Letters, We Get Mail, CCXIV



[The previous letter from Brian is here.]

Date: Mon, December 27, 2010 7:51 pm     (answered 29 December 2010)
From: "Brian D."
Subject: Clancy I.'s 7 questions

Thanks for answering my last email.

I ran into this on the 'net, and thought you may find it interesting. It's Clancy's 7 questions for newcomers. Note the author says that this is NOT a replacement for step 4. Talk about guilt inducement right away!

  • 1. In looking back over your life — what memories are still painful, guilty, dirty?
  • 2. In what ways do you consider yourself an inadequate person?
  • 3. Who do you resent — and why? Be specific.
  • 4. What do you conceive to be your defects of character — as you see them today?
  • 5. What is the nature of the ongoing problems you have with people close to you — in human relations — what seems to always happen when you have these things that blow up?
  • 6. In what way do you believe that A.A. can help you with any of these problems?
  • 7. In what way do you believe that A.A. can begin to change things?

I'm thinking that when he asks about memories that make me feel "dirty" he's not talking about the time I dumped my bicycle while riding across the L.A. river!

Anyways, here's the link to where I found these:
http://www.step12.com/clancy.html

Thanks again,
Hippie Brian

P.S., I did mean AVRT, sorry about the typo in the last letter, and yes, the "Lizard Brain" is a good technique minus the right wing retoric, thanks!

P.P.S., Is there another way to give a donation with a credit card? I don't have a paypal account, but definately want to support your efforts.

Hi again, Brian,

Thanks for the letter. That is very interesting. Yes, Clancy's questions are certainly guilt-inducing. Real cult stuff. Like Prof. Margaret Thaler Singer said, "Induce a sense of powerlessness, guilt, covert fear, and dependency" to bind people to a cult.

There ought to be a law. Really. It is against the law to push a cult in France or Germany. The American legal attitude that you can commit almost any crime if you call it a religion is a gross error.

Clancy's routine reminds me of the guy who tried to recruit me as one of his sponsees. He said, "I don't waste any time on the first three Steps. I get them working on Step Four right away."

Yes, start making them feel bad right away. The odd thing was, I was at an A.A. meeting, picking up my 6-month coin, and "sharing" that I was really happy to be sober, and that being healthy felt so much better than being sick. He didn't like the sounds of that — no grovelling, no guilt, no yammering about how bad I am and how wonderful A.A. is. So he knew right away that I didn't have a sponsor. So he decided that he would do the job on me. Fortunately, I didn't go for it.

Thanks for wanting to support the web site. I don't have any way to process credit cards. I've looked into it, and found that even the ultra-cheap programs for the little guys cost at least $15 per month, which is usually more than the donations amount to. The cost of the system to accept credit cards would eat up more than 100% of the donations. cost anything when you don't get any money. (It takes about 4.5% of the income when you do get something.)

The only alternative that I can think of is a check or money order. That works.

Have a good day and a Happy Holiday Season.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The biggest gap in the world is the gap between the justice
**     of a cause and the motives of the people pushing it.
**       ==  John P. Grier





Date: Tue, December 28, 2010 12:29 pm     (answered 29 December 2010)
From: "John Z."
Subject: I was just rereading the Heresy file

Question: Shouldn't the A.A. faithful be calling George W. Bush a "dry drunk"? He quit drinking without doing the Twelve Steps, and that is the A.A. formula for becoming a bitterly unhappy dry drunk who is a seething cauldron of anger, resentments, and uncontrolled aggressiveness. So what do the A.A. enthusiasts have to say about that?

Answer: Yes. Bush did indeed act like a "dry drunks"' as he acted like he was "a seething cauldron of anger, resentments, and uncontrolled aggressiveness".

Don't ya think?

Have learned a lot and thoroughly enjoyed your impressive site. And thank you for your service to our country during some dark days.

Peace.

John Z.

Hello John,

Thanks for the letter, and the compliments.

I quite agree: Bush's behavior was crazy. Even murderously psychotic. I seem to recall that somebody did a book "Bush On The Couch" where he psychoanalyzed Bush, and the results were not pretty.

My question was why A.A. was so strangely silent on the subject. The A.A. true believers have called me a dry drunk more times than I can count, but they had nothing to say about Bush. They had no comment on how Bush quit drinking without A.A. Odd, to say the least.

An even better quote on the subject is Alan Bisbort,

...how did he, at age 58, get so fumble-tongued, incapable of stringing more than two coherent sentences together, snippily irritable with anyone who dares disagree with him or even ask a question...
      Furthermore, why is Bush so eager to engage in violence and so incapable of explaining why?
Dry Drunk: Is Bush making a cry for help?     Alan Bisbort, American Politics Journal, Sept. 24, 2002.

There is much more. I think it's worth reading. He makes some good points.

For me, the real question is: Why is our system of government incapable of removing a mentally crippled man from the Presidency? Ronald Reagan with alzheimers slept through half of his second term, while traitors in the basement sold missiles to Iran and traded guns for cocaine in Central America — cocaine that started the crack epidemic in our inner cities. And Bush invaded the wrong country, and let his flunkies blow Valerie Plame's CIA cover as revenge for criticism from her husband — which destroyed our nuclear security intelligence network in the Middle East. A lot of our informants over there died because of Dick Cheney's mendacity. That is treason.

But through the whole thing, Reagan and Bush were surrounded by handlers and managers who shielded them from public scrutiny, and kept the public from knowing what was really going on. So now the President can be stoned crazy and he will still stay in office.

Oh well, have a good day and a good life. And a Happy Holiday Season.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     War is a period of time when we allow our
**     psychopathic killers to have all of the fun they want,
**     without the inconveniences of law or morality.





[The previous letter from Mikael is here.]

Date: Tue, December 28, 2010 4:04 pm     (answered 31 December 2010)
From: "Mikael B."
Subject: Re: Thanks a lot, from the very bottom of my heart

Dear Orange,

Thanks for your reply. If you do accept requests from your avid readers, here's one for you: I would LOVE to see you rip Terry Gorskis pseudo-science apart. Some of the addicts I know from NA don't even know that his so-called research is based on 12-step superstition. Maybe in the future, you could devote an entire chapter to an in-depth analysis of (some of) his publications? Well, just a thought.

Happy New Year!

Regards,
Mikael, Denmark

Hello again, Mikael,

Thanks for the thanks. And yes, I have criticized Terence Gorski's crazy books a little bit:

  1. "Ego" is supposedly the cause of addiction

  2. Gorski's book, Understanding the Twelve Steps

  3. Gorski's book, Passages Through Recovery; An action Plan for Preventing Relapse

  4. Everything I saw was "touchy feely", or confined to assignments from the book on how to spot and prevent relapses: "Staying Sober" by Gorski.

  5. I looked up Gorski and he is just another AA promoter.

  6. "Whenever I hear or read the word ego, I substitute the words addictive self"

  7. Citation of Gorski in support of pseudo-science

Still, I could debunk him a lot more, if I had the time...

Have a good day and a Happy New Year.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "We've arranged a civilization in which most crucial
**     elements profoundly depend on science and technology.
**     We have also arranged things so that almost no one
**     understands science and technology.  This is a
**     prescription for disaster.  We might get away with it
**     for a while, but sooner or later this combustible
**     mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in
**     our faces."
**       ==  Carl Sagan





Date: Wed, December 29, 2010 8:50 am     (answered 31 December 2010)
From: RC
Subject: HI Orange

I really should call you Dr. Orange because the work you have done over the years is PhD worthy.

Anyway, I have written to you in the past to thank you many times over for your site. The information I found here at the "papers" helped restore me to sanity after having spent over 20 years struggling in AA.

I just read your most recent letter from someone who has been in AA for quite a long time. I was thrilled to see that in your answer to this "poor unfortunate" you explained that there are many underlying conditions which eventually lead to excessive drinking and drug use. I like to call it the human survival instinct!! Human beings do not like pain and suffering. For many of us who did wind up in AA.... all we were really doing was "self-medicating"...... our way into AA. As you and I both know AA, has always been the dumping ground for physicians who have no idea what to do with addicts and alcoholics. Furthermore, AA has infiltrated and infected the medical literature and training with AA dogma. Most physicians, especially psychiatrists do not believe in any other form of treatment..... even worse, AA tells them that to look for an underlying cause is wrong. AA reverses the reality.... AA says that most, if not all of the psychiatric problems a person who abuses alcohol or drugs are caused by the drinking. The AA faithful believe that once the alcoholic stops drinking, and begins to follow the "program of recovery" as outlined in the first 164 pages of the Big Book.... All of those other pesky little problems will magically go away with the Bill Wilson fairy dust. POOF!!!! GONE!!!! not quite.....

It's all bullshit.... and I paid the price for this quackery for far too many years. Sitting in AA my skin was crawling. I pretended to be ..."happy, joyous and free".... really, the ONLY thing that made me feel good about myself during my AA years was the POWER I held over the women I sponsored. I am sure I was not unique. In fact my sponsor completely controlled my life. This gave me license to exert my complete authority over the women I sponsored (the smart ones fired me)...... AA is one messed up place..... I was one sick puppy who thought all of this crapola was normal, and the only way to recover. I honestly don't know what I was waiting for??? I felt so bad all of the time. For over 20 years I did this. If I had diabetes or some other chronic condition would I have waited so long before trying something different?.... I guess I was just "waiting for the miracle to happen." I should have paid more attention to the one slogan AA always touts..... "Doing the same thing over and over again is the definition of INSANITY!"

Fortunately, I had a"spiritual" awakening a few years back. I don't know the why of it, or even the how of it..... but I do know, I literally woke up one day typed in anti-AA and found your site. From that day on my life changed.... I transformed into the person I was meant to be.

6 months ago my daughter was diagnosed with Hyper-focus ADD..... I was just recently diagnosed. This condition needs to be added to the list of underlying conditions..... just type in ADD or Adult/ADD and you will be amazed at the information out there about this condition. There is a strong correlation between alcohol/drug abuse and ADD..... Some experts believe that over 75% of alcoholic/addicts have some form of adult ADD..... Hey where are all of the studies? I found one lousy study in a journal search..... hmmmmm........................

I feel quite blessed.... my daughter sought out her own diagnosis..... I just dismissed her high school counselor when he informed me that she might have ADD.....I knew nothing about it. I believed it was something a few little boys had in grammar school. I thought it was something you "grew" out of. Oh was I ever wrong!!

I believe if I had not looked into ADD in regards to my daughter she would have gone away to college and repeated my life..... She did not..... she now takes a small dose of Concerta and an anti-depressant. She is a different person...... and even tho she is a College Freshman..... her interest in drinking is far less than mine was. I believe her diagnosis was in some way a divine intervention..... or my dear mother (may God rest her soul) just screamed into my thoughts telling me to pursue the ADD route. You see, my mom never believed I was an alcoholic.....and she thought AA was weird.

Oh well..... I hope this info helps someone who reads your letters..... getting an ADD diagnosis is a bit of a long process.... other things need to be ruled out.... but I am telling you, since I have been taking medication my world has changed..... I feel normal for the first time in my life!!

Take care.... and thanks again for all that you do!!
RLC

Hello RLC,

Thank you for the letter. That is really encouraging. I'm so glad to hear that you found a happy solution to your problem, finally. That really is another good example of how A.A. quack medical diagnoses actually prevent people from getting proper medical care.

So please have a good day now, and a good life, and happy New Year.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If someone has cancer or diabetes or coronary disease,
**     we don't use a quack doctor to treat those sick people —
**     a quack whose only qualification is that he used to drink
**     too much alcohol or take too many drugs, and who is now
**     a member of a cult religion. But with the so-called
**     "disease" of alcoholism, the standard treatment is
**     to have former alcoholics or dopers dispensing their
**     platitudes and slogans, and insisting that God is the cure.


Date: Fri, December 31, 2010 5:00 pm     (answered 5 January 2011)
From: RC
Subject: More Information From RLC... Renee

Hi Professor Orange!!

I have an article you might find interesting. It is one of many which I have discovered this past year regarding the "untreated" ADD and alcohol/drug abuse connection....

_ADD ALCOHOLISM_ (http://www.addconsults.com/articles/full.php3?id=1133)

BTW thanks for your kind and very quick response!! You have no idea how invaluable your site is for those of us who have suffered at the quacky hands of AA. You provide a forum for all of us disillusioned former AA members to gather information for others who are out there still looking for answers to their addiction problems. There is no cookie cutter cure..... and your site provides SO many alternative forms of treatment and validates for many of us, the very fact that abusive drinking/drugging is NOT the PRIMARY problem in most cases.... Yeah, AA always says drinking is but a symptom and yes that is true.... but that's where they lose me..... a symptom of what? According to Bill's quackery it is a symptom of spiritual emptiness.... or what my sponsor used to call spiritual emptiness caused by "character defects." Hmmm.... sounds like Bill's BS has screwed with the minds of so many.

Lets hope this is the decade to hunker down and de-bunk the AA myth!! You are becoming very popular. Keep spreading the news!!

Thanks.
Renee

Hi again, Renee,

Thanks for the input. And thanks for the compliments. And yes, maybe we can get the word out and accomplish something this year, and the next. That's a bright thought.

So have a good day, and a good year now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Out, you imposters; quack-salving, cheating mountebanks;
**     your skill is to make sound men sick, and sick men to kill.
**          == Philip Massinger (1583—1640), English dramatist, playwright, poet

[The next letter from Renee_C is here.]





Date: Wed, December 29, 2010 1:41 pm     (answered 31 December 2010)
From: "Timothy C."
Subject: BILL WILSON

Hi Orange,

I have been reading some of your on-line pages about Bill Wilson, his womanizing and LSD use. As a member of AA for over 25 years I found your articles enlightening and disturbing at the same time. Enlightening because of the facts you pointed out about Bill's behavior being above the moral code of any moral society, let alone a Christen based program. "Good for Thee but not for me" seems to be the message here.

I also feel some personal relief for still being a flawed human being attempting to make a better life for myself and continually falling short of the make. If Wilson is to be the high water mark for us AAs to shoot for I need to lower my expectations of myself.

What disturbed me was your apparent hatred for Wilson and the AA program. I'm very curious what you may have experienced that caused you to take such a position? I appreciate all the time you put into revealing Wilson and some of the hypocrisy contained in the Big Book. I think I will always read the book with a different perspective from now on thanks to your efforts.

By the way, I quit smoking (4 packs a day) in 1989 and I agree with you that those who think they are clean and sober and still smoke one of the most addictive, mood altering and destructive substances on the planet are hypocrites.

Thank you
Tim C.

Hello Tim,

Thanks for the letter, and the compliments.

When I look at the faults of Bill Wilson, it does not make me think that I can lower the bar for myself. It makes me think that I had better raise the bar for myself or else I might turn out like him.

I don't think it is quite accurate to say that I "hate" A.A. or Bill Wilson. Maybe words like "disdain" and "digust" are accurate. And "contempt and loathing". And there is a very good reason for that: The pain and suffering that A.A. causes to sick people. The previous letter that I just got and answered is from a woman who was in A.A. for 20 years, and she suffered from untreated mental illness for 20 years because of A.A. quackery and unrealistic dogma.

Then the list of A.A. horror stories is here.

About my history, I've written about it many times. This previous letter lists a bunch of the biographical stuff: How did you get to where you are?

Have a good day and a happy New Year.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   How many diseases does modern medicine treat
**   with a "spiritual cure"?
**   If you get cancer, does the doctor tell you
**   to join the Pentecostals and speak in tongues?
**   If you get diabetes, is the fix to join the
**   Mormons and eat chocolate cakes?
**   So why, if you get "alcoholism", should you join
**   Alcoholics Anonymous and conduct seances to
**   hear the voice of God giving you work orders?





BLOG NOTE: 31 December 2010:

Happy New Years everybody, and please have a safe and sane New Year's celebration.





BLOG NOTE: 1 January 2011:

Okay, that's it for the holiday season. Everybody back into the salt mines.     :-)





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

Mallard Ducks
A pair of Mallard Ducks, coming to see what munchies are to be found at the beach

Mallard Duck bathing
The duck bathing

Mallard Drake bathing
The drake bathing

[More gosling photos below, here.]





BLOG NOTE: 3 January 2011:

Okay, New Years' Resolutions?

Yes, I have a few. Obviously, first off, to stay off of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs for another year. That's easy, since I've already been doing it for 10 years.

Then I'm on a campaign against High Fructose Corn Syrup again. I decided to stop drinking any soda pop with HFCS, or any fruit juices, or anything. I don't drink a lot of soda pop anyway, but just a glass or two a day of Shasta or Coke or 7-Up or any soft drink puts on 10 pounds of fat. No joke. There is a 10-pound difference in my weight if I drink any soft drinks with HFCS. And that means just about any and all soft drinks, because they ALL have HFCS in them. Even Schwepps Ginger Ale has HFCS. I cannot find a single soft drink without HFCS. And almost all fruit juice is dosed with HFCS too. Right now, the only thing I can find at Dollar Tree that is free of HFCS is the apple juice and lemon juice. So I mix them with water and get really sour apple juice, which is good.

Ignore those lying TV commercials that have been running on TV recently, that say that HFCS is just sugar, just like any other natural sugar. That is not true at all. They run corn through a chemical factory and use an industrial process to change corn into High Fructose Corn Syrup, and it becomes the most fattening form of sugar around. It is not natural at all. But it is cheap, super-cheap, much cheaper than cane sugar, so the food manufacturers like to put HFCS in everything. HFCS contributes a lot to our national problem of morbid obesity and diabetes. People are losing their feet (amputation) and dying from HFCS.

So I decided to lose the extra 10 pounds by just abstaining from eating or drinking anything that contains HFCS.

And apparently I'm not alone. Just last night I was shopping, and my eye was caught by Hunt's ketchup that said "No High Fructose Corn Syrup" in big bold letters on the label. I bought it. I wanted to get some ketchup anyway, but that was the clincher.

Then my third resolution is to not think about my past so much, and not to be so angry about it. That is a tough one, because as I relax and unwind, the memories of an abusive childhood become more vivid, rather than fade away. Still, I don't want to waste any more time on it. I want to just keep turning my awareness towards the here and now, and let the past blow away, gone with the wind.

Have a good year.





Date: Thu, December 30, 2010 5:47 pm     (answered Mon, January 3, 2011 7:06 pm)
From: oleraylex
Subject:

I pray the orange god finds the real GOD!

=

You pray that I find your real God?

Well, I'll help if I can. Where did you lose Him?

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [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 30, 2010 10:46 pm     (answered 5 January 2011)
From: "Scott R."
Subject: Thank you

Thank you, whomever you are

I have been sober for almost 2 years (tomorrow).

The last year has been a veritable hell. I have been stuck inbetween the AA programs ideals of perfection and what the program promises will happen if I do not live up to them.

In short, I have been alcohol obsessed. I think and obsess more about alcohol daily now than I ever have before, only with much more fear involved.

I have not been able to buy into the ideals of this program for some time now. I have been plagued by anxiety and fear that my every action will have the consequence of alcoholic destruction.

I do have a relationship with God, but this relationship seems strained by the program. The program talks down too much involvement with any specific religiion other than the program and this has hiindered my spiritual growth.

In the beginning of my sobriety, I needed the program. I was a hollow shell and I drank the programs koolaid with fervor.

Never questioning the demands set before me as "suggesions", I blindly did as told hoping to get the relief that so many promised would come.

My physical detox was tough for the first 2 weeks, and the first months were fraught with danger of relapse. I stuck close to the program with the hope that it would work.

As time has passed I have seen so many AA members who claim to be serene more clearly. Their lives cannot possibly be as closely aligned with the program as they claim. Most have traded one addicion for another; Alcohol for sex, bodily perfection, material gain, nicotine, caffeine, and a myriad of other ways to allow obsession to remain present in full force.

I have been absolutely miserably torn between maintaining my appearance as a sober functioning member and admitting that I am being destroyed by the anxiety and fear that my actions will lead to my destruction by relapse.

When I try to question the program as the be-all-end-all, I am told I am headed for a drink. I am a critical thinker, independent and insightful. To me, all things should be questioned, even the material on your site.

But I can tell that at least some of the material presented on your site comes from direct experience with 12 step programs. There are things you all discuss and know that one could only learn from first hand experience, as I myself have.

Thank you for presenting this information.

I feel a weight has been lifted.

I believe it is time for me to seek professional help, a therapist experienced in drug and alcohol addiction to contiinue on living sober.

This is not a new thought, but your site has strengthened my will to pursue it.

Hello Scott,

Thank you for the letter, and thanks for the thanks. I'm sorry to hear about your pain and suffering, but am happy to hear that you are now seeking a better solution to your problems. I think you will find it — I certainly hope that you will find it.

And besides a good therapist, may I also suggest any of the more sane, logical groups and organizations for recovery? Like SMART or SOS or Lifering? You may find some friends and companionship there. Maybe a little helpful advice, too.

Check these out:

  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.

Have a good day and a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know,
**    it's what we know for sure that just ain't so."
**       ==  Mark Twain





Date: Fri, December 31, 2010 5:07 am     (answered 5 January 2011)
From: "Adam M."
Subject: Fanmail from a reader

Dear Orange,

My purpose in writing is two-fold: to express earnest gratitude, and to support the morale of other fortunate folk who have found reason in your work. After spending over a year engrossed in AA culture, I know it can feel marginalizing to abandon the party-line. It's deliberate, I'm certain.

Although I consider myself an academic and an intellectual, I sometimes wonder that I didn't put up more defense against "the program." I came to AA at age twenty-one with a significant binge drinking issue. Severely vulnerable. In a matter of months, I checked myself into treatment (a.k.a. indoctrination) and abandoned my personal responsibilities to live in a halfway house. During my stay, I was subjected to attack-therapy. I suffered the company of felons with multiple counts. Knowing myself intimately, I always recognized this was a preposterous situation. Adam, with his criminal record of one traffic ticket. Yet I completely grabbed hold of AA's message, daydreaming that I would one day be an esteemed old-timer, "happy and usefully whole."

The time between then and now has been wrought with humiliation and social suicide that I won't detail. The most grievous accounts include sexual aggression from male "sponsors." One harasses me yet. As for sobriety, I never accumulated more than three months, curiously, as I was as much of a Believer as anyone else. I picked up on the lingo and the subtleties quickly, and I got to a point where I was quite passionate about my newfound faith (I had always been an atheist but Came To Believe). I found your site after a binge that took place in my most recent living arrangement. During that binge, I had skipped classes, and I was in quite a mess trying to figure out how to manage. On top of that, I had the AA remorse to deal with. "How am I going to face them?" "What is different, this time, that it'll stick?" I could find no consolation.

I concluded, rightfully, that nothing felt different "this time." It was the same old shit, my friend, going back to AA as an embarrassed fool. I decided to focus wholly on my schoolwork, and this brought me huge relief. It was the end of my time in AA. It was around then that I found your site, consumed it almost entirely in a matter of days, and went on to purchase Ken Raegge's "The Real A.A." You'll never know the burden you helped me shed. To think that I earnestly believed that AA was the only alternative to jails, institutions. you know the gig. well, it makes me nauseous.

Plug:

As it turns out, "The Real AA" and other relevant texts are available for free on this website: http://www.morerevealed.com/library/index.html. Perhaps I got this link from Orange Papers, but I can't recall. "AA: Cult or Cure?" is another very detailed account of the group, available on this site.

It has now been several months since I gave up AA, but the consequences of my year-long tirade haven't nearly left me yet. I'm again treated like a child in my family. They hide bottles from me. My last living arrangement was with a fellow with nine+ years in NA. Upon moving out, when handing him the keys, he assured me that he would "see me someday." He was a prick, for the record, and as chalk-full of double-standards, aphorisms, and platitudes as any ignoramus that I've ever known. I'm going back to my degree program in college and have to look forward to explaining my recess to prospective employers. But I'm whining, yet, so I'll try and conclude with some reflections that I've found useful to me:

Although I've grown through my experience, it is labor to perceive it positively. I feel AA and our beloved therapeutic institution has done trouble by me, but I have to accept most folly as my own. That is, I have to own what I've done without being terribly hard on myself. The most important thing I have learned is how to allow myself to make mistakes. For all the trouble I've caused myself and all instances of embarrassment, here I am, sure as the sun is coming up, and I'm just fine.

Finally, I've come to believe that my alcohol abuse was not "alcoholism," per se, as it is traditionally denoted. I believe in alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence, but not alcoholism. My problem drinking was a behavior that evolved from some underlying issues, which I'm addressing medically and not "spiritually." The road is long, and the path is not clearly signposted, but it seems I've grown more since this epiphany than I did in an entire year's worth of "recovery." This is an example of how I'm avoiding AA's language and definitions, like you have recommended.

Thanks for all of your time and devotion. You are an inspiration, I'm sure, to hundreds. I hope that life continues to treat you well.

Adam

p.s.: Please do include my email address, and I welcome any contact, since I seldom get a chance to discuss these matters. There is much more that I'd like to say but I don't want to write you a novel just yet.

Hello Adam,

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

Yes, that More Revealed web site is good. There is a bunch of interesting stuff there, including books and court decisions about coerced A.A. and N.A. attendance.

Making contact with other like-minded people is good. You might also try some forums in the list that I just printed, here.

I won't print your email address though, because if I do, you will get tons of spam. The criminals and con artists out there have robotic computer programs ("bots") that crawl the web, just looking for valid email addresses, and when they find one, they sell it to other scammers and spammers. The next thing you know, you are getting zillions of advertisements for fake Viagra from a "Canadian pharmacy", and Russian girls who really want you (just wire the air fare money to them)... Oh, and of course the lotteries that I've won in foreign countries — without even buying a ticket — and all that I have to do to get millions of dollars is pay the taxes on the winnings, and then bribe a few judges to sign the papers and release the money to me, and then bribe somebody else... I even get a lot of spam in the Russian language, but since I don't speak Russian, I don't even know what they are trying to sell me.

I can forward messages to you. Or, an alternative is to create a throw-away email account on Hotmail or Google mail, and publish that address, and just use it until the spam gets out of control, and then abandon it. You can use that throw-away account to make contact with people, and then give some chosen people your real email address.

Or, also have another, more secret, account on Hotmail or Gmail, and give that to new friends. I'd recommend that strategy, because even giving out your email address only to friends can get you spammed. I had a special secret email account that only half a dozen friends knew about. Well, one of them opened the wrong email, and he got hit by a trojan horse that was in the email, and it ransacked his email account and stole his entire mailing list, including my email address, and sent the list home to the mothership of the spammers, and after that, I was even getting spam in my secret account. Once those creeps get your email address, it's almost impossible to get rid of them. They are like bloodsucking insects that you can't shake off. They trade lists, so your email address gets handed around between spammers all over the world.

Have a good day and a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Isn't there just something bizarre about having hardened old
**     criminals lecturing you on how to live a good spiritual life?
**     The 12-Step Church is the only one I know of where people
**     get to be saints because of what great sinners they were.


From: "Adam M."
Subject: Re: Fanmail from a reader
Date: Tue, January 18, 2011 5:42 am

Thanks orange- good information. my professors put their emails on .png files- now I understand why! I should have known better. Good looking out, guy.





Date: Fri, December 31, 2010 8:17 am     (answered 5 January 2011)
From: "Rene E."
Subject: Let me ask you this...

If AA is such a cult. why does every court in the USA mandate that people with DUI's go to AA and get their court cards signed by the secretary of each meeting?

Would the legal system send everyone with DUI's to a "cult"?

I dont think so.

R

Hello Rene,

Thank you for the letter. You are very misinformed. "Every court in the USA" does not sentence drunk drivers to A.A. — in fact, only the misguided ones do — the courts that are violating the law, and disregarding the Constitutional rights of people.

One of the more recent court decisions on the subject even ruled that it was grossly illegal to sentence anyone to A.A. or N.A. cult religion meetings, and if a judge or parole officer does that, the defendant can sue him for it.

The Federal Appeals Court in Hawaii, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, September 7, 2007, in the Inouye v. Kemna case, ruled that any "coercing authority" can be held individually, civilly liable for the 1st Amendment constitutional rights violation that they perpetrate on people unwillingly and involuntarily forced to go to 12-Step programs. Meaning: you can sue a judge, a prison warden, a parole officer, a "counselor", or anyone else in a position of authority who forces you to go to A.A. meetings.

I think Ken Ragge has a copy of the court's ruling on his web site: http://www.morerevealed.com/courts/index.html

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Alcoholics Anonymous materials and the testimony of the witness established
**     beyond a doubt that religious activities, as defined in constitutional law,
**     were a part of the treatment program.  The distinction between religion and
**     spirituality is meaningless, and serves merely to confuse the issue.
**       — Wisconsin's District Judge John Shabaz,
**        ruling in the case of Grandberg v. Ashland County, a 1984 Federal
**        7th Circuit Court concerning judicially-mandated A.A. attendance.

[The next letter from Rene is here.]





Date: Fri, December 31, 2010 10:15 am     (answered 5 January 2011)
From: "Tony M."
Subject: Help

I don't know who this is, but this site is saving my spirit. I am being forced into AA through my employer, and I have not been diagnosed with dependence or alcoholism. I never missed a day of work, and never had a bad yearly review — yet I'm being forced (coerced) into AA.

They are just like every cult I was in. In the Marines they broke you down until you couldn't think. Christianity took advantage of me during a weak time in my life. I have recovered from both and vowed never to fall for that again — now AA being shoved down my throat is nothing more than another cult and it's going to kill me.

Do you know where I can actually get someone to listen to me? Where and who I can turn to for legal help? I will quit before I go to AA. Funny thing is I haven't drank since my troubles — and don't have to.

Thanks

Tony

Hello Tony,

Thanks for the letter. And congratulations on your sobriety. I sorry to hear about your troubles. Funny that this subject keeps coming up. The previous letter was also talking about people being sentenced to A.A. meetings here).

First off, be aware of the fact that you can sue anyone who forces you to go to A.A. meetings, because A.A. is a religion, and it is against the law to force anyone into a religion. Like I was just saying in the previous letter, the Federal Appeals Court in Hawaii, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, September 7, 2007, in the Inouye v. Kemna case, ruled that any "coercing authority" can be held individually, civilly liable for the 1st Amendment constitutional rights violation that they perpetrate on people unwillingly and involuntarily forced to go to 12-Step programs. Meaning: you can sue a judge, a prison warden, a parole officer, a "counselor", or anyone else in a position of authority who forces you to go to A.A. meetings. Your boss at work is definitely "a person in authority".

I think Ken Ragge has a copy of the court's ruling on his web site: http://www.morerevealed.com/courts/index.html
There are also copies of several other important court rulings on the subject in that archive.

Then there is a good book on the subject: Resisting 12-Twelve Step Coercion: How to Fight Forced Participitation in AA, NA, or 12-Step Treatment, by Stanton Peele and Charles Bufe with Archie Brodsky.
I believe that you can download that book for free now, from:
http://www.morerevealed.com/library/index.html

Your case is especially egregious when you have not been convicted of any crime, and have not been diagnosed as "an alcoholic", or as abusing alcohol, or as having alcohol dependency, by a professional counselor or a doctor. Who decided that you were an alcoholic or did have a problem with alcohol? Apparently your boss feels qualified to make the diagnosis himself. He may well be a hidden missionary member of A.A. himself, busy doing Step 12 recruiting and "carrying the message".

I would call the ACLU and ask them about your situation. They may be willing to sue your employer. Of course, there is little chance of your continuing a promising career at that company if you choose to do that. But then again, you might end up owning the company.   :-)
You can also sue the boss for loss of employment if he fires you for resisting 12-Step coercion.

Have a good day now, and good luck.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what
**    they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their
**    own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the
**    very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power
**    does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed."
**        ==  Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ)





Date: Sun, January 2, 2011 7:14 am     (answered 5 January 2011)
From: "John L."
Subject: AA

Unfortunately, the words of your article contain much truth about AA. It also is filled with " half truths". The definition of half truth; truth mixed with lies for the purpose To deceive. I am sad for your hurting, it is my sincere hope that you find peace from your anger and confusion.

John L. III

Hello John,

Thanks for the letter. I do not print "truth mixed with lies for the purpose to deceive." I research very carefully, and work hard at getting every detail correct.

Would you please be very specific about what you think I am lying about? Is it...

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Telling lies about recovery isn't funny, and
**     it isn't spiritual, and it isn't okay.





Date: Sun, January 2, 2011 11:56 am     (answered 5 January 2011)
From: "Albertus V. S."
Subject: Request

Hi there

Excellent site, now if only I could convince my parents...

Could you be kind enough to make the archive of the site available as a single file. Would save a lot of right-clicks.

Thanks
Albertus

Hello Albertus,

Thanks for the compliments. I started off with one large archive file that contained the entire web site, and could not upload it. Comcast would barf and abort the upload at about 13.5 megabytes, every time. And there was no way to resume the upload. I don't know if Comcast was just technologically incompetent, or if it was part of their scheme to mess with people who shared files.

To get the web site contents uploaded to the current host, I was forced to break the archive up into many smaller files that were no larger than 10 megabytes.

Now I hear that Comcast has improved their service a little, and larger files might go through.

Still, there are other problems. The major one is that I update the web site every few days, often every day. That would mean that I would have to upload two 400 megabyte files — one for Micro$uck Windoze, and one for Linux — every day or two. Then those huge archives would be obsolete in a day or two, and I'd have to replace the whole mess again. That is a lot of unnecessary data transferring.

And anyone who wanted to update their local copy of the web site would likewise have to download the entire mess just to get the changes and updates that were done in the last few days, repeatedly.

As it is now, to get the updates, it is usually only necessary to download two smaller files: the "alpha" file that contains all of the text of the web pages, and the last image file, to get any new added pictures.

I know it's a lot of clicking to download 39 files, but you only have to do it like once a year. (I have been renewing all of the archive files once a year. And this year, I had to change the naming system because I ran out of letters of the alphabet, so the names of the image archive files got changed to numbers. So we have a whole new set of files.)

Thanks for your interest in the web site, and have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Heisenberg said, "I'm not really sure if    * 
**     that even was Shrödinger's cat.   I think        *
**     he might have used somebody else's cat..."  * 





Date: Sun, January 2, 2011 6:54 pm     (answered 5 Jan 2011)
From: "Michael B."
Subject: screwed-up margins — (?)

hi! (and thanks) have you looked at your chapter "birth of big-book ii" recently? it looks a bit dicked-with to me.. i'm not a tech expert by any stretch but i seem to remember it being in better shape and i hope to see it looking good again. happy new year and best regards, — michael

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the report, but I'm not seeing it. Things look fine to me. Is anybody else seeing problems?

The only way that I know of to really screw up the appearance of the margins is to display the pages on a screen that is too narrow. Most all of the pictures are 800 pixels wide, so you need at least 960 for the screen width (display set to 960x720), and 1024 is better (1024x768). Most computers have that much width now, except for really old monitors or old notebook computers. I can't do much about them.

The only other thing that I can think of that will produce goofy appearances is setting the font size really large with a low-resolution display, like 960x720, so that things go off the right-hand edge of the screen. If that is happening, try reducing the default font size.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     You can get more with a kind word and a gun
**       than you can with a kind word alone.
**         ==  Al Capone (1899—1947)





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

Canada Goose family
The family of 9, swimming away.
The children are actually leading the parents. Sometimes, the kids get an idea in their heads, and want to go, and the parents follow them to keep them out of trouble, and to keep from losing them. In this case, there is one instigator who is way out in front, and egging the other kids on.

You might notice that there are only two parents here. Sometimes the parents who have two goslings just dump their kids into the nursery with the other seven goslings, and then take off, and leave their kids in the care of "baby-sitters". They did this time.

Canada Goose family
Carmen's family, swimming away
This is a more normal formation: the father leads, the children follow, and the mother brings up the rear. I think Carmen is the third gosling, the smaller one with the darkest back.

Canada Goose family
The family of 9, coming back ashore
The children's big expedition ended up being them just swimming to the other end of the beach. The leader is already near the shore, beyond the left-hand edge of the picture.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]





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Last updated 30 December 2011.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters214.html