Letters, We Get Mail, CCXX



[The previous letter from Steve_A is here.]

Date: Tue, January 25, 2011 5:07 am     (answered 30 January 2011)
From: "Steve A."
Subject: RE: AA

Because you are not a hopeless drunk you will never understand what I'm telling you. I did not heal myself the people that got sober before me taught me the tools I did not know before. I know you think your God's little messenger but your just another hole with an opinon. ,

Hello again, Steve,

You just demonstrated three logical fallacies and another standard cult characteristic there:

  1. Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc — "It happened after 'X', so it was caused by 'X'". You assume that going to some A.A. meetings and hearing some crazy Buchmanism somehow made you quit drinking. That is not only ridiculous, it is also not supported by the facts. People who get indoctrinated in Buchmanism do not quit drinking in any greater numbers than people who do any other odd activity, like play tiddly-winks. In fact, Buchmanism is downright harmful to people's mental health. You would be better off playing tiddly-winks as a program of sobriety.

  2. Ad Hominem, Launch Personal Attacks On Opponents. Rather than citing any facts to support your assertions, you just indulge in name-calling and personal attacks. That is, by the way, also typical Buchmanite "spirituality".

  3. Escape via Relativism. As if it's all just a matter of your opinion versus my opinion. It isn't. You have opinions. I have facts. There is a big difference between those two things.

  4. Claim to Have Special or Secret Knowledge. You imagine that you know more than outsiders because you are a member of a cult and the outsiders are not. That is standard cult fare. Cult members routinely claim that only another cult member can understand. They say that you have to spend a lot of time doing the cult's yoga or meditation or chanting or whatever they do before you can understand the phony guru's "wisdom". Not so.

    In your case, you imagine that being a member of Alcoholics Anonymous has given you special knowledge that I don't have.

    You are also claiming to have special knowledge because you are allegedly "a hopeless drunk", and I am obviously not "hopeless". That is even more ridiculous. That's the stupid A.A. game of spiritual one-upmanship where the worst drunks supposedly become the biggest saints. Alcohol just damages your brain and makes you stupider. You don't get divine wisdom or special knowledge from drinking too much alcohol.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     He that loveth correction, loveth knowledge:
**     but he that hateth reproof, is foolish.
**       == Proverbs 12:1

[The next letter from Steve_A is here.]





[The previous letter from Scott_S is here.]

Date: Tue, January 25, 2011 5:05 am     (answered 30 January 2011)
From: "Scott X S."
Subject: RE: Cynical Garbage

We NEVER promoted the Vietnam War as a positive thing.

I have NEVER seen anything like the skit where "flag-waving MRA members chased "protester hippies" off of the stage?". I have staging videos of our shows from before they went on the road and that stuff just isn't there.

Look deeper than your surface scratching and you will find much, much more.

Hello again, Scott,

You never saw that? Well it was on national television in 1968. Don't you remember the NBC TV special where Up With People got a nationwide audience? It was there.

I had to sit through that jingoistic war-mongering while my parents cheered. (My father was a lifer sergeant in the Air Force, so that kind of attitude just came with the territory.)

It is pretty irrelevant whether UWP put that warmongering skit in the show when they played at the local college. That one NBC broadcast reached a much larger audience than all of the other shows by all casts, all year long.

Again, just because you failed to see something doesn't mean that it didn't happen. I saw it. Go look at the tapes of the NBC TV special.

And just because you can't see Frank Buchman's fascist philosophy does not mean that it didn't (and doesn't still) exist.

Have a good day.

== Orange

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





Date: Tue, January 25, 2011 7:52 pm     (answered 31 January 2011)
From: "Id Powers"
Subject: [Recovery 2 Day] This is the one most do not want to read, it says...

Id Powers posted in Recovery 2 Day.

This is the one most do not want to read. It says "Addiction is a brain disease"

http://www.facebook.com/l/f26ef9GjcI-5buhI2fXo6c1DTOQ;

Perhaps more importantly, these changes are long lasting and in some cases can be permanent. One goal of medications development for addiction is to reverse or compensate for such pathological effects. It says "relapse rates for addiction with abstinence as a goal are high: generally 90%" It also says "Appropriately monitored replacement treatments, such as methadone and buprenorphine, have a relatively high success rate in terms of reducing or eliminating illicit use of opioids. Furthermore, recent successes with naltrexone, acamprosate, buprenorphine and varenicline hold promise for future medications development for addiction."

Hello again, Id,

Thank you for the input. That is very interesting.

Of course I have to quibble over the word "disease". I'm with Jeffrey Schaler on this one; addiction is not a disease. We might call it a condition, but not a disease.

Of course addiction changes the brains of addicts. Everything changes the brains of everybody. Every experience changes our brains. Nutrition changes our brains. Aging changes our brains. Going outdoors and getting some sunshine and exercise changes our brains. Childhood experiences, including education, change the brains of children. But even when children's brains are damaged by childhood abuse, we don't call that "a disease". See the study of how the Cerebellar Vermises of abused children are small and shrivelled up. But we don't have any disease called "Vermisitis".

There is no doubt in my mind that my brain was changed by 200 LSD trips. But nobody is calling that a disease. Heck, we might eventually discover that it was an improvement.

I know that we are in danger of getting trapped in semantic arguments here. Look at this definition of disease. If we use the broadest definition of "disease", then almost any unpleasant condition qualifies as a disease. That means that a huge number of people are guilty of practicing medicine without a license for trying to fix sundry aches and pains without any medical training or license. Personally, I prefer to use a narrower definition of "disease". I especially want to see the etiology — what causes it? A disease without a cause is a very dubious proposition. (Like the "spiritual disease of alcoholism" that isn't caused by drinking alcohol.)

Now, to get off of the disease word, I agree that giving ex-addicts other medicines can help them immensely. I have often noticed that what is needed to get a lot of people off of drugs and alcohol, and tobacco, is some other way of making them feel better. Coldly telling people that "You just have to suffer through it for the rest of your life" really doesn't make it.

Opiate addicts, in particular, are hyper-sensitive to pain after quitting their drug habit. It can take many years for opiate ex-addicts to grow new opiate receptors in their brains. And ex-speed freaks are often just crawling the walls with pain and mental anguish, and the damage from speed takes years to heal, if it ever does. Some damage from speed is irrepairable.

So I suspect that some of those ex-addicts need to be on some kind of drug replacement therapy for many years.

Have a good day, and thanks again for the input.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Dream as though you'll live forever, live as though you'll die today.
**       ==  James Dean





Date: Tue, January 25, 2011 10:50 pm     (answered 31 January 2011)
From: "MICHELLE J."
Subject: HFCS

Hi Orange,

I hope you're doing well. I saw that you're quitting high fructose corn syrup, which means almost no processed foods. You're in luck. I have a great snack for you! Chobani Greek yogurt has evaporated cane juice instead of HFCS, among other natural ingredients. It's 0% fat, yet thick, rich and delicious.

Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the work you have done to expose AA for all that it really is!!!

X0X0X0
Michelle

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for the tip, and thanks for the thanks. And I'm doing very well, thank you. And I trust that you are doing the same.

Yes, getting rid of all HFCS in your diet is a huge job, isn't it? I was just thinking about the Hunt's ketchup that does not have any HFCS, so I went and looked in the refrigerator. The first three things that I grabbed showed: The "Light Ranch Dressing" contains "corn syrup". They weren't specific about whether it was High Fructose Corn Syrup or unconverted corn syrup. The mayonaise also contained "corn syrup". Only the mustard was free of corn syrup. Jeez, it's everywhere.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Most people dig their graves with their teeth."
**         ==  Some Indian guru whose name I cannot remember at the moment.

P.S.: 2011.07.27: Okay, I got ahold of some Chobani and gave it a try. Yummy. And yes, when I look at the ingredients, it's lots of things like milk, cream, berry blend, evaporated cane juice, natural flavors, locust bean gum, pectin, fruit and vegetable juice, vitamin D3, and yoghurt cultures. No HFCS, and no chemical preservatives, and no other weird chemicals. Neat.





[The previous letter from Darrell_C is here.]

Date: Wed, January 26, 2011 4:12 pm     (answered 31 January 2011)
From: "Darrell C."
Subject: Re: Is coffee just as bad as alcohol

Thanks for the feedback. I will drink more coffee with milk or cream more often.

So, I got a new one for you and am sure you can enlighten me on the subject. On page 53 [Really, page 52] of the big book it talks about the bedevilments, and my crazy sponsor friend tells me that they are what makes the alcoholic an alcoholic. To me it is a slap in the face. It says that we had problems with personal relationships. Notice the we. I do not have that problem and even if I did that is my choice, But it just seems weird to think that I am supposed to think that every time I go to a bar I am supposed to think these are the things that make me drink.

So, I still go to some meetings, but usually am engaged in doing a crossword. Listening to them ramble on about their pitiful self is depressing. Anyway at one meeting I attended a girl mentioned how AA was a cult or how she thought it was a cult. And I thought that she was right but they had brainwashed her into believing the opposite. So I started to read "Working With Others" and to me it is just a tool to proselytize potential members in this twisted cult.

Now back to the bedevilments, My sponsor wanted me to read these three times each morning. This is my opinion on each one.

We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn't control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn't make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn't seem to be of real help to other people —

  1. If I don't like someone it does not mean I am having trouble with them. I just don't like them.
  2. I guess I am not supposed to get angry and if I cry what then? Am I supposed to lose my cool and drink over it?
  3. I get depressed at times but never really drank over it. I drink to have fun.
  4. Now I know some drinkers who make good money and this statement is very demoralizing.
  5. If no one wants my help oh well.
  6. Now this is one part I could never understand. To me a fear is a natural survival mechanism. Like I fear bees, it is my nature to stay away from them. That is not a reason to drink.
  7. Happy or unhappy, who are they to say I am or not. And just like number 3, I would not go to the bar to drink making all my other friends unhappy.
  8. Now this one is just a repeat of the first one.

I hope to hear from you on this soon.

Hello Darrell,

Thanks for the letter. Yes, that is some poisonous stuff, isn't it?

What Bill Wilson was doing there is called "projection". Bill Wilson was insane, literally clinically insane. He suffered from Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Delusions of Grandeur, and chronic clinical depression. Bill had two psychiatrists, Dr. Harry Tiebout, and Dr. Frances Weeks, certify him as a nutcase.

In the mid-1940s, Wilson had sought out Dr. Harry M. Tiebout and had entered upon a regime of psychotherapy. Dr. Tiebout, a psychiatrist specializing in the treatment of alcoholics, from early on had supported Alcoholics Anonymous and had referred to the fellowship its first successful female member, Marty Mann. Throughout his long and distinguished career, the Connecticut psychiatrist published a series of perceptive analyses of alcoholism and of the therapeutic dynamic inherent in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Tiebout came to this comprehension largely through his knowledge of Bill Wilson, and his diagnostic understanding was both profound and simple. Drawing upon a phrase attributed to Freud, the psychiatrist pointed out to A.A.'s co-founder that both in his active alcoholism and in his current sobriety, he had been trying to live out the infantilely grandiose demands of "His Majesty the Baby."50

50. Thomsen, pp. 334-337, the direct phrase from p. 337; the theme recurs throughout Wilson's correspondence...

Not-God, Ernest Kurtz, pages 126-127, 354.

When, in moments of clarity, Bill Wilson noticed his messed-up mental state, he projected all of his faults onto "the other alcoholics", and said, "Look at those disgusting alcoholics. We are all like that. Nobody else is any better than me, so I'm not so bad after all. It isn't my fault, I'm powerless over alcoholism."

No, we are not all carbon copies of Bill Wilson. I'm not perfect, but I sure as heck am not like that pathetic raving sicko.

Oh, by the way, when I opened my Big Book to page 53 to see what Bill wrote there, the first thing that I saw was Bill's crazy story about how we have to all give up "Reason" (with a capital 'R'), and become brainless believers:

Some of us had already walked far over the Bridge of Reason toward the desired shore of faith. The outlines and the promise of the New Land had brought lustre to tired eyes and fresh courage to flagging spirits. Friendly hands stretched out in welcome. We were grateful that Reason had brought us so far. But somehow, we couldn't quite step ashore. Perhaps we had been leaning too heavily on Reason that last mile and did not like to lose our support.
Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 4, "We Agnostics", Page 53.

Yes, Bill Wilson gave up Reason and sanity quite some time back.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
**    "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat. "We're all mad here.
**        I'm mad. You're mad."
**    "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
**    "You must be," said the Cat. "or you wouldn't have come here."
**      ==  Lewis Carroll (English Logician, Mathematician, Photographer
**          and Novelist, especially remembered for
**          Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. 1832—1898)





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

Canada Goose goslings
Carmen's family
The kids got done with their nap, and went for a swim again. Now they are coming back ashore. Carmen is the one in the rear. The one in the middle is the "light-colored one".

[More gosling photos below, here.]





Date: Thu, January 27, 2011 7:58 am     (answered 1 February 2011)
From: "Taylor W."
Subject: Dr. Phil

Orange,

I saw something truly chilling on television last night that I felt compelled to share with you. Like many people, I'm an unapologetic consumer of trash television. One of these programs, which perhaps you've heard of, is Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. This most recent season was of particular interest to me, because in addition to all the drama, I was able to appreciate how terrible the situation was. The whole point of the show is to promote 12 step treatment and Dr. Drew himself. He's got two ex-addicts, both totally out of their skulls, "treating" his patients. And I've got to remember that this is the most sanitized, sane version of treatment they're able to present. They have all the advantages of an editing room and this is the best they could put forth. Last night they didn't have the benefit of creative editing, as the follow-up episode/finale was broadcast live.

The particular part I wanted to share with you happened just seconds after Dr. Drew Pinsky was rambling about how addiction is a "family disease" and talking about how an addicts family also needed treatment. After preaching for a while, Dr. Drew looked directly into the camera, pointed his finger at the at-home audience and declared that the friends and family of alcoholics where were failing to attend Al-anon were "part of the problem, not part of the solution". It was spooky.

—Taylor

"You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way." —Johnny Cash

Hello Taylor,

Thanks for the letter. The subject of Dr. Phil has been coming up lately.
UPDATE: Ooops! This was a goof. I was confusing Dr. Drew and Dr. Phil. However they both used addiction and rehab as favorite subjects for flogging.
Another fellow just wrote that Dr. Phil was saying that A.A. is the only way, here. That correspondent was asking me to go on the show. I commented that Dr. Phil can edit interviews any way he wishes, so there is little chance of getting a point across that Dr. Phil doesn't want the audience to hear. But even my imagination didn't match reality. A few days later, I was reading SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless, by Steve Salerno, and he had some real horror stories about Dr. Phil:

      Many of Phil McGraw's professional peers take issue with the manner in which he delivers his advice. Though Dr. Michael Hurd generally likes the way McGraw engages his guests and "draws them out," he recoils from McGraw's abrasive way of rousing to a finish. "You have to realize, it's about showmanship," Hurd told me, "but therapy shouldn't take a backseat to showmanship. People shouldn't get beat up in the process." Hurd and other critics wonder whether those moments — which, indisputably, make for great television — send McGraw's guests home with a profound sense of shame and embarrassment rather than lay the foundation for progress on whatever issues they had to begin with.

      Crtiticism in this vein may be somewhat naive, in that shows like McGraw's, notwithstanding the patina of professional integrity, are more about theater than therapy; they provide viewers with a slightly elevated, SHAM-inspired twist on the likes of Jerry Springer. Accordingly, there are accusations that where McGraw's TV show is concerned, his own trademark mantra "Get Real" takes a backseat to "Get Ratings." In September 2004 McGraw outraged working mental-health professionals and children's advocates when, during the course of a prime-time special, Family First, he came dangerously close to predicting that a nine-year-old boy was destined to become a serial killer. "There are fourteen characteristics of a serial killer," McGraw told little Eric's somber parents on the air. "Your son has nine. Jeffrey Dahmer had seven." To drive the point home, McGraw then treated the show's thirteen million viewers to a split-screen image of Dahmer's face next to Eric's. Michael Fitzpatrick, executive director of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, denounced McGraw's stunt as "unethical" and later told the Washington Post, "You don't do that for ratings. That is a human being."

      Similar accusations come from a pair of spokeswomen for the obese — 374-pound Sally Smith, editor of Big Beautiful Woman magazine, and 400-pound Maryanne Bodolay, executive administrator of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance. Longtime fans of Dr. Phil, the women were thrilled to be invited to appear on his show, though they did plan to challenge McGraw on his belief that obesity is, in essence, a bad habit. To set up the on-air segment, McGraw's producers sent Smith and Bodolay on an undercover mission in Las Vegas. A hidden camera followed them to a mall, a fitness center, and a buffet restaurant, with the producers hoping to preserve for posterity (and especially for the viewing pleasure of McGraw's audience) instances when strangers harassed the women. Except, the women would later allege, something went horribly wrong: No such harassment occurred. Nobody bothered Smith and Bodolay as they went through their paces. Not a single caustic remark was picked up via covert taping.

      That would have made for lousy television, so — the women contend — McGraw's producers primed the pump. Smith says she knows for a fact that one man was paid to "make a rude comment." In any case, when the footage aired in November 2003, viewers saw onlookers snickering at the women and making snide remarks as they went by. Onstage, McGraw identified Smith and Bodolay as simply a pair of obese women, "Sally" and "Maryanne," withholding their professional credentials to speak on behalf of their constituencies. To their dismay, the segment deteriorated into a freak show at their expense, with their former idol refusing to engage them on serious issues, instead using them as convenient props for his bracing, opinionated repartee. A few weeks after the show aired, producers invited Smith and Bodolay to make a return appearance, ratings had been terrific. (The two women, needless to say, declined a second invitation.) McGraw later denied that the show was a setup, and members of his staff declined comment. (I had hoped to discuss this and many other topics with McGraw himself, but he declined to be interviewed for this book.)
SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless, Steve Salerno, pages 68—70.

The acronym SHAM means "Self-Help and Actualization Movement", which is just such an appropriate moniker.

The first rule of the Hypocratic Oath is "Do No Harm." It is sad how many "authorities" and "experts" and "healers" have forgotten that rule.

I don't know why Dr. Phil is so crazy about the 12-Step cult. By the way, Dr. Phil is not a medical doctor or a psychiatrist. He is a fellow who has a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of North Texas. He got his start in show biz by helping Oprah Winfrey to win a case where she was being sued by a Texas cattle billionaire for criticizing the toxic make-up of hamburger. Dr. Phil was a jury consultant who used his knowledge of psychology to pick a favorable jury and and then play to the jury's sympathies to get an innocent verdict. When Oprah won the case, she was so impressed with Dr. Phil's manipulative skills that she put him on her show. And the rest is history.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "A useful idea has turned into a religious movement —
**     and a hindrance to research, psychiatry, and to many
**     alcoholics who need a different kind of help."
**        ==  Dr. Arthur H. Cain, Alcoholics Anonymous: Cult or Cure?,
**      Harper's Magazine, February 1963.

[The next letter from Taylor_W is here.]





Date: Thu, January 27, 2011 10:11 am     (answered 1 February 2011)
From: "william N."
Subject: A Few Recollections

Hi Terry,

I was thinking back to the 14 months I spent at the local men's halfway house, Freedom House, in NJ. Here are a few recollections:

Hi again, William,

Thanks for the info.

While at the halfway house I remember talking to one of the men who worked the AA program so well he was regarded as "resident-staff." He was held up as a role model to the rest of us. He was around 57-58 years old at the time and I was about 40. One night I talked to him about my future and how I wanted to get back on my feet, get back into playing music again, find a decent job and a nice place to live etc. So he says to me, "Hey, you know how to make god laugh? Tell him your plans! As for me, I just let go and let God. If I wind up in some state-run facility as an old man, well that's ok with me."

I thought to myself, are you kidding me? Where's your ambition? Where's your drive to succeed, to make something of yourself? He used the typical AA message of "Let Go and Let God" to give him an excuse to do nothing. By the way, our glorious Freedom House role-model ended up seducing one of the halfway house's secretaries and found a way to move into her house with her. She had money you see. However, she had to kick him out after about a year of his gold digging. Yet he was our "role model."

But that message, "Let go and Let God" or the similar "Take your hands off the steering wheel" is a very insidous message. They brainwash people to not be too ambitious or too willful, even though you could be willful for a good reason, like to start taking college classes or to take on a second job. This lazy, unambitious message approved by Freedom House and promulgated on all levels. It's a very damning message.

Yes. And I wonder if it isn't also a cover for people who are incapable of planning a future. If someone says, "I have no plans for the future," that also means, "I cannot fail to accomplish my goals."

I also recall a story about my AA sponsor, whom I have discussed previously in the Orange Papers. He was a staunch sloganeer and 12 & 12 step-book thumper (in fact, he used to run a 12 & 12 step-book "study" at his house for his sponsees — as if anyone could make ANY sense out of the book that was worth "studying.") Anyhow, I remember him admonishing me when he first took me on as a sponsee. "I want you to call me everyday to check in," he said, "But if you ever get drunk, don't ever call me...." Since I was eager to get a sponsor I just said "Sure, whatever you say." But after a little while I thought "Well hell, if I get drunk and need help, who can I call if my sponsor won't even talk to me?" It didn't seem right. I found out many AA sponsors felt this was proper. I think it's selfish, hypocritical, and cowardly.

And punishing.

Also, my sponsor often repeated over and over what a wonderful life he had now that he had been going to AA for 15-20 years. Except that his wife hated him; couldn't stand him. He was in an awful, dead marriage. I once asked him "Why don't you get a divorce and move on?" He replied that this was God's way of sort of getting even with him for his alcoholic behavior 20 years ago! He felt it was his duty to "take it." His big answer to everything was "Acceptance — that is the key." Is that sick thinking or what?

Anyway, keep up the good work.

Bill

Yep. Sick thinking. Insane, in fact.

That marriage sounds like Jean-Paul Sartre's play, "No Exit". It was one of the most convincing portrayals of Hell that anybody has ever done.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has
**     established it, and it fixes its fangs on whatever gets
**     beyond it either way.
**       ==  Blaise Pascal





Date: Thu, January 27, 2011 4:31 pm     (answered 2 February 2011)
From: "Patti H."
Subject: 12 Steps I would travel, plus more, to my key board to say good job

for turning the light on it and then putting it in print. I appreciate your brain! It's a good one :0)

Patti

Hi Patti,

Thanks for the compliment. You have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     After they win a football game, the entire football team of
**     Frostbite Falls gets down on their knees for a prayer of thanks,
**     and they say:
**       "We thank you for this victory, Jesus. It's wonderful how you
**     rigged this football game and made us win, because Lord knows, this  
**     looser team could never have won on its own.  We really appreciate
**     the way that you care more about our football game than you care
**     about all of those sick, starving children on the other side of
**     the world who are dying tonight.  So we thank you Jesus, for this
**     miracle, and we'll be playing for you again in the next game.
**       "Oh, speaking of which, the bookies want to know how you
**     are going to rig the next game."





Date: Thu, January 27, 2011 5:42 pm     (answered 2 February 2011)
From: "Jarrod M."
Subject: Re: AA video, getting out of AA Legally

i have not got the video online yet, my camera sucks but i wrote the blog, here is the link it describes how to get out of AA 100% legally

http://scoundrelzntwk.blogspot.com/

Hello Jerrod,

Thanks for the plug, and thanks for a great idea. I mean really. Legally, it sounds solid to me. As they have said so many times, the only requirement for membership in A.A. is a desire to quit drinking. And they already have (allegedly) atheists' meetings, and they definitely have pedophiles' meetings, so why not some "Bill Is Bonkers" meeting groups?

If you are coerced into A.A. by a judge or parole officer, or some so-called "counselor" or "treatment program", or any kind of other authority, start up your own A.A. meeting. Then you can spend an hour or two talking about how you are getting yourself sober without rotting your brain with Bill's Babbling.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.
**        ==  Mark Twain (Samuel Longhorne Clemens) 1835—1910





Date: Fri, January 28, 2011 7:45 am     (answered 2 February 2011)
From: "Id Powers"
Subject: [Recovery 2 Day] The saddest aspect of life right now is that...

Id Powers posted in Recovery 2 Day.

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. ~Isaac Asimov

Yes, so true. And somebody else, perhaps Einstein, commented that humanity was gaining technical knowledge much faster than they were learning the morality needed to handle it. He was, of course, referring to the morality of dropping atomic bombs on cities full of civilians.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be
**   achieved by understanding."
**     ==  Albert Einstein
**
** "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the
**  same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
**     ==  Albert Einstein (1879—1955)





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

Canada Goose goslings
Carmen's Family
Carmen is the one in the rear. The "light-colored one" is the one in the middle.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]





Date: Fri, January 28, 2011 9:24 am     (answered 2 February 2011)
From: "Beckie G."
Subject: Thank you

I have just read you AA articles. I loved it. Thank you for writing this.

I run a group called Booze Free Buddies. I couldn't stomach AA and it's brainwashing and was shocked at the lack of support for people in need of help with alcohol addiction who didn't want to go to AA.

http://www.boozefreebuddies.com

Once again, thank you for such a brilliant piece.

sincerely

Beckie G.

"Creating Healthy Bodies and Healthy Minds"

www.beahealthyloser.com

Hi Becky,

Thanks for the compliments, and thanks for doing something about the A.A. problem.

So good luck with your group, and have a good day now. And a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "Ignorance is an evil weed, which dictators may cultivate
**  among their dupes, but which no democracy can afford
**  among its citizens."  
**     ==   William H. Beveridge, 1944





[The previous letter from Cindy is here.]

Date: Mon, January 31, 2011 7:57 am     (answered 2 February 2011)
From: Cindy
Subject: You are kind and of service.

January 31, 2011

Orange,

I have read so many of the emails and I just read one where the person said he was a drinker for 20 years and you suggested that perhaps he seek out a doctor or something to that effect. I find that you are really trying to do what you can to give information to people who have not liked A.A. or whatever the reason. I see this as service, not as you holding resentment at A.A. Really thanks so very much for what you do. And bless you. Love the goslings. We can all fit in somewhere, maybe many of us would be better off to learn the animal world first. Perhaps that would make us more aware at being human. Thanks for all you do, once more. Happy New Year!!

Cindy R

Hello Cindy,

Thanks for the compliments. And you are right, it isn't a "resentment". Lord knows I have enough material for a gigantic resentment, but I'm more interested in getting the truth out to sick people who need it than in wasting my time and my hormones being angry.

And those little goslings do teach me about humanity and the joy of being alive. They are like a microcosm of the real world. If you watch them long enough, you see everything.

What is getting wacky is that it isn't just the geese. Just a few days ago I was watching PBS television, and they had a program about baby animals, and it included those unbearably cute little penguin chicks down at the Antarctic. At about a month of age, the kids leave their parents and go join a "teenage gang" of other penguin chicks, and hang out with their buddies. As one newcomer chick joined the group, he was chirping hello and another was jabbering back at him, and I realized with a shock, "Hey, I'm understanding what they are saying. That's the same as gosling talk." They were actually using the same chirps and the same "words", and saying, "Hello, greetings. I'm happy to meet you."

When you understand what they are saying, you start regarding them as little people. It's just so obvious. I know it sounds a bit crazy, but I see them as little people more than as "wildlife" or just animals.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how
**      deeply rooted in tradition or surrounded by a halo. We need
**      a boundless ethic which will include the animals also."
**        ==  Albert Schweitzer, physician/Nobel Laureate.
**
**      I like animals. They are just like people, except even stupider.
**        ==  me

[The next letter from Cindy is here.]





Date: Tue, February 1, 2011 7:03 am     (answered 3 February 2011)
From: "Charles M."
Subject: LOL

Who are you to say what people in AA have seen when clearly u would not have the priviledge to let the focus come off urself and u need to read the 4th edition cause its not a disease anymore ,,an illness,,u really can only speak if u have had experience and if u do i would be interested

Hello Charles,

Thank you for the letter. The focus is not on myself. The focus is on recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous, and what doesn't work, and what does.

Please tell me exactly where in the Big Book they changed the wording from "disease" to "illness" in the Fourth Edition. That's a cute trick, considering that they did not change one word of the first 164 pages between the third and fourth editions. Page 64 still contains Bill's crazy talk about "resentments" causing "spiritual diseases". So where? Which page should I look at?

Speaking of which, I have copies of all versions of the Big Book from the first to the fourth editions, so I'll look it up as soon as you tell me where they changed the wording.

By the way, changing the wording now, in the latest edition of the book, doesn't change what A.A. has been saying for the last 70 years.

And once again, another Stepper is claiming to have Special Knowledge that I don't have, because I am not a member of your cult.

Cult members routinely claim that they know more than outsiders, and outsiders cannot criticize the cult, because the outsiders don't know anything. Not so.

Plenty of outsiders do understand, and are qualified to criticize A.A. Many of them are former members of A.A.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.
**       ==  Voltaire (1694—1778)





Date: Tue, February 1, 2011 10:37 am     (answered 4 February 2011)
From: Bob O.
Subject: suffolk county ny aa 2010 sales

Mister T,

The Suffolk County NY aa bulletin for February 2011 shows 2010 grapevine sales of $1095.00 and literature sales of $30,000. I don't know if that tells you anything.

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the information. Interesting, but I need more information to make it mean something. Like, what is the rate of increase or decrease over, say, the last 20 years? And what percentage of the total sales does Suffolk County have? Still, I like collecting factoids. They add up after a while.

What I just read somewhere recently was that Grapevine sales are down by 25 or 30 percent overall. I'd like to get that verified.

I am a member of the newcomer rescue league. I tell people there is no difference in the recovery rate for people who join aa and those who do not and I get little reaction. When I say the death rate is greater for people who attend aa they react. I am not sure what they are thinking but they say nothing and soon walk away. I no longer talk about the death rate. If only 5% remain after one year does it pay to continue?

Thanks for being a member of the NRL.

Yes, isn't it funny how the word "death" gets their attention? Bill Wilson used that same attention-grabber in the Big Book, a lot.

The walking away part is typical of cults. We were just talking about that in a previous letter. Cult members are taught to just stop communicating, or "disconnect", when they are presented with irrefutable information that is critical of the cult. They just clam up and walk away, or run away.

I believe you are correct. The dagger in the heart will be to stop the feeder system. I cringe when anyone says they thank aa for saving their life. Whenever I get the chance I tell people they saved their own life and to read the Orange-Papers.org. I also tell them if they do not agree with you to send their thoughts to you and you will reply.

AA's are a strange bunch. I told one man at an aa meeting about your site and his first reply was to ask when did I first read the site. That is what he is used to from the continuing references/competition of sober dates. I will admit I wish I knew the answer to that question and when I sent you my first email.

I just did a quick search of old email, and the earliest letter from you that I found was Mon, July 27, 2009. That is assuming that you didn't change your email address.

The whole question of "When did you first read the site?" strikes me as odd. What does that have to do with anything? The date when somebody first read my site has no connection to what their sober date is, of course. So is there a new game of one-upmanship where people brag about when they first read the Orange Papers? Unreal. No, that can't be.

Again, the whole A.A. thing about getting rid of ego is such a sham. A.A. meetings are loaded with ego and status games. The only thing they don't do is put stripes on their arms to show how many years of sobriety they have. (But in Narcotics Anonymous, they make chains out of their sobriety keytags, and hang them from their belts. The guy with the longest chain has the highest status.

It is common practice to write your own telephone number on a meeting list and give it to someone. I now write your web site address instead of my number. I try to remain a secret agent by telling people not to tell others who gave them your address. I doubt that works but I cannot recite your message so I give the web site. I have not been confronted but if I ever am I will tell them the truth. Thank you for all you do

Long Island Bob O.

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the thanks. And thanks for keeping the faith.

Have a good day, and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "For the truth is, that life on the face of it is a chaos in
**     which one finds oneself lost. The individual suspects as much
**     but is terrified to encounter this frightening reality face
**     to face, and so attempts to conceal it by drawing a curtain
**     of fantasy over it, behind which he can make believe that
**     everything is clear."
**       ==  Jose Ortega y Gasset





Date: Thu, February 3, 2011 10:50 am
From: "chris"
Subject: HaHa

keep coming back pal...lol





Date: Tue, February 1, 2011 1:32 pm     (answered 4 February 2011)
From: Mark
Subject: AA compared to REAL Recovery, my experience w/ Naltrexone, etc

Hello Orange,

I've been thinking of writing you for some time now. I discovered orange-papers.info some months ago having gone sober for over six months at that point. First I want to complement you on your thoroughness and logical approach. After spending many hours reading through the extensive material on your Website I began to feel hope that my misgivings about AA had some valid basis, and indeed were not just evidence of my being "in denial" and on a "dry drunk". So: Thank You!

It is now over 17 months since my last drinking (although some hardcore AA'ers would disagree — I have ingested minuscule quantities in medicine or the occasional non-alcoholic beer with dinner — that would equate to less than 2 cc of ethanol). So lets start with that question. Drinking an occasional NA beer has not "triggered" me, cause me to "romanticize the binge", relapse, or any of the other dire warnings I hear from AA. That being said, if I found that I had subsequent "cravings" or "thoughts" of drink I would avoid it. I'm interested in your opinion on that point.

Hi Mark,

Thank you for the letter and the compliments.

Personally, I avoid no-alcohol beer because when I tried the stuff about 22 years ago, I found myself slipping right back into the old habits, and I chugged a six-pack of the stuff in a few hours. I heard of another guy having the same problem. His girlfriend complained that he started "pounding" the stuff. He was chugging the beers nonstop. She could see the monster reawakening before her eyes. Still, neither of us "triggered" and suddenly started guzzling real alcohol.

But I don't consider it a "relapse", or departure from sobriety to have one of those beers, even though there is a tiny amount of alcohol remaining in them.

Some other things that contain tiny amounts of alcohol are extracts of almond and vanilla, which I like to flavor my coffee with. I only use a few drops of the stuff in a cup of coffee, and the hot coffee makes the alcohol evaporate instantly, so the actual amount of alcohol consumed is vanishly small. No way are you going to get drunk on that. (And no, I don't get triggered.)

By the way, one of the things that is loaded with alcohol is fresh-baked bread. And yet, I haven't heard of any tirades against bread.

Honestly I stopped drinking initially because the consequences had become unacceptable to me (one of them being a DUI arrest @ 0.08 BAC). The DUI I can reasonably ascribe to a combination of poor judgment and "wrong place, wrong time". But there was other evidence like a marriage that was headed towards divorce, health issues, and underlying depression.

I think there are often underlying issues. I mean, why does somebody need alcohol or drugs to feel good and be happy?

So with my "ass on fire" so to speak I decided to try something different in hopes of having different (better) outcomes. At 5 days sober I enrolled myself (not court ordered) in an IOP program. 3 hour sessions 3 times per week for 8 weeks. I guess I was lucky (or blessed) that the outfit I picked was NOT a Hardcore 12-Step program. Instead they presented useful scientific information on some of the biochemical aspects of dependency/abuse. Also REBT, limbic system "lizard brain" theory, etc. and individual counseling sessions where I could explore unresolved "core issues" which long predated my "hitting bottom" experience(s). They did NOT try to tear me down so they could "build me back up" or any of that kind of sick nonsense horror stories I've heard about.

That is indeed fortunate.

Altogether I found it a very positive, helpful and uplifting experience. And the facility is not just in it for the money. I can and do attend occasionally since "graduating" from the IOP and that is free of charge for any graduate of their program. Unlike AA, they offer real solutions.

One thing they did do was suggest that I talk to a doctor knowledgeable about drug therapies like Naltrexone to help reduce cravings during the early months of recovery from alcohol dependence. I ended up taking Naltrexone for about the first 7 months, then tapering off it over the eighth month. I'm cautious against endorsing it because honestly I don't have a basis for comparison what those first 7-8 months would have been like without Naltrexone but I can tell you I experience no ill side effects AND I can honestly say I experience very little in the way of "cravings". That has remained true since I stopped Naltrexone. In the end I guess I am grateful that I had it in my "recovery arsenal".

Yes. That sounds good. Personally, my experience with Natrexone is zero. I didn't use anything to quit alcohol, although I used nicotine patches to quit smoking.

So that has pretty much worked well for me. Unfortunately the Authorities did eventually press charges on the DUI, and I ended up copping a plea deal which mandated Regular Attendance at AA meetings, at least for a few more months as of this letter.

So here I find myself at AA meetings feeling conflicted, alienated, frustrated. Outside the meetings themselves I am now most of the time Happy, Hopeful, nay daresay sometime even Serene.

Oh Yes, I have my Health back, my Relationship with my Wife and Son are better than they've ever been, my Employer now sings praise about me...

But when I try to share in AA about Unconscious Belief Systems that drive Conscious Thoughts that fuels Emotions that precede Behaviors that result in Negative Consequences ... well the pitying looks of incomprehension and disbelief I get from the AA Faithful, and their responses like "well keep coming back" and "just work the steps". I actually found a few AA Meeting-goers that in private acknowledged understanding what I was saying, but they won't say that In Meeting for fear of being ostracized.

AND I have NOT Worked The Steps, NOR had a Sponsor in over a year now. "Oh My... Tsk Tsk poor fellow, doomed to Relapse any second now." LOL!

Coincidentally, I just got another letter and reference to a web page that has a great answer to the A.A. coercion: Start up your own A.A. meeting. For real. The A.A. rules say that the only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to quit drinking. And any two or more A.A. members constitute an A.A. meeting. (It's a copy of Jesus's line about "Whenever two or more are gathered together in my name...")

So register your own meeting, like the "B.B. Group". (Meaning, not "Big Book", but "Bill's Bonkers".) And spend an hour talking about how wonderful it is to be sober without rotting your brain with a cult religion.

There is no rule that says that you must begin an A.A. meeting by reading aloud the plastic-laminated scriptures from pages 58 through 60 of the Big Book. That is just a custom that developed later, over the years. They didn't do that in the beginning, because there wasn't any Big Book in the beginning. And not all meetings do it now.

Likewise, in the beginning, they didn't read The Traditions at the start of every meeting, because there weren't any. Bill had not made up the new fake "traditions" yet.

And there is no rule that says that you must endorse Bill Wilson or the Big Book. There is no rule that says that you must preach the 12 Steps, or do them. Remember that Bill wrote on page 59 that the 12 Steps were suggested as a program of recovery. So I choose to not take the suggestion. I have better, and saner, methods.

In fact, there is no rule that says that you can't bring in all of the things that you found helpful at that other IOP program. There isn't really any rule that says that you can't read things that are not "Council-approved". The ban on "not Council-approved" literature at A.A. meetings is just a narrow-minded custom.

There is also no rule that says that you can't schedule meetings for 4 A.M., when nobody will attend.

See the link here.

In any case it felt good to finally vent!
Keep the Peace and thanks for your support!

Best,
Mark in DFW TX.

p.s. Having gone through my teens and early twenties with my parents pressuring me into est seminars and all sorts of other New Age cultish psychobabble B.S. I guess I will always be suspicious of Cults (like AA).

Yes. My experiences with cults in the 'sixties and 'seventies are what made me soon aware of the cultish aspects of A.A. and N.A.

Have a good day now, and a good life.

== Orange

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





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Last updated 20 January 2015.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters220.html