Letters, We Get Mail, CCLXXII



[The previous letter from Brian_R is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters272.html#Brain_R ]

Date: Thu, November 3, 2011 8:54 am     (answered 4 October 2011)
From: "Brian R."
Subject: Re: excellent writing

Sorry, but I just had time to read your reply.

I have reviewed the references and I don't disagree that a book or set of books written by religious people seems religious. But in actual application it simply isn't.

For one thing, there is no money involved.

But I want to make clear that criticism is not only good it's imperative. I simply think making rash conclusions like "kills more people than it helps" is so hyperbolic that it leaves the realm of informed criticism and becomes irresponsible journalism.

AA is a radically imperfect solution that, like democracy, is simply the best answer we currently have.

If you have evidence of AA killing people I'd love to review it and think about it pragmatically.

All I can really say is that my family has been transformed in a positive way since I started practicing the AA principles. My religious views haven't changed and if anything I'm far more tolerant of differing views than I have ever been in the past.

I too have witnessed the oddball zealots that misuse and abuse the program, but I have found that to be in the minority.

All the best.

Brian R.
Management, Supervision and Consulting

Hello again, Brian,

Thanks for the compliments.

I have to dispute this line: "For one thing, there is no money involved."

There are immense amounts of money involved. The "recovery industry" is a 20-billion-dollar-per-year racket, and Alcoholics Anonymous dominates the racket. Plenty of A.A. recruiters make a living selling the 12-Step cult to the suckers. And the victims pay anything from $7000 to $40,000 for 28 days of indoctrination in an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties.

This paragraph is nonsensical, and a prime example of denial:

I have reviewed the references and I don't disagree that a book or set of books written by religious people seems religious. But in actual application it simply isn't.

In actual application, Alcoholics Anonymous is a crazy irrational cult religion that expects an invisible "higher power" to solve all of their problems and tell them what to do (but only after they confess everything).

Read this file: "It's Spiritual, Not Religious"

This line is also an example of minimization and denial:

I too have witnessed the oddball zealots that misuse and abuse the program, but I have found that to be in the minority.

Even if only five or ten percent of the A.A. members are crazy fanatics, that is enough to kill a lot of victims with quackery, especially when they are the oldtimers who act as sponsors and give instruction to the newcomers.

And actually, the numbers are far worse than that. A while back, I ran across a survey on A.A. members' attitudes towards medications, and it claimed that A.A. members were not at all dogmatic about medications — only 17% of the sponsors were against them. The authors of that article were very pro-A.A., and they were trying to put a smiley-face on the issue, and trying to minimize the problem of A.A. religious fanatics telling newcomers to quit taking their doctor-prescribed medications.

The standard A.A. slogan is: "Meds quiet the still small voice of God."

What the writers of the article did not seem to be able to realize is: that meant that any person with both a psychiatric and a drug or alcohol problem had a 17% chance of getting a bad sponsor who just might kill him or her with stupid orders...

The same goes for people with any other serious medical problems that require medications.

(See: Alcoholics Anonymous and the Use of Medications to Prevent Relapse: An Anonymous Survey of Member Attitudes. ROBERT G. RYCHTARIK; GERARD J. CONNORS; KURT H. DERMEN; PAUL R. STASIEWICZ. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Jan 2000 v61 i1 p134.)

Guess what 17% is equal to? That is almost exactly a one-in-six chance — the odds in Russian Roulette. Would you actually play real Russian Roulette with a Colt 45 six-shooter that had one bullet in it? Would you advise a friend to?

Would you go to a medical clinic where you knew that you had a one-in-six chance of getting a quack doctor who might do you great harm, or even kill you with his stupidity?

Would you send a patient to a faith-healing cult where you knew they would tell him to stop taking his medications and just trust God to heal him?

Lastly, you said,

AA is a radically imperfect solution that, like democracy, is simply the best answer we currently have.

Actually, A.A. is the worst thing that we have. In repeated clinical tests of A.A., it was found to be the worst way of treating alcoholics.

  1. Dr. Jeffrey Brandsma found that A.A. indoctrination greatly increased the rate of binge drinking in alcoholics. People who were sent to A.A. ended up, after 9 months of A.A., doing FIVE TIMES as much binge drinking as another group of alcoholics who got no such help, and NINE TIMES as much binge drinking as another group that got Rational Behavior Therapy.

  2. Dr. Keith Ditman found that A.A. involvement increased the rate of re-arrests for drunkenness.

  3. Dr. Diana Walsh found that "free" A.A. just messed up a lot of alcoholics and made them require more expensive hospitalization later.

  4. Doctors Orford and Edwards found that just having a doctor talk to alcoholics and their wives for just one hour, one time ever, telling them to quit drinking or they were going to die, was just as effective as an entire year of 12-Step-based treatment that included all of the facilities of the hospital.

  5. This one is the most damning evidence of all, because it came from a doctor who loves Alcoholics Anonymous, and is one of its biggest promoters. He is (or was) also a member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.. Doctor George E. Vaillant (who later became a Professor of Psychology at Harvard University), clearly demonstrated that A.A. treatment kills patients. For eight years, while he tried to prove that A.A. works, his A.A.-based treatment program had a zero-percent success rate above normal spontaneous remission, and worse, it had the highest death rate of any kind of alcoholism treatment that he studied. Dr. Vaillant candidly called the A.A. death rate "appalling". At the end of 8 years, the score with his first 100 A.A.-treated patients was: 5 sober, 29 dead, and 66 still drinking.

    But 5% per year is the normal rate of spontaneous remission in alcoholics — what Dr. Vaillant called "the natural history of alcoholism". That's how many alcoholics recover on their own, without any "treatment" or "support group". A.A. cannot claim the credit for those recoveries, no matter whether they attend some A.A. meetings or not, and Dr. Vaillant clearly said that. So 5 minus 5 equals zero, the real A.A. recovery rate.

  6. And then, even though these items have not been surveyed and documented by doctors, there is plenty of evidence that the A.A. suicide rate and the A.A. divorce rate are big problems too.

Obviously, we need recovery organizations and methods that do not kill so many patients.

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

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





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters272.html#Ray_S ]

Date: Thu, November 3, 2011 3:10 pm     (answered 4 November 2011)
From: "Ray S."
Subject: never-before-published letters and recordings of Al-Anon's early founders

Oh boy, new 12step BS that I'll end up reading. Received this in my inbox:

In celebration of Al-Anon's 60th anniversary, Hazelden is releasing never-before-published letters and recordings of Al-Anon's early founders, including Lois Wilson and Anne Smith, in We Recovered Too; The Family Groups' Beginnings in the Pioneers' Own Words. With its roots in the early days of Alcoholics Anonymous, when wives joined their husbands at the AA meetings and found refuge and understanding in one another, Al-Anon Family Groups has grown into a robust worldwide fellowship of men and women healing from the impact of addiction.

Through colorful firsthand accounts told through rare recordings of interviews and speeches, diary entries, and other documents dating from the 1940s, recovery historian and beloved author Michael Fitzpatrick presents the inspiring story of Al-Anon. Discover how cofounders Anne B. and Lois W. guided the growth of these groundbreaking groups, later known as Clearing House and, ultimately, Al-Anon. Take an intimate peek into these visionaries' lives through never-before-published letters provided by Stepping Stones, the historical home of Bill W. and Lois W. Listen to recordings collected by Al-Anon pioneer Arbutus O. See how the program used by the early "Wives Groups" has evolved over time. Not only will you become a witness to Al-Anon history, you will find inspiration and insight into the core principles and practices that have made this a lifesaving program for thousands worldwide.

View a video about the book that was created by author Michael Fitzpatrick.

Hello again, Ray,

Thanks for the tip. I'll have to check that out. Obviously, it's some fawning, drooling propaganda, just some more revisionist history.

I just regret that what we get spoon-fed is so censored and sanitized. I'd like to see the good stuff in those locked and sealed historical archives that they will never publish, like, "Did Bill Wilson really relapse repeatedly, like every year or so?"

Have a good day now.

== 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





July 24, 2011, Sunday, a side trip to the Fernhill Wetlands this summer:

Duck+Ducklings
Mama Duck and her two ducklings


Canada Goose Goslings
Canada Goose Goslings, eating oatmeal
This is that same family of 5 that you saw a few pictures earlier. These little guys are nearly grown full-size. The date is July 24, and the babies are already almost as large as their parents, and you have to look closely to distinguish them from their parents. They grow so fast that it is unreal. Still, they don't usually mature so early in the summer. This year there were four pairs of geese who started their broods very early in the spring, so their babies have gotten big a little ahead of schedule.


Flashback two years: Now it's May 23, 2009, back to Carmen's time:

Goslings
Goslings at Waterfront Park in downtown Portland

[More gosling photos below, here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters272.html#Howard ]

Date: Fri, November 4, 2011 10:10 am     (answered 7 November 2011)
From: "Howard"
Subject: Your "article"

Man, who peed in your coffee? I thought your diatribe on the "evils" of AA was, at best, sad. I won't give you the satisfaction of defending AA's tradition or principles. Either take it or leave it, it's anyone's CHOICE.

You sound like a very bitter person, I wish you well though.

Howard S

Hello Howard,

Thank you for the letter and the good wishes.

A.A. isn't "anyone's choice". People are sentenced to A.A. every day, and people have A.A. foisted on them by treatment centers after they were told that they would get good treatment.

And the problem with A.A. is that it is actually very harmful, and makes matters worse, not better.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**
**    "Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism,
**    but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling."
**      ==  Dr. George E. Vaillant, formerly a member of the A.A. Board of
**    Trustees, describing the treatment of alcoholism with Alcoholics
**    Anonymous, in "The Natural History of Alcoholism: Causes, Patterns,
**    and Paths to Recovery", Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA,
**    1983, pages 283-286.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters272.html#Albert_L ]

Date: Fri, November 4, 2011 2:00 pm     (answered 7 November 2011)
From: "Albert L."
Subject: Who are you

1st of all who are you and why are you so obssesed with why AA doesn't work. Did someone neglect you at a meeting or are you just closed minded. What you fail to understand is that AA gives people at the end of their ropes the last hope they have. I'm not a member of AA but I would just like to know what caused you towrite this drivel? Don't you have better things to do with your life than to put down a group of people who just wants to be Free from Alcohol. These people come in hopeless and with the help of other Alcoholics gain a little bit of meaning and sense of self-worth. Nothing and no one is perfect, except you it seems, but perfection is not their goal. Their goal is to get through today with out using alcohol. Is that so bad or would you prefer they get loaded and god forbid get in a car and kill someone close to you. Didn't yourbparents teach you that if you have nothing good to say about someone dont say it. Life is too short.... Get yourself a Life before its too late Albert

Hello Albert,

Thank you for the letter. I'll have to go through that line by line. Your subject line asked "Who are you?" My name is Terrance Hodgins, and I live in Oregon. You can read more here: who are you, and who are you, again.

  • 1st of all who are you and why are you so obssesed with why AA doesn't work.

    First of all, and above all, it is a despicable crime to foist ineffective quack medicine and cult religion on sick people, and lie to them about how well it works. Alcoholics Anonymous has been doing that for 70 years now. That's why I criticize A.A.

  • Did someone neglect you at a meeting or are you just closed minded.

    You can read the history in the introduction, here.

  • What you fail to understand is that AA gives people at the end of their ropes the last hope they have.

    No, actually, A.A. attacks people's hopes and makes them feel hopeless and inferior, and even drives some of them to suicide.

    Maybe you have disturbed him about the question of alcoholism. This is all to the good. The more hopeless he feels, the better. He will be more likely to follow your suggestions.
    The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, chapter 7, "Working With Others", page 94.

    Messing with sick people's minds to manipulate them and get them to join a cult religion is also a despicable crime.

  • I'm not a member of AA but I would just like to know what caused you towrite this drivel?

    You are not a member of A.A., huh? So why are you so upset about me criticizing a cult that you don't belong to?

    Do you also get that upset when I criticize Scientology for selling their fraudulent "drug and alcohol treatment" called NARCONON?

    Here is the list of causes:

    1. the introduction, my introduction to A.A.
    2. the "treatment" bait-and-switch trick
    3. another friend goes missing
    4. who are you
    5. who are you, again
    6. really an alcoholic...
    7. definitions of "an alcoholic"
    8. the story about "Rat Park"
    9. history of the Orange Papers, and
    10. creation of the web site
    11. censorship
    12. the "Orange" name.
    13. There are some recent pictures of me and my little friends here and here and here.

  • Don't you have better things to do with your life than to put down a group of people who just wants to be Free from Alcohol.

    A.A. is much more than that. It is a harmful cult that pretends to have a cure for alcohol abuse, but all that they sell is an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties.

  • These people come in hopeless and with the help of other Alcoholics gain a little bit of meaning and sense of self-worth.

    Baloney. Self-worth? The scribblings of Bill Wilson do nothing but put alcoholics down and talk about how bad they are. A.A. claims that they want to remove the stigma of alcoholism, but they actually do just the opposite:

    1. ...the body of the alcoholic is quite as abnormal as his mind. It did not satisfy us to be told that we could not control our drinking just because we were maladjusted to life, that we were in full flight from reality, or were outright mental defectives. These things were true to some extent, in fact, to a considerable extent with some of us. But we are sure that our bodies were sickened as well.
      The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, page XXIV.

    2. An alcoholic in his cups is an unlovely creature.
      The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, page 16.

    3. We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God discipline us in the simple way we have just outlined.
      The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, page 88.

    4. Few indeed are the practicing alcoholics who have any idea how irrational they are, or seeing their irrationality, can bear to face it. Some will be willing to term themselves "problem drinkers," but cannot endure the suggestion that they are in fact mentally ill. ... no alcoholic ... can claim 'soundness of mind' for himself.
      Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 33.

    5. Alcoholics especially should be able to see that instinct run wild in themselves is the underlying cause of their destructive drinking. ... This perverse soul-sickness is not pleasant to look upon.
      Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 44.

    6. By now the newcomer has probably arrived at the following conclusions: that his character defects, representing instincts gone astray, have been the primary cause of his drinking and his failure at life...
      Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 50.

      "Instinct run wild", "character defects", and "instincts gone astray" — that's three more of Bill Wilson's goofy "primary causes of alcoholism".

    There is more, much, much more. Read this: The "Us Stupid Drunks" Conspiracy.

  • Nothing and no one is perfect, except you it seems, but perfection is not their goal. Their goal is to get through today with out using alcohol.

    Baloney. It's a cult religion. The real goal is to manufacture cult followers. And Bill Wilson said so:

    At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not an end in itself. Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.
    The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Into Action, page 77.

  • Is that so bad or would you prefer they get loaded and god forbid get in a car and kill someone close to you.

    That is an attempt to use the propaganda trick known as the The Either/Or Technique. It is not a matter of EITHER join a cult religion OR drive drunk and kill somebody. The vast majority of recovered people do neither of those things. I, for example, have 11 years of sobriety now, and I don't belong to any cult religion.

  • Didn't yourbparents teach you that if you have nothing good to say about someone dont say it.

    That that is the propaganda trick called Spurious Delegitimization of Evidence or Criticism.

    Quack medicine and fraud deserve to get criticized. In fact, the pushers deserve to be put in prison for fraud.

  • Life is too short.... Get yourself a Life before its too late

    I have a happy life already, thank you for your concern for my welfare.

    Now the question is, "Why are you wasting your life getting angry about someone telling the truth about an old cult religion that promotes fraud and quack medicine — something that you claim you don't belong to?"

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "...AA certainly functions as a cult and systematically
**     indoctrinates its members in ways common to cults the
**     world over.  ...in the absence of proven scientific
**     efficacy, critics are legitimate in suggesting that
**     mandated AA attendance may be criticized as a failure
**     of proper separation between church and state."
**     == A.A. Trustee Prof. Dr. George E. Vaillant,
**     The Natural History Of Alcoholism Revisited, page 266.

[The next letter from Albert_L is here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters272.html#CJ ]

Date: Sat, November 5, 2011 7:31 am     (answered 7 November 2011)
From: "CJ"
Subject: AA Horror Story

Hello:

My name is CJ. I'm a freelance journalist and short story writer and hopefully my novel, Good Material, will be getting published soon. It is an AA horror story. Your site did a lot to free my mind from the religious indoctrination I was prey to in AA.

I was raised by an abusive AA member who, of course, told me I was alcoholic since before I ever had a drink. In fact, everyone is an alcoholic in his mind. He still tries to tell me my mom is an alcoholic and I never saw her drink. He claims one night she jumped out of a car to get away from him because she was drunk. I'm guessing it has more to do with the fact that he's got an explosive violent temper whether he's drunk or sober.

The fact is, he hides behind his sobriety and never dealt whatsoever with his multitudinous character defects. The man is a saint in his eyes just because he hasn't had a drink in a while (he lies about how long he's been sober for 10-12 years also).

Anyway, he's an AA nut and my mom is a Jesus freak and between them these two harmful influences, I believe, set me up to later become a drug addict. The horror of it is I that I ended up in AA trying to treat my addictions, a religious program for people who are often the victims of religion.

It seems this must often be the case. People in AA are always saying things like "This isn't your religion's God" in there and I was informed repeatedly that I had blocked God out and that was the basis of my problems.

Well, yes, I became an atheist at 15. Probably the sanest thing I'd ever done up until that point. And, after that, for decades, my mom would tell me, every time anything went wrong, it was because I didn't have Jesus in my life and my dad would tell me, every time something went wrong, is was because of drinking.

Granted, drinking was a factor in many situations that later arose.

However, joining a nutty cult that tells you your parents did the best they could and to ignore their effect on you completely and turn yourself into a god-slave just didn't exactly have the greatest effect on me.

Furthermore, I developed terrible anxiety and when God couldn't fix it I was encouraged to just do what my doctor said and take xanax which I developed a monstruous addiction to.

I then spent a year and a half weaning myself off xanax and going through withdrawals (they last that long in some cases).

So, after years of pain, suffering and idiocy I still went out and drank because I was so bitter about being bamboozled by AA. However, I was able to moderate my drinking, I found out. I just limited my drinks and didn't take drugs and since then it's never been a problem.

I read on here lots of people are told not to take medications and suffered at the hands of AA. I've seen that happen too. However, in my case, I was encouraged to take medications and suffered. My sponsor told me to take the xanax daily everytime I felt uncomfortable and, if I wasn't programmed to follow his instructions by everyone telling me in AA "everytime something goes wrong its because you didn't listen to your sponsor" I would have known better. In fact, despite the fact I knew better (I'm a heavy researcher) such was my inculcated fear of relapse and the need for dependence on AA that I followed his instructions and almost died or went permanently insane.

I've actually gone to meetings to talk newcomers out of coming and shoot down arguments to keep them there in order to protect people from the Cult. I feel it's a duty.

The fact is it hurts my pride I ever fell for the AA bullshit. But I've forced myself to admit it to myself. I figure it's the price of freedom.

I suspect there are people who never learn how to moderate and need total abstinence. But no one needs to have their psyches interfered with by the Cult.

CJ

Hello CJ,

Thank you for the story. Yes, it's one for the horror story list.

I'm sorry to hear about your suffering. I'm glad to hear that you finally got out of it and are feeling better now.

So have a good day and a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      Someday, maybe there will exist a well-informed, well-considered,
**      and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all
**      possible sins is the mutilation of a child's spirit.
**         ==  Erik Erikson

P.S. 2012.08.23: By the way, CJ, let me give you a belated thanks for being a member in good standing of the Newcomer Rescue League. Going to A.A. meetings and warning the newcomers about the bad advice and falsehoods that they are hearing is a very good thing to do, and may save lives.

Also, please do not feel guilty or stupid about having been fooled by the A.A. cult for a while. They are some of the most skilled cult propagandists in the world. And they had a 75-year head start on you. They have had 75 years of practice in fooling newcomers. Even more than that, actually, because Bill Wilson and Doctor Bob just copied all of the mind games and deceptive recruiting techniques of the Oxford Group cult religion. And Frank Buchman, boss of the Oxford Group, in turn, copied that junk from his mentor Henry B. Wright of Yale University, who copied his stuff from others before him. So they had a couple of centuries of old cult mind games to use on you. You were a defenseless babe in the woods surrounded by rapid wolves. It was never a fair fight.

We talked about the same thing in this letter:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters237.html#LJ

Have a good day now.

== Orange





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters272.html#Martin D. ]

Date: Sat, November 5, 2011 12:43 pm     (answered 7 November 2011)
From: Martin D.
Subject: Orange Papers

Hello A. Orange —

I am 47 years abstinent from alcohol. I consider myself a recovered alcoholic, and I attribute my beginning recovery to AA. In general I learned my way of life in AA. I founded an alcoholic recovery home (in no way treatment) in 1968 and served as executive director until retirement in 2000. I was a skeptic and iconoclast in the "alcoholism field" resisting the march to treatment, including opposing the designation of alcoholism as a disease and proclaiming that AA is treatment. I believed, and believe, those designations were misguided at best and a fraud at worst with potential for great harm to both persons judged to be "alcoholic"and to AA as a fellowship. It was shoveling sand against the tide.

I agree with many of your conclusions, and find your papers extensive and informative and worthy of further study and consideration. However, two things bother me: 1) the tone seems personally antagonistic and reactive, way beyond a professional disagreement and calling AA into question (as to misuse and clouded in myth), and 2) I assume "A. Orange" is a pseudonym.

My questions: a) who are you and what is your background? and b) what is the basis for your enmity?

Thank you,
Martin D.

Hello Martin,

Thank you for a reasonable letter. Congratulations for your years of sobriety and your wise decision not to kill yourself.

And the answers to your questions are simple: My birth name is Terrance Hodgins, and I live in Forest Grove, Oregon.

The reason for my emotional tone is because I consider it a despicable crime to foist ineffective quack medicine and cult religion on sick people and lie to them about how well it works. I have seen people — nice people — die from that.

I have already answered the autobiographical questions many times. All of the details about who I am, and my history, can be found here:

  1. the introduction, my introduction to A.A.
  2. the "treatment" bait-and-switch trick
  3. another friend goes missing
  4. who are you
  5. who are you, again
  6. really an alcoholic...
  7. definitions of "an alcoholic"
  8. the story about "Rat Park"
  9. history of the Orange Papers, and
  10. creation of the web site
  11. censorship
  12. the "Orange" name.
  13. There are some recent pictures of me and my little friends here and here and here.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Heroes have gone out, quacks have come in; the reign of quacks
**    has not ended with the nineteenth century. The sceptre is held
**    with a firmer grasp; the empire has a wider boundary. We are
**    all the slaves of quackery in one shape or another. One portion
**    of our being is always playing the successful quack to the other.
**       ==  Thomas Carlyle (1795—1881), English essayist,
**             historian, biographer, and philosopher


Date: Mon, November 7, 2011 2:10 pm     (answered 9 November 2011)
From: Martin
Subject: Re: Orange Papers

Thank you, Terrance, for your prompt and forthright reply, and references to your qualifications.

I hope your efforts are successful in offsetting the absurd and harmful applications of the terms "disease" to alcoholism and "treatment" to self-help programs.

Best regards,
Martin

Hi Martin,

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

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   "When in the company of deluded people,
**    keep your own counsel."
**        ==  Buddha





May 23, 2009:

Canada Goose goslings
Canada Goose Goslings at Waterfront Park, in downtown Portland, Oregon

Canada Goose goslings
Canada Goose goslings

Canada Goose goslings
Canada Goose gosling

[The story of Carmen continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters272.html#Mike_G ]

Date: Wed, November 2, 2011 10:42 am     (answered 7 November 2011)
From: "Mike G."
Subject: Not in my copy...

At least not on the pages listed below.

Still like your stuff Terrance and actually used some of it today when discussing the 11th Tradition, but I picked up my copy of Bill W. and skimmed through pages 300-302 and couldn't find anything you have quoted below.

Mike

      Within a matter of weeks Bill was on the road, giving out interviews and pictures. A group would ask him to speak, he'd get in touch with the chairman, who'd tip off a local reporter, then after the meeting, they'd talk, and the next morning — if the war news didn't preempt him — he would find his picture splashed across page one, often with a rousing account of the number of hopeless drunks he had saved. It was work that Bill W. thoroughly enjoyed, and in the beginning a great many groups went along with him. But only in the beginning.
      Naturally — and inevitably, as he would learn — there were loud objections. "Who does he think he is?"   "What the hell is he pulling?" and "what about Dr. Bob?" He wasn't the only superstar, and soon others were trying to get into the act. And as always, AAs were not shy about expressing their opinions. Nor was Bill. He could still rationalize his every action. This was America, he pointed out, and there was a little thing called free speech here. All organizations, all countries, were being run by big-name leaders now. Secrecy might be all right for others, but the public had a right to know who AA's founders were.
      With that one phrase, "all right for others," Bill began to think of himself as an exception. ...
      He'd accepted Rollie's challenge and was proving that he could command as much publicity as a ballplayer. With his old zest for combat, the Burr and Burton boy was showing them, showing them all. And besides, no one could deny that in some towns his promotional schemes were getting results. More drunks were turning up at meetings after his story appeared.
      One night — and he remembered this because it was the first time he'd heard the words — an old-timer told him that he might indeed be the cofounder, they might owe their lives to him, but he'd better watch himself because he was sure as hell acting like a man on a dry drunk.
Bill W., Robert Thomsen, pages 300-302.

[file here: http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-drydrunk.html#tip_reporter]


Hello Mike,

Thanks for the tip. I put a hold on that book at my local library, and just got it. Alas, I got the paperback edition, the "Popular Library" edition, reprinted 1979. Previously, years ago, I was reading the hardcover 1st edition from 1975, from another library. The page numbers in my notes are from that book.

I found the quote in the paperback copy at pages 278 to 280. I don't know whether I just goofed on the page numbers years ago, or whether the page numbers are different between the hard cover 1st edition and the later paperback edition. I'll try to get my hands on a hardcover edition and compare the page numbers.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If a man love the labor of any trade, apart from any
**     question of success or fame, the Gods have called him.
**        ==  Robert Louis Stevenson





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters272.html#Peter_F ]

Date: Sat, November 5, 2011 5:10 pm     (answered 8 November 2011)
From: "Peter F."
Subject: Puzzled by the Governing Approach to Addiction? It's All About "Hitting Bottom"?

In a nutshell:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-peter-ferentzy/
addiction-puzzled-by-the-governing-approach_b_1075694.html

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

Thanks for the article, Peter. That's a good one. You are hitting on a very important point there. I know that the A.A. doctrine that alcoholics must "hit bottom" has killed a lot of people. I don't have any exact numbers, but I know it's happening a lot. I've also gotten a lot of complaints and horror stories myself. When people are not willing to surrender their lives and their minds to the cult, the sponsors tell them to "go back out and do some more research on the subject."

There ought to be a law.

I can't help but notice the element of sadism and the power games. Only those people who "hit bottom" and are "totally defeated by alcohol" and are willing to obey their superiors in all matters are "ready for recovery". Those people who have any self-will or independence or critical thinking left supposedly need to suffer some more, until they are broken.

And many sponsors are more than willing to help them suffer. I got one letter from a fellow with a drinking problem whose boss called the A.A. hotline for advice, and the A.A. member on the other end of the line told the boss to fire his alcoholic employee so that the guy would hit bottom. With friends like that, who needs enemies? That is quite a "self-help group".

It also reminds me of The Psychology of the Pawn. "Pawns" who get defeated seek to bring others down to their level so that they will have some company. (See Dr. Robert Jay Lifton's writings about coercive mind control and brainwashing programs.)

You make an important point when you say that professional "counselors" also try to make clients "hit bottom". And they charge money for that "treatment"? What a racket.

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped
**      in the flag, carrying a cross."
**         ==  Sinclair Lewis


Date: Tue, November 8, 2011 6:30 pm     (answered 14 November 2011)
From: "Peter F."
Subject: RE: Puzzled by the Governing Approach to Addiction? It's All About "Hitting Bottom"

Thanks for the article, Peter. That's a good one. You are hitting on a very important point there. I know that the A.A. doctrine that alcoholics must "hit bottom" has killed a lot of people. I don't have any exact numbers, but I know it's happening a lot. I've also gotten a lot of complaints and horror stories myself. When people are not willing to surrender their lives and their minds to the cult, the sponsors tell them to "go back out and do some more research on the subject."

There ought to be a law.

Yes, or at the very least professionals should be accountable for spewing such nonsense. Note that the woman I quote in the article mentions pros — not just 12 Steppers — doing such things.

Best

P

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

Yes, "pros", as in "professional therapists" and "professional counselors" or even "doctors". You know, that is a heck of a branch of medicine where you can make a good living by selling vicious cult religion dogma to sick, confused, cloudy-headed, patients.

Oh well, have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   The so-called "recovery industry" has more quacks
**   than a flock of ducks.


Subject: RE: Puzzled by the Governing Approach to Addiction? It's All About "Hitting Bottom"
From: "Peter Ferentzy"
Date: Mon, November 14, 2011 6:03 pm

And now you know why the war on drugs is doomed to fail.

Best

P

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





[The previous letter from Richard_M is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters272.html#Richard_M ]

Date: Sun, November 6, 2011 4:58 am     (answered 8 November 2011)
From: "Richard M."
Subject: RE: Do you have any idea what the mortatly rate was before AA...almost 90% So I will take 50% all day long.

AA does not receive any money from treatment centers. The first and second copy of the big book are out of copyright so they can be downloaded for free. Yes AA is a bit more organized than I would like but ALL the leaders are elected. There is no Cult leader and only a few positions are paid. Look everyone is entitled to their point of view I just don't like opinions dressed up as facts when there are sick people involved. I know I can't stay sober by myself, I've tried many.many times.

Hello again, Richard,

I will have to go through that line by line, because nearly every sentence is wrong.

  1. AA does not receive any money from treatment centers.

    Baloney. Hazelden is the biggest customer of A.A.W.S., and the biggest distributor of A.A. council-approved literature. They are very much in bed together.

    And most treatment centers resell A.A. literature. Actually, they charge the customers anything from $7000 to $40,000 for 28 days of indoctrination in Dr. Frank Buchman's cult religion, and then they "give" the Big Book to the customers.

  2. The first and second copy of the big book are out of copyright so they can be downloaded for free.

    Yes, those editions are out of copyright. But that did not stop A.A.W.S. General Manager Greg Muth from signing a document that authorized A.A. suing A.A. members in foreign countries for giving away or selling very inexpensively their own translations of the first edition of the Big Book. In Germany and Sweden, A.A. members were going into prisons and "carrying the message" by giving away their own prints of the old Big Book. The crooks at the A.A. headquarters put a stop to that. A.A.W.S. representatives committed perjury in the courts of Mexico and Germany to keep a fraudulent copyright on the first edition. In Germany, they claimed that Bill Wilson wrote the whole Big Book all by himself. In Mexico, they testified that the Big Book had been written rather recently by a "Wyne Parks", so it's still under copyright.

    Mexican Big Book copyright
    (Click on image for fill-size version.)

    Look here for all of the gory details: http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-not_good.html#AAWS_perjury
    Especially read Mitchell K.'s reporting of the story. He is a faithful old-time A.A. member who was present at the trial in Germany.

  3. Yes AA is a bit more organized than I would like but ALL the leaders are elected. There is no Cult leader and only a few positions are paid.

    More baloney. The leaders elect themselves. The guys at the top do not stand election by the rank-and-file membership, and the membership cannot remove the crooks. A.A. is structured so that a revolution cannot come up from below. A double majority is required for the membership to change anything. However, the guys at the top have been rewriting the rules at will, to their advantage. This has come up before. When the general membership censured the leaders for crimes, the leaders told the membership to take a long walk off a short pier. (Check out that link.)

    The leaders at the top, like Greg Muth, really rake in the big bucks. Greg Muth was taking $250,000 per year, and he gave his friend Thomas Jasper $469,000 as a going-away present. We discussed all of that before, in many places. Start here:

  4. ok everyone is entitled to their point of view I just don't like opinions dressed up as facts when there are sick people involved.

    Now I agree totally with that statement, and that is why I am so opposed to Alcoholics Anonymous. It is a despicable crime to take Dr. Frank Buchman's old pro-Nazi cult religion and foist it on sick people as if it actually worked as a cure for alcohol addiction, and to falsify reports and lie about how well it works. That is a really low, vile, crime. People should be put in prison for that. They have killed a lot of sick people with their quackery.

  5. I know I can't stay sober by myself, I've tried many.many times.

    And Dumbo the Flying Elephant could not fly without the Magic Flying Feather that the crow gave him. Until he learned that he could.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

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





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters272.html#Al_C ]

Date: Sun, November 6, 2011 3:08 pm     (answered 8 November 2011)
From: al c.
Subject: Alcoholics Anonymous as a Cult

Hi;

I have been reading your scathing condemnation of Alcoholics Anonymous and some questions come to mind:

1. What were the major factors that motivated you to do such an in depth analysis?

2. Were you ever a member of AA and if so, for how long?

3. Arguably, AA has saved millions of lives over the years, what do you recommend for an alternative?

Thank you for taking the time to consider these questions. I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely

Al

Hello Al,

Thanks for the questions. And the answers are:

  1. All of the autobiographical stuff, and the reasons for the web site, can be found here:

    1. the introduction, my introduction to A.A.
    2. the "treatment" bait-and-switch trick
    3. another friend goes missing
    4. who are you
    5. who are you, again
    6. really an alcoholic...
    7. definitions of "an alcoholic"
    8. the story about "Rat Park"
    9. history of the Orange Papers, and
    10. creation of the web site
    11. censorship
    12. the "Orange" name.
    13. There are some recent pictures of me and my little friends here and here and here.

  2. I went to A.A. meetings intensively for about three months, before I wised up. I don't know if I was ever a "member". I think not. If you have to give your mind and your heart to the cult and declare that you are a member, then I was never a member. I never drank the koolaid.

  3. Arguably, A.A. has never saved any millions. The claims that A.A. is a great success that has saved millions is just Bill Wilson's bombastic grandiose lying. (Click on that link.)

    Yes, I have many other things that I recommend for helping people to quit their bad habits and save their lives from addictions. Read this: How did you get to where you are?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

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

[The next letter from Al_C is here.]





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Last updated 8 March 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters272.html