to three meetings per week, at least, and never drink or dope at all.

  4. This "study" is worthless.

Now, about the second paper: "The effects of spirituality in Alcoholics Anonymous on alcohol dependence".

This is even worst bullshit. Pardon my language, but it's bullshit. The word "spirituality" is the dead give-away. There isn't even any agreement on what that word means. "Spirituality" is different things to different people.

And there is no scientific way to measure "spirituality". What is the researcher supposed to do?

  • Count how many times per hour the subject yammers a religious slogan?

  • Guess how superstitious the subject is?

  • Measure the degree of dissociation from reality?
    • "God is going to provide, and pay the rent."
    • "My 20 years of drinking was just God's way of preparing me to help others."
    • "Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake."
    • "I have surrendered and turned my life over to God."

  • Worst yet, it is a matter of opinion — subjective judgement — on the part of the "researcher" when judging how "spiritual" somebody is. And, due to the anti-Christian bias of A.A., often the opinions are: "Joe is going to A.A. meetings, and they taught him to believe in "Higher Power", and he is really spiritual. Kathy is going to the Catholic Church with all of its dead old rituals, and that isn't spirituality."

This line is important:

The results indicated that there was a robust association between an increase in attendance to AA meetings with increased spirituality and a decrease in the frequency and intensity of alcohol use over time.

As soon as you hear the word "association", you know that it's fraud. When you hear about "associations", you know that they did not do a proper test with a control group to establish a real cause-and-effect relationship. They just ran a statistics program and found that people who do something besides go to a bar and drink alcohol actually do drink less alcohol. As in, "Devoting all of one's time to playing tiddly-winks was associated with increased sobriety." Yes, if you do nothing but play tiddly-winks, then you aren't drinking. If you spend all of your spare time at the meetings of a cult religion, then you aren't drinking.

And then this is the dead give-away of what is really going on:

"Many people will be surprised that alcoholic patients with little or no interest in spirituality attended AA and seemed to change even more than did those who had a pre-existing, strong sense of spirituality," said Keith Humphreys, a Career Research Scientist with the Veterans Health Administration and Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University. "AA is thus much more broad in its appeal than is commonly recognized."

We have discussed Keith Humphreys' and Rudolf Moos' pseudo-science many times before, like here and here and here. They run a non-stop propaganda machine for the 12-Step industry.

It is really disgusting when frauds and quacks use the trappings of science to promote their favorite superstitions. And they are also using taxpayers' money to do it.

Have a good day, and a Merry Christmas.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     All spiritual interests are supported by animal life.
**       ==  George Santayana,
**          The Life of Reason: Reason in Society, (1905—06), 1.

UPDATE: 2011.07.11:
The International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction analyzed a so-called "test" of A.A. versus CBT at the Palo-Alto Veterans' Center, and they found that the Humpheys-Moos study was invalid, erroneous, badly done, and downright deceptive and faked. They concluded that A.A. did more harm than good, and responsible health care professionals should not refer clients to A.A.

Look here: http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters247.html#Clark_M





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

Dragon Boat
Dragon Boat and Goose

Dragon Boat racing is an annual event in Portland, part of the Rose Festival in June. So here in May, the teams are training and practicing, and building up their muscles and improving their techniques, in preparation for the big event. The geese ignore them, and just barely manage to stay out of the way of the boats. The geese clearly recognize that the boats are not after them, so they don't waste much energy getting away from the boats.

[More gosling photos below, here.]





Date: Wed, December 15, 2010 6:23 pm     (answered 20 December 2010)
From: "Sunflower" (not her real name)
Subject: Need some advice...

Hi Orange,

Thanks in advance for not using my name — feel free to make up a name as you wish. Very impressive work — would've saved myself a lot of grief had I come across this *a lot* earlier.

Will keep this brief as I'm sure you can assume most of the background information. During group therapy (A.A. recruitment), I stupidly mentioned that I was interested in exploring the SMART approach after completing current therapy. Yeah... this didn't go over well. Since then, group therapy is now led by scowls, put-downs, A.A. propaganda videos, etc.

Anyhow, I'm coming up on completing my 20 mandatory sessions. Have noticed that for others who are close to completion, the therapists call the respective insurance companies requesting to max out on coverage of additional sessions (read: $$$$). Total scam. I can endure finishing the 20 sessions to keep a smile on my employer's face — as for additional sessions, do you know of any success stories regarding individuals contacting their insurance companies to put the kibosh on requests for further coverage?

Thanks and enjoy the holidays!

Hello Sunflower,

Thanks for the letter, and a darned good question. I don't know about that. Perhaps the readers have some ideas.

I imagine that the insurance companies would sure like to cut their losses. There must be someone that you can talk to.

And the "treatment center" or "therapists" won't continue the "treatment" if they aren't getting paid. The so-called "treatment program" that I was in graduated me just as soon as the available health insurance money ran out. I even graduated early because I had used up a lot of the available funds getting acupuncture to kill the pain of the flu. So there wasn't so much money left for "group therapy" sessions, so hey-presto! I was cured early.

I would definitely call the insurance company, and find out who to talk to. I am amazed that the health insurance companies are not really on top of this one. They are usually very good at figuring out how to not pay.

Have a good day and a Merry Christmas.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Insurance, n. An ingenious modern game of chance in which the player
**     is permitted to enjoy the comfortable conviction that he is beating
**     the man who keeps the table.
**       ==  Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1881—1911).





Date: Thu, December 16, 2010 9:25 am     (answered 20 December 2010)
From: "Frank L."
Subject: Link to AA Related Blog Item

Here is a link to a recent item on the KevinMD blog, discussing the experience of a physician with 12 step programs:

http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2010/12/physician-story-addiction-recovery.html#comments

I thought you would find it of interest.

Regards,
Frank

"To every thing there is a season... A time to be born, and a time to die... A time to love, and a time to hate... a time of war, and a time of peace."
—Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

Abutebaris modo subjunctivo denuo

http://employeeweb.cgc.maricopa.edu/c/an/canham_m/Pictures/Maxwell%20light.jpg

Maxwell's Equations

Hello Frank,

Thanks for that link. That is really good, coming from a real doctor.

This line neatly sums up the whole situation:

It was so disappointing that an esteemed facility was basing its treatment on a mystical book of chants and simpleton sayings rooted in dogmatic preachings and faith healing with no science to support it.

Yes, that is "12-Step facilitation".

By the way, I love your signature, Maxwell's equations.

Have a good day now, and a Merry Christmas.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Reason deserves to be called a prophet; for in showing us the
**     consequence and effect of our actions in the present, does it
**     not tell us what the future will be?
**       ==  Schopenhauer, "Further Psychological Observations,"
**           Parerga and Paralipomena (1851), tr. T.  Bailey Saunders





Date: Thu, December 16, 2010 9:37 am     (answered 20 December 2010)
From: "Armando C."
Subject: sober

You are the biggest nut I have ever heard of so many professionals believe that they do not have what it takes to get the true alcoholic sober.

I have tried every method not to drink and it did not work until a tried the AA way so I do not know about statistics other then the ones that AA already talks about so what you are saying about statistics is not original you closed minded chomp.

Hello Armando,

Thanks for the letter. If you have managed to get yourself sober, then congratulations on your sobriety.

About statistics: Alcoholics Anonymous does not provide any statistics to reveal the actual A.A. success or failure rate. The real A.A. failure rate is one of the best-kept secrets of A.A.

If you have some statistics, please, let's see them.

And if you want to see the real numbers about the A.A. cure rate, read this:
The Effectiveness of the Twelve-Step Treatment

Have a good day and a Merry Christmas.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts —
**     for support rather than for illumination.
**       ==  Andrew Lang





Date: Thu, December 16, 2010 2:38 pm     (answered 21 December 2010)
From: "garry d."
Subject: Healthy people in AA

Hi Orange,

love your site; one of the things I noticed about AA members in my 3 years in the cult, was how many smoked and ate the most trashy food, as if this had nothing to do with staying sober. The problem with this religious program is that it never moves forward, which of course is proof of its religiousity.

Hi Garry,

Thanks for the letter. Yes, I have to agree. Totally ignoring simple basic health like a good diet, and living on coffee and cigarettes, is a huge flaw in the Alcoholics Anonymous lifestyle. What they ignore is the fact that a lot of people are drinking to excess to mask the pain that comes from killing yourself with cigarettes and malnutrition — and then alcohol. And there is nothing "spiritual" about that.

Real recovery requires building a positive, balanced, healthy lifestyle so that you can be happy sober. And A.A. just doesn't do that.

Have a good day, and a Merry Christmas now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     As I see it, every day you do one of two things:
**     build health or produce disease in yourself.
**          ==   Adelle Davis





Date: Tue, December 14, 2010 9:07 pm     (answered 21 December 2010)
From: "Bill P."
Subject: Finding Tom Powers

Dear Mr. Hodgins.

First of all, your pen name is strange. I am a Viet Nam veteran whose diabetes was traced back to being in a defoliation zone in which agent orange (dioxin) was used. I'm not angry about that but are you too a victim?

Hello Bill,

Thank you for the letter. I'm sorry to hear about your medical problems. Fortunately, I never got poisoned by Agent Orange. The name began as a joke about mixing Apples and Oranges. And then the name became "Secret Agent Orange" because I was really anonymous. And then it got shortened to just "Agent Orange". And then I dropped the "Agent" and now it's just "Orange". So we've come full circle, from Orange to Orange. See the story of the "Orange" name, here.

But there is a link to the chemical: I was involved in the protest project to prevent the DOD from dumping their left-over Agent Orange here in the USA and poisoning a lot of people's water. And we actually won that fight.

Anyway, I read a Tom Powers book entitled "First Questions in the Life of the Spirit" published in 1958(?) by Harper. It is now out of print. If you can find a copy I encourage you to read it.

I'd love to find a copy. I'll look for it.

Powers never says directly he is an alcoholic in the book, but he makes mention of AA as an organization that helps drunks get on the spiritual path.

Powers was an atheist at one time, but later seems to have become a Christian.

He makes reference to the fact he went through a number of sessions of shock therapy at a sanitarium with the 'aid' of a drug called metrazol. This story is very similar to the one in the Big Book that talks about the "one time president of the (American?) atheist society..."

In Powers' AA talks (these are also worth hearing) he makes mention having known of Bill W. but leaves it at that. He is more interested in other things — like living the spiritual life. He has an understanding of drinking that few AA speakers can relay.

What understanding?

His book was later revised and published as "Invitation to a Great Journey". This volume leaves out the incredible bibliography that powers graded from easy to difficult. It also leaves out much of the investigation he conducted on life after death and the journey of the soul.

Good stuff all in all.

I read it early on and it's lessons have remained with me to now.

Bill P. Tokyo, Japan

By the funniest of coincidences, I just got a letter from a fellow who lived with Tom Powers at his community in Hankin, New York. He has a very different take on Tom Powers — he says that Powers died a crazy drunkard. I'll print that letter next, here, so you can read that now.

Have a good day and a Merry Christmas.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Life is doubt, and faith without doubt is nothing but death.
**       ==  Miguel de Unamuno

[The next letter from Bill_P is here.]





[The previous letter from Sean is here.]

Date: Mon, December 20, 2010 12:23 pm     (answered 21 December 2010)
From: "Sean W."
Subject: Re: Wow!

Merry Christmas to you to.

FWIW, I can offer no proof, but I do know for a fact that Thomas E Powers, co-author of the 12+12, that gave Bill such a hard time about his womanizing and smoking, died as a drunk bitter senile despotic cult leader. His East Ridge group is/was a cult, to the point where even the Family School folks that came from there shun it.

I know he was drunk most of his later years because I saw that first hand when I lived at East Ridge for 6 months. I saw him constantly squirting home brewed homeopathic remedies that were made from 95% grain alcohol into his mouth. He probably took about a pint of neutral grain (aka: Everclear) spirits a day this way. PLUS I found out after I left that he had been telling people for years that consecrated wine (consecrated by their own ministers for their own private church) doesn't count since once it's consecrated, it transubstantiates and is now the blood of Christ, not wine, so you can drink that. I heard third hand that he was good for a couple of quarts of Holy Jesus' blood a day, and pushed that on his sponsees as a cure for stress. That part may or may not be true, but the grain alcohol in squirt bottles I saw with my own eyes.

Oh, and as for the four absolutes? One of the members of East Ridge, who happened to be an attorney, was convicted of, disbarred and jailed for embezzling nearly half a million of his clients escrow funds and giving it to East Ridge, i suspect to help pay the mortgages on their properties, which I was told were all mortgaged to the hilt at the time. This was pre-real estate bubble collapse, BTW, so I can only imagine what their financial situation looks like now.

Absolute cult devotion maybe? We could drop the 'e' and make it a vodka advert! I'd laugh, but it's a shame really. I knew Mickey, and he was truly honest at heart. I'm sure somehow it got rationalized as being for the greater good, etc. I'm also sure Thomas E Powers put him up to it, too.
http://archive.recordonline.com/archive/2004/09/22/grady22.htm

Tom was an ex-adman, a born persuader who seemed to find his true calling and forte in convincing others to mistrust themselves and to trust him to run their lives. A truly despicable character if ever there was one. Since the 70's he had basically been financially supported and waited on hand and foot by his family/followers. East Ridge, now I think on it's 5th generation, is so interbred that there is hardly a defining line left between East Ridge members and his extended family — pretty much everyone of the 100 or so community is related to him if not by blood, then at least one if not several intermarriages.

All this from the co-author of AA's second most sacred text. Bill or at least Bob, misguided as their approach may have been, I think honestly believed what they preached. No doubt I think Bill also saw it as his trip to success as well, but i think there was sincere belief, at least to some extent, in what they taught. Not so for Tom, on the other hand, who i think saw it all as nothing more than an amazingly good racket from the beginning. Getting people to believe they can't trust their own thinking was just too good a setup for the con-artist in him to pass up. I think he was a manipulative fox that used Bill's guilt over his acknowledged yet continued shortcomings (women and smokes) to guide Bill a bit and carve out his own powerbase. Yeah, Bill may have had affairs. But, um, Thomas E. Powers was investigated by children's services after his own daughter accused him of molesting her. She was found credible enough that she was placed in foster care for a year or so. I think she eventually recanted her accusation, but given what I have seen of the Tom, I ain't so sure the recantation was the truth.

OH, and another little historical tidbit: Thomas E. Powers once told me "I wrote the godamn 12+12 and I am telling you that those people who tell you your higher power can be a doorknob or a rock, well that's not AA. Your higher power must bear some resemblance to The Living God." Pretty close to an exact quote. I decided to remember that little gem as well as I could when he dropped it on me.

So there you have it. The co-author of the 12+12 officially says you can't have a doorknob as your higher power.

:)

Hi again, Sean,

Thank you for the letter. That is very interesting. The link to the lawyer getting sent to prison is especially good, because that is corroborating evidence.

And the detail about Child Services taking a child away from Tom Powers and putting her in a foster home is also evidence, and maybe they can be contacted, and some more corroborating evidence obtained. Do you have any idea what year that was?

Coincidentally, I just received another letter about Tom Powers, one that was very favorable to Powers. But that guy also revealed that Tom Powers got electro-shock treatment — "he went through a number of sessions of shock therapy at a sanitarium with the 'aid' of a drug called metrazol."

Ummm, that is not healthy for the brain. I consider electro-shock treatment to be barbaric, in spite of the fact that there are still some doctors who favor it. Electro-shock is little better than the snake pit. Maybe worse. The snake pit doesn't burn out brain cells.

By the way, there is a great similarity between your story and a story that appeared in Rebecca Fransway's book A.A. Horror Stories. There, the author also described an inbred community on a mountain-top where they supposedly based the community on "spiritual" recovery principles, but it was really a cult ruled by a crazy "recovering" drunkard who kept on drinking. As I recall, the author got forced into that "recovery community" by a court, as an alternative to prison, and the community turned out to be a worse prison. Is there any chance that both stories described the same community? (I'll have to go back to the library and get Fransway's book again.)

Have a good day and a Merry Christmas.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The principles of Washington's farewell address are still sources
**     of wisdom when cures for social ills are sought. The methods of
**     Washingtons's physicians, however, are no longer studied.
**         == Thurman Arnold

UPDATE: 2015.01.20: Rebecca Fransway's book of "A.A. Horror Stories" is now available for free on the Internet:
http://www.morerevealed.com/library/rfhorror/rfhorror.jsp





Date: Wed, December 15, 2010 9:45 am     (answered 15 December 2010)
From: Maurizio B.
Subject: A quotation by Buchman

Reading Chapter 13 : Pearl Harbor, The USA Is In It Now; and You (Not Me) Can Defend America of your book The Religious Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps.

It seems that the quote "Our fathers looked to God for their direction. We've looked about everyplace else" belongs to the booklet "You can defend America".

Am I right?

Thank you in advance

Maurizio B.
University of Naples
Italy

Hello Maurizio,

Yes, it is on page 18 of "You Can Defend America":

Have a good day and a Merry Christmas.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      "I thank Heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler, who built a
**      front line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism."
**      == Dr. Frank Buchman, founder and leader of the
**         Oxford Group and Moral Re-Armament, August 26, 1936.





Sent: Thu, December 16, 2010 9:48:17 PM     (answered Fri, December 17, 2010 2:13 pm)
From: Erik
To: Mark S
Subject: Re: The Adventures of MiddleMan

Study Confirms Fox Makes you Stupid

Yet another study has been released proving that watching Fox News is detrimental to your intelligence. World Public Opinion, a project managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, conducted a survey of American voters that shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources. What's more, the study shows that greater exposure to Fox News increases misinformation.

http://www.alternet.org/media/149193/study_confirms_that_fox_news_makes_you_stupid/

Erik

Thanks for the link. Now that's both funny and tragic.

And I bet that the same is true of Alcoholics Anonymous, too. The longer you go, the less you know, and what you think you know is not true.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Terry

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   "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, December 16, 2010 6:35 pm     (answered 21 December 2010)
From: "Darrell C."
Subject: Is coffee just as bad as alcohol

Hello Orange,

I have been reading your articles on AA, and it has occured to me that, hey this AA shit is really going to turn me into a raving lunatic. I just recently started working with a sponsor, and the first thing he had me do was write down a 100 resentments. Well, I told him I do not have that many. Did he hear that? No. He demanded I would write them down. So what do I do. I make some up. now some are real, but most of them are dead or are just not around. I have 133 to be exact. When I actually started doing it. I noticed that it doesn't matter what the other guy does. I am the bad guy in this.

Well anyway i am trying to come up with a written way of putting it down. I am not the kind of person who can be one with his feelings. If it says 'how were you selfish'? I would say I don't know. but what I really want to say is, "screw this shit, I do not have to take this psychological abuse."

Now on the subject of coffee. I have to say that to me it is another form of substance abuse. What do you say? since i have been going to AA i have drank more coffee than I have alcohol. And I still drink. If alcohol doesn't kill me, coffee will.

thanks for allowing me to vent,

Darrell

Hello Darrell,

Thanks for the letter. You are right, it is psychological abuse, and it is harmful. You are supposed to go on and on about how bad you are, and how you are so full of resentments — which actually has nothing to do with drinking alcohol, but Bill Wilson wrote some crazy stuff in the Big Book about resentments, so now all of the true believers repeat it as if it were Gospel Truth:

Resentment is the number one offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 5, How It Works, page 64.

But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 5, How It Works, page 66.

Actually, Bill Wilson was crazy. He had no medical evidence, no psychological evidence, and no reason to believe that resentments cause people to drink alcohol. He just thought that resentments were bad things, because Buchmanism had taught him that a "spiritual" person is meek and serene. In other words, a "spiritual" person is a good submissive cult member who goes on and on about how bad and sinful he is.

That is no way to live.

By the way, "Don't Feel Your Feelings" is a standard cult characteristic. It's in the Cult Test. The question is here, and the answer is here. Telling you that it is wrong to feel resentments keeps you from getting angry at some grinning frauds who are selling you an old cult religion as a never-fails cure for alcoholism.

About the coffee: I'm happy to say that coffee is not as bad as alcohol, not nearly. A hundred thousand US citizens die from alcohol every year, but I can't recall the last time I heard of somebody dying from coffee. Drinking way too much coffee can be bad for your health, but it takes a lot. The one negative thing that I've heard about coffee is that excessive coffee drinking can increase the rate of pancreatic cancer. Still, it's a crap shoot. It's just a matter of odds. You can drink a ton of coffee for many years and suffer no ill effects.

If you are drinking a lot of coffee, the first thing I recommend is to buffer it with milk. Drink Lattés, not straight black coffee. That will save you from an ulcer. And use real milk, not that white powder sodium caseinate "coffee whitener". Real milk has calcium, which helps to take the edge off of the caffeine.

If you are really drinking way too much coffee, then just cut down. Alternate drinks. Drink water or fruit juice or something other than coffee, like every other drink. And avoid caffeinated soda pop. If you drink soda pop with caffeine alternating with coffee, you are just getting hot and cold running caffeine. Your head will jangle less if you cut down on the caffeine.

Have a good day, and Merry Christmas.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it
**     which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening
**     cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.
**       ==  Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Over the Teacups (1891), 1.

[The next letter from Darrell_C is here.]





Date: Sat, November 13, 2010 7:30 am     (answered 21 December 2010)
From: "Facebook"
Subject: Mikael F. B. posted on your Wall.

Mikael wrote:
"Thinkin' God will pull millions of puppet strings, just to please you, is ridiculously selfish. As if He made millions of people around the globe starve to death, just to show you how lucky you are, that you are not one of them. Grow up."

Hello Mikael,

Yes, it is unbelievably arrogant and conceited. And also grossly unrealistic.

Alas, it seems that there are some people in this world who are so insecure and miserable and afraid of death that they can't make it through the day without yammering fairy tales about how "Higher Power", or "God", really likes them extra special, and is going to grant their wishes and change reality to suit them.

What frightens me is that those people are still allowed to vote and determine the future of our nation.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The wily lunatic is lost if through the narrowest crack
**     he allows a sane eye to peer into his locked universe and thus profane it.
**       ==  Collette (pen name of Sidonie Gabrielle Collette, 1873—1954),
**            "Freedom," Earthly Paradise (1966), 2, ed. Robert Phelps





Date: Fri, November 5, 2010 11:26 am     (answered 21 December 2010)
From: "R & L M."
Subject: I knew I had read your " philosophy" somewhere.

From the September 19, 1964 Saturday Evening Post.

ALCOHOLICS CAN BE CURED--DESPITE A.A.

By Dr. Arthur H. Cain

An expert charges that Alcoholics anonymous has become a dogmatic cult that blocks medical progress and hampers many members' lives.

Full text here.

Hello R.M.

Thanks for the input. Yes, that is an interesting article, isn't it? Dr. Cain makes so many good points there.

And one of the most interesting side notes is this: The "Dr. E. M. Jellinek, a cofounder of the Yale School of Alcohol Studies" whom Dr. Cain mentioned in that article, was apparently a fraud. Stanton Peele reported that Ron Roizen investigated Jellinek, and found that Jellinek didn't have the degrees that he claimed to have. Jellinek claimed that he had a master's degree and a doctorate from the University of Leipzig in Germany, but they said that Jellinek never got a degree from them. In fact, Jellinek's transcript shows that Jellinek was dropped from the University's rolls in 1913 and 1914 for failure to attend classes or lectures. Then it gets worse. Jellinek's whole academic career is faked.

So one of the "leading authorities" on "alcoholism", the guy who was big on promoting the disease theory of alcoholism, the guy who spent his career advancing A.A. ideas of alcoholism like that alcoholics are "powerless" over alcohol, was a non-degreed fake "expert" who just conned Yale into putting him on the faculty. And then the so-called "research" that Jellinek did consisted of little more than handing out questionaires to 60 Alcoholics Anonymous members, and generalizing from their answers, and declaring that he knew all about alcoholism, and writing an authoritive book on the subject.

That's like giving questionaires to 60 Scientologists and then declaring that you are the world's leading authority on psychiatry.

It just goes on and on. The level of deceit and quackery in the "recovery industry" is unbelievable.

Have a good day and a Merry Christmas now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     There are some frauds so well conducted that it would be
**      stupidity not to be deceived by them.
**        ==  Charles Caleb Colton, Lacon (1825), 1.96.





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

Dragon Boat
Dragon Boat

[The story of Carmen continues here.]





[The previous letter from Cindy is here.]

Date: Fri, December 17, 2010 5:59 pm     (answered 21 December 2010)
From: Cindy R.
Subject: RE: Please old A.A. articles sucks balls

Hey Orange, Terry,

You know I was just thinking about you a few days ago. My girlfriend has just got sucked into paying $30,000.00 to send her daughter to treatment in Ontario because I think she watched too much of that show Intervention and thinks she can't do it at home here for free. Anyway on it goes. I was telling my friend about your web site, but I don't think she really understands. I told her how smart you were and that you were starting a mini revolution by dispelling the A.A. myth. I wish you the bestest (little kid talk) Christmas ever. You do so much for so many, I hope you realize how much you do by creating at least some awareness out of the bleakness of being an addict. Heck I wish I knew there was a guy like you out there when I was going through all my stuff, just so I knew I wasn't crazy because I couldn't adapt to A.A. and thought I am doomed, I can't be honest, I must be one of the unfortunates, etc. Anyway the reason I sent the guy a letter to Wired was because I didn't read your post all the way through and I thought you were asking for support to tell them to get real. Yes the article in Wired reminded me of the Big Book, and the excerpts I have read from Susan Cheevers' book. Music from the jazz age playing in the back ground etc. But really bless your heart for all you do and bless Carmen and the little goslings. I read your page more than you know. I think you are chosen to make people take a look at what they are doing. The being powerless thing is so nasty to teach people. We may not be able to handle booze and drugs, but who could if they took a bunch, but anyway, thanks once again for what you do. Sending you Christmas hugs and kisses in the ether. (no I am not trying to put the moves on you. Haha)

Blessings All Ways,

Cindy R.

Hi again, Cindy,

Thanks for the letter, and don't apologize for sending the letter to Wired. They need somebody to criticize them for publishing such obviously wrong garbage. And I wish more people would send them a letter.

I'm sorry to hear about your friend getting cheated out of $30,000. Bummer. Selling quack medicine sure is profitable, isn't it?

Oh well, have a good day and a Merry Christmas.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     He who will not be deceived must have as many eyes as hairs on his head.
**        ==  German Proverb

[The next letter from Cindy is here.]





Date: Sat, December 18, 2010 2:14 am     (answered 23 December 2010)
From: "Todd Q."
Subject: Wikileaks AA Iran

Hi Terry!

I'm laughing my ass of right now!

I got a big kick out of the recent letter regarding the Iranian 12-step Wikileaks top secret info...

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.]

The reason this is so funny is because 12 days ago I made a video spoof and posted it on YouTube. The title is... "WikiLeaks — AA Scandle"

Here is the video link... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-wXgtnxHOw

My sponsor was right! This must be one of those "God moments" he used to talk about.

Thanks again for exposing those bastards.

Hello again, Todd,

Thanks for the link to the video. That should be interesting. I'm offline right now, but will check it out later.

Have a good day and a Merry Christmas.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The more gross the fraud the more glibly will it go down,
**     and the more greedily be swallowed, since folly will
**     always find faith where imposters will find impudence.
**       ==  Charles Caleb Colton (1780—1832), English clergy





BLOG NOTE: 23 December 2010

To All: Have a Merry Christmas, and remember that eggnog is great without whiskey.

At this time of the year, a lot of ex-drinkers feel deprived of their fair share of the fun and games. I don't. Some people ask me if I don't feel left out, or cheated in life, if I can't join in the partying and get high at Christmas and New years. My answer is, "Do I feel deprived and cheated because I can't consume a poison that will leave me with a splitting headache and hung-over and cloudy-headed and sick and jittery? No, I don't feel deprived. Been there, done that. It wasn't all that great. I really like the clarity that I have now, and I plan to keep it, thank you."

Have a Merry Christmas.





Date: Sat, December 18, 2010 12:16 pm     (answered 23 December 2010)
From: "James G"
Subject: New Video from the Blamethemile Boys

Terrance,

Mike and I have made a new video on confirmation bias within AA. I was hoping that you might link it as it has been a while since I have posted a film and we could do with the comments and ratings.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5h4N3YW-x7E

I am still working on getting all the material for the AA/Hollywood film but I have found some gems. I will keep you posted as to its progress but as I am sure you appreciate a video like this is a little more ambitious than any of my previous attempts.

I trust you are well, along with the goslings ;)

Take care now my friend.

Jimmy

Hi again, Jimmy,

It's good to see you back at it. I tried to view the video, but got a consistent message about "some error occurred." I guess Youtube was having problems. I'll try again later.

And yes, I am well, and so are the geese, thank you.

Have a good day, and Merry Christmas.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Lying is a hateful and accursed vice. We have no other tie
**     upon one another, but our word. If we did but discover the
**     horror and consequences of it, we should pursue it with fire
**     and sword, and more justly than other crimes.
**        ==  Michel E. de Montaigne (1533—1592), French essayist





[The previous letter from Laura is here.]

Date: Sun, December 19, 2010 10:04 am     (answered 24 December 2010)
From: "Laura L."
Subject: RE: Thank you!

Hi,

I saw my reply on your site because I visit it faithfully, and I appreciate it. Thank you for doing all that you do. Your site got me through a rough patch. Have a merry Christmas too!

Laura

You have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year too, Laura.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Christmas: A two-week period during the winter when people
**     treat each other the way that they are supposed to treat
**     each other all the rest of the year.





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