Letters, We Get Mail, CCXCII

[The previous letter from Steve_S is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters292.html#Steve_S ]

Date: Tue, February 28, 2012 4:33 pm     (answered 3 March 2012)
From: "Steve S."
Subject: Re: AA

Thank you for the page and replies. I go to AA maybe twice a week. Firstly because I committed myself to be a room opener for a while one day of the week, and secondly because some people have no where else to go, so whether it is a cult or whatever makes no difference to me. They do not share my entire belief system, nor do I feel I am too 'above' anyone on this planet, it's all good if just my being there without saying anything helps someone.

Hello again, Steve,

You sound like you could also be a member of the Newcomer's Rescue League.

I have very mixed feelings about ACIM. I have the book here, but have not opened beyond the first two days (and that was a while ago). Something is fishy in Denmark with that thing. I will not go so far as to say it is a hoax, but rather that as far as I can tell there is half baked truth, some wisdom, and potpourri and B.S., as supposedly Jesus was talking through an atheist to come up with the program yet they specifically state their God is not the one in the bible. Huh? With that.. I dropped them like a hot potato. There is nothing they have to offer, in fact, I am not sure what they offer? Please do not answer that.. LOL

Thanks again. As long as I am not at AA too much, it's cool. I wrote 'bottom of the barrel' in the sense that some folks have no where else to go, no money, no help...at least not around here. Others with cash go to treatment centers. I did (even though I did not have much), but ended up getting completely sober , straightened out, (with no compulsion to pick up again after day 2), and have begun a spiritual journey of my own (as should be for each person). The 'library' is stacking up with some very interesting books and exploration (all closely scrutinized for what to me is the 'b.s. factor')...I want to dig deep. Enjoy reading writings of Jung, Boehmen, Moltmann, Alexander Pope, the Bible, inspecting the Ego and the Archetype, Dissolving the Ego, Some of Allan Watts who has some interesting concepts in the Wisdom of Insecurity, as well as David Hawkins and Brennan Mannings.

The AA Big Book? Have never actually read that much of it at all...like everything else in this world today, it is a theology and a philosophy a bit taken mostly from the teachings in the bible..much of the Traditions are actually pretty good....equality and union are good. However, I wanted to move beyond being an alcoholic the rest of my life. no way....that is a chapter yes, time to go on to the next ones. Listening to music by the Group "Yes" (Jon Anderson very spiritual)...moving onward and ahead into the realm of self-improvement. May your day be grand. Cheers! Stephen

Ah, never read much of the Big Book? Lucky you. You didn't miss much.

But you have one big misconception there: the Big Book teachings do not come from the Bible, they come from the teachings of Dr. Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman, a heretical renegade Lutheran minister who preferred the company of Nazis. Look here:

The A.A. claim that the 12 Steps and other parts of the Big Book come from the Bible, or "are Biblical", or are "compatible with Christianity", is an often-repeated A.A. claim, but it just isn't true at all. You will also hear that Father Ed Dowling became Bill Wilson's priest and spiritual advisor after he read the first edition of the Big Book and decided that Bill Wilson's Twelve Steps resembled the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. What A.A. defenders have done is poke through the Bible and find some lines that sound similar to the 12 Steps, and then claim that A.A. theology is "Biblical". It's just like a Rorschach ink blot test — seeing things that aren't really there. That is no different than claiming that the Bible approves of slavery, polygamy, and the robbery and slaughter of your non-Jewish neighbors because of a few mentions of it in the Old Testament, particularly in the books of the warlord Moses. Look here:

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     In the Bible, Moses says that we must kill all of the
**     non-Jewish people who invite us into their churches.
**     (Deuteronomy 13:13-15, 7:3, 13:8-10, 20:14-15, 20:16-18)
**     There go a lot of fundamentalist Christians.

[The previous letter from Andrew_S is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters292.html#Andrew_S ]

From: "Andrew S."
Subject: Re: AA's Problems
Date: Tue, February 28, 2012 4:37 pm     (answered 5 March 2012)

Your writing is illogical, inconsistent and formally distorted. An intelligent reader can pick that out from your writing. You have not fully addressed my strongest points; you would rather demonize me as an AA supporter and refute anything that contradicts your limited view of the world. My thoughts are coherent and backed by facts and relevant arguments.

Hello again, Andrew,

"Formally distorted?" Now that's a new accusation that I had not heard before.

Not addressed what "strongest points"? You keep making strange statements like that A.A. is good because it has a "compelling origin myth", and A.A. meetings are cheaper than "comprehensive health care". What strong points are you talking about?

I went to psychiatrist because of depression. He recommended AA for me personally. His credentials are more impressive than yours, he's the senior therapist at a major depression center. I followed his advice because I had paid for it. Despite the empirical evidence that AA is ineffective, I am positive that it has been a positive experience for me. I do not recommend it for other people; I also acknowledge that negative experiences with flawed philosophies can have a positive effect on you in the long run.

So you went to a misguided doctor who recommended a cult religion as treatment for a psychiatric disorder. I've heard of such doctors before. They should be stripped of their license to practice medicine.

As you have just admitted, the empirical evidence is that A.A. does not work and is harmful.

I do not attend AA meetings any more. I do not believe their dogma. I picked out a couple of good habits and attitudes and rejected anything that seemed like mumbo-jumbo. I concentrate on socializing with people from all walks of life. I do not rule out attending AA in the future, likewise, I have no specific plan to attend.

Okay. Now you just need to clean out a few old ideas about how A.A. is such a good thing.

I believe that alcoholism and dependence is a unique life problem that can lead to a chronic cycle of dependence. It isn't exactly like other mental illnesses or physical diseases because of alcohol's unique social status; although, there might be important parallels to those concepts. Most people go into remission spontaneously. The popular academic I agree most with on the subject of addiction is Dr. Stanton Peele.

Actually, alcohol addiction is not at all unique. Drug addiction, food addiction, sex addiction, gambling addiction, and many other kinds of obsessive-compulsive disorders are very similar.

I very much agree with Dr. Stanton Peele that at least half of the addicts go into remission by themselves.

Communication is a two-way street. You don't read closely, rather you skim over someone's e-mail until you recall a somewhat similar argument and you cut and paste a response from a prior e-mail. That demonstrates you don't respect me as your audience enough to actually actively read my words.

I have very much read your words.

I take the time to read your prose and think about it; I'd like the same respect. In addition, it makes you sound unorganized and scattered as you skip from one pet subject to the next.

I've spent a lot of time reading your words.

You are not objective. You are too emotional about the issue of AA. That anger and passion lead you to fully accept any negative report regarding AA and to discount anything positive. Your own concept of alcoholism is as muddled as the one used in AA. Is it a disease? Are people morally culpable under its influence? Can the dependent alcoholic stop using at any time? You adopt whatever stance allows you the most rhetorical leverage over the AA view. However, it isn't a coherent answer for people looking for advice. It also undermines your results; it's easy to criticize other people when you won't let your own views be pinned down.

Sorry, but I'm not accepting that argument. I rely on the best clinical tests of A.A. Consequently, my personal emotions are pretty irrelevant.

And I think my ideas about "alcoholism" are pretty clear:

  1. Is it a disease? No.
  2. Are people morally culpable under its influence? Yes.
  3. Can the dependent alcoholic stop using at any time? Yes, they can quit any time they want to — although they may not really want to until things get very bad.

You say, "Just quit drinking!" Of course, this ignores the fact that chronic alcoholics may die due to withdrawal seizures without alcohol. Or that some people have such poor self-control that they simply cannot stop drinking without continual surveillance. You typify alcoholics as having a similar life to yours and responding to the same treatment. That is simply mistaken; alcoholics have a million different case histories and degrees of dependence.

I know all about withdrawal seizures without alcohol. I went through them myself. You can read the story here:
and here:

And I still quit, and stayed quit for three years, in spite of the seizures. So much for alcoholics being unable to quit.

I do not stereotype alcoholics and say that they are all just like me. It's A.A. that stereotypes alcoholics, and says that they are all just like Bill Wilson, disgusting manipulative dishonest selfish monsters. Look here:

Then A.A. declares that a one-size-fits-all cure, the 12 Steps, is the cure for that selfish monster.

I never said that people deserve bad consequences because they continue to believe in illusions or that the mass of common people deserve to be lied to. I do not believe that I am an elite who can handle the truth, unlike the pathetic common man. That is the root of your comparison of me to Nazis and Communists (talk about loaded words).

No, you are twisting my words. I did not say that people deserved bad consequences for believing in illusions. Now they may get that result, but I never used the word "deserve". (I know, that is one of the loaded words that SMART warns against, so I watch it very closely.)

The fact still remains that when someone argues that we should leave the common people their fairy tales and their crazy beliefs and their happy delusions, that is an elitist argument where the speaker assumes that he is one of the grown-ups who can handle the truth, while the others are just mental children.

And if someone accepts that belief, then it is just one more step to believe that it is okay to lie to the "children" and feed them some more myths and fallacies, and it is always "for their own good", of course. (Our politicians do that to us every day.)

I said that deluded people deserve our compassion, our forgiveness and our respect for failing to be perfect human beings. I would never propagate something that I thought was dishonest, however, I am not able to defeat all the lies and bullshit that surround us. For that reason, I accept them, not as the moral ideal, but as temporary phenomena in our morally imperfect world. AA is relatively benign. There are too many truly sinister organizations to waste our righteous anger on benign organizations.

I do not "accept" bad organizations that propagate lies and misinformation. And you are again hinting that A.A. is "benign", which it is not. Again, you are pulling a switcheroo and first trying to come off as rational and realistic, then trying to surreptitiously slip in some praise of Alcoholics Anonymous.

You think you are a White Knight who can dispel all the lies and muddled thinking surrounding addiction. I got news for you, AO, you've picked a nearly impossible goal and it is warping your thinking.

That is a baloney argument. What you are preaching is defeatism.

Take a little break from calling all the people you disagree with Nazis and ask yourself one thing: Look over your writing on this website and pretend another person wrote it. Ask yourself one question: which word fits the tone of this prose better? "Angry" or "objective"?

Why take a break and let untruth win?

And how do you plan to spread the truth? Or do you recommend just giving up and doing nothing?

And the answer to your last question is, "objective". Once again, read the doctors' reports. That is objective information.

Detach yourself emotionally from AA. Get some perspective.

I have some perspective. I lived in the "recovery community" for several years. I saw people dropping like flies. I have seen just what a failure "12-Step recovery" really is.

As I've said before, I agree with the bulk of your information. It is being given with a large dose of logical inconsistency and a serious lack of objectivity, though.

It is hyperbole to typify AA as a cult. Dr. Stanton Peele, often characterized as an AA-basher, doesn't call them a cult. He says the lack of a rigid heirarchy of power precludes it from a being a cult. My personal experience and my knowledge of AA supports that view.

Have you read the Cult Test? Read that before declaring that A.A. is not a cult.

I very much like Dr. Stanton Peele. If he chooses to avoid talking about the cultish nature of Alcoholics Anonymous, that is his choice. I think he wants to concentration on the issue of treatment of alcoholics.

And no power structure? Get real. Look here:
Hierarchical, Authoritarian Power Structure, and Social Castes
And then read about the A.A. sub-cult leaders like Clancy:
Stories about Clancy Imusland's Pacific Group

It's okay to be angry. However, you would have a an easier time giving coherent advice if you could detach your anger from your analysis of AA.

Again, I don't know why your tone is so hostile. If you would take the time to read what I say, you would see that it is not a defense of AA. It's a pragmatic attitude of allowing alcoholics to both choose a therapy option they like and to engage in the same unhealthy, irrational behavior that healthy people use. It's a moral argument, not an empirical argument. Similarly, I have a neutral opinion about acupuncture, holistic medicine, ostepathy, hypnosis, homeopathy etc. Quack cures? Miracle cures? Read the literature — it's complex and the jury is still out on a couple of these.

My tone is so hostile because it is a despicable crime to foist quack medicine on very sick people and lie to them about how well it works.

It is not a matter of "allowing alcoholics to both choose a therapy option they like". Every day, people are sentenced to the A.A. cult religion. Look here for some examples: Sentenced to A.A.. And every day, so-called "treatment centers" shove people into A.A. after taking their money with promises of treatment.

Your last argument is an Escape via Relativism, and also an appeal to antirationalism. As in, "Have a neutral opinion. We don't know the whole truth — maybe quackery really works good after all." Again, you are trying to slip in the suggestion that maybe A.A. really works after all. No, it doesn't. We've already been through that. The empirical evidence clearly shows that A.A. is a monstrous failure that just raises the rate of binge drinking and the death rate. And A.A. raises the cost of hospitalization, and the rate of rearrests.

Choosing a medical or psychiatric therapy is a complex subject; use common sense and the advice of a qualified doctor. If a therapy seems to work, think about sticking with it regardless of your natural skepticism. Stay informed. Perhaps if the people coerced into attending AA were warned of its inefficacy, it would have neutral or beneficial impact.

That sounds like good advice, except for the "seems to work" part. Again, you are opening the door for deluded people to claim that they really like their favorite superstitions, and for treatment center salesmen to sell more quack medicine.

And the suggestion that A.A. would have a "beneficial impact" if people were warned that it doesn't work is illogical. Again, you are trying to surreptitiously slip in acceptance of A.A. You keep saying that you aren't pro-A.A., and then you try to slip in promotion of A.A.

I give you my moderate and reasonable attitudes with trepidation, because I am sure that I will soon learn that Adolf Hitler shared them with me.


Date: Wed, February 29, 2012 1:50 pm     (answered 5 March 2012)
From: "Andrew S."
Subject: Re: AA's Problems

I wrote: I would characterize a small percentage as an order of magnitude smaller than the primary statistic at hand. If the natural remission rate of alcoholism is 50%, then a program that increased or decreased that by less than five percent would have a "small" effect.

You responded: That doesn't make a lot of sense. An order of magnitude smaller than the "primary statistic at hand"? What are you talking about?

An order of magnitude is the class of scale or magnitude of any amount, where each class contains values of a fixed ratio to the class preceding it. In its most common usage, the amount being scaled is 10 and the scale is the (base 10) exponent being applied to this amount (therefore, to be an order of magnitude greater is to be 10 times as large). Such differences in order of magnitude can be measured on the logarithmic scale in "decades" (i.e. factors of ten).

Okay, I see what you mean.

Date: Wed, February 29, 2012 1:56 pm     (answered 5 March 2012)
From: "Andrew S."
Subject: Re: AA's Problems

I wrote:

Science does not have a model yet that shows how the physical processes of the brain results in a thought. They can show stimulation in certain areas. They can show neurons firing, but no one knows how to translate those into thoughts. Does that mean that thoughts don't exist? That's why Skinner proposed black box psychology; you could avoid having to conceptualize internal states if you postulate the brain as a black box with inputs and outputs.

You wrote:

Now that is an appeal to ignorance, another propaganda trick. Lack of knowledge in one area does not prove the existence of something else. Even if doctors and neurologists had no idea how neurons firing results in thought (which isn't true), that would still not prove or even hint at the existence of a "spiritual disease" that makes people drink too much alcohol.

By the way, we do understand how neurons firing produces thought. Maybe you don't understand it, but a lot of other people do. We have CAT scans and MRIs now, and have mapped out a great deal of the functioning of the human brain. And we can easily see how thought stops when certain parts of the brain die.

Show me one study that show how the firing of neurons directly translates into human thought. Yes, one must be alive to think. Yes, damage to the brain will reduce cogitation. However, science currently does not have the technology to say "such and such neurons fire and it results in such and such a thought". We are aware of cognition through deductive reasoning; a person completes a mathematical task, we may deduce he has thought about it.

I don't have time to look that stuff up right now. Sorry, but I'm offline.

There is no direct empirical evidence that thoughts exist except our own consciousness. If our science depended utterly upon empirical evidence, it would be difficult to prove the existence of thoughts, emotions, concepts and moods.

Baloney. The doctors' research is so advanced that just recently there were stories on TV about doctors attaching electrodes to paraplegic and quadraplegic people's skulls, and the people were able to control prosthetic machinery with their thoughts. The doctors are way beyond wondering if there is a connection between thought and neurons firing. The doctors' knowledge is so extensive that they know where on the brain to put the electrodes so that the patient can think about moving a limb, and that causes motors to turn and prosthetic arms and legs to move. (The patients love it. The word "empowering" is appropriate.)

You are still trying to use an appeal to ignorance, and doctors are not that ignorant.

Date: Wed, February 29, 2012 2:03 pm     (answered 5 March 2012)
From: "Andrew S."
Subject: Re: AA's Problems

I wrote:

And, by the way, many respected psychologists, therapists and philosophers use terms like "mind", "identity", "soul" and "spirit" which are large general concepts that defy easy definition. If you use precise terms while talking about something you don't know about, you are still talking about something you don't know about. Similarly, a person can use vague terms to precisely describe the relationship between vague concepts.

You wrote:

Now you just arguing that because some people use words like "spirit" or "soul", that such things are real. That is another logical fallacy. It's called Reification.

We use lots of words and expressions for vague concepts. That does not make those vague concepts and expressions into real things. I remember Tracy Kidder's book The Soul of a New Machine, which was the story of two teams of whiz kids creating a new computer at Data General Corporation. That book does not prove that computers have souls.

I am arguing that words like "spirit" and "soul" imperfectly capture useful concepts for pragmatic discussion. I do not think that they are necessarily real. If we are restricted to using words with only extrinsic definitions, then you need to follow the same principle. There is not a psychological consensus on what constitutes "I", the human sense of identity. What a strange word! It has a different meaning depending on who utters it!

In compliance with your principle of clear and unambiguous speech, I forthwith request that you remove that word from your website.

That is another illogical argument. I did not demand that you stop using words like spirit or soul. I just objected to your statement that

I have suffered a sickness of the spirit and soul. In empirical terms I would describe it as: "listlessness, lack of affect, despair, lack of pleasure, lack of self-esteem, irrational guilt, anxiety, fear etc. (even a clinical description uses vague words like despair and anxiety)" From the inside, sickness of the spirit seems like a more accurate description.

You were once again pushing an A.A. fallacy — the "spiritual disease" nonsense. You were suffering from a psychiatric disorder — specifically, clinical depression and anxiety — not a spiritual disease.

And no matter how real the pain feels, that does not make "spiritual diseases" real. That is the logical fallacy of reification.

Furthermore, Alcoholics Anonymous is not qualified to treat psychiatric disorders. That is felony practicing medicine without a license. But they do it. First, they try to redefine mental illness as a "spiritual disease", and then they claim that because they are members of a cult religion, that they are qualified to treat "spiritual diseases". No, they aren't.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

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

[The next letter from Andrew_S is here.]

May 27, 2009, Wednesday:

Canada Goose family Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family
Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family
Father standing guard while the rest of the family takes a nap

[More gosling photos below, here.]

[The previous letter from Virgorich is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters292.html#Virgorich ]

Date: Tue, February 28, 2012 8:10 pm     (answered 5 March 2012)
Subject: Re: you seem to have developed a bias ......

Wow ! Thankyou for your reply , I'm certainly not neutral either as ,I'm 30 years sober , But I would be hard pressed to say I belong to a cult .... or that I was Brain washed ..... But by some degree it may be true ....But either way I'm thankful you did Research all that history and compile a well written Documentary .....almost like 60 minuets ........Of course I ran a cross Agent Green ...I thought it may be you at first , but the will behind the writing wasn't so strong ..... I thank you again for inspiring him to write a rebuttal defending AA ..... So you efforts have not gone unnoticed and made a difference upon the world and will be noted as such in the book of life ! Our Presence on earth is so short and our tools /instruments for observation so limited it is becoming harder for me to believe anyone has the ability to discern what is absolute and what is not .... Again Thank you for the reply

I am a retired CPO from the USN .... and looking back have seen a change in my life coming mostly from the decisions I have been able to make ....I some how Remarried seven years ago ..... due to a series of events of doing the next best thing .... to a woman who said she lived in Puerto Rico ....But Actually was in the Philippines .... an Old Maid , just relieved of her moral responsibility of caring for her 92 year old father .... I was living in a trailer ,working the Night shift in Baltimore quickly approaching retirement age .... Life has not been the same ....I'm Blessed in some manner to be wintering very close to manila , but looking forward to returning to Dover Delaware to landscape our retirement home and Make a Master Bath , My addict son has been forced to reunite with me ...... we are enjoying each others company ..... as he seems to be re evaluating his past .... I have also a AD1 USN RET Daughter who is headed down the same road as her Mother ... I try to call her in the mornings ....So as you said we all have the ability to make choices ... but not everyone has the WILL to get sober ....Would I , with out AA ? I can see you are of strong will .... and it serves you well as long as it may be directed in a positive manor...... It matters not to me what you wish to call it or How you found it , Only Because I have found something similar..... was nice that you responded.... if you have FB friend me ,

Hello again, Virgorich,

Thanks for the letter. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well. And thanks for the compliments about the research.

You don't have to be brainwashed to join a cult. All that you have to do is walk into the room. Becoming a "true believer" is another matter. You don't sound like you drank the koolaid.

I've also contemplated moving to a foreign country where the living is super-cheap, because I'm also on a V.A. retirement. But so far, I like it here in Oregon, even though I'm paying ten times as much in rent as I would in Mexico or the Philippines.

Yes, will has a lot to do with it. It's really hard to teach will power to somebody else, but SMART has the goal of "enhancing motivation", which strikes me as another way of saying, "increase will power." Personally, I don't feel like I have a lot of will power. What I have is a very strong determination to never be that sick that way again.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Whenever we seek to avoid the responsibility for our own
**     behavior, we do so by attempting to give that responsibility to some
**     other individual or organization or entity. But this means we then
**     give away our power to that entity."
**        ==  M. Scott Peck

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters292.html#Anon_Anon ]

Date: Wed, February 29, 2012 3:02 pm     (answered 5 March 2012)
From: "Anon Anon"
Subject: New registration User name bloodorange, do I need to change the username?

I just realized this may not have been the best name to register with because it could be construed as violent. I was using blood in the family/kin context. I can certainly change it if it's an issue. My reasoning for selecting the name is that I have have a number of relatives who are or who have been in AA. Several of whom use AA jargon/teaching to deflect their own responsibility for difficult situations/relationships. Also, I was trying to think of different types of orange and that and Mandarin oranges are 2 of my favorites. The relatives include my brother, mother, father (deceased), grandfather and an aunt. My brother and aunt met their spouses in AA and my mom met my stepdad there. For some people (dad, grandfather) it's helpful, but I agree it's got the potential to be cultish and there is nowhere near the accountability there should be for the power they try to get over people's lives. If I do need to change it, maybe Al-aNO?

Hello Anon Anon,

The name bloodorange is okay. When I saw the name, I thought of the fruit. I think there really is a "Blood Orange". The picture I get in my mind is an orange with red streaks in the fruit. I'm pretty sure that I've eaten a few of them.

Sorry to hear about your relatives.

Also, I went for counseling after an estrangement from my mother/brother (long story) and the counselor, while helpfully educating me about scapegoating, tried to convince me I was an alcoholic. I checked with another therapist and close friends (the kind who are honest enough to say when an outfit isn't flattering or that I'm out of line or wrong in a situation). The consensus is WTF is he talking about? I was told I was in denial and my friends must be alcoholics too. Among his evidence that I must be an alcoholic was that I cut back on drinking after blacking out when I was in college (I'm now in my mid 40s, college for me was back in the 1980s).

Yes, isn't it outrageous how some excessive drinking more than 20 years ago suddenly makes you an alcoholic now? I trust that you dumped that so-called "counselor".

He also kept trying to get me to go to 12 step meetings from Al-Anon after I went to the recommended number of meetings and said I didn't feel comfortable with it. He also dismissed concerns about the psychiatrist he referred me to discuss possible medications with for anxiety. Among other things, she left the door open during the appointment without explaining why or asking if it was ok. Needless to say, I changed therapists & psychiatrists and I'm making better progress now in dealing with my family issues & anxiety.

Stepper counselors who are trying to recruit more members for their favorite cult religion are guilty of a serious conflict of interest. The counselor is supposed to be caring for the patient, not trying to sell his religion.

I'm sure that it was not a coincidence that the counselor referred you to a wierd psychiatrist.

That psychiatrist is creepy all right. Leaving the door open is a gross violation of medical confidentiality. Medical confidentiality is supposed to be just as sacred as confessions to a Catholic Priest. Leaving the door open also sounds like a subtle form of intimidation: "Be careful of what you say, people are listening." I'm glad that you changed psychiatrists.

In fact, I'd file complaints against both your counselor and psychiatrist with whatever boards certify psychiatrists and counselors. I'm not sure who that is. Perhaps readers can help there. Stepper counselors and psychiatrists who intimidate patients into following their "program" should get their license to practice medicine cancelled. One complaint alone won't do it, but many will. And if nobody ever files a complaint, then there will never be "many complaints".

One healthy thing I noticed about my current therapist is that he was neutral on the topic of 12 step programs. When I described some of the things about AlAnon which made me uncomfortable, he said "I get it, it's a little too summer camp, rah-rah for you" (not said sarcastically or argumentatively, that's his style/sense of humor). He accepted I wasn't comfortable with it and didn't try to push me to go to meetings.

That sounds good. I'm really glad to hear that you left the Stepper recruiters behind.

Oh, and it occurs to me that your new therapist will know where you can file complaints about your old Stepper counselor and psychiatrist.

Have a good day now, and good luck.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Force, violence, pressure, or compulsion with a view
**     to conformity, are both uncivilized and undemocratic.
**       ==  Mohandas Gandhi

May 27, 2009, Wednesday, Downtown Portland, Waterfront Park:

Canada Goose family
Goslings of the Family of 5

Canada Goose family
Part of the Family of 9

Canada Goose goslings
Part of the Family of 9

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

[The previous letter from Nicholas_K is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters292.html#Nicholas_K ]

Date: Wed, February 29, 2012 4:32 pm     (answered 5 March 2012)
From: "Nicholas K."
Subject: Re: Re:

Fair enough you managed to quit using drugs on your own will power, I tried that for years and I could never stop, I was sniffing coke and telling myself at the same time that I never wanted to do it. The 12 step program is the only thing that has got me clean, a helped me stay sober for longer than a day. Also my dad has been in the fellowship for 10 years and stayed sober and clean, when he couldn't get a day without a substance. If you don't mind me asking, what have any of the fellowships done to you? You obviously don't have the illness of addiction, and if you don't think it's an illness look in the medical journal and you will find it listed, i just don't understand why you would go to so much trouble to try and give something a bad name when it saves people's lives like mine and my fathers.

Hello Nick,

I'm glad to hear that you finally quit your drug habit. Of course we are going to disagree about the cause of your quitting. The simple facts of the matter are:

  1. Most people who go to 12-Step groups don't quit their addictions. And also see this.
  2. Most people who quit their addictions don't go to 12-Step meetings.

What happened? Read these three items first:

  1. Intro to A.A.
  2. Bait-and-switch treatment
  3. Friends driven away from help by the 12-step nonsense

Then you can read the list of 12-Step horror stories, here, and I think you will get the idea.

And if you want to see how other people have recovered, you could 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/      *
**     Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,
**     Which we ascribe to heaven.
**       ==  William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well, (1602-03), 1.1.231

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters292.html#Ellen_Z ]

Date: Thu, March 1, 2012 6:37 am     (answered 5 March 2012)
From: "Ellen Z."
Subject: Bill w

Who are you

Sent from my iPhone

Hello Ellen,

Thanks for the question. The answer is simple: My name is Terrance Hodgins, and I live in rural Oregon.

The rest of the answer is here:

  1. Who Are You?
  2. How did you get to be where you are?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Cast off the shackles of this modern oppression and
**     take back what is rightfully yours, because as William
**     Shakespeare never wrote, 'Life is but a bullring, and
**     we are but matadors trying to dodge all the horns.'"
**       —  Matthew Clayfield

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters292.html#Al_T ]

Date: Fri, March 2, 2012 6:53 am     (answered 5 March 2012)
From: "Al T."

It's a shame that things like this can be posted on the internet that reflect opinions and assumptions where possibly a first time struggling alcoholic and or someone who's on the fence reads it, and there looking for a way out of his or her misery and they don't realize there reading a blog from someone that doesn't have enough knowledge or experience to know what there talking about. I say this because someone with the disease of alcoholism and knowledge of the program of alcoholics anonymous would not post such mistruths about something as devastating to society as this disease.

This is one of the downfalls of the internet, it does have its good sides but has too many bad sides. Your blog can be the difference between life and death when its just so apparent you just cant have the insight that the twelve steps of AA brings to all whom do work all 12 steps AND CONTINUE TO CARRY THE MESSAGE OF HOPE without being an alcoholic in recovery.

I'm so grateful I get to truly think about my actions today and how they will affect others. (Sometimes not as well as others but I do the best I can) Before it just didn't matter to me if I had all the pertinent information or not, it made me feel good to express my opinions as long as it made me feel good, even if I new down deep I didn't really have the whole picture.

I was once told I just can't go into a house even with basic knowledge of electrical and wire the entire house, finish the job including the breaker box without direction from an experienced electrician whom has done it before and has the knowledge and experience to do it correctly. In the long run because of just the basics I could cause a fire which could affect others, needless to say kill someone. We could go on at infinitum with these types of examples.

There is absolutely no way anyone could understand HOW IT WORKS unless they have had to struggle with the disease of alcoholism, just like I would NEVER write something about how to get through cancer treatments without having had to go through it myself??????

Just very basic food for thought,

Al T.

Grateful recovering alcoholic

Charlotte NC

Hello Al,

Thanks for the letter. I guess we are even: I think it's appalling that confused and deluded people are allowed to sell their favorite old cult religion from the nineteen-thirties as a quack cure for alcohol addiction. But that's what happens when you have Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech in a country.

All of your major points are wrong. A.A. does not work to cure alcohol addiction. A.A. is not the only way, or even the best way. In fact, A.A. is one of the worst ways to deal with alcohol abuse.

Warning people about toxic quack medicine that will hurt them is a good thing, not a bad thing.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Being surrounded by a group of people who keep
**     telling you that you are powerless over alcohol,
**     and that your will power is useless, is not
**     getting "support". It is getting sabotaged.
**     With friends like them, you don't need any enemies.

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Last updated 12 March 2012.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters292.html