Letters, We Get Mail, CCCXXIII



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters323.html#Brian_H ]

Date: Sun, August 19, 2012 3:24 pm     (answered 24 August 2012)
From: "brian h."
Subject: hello

Hello there,

I was just introduced to this site a few days ago and feel I can finally accept the fact I am not crazy. I am a fifty year old man that was introduced to the A.A. program at 42 years old. For two years I resisted and fought tooth and nail to maintain my belief that A.A. is full of shit. I have unfortunately, been surrounded mostly by people in the program. I have always believed I would quit when I was sick of the life style. I am hopeful that this is the time. I have too much to offer my children and society in general. Unfortunately, I always thought I was alone in this thinking. I started to feel like one of the unfortunates the big book talks about. Now I just feel fortunate. Thanks for putting all the work into this site. My commitment to sobriety has never been stronger. A.A is for people who love attention, being the center of attention, and love being on stage to perform. They define the term "control freaks"

Regards
B H.

Hello Brian,

Thanks for the letter and welcome to freedom. And congratulations on your sobriety. I'm happy to tell you that you aren't crazy, and yes, A.A. is full of shit. You are seeing things very clearly.

My commitment to sobriety has also never been stronger. For many years now, A.A. members have been telling me that I will relapse soon because I'm not "working a strong program". Well, it's been 11, almost 12, years now, and I still haven't relapsed (and I'm not going to), so they have gotten tired of saying that. I don't hear that particular line so much any more.

Leaving A.A. does not mean going back to drinking. It just means eliminating some frustrating craziness from your life.

So have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Thinking about where you've been or what you did wrong in the past
**     are impediments to an inspired life."
**       ==  Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Inspiration Perpetual Flip Calendar, July 15.





[The previous letter from Bodrell is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters323.html#Bodrell ]

Date: Sun, August 19, 2012 1:37 pm     (answered 24 August 2012)
From: "bodrell"
Subject: Re: Thanks and where's Carmen?

Thnks and before I read your reply I found that Carmen had been adopted and sailed off into the sunset. I hope she's fulfilling her goosely duties and raising babies this year! I often walk along a nearby lake/river trail where during the warm months, there are hundreds — perhaps thousands — of geese. Because of you I'm looking at them a little more closely now.

Although I usually have my dog with me and being a herding dog she tends to round them into a tight group and herd them all into the water, where she's decided they belong. I hope this doesn't offend you but it's amusing watching a little 30-lb dog single-handedly clear a half-mile long beach of maybe 500 geese in under ten minutes.

I only let her do this from mid-summer onwards; I don't want her upsetting parents with babies. Otherwise I keep her on-leash. Apart from some peeved cackling and hooting, the geese don't seem to mind being herded.

I've done some more reading on your site and elsewhere and am coming to the agreement that people "cured" by AA would have cured themselves without AA just the same. I do wish the secular choices had a bigger profile, though. I'd love it if there were non-AA, secular F2F options where I live but there aren't. And I can't bring myself to go to AA meetings any more. All the people who claimed to "care" in AA dropped me like a hot potato the minute I quit attending meetings anyhow and I am not interested in such conditional "support."

Hello again, Bodrell,

Thanks for the reply, too. Yes, Carmen is probably a mother now, maybe in Waterfront Park.

I don't mind dogs herding geese. Sometimes, I thought it could be a big help if I could take a nap while a dog herded the goslings. They cause massive sleep deprivation in their foster parent because they won't let you sleep in. They wake you up for breakfast at the crack of dawn, and start shrieking if they discover that I'm in my own bed, rather than sleeping with them.

When I was caring for the first family of goslings, a young woman would stop by every day with her dog while the goslings were munching the grass in the park. The dog was unbelievably well-mannered, some kind of herding breed, and she would sit quietly right where the woman told the dog to sit, and watch while the woman came closer. I'm sure that the dog wanted to herd and protect the goslings. I would have gone for it, except for the problem that the goslings are rather simple-minded and only distinguish by species. That is, they think that all humans are just the same and all dogs are just the same.

When the goslings accepted me as their foster parent, they just assumed that they had joined the human flock, and they thought that all other humans would be equally friendly. Fortunately, most were, although I had to watch some. Within 24 hours, the goslings were accepting all people as friends, and even going and cuddling up with a woman who stopped by to see them. (Apparently, she smelled more like a mother goose than I did.)

Likewise, the goslings only saw dogs on leashes at the park, so they quickly learned that dogs were no threat. There was no way that I could tell them that dogs and people are all different, and you have to distinguish between friend and foe. I couldn't tell them that they had to watch out, because some dogs would kill them. So that's why I didn't want them becoming too comfortable with dogs around.

And that's another reason why you can't take a nap while the goslings browse. They will happily walk right up to their doom.

Yes, all of the doctors' tests show that the A.A. recovery rate is no better than the recovery rate of people who quit on their own, alone, so those people who recover in A.A. are almost certainly the people who would have also successfully quit alone, or in any other program.

I also wish that there were more sane, secular, non-superstitious recovery groups around. The best that I can offer there is the list of them. At least most of them have forums or chat groups, which is a second-best to f2f meetings:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-alt_list.html

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

[The next letter from Bodrell is here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters323.html#Christine_G ]

Date: Tue, August 21, 2012 9:17 am     (answered 24 August 2012)
From: "Christine G."
Subject: orange papers

Hi A. Orange,

I have been reading your papers which have definitely been eye opening. Are you sober yourself? If so, how long have you been sober? What have you found that has worked to help you stay sober?

Thanks!

Christine G.


[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters323.html#JD ]

From: "JD"
Subject: Solution to alcoholism
Date: Wed, August 22, 2012 8:56 am     (answered 24 August 2012)

Mr. Orange,

I've read a bit of your criticism of AA. You are well-read, and an interesting sort, but to the meat of why I'm interested in your writings:

What is your solution to alcoholism?

jd

Hello Christine and JD,

Thanks for the letters and the questions. Since both of you are asking basically the same questions, I'll answer them together. And the answers are:

Yes, I'm sober. I have 11, almost 12, years of sobriety now. That includes no drugs and no cigarettes.

How I did it is, first off, I got deathly ill and came down with flues, bronchitis, and pneumonia, and I was so sick that I couldn't work and ended up homeless. Even worse, I discovered that I was losing my short-term memory, and my mind was going. And the doctor told me, "Quit drinking or die. Choose one." That finally convinced me that I really needed to quit both drinking and smoking forever.

Now I don't recommend that path — it's a rough one — but that's what happened to me. Really facing death is what finally gave me the motivation and determination to improve my lifestyle forever.

I have this wonderful slogan,

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

I live by that thing. I also add on,

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

and

Just don't take that first hit of dope, not ever, no matter what.

Then, understanding the The Lizard-Brain Addiction Monster as he complains and cajoles and wheedles and demands a smoke or a drink has been a lifesaver, particularly in the first year of sobriety. That stupid little lizard brain tried every excuse in the book to get me to smoke and drink after I quit. So click on that link, and read about him.

I answered the question How did you get to where you are? in more detail here:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters191.html#what_works
So click on that link for more lists and discussions.

And have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     There is nothing quite like dying for convincing you that
**     you really need to take better care of your health.
**       ==  Orange





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters323.html#John_B ]

Date: Tue, August 21, 2012 12:22 pm     (answered 24 August 2012)
From: "John B."
Subject: On Cults 101

Dear Agent Orange

I would like to say thank you for three reasons:

1. The Content: I have spent years observing the various tricks and teases religions use, how other influencers in society do the same, all while managing to avoid the public glare of the hopefully well informed masses. Part of their ability to play these massive games on our group and individual perspective is largely dependent on that same crutch that all magic relies upon — knowing something your audience does not.

If ever a collected volume of knowledge has the power and clarity of reach to better inform people as to the rules of this game they've all played blindly since birth — I would be arrogant and brash enough to suggest that you have nailed it. Fair fucks to you.

2. The Delivery: Aside from the complexity of the subject and the time taken to recognise the various approaches to defining, treating and inoculating against cults and mind control — you have managed to provide an excellent framework of understanding and developing same into effective resolve or action. As someone who enjoys clearly written English, this was a bracing dip in clear blue, freezing cold water. Kudos.

3. The Detail: With brevity and clarity comes appreciation of the volume of time and effort taken to reduce your collective understanding into a series of highly effective essays and articles regarding this most insidious of social dysfunctions, hero worship. Although an aside to the function of control situations, these are the catalysts that cause the problems in the first place, the whole arc of their tenure describing the first convert to the blood on their compound's concrete wall. In what you have written regarding AA etc, you have also effectively given people a good description of the needs, wants and stratagems of the charmers and delusional that become these loonies.

Anyway, hope the itch clears and may you dwell happily for a long time yet.

Cheers

John B.

Hello John,

Thank you for the letter. That one of the most flattering ones I've ever gotten.

So you have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "You can always tell when someone isn't telling the truth,
**     because he doesn't speak clearly. Euphemism is a cover for either
**     ignorance or dishonesty. In other words, if you can't state it in
**     a clear simple declarative sentence, then either you don't know
**     what you are talking about, or you are trying to prevent me from
**     understanding what you are talking about, and both bug me."
**        ==  Tucker Carlson, in an advertisement for his TV program
**     "Unfiltered" on Public Television, August 6 to 27, 2004.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters323.html#Michael_A ]

Date: Wed, August 22, 2012 10:37 am     (answered 24 August 2011)
From: "Michael A."
Subject: A Response

Hello,

I was struck by the absence of true volitionality implied by your arguments of drinkers.

Hi Michael,

Okay, I'm genuinely puzzled. I don't know what "arguments of drinkers" you are talking about. So I'm not sure what lack of "true volitionality" you are referring to.

Could you please be more specific? Thank you.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    As long as men are free to ask what they must — free to say what
**    they think — free to think what they will — freedom can never
**    be lost and science can never regress.
**        ==  J. Robert Oppenheimer





May 16, 2012, Wednesday: Portland Oregon

Sternwheeler Porltand
The Sternwheeler Portland
It was converted into a maritime museum. In the background, you can see the eastern downtown skyline. Those two vertical spikes are the glass-and-steel spires of the Convention Center. That little tower with a red roof is a watch tower on the Morrison Bridge.

Sternwheeler Porltand
The Sternwheeler Portland

Saturday Market area
The Saturday Market area of Waterfront Park

Saturday Market area
The Saturday Market sheltered area of Waterfront Park

Saturday Market area
The Saturday Market area of Waterfront Park
That is the fire station across the street.

[More gosling photos below, here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters323.html#Meatbag ]

Date: 2012-08-23     (answered 24 November 2011)
From: Meatbag
Subject: Commentary on Amys letters

Holy hell, those mental gymnastics are amazing! I think she won the gold for the ones she did justifying tobacco use. Is it just me, or is she threatening people? "If you take away my tobacco, I'll get drunk and go for a drive!" I mean, there's plenty of people out there who manage to both not drink and not use tobacco. My brother actually managed to quit smoking, and he did early enough it probably won't have that big an impact on his health. And incidentally, smoking does affect the people around you. Ever heard of second-hand smoke?

And what's with the disparaging attitude towards medication and therapy? So, her chewing tobacco, which can only possibly work to her detriment, is a good thing, yet my Saphris, which keeps me from seeing The Shadow Man and thinking everything (and I mean *everything*) is out to kill me, is a bad thing that represents everything wrong with society? Do you really want me to return to the life I described here:
http://www.queermentalhealth.org/narrative/my-experience-with-psychotic-depression/

And for the record, I only see my therapist every month. The only thing preventing me from switching to seeing her on an as-needed basis is I know I have a tendency to not admit I need help until I'm already knee-deep in shit. Just try and find a sponsor that'll let you only come to a meeting every month. It seems like 12-step meetings foster more dependency than *good* therapists do. And my therapist only costs $20 per visit. That works out to less than a dollar per day for something that actually works. And bad therapists are really bad, but you can fire them, provided you're an adult. You can't fire a bad sponsor.

Anyhow, I think you pretty much covered everything else wrong with her letters.


P.S.:

You can consider this to be the other part of my last email.

Here's some links on what to look for in therapists:

http://psychcentral.com/therapst.htm

http://jpcounseling.com/2011/09/09/warning-signs-of-a-bad-therapist/

http://www.takerootandwrite.com/2009/10/warning-signs-of-a-bad-therapist.html

Usually, you'll see a lot of those bad behaviors in the first few sessions, so you can back out before you've wasted too much time. That last link is Christian-oriented, but many of the things on that list apply to secular therapists, too. I would argue it's even more important to be careful if you want religious-oriented therapy, since there are plenty of well-meaning churchy types who think all it takes to be a good therapist is a good heart.

Hello again, Meatbag,

Thanks for the commentary. Yes, I quite agree. You make some good points there.

I especially like the threat: "If you take away my tobacco, I'll get drunk and go for a drive!" That is so similar to Bill Wilson's threat: "If you make me quit smoking, I'll get drunk." (Look here.)

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Any energy you place on what transpired in the past
**     is groundwork for guilt, and ego loves guilt.
**     Such negative energy fabricates an excuse for why
**     your present moments are troubled and gives you
**     a cop-out, a reason to stay out of Spirit.
**       ==  Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Inspiration Perpetual Flip Calendar, June 21.

[The next letter from Meatbag is here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters323.html#Mike_C ]

Date: 2012-08-23     (answered 25 August 2012)
From: Mike C.
Subject: Your on-line idea

Wow,

First, I have been in and out of AA for 28 years, but have never used drugs and alcohol since I stopped in 1984.

Almost every drug and alcohol professional in the country thinks you're wrong about AA principles.

My experience:

1. I have sustained happy sobriety for years without going to meets (but I went for years after treatment and a halfway house. Without that background, I wouldn't be sober.) Lately I have gone back, but don't know if I will keep going.

2. AA can be negative if it a forum where you feel helpless without it. No one should feel that dependent on a group for long-term success. On the other hand, temporary dependance is like training wheels, when you feel strong you can get rid of them. People should not feel they will drink if they stop AA and AA shouldn't promote that everyone will fail without it. But, some people will fail without AA. Stopping can be dangerous if the person isn't ready.

3. Sometimes I want to smack people who make excuses for their behavior by blaming their alcoholism at AA. We should be getting better and that means NOT making excuses, period.

4. AA principles do work. If it saves ten people it's worth keeping. Again on the other hand, people who use over and over and go to AA shouldn't even be at AA. Those people seem to think AA is a place to use for rationalization of their using.

I am curious about why you bothered to make this web site?

Why did you create a web site to destroy AA? Do you drink or use drugs or have someone close to you die from drugs? Just curious.

I think this site is dangerous and I don't think you are aware of the dangerous ripple effect this could have on others:

Here is an example:

  • 1. Person with alcoholism is doing well at AA, but finds your web site.

  • 2. They start to question what's working for them because of your presentation of things.

  • 3. Later that day they decide AA is bad and they really are not alcoholic. "That web site is right!"

  • 4. That night they start drinking and don't stop until they have 6 drinks.

  • 5. On the drive home, they drift into another lane and kill a family of four and themselves.

  • 6. Their family has no more income and have to move in with their parents. Their child can't sleep at night, etc.

Did your web site make this happen? No, but could it have been the catalyst for this? Absolutely! Is AA more likely to harm people than your web site? In my opinion you are much more dangerous than AA.

How is AA dangerous to people in the way this web site could be? Oh no! People stay sober by following this weird cult like therapy based on helping other alcoholics or it doesn't work and they stay the same! So, AA can only help.

Thanks for your opinion, but please show both sides and have a social conscience. You are like AA in that you're completely sure you're right.

I was looking for a helpful discussion on pro/con. It doesn't seem to exist on the web.

Mike C.
Recovering Addict and Alcoholic

AA has many issues and some of what you say may be right, but AA saves millions despite your manipulation of facts to fit your theory.

AA can't kill anyone, ALCOHOLISM kills people. AA offers a suggested path, that's it. Hey,


Sorry about my precious e-mail.

I looked at your site in more depth and now I see... you are just another a crazy idiot with basic HTML knowledge!

Sorry to spend time talking to you! You have too much free time.

Mike

Hello Mike,

Thanks for the letters and congratulations on your sobriety.

Taking your last letter first, so you found some facts that you don't like, and in your mind that reduces me to just a "crazy idiot" who knows basic HTML? That is, of course, the propaganda tricks of "ad hominem" and name-calling and sarcasm, condescension, and patronizing attitudes — just attack the speaker and call him names while ignoring the facts of the matter.

It's also the standard cult characteristic of Personal attacks on critics. Your response to criticism is just the normal, standard cult reaction, just a mindless knee-jerk response.

Nevertheless, I'll address the issues in your first letter:

  1. "Almost every drug and alcohol professional in the country thinks you're wrong about AA principles."

    First off, there are an increasingly large number of medical professionals who do not like A.A. or its results. The fact that most "certified drug and alcohol counselors" who have just a few months of training take the easy way out and just send people to A.A. meetings does not mean that A.A. works, or that A.A. is a good thing. It just means that they are incompetent and lazy.

    A recent review by the Cochrane Library, a health-care research group, of studies on alcohol treatment conducted between 1966 and 2005 states its results plainly: "No experimental studies unequivocally demonstrated the effectiveness of AA or TSF [12-step facilitation] approaches for reducing alcohol dependence or problems."
    We're addicted to rehab. It doesn't even work., By Bankole A. Johnson, The Washington Post, Sunday, August 8, 2010
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/06/AR2010080602660.html
    (Also see this information about Prof. Bankole A. Johnson of the University of Virginia, here.)

    Sorry, but there are no "A.A. principles". There are only cult religion PRACTICES.

    • Declaring that you are powerless over alcohol or drugs is a cop-out, not a "spiritual principle".
    • Come To Believe that a ghost or spirit will restore you to sanity is insanity, not a "spiritual principle".
    • List and confess all of your sins in Steps 4 and 5 is a cult practice, not a "spiritual principle".
    • Beg "Higher Power" to remove your defects in Step 7 is a cult practice, not a "spiritual principle".
    • Praying and meditating until you hear voices in your head telling you what to do is an occult practice, not a "spiritual principle".
    • "Carrying that message to others" is recruiting for the cult, not a "spiritual principle".

  2. Even as temporary support, A.A. is useless. It does not improve the sobriety rate of alcoholics at all. It only raises the rate of binge drinking, and the costs of hospitalization, and the death rate.

  3. AA principles do work. If it saves ten people it's worth keeping. Again on the other hand, people who use over and over and go to AA shouldn't even be at AA. Those people seem to think AA is a place to use for rationalization of their using.

    "A.A. principles" do not work. Since you think that they work, please tell me what is the A.A. success rate? Please answer this simple question that no A.A. defender 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 and here.

    The rest of your rap, about how chronic relapsers should not be at A.A., is cherry-picking. You only want the winners. But A.A. was supposed to be for everyone, especially the sick losers.

    Also, I notice your contempt for people who are having troubles:

    ...people who use over and over and go to AA shouldn't even be at AA. Those people seem to think AA is a place to use for rationalization of their using.

    Wow. Forget about that "unconditional love" A.A. slogan. You don't unconditionally love them at all. Like Penn & Teller said in their TV program on A.A.: "Alcoholics Anonymous has no respect for alcoholics." Look here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU2YliYttnQ&feature;=share

    Also see The "Us Stupid Drunks" Conspiracy for much more of Bill Wilson's contempt for alcoholics.

  4. I am curious about why you bothered to make this web site?

    When I went to an outpatient treatment program for alcoholism, I got a Stepper counselor who was a cocaine-snorting, child-raping Internet child pornographer who told us to go to at least three A.A. meetings per week and get a sponsor. I was shocked to discover that such quackery was the standard treatment for drug and alcohol problems in the USA, and decided to find and print the truth of the matter. The story is here:

    1. the introduction, my introduction to A.A.
    2. the "treatment" bait-and-switch trick
    3. another friend goes missing
    4. history of the Orange Papers, and
    5. creation of the web site
    6. A biography written for SOS
    7. My 12-Step counselor was arrested again.

  5. Why did you create a web site to destroy AA? Do you drink or use drugs or have someone close to you die from drugs? Just curious.

    I created the web site to get the truth out. No, I don't drink or use drugs any more. Someone close die? Yes, of course. Who hasn't had somebody close die?

    Do you really imagine that you can explain away the failure of Alcoholics Anonymous by finding out that one of my friends died? Now you are just fishing for bad motives. You are just trying to do a setup for Personal attacks on critics. Again, that is just standard cult behavior.

  6. I think this site is dangerous and I don't think you are aware of the dangerous ripple effect this could have on others:
    ...
    5. On the drive home, they drift into another lane and kill a family of four and themselves.

    Congratulations. You are the zillionth Stepper to accuse me of killing alcoholics by telling the truth about Alcoholics Anonymous. Look here for the list of previous accusations.

    Your "example" of somebody drinking and driving because he read my web site is beyond ridiculous. It is downright brain-damaged.

    I do not tell people that it's okay to drink to excess, and I definitely don't tell them that it's okay to drink and drive.

    And you started your story with the false premise of a "Person with alcoholism is doing well at AA..."
    What the medical research has shown is that A.A. harms people by increasing binge drinking and deaths. So imagining that somebody is doing well in A.A., but will relapse the minute he hears the truth about A.A., is unrealistic.

  7. Thanks for your opinion, but please show both sides and have a social conscience. You are like AA in that you're completely sure you're right.

    Show both sides? I have. I even wrote a file called "What's Good About A.A.?". Unfortunately, the harm done by A.A. outweighs the good.

    What "other side" of A.A. do you want me to show? Do you want me to say that A.A. works great and saves millions of lives? It doesn't.

  8. AA has many issues and some of what you say may be right, but AA saves millions despite your manipulation of facts to fit your theory.

    No, A.A. does not "save millions". That is such a common A.A. lie. I just discussed that lie at length. Look here for a thorough examination of the "millions" claim.

    To say that A.A. has "some issues" is Minimization and Denial. Denial isn't just a river in Egypt.

    A.A. has huge, fatally-damaging problems, not just "some issues". It's time for A.A. to be replaced by some sane medical treatment from the twenty-first century. Dr. Frank Buchman's superstitious old cult religion from the dark ages has had its day. It's over.

  9. AA can't kill anyone, ALCOHOLISM kills people. AA offers a suggested path, that's it.

    Actually, yes, A.A. can kill people. A.A. kills people in several ways:

    1. Telling people not to take their doctor-prescribed medications.
    2. Telling people that they are powerless over alcohol, and are defenseless against that first drink.
    3. Telling people that one drink means that they have lost all of their sobriety and all of their sober time (so they might as well go ahead and drink and really tie one on and make it worth it now).
    4. Telling people that they are unable to control their drinking, and that after they have had one, they won't be able to stop (which sometimes become a self-fullfilling prophesy).
    5. Telling people that they will drink themselves to death if they leave A.A. (which again sometimes become a self-fullfilling prophesy).
    6. Telling people that they are disgusting incurable sinners who can't ever recover.
    7. Giving people gross misinformation about alcohol addiction and recovery.
    8. Driving people into suicidal depression with endless confessions.
    9. Sexually abusing young women drives them away from recovery.
    10. The obnoxiousness of A.A. drives both men and women away from recovery, and increases their cynicism too.
    11. Sneering at the chronic relapsers the way that you do drives them away from recovery.
    12. Dr. Brandsma found that A.A increased binge drinking.
    13. Dr. Walsh found that A.A increased the cost of hospitalization.
    14. Dr. Vaillant, who went on to become an A.A. trustee, found that A.A. raised the death rate in alcoholics.

    A.A. does not just "offer a suggested path". A.A. makes a lot of demands, and hides behind the claim that they are only suggestions. That is just another bait-and-switch trick: First they tell you that "There are no 'Musts' in Alcoholics Anonymous, only suggestions", but then they will tell you that there are many necessities and musts.

Have a good day now.

= Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The A.A. Plan: "Search out another alcoholic and
**     try again. You are sure to find someone desperate
**     enough to accept with eagerness what you offer."
**       ==  The Big Book, William G. Wilson, page 96.





May 16, 2012, Wednesday: Downtown Portland Oregon

underside of Burnside Bridge
Underside of Burnside Bridge
Just a trippy steel and concrete sculpture.

Portland skyline
Portland eastern skyline viewed from Waterfront Park
That funny black thing sticking out of the ground in the foreground really is a tying post for ships. During the Rose Festival, some Navy ships tie up there. And notice how immediately to the left of the tying post, there is a small section of railing that looks almost like a gate? Well, it is a gate. That section of railing is removable so that a ship can put a gangway there.

The Steel Bridge
The Steel Bridge
This is the only working independent-lift double-decker bridge in the world. The lower level can be lifted independently of the upper level. Most ships can be allowed through by only lifting the lower level, leaving the traffic on the upper level unobstructed. But both levels can be lifted way up for really large ships.

The lower level is a railroad bridge, and carries freight trains and Amtrack, and pedestrians. The upper level carries cars, busses, trucks, bicycles, pedestrians, and electric trains — our "MAX" Metropolital Rapid Access mass transportation system. That also gives it a record for carrying every kind of land transportation. (We could even add on donkey carts, horse carts, and horses, if one came along.)

Behind the bridge is a grain elevator, one of the largest on the west coast (if not the largest — I'm not sure). That long red thing is a grain ship loading with grain to take to hungry Asia.

That curved roof on the right is the "Rose Garden" arena, where the Portland Trailblazers play basketball.

Canada Goose goslings
A steel and glass bank tower
This thing looks kind of futuristic and science-fictiony, but it's a design disaster. See that railing that goes all around the top? That's for the window washers to hang their platform from. But that railing is also good for hanging something else: icecicles. In the winter, it grows lots of big long heavy icecicles, that then break loose and come crashing down on the glass rooves of the horizontal wings like the one in the left of the picture. They get a lot of broken windows in their ceilings. It's downright dangerous: the poor office workers can get bombed from above at any time during a thaw.

Merchant Block 1885
Merchant Block 1885
Old Town has a lot of picturesque old buildings like this. The office for Grimm, the grim monster fairy tale on TV, is just a block away. And the "Portland Police Department" of Grimm is really the old Customs House building, located just half a dozen blocks away, at the North Park Blocks where my first family of goslings would browse the grass.

[The story of the goslings continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters323.html#Michael_3 ]

Date: Fri, August 24, 2012 12:28 pm     (answered 27 August 2012)
From: "Michael 3."
Subject: Thank You!

For all tense and purpose, could you not list my name and refer to me as Michael when posting this!

Okay, Michael, your wish is granted. (The '3' distinguishes this Michael from two others who wrote in recently.) Thank you for the letter.

A few months ago I sent you a letter praising AA's virtue and after having read that letter, I realized it wasn't me who spoke, but rather the years and years of attendance at meetings like AG and Midtown that spoke for me.

You'll be pleased to know I took your advice, kept an open mind, and three weeks ago, I left AA for good. I have 10 months sober and am now in the process of trying to get down to the roots and conditions of why I drank in the first place via therapy.

I know that I have a long way to go before I get better and the years of AA conditioning wiped clean from my mind, but I know that I am much better off.

As you said in your reply to me, "mixing spirituality and mental illness is never a good thing"

Thank you for the letter and the story. That really brightens up my morning cup of coffee. I'm glad to hear that you are free and getting better. Congratulations on your sobriety and your recovery.

Yes, everything takes a while, but at least it's really happening now.

So have a good day and a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     The longest journey begins with the first step.
**     When you have taken the first step, the journey is half done.
**       ==  Old Chinese Proverbs





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters323.html#Tim_S ]

Date: Fri, August 24, 2012 4:51 pm     (answered 27 August 2012)
From: "Tim S."
Subject: Thank You

I just wanted to say it was refreshing reading through your site. I've been trying to be sober for four years and I have failed miserably at it. I'm an atheist but these treatment programs keep wanting to shove me back to AA, it's frustrating as hell. I had a sponsor read through chapter four "we agnostics" and it was so fucking insulting. The BB tells you nothing but lies and it's a total bait and switch. My sponsor said using the "group of drunks" model doesn't work and that I'd have to find god. and then tried to convince me that because they "predict" the moon landings in chapter four that the big book was "divinely inspired". Give me a break. I'm so sick of forking money over to these predatory assholes who want to shove faith healing down my throat, I mean I have nothing against religion but if it conflicts with my fundamental belief system then how the fuck is that supposed to work for me? This shit isn't a game — it's life and death. I'm a smart person and I have a lot to contribute to the world. So why is it that in 2012 religion is all the medical community can seem to offer for help with life threating addictions? I feel like what I have learned from these counselors and AA people is how to be weak and dependent. I've felt lost for so long and I've forgotten how much inner strength I truly have. I've found your site inspirational, it gives me hope that I can do this on my own and that there is a solution for those without faith. Thank you for having the courage to rock the boat and post this, it's helped me and thats more than I can say for the countless hours I've wasted in meetings and group therapy sessions.

-Tim

Hello Tim,

Wow. Thank you for the letter. I can only totally agree. Congratulations on some clear thinking, and breaking free. And I'm glad to hear that my web site helped you in some way.

The one tiny exception that I'd like to mention is that not all doctors send people to Alcoholics Anonymous for some faith healing. Mine didn't. He seems to have used Brief Intervention on me. It seems to have worked too. But of course, I still had to do the quitting myself. And I did. And so do millions of other successful people.

I think that the medical community is slowly waking up and realizing just how ineffective A.A. really is. Still, it's appalling that about 75% of the treatment centers still sell the 12-Step cult religion as a cure for addictions. That has to change.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

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





BLOG NOTE: 2012.08.28:

Some corporation that calls itself "The Grange" is advertising on TV like mad, declaring that things will be just wonderful if we have a new casino.

I just put this into the web page on Propaganda Techniques, under "reversal of reality":

A company that wants to set up a non-Indian casino (a new precedent for Oregon) advertises on TV that they will create millions of dollars — declaring that they will give the community millions of dollars in new taxes, and create thousands of new jobs with health care, and raise millions of dollars for education. The truth is, casinos never create money. They take money from people. Casinos do not manufacture anything of value; they just take money from the mathematically challenged customers. Ultimately, in the long run, casinos make states poorer, not richer. The end product of casinos is more impoverished citizens.

Worse yet, the market for casinos is saturated. Now almost every state has legalized gambling in some form or another, and gamblers no longer need to drive to Las Vegas or Atlantic City to gamble. There is another casino just down the road, or just across the state line. Now the casinos are just fighting over market share, with one casino stealing customers from another. The casino business has become a zero-sum game, where one casino's gain is another's loss. Another casino doesn't make more money for the community; it just makes some for the occasional lucky casino owner while reducing the profits of a neighboring casino. And, of course, reducing the taxes that the other casino pays.

You know, I really get a frustrated feeling when corporations blatantly lie to my face on TV. Why, you might even say that I "have a resentment".

Oh well, have a good day anyway.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters323.html#Geoffrey_P ]

Date: Sat, August 25, 2012 5:02 pm     (answered 2 September 2012)
From: "Geoffrey P."
Subject:

Hey Orange.

Almost six months now since I went to my last AA meeting. I am still alive, not in jail and not insane.

I still get the odd (in more ways than one!) call or text from "the AA people," but now I am just ignoring and deleting, as I simply want nothing to do with anything or anyone associated with AA. I'm not drinking (my choice) and you are 100% right when you say it's so good to wake up without a hangover and without wondering what the hell happened last night etc.

And gradually regaining the love, respect and trust of my family is the most important benefit of course.

I am also back on the medication I was on before the (alleged) medical staff at the AA-based rehab I attended last year took me off it. I feel much better for it, and I am grateful I have a good family doctor I have known for years whom I know I can trust. He was actually very interested in your website. He deals with quite a few patients who have problems with drinking alcohol.

I get the odd flashback from the rehab centre where I spent 28 days (and then another 12 days, months later, after being coerced by my then sponsor to re-admit myself for a second time). I have experienced some residual guilt at having been sucked in to something I can now, with the clarity of sobriety, so clearly see was so fundamentally flawed.

Both times I knew something wasn't right, but it took the chance discovery of your website to open my eyes to just how detrimental AA was and still is in my opinion, so I thank you sincerely for all your hard work, and for the simple fact that you bothered. I believe you are doing a great service, but I can see this is not the sentiment of quite a few of your readers.

It still mystifies me, the level of hate and anger that some of your correspondents' emails contain. If that is AA serenity and sobriety, I don't want it.

If I had a bucket list; (I don't — I'm 48 years old and not about to die that I know of), I would one day like to travel to your part of the world and help you feed the geese and goslings. Life is pretty good, and I know not drinking is my choice, but I am very grateful for your work, which was effectively the catalyst for me finally getting my life back on track.

I hope you don't mind me keeping in touch. I may never meet you in person but I feel like you are a friend (and I don't mean in the stupid "facebook" sense.)

Hope you are well and happy, wherever you are and whatever you're doing.

Hello Geoffrey,

Thank you for the letter. That is really good news. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well. And I'm flattered that you consider me a friend.

Please don't feel guilty for having gotten sucked into the cult. You were up against some of the most skilled propagandists and cult recruiters on the planet. And the most powerful. Scientology and the Moonies can only drool in envy as medical professionals and judges and probation officers force more victims into Alcoholics Anonymous. No other cult in the world has the resouces and facilities and hidden personel and the recruiters and propagandists of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Remember that A.A. started off as the Oxford Group, so A.A. inherited all of the mind games and guilt induction techniques and phobia induction tricks and twisted language and occult practices and recruiting tactics of the Oxford Group. The O.G. essentially jump-started Alcoholics Anonymous by training Bill Wilson, Dr. Robert Smith, and Clarence Snyder in all of that stuff. When Bill Wilson was kicked out of the Oxford Group, he took with him a full toolbox for building a cult. In fact, he already had a ready-made cult — Wilson just took the alcoholic branch of the Oxford Group with him, so he didn't even need to start up a cult. He already had one, complete with crazy theology and nasty recruiting techniques.

And Dr. Frank Buchman actually got a head start from Prof. Henry B. Wright of Yale University, who trained Buchman in the ways of cult religion when Buchman was just starting out as a young preacher. Wright in turn had gotten his religious dogma from people before him, like Robert E. Speer, who got it from Henry Drummond... It has been going on for a long time.

It was never a fair fight. You never stood a chance. They had a couple of centuries of head start on you. You didn't know a thing about cults, and they knew everything.

I also didn't know about cults when I started out. Back in the nineteen-sixties and -seventies, I associated with a bunch of cults, and didn't know that they were cults. I thought they were just interesting foreign religions from other countries. So I chanted and meditated and did yoga, and studied a bunch of things. My one saving grace was that I'm just not much of a joiner. That is simply personal inclination. When things didn't feel exactly right, I'd just wander further on down the road and look for something else. I had no idea what I was missing out on. I was just lucky.

Over the following twenty years, many of those cults failed and blew up or died out. Gradually, the stories came out of corrupt leaders and false teachers and exploited followers. There were so many. Today, I can count all of the gurus from the sixties and seventies who didn't turn out to be false teachers on the fingers of one hand. And actually, I feel grateful that there are that many good ones left.

When I got involved with Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, I noticed pretty soon that there was an uncanny resemblance to some of those cults that I knew back in the sixties or seventies. I'd think, "I know I've heard that before. That sounds just like what they said in the ABC cult, or in the XYZ cult..." So I wised up pretty soon. It was just a matter of having the advantage of 20 years of previous experience in the world of cults. I think I was lucky there.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Man is subject to innumerable pains and sorrows by the very condition
**     of humanity, and yet, as if nature had not sown evils enough in life,
**     we are continually adding grief to grief and aggravating the common
**     calamity by our cruel treatment of one another.
**        ==  Joseph Addison (1672—1719), English essayist, critic, poet





NEWS NOTE: 2012.09.02:

Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the self-appointed messiah and founder and leader of the cult called the Unification Church, died today at the age of 92. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Rev. Moon bilked his followers of so many billions of dollars that he built up a huge financial empire that stretched far beyond just cult religion. Among his holdings was Ronald Reagan's favorite newspaper, The Washington Times and its subsidiary The World and I magazine. (Sold in 2010.) Look here for one example of that kind of "journalism":
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-pseudo2.html

Moon and wife
Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the self-appointed successor to Jesus Christ, and his wife, the "Perfect Mother"

Moon considers himself a messiah — "God's ambassador, sent to Earth with his full authority," as he puts it. "Humanity's savior ... returning lord and true parent."

Moon has compared gay people to dung-eating dogs. He has told Jews that the Nazi Holocaust was retribution for the murder of Jesus and that they must "repent and follow and become one with Christianity" through him.

He opposes the separation of church and state, and he wants all religions abolished as the world comes together under one faith led by — wait for it — Sun Myung Moon.

Under Moon's rule, we would all speak Korean and be "assigned" our marital partners. (He's famous, recall, for mass weddings.)
Eric Zorn, "Some find sushi, and Rev. Moon, hard to swallow" Chicago Tribune, April 13, 2006.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0604130084apr13,0,4728711.column?coll=chi-ed_opinion_columnists-utl (Dead Link.)


See this longer story for much more about Moon's criminal activities: http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-moon.html





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Last updated 14 October 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters323.html