Letters, We Get Mail, CCXCVI



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters296.html#Psychic ]

Date: 2012.03.17     (answered 19 March 2012)
From: Psychic Link Exchange
Subject: Link Exchange Inquiry to Relevant Site

Hello,

I was browsing the web when i saw your site orange-papers.info, and when i look at it, Enjoyed the content, would you mind if I offer you to have a link exchange site PR 3 (reciprocal link exchange — Page PR-2) with my site, here is our site http://www.goofy_psychic_advice.com/

Here is our site info

Title : Psychic

URL : http://www.goofy_psychic_advice.com/

Description : Enjoy a complete site encompassing Online Live Free Psychic.

Get link from http://www.goofy_psychic_advice.com/LinkPartnersList.aspx

If your interested make this link live and you can email us back with your site details, looking forward to grant my request. You can put link it anywhere close to homepage.

Thanks,

Hello Psychics,

You really should get out your crystal ball and Ouija board, and see that I don't do link exchanges just for the sake of doing link exchanges. Also, I would never do a link exchange with fake psychics.

But since you aren't fakes, you already knew that, right?

So why were you emailing me?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     Enter the three Witches.
**            1 WITCH.  Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.
**            2 WITCH.  Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin'd.
**            3 WITCH.  Harpier cries:—'tis time! 'tis time!
**            1 WITCH.  Round about the caldron go;
**         In the poison'd entrails throw.
**         Toad, that under cold stone,
**         Days and nights has thirty-one;
**         Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
**         Boil thou first i' the charmed pot!
**            ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;
**         Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
**            2 WITCH.  Fillet of a fenny snake,
**         In the caldron boil and bake;
**         Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
**         Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
**         Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
**         Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,—
**         For a charm of powerful trouble,
**         Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
**            ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;
**         Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
**            3 WITCH.  Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf;
**         Witches' mummy; maw and gulf
**         Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark;
**         Root of hemlock digg'd i the dark;
**         Liver of blaspheming Jew;
**         Gall of goat, and slips of yew
**         Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse;
**         Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips;
**         Finger of birth-strangled babe
**         Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,—
**         Make the gruel thick and slab:
**         Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
**         For the ingrediants of our caldron.
**            ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;
**         Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
**            2 WITCH.  Cool it with a baboon's blood,
**         Then the charm is firm and good.
**
**            ==  William Shakespeare, Macbeth





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters296.html#Tiani ]

Date: 2012.03.17     (answered 17 November 2011)
From: Tiani
Subject: Re saw article The Other Women.html

I just wanted to know if you write books?
Tiani

Hi Tiani,
So far, the Orange Papers is the only one.
Have a good day now.
== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Now I know what it's like to be high on life.
**     It isn't as good, but my driving has improved."
**     == Nina, on "Just Shoot Me", 13 Jan 2006.





Flash forward to present time: Sunday, March 04, 2012: Fernhill Wetlands

Canada Geese pair
A Flock of Cackling Geese, coming ashore
The box on that vertical pole is a nesting box. The local bird lovers have put up a variety of boxes for birds to nest in.


Canada Geese family A Flock of Cackling Geese, coming ashore
They are only flying about 100 feet, jumping over a fence, to land in an adjacent farmer's field where they browse and eat the weeds.


American Coot and Mallard Duck
A Flock of Cackling Geese, feeding
(Click on image for wider version.)

[More gosling photos below, here.]





[The previous letter from Laine is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters296.html#Laine_S ]

Hi Mr. Orange,

I know I just emailed you yesterday, but I wanted to briefly touch base about my meeting last night with my sponsor.

She's wonderful and I know she's really trying to help me, but I still feel something is missing.

She mentioned that she was very concerned when I told her last week that I'd really had an urge to drink while down in Tucson for a workshop. I had just gotten into town (driving from Phoenix) and it was about 5pm. The workshop didn't start until the next day, so it was time to relax at the hotel. I would've loved a glass of wine, but instead I stopped at Whole Foods and got some O'Douls N/A beer.

It definitely takes the edge off. I also had a hard time the next night when the whole group from the workshop went out to dinner and had pitchers of margaritas everywhere. Again, I had an O'Douls.

I guess I'm surprised that she was taken aback by hearing that I wanted to drink. I've only been in AA since last July — had a slip in December, so now I'm starting again on my 4th month. Being so new to the program, I'm surprised that this was a surprise to her. I told her I was just trying to be totally honest and share my struggles. I said that although I really like the people in the meetings I go to, I often feel like I can't be totally honest about my struggles. The majority of folks have been in the program for years and years, and they mostly share about how they relate AA to every area of their life, and how good it is. When a few new folks actually bring up that they're having a hard time with cravings or whatever, you can feel the awkward tension in the room, like they said something inappropriate.

My thought is 'um, isn't that why we're here??'

Another thing from last night is that she mentioned at our last women's group meeting during my share, I had referenced something from the 'Women's Way Through the 12 Steps.' Apparently someone had brought it to her attention afterwards that I wasn't supposed to do that since it was a Big Book study and we only can use the Big Book. She wasn't shaming me mind you, but just letting me know the protocol. I wasn't offended honestly, but it raised another flag for me the rigidity and group-think of the program. I feel that if something helps you to relate to what is being discussed, why not share it?

I'm seriously looking into some other programs because I just feel like this isn't connecting for me. Honestly, the main reason why I've stuck with the 4 months so far is primarily because I don't want to face the pressure of going back to the same people after slipping again. That's not the right reason to not drink anymore.

Anyway, thanks again for listening.

Laine S.

Hello again, Laine,

Thanks for the letter. You bring up a bunch of good issues. Starting at the top:

  1. I'm sure that your sponsor is trying to help you, but she is also misinformed and wrong.

  2. It is normal to feel cravings and the desire for a drink. After all, you just made a huge change in your lifestyle, and the pull of old habits is strong. The things that made you want to drink are probably still around.

  3. Yes, an A.A. meeting should be the place where you can bring up such desires and issues and talk about them. The way that the other A.A. members shied away from confronting such feelings makes me think that they have such desires too, and they are in denial about what they are feeling. That "awkward feeling in the room" is the kiss of death, and it's a dead give-away of what is really going on. They can't handle confronting their own feelings. They don't like you talking about your feelings and cravings because it makes them look within and see their own feelings. If A.A. is really a support group where you share your "experiences, strengths, and hopes", then you should be able to talk about your experiences with wanting a drink, and how you dealt with it.

    (By the way, a standard part of every SMART meeting does just that: People talk about their victories during the previous week, and that definitely does include feeling a strong desire to drink alcohol, and settling for an O'Douls instead.)

  4. Plus, the A.A. mythology says that doing the 12 Steps is supposed to remove the desire for alcohol. Bill Wilson wrote this fairy tale in the Big Book:

    We will seldom be interested in liquor.   ...
    We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given to us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it.   ...
    We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us.
    The Big Book, 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 3, More About Alcoholism, pages 84-85.

    Well, you are reminding them that Bill's Bull is not true, and they don't feel comfortable with that. They are imagining that, "Well, she isn't supposed to be feeling those desires. 'The Program' is supposed to eliminate that."

  5. When the other members with multiple years of sobriety will only "mostly share about how they relate AA to every area of their life, and how good it is", they are just being pretentious cult members playing pretend. And they are playing games of spiritual one-upmanship. "Look at how good I am at working the program with all of my years." Ego, ego, ego. That isn't real. Real is talking about how to deal with the cravings that you are really feeling.

  6. I think that such avoidance and denial of the truth is one of the reasons that A.A. members "blow up" and relapse, even after years of sobriety. It seems like what a lot of A.A. members do is just suppress the desire to drink, and deny that they even have such desires, and bottle it all up inside until the pressure is so great that they flip out and go on a binge. That isn't healthy, and is sure isn't a good sobriety program.

    The idea of denying and suppressing your feelings in A.A. reminds me of a letter that I got from an oldtimer A.A. member many years ago:

    "I have also noted how angry so many of the "old timers" are. I have observed that closely and concluded for myself that the problem is that most people have a lot of grief in their lives and in a way, AA is always focusing on losses. At the same time there is nowhere to go with grief as it isn't allowed. So the sadness gets stuffed leaving only the anger to be dumped out in the meeting, usually aimed at someone who isn't getting the program or was foolish enough to tell the truth about their selfish life. Notice that sometime. Old timers in AA are often an angry lot: a mask of serenity with a seething cauldron underneath."

  7. You are to be congratulated for having an O'Douls, instead of taking a drink. So congratulations. That is a good choice. (Although personally, I found that I had to avoid them too. I'd start guzzling them out of habit, and if you drink a whole six-pack, there is enough residual alcohol that you can start to feel it.)

  8. The stuff about how you could not read a "Big Book study" and "we only can use the Big Book" is not "protocol"; it is just something that they made up. It is also a kind of cultish thought control. You are only allowed to read their officially-approved thoughts. Not even being allowed to read somebody else's interpretation of the 12 Steps is really extreme.

  9. I hope you do take up a different sobriety program. Again, here is the list:
    http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-alt_list.html

    Note that not every group has meetings in every city, but they are establishing more all of the time. And most of them have online meetings, and forums, and chat groups, so that's an additional way to get some socialization and support.

  10. May I also recommend this web page, and the ones that it links to, for some more ideas: How did you get to where you are? There, I talked about techniques like "Play the tape to the end," which helped me in dealing with cravings and thoughts of taking a drink. And of course there is the old Lizard Brain Addiction Monster, yammering about how "Just one won't hurt. We have it under control now. We can have just one and it will be okay..."

Take care, and have a good life now. And have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     There is only one success — to be able to spend your life your own way.
**        ==  Christopher Morley
*
**     "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence
**     over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled."
**        ==  Richard Feynman

[The next letter from Laine is just below, here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters296.html#LJ ]

Date: Sat, March 17, 2012 5:37 pm     (answered 21 March 2012)
From: "LJ"
Subject: interesting article/video

Hi Orange,

I hope you are well. This is a great article, video that makes sense. I love some of the bitter AA comments....

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304692804577281413725296538.html?mod=WSJ_article_comments#articleTabs%3Darticle

take care,
LJ

Hello LJ,

Thanks for a great article. I can really relate to that. A lot of it sounds like what I did to quit drinking and stay sober.

I especially identified with Steps 8 and 9:

  • Step Eight: Replace Your Ridiculous Drunken Stories With Ridiculous Sober Ones
  • Step Nine: Spend Money on Stuff You Won't Lose

Step 8: Yes, of course, just because you aren't drunk any more doesn't mean that you can't have fun any more. My ridiculous stories were more like turning into a mother goose, which some people thought was nuts, but I enjoyed it anyway. Immensely.
Step 9: I didn't buy expensive pens; I bought expensive cameras.

Both of those activities were things that I just never ever did while I was drinking. They represent a whole different lifestyle.

(And isn't it amazing how much smoking and drinking can dominate your life and eat up all of your money? You don't really notice it until you quit it, and find that your money goes so much farther, and you suddenly have the time and energy to do other things.)

Thanks again for the link, and have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to
**     the whole cosmos — the trees, the clouds, everything.
**         ==   Thich Nhat Hanh





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters296.html#Ray_S ]

Date: Sun, March 18, 2012 7:03 am     (answered 21 March 2012)
Subject: [Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF)] New link
From: "Ray S."

Ray S. posted in Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).

Atheists Wash Florida Road Christians Anointed With Oil
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/03/atheists-wash-florida-road-christians-anointed-with-oil/

County Road 98 in Polk County, Fla., was scrubbed today by a group of atheists who are protesting the "Polk Under Prayer" campaign, supporters of which poured olive oil on the road last year in an anointment ceremony. "Mainly we want this to be a safe haven for folks who want to raise their families...

Hello again, Ray,

Thanks for the laugh. That is definitely a creative publicity stunt. And it reminds me of a joke:

A few years back, when a bunch of fanatical Moslems rioted because a cartoonist satirized Mohammed, Mark Warner responded with:

15,000 atheists rioted in London yesterday, after a blank sheet of paper was found on a cartoonist's desk.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Christian Fundamentalism: The doctrine that there is an absolutely
**     powerful, infinitely knowledgeable, universe-spanning entity that is
**     deeply and personally concerned about my sex life."
**        ==  Andrew Lias, author and atheist





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters296.html#CHR ]

Date: Mon, March 19, 2012 9:26 am
Subject: Canadian Harm Reduction Network launches its new website
From: "Canadian Harm Reduction"

Good news!

The Canadian Harm Reduction Network's dynamic new website has been launched, and we invite you to check it out at http://www.canadianharmreduction.com, to get involved, to give us feedback on the website ... and to join the Network.

The website was developed in response to members' feedback and was made possible by a grant from the MAC AIDS fund.

Right from the home page, you can access recent news and research articles, upcoming events, campaigns and social media feeds, along with a visual record of community rallies and events.

Our Blog invites you to participate in informed conversations about critical issues.

There is a curated creative section with opportunities to read and publish stories and poems and view and display art and videos.

The website has expanded its library to well over a thousand items and maximised its search capabilities, and it retains its extensive list of links. As well, you will be able to enter your job calls, announce your events, and also to post your own resume as you look for employment in harm reduction.

Besides containing a raft of useful information, the website also offers opportunities to mobilise about specific concerns and events and for assistance in advocacy.

The Canadian Harm Reduction Network manages an extensive mailing list of over 44,000 individual addresses. We have installed a new mailing program — thanks to MAC — which makes mailings faster and easier. We do most of our email blasts without charge, but we are open to commercial mailings which are in keeping with the vision of the Network.

In the near future, the Canadian Harm Reduction Network expects to engage in several research projects, including, "Surfacing the Knowledge of Front-Line Harm Reduction Outreach Workers", for which we are actively seeking funding. This project will complement "Learning From Each Other: Enhancing Community-Based Harm Reduction Programs and Practices in Canada" at http://www.canadianharmreduction.com/projects, research we did together with the Canadian AIDS Society.

The Canadian Harm Reduction Network is Canada's only national organisation dedicated to promoting harm reduction. Your membership is important to us — and to all Canadians — especially in the face of recent attempts to undermine the validity of harm reduction, despite the evidence of its effectiveness.

Please join us ... and become an active member.

The Canadian Harm Reduction Network

http://www.canadianharmreduction.com





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters296.html#Steven_M ]

Date: Mon, March 19, 2012 5:49 pm     (answered 21 March 2012)
From: "Steven W M."
Subject: aa

am the member of AA since 1937 your data is only 25% right as for myyears in AA I HAVE HELPED 100 OF MEMBERS GET THERE LIFE BACK AS I SEE IT I LOST ONLY 8 WHO GOT LOST CAN YOU MAKE A SOMETHING OF THIS OR WILL IT SHUT YOUR BRAINS

Hello Steven,

Thanks for the letter. Unfortunately, your numbers by themselves don't prove anything. You leave too many unstated details. Like, how did you cherry-pick your sponsees? That is very important. If you only pick the winners, and ignore the losers, then you can appear to have a fantastic success rate, without actually improving the situation at all. So how did you select your sponsees?

You claim "hundreds" saved, and only eight lost. How many hundreds?

How many other people came to A.A. and then went away without getting any help while you managed your "hundreds"?

You claim that you have been a member of Alcoholics Anonymous since 1937? Really? A.A. did not exist in 1937. There was only the Oxford Group in 1937, and the Oxford Group cult leader Dr. Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman was busy going to Nuremberg Nazi Party rallies and saluting Adolf Hitler with straight-armed Sieg-Heil! salutes while his followers William Griffith Wilson, Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith, and Clarence Snyder recruited more alcoholics for Frank's cult. Would you care to tell us about that?

If you joined the Oxford Group in 1937, and stayed in as it morphed into Alcoholics Anonymous, then you must be at least 95 years old. If you were only 20 years old in 1937, which is very young for a hardened alcoholic, then you are 95 years old now. If you were 40 years old in 1937, which is far more typical for a down-and-out alcoholic who has "hit bottom", then you are 115 years old now. I don't think so.

Also, I think that would make you the only living A.A. member with 75 years sober. Is that so?

Lastly, what really matters is not your personal success with some selected alcoholics, but the success of Alcoholics Anonymous with all alcoholics. So please answer this one simple question that no true-believer Stepper has ever answered honestly:

What is the REAL A.A. success rate?

Out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A., how many will pick up a one-year sobriety medallion a year later?
Or even several years later?
And how many will get their 2-year, and 5-year, and 10-year coins? Ever?
How about 11 years and 21 years?

(HINT: the answers are here and here.)

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     'After all, facts are facts, and although we may quote one
**     to another with a chuckle the words of the Wise Statesman,
**     "Lies — damn lies — and statistics," still there are some
**     easy figures the simplest must understand, and the astutest
**     cannot wriggle out of.'
**       ==  Leonard Henry Courtney, the British economist and politician
**          (1832-1918), later Lord Courtney, New York, August 1895.





[The previous letter from Laine is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters296.html#Laine2 ]

Date: Thu, March 22, 2012 8:29 am     (answered 23 March 2012)
From: "Laine S."
Subject: Just about out the door

Hi Orange,

Sorry to pester. I read a lot of your site last night, and it really confirmed more for me. I'm pretty much ready to call it a day with AA, at least with the steps. My sponsor called last night to check in, and it was a somewhat awkward conversation since she knows I'm not 'getting it.' I told her about a job interview I had the other day, and how interviews these days are really intense and scrutinizing, much more than a few years ago. She said that maybe I need the intensity to help me not drink. ?? I didn't get that connection at all. There really isn't a connection. She said I wasn't socializing enough with people in the meetings, outside of a meeting, and that I need that support, and that I need to start doing service work. She said I really need to do step 3 again for surrender. When I said it seems that for the long-timers who have long passed stopping drinking, that this is more like group life therapy, she really pushed back and said it wasn't therapy, but a spiritual journey.

What you say about the bait & switch is so incredibly true. When I stepped back and thought of what I've done these past 9 months, I would think I would be doing it 'right.' I 1)stopped drinking, 2)go to at least 2 meetings/week, 3)read the Big Book, 4)doing the steps — now on step 8, 5)have a sponsor, 6)resist urges to drink. So with all of this, why isn't it enough?

I've experienced very similar dynamics at a former church, a home Bible study, and then believe it or not, in Mary Kay. There's a great site very much like yours called Pink Truth. They first tell you how you can be your own boss, etc. but then you have to follow tons of MK rules. They shun people who quit, saying they are lazy and didn't do the work. The same flags are raising for me now. My last comment is similar to one in your post on AA horror stories. I told you my oldest sister died of alcoholism in June 2002. She was the best big sister in the world and I miss her terribly. She tried AA for years, got a sponsor, went to meetings, and was sober for a few years. But she eventually left. Being an outsider, I just thought she didn't like the program, but that it's what she needed. She told me that she tried to have a spiritual experience but couldn't. It was awful. Now I feel incredible pain for her knowing how AA is. I would give anything to go back and find an alternative group for her. I'm sure she felt very lost and alone.

Thanks Orange for helping all of us not feel crazy.

Laine S.

Hello again, Laine,

Thanks for the letter, and you aren't perstering me. I'm happy to hear that you sound like you are doing okay.

Now the issues:

  1. RE: "...she really pushed back and said it wasn't therapy, but a spiritual journey."
    A.A. is not a spiritual journey. Now I know that we — the Steppers and I — can argue this one forever, and quibble over the definitions of words, but I'm simply not accepting the statement that doing the practices of an old fascist cult religion is "spirituality". I call it superstition, and even heretical superstition.

    If we accept something like the teachings of Jesus Christ as an example of spirituality, then A.A. fails. Nowhere in the Bible did Jesus tell people to "just surrender, and follow the orders of your sponsor". Nor did Jesus tell people to do the Twelve Steps. Nor did Jesus say that God will solve your problems for you if you join a cult and go to meetings and confess your wrongs all of the time. Jesus never instructed his followers to "dole out the truth to newcomers by teaspoons, not buckets".

    What Jesus said was, "Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked. Help the poor." Alcoholics Anonymous refuses to do any of those things. A.A. refuses to participate in any kind of charity, ever. A.A. inherited that attitude from the Oxford Group.

    The theology of Alcoholics Anonymous is just some heretical teachings that the Nazi sympathizer Dr. Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman made up. Bill Wilson was fooled into believing that it was very spiritual stuff while he was a member of Frank's cult, the "Oxford Group". Bill was wrong.

    I wrote about a bunch of the issues where the goofy theology of Alcoholics Anonymous is in conflict with the teachings of Christianity (or any other major religion) in the file The Heresy of the Twelve Steps.

  2. RE: After 9 months, you still aren't "getting it".
    And you won't, even after 9 years. What is required to "get it" is a great capacity for self-deception and wishful thinking. You will need the ability to pretend that you are getting it — "Fake It 'Till You Make It" — and you will need the ability to keep a straight face while you brag at A.A. meetings about how the Steps are making your life better. (That way, you get Brownie Points for being one of the spiritual people who is getting it.)

    This is another really old issue. Back in the nineteen-thirties, Marjorie Harrison studied the Oxford Group, and reported:

    Time after time you hear new converts saying that they were first attracted to the Group because "these people have something that I lacked". This little something some others haven't got is usually described as happiness or joy. The truth is that that "little something" is a happy capacity for a facile credulity. The majority of those who are attracted by the teaching have this capacity in some measure, whether they are aware of it or not. Otherwise there would be a very small Group and a much better one.
    Saints Run Mad; A Criticism of the "Oxford" Group Movement, Marjorie Harrison (1934), page 86.

  3. RE: "I've experienced very similar dynamics at a former church, a home Bible study, and then believe it or not, in Mary Kay."
    Oh yes. The mechanics of cults are actually quite common, the same tricks just being used over and over again, and you will find the same behavior in everything from the Westboro Baptist Church to Amway. The Cult Test lists a hundred of the common cult characteristics, and what is noticeable is that most cults, ranging from the Moonies to Scientology to fundamentalist Christians, are basically just doing the same things. I guess that there are only so many mind-bending tricks that work well to deceive and indoctrinate people, and they have been discovered and used by everybody from cult religions to Chinese Communist brainwashers.

  4. I'm sorry to hear about your sister. It really hurts to not be able to go back in time and help some people who didn't make it. I know. I have a few favorites of my own whom I wasn't able to help.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Some people want to know the truth, and some
**     people want their favorite beliefs reaffirmed.

[The next letter from Laine_S is here.]





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

Canada Goose browsing
The Family of 9, browsing

Canada Goose family
The Family of 9, browsing

Canada Goose gosling
A gosling of the Family of 9

[The story of Carmen continues here.]





[The previous letter from Xtina is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters296.html#Xtina ]

Date: Wed, March 21, 2012 3:43 pm     (answered 23 March 2012)
Subject: Re: Curious
From: Xtina

Aaaaah. Now I understand. This website obviously gives you purpose, allows you to help others and helps you stay sober.

I agree that medical facilities should not push a spiritual program, it is a program of attraction and not promotion.....and hospitals should do their jobs. I also agree that many of these people coming in from hospitals absolutely have other viable options. AA works best for those who truly need a miracle. Best of luck, and many more years of continued happiness and sobriety. -x

Hello again, Xtina,

Thanks for the note, but I have to disagree with your first paragraph. The web site does not give my life purpose, and it doesn't help me to stay sober. Those are A.A. ideas — that you must have "a Program" or something to keep you sober, and your life will be meaningless unless you join a cult religion.

No, my life is just fine, and has its own purpose, without spending time debating about Alcoholics Anonymous. And I don't need a "program" or a web site to keep me sober. My desire to live and be healthy takes care of that just fine, thank you.

Now the second phrase is true: Working on the web site does sometimes help others. At least, that's what they tell me.

We agree that forcing any religion on people is wrong — and it doesn't matter whether you call it religion or spirituality — it's still wrong, and a violation of our Constitution and lots of laws. Likewise, foisting some old superstitions on sick people and telling them that it really works as a cure is just evil.

Then, in the second paragraph, you said, "AA works best for those who truly need a miracle." Sorry, but A.A. does not work at all. (Look here.) That is another one of Bill Wilson's standard lies — that A.A. is some kind of solution for "defeated" alcoholics who have "hit bottom" and need a "miracle". A.A. is just a fraud that steals the credit from a few people who quit drinking, while refusing to take the blame for the multitude who don't quit drinking in A.A.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "You have no conception these days of how much failure we had.  You had
**     to cull over hundreds of these drunks to get a handful to take the bait."
**     Bill Wilson describing early recruiting efforts for Alcoholics Anonymous,
**     at the memorial service for Dr. Bob, Nov. 15, 1952; file available here.

[The next letter from Xtina is here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters296.html#Todd_F ]

Date: Tue, March 20, 2012 2:52 pm     (answered 23 March 2012)
Subject: Interesting information
From: "Todd F."

I want to thank you for the expose. The real question one should ask is does this program work. Does the message work? Do the steps work? ABSOLUTELY!!!!! THEY LED TO MY OWN ENLIGHTENMENT OVER 15 YEARS AGO ALLOWING ME TO EXPERIENCE HEAVEN ON EARTH. I WAS ALLOWED TO SEE THAT JESUS AND BUDDHA AND MANY SPIRITUAL MASTERS AND RELIGIONS REALLY ARE SIMILAR AND THE ULTIMATE GOAL IS ENLIGHTENMENT. IT IS FEAR IN ALL OF ITS MANIFESTATIONS IN ALL ITS TIME FRAMES THAT SEPARATE OURSELVES FROM OUR TRUE BEING. WHAT IS OUR TRUE BEING? ITS NOT THINKING!!!! THIS ENLIGHTENED WAY OF BEING ALLOWS FOR OUR HIGHER CONSCIOUSNESS TO MANIFEST. WE ALL CAN DO THIS!!! DON'T IGNORE THESE MESSAGES FROM ALL THESE PEOPLE. THERE IS WISDOM EVEN IN THE VERY SICK — USE IT. WE ARE NEVER PERFECT AND WE REALLY NEVER KNOW ANYTHING SO REALLY SHOULD WE JUDGE??? DO you know why they list sharing this knowledge with others? It's the soul love poring out to help others. Once one is enlightened the only thing one wants to do is to help others. It is instinctual. It is love. It is human. However it does not give one license to act selfishly which does happen. The premise is to help others unconditionally and anonymously. NO EGO. EGO is fear based thinking. Eliminate it by following this path or another and you will see what is meant. May your path work for you!

Sent from Gmail on Android DroidX.

Hello Todd,

Thanks for the letter. You are making some huge assumptions there, like that practicing an old cult religion from the nineteen-thirties produces enlightenment. That is not the track record of either the Oxford Group or Alcoholics Anonymous. They have no history of producing enlightenment.

I cannot argue specific cases. You claim that you got enlightened by doing the practices of Dr. Frank Buchman's old cult religion. I have my doubts, but cannot prove that is untrue. But I can speak of generalities: Generally, what the 12 Steps do is induce feelings of self-doubt, guilt, powerlessness, inadequacy, depression, paranoia, and unhappiness. That is not enlightenment.

This claim of yours is highly dubious:
"WHAT IS OUR TRUE BEING? ITS NOT THINKING!!!! THIS ENLIGHTENED WAY OF BEING ALLOWS FOR OUR HIGHER CONSCIOUSNESS TO MANIFEST."
In Buddhism and Hinduism, they have practices like meditation and yoga that are designed to quiet the mind and stop thinking and induce higher states of consciousness. None of them practice anything like the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Listing and confessing your sins and wrongs and moral shortcomings increases thought, rather than decreases it, and causes fixation on self and ego. When doing the 12 Steps, you just talk about yourself all of the time — "my sins, my defects of character, my moral shortcomings, my surrender, my insanity, my powerlessness, my sobriety, my obedience, my listening to 'Guidance', my spiritual awakening, my enlightenment..." So the 12 Steps are self-defeating when it comes to stopping thought and getting rid of ego.

Declaring that people should just not think is fraught with dangers. That what a lot of con artists and cult leaders and phony gurus say.

This line is the propaganda trick called antirationalism — the claim that there is no such thing as rational knowledge:
"WE ARE NEVER PERFECT AND WE REALLY NEVER KNOW ANYTHING SO REALLY SHOULD WE JUDGE???"
We most assuredly do know some things:

  • The Earth is round, not flat.
  • The speed of light is 300,000,000 meters per second in a vacuum, and the speed of sound is 1080 feet per second in dry air at sea level.
  • A gas will expand to fill the space allowed it.
  • Bacteria and viruses cause diseases, not some old lady putting hexes on people.
  • Antibiotics work better than faith healing.
  • Lightning is not sparks from the hammer of the Thunder God Thor.
  • Our material world is made up of over 100 elements, not just Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.
  • And Alcoholics Anonymous fails to cure the problem of alcohol abuse. In fact, A.A. makes matters worse.

I agree that when one is enlightened, he should help others. The help that people need is more truth and less noise. And less irrational cult religion.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     Note that any- and everything that keeps you from appreciating
**     your spiritual source is an impediment. This particularly
**     includes relying on someone else or some organization without
**     examining the truths that they insist you believe.
**       ==  Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Inspiration Perpetual Flip Calendar, 19 December





[The previous letter from Kevin_B is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters296.html#Kevin_B ]

Subject: Re: Orange Papers?
From: "Kevin B."
Date: Tue, March 20, 2012 4:10 pm

Your "explanation" may make some sense to those that agree with your utter disdain for the 12-steps.....but I guess I wonder why you devote SO much time and energy to blasting a program that seems to be working and has helped millions of people?? It just doesn't make sense....

Hello again, Kevin,

You are repeating yourself. Your last letter stated that I was, "railing against a program that is helping millions of people."
I explained to you that A.A. does not even have 2 million members in the whole world, and A.A. does not work as a cure for alcohol abuse at all. A.A. actually only has a few hundred thousand hard-core members, and the rest is just churn — newcomers in, newcomers gone. A.A. produces very nasty effects like raising the death rate in alcoholics, and raising the rate of binge drinking. So there are no "millions helped".

Now you claim that A.A. "seems to be working and has helped millions of people??"
Well, you have gone from certainty to "seems to be working"...

Appearances can be deceiving. The only reason that A.A. seems to be working is because A.A. is guilty of observational selection — counting the hits, and ignoring the misses. A.A. claims the credit for every sober person who ever peeked inside an A.A. meeting room, while denying any responsibility for all of the millions of people who don't get sober.

Since you keep insisting that A.A. works and saves millions, I have to ask you this one simple question:

What is the REAL A.A. success rate?

Out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A., how many will pick up a one-year sobriety medallion a year later?
Or even several years later?
And how many will get their 2-year, and 5-year, and 10-year coins? Ever?
How about 11 years and 21 years?

(HINT: the answers are here and here and here.)

Now, the reason why I work on this web site is because somebody has to tell the truth to counter-act the river of false information and propaganda that is produced by A.A. promoters. People who are sick and in trouble need to know the truth, and they deserve the truth.

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.





More Letters


Previous Letters









Search the Orange Papers







Click Fruit for Menu

Last updated 20 January 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters296.html