Letters, We Get Mail, CCCXV



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters315.html#Duane_K ]

Date: Mon, July 2, 2012 5:46 pm     (answered 5 July 2012)
From: "Duane K."
Subject: AA and Recovery Cult Debunking

Good evening,

I've read a number of the emails posted on Letters 131 and thought I'd toss my two cents worth in.

I am a recovered alcoholic/addict. I went to drug rehab on November 1, 1990 and have not used since then. No relapses and still working the program. I keep reading about that the 12-step program not working and all I can say is "Duh!" It only works if you wor it. I know that sounds cliche but it's true. Just like anything else in life, you get out of it, what you put into it. Sure there are parts to it that you may disagree with. But didn't your way of thinking get you to where you even contemplated the 12-step programs? Could it possibly be that just maybe you're wrong?

Don't believe in God? Who cares? It is the "Higher Power" concept that is the thing. Sure, many of us eventually become Christians of some sort but in the beginning, most of us weren't. Did the Judge send you to AA? Then he's your higher power. Get it? Someone or something that is greater or has power over you...

When I was new in the program, I had a friend who claimed to be an atheist. He and some of his friends started their own meeting and interestingly, the started with the serenity prayer just like all the others...

About those who claim AA has a success rate, they are fools. Success in AA is measured by the individual only. I say I am "recovered" instead of recovering because I have reached that point where I know that even during my worst times (like when I got in a wreck and had my leg amputated) I still put my sobriety first because I knew I was no good to anyone f---d up on dope or booze. I measure that as success, others do not.

I have heard the argument that AA and other 12-step programs are just brain washing. Well, my brain needed washing. I have seen the TV commercials that say they can heal addicts of addiction. Good for them. If that's what a person believes they need, more power to them (if they're okay with spending thousands of dollars).

I would be interested in further conversation if you so desire. I like good friendly debate. Be well.

From the desk of:
*Kodiak*
Founder/President
Trinity Brotherhood
Springfield MO USA


Date: Mon, July 2, 2012 6:08 pm     (answered 5 July 2012)
From: "Duane K."
Subject: Therapeutic Community Models

It's my understanding that the therapeutic community model is a treatment modality where a "safe place" is set up for clients to go and dig into whatever issue they are experiencing. It is more than just a form of group therapy in that group therapy sessions are short and between sessions, you are left to your own devices. In a previous email, I spoke of my own experience with the drug and alcohol in-patient treatment program.

I believe that had I not gone to a treatment facility where I could get away from the drugs and booze I was fighting to get away from, I surely would not have been able to fully grasp the 12-step program that many facilities adhere to. The facility I went to did not just use the AA model. They also used a program called the White Bison Program which was wonderful for learning to not only set but achieve goals. They also used Relaxation Therapy and even used something we called "Forced Fun" (mainly because we were made to play games and such which the average drug addict or alcoholic just didn't do). One of the most influential parts of the program where I was at was a thing they called the "Joey Patrol". One of the more senior counselors brought his little grandson, Joey, to work with him and we had to take turns watching out for the kid. The thought behind it? Get us out of our own heads and care for someone besides ourselves...

Unlike a hospital "spin-dry" or AA's fake it until you make it style of recovery program, Therapeutic Communities are the way to go. But that's just my opinion...

From the desk of:
*Kodiak*
Founder/President
Trinity Brotherhood
Springfield MO USA

Hello Duane,

Thanks for the letter. Alas, you suffer from a lot of misconceptions.

  1. The slogan "It works if you work it" is just that — a slogan, and nothing more. The truth is that the 12-Step program does not work to make people quit drinking or doping. In fact, it makes things worse. Careful medical tests have shown that A.A. increases binge drinking and deaths.

    That slogan, "It works if you work it" is also an example of Lying With Qualifiers. Bill Wilson did that a lot.

  2. This is a standard set-up for brainwashing:

    Sure there are parts to it that you may disagree with. But didn't your way of thinking get you to where you even contemplated the 12-step programs? Could it possibly be that just maybe you're wrong?

    That con is even described in The Cult Test: 67. Don't Trust Your Own Mind.

    The fact that someone got into trouble with alcohol or drugs does not mean that they should stop thinking for themselves and just trust a grinning cult recruiter.

    When they say, "Your best thinking got you here" (yes, another slogan), that is true. My best thinking decided that I needed to quit drinking and save my life. So my thinking turned out to be pretty good, didn't it?

    Lastly, the fact that I got into trouble with alcohol does not change the facts about A.A. being a cult that fails to help alcoholics.

  3. RE:

    Don't believe in God? Who cares? It is the "Higher Power" concept that is the thing. Sure, many of us eventually become Christians of some sort but in the beginning, most of us weren't.

    The "Higher Power" concept is insane. Will worshipping Santa Claus save you? How about the Easter Bunny? How about worshipping the Force of Gravity? No, what that really means is that a tyrannical Sky God will deliver miracles on demand and save you if you confess and grovel enough.

    When you say that most of you eventually became "Christians", you are admitting that A.A. is a religious conversion program.

    And A.A. is not Christian, or compatible with Christianity, or anything like Christianity. A.A. is grossly heretical and in conflict with Christian teachings in many ways, like expecting miracles on demand, and dabbling in the occult, and worshipping idols. A.A. is pretend Christianity, not real Christianity. Just because somebody jabbers the word "Jesus" a few times does not make him a Christian. In fact, A.A. is closer to Satan-worship than Christianity. A.A. resembles selling your soul to the Devil in trade for sobriety.

    Read the file, The Heresy of the Twelve Steps.

    Oh, by the way, no judge sent me to A.A. I was never court-mandated. Instead, I had a cocaine-snorting, child-raping, Internet child pornographer 12-Step counselor send me to A.A. meetings. That's really some great "higher power", isn't it?

  4. About this:

    When I was new in the program, I had a friend who claimed to be an atheist. He and some of his friends started their own meeting and interestingly, the started with the serenity prayer just like all the others...

    So what? What does that prove? That your atheist friends can be just as illogical and superstitious as your believer friends?

  5. RE:

    About those who claim AA has a success rate, they are fools. Success in AA is measured by the individual only.

    Wrong, totally wrong. Bill Wilson himself tried to claim a great A.A. success rate in the Big Book by Lying With Qualifiers:

    Of alcoholics who came to A.A. and really tried, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with A.A. showed improvement.
    Bill Wilson, in 1955, in the Foreword to the Second Edition of the Big Book, page XX.

    More about that here.

    Measuring the A.A. success rate is very simple: You count heads. Count how many newcomers start, and then count how many people get the one-year sobriety medallion, or 5 years or 10 years or 20 years. A.A. is a huge failure.

    Here are some mathematical studies of the A.A. failure rate:

    1. The count of coins
    2. an analysis of the mathematics of A.A., based on A.A.'s own publications
    3. a spreadsheet about the Foxhall Group's retention rate.
    4. the graph of the triennial surveys
    5. Green's arguments about the graph of the triennial surveys
    6. More of Green's arguments about the triennial survey.

  6. RE:

    I say I am "recovered" instead of recovering because I have reached that point where I know that even during my worst times (like when I got in a wreck and had my leg amputated) I still put my sobriety first because I knew I was no good to anyone f---d up on dope or booze. I measure that as success, others do not.

    Congratulations. I am also recovered because I chose to just not drink any more alcohol, and have not for 11 3/4 years now.

  7. RE:

    I have heard the argument that AA and other 12-step programs are just brain washing. Well, my brain needed washing.

    That line is a classic. That is proof positive that A.A. is a cult. You can find that line in my list of A.A. slogans.

    And I have discussed that line in the Cult Test:
    33. Newcomers can't think right.

  8. RE:

    I have seen the TV commercials that say they can heal addicts of addiction. Good for them. If that's what a person believes they need, more power to them (if they're okay with spending thousands of dollars).

    Do you really believe that any criminal should be allowed to run any kind of con that he wishes, and cheat people out of money however he wishes, and even advertise it on TV?

    The 12-Step rehabs are criminal outfits that sell a cult religion for a lot of money. They are not much different from the Scientology "Narconon" scam that claims to cure drug addicts and alcoholics with the inspired teachings of the crazy paranoid schizophrenic Lafayette Ronald Hubbard.

Now, on to the second letter:

  1. RE:

    It's my understanding that the therapeutic community model is a treatment modality where a "safe place" is set up for clients to go and dig into whatever issue they are experiencing. It is more than just a form of group therapy in that group therapy sessions are short and between sessions, you are left to your own devices.

    A "model" is just a model. It's just an idea or a design. The question is, does it work? All of the evidence says that drug and alcohol rehab is a massive failure with a sky-high failure rate. Tweaking the recipe a little has not fixed that problem.

  2. RE:

    I believe that had I not gone to a treatment facility where I could get away from the drugs and booze I was fighting to get away from, I surely would not have been able to fully grasp the 12-step program that many facilities adhere to.

    That is a belief, not a fact. And the phrase "fully grasp the 12-step program" is a euphemism, just another grandiose slogan. What does that really mean, in practical terms?

  3. The facility I went to did not just use the AA model. They also used a program called the White Bison Program which was wonderful for learning to not only set but achieve goals. They also used Relaxation Therapy and even used something we called "Forced Fun" (mainly because we were made to play games and such which the average drug addict or alcoholic just didn't do). One of the most influential parts of the program where I was at was a thing they called the "Joey Patrol". One of the more senior counselors brought his little grandson, Joey, to work with him and we had to take turns watching out for the kid. The thought behind it? Get us out of our own heads and care for someone besides ourselves...

    Now that sounds interesting. But what is the actual success rate of that program? And you have to count everybody, including the drop-outs, and the failures, and those who "didn't work the program right", and those who "chose to use".

    Furthermore, even the incoming patients were a select group — people with a lot of money. How does that program work on down-and-out people without funds?

  4. RE:

    Unlike a hospital "spin-dry" or AA's fake it until you make it style of recovery program, Therapeutic Communities are the way to go. But that's just my opinion...

    Again, what is the success rate? One success story does not prove that a cure works.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     You can fool some of the people some of the time,
**     And that's enough to make a decent living.
**        ==  W. C. Fields





May 08, 2012, Tuesday: The Fernhill Wetlands

Canada Goose goslings
3 of the Family of 6

Canada Goose goslings
The older Family of 3

Canada Goose goslings
The older Family of 3

Canada Goose goslings
An unknown bird
I have no idea what this spectacular bird's name is. Anybody know?

UPDATE: Readers tell me that it's a Yellow-Headed Blackbird. That's logical.

[More gosling photos below, here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters315.html#Blackbird ]

Date: Thu, July 5, 2012 9:02 pm     (answered 8 July 2012)
Subject: Yellow Headed Blackbird
From: "Donita T."

Hi Orange! How's everything? I was reading your site
(http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters315.html)
and saw the bird pics.

The bird with yellow and black is a YELLOW HEADED BLACKBIRD.

Peace!


Date: Thu, July 5, 2012 5:25 pm     (answered 8 July 2012)
From: "Meatbag"
Subject: That unknown bird

It's a yellow-headed blackbird:
http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/531/overview/Yellow-headed_Blackbird.aspx

I managed to find it using one of the wizards on that site.

Hello Donita and Meatbag,

Aha! Thanks to both of you.

A Yellow-headed Blackbird. Well, that is logical and consistent naming, even if it isn't very creative. So we have Red-wing Blackbirds here, and Yellow-headed Blackbirds. And they are stunning little creatures. And very photogenic. But very hard to photograph because they tend to flee when you point a camera at them.

But I'll get some good in-focus photographs of them eventually. The Red-Wing Blackbirds have learned my routine, and they actually fly to me when they see me arrive. Then they sit in a tree and squawk when I start putting out the oats, and then swoop down and start feasting as soon as I move away. Now I just need to get them tame enough to allow me to stay rather close and photograph them as they eat.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     You must not know too much or be too precise or scientific
**     about birds and trees and flowers and watercraft; a certain
**     free-margin, and even vagueness — ignorance, credulity —
**     helps your enjoyment of these things.
**        ==   Walt Whitman (1819 — 1892)





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters315.html#Phil_P ]

Date: Sat, July 7, 2012 3:39 pm     (answered 10 July 2012)
From: Phil P.
Subject: Bird

Hiya Terrance,

I love your bird pictures. A quick Google suggests that the un-identified bird is a Yellow-headed Blackbird.

we don't get any in the UK (maybe they/we are not rigorously working their program!).

Keep up the good work!

Kind regards, Philip P.

Hi Phil,

Thanks for the tip and the laugh and the compliments.

You have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The animals of the world exist for their own reasons.
**     They were not made for humans any more than black people
**     were made for white, or women created for men.
**       ==  Alice Walker





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters315.html#Janet ]

Date: Thu, July 5, 2012 8:40 am     (answered 6 July 2012)
From: "Janet R."
Subject: suggestion from student

Hello,

My name is Janet and I'm a teacher at a summer program. One of my students, Christine, has been researching about drug/alcohol awareness and prevention, mental health topics, and related issues. She came across your page
(http://orange-papers.info/orange-links.html)
and found it to provide some very helpful information. Thank you for maintaining a useful resource!

She also began finding more information about dual diagnosis, which she feels is very important for people to learn about. So, she found this very informative, well-organized article on dual diagnosis:

http://www.lakeviewhealth.com/treating-drug-addiction-and-mental-health-disorders.php

She would like to spread awareness about it and contribute by suggesting this article to you to add to your page as an additional resource. She feels it would be helpful and of interest to your visitors. Also, it would be very motivating for her to see her suggestion on your page!

Please let us know if you do decide to add it because Christine would like to show her peers and family : )

Thank you!

Kindest Regards,

Janet R.

Hello Janet,

Thanks for the tip, and thanks for teaching your students some sane approaches to mental illness and addictions. Lord knows we need more of that. It would be wonderful if future generations did better with those problems than past generations did.

I've seen with my own eyes how friends with bipolar disorder drink too much as they vainly try self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to fix what is wrong.

I'll gladly give a plug to that article. So you have a couple of links. First, this letter is at the link above, at the start of the letter. And then the listing in the links page is here:

http://orange-papers.info/orange-links.html#Christine

By the way, another resource that Christine may find interesting is Addict-L, a mailing list forum that is served out by a list server at Kent State University. I mention it because that is where I first learned that there are some doctors who regard all cases of alcohol abuse and drug addiction to be dual-diagnosis cases. The logic is simple: There must be some underlying reason for people to be drinking and doping themselves to death. Normal healthy people don't do that. People who are killing themselves really do need to get their heads examined.

I don't post there, I just sit back and listen and learn. That list is frequented by some heavy-weights, researchers and doctors and Ph.D.s who are very knowledgeable in their fields. And Maia Szalavitz posts there too.

You will get a lot of email from that list. I recommend setting up a separate email account just to get Addict-L. If Christine's ISP doesn't allow multiple email accounts, then Christine could set up another email account on Google gmail or Yahoo mail or Inbox.com, and use that to receive the list's emails. That way her regular email account won't get flooded with Addict-L messages.

To subscribe, you send a very simple email to [email protected] — from your new email account that will receive the list messages.
The subject line should only say: SUBSCRIBE
All that the body of the message should say is:
SUBSCRIBE ADDICT-L your_first_name your_last_name

For more help, see: http://www.kent.edu/slis/students/slis-listserv.cfm

Oh, and of course Christine is welcome in the Orange Papers forum, too.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Wonderful little our fathers knew,
**     Half their remedies cured you dead —
**     Most of their teaching was quite untrue.
**       ==  Rudyard Kipling, Our Fathers of Old, Stanza 3





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters315.html#Adam ]

Date: Thu, July 5, 2012 11:00 am
From: "Adam"

What if your site had a "sloganalysis" section? It should be as quick and easy as hearing the slogans themselves. For example, for "your own best thinking got you here" there could be a list of responses such as "didn't you just tell me my hands would stop shaking in a few days but my brain won't be right for about 18 months?" Each sales pitch slogan would simply be listed with several good responses.

Hi Adam,

What a neat idea. That could be a lot of fun. That really sounds like a good subject for the forum. There, people could post dozens or hundreds of their own ideas, slogans and snappy come-backs.

I love snappy come-backs to A.A. slogans, like:

  • Your best thinking got you here.

    Yes, I had a moment of clarity and decided to quit drinking and save my own life. So it really was my best thinking that got me here, wasn't it?

  • KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid

    The problem with KISS is that it often leads to LOVE: Leave Out Virtually Everything.

  • Fake It 'Till You Make It.

    If everybody is just faking it until they make it, then all you have is a room full of fakes.

  • A.A. is the last house on the block.

    "AA is 'the last house on the block' for a reason: it's full of arsonists who've been burning down the other houses!" — Madame Senga

  • Take what you want, and leave the rest.

    What if I don't want any of it?

Yes, this could be fun.

The new forum thread is here:

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     I thank God that He chose to give me a working brain, rather
**     than just a lump of dense, unthinking meat between the ears.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters315.html#Jon_G ]

Date: Wed, July 4, 2012 10:58 am     (answered 8 July 2012)
Subject: Re: you did it
From: "Jon G."

orange, you really do your homework, you know more about photography then me. Keep up the good work, I know your into animals but I would be interested to see how you handle portraits of people, i'm not talking smily face portraits i'm talking about soulful truthful portraits.

Hi again, Jon,

No, I doubt that I know more about photography than you. I got the feeling that you've been in it for many years, and are coming from a film background. I've only been into photography for about five years. I just got into it because I wanted to share pictures of those cute little goslings, and one thing led to another.

I have been intensively studying the old lenses from the sixties through nineties because that is where the bargains are. When it comes to a big new $2500 Canon or Nikon auto-focus telephoto lens, there isn't much to study. Sure, it's a great lens, but I don't have the $2500 handy, so that's out of the question, so there isn't much to study.

Portraits are a subject that I haven't gotten into yet, other than portraits of geese. I'd also like to see how I would handle that.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Why should we buy cameras and take pictures of things ourselves?
**     The surveillance cameras already take pictures of everything,
**     all of the time.





May 08, 2012, Tuesday: The Fernhill Wetlands

Canada Goose goslings
The New Family of 3

Canada Goose goslings
The Family of 6, eating

Canada Goose goslings
A Goose Couple, wondering what munchies I have for them.

Canada Goose goslings
The older Family of 3, in their natural habitat, eating the grass.

[The story of the goslings continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters315.html#Ronald_P ]

Date: Wed, July 4, 2012 10:21 pm     (answered 8 July 2012)
From: "Ronald P."
Subject: Alcoholic's Anonymous and A. Orange.

Dear A. Orange,

I have been spending some time reviewing some of your website's information. I myself, am an alcoholic and drug addict. But equally so, I'm a man who always seeks the truth, regardless of how inconvenient it may be. I appreciated the revelations on Bill W. Admittedly, they weren't easy to swallow at first. I'm quite glad you referenced your work to allow people to verify your findings. I have been quite surprised and shocked upon this recent research.

However, I do find your site a bit over board on the character assassination and program bashing. Bill was no saint, he did not walk the walk, and it appears as though the program he helped developed manifested as a mere fluke of luck. But the information does seem to be overly repetitive just to say just that much. It should not be excused and I think more of it should be brought to light in the program,"...vigorous honesty". I just don't understand the intent of all this. I get it, Bill bad! A.A. is not your cup of tea. But I think you got the whole message WAYYYY WRONG! And in the end, all you've done is misdirect the people in need of help. You're no better than ol' Bill preying on his helpless vixens. You too are preying on the weak.

In your introduction you state:

"I started out with a very positive view of Alcoholics Anonymous. Like most people, I had only heard good things about A.A., and thought that it was just a wonderful self-help group where alcoholics got together to give each other moral support and advice in quitting drinking."

Don't know what meetings you went to brother, but that is all I've seen and got out of it in my years of attendance. Are there fanatics? Yes! Big Book thumpers? Yes! Can you find such characters in almost all groups banded for a cause? Yes! Is that what is pushed through as an intent of the whole A.A. program? Hell no! I have serious doubts that the program is run differently in your neck of the woods. How you got such a skewed and corrupted view — I just don't know. And btw, hospitals and institutions tend to be run badly with little organization. I don't think that's a big secret nor should it come as a surprise. There being your first bad introduction into all of this. It almost seems as though that first bad taste was the only one you ever took. I know that you claim different but it sure doesn't show.

To bring this short ramble to a close, I just want to add the following words. You are right, the A.A. program does not work. As a matter of fact, no self-help program will work unless you do your own work on it. Key words being "self-help". People have spent years in jail and come out worst than before, while yet others come out truly rehabilitated. The difference? Some worked for change others just did time. Same can be applied here. But my true chagrin a midst all the rambling is how I never saw the solution, just bash-bash-bash. What's an answer? DON'T JUST SAY SOMETHING DOESN'T WORK AND NOT OFFER ALTERNATIVES. Because I'll tell you this, if not for this non-working program, I'd still be drunk and drugging. I too had years of non-use through mere "self will", they were always temporary and when I'd go back it was just as bad if not worst than before. I could not keep sobriety without help as is the testimony of almost all who show up at the door step of these rooms. I do believe it's why we show up to begin with, it sure as hell isn't for that god awful coffee. What's the answer to staying sober — WITHOUT HELP? I'm open to ideas but please, make the alternatives stand out. If you have provided such answers among all this rambling, it's buried under an Everest of hatred you spew. As far as I can see, you just merely like to write to seem as though you have alternative views and revelating thoughts. Did you know that is a form of narcissism? Your narcissistic finger pointing should be pointing at the mirror. I mean really.

Hope you're of character to be able to answer some of these concerns. Look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Agent O.

Hello Paul,

Thanks for the letter.

Unfortunately, you are still ignoring the facts:

  1. You think my criticism of Bill Wilson is "over board on the character assassination and program bashing"?

    Well, what do you call a totally corrupt fake holy man who knowingly foisted an old cult religion on sick people as a quack cure for a deadly problem, and lied to them about how well it works?

    I call that monstrous. I have trouble finding words negative enough to describe such a heartless crime.

  2. This is a reversal of reality:

    But I think you got the whole message WAYYYY WRONG! And in the end, all you've done is misdirect the people in need of help. You're no better than ol' Bill preying on his helpless vixens. You too are preying on the weak.

    You are ignoring the fact that A.A. does not work, and in fact is very harmful. Alcoholics Anonymous increases the rates of binge drinking and rearrests, and increases the cost of hospitalization, and raises the death rate in alcoholics.

    Steering people away from such harmful quack medicine is not "preying on the weak." It's just the opposite. It's doing them a favor.

    Accusing me of harming alcoholics who are seeking sobriety by telling the truth about Alcoholics Anonymous is a common A.A. tactic. Here is the list of previous accusations. Congratulations. You made the list.

  3. RE: that is all I've seen and got out of it in my years of attendance.

    If you have nothing but pleasant meetings in your neighborhood, then wonderful. But that does not change the fact that A.A. is pushing a quack cure that doesn't work, and is in fact harmful.

  4. Now this is a very interesting accusation:

    And btw, hospitals and institutions tend to be run badly with little organization. I don't think that's a big secret nor should it come as a surprise.

    I don't know where you get that, but it's incredible that you try to blame A.A.'s ineffectiveness on hospitals and institutions. Are you trying to claim that hospitals and institutions are bad because they send people to A.A. meetings?

    Can you show me some documentation to support your claim that hospitals are badly run?

  5. Now I agree with this statement:

    As a matter of fact, no self-help program will work unless you do your own work on it. Key words being "self-help".

    So that rules out A.A., because A.A. is not a "self-help" group, it's an "elf-help group". You pray for "Higher Power" to grant your wishes and save you:

    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.

    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.

    So, since we all have to do the work ourselves, why are you promoting a cult religion that says otherwise? No wonder A.A. fails to help alcoholics.

  6. But my true chagrin a midst all the rambling is how I never saw the solution, just bash-bash-bash. What's an answer? DON'T JUST SAY SOMETHING DOESN'T WORK AND NOT OFFER ALTERNATIVES.

    Well, I've talked about the alternatives and better approaches to sobriety and clean and sober living so many times that I can't even count them. Once again:

  7. RE: if not for this non-working program, I'd still be drunk and drugging.

    You are assuming things. You are assuming that the A.A. program somehow worked and did good things, which it doesn't. Can you tell me how practicing Dr. Frank Buchman's cult religion makes people quit drinking and drugging?

    I suggest that you quit and stayed quit because you finally learned how to do it right:

    Just don't take that first drink, not ever, no matter what.

    Likewise,

    Just don't take that first dose of drugs, not ever, no matter what.

    That works every time, flawlessly.

    And I add on one more rule:

    Just don't smoke that first cigarette, not ever, no matter what.

    Follow those three simple rules, and you don't need any Steps, or any meetings, or any Big Book, or any of that. And it's just amazing how much your health improves, and how much better your life gets to be, when you follow those three simple rules.

  8. RE: What's the answer to staying sober — WITHOUT HELP?

    I never said that people had to do it without help. I did say that most of the successful people did it alone, without any "support group" or "treatment", but I never said that people had to do it that way. Go to SMART or SOS or Lifering if you want some company. You might even learn something useful there.

    Lastly, all of that talk about "HELP" is just the standard A.A. rap which really means that A.A. members shove their totally untrue Buchmanite dogma on the newcomers, and call it "helping them". (The Oxford Group also called their recruiting scams "helping others".) That is no more "helping alcoholics" than is Scientology pushing the ravings of the paranoid schizophrenic Lafayette Ronald Hubbard on sick addicts and calling it "helping" them to get "clear".

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.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters315.html#bsmechanic ]

Date: Thu, July 5, 2012 9:33 pm     (answered 9 July 2012)
From: "bsmechanic"

Hi Orange,

Reading this excellent letter from Chuck B. in Wichita KS, I was reminded of the alleged Pink Cloud affect, a natural physical experience I had felt this last (and final) time I quit drinking, in May of 2011. Like him, this quit was very simple: I got tired of feeling bad, so I stopped drinking. The following month, I welcomed more physical exercise (walking, bicycling), and established better connections with family and friends. None of this was a goal, or anything. All this activity came about from a natural energetic impulse that came about when I stopped abusing my body with alcohol.

The following two reactions from my past come to mind, as a former repeat newcomer to Alcoholics Anonymous, as related to the Pink Cloud:

  • "You feel pretty good right now, but just wait... right around the corner, your real work is going to begin" (invariably followed by sardonic chuckling)

  • "Oh, never mind those crusty old timers... you never have to give up that Pink Cloud... Keep Coming Back!"

Whether the responses are intended as forms of cutting humility or well-intended spacy talk, they are both A.A. responses which take a natural physical phenomenon, and make it all about A.A. Pretty self-centered, if you ask me. Maybe the organization should follow its own third step.

Thank you for your ongoing work here, Orange. Your site was key in helping me to leave the program over five years ago.

Best regards,
bsmechanic

* Note: if you post my letter, please edit my real name from the text. Thank you!

Hello BSmechanic,

Thanks for the letter, and thanks for the thanks. You are welcome. I'm glad to hear you are doing well, and free (in both senses: free of alcohol, and free of A.A.).

I quite agree about the Pink Cloud. Obviously, the "Pink Cloud Effect" is due to a physical cause, not a "spiritual" cause, and certainly not Alcoholics Anonymous activities. Our bodies are just overjoyed at not being poisoned any more. And we often start eating better when we quit drinking, too, because we don't have to choose between spending money on alcohol or food. And we don't suppress our hunger with alcohol and cigarettes, either. We don't get drunk and forget to eat. So our bodies react with joy at the improved situation.

Oh, and when I quit all alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs at the same time, it was like a triple whammy. It really was like Bill Wilson's phrase about riding a rocket into the fourth dimension. Even six months later I was still high as a kite. I quit alcohol and drugs in October and tobacco three weeks later in November, and the following July I walked 14 miles up and down the river one glorious sunshiny day because I was so energized and wired up with the joy of being alive.

Ah, the Pink Cloud Effect. Now I miss it. That was fun.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     One of the most sublime experiences we can ever have
**     is to wake up feeling healthy after we have been sick.
**          ==  Rabbi Harold Kushner





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters315.html#William_B ]

Date: Fri, July 6, 2012 9:38 am     (answered 9 July 2012)
From: "WILLIAM B."
Subject: SMART

Hi Orange

I have gone off AA meetings. Can't stand to sit in meetings and know what the odds are.

I do not have the internet at home so i downloaded your site onto a legacy PC via memory stick.

Going through the letters I found instructions on how to do Cost Benefit Analysis. Thank you. I have now found SMART online and their toolbox is very handy.

There are no meetings in our area. But I have been hanging around in their chatroom. I will also do meetings online.

I love the gosling stories and pictures and I enjoyed your email exchange with Pitch Black.

You do not strike me as bitter and angry at all.

Thanks for your site and help and support.

william

Hi William,

Thanks for the letter, and thanks for the thanks, and I'm glad to hear that you have found something that you like. Yes, SMART is cool, isn't it? When I first stumbled across it, it was like a breath of fresh air after all of the crazy jabber in A.A. meetings. Best of all, I could tell the truth, and say what I really thought, without having to worry about somebody jumping down my throat for speaking blasphemy.

By the way, speaking of odds, I think the odds for you will be 100%, no matter where you are.

So have a good day now, and a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Common sense is not so common.
**       ==  Voltaire  (1694—1778)





May 08, 2012, Tuesday: The Fernhill Wetlands

Canada Goose goslings
The Family of 3, lounging

Canada Goose goslings
The Family of 6, browsing

Three days later: May 11, 2012, Friday: The Fernhill Wetlands:

Canada Goose goslings
The Family of 6
Look at how much the little one (front-left) has grown in just the last few days. It isn't quite the tiny little fluff-ball that it used to be. Compare the little one here, and the little one four days earlier, here: orange-letters313.html#goslings2.
They grow so fast that it is amazing.

The three ducks in the background are hybrids, or mongrels, whichever word you prefer. They are a cross between Mallard and a blue-black domesticated breed of duck.

Canada Goose goslings
The Family of 3, coming ashore

Canada Goose goslings
The Family of 3, coming ashore

[The story of the goslings continues here.]





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Last updated 25 April 2014.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters315.html