Letters, We Get Mail, CCLXIX



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters269.html#Peter_F ]

Date: Tue, October 18, 2011 6:15 am     (answered 20 October 2011)
From: "Peter F."
Subject: War On Drugs Is Genocide — a Warped Recovery Culture is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

A hard-hitting piece:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-peter-ferentzy/war-on-drugs-is-genocide-_b_1006555.html

Peter Ferentzy, PhD
Author of Dealing With Addiction — why the 20th century was wrong
http://www.peterferentzy.com

Hi again, Peter,

Thanks for all of your articles. And I totally agree with this one, too.

And there is something more that you didn't touch on: how the "war on drugs" is also a war on certain segments of the American people. During the 'sixties, the "war on drugs" was really a thinly-veiled war on Hippies and war protesters and political rebels. One long-haired young friend of mine did three years in San Quentin prison for possession of three marijuana cigarettes (in the Haight Ashbury).

And ever since then, the "war on drugs" has been a war on young black men. Just the fact that a white college kid with powder cocaine gets probation, while a black boy with some crack gets years in prison, is all that you need to know about the "war on drugs" to know that it is really a war on some people, not on drugs.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "The war on drugs has nothing at all to do with drugs. It is
**     part of an all-out war on the American people by a government
**     interested only in control."
**       ==  Gore Vidal





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters269.html#Angelo_A ]

Date: Tue, October 18, 2011 9:07 pm     (answered 20 October 2011)
From: "Angelo A."
Subject: AA

Do you or did you ever have a drinking problem?

Hello Angelo,

Thanks for the question, and the answer is, "Oh yeh."

You can start with the introduction to the Orange Papers here: http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-intro.html

And then check out: How did you get to where you are?

And also see the definitions of "an alcoholic" here.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     There is nothing quite like dying for convincing you that
**     you really need to take better care of your health.
**       ==  Orange





[The previous letter from David is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters269.html#David ]

Date: Tue, October 18, 2011 11:23 am     (answered 21 October 2011)
From: "David"
Subject: Sorry to take so long getting back.

This is David. I am usually on my laptop but I happened to be on my mothers computer today and I saw that you replied to me, thank you by the way. I should have given you my email address (it is [email protected] ). True, my former attachment to AA is in big part my need to socialize with people, but it is possible to overcome that by changing the parameters inside of us to what we want to need. IE:needing to be around X number of people X number of nights per week. Literally changing X just like a math equation.

I also agree with the assessment of SGI, they are a cult of personality and they are NOT a Nichiren Buddhist sect — they are a chanting club that worships Ikeda. I don't know as much about the Nichiren Shoshu, I knew enough from SGI's teachings to stay away from them (SGI contradicts Nichiren's teachings and Nichiren Shoshu also distorts the teachings — IE:Dai Gohonzon is not mentioned anywhere in the Gosho).

"The Nichiren Shoshu Buddhists (Sokka Gakkai) believe that a printed scroll, called a Gohonzon, will grant all of your material wishes if you chant to it enough. It's a real Santa Claus cult."

While this is true, they are a cult, the Gohonzon doesn't grant anything because it is a piece of paper. SGI doesn't actually talk about what Nichiren teaches, they cherry pick. According to Nichiren, practicing in accordance with the Lotus Sutra gives the practitioner the same benefits as practicing the 8 fold path. IE:breaking attachments, behavior modifications, changing beliefs, etc etc — in the end attaining Buddhahood. SGI doesn't talk about that, but that is what it says in the Gosho. Nichiren did teach that the sufferings of birth and death are Nirvana, his teachings were about attaining enlightenment NOT about getting material possessions. We don't discard our desires, this is also not about fulfilling desires, this is about USING desire to attain Buddhahood. SGI erroneously believes that simply by chanting for a big screen TV, a person can attain Buddhahood. This is foolish, and it is a fallacy because a person has to want to attain Buddhahood (which is different than wanting a big screen TV). The only reason they get a big screen TV is the practitioner gives themselves the behavior modifications to get the TV in accordance with the Law of cause and effect (wiccans can also give themselves behavior modifications in a similar way, but again, that is NOT using the practice to attain enlightenment). But I could go and get a big screen without having to chant for it (in fact I did — without chanting for it). It is such a waste of time for people to practice like that, and it doesn't line up with the teachings. The Gohonzon is a pictoral representation of the "Ceremony in the Air" from the Lotus Sutra and it works on the same premise as if you were trying to learn a difficult piece of music and you had a really good recording, you automatically start over time playing like the recording. If you have a bad recording, you play like that. If you chant with a pictoral representation of the Ceremony in the Air, the "Treasure Tower" swells up from inside the practitioner as they hear the Sutra being spoken out of their mouth. SGI doesn't really talk about that aspect of the teaching either. They prefer "Human Revolution" over authentic Lotus Sutra teachings. Humanism as opposed to Buddhism.

I used to use NLP (self talk, affirmations, visualizations, etc etc), I have also tried other mantras with other mandalas, but nothing else I have tried allows me to manipulate reality like these teachings do (this quickly). Doing breathing exercises and practicing mindfulness (like what Thich Nhat Hanh or the Dalai Lama would teach) are good things to do, and traditional Buddhist meditation has been scientifically proven to work, the way this usually goes is something along the lines of observing how I am feeling, trying to line up the Chakras, observing my beliefs, etc etc, and over time I "reprogram" myself which is changing Karma. That still won't in one day or one sitting break an attachment — I suppose it could, but in my experience it doesn't work that way. I spent six months trying to deprogram my desire to drink (without AA). I felt like I was at the carnival doing whack a mole. Yet I chanted in front of a Gohonzon for 2 hours and I made the desire to drink disappear. I did the same with the cigarettes (and no withdrawals). But that is why Nichiren taught what he did. Also bearing in mind what the end result that a Zen practitioner is trying to achieve, the state of "no mind". Nichiren had taught that Zen is nonsense because if a person eliminates all of their thoughts and desires, how will they have the desire to attain enlightenment?

"Their core belief is that if you just chant the name of an old book of Buddhist wisdom, that you will get all of the benefits of the wisdom in the book. You don't bother to actually read the book or practice the philosophy; you just chant the name of the book: "Nam myoho renge kyo"."

This is also not what Nichiren taught (isn't it funny how bad SGI makes this religion look). Actually if you ever study any of the indigenous religions (the Lakota, the Yoruba-Santeria and Voodo, to a point Wicca, Shinto) — the traditional indigenous worldview is that when the sacred is spoken it is here. Again, a person must want to attain enlightenment before that will ever happen. Even Buddhist teachers from other non-Nichiren sects teach that. Most SGI members have never even read the Lotus Sutra. Most don't even read the Gosho and they put the Gosho on par with the Lotus Sutra (it is a commentary, it is not the Lotus Sutra). The two main principles from the Lotus Sutra itself are that men and women are equal (women can also attain Buddhahood), and that ANYONE (even Devadatta who tried to murder the Buddha) can attain enlightenment in one lifetime. If I don't practice those principles, and I chant the Daimoku expecting that I will attain enlightenment, I am a hypocrite and a liar. Putting Ikeda's writings on par with the Lotus Sutra, ignoring the Lotus Sutra, having 30 foot pictures of Ikeda instead of preaching from the Lotus Sutra in public is slandering the Law (according to Nichiren). But why does this matter? Why is it a big deal? Again, if I as a practitioner can get the same results by chanting as I would using NLP (right thinking), observing my mind (right mindfulness/concentration), making amends (right action), etc etc but in a fraction of the time(instead of spending a month or more quitting smoking, getting the nicotine out of my body, not being around the smoking section, etc etc and then maybe STILL going back to it as opposed to simply chanting for two hours and it is gone), why would I in a million years make the two equal in efficiency? That would be like comparing a Cray super computer to an Apple 2e. SGI also slanders the teaching by putting it on par with Christianity. In Christianity it is up to "the will of God" for fill in the blank desire to go away, yet if I chant, I make the desire go away when I want. I can go chant and get the results that day(as far as behavior modification-might take three hours, but I'd like to see a Christian do that on their time, not "Gods"). The trick after that is maintenance until I no longer need to focus on hanging onto the new behavior(usually after about a week, then I focus on other behavior modifications and the old one sticks). Christianity also slanders the teaching by calling the Gohonzon evil. According to the Levitical laws, Nichiren Buddhism IS idolatry. I love shoving that in the face of Christians and demanding an explanation for why all of the years that I laid the cigarettes down at the altar would I be outside 45 minutes later smoking and yet in one sitting I eradicated the desire to smoke. According to Romans a person can't make a sinful desire go away by sinning. Even if the devil answered my prayer, why would he prolongue my life only to give me more chances to repent and go back to Jesus if a house divided against itself can't stand? For that matter I gave Jehovae ample amount of time to fix me, and why would he not fix me when he knew I was going to go down this path and how much damage I would do exposing all of the contradictions in the Bible living to be a stumbling block to Christians(with the right knowledge to make it so). SGI won't call Christianity out for this, but Nichiren would. If a person is going to call themselves a Nichiren Buddhist, they are under obligation to rebuke slander of the Law. Same type of work that you do exposing AA's lies and contradictions.

"They also believe that they can achieve world peace if one third of the people on Earth chant their chant. They offer no explanation of how this will happen; it is just a given. They happily ignore the obvious possibility that even if one third of the world does chant peacefully, the other two thirds can continue to gleefully slaughter each other and blow each other off of the planet, just the same as usual, not at all inconvenienced by the chanters."

While they do believe in Kosen Rufu and claim to be an organization for the attainment of Kosen Rufu, they are misguided as to what this even means. All it means is the wide spread propagation of the teaching (closest English translation that I know of). That is a world apart from attaining world peace. This is Samsara after all, the realm of suffering. True, if everyone on the planet attained Buddhahood, there would be peace on earth and good will to men. Even if everyone on the planet chanted, they are not all going to agree and they are not all going to attain Buddhahood. Some would even kill each other (delusion and Buddhahood exist in each person). Again, they make the practice look bad. They won't rebuke slander of the Law. They are accepting of Christianity. They don't do like the new Atheist movement does (demand an answer from the churches as to why there are contradictions and historical errors in their book and why the churches lie to everyone claiming it as an infallible word of God when there are contradictions in it). When I used to be SGI, I had leaders who didn't like the idea that I wanted to do just that. Nichiren went so far to say that if a person doesn't rebuke slander of the Law, they won't attain enlightenment (as it is an act of compassion to free a person from this burning house-Samsara). But he had done his homework. He would point out contradictions in other scriptures. Had I not seen the contradictions in the Bible, I would still be a Christian. It's the same type of work that you are doing just that you are predominately debunking AA (again, I applaud your efforts and I will probably use your material if I am ever in a debate with people who are still in AA when I see them out in town).

Fortunate coincidences are accepted as proof that God favors the Guru and his cult: "The Big Man upstairs is really looking out for us."

Good and bad BOTH happen to everyone. There have been people who chant who were murdered. The real "proof" is that we can attain enlightenment by chanting Daimoku, not by getting a recording contract, or getting a car, or any material possession. SGI encourages their members to chant for fame and fortune. In the Gosho, Nichiren told Shijo Kingo NOT to be attached to fame and fortune. Wow, SGI contradicts the teachings-imagine that.

They are a money grubbing cult, they slander the Law, they make the practice look bad, they are just as bad if not worse than AA. I would keep going here, but I think you get the picture. Sorry to be so long winded and I am truly sorry for any bad experiences you had with the practice itself. I have walked away from it numerous times to try other things, mantras, the eight fold path, NLP, etc etc, and although I would get some small results it would end up being an exercise in frustration. Actually, I would try other things to debunk SGI leaders who were assholes. I knew if I could prove something worked better than chanting, I could shove my success in their face. On the other hand if I was wrong, I would "comply" because I would have proven through trial and error that the practice worked better, not because some asshole at an SGI meeting demanded that I agree with them. Anyone who walks away from the Gohonzon due to the drama and bullshit within SGI, I lay blame for that squarely at the feet of Daisaku Ikeda-he won't rebuke SGI members for worshipping him. He is a devil, he is an "evil monk", and I will rebuke him till my dying breath.

Anyway, have a nice day,
keep up the good work debunking AA (Assholes Anonymous lol:)
David

Hi again, David,

It's good to hear from you again, and it's good to hear that you sound like you have your head screwed on straight. I agree with most of what you have said.

Of course I am still skeptical about the ultimate effects of so much chanting, but I wish you luck.

I have to comment on this line:

Nichiren had taught that Zen is nonsense because if a person eliminates all of their thoughts and desires, how will they have the desire to attain enlightenment?

That is the paradox of Zen. Now I generally strongly object when people try to use the "paradox" escape, especially since A.A. tries to use it a lot — "It's not logical — it's magical — you can't understand it logically — it's a paradox" — but I think that in the case of Zen, that they do use a non-linear development process to get people to quit thinking so much.

The old Zen master says to his student:

      "Ah yes, little Grasshopper. If you have no desires, where does the desire to control your desires come from? How could you control your desires if you have no more desires left — not even the desire to control your desires? But if you do desire to control your desires, then you haven't gotten rid of all of your desires, now have you?"

Enough of that, and eventually the logical mind just goes "Tilt!" and hopefully, the student stops thinking and starts seeing.

The Zen master is teaching that even the desire for Enlightenment is still a desire, and just another trap. You can easily waste your entire life desiring to get enlightened, and being obsessed with getting enlightened. But if you don't desire to get enlighened, that can be wasting your life too.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**
**     Thus Have I Heard
**      "I am" is a conceiving;
**      "I am this" is a conceiving;
**      "I shall be" is a conceiving;
**      "I shall not be" is a conceiving;
**      "I shall have a physical form" is a conceiving;
**      "I shall be formless" is a conceiving.
**      Conceiving is a disease,
**      conceiving is a tumor,
**      conceiving is a dart.
**      By overcoming all conceivings, one is called a sage at peace.
**         ==  the Buddha, as translated in In the Buddha's Words
**         from More Daily Wisdom, edited by Josh Bartok, Wisdom Publications
**        (http://www.wisdompubs.org)

[The next letter from David_J is here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters269.html#Peter_F2 ]

Date: Wed, October 19, 2011 1:13 pm     (answered 21 October 2011)
From: "Peter F."
Subject: RE: Addiction, Heartbreaks and Nightmares

Thanks Orange

I read from "Us Stupid Drunks". You're right about the stereotyping. As I see it, the governing approach to addiction can be summed up by a few words from the Big Book:

Here's a snippet regarding the newbie seeking help:

"The more hopeless he feels, the better. The more likely he will be to take your suggestions."
[The A.A. Big Book "Alcoholics Anonymous", William G. Wilson, chapter 7, "Working With Others", page 94.]

Isn't that sweet?

I'm not saying that AA invented the attitude, but the idea that people must be beaten down and made to submit prior to meaningful change is central to the WOD, and to a whole culture of "toughness".

Peter Ferentzy, PhD
Author of Dealing With Addiction — why the 20th century was wrong
http://www.peterferentzy.com

Hi again, Peter,

Yes, exactly. Isn't that insidious? Talk about manipulative. And also arrogant and condescending. "He is such a loser that we should mess with his mind and get him to surrender to us."

And then they proclaim that they want to "remove the stigma of alcoholism". Yeh, right.

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**
**     The A.A. Plan: "Search out another alcoholic and
**     try again. You are sure to find someone desperate
**     enough to accept with eagerness what you offer."
**       ==  The Big Book, William G. Wilson, page 96.





July 23, 2011, Saturday, a side trip to the Fernhill Wetlands this summer:

Ducklings
Ducklings


Pelicans and Canada Geese
Pelicans and Canada Geese

The geese in the foreground are swimming towards me. They see me standing there, taking pictures, and they recognize me. They are thinking, "That's the guy who brings the bags of bread. Let's go check him out and see if he has any bread for us." I did.


Pelicans and Canada Geese
Pelicans and Canada Geese

[More gosling photos below, here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters269.html#Richard_B ]

Date: Wed, October 19, 2011 1:51 pm     (answered 21 October 2011)
From: "Richard B."
Subject: Big-time factual screwup

Richard B. here —

Just how reliable is http://www.nicd.us/AApeopleinHx.html

The entry for Aldous Huxley is not encouraging.

AH was a writer — novelist, essayist, screenplay writer, journalist. He was never a teacher. Nor a philosopher.

Neither did he write dozens of mysteries under the pseudonym H.F. Heard.

And if, as alleged, he contributed articles to Grapevine, this has escaped the notice of his biographers.

As to that cringe-making quote about Bill W. being "the greatest social architect of this century" — take that, Gandhi! — how is it that this never gets pinned down? DID he ever say that? And if so, where?

Best
rb


From: "Richard B."
Subject: Fw: Big-time factual screwup, correction to
Date: Wed, October 19, 2011 2:45 pm

I think I'm right about Huxley's biographers not mentioning his link to Grapevine. But there seems to have been one, however tenuous. See corrected version below.

Did you know that James Thurber wrote a spoof self-help book called "Let Your Mind Alone"? That pretty much sums up what I think. My brain has been re-wired quite enough already thank you.

Blushfully
rb


From: "Richard B."
Subject: Aldous Huxley, mind-blowing drugs, and the Wall Street hustler
Date: Thu, October 20, 2011 4:03 pm

Just after I wrote this I showed it to an AA acquaintance, who immediately urged me to remove the reference to Bill Wilson and LSD, lest it lead the faithful astray.

Yikes! Aren't AA members allowed to make their own judgments about a matter of historical fact?

No, because they've been infantilized.

If that's what they mean by a new freedom and a new happiness I'm not having any.

rb

Huxley essays. book review. Globe
Size: 65 k
Type: message/rfc822
From: Unknown sender

Hello again, Richard,

Not to fear. Aldous Huxley was just fine.

I am convinced that there is no truth to Bill Wilson's grandiose claim that Aldous Huxley called him the greatest social architect of the 20th century. That was just Bill Wilson bragging about himself and making up tall tales again. No truth to it. It's just like Bill Wilson's grandiose claim that all of the alcoholics in the world died before the wonderful Bill Wilson got Guidance From God and invented the 12-Step cure.

There is zero evidence that Aldous Huxley even thought anything good about Bill Wilson. There is no documentation. There are no quotes. Aldous Huxley never wrote anything good about Bill Wilson. There is only Bill Wilson bragging about himself, saying that Huxley said it.

There is only one reference to Bill Wilson in Aldous Huxley's writings. In his letters, Aldous Huxley mentioned that he and Bill Wilson had lunch together, and Bill Wilson was messing around with exotic drugs, and Aldous Huxley wanted to get some for a friend.

When a reader searched for any praise of Bill Wilson in Aldous Huxley's writings, this paragraph turned up in a letter that Huxley wrote to Humphry Osmond. Dr. Osmond, you will recall, was the researcher who supplied Bill Wilson with LSD. The date was September 16, 1960.

"Yesterday I lunched with Bill Wilson who spoke enthusiastically of his own experiences with leuco-adrenochrome and of the successful use of it on his ex-alcoholic neurotics. This really sounds like a break-through and I hope you are going ahead with clinical testing. Do you have any of the stuff to spare? If so, I'd be most grateful for a sample. It might relieve my tension-pains in the lower back, as it relieved Bill's aches and those of some of his friends. I would like too to be able to send a few pills to Laura, who has some of Bill's symptoms — tension, then exhaustion, and then tremendous drive to overcome the exhaustion."

So Bill Wilson was playing "candyman" and distributing drugs. That is all we have ever found about Bill Wilson in Huxley's books. There is nothing about Huxley admiring Wilson or thinking that Wilson's recycled Buchmanism was a wonderful new solution to alcoholism. Or that Bill Wilson was a great man. Just that Bill Wilson was a handy drug distributor.

Bill Wilson was a legend in his own mind. That is a classic sign of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

In addition, Huxley went on to write Island, which was Huxley's Utopia. In it, the high school graduates took a psychedelic drug and climbed a mountain together as their graduation ceremony. And when the crown price of the island had sexual problems, the wise elders gave him an older woman as a sex teacher. And the big strong men of the island worked off their aggressions by logging trees by hand with an ax — no chain saws. There were no "support groups", and no meetings, and no confession sessions, in Huxley's vision of Utopia, and no 12-Step programs, and no religion. Huxley specifically said that the wise elders of the island discouraged religions.

No, Huxley did not feel like including Bill Wilson or his "social architecture" in Huxley's vision of Paradise.

You can also read some other discussions of that grandiose "social architect" claim here:

I still have the challenge to the A.A. true believers open. If anybody still believes that Aldous Huxley said that Bill Wilson was the greatest social architect of the 20th century, let's see the evidence. Dig up some evidence besides Bill's lies about how great he was, and other fools parrotting that lie over and over, again and again, without any basis in fact. Like in that web page that you cited, a list of people who were supposedly A.A. heroes. Let's get the real evidence. Let's put all of the cards on the table face up for all to see.

I'll have to check out the James Thurber book. I haven't seen it, and it sounds interesting.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**
**     Classic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most
**     undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make
**     what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving
**     better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing.
**     ROLLING IN THE MUCK IS NOT THE BEST WAY OF GETTING CLEAN.
**       ==  Aldous Huxley





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters269.html#Karla_K ]

Date: Wed, October 19, 2011 6:32 pm     (answered 21 October 2011)
From: "Karla K"
Subject: and

What a close minded arrogant misinformed ignorant idiot you are. Where did you get your info from? The voices in your head?

Hello Karla,

Thanks for the question. Apparently, true information upsets you. Sorry about that.

I have lots of sources of information. They are listed in the bibliography, here. Check it out.

Notice that the bibliography starts with all of the most famous A.A. "council-approved" literature, like the "Big Book", and "12X12". Those were my first sources of information.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**
**    "The scarcest resource is not oil, metals, clean air,
**    capital, labour, or technology. It is our willingness
**    to listen to each other and learn from each other and
**    to seek the truth rather than seek to be right."
**      ==  Donella Meadows





[The previous letter from Meatbag is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters269.html#Meatbag ]

Date: Wed, October 19, 2011 9:08 pm     (answered 22 October 2011)
From: "Meatbag"
Subject: Re: Random Comments

Yeah, definitely not good for the goslings emotionally. As far as I can tell, everything with a central nervous system needs love to thrive. And probably some things that don't have a central nervous system, too.

Hi again, Meatbag,

Yes, it is just so cruel to say, "Take them down to the river and dump them. I don't care if they die." Of course the babies will go through a shock at being orphaned again. And worse, they don't have anybody to protect them from the cats.

To paraphrase Frank Zappa, I can't say that I'm a goose, but sometimes I wish I could say that I wasn't a people.

(For those who don't remember the 'sixties, Frank Zappa said, "I can't say that I'm black, but sometimes I wish I could say that I wasn't white.")

It was definitely a good thing for Columbus that there happened to be a couple of continents between Europe and Asia. Not so good for the locals of said continents, though.

Yes, funny how that worked out. If he had been right, he would have been dead. That was one of the luckiest screw-ups in history.

And don't remind me of that trickle-down nonsense. I already get inundated with that propaganda from my parents' rather questionable sources of news. Oh, and my parents. And my brother. MP3 players help a lot. So does logic and snark. (Fun fact: I heard one of my mom's talking heads on the radio [can't remember which. They all sound the same to me.] claim that millionaires get a 45% income. Even taking his word for it, that millionaire would still end up with $650,000. I would love to see that amount of money at once during my lifetime, even as a windfall.)

Yes, really. I would love to be one of those poor abused fellows who has to pay a 37% or 45% tax rate on an income of $2 million per year. (Heck, Elvis thrived on a 92% tax rate.)

Isn't that the price of doing business in the USA? Frank Buchman and his pro-fascist propagandists had an Up With People song that said something like,

Freedom isn't free,
You have to pay for your liberty.

Funny how freedom is supposed to be free for the millionaires. It's just the little people who have to pay.

Speaking of conservatives, I'm pretty sure Morgs
<http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters153.html#Morgs>
would lionize you if you parroted his views. It's funny. Conservatives love that "support the troops" claptrap, but complain about paying a very small fraction of a disabled vet's probably rather paltry disability benefits. Guess slogans really don't mean much of anything, after all.

Indeed. I have a friend in Veterans For Peace who remarked, "They ask me why I don't support the troops. I tell them, 'Heck, I AM the troops!'"

The flag-wavers love the troops while they are "over there", and begrudge them health care and pensions and disability payments and job retraining when they get back. And "super-patriots" really get pissed if the veterans criticize the war.

Actually, they also begrudge the soldiers a decent wage while they are over there. Military salaries are never on par with civilian wages. The military deal is that soldiers get to duck bullets for a substandard wage. And often, their wives and children have to get food stamps.

The Congressmen and Senators scream when somebody tries to raise the military salaries. "We can't afford such extravagance. Three percent is too generous." Funny how the country can afford two wars, and missiles, and aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines and jet airplanes that the Pentagon doesn't even want (because the parts are made in key Congressmens' and Senators' districts). But the country can't afford to raise the pay of the soldiers. Yeh, right.

The actual wages of the military personnel are really only a tiny percentage of the military budget. A very tiny percentage. Increasing the servicemens' and servicewomens' pay can be easily financed by merely ordering a few less hi-tech toys.

Oh, and while I'm on my soapbox about that, notice how the troops in Iraq had to buy their own flak jackets and scrounge through the dump to get metal plates for armor for their vehicles. Remember Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld getting embarrassed by a soldier complaining about that in a press conference? But the Congress still insisted that no unneeded jet airplane or weapons program that cost billions could be cut... What a crazy, warped set of values.

Again, it's the little people who suffer, while the fat cats raid that national treasury. Same thing as how Wall Street got bailed out, and Main Street got foreclosed on.

Anyhow, the only way Nessie could survive is if she regularly moved lakes. Even then, large dinosaurs are not exactly known for stealth, and there would be several fishless lakes by now. And Nessie would probably leave footprints, droppings, and destruction during her journey, as just about any deer hunter can tell you. Besides, how could she be the Loch Ness Monster if she doesn't live in Loch Ness?

Indeed. The only people who seem to have been sensible about such monsters were the Japanese science fiction film makers. They had Godzilla and Mithra and other creatures rising from the depths of the Pacific Ocean — the Mariannas Trench, I think. That's realistic. You could hide anything in the Mariannas Trench, even Mount Everest.

Incidentally, I'm sure you would be delighted to know that I changed the host OS on my laptop from Windows 7 to Linux Mint, which I previously had as one of my guest OSes. The reason I did so didn't have anything to do with getting infected by a virus (between Firefox and Kaspersky, my system's always been clean). Instead, I had my Windows XP VM open to build a nice ranch in The Sims 1 (which is too old to consistently install and run well in 7). I then put my laptop down to go get something to eat with my dad. While I was gone, Windows 7 restarted itself to finish installing updates (not the first time this happened, but definitely the last straw). I lost the ranch I spent over an hour designing. You know what else shuts down your system without your permission (no, Microsoft, turning on automatic updates does not count) or input? Malware. And yes, I do know I just used the fallacy of one similarity.

Wow. That's wierd. It phones the mothership and downloads updates without your permission? That's spooky. I'm glad I have nothing to do with that.

Only reason I didn't switch earlier was that I was rather reluctant to get rid of software I paid for by virtue of buying my laptop, especially since I would have to pirate it if I decided to reinstall it (why did OEMs get the bright idea of not including the system discs? I once pirated XP because my legit installation got trashed by some software that didn't install properly). I got around that by converting my system into a virtual hard drive, leaving it and my other VMs on an otherwise-empty NTFS partition (my Windows 7 virtual drive alone took up 64 GB of my actual hard drive space), and installing Linux Mint. Only Windows system I have now is my gaming rig, since commercial PC game developers don't tend to acknowledge the existence of any OS that's not Windows or, in rare cases, Mac OS X. And I have yet to encounter an open-source game that needs anything more powerful than my laptop. I'll admit that an impressive number of commercial games do seem to run well under Wine, though. Not my Sims 1, though, sadly.

Thanks for the tip. I have a whole mess of Sims 1 disks that I'm going to do something with someday. Actually, Simcity is my favorite game. I have yet to ever play with The Sims, but friends tell me that it's a gas.

I actually got a legal copy of Windows Vista on the laptop that I'm typing on at this minute. (I bought the laptop used, and that OS was on it. And the "Genuine Microsoft" authorization sticker was on the bottom of the taptop. And still is.) I tried to keep Windows Vista and make use of it. No way. It was such a mess that I erased it and installed Linux because I needed a system where I could do useful work to update this web site.

Funny how the free stuff is better than what you buy.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**
**     The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation
**     of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a
**     temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin.
**     But both are the refuge of political and economic
**     opportunists.
**        ==  Ernest Hemingway, Notes on the Next War

[The next letter from Meatbag is here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters269.html#Cassian_H ]

Date: Thu, October 20, 2011 6:12 pm     (answered 22 October 2011)
From: "Cassian H."
Subject: Why waste your time?

That's the question that I ask Alcoholics Anonymous members: "Why waste your time foisting cult religion and quack medicine on sick people when it only makes them worse?"

What is the point of 70 years of lying and deceit and exaggerating the A.A. success rate? Other than to perpetuate the cult...

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Foisting ineffective quack medicine on sick people is not
**     a wonderful noble act of self-sacrifice to help others;
**     it is the reprehensible behavior of a damned fool.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters269.html#John_McC ]

Date: Wed, October 19, 2011 10:35 pm     (answered 22 October 2011)
From: "John McC."
Subject: Petition to Stop Court Assignments to Faith Based Recovery Programs

Hi,

It is well known that most people who get a DUI are forced to go to AA. What is not well known is that AA has been declared a "Religious Organization" more than once in court, and such assignments are unconstitutional. There are recovery programs aside from AA, including secular ones, and these options should be made available. Smart Recovery, Rational Recovery, Secular [Organization] for Sobriety (SOS) Woman For Sobriety, and Lifering, The Clean Slate, and Hank Hayes's 5 Master Keys Formula.

The Time is now that average citizens are given a choice. AA has no safety measures in place to protect members from Sexual Harassment, Financial Scamming, or Sexual Battery and is proving to be a dangerous place to send unsuspecting citizens.

So I signed a petition to Governor Jerry Brown, which says:

"Stop unwanted mandating of Citizens to Faith Based Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Offer people alternatives to these 12 step meetings. Encourage Empowerment to our citizens, not a powerless faith healing antiquated institution."

Will you sign this petition? Click here:

http://signon.org/sign/petition-to-stop-court?source=s.em.mt&r;_by=1179565

Thanks!

thank you, John, and of course I signed it too.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The less reasonable a cult is,
**     the more men seek to establish it by force.
**       —  Jean Jacques Rousseau





[The previous letter from Les_A is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters269.html#Les_A ]

Date: Fri, October 21, 2011 9:22 pm     (answered 24 October 2011)
From: "Les A."
Subject:

After reading your intro I understand your bitter and hate filled attitude toward AA, I do not attend institutional meetings because of the perversion that the "treatment centers" have brought to it. Your judgments are unfounded and per-suppose that your very limited experience gives you the right to judge the effectiveness of AA. You are doing far more damage than the treatment centers themselves are. I hope you will never need AA yourself since you have gone to such great length to prove your presuppositions with more opinion than fact.

May God Bless you and Forgive You Les

Please check out the book I wrote.Click Here.
>>>
>>>Thinking about going to Truck Driver School? Then this book is a must read!
>>>
>>>

Hello again, Les,

You still don't seem to understand that it does not matter in the slightest whether I am angry. That does not change the A.A. failure rate even a tiny bit.

Now I know that you have been indoctrinated and miseducated by A.A., and you think that "having a resentment" is a bad thing, and that if we are angry, we are "axiomatically spiritually wrong". Bill Wilson wrote that crazy nonsense. Recognize it?

That isn't true at all. Being angry at bad doctors and fake healers who foist ineffective quack medicine on sick people is a very good thing, and it helps to get rid of bad medicine.

Also notice how it was okay for Bill Wilson to "have a resentment" against his wife Lois, nursing a grudge against her for 20 years after she called him "a drunken sot" for getting drunk and throwing screaming temper tantrums and tearing up the house. Bill Wilson got even with Lois by writing in the Big Book that she was selfish and silly and dishonest and unspiritual. No resentment, huh? Then Bill Wilson taught Al-Anon that such wives "damaged" their husbands by siding with the kids against the abusive drunken husbands. Not a resentment?

I attended lots of A.A. meetings that were not in an institutional setting. I also went to the local A.A. clubhouse, where a Pollyanna babbled about how wonderful it was that the genius Bill Wilson invented 12 such perfect Steps that would cure all of the problems of the world. Not just alcohol abuse, but all of the problems of the world. And another guy there handed out reprints of the Why We Were Chosen By God nonsense. Such mentally ill people are not qualified to give out life-critical advice or to heal others.

You claim that my "judgements are unfounded". Actually, I've done a lot of research and study for the last 11 years, and my judgements are based on the best information and medical reports available. Let's see your clinical studies, please. What controlled studies do you have that show that A.A. works and fixes alcoholics?

And once again, we have another Stepper declaring that telling the truth about Alcoholics Anonymous is "doing damage". That is just such a tired old line, such an over-used escape from the truth. Since A.A. does not work, telling the truth about A.A. cannot possible hurt sick people. The only thing that could be damaged is the cult called "A.A." and the corporation called "Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.".

I don't see any answers to any of my previous questions:

  • What is the real A.A success rate? Out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A., how many will pick up a 1-year coin for sobriety? How about the 10-year coin? The 20-year coin?

  • What about Tom Cruise and Scientology and Narconon? Why shouldn't we believe the numbers that Scientology publishes about their "great success rate" in curing alcoholism and drug addiction? After all, the Scientology numbers were produced with the same care and accuracy as the A.A. claims of success.

  • What about Dr. Vaillant the A.A. Trustee and the appalling death rate that he got from treating alcoholics with A.A.?

You aren't going to just ignore such important questions, now are you?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "If you ain't angry, you ain't paying attention."
**        ==  Mumia Abu Jamal





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters269.html#Taylor_W ]

Date: Sat, October 22, 2011 6:05 am     (answered 24 October 2011)
From: "Taylor W."
Subject: Making it

Orange,

I had intended to write you yesterday, but never got around to it. Yesterday (the 21st of October, 2011) was exactly one year since I've had anything to drink. Just another person cleaning up their life the old fashioned way.

Reflecting on it, I wouldn't say it's the best year I've lived, but I could rightly say it's the best year I've had in quite some time. Perhaps more importantly, the improved quality of living is almost entirely attributable to not being so intoxicated so often.

Thanks to both you, and those who take time to participate on the board or write you letters.

-Taylor

Hello Taylor,

Thank you for the letter, and congratulations on your year. That really is a big deal. Like a matter of life and death.

And it gets easier from here. Getting that first year is the hardest part of it.

Coincidentally, I just had a birthday, too, on the 20th, just the day before yours. Now it will be really easy to remember your birthday.

You know, some people like to count time and recognize "birthdays", and some don't. Personally, I think it's a good thing to pause once a year and reflect on how much better the previous year has been than it was back when I was drinking and smoking. That gives another kind of encouragement to keep it up.

(And actually, I get the same kind of positive feedback every time I ride my bicycle uphill. I notice that I am no longer desperately gasping for a little air. Maybe breathing hard, but not desperately gasping and feeling like I'm going to die. I just don't experience that "sick in the guts" weakness any more.) And now and then, just once in a while, I wake up in the morning and realize that I'm not hung over. That's good too.)

So have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      The first wealth is health. Sickness is poor-spirited,
**      and cannot serve any one; it must husband its resources to
**      live. But health answers its own ends, and has to spare;
**      runs over, and inundates the neighborhoods and creeks of
**      other men's necessities.
**        ==  Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803—1882), American Poet and Essayist

[The next letter from Taylor_W is here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters269.html#VV ]

Date: Sat, October 22, 2011 9:25 am     (answered 24 October 2011)
From: VV
Subject: hi terry

I just wanted to say..... thankyou, thankyou, thankyou. You have many friends out here.You can certainly count me as one of very many. oh, and....

Have a great day and a great life..... luv the gosling photos.

Hello VV,

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

Oh, and I love the gosling photos too. Those are such beautiful little guys.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The only true joy on earth is to escape from the prison of our
**     own false self, and enter by love into union with the Life Who
**     dwells within the essence of every creature and in the core of
**     our own souls.
**         ==  Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation





July 23, 2011: Saturday, another side trip to the Fernhill Wetlands:

a Great Blue Heron
A Great Blue Heron

July 24, 2011: Sunday, another side trip to the Fernhill Wetlands:

Female Northern Pintail Duck
A Femaile Northern Pintail Duck

Blackbird
Blackbird

[The story of Carmen continues here.]





[The previous letter from Laurence_C is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters269.html#Laurence_C ]

Date: Sat, October 22, 2011 1:36 pm     (answered 24 October 2011)
From: "Laurence C."
Subject: Karla K

Hi Orange

Regarding Karla K comments October 19th 2011 6.32PM

"What a close minded arrogant misinformed ignorant idiot you are. Where did you get your info from? The voices in your head?"

That's got to be the funniest stepper rant I've ever heard. The sheer audacity of these people can be quite astonishing. How can a stepper dare accuse anybody else of being "a close minded arrogant misinformed ignorant idiot..... and getting information from voices in their head to boot???" She's actually defined a stepper better than you could :-)

Where the hell do these people crawl out of? If it wasn't for the real evil these deviants spread, preying on the sick and vulnerable, they'd actually be quite amusing.

Thanks for all your work and have a brilliant day

Laurence UK


Date: Sat, October 22, 2011 1:48 pm     (answered 24 October 2011)
From: "Laurence C."
Subject: Karla K again

Regarding Karla K again....... I can't stop laughing at what she said.......... not all steppers are evil, many of them just don't have a clue!!! The light is on, but there is nobody home.

Best

Laurence UK

Hello again, Laurence,

Yes, wasn't that such a classic example of the psychological technique called "projection" — accusing others of the very sins or misbehavior of which one is guilty? "Being close-minded and just listening to the voices in your head"?

Welcome to Step 11.

I agree that if they weren't misleading a lot of sick people that they would be very amusing. Somebody could make a whacked-out "reality-based" sitcom: "Joe and Sally join Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon, while Tom joins the Moonies and Fred becomes a Scientologist. They all live together in a big house and argue constantly."

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**
**    A 2003 study by the American Psychological Association found:
**    "that conservatism can be explained as a set of beliefs and
**    behaviors that result from a psyche controlled by fear,
**    aggression, closed-minded dogmatism, and intolerance of
**    ambiguity, compounded by mental rigidity and decreased
**    cognitive complexity [dumbness]."
**       == Robert Weitzel, The Trouble With The Entire World Is A Guy Named Ron,
**     Published on Monday, May 14, 2007 by CommonDreams.org
**
**    And the same seems to be true of the fundamentalists
**    and true believers of any cult or religion.





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Last updated 15 February 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters269.html