Letters, We Get Mail, CCXCIX



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters299.html#James_S ]

Date: Thu, March 29, 2012 11:22 pm     (answered 4 April 2012)
From: "james s."
Subject: Thanks for your paper on how to deprogram my mind.

Thank you so much for putting your whole heart into this. It is beautifully written. Deep, thorough and it pulls no punches. Blessed be.

James

Hi James,

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

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     Democracy, which has grown up in the last three hundred years,
**     represents, with its emphasis upon individual responsibility
**     and individual actions, the most difficult societal system,
**     requiring a definite human maturity.
**         Totalitarianism and especially fascism can in many ways
**     be regarded as an escape from this difficulty into the
**     irresponsibility of following a leader who deprives the
**     people of their liberty and their maturity but promises them
**     'security' and 'economic progress'.
**        == walter_map,  May 14th, 2007
**        Published on Monday, May 14, 2007 by CommonDreams.org





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters299.html#Ray_S ]

Date: Wed, March 21, 2012 6:27 pm     (answered 4 April 2011)
From: "Facebook"
Subject: New message from Ray S.

Ray sent you a message.

"Hadn't heard of the NA studies:"

http://www.facebook.com/notes/just-for-today/the-efficacy-of-aa-and-na-part-1/208568309243765

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=208574315909831

Hello Ray, Thanks for the links. Those pages are great. I didn't know about all of those tests and studies either. His list is longer than mine. Now I have to memorize all of that.

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-letters299.html#Chris_S ]

Date: Fri, March 30, 2012 1:12 pm     (answered 4 April 2012)
From: "Chris S."
Subject: Re: CHRIS S. — Bill Wilson, YOU need to consider David/Solomon and others too.

Well we do disagree on much, and I and you will accept that I believe. I don't trade Jesus, and my faith in him for anything else, but I recognize where we learn new things and new ideas and that is knowledge from God, in my opinion. I have yet to meet a perfect, sinless leader, including Bill Wilson. I'm sorry if you thought I was rationalizing his behavior, I was not.

Hello again, Chris,

I also have faith in Jesus Christ. But I have none in Moses. He was just another warlord.

And you know, "faith" isn't worth the scriptures it's printed on. Personally, I don't care if you have faith in Jesus, or Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny. What matters is what you actually do, not what you "believe". Do you follow the teachings of Jesus, or do you follow the teachings of the Nazi sympathizer Dr. Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman?

I'm glad to hear that you weren't rationalizing Bill Wilson's behavior.

I see so much Grace in the Old Testament versus how the New Testament is so interpreted and become a bunch of Pride (for feeling you are doing everything right in God's eyes) and self-righteousness judgement of others, which is not what I believe God wanted us to gather.

I had forgotten about Moses, for all the 'bad' we see he caused in retrospect, we certainly don't focus on that when we teach about Moses and the Deliverance he brought, do we?? I suggest we do that with non-biblical leaders as well, like Bill Wilson. Shall we trash the Constitution because it's leaders were sinful in ways to....? Not sure I see the alignment between Buchanan and AA, sure similar 'steps' in the beginning, but there is more in AA than Buchanan's BS.

You put "bad" in quotation marks? You don't think that robbing and raping and mass murder and genocide and ethnic cleansing are really bad? Are those crimes okay if they are done by "the right people"? Especially if done to "the wrong people"?

What "Deliverance" did Moses bring us? I know that he took some slaves away from the Pharoah, but that isn't that big of a deal. And then he made up 10 rules that are not that great of a set of standards, either.

You are still trying to minimize and deny the actions of a guy who just robbed and killed everybody else who wasn't part of his tribe or his religion. He murdered all of his neighbors and stole their land, and then he wrote some books where he bragged about all of the people that he had killed, and all of the virgin girls that his army kidnapped and made into sex slaves and raped, and he bragged about what a great guy he was and how he talked to God and God was on his side. You know the old saying, "The history books get written by the guys who win the wars."

I've seen a lot of good in AA, and also alot of bad in AA. I've seen alot of good in Evangelicalism, and I've seen a lot of bad (you get that privilege when you are leading).

The result is this, I (only me) see a lot more Tolerance & Love, with Humility (which kills self-righteous judgmental posturing) in AA then Evangelicalism.

So for me, and my alcoholism, I'll stay in AA, and for my Christian Religious experience & growth, it has for sometime and I suspect will continue to not be within the realms of Evangelicalism.

I'm glad we could speak honestly and from where our heart is currently taking us. I wish you only the best in Life, you and your loved ones....... and Have a Blessed Easter, and new insights etc concerning the Death and Salvation of man, through Jesus Christ.

Chris S.

"Saints have a history, and us Sinners have a future"...

Okay, so you have chosen Alcoholics Anonymous rather than the teachings of Jesus Christ. (See The Heresy of the Twelve Steps.)

Oh well, have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one
**     of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
**        ==  Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:40)





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters299.html#Peter_T ]

Date: Sat, March 31, 2012 9:37 pm     (answered 4 March 2012)
From: "peter t."
Subject: I like your site!

Hi:

After 14 years in AA I've had enough of the AA "people, places & things", which, incidentally, I am not as "powerless over" as AA brainwashed me into believing I was.

I stopped drinking in August '97. I've actively sought fellowship in "the fellowship" and countless times have come away from my interactions with AA members feeling very agitated very, "restless, irritable & discontented."

Why this is I cannot say. Not drinking is good for me but outside of that my experience with AA has been an ongoing ordeal interspersed with the occasional debacle!

Whether I am right or wrong I cannot say. But I cannot escape the fact that by going to AA regularly (approximately 3-4 times per week) and doing what I can with the suggestions of recovery, unity & service using the AA Big Book and principles therein as a guideline for living (or a "blueprint for living") continues to cause me lingering, low level depression and anxiety. We humans are given a well honed sense of self-survival as well as the ability to both recognise stupidity and not feel obliged to participate in stupidity.

Of the precious time given to me I have spent countless hours and contributed instalment payments of a few dollars at every meeting I attended only to now feel greatly disappointed in AA. Many things you wrote or quoted regarding old men chasing girls young enough to be their granddaughters are as true here in Australia as they are elsewhere.

I do not know what else to say. I am pleased (I am reluctant to use the word "grateful" because it is rather loosely thrown around at meetings) I found your site. I have not read everything on your site yet but believe it's a good collection of AA stuf!

Sincerely Yours,

— Peter T

Hello Peter,

Thank you for the letter. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well. Congratulations on both your sobriety and your awakening.

That uncomfortable feeling that you get at A.A. meetings is quite understandable. It is really depressing and damaging to constantly harp on how bad and sinful you are, and to confess that you are insane and stupid and evil and selfish and weak and powerless... That's bound to make anyone feel bad. And it destroys their self-confidence and ability to think for themselves clearly. (That's why brainwashers use the confession technique.)

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The hardest thing to cope with is not selfishness or vanity
**     or deceitfulness, but sheer stupidity.
**       ==  Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind (1954), 210.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters299.html#Peter_F ]

Date: Sun, April 1, 2012 11:09 am     (answered 4 April 2012)
From: "Peter F."
Subject: Expecting People to be 'Freer' Than They Want to be — An Ironically Totalitarian Approach to Addiction

Expecting People to be 'Freer' Than They Want to be — An Ironically Totalitarian Approach to Addiction

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-peter-ferentzy/expecting-people-to-be-fr_b_1393979.html

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

Hi again, Peter,

Thanks for the article.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Those who suppress freedom always do so in the name of law and order.
**       ==  John Lindsay





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters299.html#Meatbag ]

Date: Mon, April 2, 2012 12:27 pm     (answered 4 April 2012)
From: "Meatbag"
Subject: More comments

Hey, Orange. How's April treating you?

Hi again, Meatbag.

April is rainy. And this has been going on for months. So far, I counted one day of real spring.

If you look at the map of the USA on the evening weather report, you see that the jet stream is dipping down and shoving clouds and rain on Washington and Oregon, and everybody else in the country is cooking. Everybody else brags about the winter that didn't happen, and they already have drought and wildfires and tornados. And we get more clouds and rain.

And the weather man is saying that we may not get spring this year. That's how April is.

I think part of the problem is, mental illness in general is not well understood enough to just fix the problem, even with common mental illnesses like depression. It's trial and error. For instance, there's this study
http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD003012/tricyclic-antidepressants-compared-with-active-placebos-for-depression

that shows that antidepressants are only slightly more effective than active placebos. That might explain why it often feels like my anti-depressants aren't doing much, if anything. They didn't do anything to prevent the psychotic features of my depression. I had to get an additional med for that.

Yes. I was just reading The Emperor's New Drugs, by Irving Kirsch, which talks about that problem. Antidepressants may be one of the biggest hoaxes in medicine. Quite often, they are no better than placebos. So how did they even get approved by the FDA? By a bureaucratic slight-of-hand: Prove that a new drug works just as well as some other already-approved antidepressant. But the gotcha is that the other antidepressant doesn't work either, and should never have been approved, but it got approved by other deceit and trickery.

On another note, I do remember you writing about having prosopagnosia for a while as a result of your alcohol usage. It sounded quite familiar, except I never realized there was anything unusual about living that way. I once followed the wrong teacher as a kid, because she had the same hairstyle as my teacher. Apparently, prosopagnosia is common in autistic people. It's probably a lot scarier when you've had the ability to recognize faces and lost it, though, than never having the ability at all.

Yes, prosopagnosia is a bitch. It's so embarassing to not be able to recognize people, even people that you spoke to an hour earlier. Fortunately, most of that has healed in the last 11 years. But not all. I still cannot remember faces like I used to.

I have a friend who has had prosopagnosia since birth. He is also slightly autistic. Asperger's Syndrome, I think. He is the one who taught me about prosopagnosia. He explained that he likes to get friends who have very distinct features, so he can easily recognize those features. Like with me, he can recognize the long gray-blond hair and beard immediately.

And Andrew, do you really want to argue with a disabled person about what is and isn't insulting to people with disabilities? Yes, a person with Down's Syndrome certainly can learn to feel angry about not having the same abilities as an average person, since the average person is preferred in society. Also, a black woman can learn to hate the color of her skin, since white people are preferred in society. And the lives of both are often frustrating and difficult, because abled people and white people make their lives difficult and frustrating. If a person in a wheelchair can't enter a business, it's because the business made it difficult for that person to enter the business. Also, consider one thing: is a person of average intelligence (and we'll pretend the concept is in no way questionable) inherently limited because they don't have the brains of Stephen Hawking or Albert Einstein? No? Then why is a person with Down's Syndrome inherently limited?

And what kind of view of life do you have that every life is tragic? Yes, nobody gets to live forever. Why is that automatically tragic? It's the stuff in-between birth and death that makes a life worth living. Don't go around dismissing that part like it's worthless. And this is coming from someone with depression, of all things.

Okay, I'll let you argue with Andrew on that one.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     I was feeling depressed, so I took an online test for depression.
**     The results were bad, simply awful.  Now I'm really depressed.

[The next letter from Meatbag is here.]





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

Canada Geese family
Goslings browsing


Canada Geese portrait Canada Goose portrait


Canada Geese portrait
Canada Goose portrait

[More gosling photos below, here.]





[The previous letter from Andrew_S is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters299.html#Andrew_S ]

Date: Mon, April 2, 2012 7:37 am     (answered 5 April 2012)
From: "Andrew S."
Subject: Re: AA's Problems

I wrote:

My advice to someone who thinks that they have a drinking problem is to work down a list of meta-data regarding therapy efficacies. Start at the top with Motivational Interviewing and CBT, give them a sincere shot. If they don't work, move down the list. If nothing works, you'll slowly pass from acupuncture, homeopathy and AA into Scientology and trepanning. The higher the efficacy rate for the general population, the more likely you are to respond to the therapy *ceteris paribus*. Of course, you can always go into spontaneous remission as well.

You replied:

Again, your jabber about "what works" is repeating an A.A. fallacy: that "programs" "work". There is no program or treatment that works to make addicts quit their addictions. What works is people really deciding to quit, and then getting a grip and quitting their bad habits and changing their lifestyle. It is not a matter of joining the right group or working the right program, or getting the right treatment, and having it "work" and make you quit drinking.

This is a false dichotomy you are presenting. You are making it seem as if either a person must accept personal responsibility and go it alone OR they must work a program. When a person humbles themselves and makes themselves accountable to another person (hopefully a licensed therapist, counselor or doctor) they come closer to the goal of personal accountability. We must solve our problems FOR OURSELVES, but we do not solve them BY OURSELVES. Having a support network of loved ones, family, friends and medical professionals makes our recovery stronger and more likely.

I am advising that people take an open-minded attitude toward trying a variety of therapies. I am surprised you take umbrage at that.

What I take umbrage at is the talk about "what works". A.A. does not work. One of the standard A.A. recruiting lines is like, "I did the Church program, and that didn't work. Then I did the V.A. program, and that didn't work. And then I joined A.A., and that worked." In fact, there are stories like that in the Big Book.

Such a testimonial ignores the fact that the speaker had years of experience with failing to quit before he finally quit and stayed quit. He failed until he did it right. And coincidentally, he also joined A.A. because he was now desperate enough to try anything. The speaker assumes that programs are supposed to "work" and make him quit drinking, which is not the case.

So your suggested procedure, of try one thing and see if it works, and then try something else and see if that works, and go down the list that way, trying even ridiculous quackery like "homeopathy and AA into Scientology and trepanning", is not a good approach to the problem. You are still implying that some program or treatment will eventually "work", and that it's just a matter of finding the right one. No. People who won't get a grip and really quit will go through the entire list and then die. And they do.

Your most recent argument is quite different. Now you are saying that people should see real licensed therapists, counselors or doctors. I agree with that. But the other half of the sentence — "When a person humbles themselves and makes themselves accountable to another person" — is just Dr. Frank Buchman's confession routine. Confession is not the cure for alcohol or drug addiction. You try to mask the cult confession routine by talking about "personal accountability", but it is still Frank Buchman's confession routine that Bill Wilson copied.

Then you made some sweeping, unsupported claims:

"We must solve our problems FOR OURSELVES, but we do not solve them BY OURSELVES. Having a support network of loved ones, family, friends and medical professionals makes our recovery stronger and more likely."
Oh really? Prove it. Please show me the clinical trials that showed that such a "support network" improves the recovery rate. I mean really. What medical tests ever showed such a thing? You are just repeating another A.A. slogan: "Nobody can do it alone."

The Harvard Mental Health Letter reported:

"One recent study found that 80% of all alcoholics who recover for a year or more do so on their own, some after being unsuccessfully treated."

And the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health reported

"About 75 percent of persons who recover from alcohol dependence do so without seeking any kind of help, including specialty alcohol (rehab) programs and AA. Only 13 percent of people with alcohol dependence ever receive specialty alcohol treatment."

So who, besides Alcoholics Anonymous promoters, says that you need a "support group", or a "support network"?

Like any other life problem, a multi-pronged approach is best. Yes, the patient must make moral and spiritual progress. But that doesn't preclude exercise, medical care, talk therapy, medication or group therapy.

That sounds partly reasonable. Especially, do not overlook nutrition. However the "make moral and spiritual progress" line is of course pushing nonsense. That is just a veiled way of trying to shoehorn A.A. in the door.

Are you really encouraging people not to seek therapy or counsel, OA? You're starting to sound like the AA alligators you hate so much.

No, I'm just rejecting the idea that if you try enough "programs", even absurd quackery like homeopathy and trepanning and cult religion, that one will "work".

Solving your problems by yourself helped you. That doesn't mean that therapy, self-help books and medical attention won't have a positive impact for other people.

Careful there. Which things will "have a positive impact"? What A.A. has been shown to do is make matters worse, like increasing the rate of binge drinking and increasing the death rate. So just randomly trying out a lot of different things — even fraud and quackery — will not necessarily cause positive results.

Therapy galvanizes people to change. Therapy can provide insight into our problems. When we meet medical professionals, hopefully we find a caring empathetic person who can provide us with the tools to change.

That's a big maybe. And what "tools to change"? That's another A.A. slogan.

And this is no different than solving a problem like overeating or obesity; your doctor can't slap the fork out of your hand every meal, but they can provide you with strategies, medications and support that make the struggle easier.

Yes, by all means let's send people to doctors who know what they are doing, and not to 12-Step quacks.

Also, OA, have you noticed that the surveys you quoted to me are nearly 60 years old? How can you claim to be a rational source of information when you rely on such dated data that you believe is flawed and incomplete? Fundamentally I agree with you, but you must hold yourself to the same rigorous standards that you hold the AA defenders to.

Your humble servant,

Andrew

Which surveys are 60 years old? And does that make them wrong?

(That is of course the propaganda trick called Dismiss by Antiquity — just claim that something is bad because it is old.)

Does information suddenly become wrong if it gets old? If so, then the entire Big Book is wrong because it is 75 years old. Even worse, the Big Book is just recycled Buchmanism, which is more like 90 years old, and Frank Buchman just recycled the religious teachings of Henry B. Wright of Yale University, which are even older, and Wright just recycled even older stuff that he got from Robert E. Speer. So it's really some old garbage, so it's all wrong, right?

Need I even mention that fact that the Bible is nearly 2000 years old, and parts of the Old Testament are really ancient? So, is the Bible totally invalid now that it is much older than 60 years?


Date: Mon, April 2, 2012 7:51 am     (answered 5 March 2012)
From: "Andrew S."
Subject: Re: AA's Problems

I wrote:

Your argument (as usual) is lengthy and confused. The experiential data of person A in regard to person A is not a testimonial. The testimonial would be person B or person A discussing person's A's experience with person C in order to to convince person C that AA works. I am talking about person A's particular experience in relationship to their particular history and response to AA.

That isn't a testimonial, that's person A's medical history as long as its used to prescribe treatment for person A only.

You responded:

Hello again, Andrew,

Of course it's a testimonial. Alcoholics Anonymous does not present us with medical data, they give us testimonials. The entire back two-thirds of the Big Book is testimonials, all of which follow the standard cookie-cutter formula of: "I drank too much and my life was hell, and then I joined wonderful A.A. and now I am so happy." That is a testimonial.

AO, I believe that you are being intentionally obtuse with me. The biographical data about someone's struggle with alcohol can be a variety of things depending on how it is presented and arranged. It could be a memoir, it could be a testimonial, it could be a medical history, it could even be fictionalized into a play. If it is presented in order to persuade others to use AA, it is a testimonial. If it is relayed to doctor, it is a medical history. Just because AA has used it as a testimonial, or that stories like that are used as testimonials, that doesn't mean it loses all validity for all of its communicative purposes.

Excuse me, but no. A testimonial does not change into medical data just because someone recites his testimonial to a doctor. Now if the doctor issues a report describing the patient's condition in medical terms, then that is medical history. When a doctor like Dr. George E. Vaillant reports this result from using A.A. to treat a group of alcoholics for eight years, it's medical data:

Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism, but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling.

Now that is medical data.

You don't have the credentials or the moral right to tell an alcoholic that you know with certainty that the therapy that they believed cured them didn't actually work. Why? 1) You don't have enough data about their life. 2) You're not a doctor. 3) You're not a drug counselor. 4) You have a strong bias against AA. If there were a person who empirically had their life improved by AA, you would deny it as a matter of principle.

As one judge said, "There are some things that are self-evident, like finding trout in your milk."

Old cult religion does not cure alcohol addiction or drug addiction. Period. Now if you think that it does work, let's see the clinical tests where A.A. worked to cure "alcoholism".

You want to talk about credentials? What credentials do you have to be defending and promoting an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties as a quack cure for alcohol abuse or drug addiction?

I sincerely believe that AA has had a positive impact on my life because I rebelled against it and created a personal program of recovery for myself. It encouraged me to think rationally about recovery by questioning its principles. It introduced me to people who had adopted abstinence as a personal philosophy. It encouraged me to develop my spirituality. It was a temporary step on my journey to sobriety.

So you believe. Belief is not evidence of efficacy.

(That is the propaganda trick and logical fallacy of Belief Equals Truth.)

I am not an AA stalwart, and I do not prescribe it for other people. Please explain to me why you ( a layman with no information on my particular struggle with alcohol) know better about my life than I do.

If A.A. is really so great, why don't you prescribe it?

The answer to your second sentence is, "I know that a Nazi philosophy is not going to make your life better." And that is what Buchmanism is. Even the author of the Serenity Prayer, Reinhold Niebuhr, said so:

...a Nazi social philosophy has been a covert presumption of the whole Oxford group enterprise from the very beginning.

The whole Alcoholics Anonymous program is just reheated Buchmanism. And it is not good for people. Teaching people that they are just disgusting sinners who cannot think for themselves, and that they should just surrender, and that they are powerless over alcohol, produces very bad results.

You can't because you don't. I know my life better than you do. It's silly and disrespectful to believe otherwise. I believe that you know your life better than I do, I don't second-guess your attitudes toward your own sobriety.

Andrew

I do not need to know everything about your life to know that the Alcoholics Anonymous philosophy and theology are bad. It has nothing to do with your life, and everything to do with what Alcoholics Anonymous is. I doubt that your life has been greatly improved by practicing Buchmanism or the A.A. religion because that isn't the nature of the beast. I would have the same reaction if you told me that you had profited immensely from practicing the teachings of Chairman Mao or Adolf Hitler. Or Rev. Sun Myung Moon, or Rev. Jim Jones, or Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, or Swami Prabhupada, or any other crazy cult leader.


Date: Mon, April 2, 2012 8:16 am     (answered 5 March 2012)
From: "Andrew S."
Subject: Re: AA's Problems

You wrote:

And addiction is not a "baffling and perplexing paradox". That is just one more high-falutin' A.A. slogan. Doctors understand addiction pretty well. Heck, I understand addiction pretty well.

If you understand all of the issues surrounding addiction, please explain the following:

1) How can any biological entity that depends on eating and procreation forgo eating and procreation for their drug of choice?

Easy. The drug acts as an immediate painkiller and in the short term makes the biological entity feel better. So every time the animal is in pain, it wants more painkiller.

2) How can a human neglect or abuse their child as a result of their drug use? The instinct to protect our offspring is one of the strongest instincts.

The desire to kill pain is even stronger than the instinct to care for the children.

3) What is the correct and most efficient policy the state should adopt regarding drug addiction?

Quit promoting the 12-Step religion. Use therapies that improve the situation, rather than make it worse. That means "evidence-based" therapies that have been clinically tested and shown to produce good results. A.A. has been clinically tested and shown to produce bad results.

4) If an addictive intoxicant is used in the commission of a crime, should the penalty be greater, lesser or the same?

The same.

5) How should people who sell drugs be treated by the criminal system?

That depends on the drug and the amount. For things like distributing small amounts of pot, I'd let them go. For making and distributing speed, which is highly destructive, I'd have to consider whether they are themselves also addicts, supporting their habits, or just profiteers. I'd send the former to a rehab camp, and the later, put them in prison. Other drugs like heroin also fall into that range.

6) How should someone who loves a drug addict treat them?

With love.

If that question was intended to elicit a prescribed treatment program, then the question is far too broad and generalized. There isn't any simple one-size-fits-all answer for drug addiction. Different people drink or drug for different reasons. Some people suffer from mental illnesses like Bipolar Disorder or PTSD or schizophrenia or NPD or depression; some have physical diseases and pain that they are trying to fix by self-medication, including the pain of dying from alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and malnutrition; and some have psychological issues like childhood abuse — physical, sexual, or mental. There are actually too many different causes to list here. The cure depends on the ailment. Again, this is why people with addiction problems should see real doctors, not 12-Step quacks.

But if you want a list of hints and techniques that have worked for me and other people, you can read: How did you get to where you are?

7) How do we reduce the social harm of drug addiction?

Decriminalize all of the less harmful drugs, and make the others available under strict conditions so as to actually control their use. Right now the only people who control the drug use are the bosses of the drug cartels. Take the money and the power and the control away from them and give it to us.

8) Why is there more drug addiction in marginalized social groups such as Native Americans, the GLBT community and African-Americans?

Isn't this one obvious? People get their land and their culture stolen and destroyed, or they get kidnapped and enslaved, or they get hated and feared because they are different, and then they are told that they are an inferior race or group, just worthless disgusting immoral people, and that makes them very depressed, so they try to get stoned and forget the whole thing.

You just hit on why A.A. raises the rate of binge drinking. Telling people that they are powerless and insane, and incurable sinners, and guilty of all kinds of things, makes them drink more.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     "Early AA got it's ideas of self-examination,
**     acknowledgement of character defects, restitution for
**     harm done, and working with others straight from the
**     Oxford Groups and directly from Sam Shoemaker, their
**     former leader in America, and nowhere else."
**       == Bill Wilson,
**         Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, page 39.





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

Canada Goose families, looking for munchies
Canada Goose Families on the shore, looking at me expectantly, hoping for some munchies

Canada Goose gosling
Gosling

Canada Goose mama and babies
Canada Goose Mama and Goslings
This looks like the family that adopted the orphan. Notice how the smaller gosling that is behind the mother's head is so yellowish. It is obviously much younger than the larger, grayer, gosling in front.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters299.html#Taylor_W ]

Date: Tue, April 3, 2012 6:30 pm     (answered 9 April 2012)
From: "Taylor W."
Subject: Mike O

Orange,

I really enjoyed your recently letter from Mike O. He's dead on the money. Even for folks who don't have much (or anything) in the way of family and friends, there are many less dangerous and screwy options. And of course, they're not limited to recovery groups. That's something to be wary of, becoming recoverycentric. It reminds me of an old friend of mine who got clean shortly after I did, unbeknownst to me. We crossed paths years later, and one of the things we agreed on right away is that we did not want to talk about the shit from our using days. It's junk, and more importantly, junk that's already been sifted through, then either unloaded or accepted. Instead, we talked about the positive things we were doing in our lives now, and would like to do in the future. To me, that seemed like a much more productive use of time. I certainly enjoyed it more, that's for sure.

Unfortunately, it would seem that so many in "recovery" seem to think that simply not engaging in self destruction behavior is the epitome of human achievement. I still firmly believe that while not doing bad things is good, doing good things is really what one should be striving for. It's understandable enough early on, but when 20 years later, a guy is still coasting on not doing wrong, that doesn't really cut in my mind. To be fair, I could stand to be a bit more productive myself, but hey, it's coming along.

Rock on dude,
-Taylor

Hello Taylor,

Thanks for the letter, and I couldn't agree more. Sometimes, wasting the rest of ones' life rehashing the same old garbage over and over again seems like a fate almost worse than death. And yes, there is so much more to life than just not drinking and doping.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved
**       but a reality to be experienced.
**         ==  Aart Van Der Leeuw

[The next letter from Taylor_W is here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters299.html#Jim_M ]

Date: Tue, April 3, 2012 11:59 pm     (answered 6 April 2012)
From: "Jim M"
Subject: The sale of your site

The sale of your site, "orange-papers", was mentioned to me today by a long time member in A.A. — Charlie Bishop Jr., The Bishop of Books. Is there any truth to this? I see no indication of you doing so on your site.

Yours in service,
Jim M.,
http://www.silkworth.net/

Dr Bob's Farewell Talk ( http://www.silkworth.net/aahistory/drbob_farewell.html )-
"Let us also remember to guard that erring member — the tongue, and if we must use
it, let's use it with kindness and consideration and tolerance." -From Dr. Bob's
brief remarks on Sunday, July 30, 1950, at the First International A.A. Convention,
in Cleveland, Ohio.

Hello Jim,

No truth to it. That is just somebody's wishful thinking.

I have actually gotten only one request to buy it, half a dozen years ago, and obviously didn't take them up on the offer.

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.


[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters299.html#Jim_M2 ]

Date: Fri, April 6, 2012 11:11 pm     (answered 12 April 2012)
From: "Jim M"
Subject: Re: The sale of your site

Hello Orange (have a first name?),

I believe that Charlie Bishop Jr. was miss informed then. Not sure where he got such an idea of your site being for sale. I visit your site fairly often and find it very interesting. I had your site, at one time, mirrored on silkworth.net. I decided to remove it for now, but for now, I do have a link to your site on my off site links directory located here:
http://www.silkworth.net/link_exchange/personalsites/personalsites4.html

There has been a few emails about my posting your link on my site, but I am one who believes in both sides of individules beliefs — the good and the bad, if you will. I believe in the truth and truth can be found on yours and my site.

Thanks for the reply.

Jim

Hello again, Jim,

Yes, just a rumor. By the way, I also have Silkworth.net listed on my links page, too, both your web site and chat forum, here: http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-links.html
(Just search for "silkworth".)

I like Silkworth.net because you have collected such a wealth of old documents and information, both the good and the bad.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     Truth is a necessity if you're ever going to live in harmony with Spirit
**     and become a source of inspiration for the people you encounter.
**     == Dr. Wayne Dyer, Inspiration Perpetual Flip Calendar, 5 April





[The previous letter from Hetu-Ahin is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters299.html#Hetu-Ahin ]

Date: Wed, April 4, 2012 2:36 pm     (answered 9 April 2012)
From: "Hetu-Ahin"
Subject: Re: 12 steps for sane 'lunatics'

Thanks.

I will read the horror stories etc.

I will say only two people have told me to shut up ot leave or AA, and they were soundly rounded upon by other aa theists.

One question for now.

We may start out as agnostics. We may then come to view the group or recovery process as our higher power, looking to other people for strength. Gradually, we accept a vague notion of god, which grows to a more specific monotheistic god. We may even begin to pray to and dialogue with this god. Eventually we come to know the one true God.
Serenity, A Companion for Twelve Step Recovery, Complete with New Testament Psalms & Proverbs, Dr. Robert Hemfelt and Dr. Richard Fowler, page 78.

Why do you regard that as dodgy? It just describes what Bill W thought, and some others think, will happen if an agnostic starts out on the steps. And actually I know of one case where that did happen. So somebody got converted. That happens to people outside AA too. Sad, but a fact of life.

Hello again, Hetu-Ahin,

What is dodgy about it is that it is a bait-and-switch trick. Alcoholics Anonymous was advertised as a quit-drinking program. But it turns out that the real effect of the program is to convert the newcomers into belief in "the one true God" of Alcoholics Anonymous.

That is Deceptive Recruiting, and it is a common characteristic of evil cults.

Why do I stick with AA rather than getting involved somewhere else? Well, for the moment, I get a lot out of the fellowship. Unlike you, I think that if you take the God illusion out of the steps you are left with great addiction psychology. The meetings (the ones I go to) provide lots of useful insights into details of recovery, and more besides. They also help me remember that I can't safely drink ... in the past I have actually forgotten that I am an alcoholic, diseased, not normal in relation to drink, with a permanent physical allergy, (hypersensitive dopamine system) and spiritual malady (tendency to go insane once I have a drink).

Addiction psychology? You think that Bill Wilson had any insight into the psychology of addiction? Like this nonsense?

      ...we think we can render an even greater service to alcoholic sufferers and perhaps to the medical fraternity. So we shall describe some of the mental states that precede a relapse into drinking, for obviously this is the crux of the problem.   ...
      "Suddenly the thought crossed my mind that if I were to put an ounce of whiskey in my milk it couldn't hurt me on a full stomach. ...
The experiment went so well that I ordered another whiskey and poured it into more milk. That didn't seem to bother me so I tried another."   ...
      ...all reasons for not drinking were easily pushed aside in favor of the foolish idea that he could take whiskey if only he mixed it with milk!   ...
      Whatever the precise definition of the word may be, we call this plain insanity. How can such a lack of proportion, of the ability to think straight, be called anything else?
The Big Book, 3rd and 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, Chapter 3, More About Alcoholism, pages 36-37.

Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, Chapter 3, More About Alcoholism, page 43.

Remember that we deal with alcohol — cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power — that One is God. May you find Him now!
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Into Action, pages 58-59.

That is the entire A.A. program: declare yourself weak and insane, and then surrender yourself to God, and hope that God will save you.

Have you ever checked out any of the other recovery groups, like SMART or SOS or Lifering? Those guys can also talk to you about how you should not drink alcohol, and you can get good advice without getting dosed with the philosophy of an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties.

By the way, the "tendency to go insane once I have a drink" is not a "spiritual malady". One of the things that I object to about Alcoholics Anonymous is how they twist words around to have the most ridiculous meanings, and this is one example of that. Being hypersensitive to the effects of alcohol is not a "spiritual malady". It may be a medical problem, and it may be a psychiatric problem, and it may well be a genetic condition, but it is not a "spiritual malady", or a "spiritual disease". You, if you are really an atheist, should notice that. As soon as they start talking about spirits, you should head for the door.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**
**   "Resentment is the "number one" offender.
**   It destroys more alcoholics than anything else.
**   From it stem all forms of spiritual disease..."
**     ==  The Big Book, William G. Wilson, Chapter 5, How It Works, page 64.
**
**   "We AA's have never called alcoholism a disease because,
**   technically speaking it is not a disease entity."
**     ==  William G. Wilson, speaking to the National Catholic Clergy Conference On Alcoholism,  April 21, 1960, in New York





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters299.html#Wes_O ]

Date: Fri, April 6, 2012 11:54 am     (answered 9 April 2012)
From: "Wes O."
Subject: AA info

Hi I find your site interesting but I wonder who you are and if you are a layperson or a professional. Is there a reason that you do not identify yourself or your qualifications?

Wes O.
Addictions Counselor

Hello Wes,

Actually, I broke my anonymity many years ago. My name is Terrance Hodgins and I live in Forest Grove, Oregon.

The reason for the anonymity in the first place was because I was in the odd situation of living in housing that was owned by the same corporation as ran a fraudulent "treatment center" that gave me a cocaine-snorting Internet-child-pornographer child rapist as a sobriety counselor. I didn't want to end up homeless for telling the truth and challenging the expensive hoax that is called "treatment".

But things have changed, and I am living in a much better place now, and they cannot retaliate for me telling the truth. I continue to use the Orange name because it has been my pen name for so many years that it's an old habit, and many people know me by no other name.

Coincidentally, that so-called "counselor" was just rearrested last week. Look here.

I am not connected to academia, although I like to joke that I have a Ph.D. from the School of Hard Knox. I dropped out of Berkeley in 1966 at the height of the psychedelic revolution. (And yes, I inhaled.)

You can find more biographical information here: 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/      *
*
**  The more incompetent someone is in a particular area, the less
**  qualified that person is to assess anyone's skill in that space,
**  including their own. When one fails to recognise that he or
**  she has performed poorly, the individual is left assuming that
**  they have performed well. As a result, the incompetent will
**  tend to grossly overestimate their skills and abilities.
**  == "Unskilled and Unaware of It", Alan Bellows, March 25, 2006
**  http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=406





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