Letters, We Get Mail, CCCXLIV



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters344.html#Maddox_W ]

Date: Tue, February 19, 2013 9:31 am     (Answered 20 February 2013)
From: "Maddox W."
Subject: Terrifying

To whom it may concern,

I just read your article on AA, and your hate filled views of it. Frankly I think you need to do some research, if you had you would be clear that AA is spiritual not a religious program. Maybe you should look those two words up and see what the difference is. And since you are such an expert you would also understand that the disease if alcoholism causes people to drink, not AA. I can only hope that you understand that the blog that you posted is not only detrimental to active alcoholics but could possibly be deadly.

Hello Maddox,

Thanks for the letter and the opinions. Alas, you are just repeating untrue A.A. dogma.

The distinction between religious and spiritual is meaningless — a false dichotomy. About the only real difference between the two words is that the religious people meet in the main church hall, while the "spiritual" A.A. people meet in the church basement and sneer at the people above them.

And of course I looked up the definitions of those words in the dictionary, like 10 years ago, and typed the definitions into a web page, here.

Look at the definitions of religious and spiritual.

Especially note the Random House definition:

Spiritual == 7. of or pertaining to sacred things or matters; religious; devotional; sacred.

Religious and spiritual are synonyms.

And also see Webster's:

Spiritual (Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, 1993.)
  • 2 - a: of or relating to religious or sacred matters

Spiritual is religious.

And of course A.A. is a religion. Half of the 12 Steps refer to God, Him or Higher Power who is God. That's the same percentage as the Ten Commandments, five of which refer to God.

Claiming that A.A is not a religion, just a "spiritual fellowship" is a deceptive recruiting trick. Actually, it's several bait-and-switch tricks:

  1. Shifting objectives: First the goal is to quit drinking, and then the goal is to "acquire faith" and "come to believe" in Bill Wilson's religion.

  2. First, A.A. is just a nice neighborhood quit-drinking self-help group, and then it's a hard-core religion.

  3. First, it's only a "spiritual" alcoholism recovery program, and then it's a fundamentalist religion whose 'real purpose' is to make you 'serve God'.

  4. First, God loves you, and then He doesn't.

  5. First, God loves you unconditionally, and then God won't save you unless you 'work a strong program'.

  6. First, God is your servant, and then you are a slave of God.

  7. First, A.A. is a quit-drinking program for the alcoholics, and then it's a religion for the whole family.

  8. First, Bill Wilson declared that the A.A. religious dogma was just the perennial Christian philosophy, "common to all denominations", but then it isn't Christian at all.It's a strange kind of Calvinist social Darwinism that believes in pre-destination.

  9. First, you can keep your own religion, and then you can't.

  10. First, A.A. is completely compatible with Christianity, then it isn't.

  11. First it's "Surrender to God" and then it's "surrender to some A.A. members".

  12. First, it's "any God as you understand Him", and then it's "You don't understand God. You are 'confused' and 'prejudiced'."

  13. First, declarations of Religious Freedom, and then demands for Religious Conformity.

  14. First, a loosely-defined "Higher Power", and then an explicitly-defined "God".

  15. Redefine God. First you get one God, then you get a different God.

  16. Offer them medical treatment for alcoholism, but give them the twelve-step religion.

Then your next mistake is declaring that drinking too much alcohol is a disease. No it isn't, it's behavior. The act of lifting a glass or bottle to your mouth and swallowing the contents is not a disease.

If someone is compulsively drinking too much alcohol, then they may have a mental illness like Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, which should be treated by a qualified psychiatrist, not by an A.A. sponsor.

And then, finally, you closed with the standard A.A. ad hominem attack about killing alcoholics by telling the truth about A.A., addiction and recovery, as if those poor feeble-minded alcoholics will just suffer a brain melt-down if they hear the truth:

I can only hope that you understand that the blog that you posted is not only detrimental to active alcoholics but could possibly be deadly.

Congratulations, you made the list, here.

And actually, I get a lot of letters from people who tell me that hearing the truth was a big help to them. I got several in just the last few days. Start here:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters343.html#Rational_S

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     For every good reason that there is to lie,
**     There is a better reason to tell the truth.
**       ==  Bo Bennett





[The previous letter from Peter_F is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters344.html#Peter_F ]

Date: Sat, February 16, 2013 11:31 pm     (Answered 20 February 2013)
From: "Peter F."
Subject: FW: 'Marijuana Recovery' — The Next Major Support Group for Recovering Alcoholics, Cocaine and Heroin Addicts?

"Now I can understand how someone who is suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can fixate on smoking pot and feel compulsively driven to smoke pot all day long. Such a person needs psychiatric help. The problem is the OCD, not the pot."

That's an excellent point. I address a similar issue in another Huffpo column:

Are You Drug Dependent? Don't sweat it — Huffington Post, November 1, 2011:
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-peter-ferentzy/drugs-are-you-dependent_b_1065863.html

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

Ah yes, thank you.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     If I am who I am because of what I have,
**     and then I lose what I have,
**     who am I?
**       ==  German psychologist Eric Fromm





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters344.html#iamnotastatistic ]

Date: Thu, February 21, 2013 4:10 pm     (Answered 22 February 2013)
From: "iamnotastatistic"
Subject: The 40-80-90 rule

Hello again Orange,

Recently, when re-examining AA's "Comments on A.A.'s Triennial Surveys" (COTS) report, I noticed something I had never paid much attention to before. I realized that AA had actually calculated its long term ineffectiveness and had shown its terrible retention rate using what it calls the 40-80-90 rule.

The COTS report (pages 20-22) explains the derivation of the 40-80-90 rule of member retention. This rule shows that from 1977 to 1989: 40% of those in their 1st year of membership remained as members for one further year 80% of those in their 2nd, 3rd and 4th year of membership remained as members for one further year 90% of those in their 5th, or greater, year of membership remained as members for one further year These numbers were almost constant in the period 1977-1989 and they take into account the growth in the number of members.

Those numbers don't sound too bad until we examine the cumulative effect of those retention percentages. If we start off in the 1st year with 100% then by the 2nd year there is 40% remaining, by the 3rd 32% remain, by the 5th 20.5% remain and by the 11th year only 10.9% remain as shown below:

Year of membership 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th
Retention factor n/a x 40% x 80% x 80% x 80% x 90% x 90% x 90% x 90% x 90% x 90%
% Remaining 100 40 32 25.6 20.5 18.4 16.6 14.9 13.4 12.1 10.9

It was clear back in 1989 when GSO analyzed their data that only approx. 10% remained in AA after 10 years. And yet, AA didn't think it was important to let its members and the public know the mathematical facts that it had calculated using its own data.

Of course AA could have gone further and they would have realized how a little more analysis shows that the retention was even worse: This 40-80-90 rule takes into account the growth of the membership and frequency of attendance, etc. However, what it does not take into account is the fact that due to the high drop out rate during the first year of membership the total number of newcomers to AA in any year from 1977-1989 was 2.28 times greater than the instantaneous value of the number of members in their 1st year of attendance. See The Mathematics of Alcoholics Anonymous Part 2 — Section 2 for an explanation:

http://orange-papers.info/The_Mathematics_of_Alcoholics_Anonymous_-_Part_2.pdf

When this is taken into account the membership retention is much lower as shown below:

Year of membership 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th
% Remaining — corrected 100 17.5 14 11.2 9 8.1 7.3 6.5 5.9 5.3 4.8

So, when all the newcomers to AA in a given year are included we find that only 17.5% of them will make it to some point in their 2nd year and only 4.8% make it past the 10th year. What is also shown is that less than half of those in their 2nd year will make it past 5 years. It also shows that only approx. half of those in their 5th year make it past 10 years. Many members with appreciable lengths of sobriety continue to drop out!

Of course some die hard supporters, and AA itself, will defend this data by saying that membership retention is not the only measure of effectiveness, i.e., members who discontinue attending A.A. meetings may maintain their sobriety outside of A.A. and therefore any measure of membership retention calculates only the lower limit of AA effectiveness with the upper limit of effectiveness remaining unknown. However, the AA pamphlet "Frequently Asked Questions About A.A."
((http://www.aa.org/pdf/products/p-2_44questions.pdf)
has the following to say regarding attendance at A.A. meetings:

"So the A.A. [member] who wants to do everything possible to insure sobriety today will probably keep going to meetings."

"Many [A.A. members] know from experience that if they do not come to meetings, they may get drunk..."

"Nearly all alcoholics, at one time or another, have tried to stay sober on their own. For most, the experience has not been particularly enjoyable — or successful."

"Nearly all A.A.s who have been through this experience [slip/relapse] say that slips can be traced to specific causes...they stayed away from A.A. meetings..."

Since AA specifically forecasts drunkenness, failure and relapse for "most" or "nearly all" of those who do not attend AA meetings then AA cannot claim those who stay sober without attending AA meetings as AA successes. In fact quite the opposite is true — those who stay sober without attending AA meetings are doing so not because of AA but in spite of it. For AA to claim these people as AA successes is not only illogical but clearly hypocritical. Therefore membership retention is the measure of the upper limit of AA effectiveness.

Thanks Orange,
Iamnotastatistic

Hello iamnotastatistic,

Thanks for that input. Those are some very perceptive observations and analyses of the A.A. document. Apparently, the number-fumblers at the A.A. headquarters were trying hard to put a smiley face on a very bad situation by claiming that the (few) remaining people in A.A. stay for a while longer.

That's a good point about the common A.A. flip-flop that first, they claim that the A.A. dropouts are still sober, so A.A. still has a good success rate, in spite of the high dropout rate, and then they claim that if you stop going to meetings, you will invariably relapse and die drunk. I've heard it so many times. "If you don't Work A Strong Program, then your fate will be Jails, Institutions, or Death!" Well, they can't have it both ways.

And they try to claim that the sober dropouts are sober because of something that they got from A.A. meetings. Personally, I've also had A.A. defenders try to claim that because I went to A.A. for three months twelve years ago, I learned something in A.A. that "helped me to stay sober", so A.A. is due the credit for my 12 years of sobriety. Not! I am definitely one of those people who is staying sober in spite of A.A., not because of it.

And of course they never want to do the reverse logic: Conclude that the drop-outs who relapse do so because of something that they learned in A.A.

But that can actually be true. It happened in my case. I described it here. What I learned from a woman at my second-ever A.A. meeting back in 1987 was that I didn't really go into DTs when I quit drinking, not like her; I wasn't a real hard-core alcoholic like her; I didn't go into convulsions and have to be tied down to the bed for three days when I detoxed like happened to her, so obviously I wasn't really an alcoholic, not like her. Conclusion: Since I wasn't a real alcoholic after all, it was okay for me to have a beer. "Just one." (Famous last words.)

A.A. members really should be more careful in how they brag about themselves in their drunkalogues. They can make newcomers think that the newcomers aren't alcoholics at all, not like those experienced old wrecks with the dramatic war stories.

Finally, one thing that the author of the The Mathematics of Alcoholics Anonymous Part 2 didn't elaborate on is the invisible dropouts. As you said, he calculated that the total number of newcomers was 2.28 times the number observed on the day of a Triennial Survey. Personally, I think that is very conservative, maybe way too low, and the true number may be far higher.

The A.A. Triennial Surveys only count the people who are present on the day that the survey is done, like one day every three years or so. People who came to some A.A. meetings, and were appalled by what they saw and left during the previous weeks or months, and didn't come back, don't get counted in the Triennial Surveys. Those dropouts are missing from the mathematics.

Because there are 1096 days in three years (including one leap year),

  • the odds of a one-time visitor getting counted in a Triennial Survey are less than one in a thousand.
  • Likewise, the odds of a two-timer getting counted in the survey are less than one in 500.
  • And a three-timer has odds of one in 365. And so on.
  • Even someone who attends meetings for three months before dropping out (like I did) has only a one in twelve chance of getting counted in a Triennial Survey. (And I didn't get counted.)
So there is a large crowd of A.A. dropouts who never got counted in the first place, and the numbers in the Triennial Survey were inaccurate and biased from the very beginning. The A.A. claim that "Half of the people who remained for three months stayed for a whole year" covers up a multitude of uncounted dropouts. The unanswered question is, "How many people dropped out before the day of the survey?"

I described the mathematics of that more here: orange-letters181.html#Green

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.





June 16, 2012, Saturday: The Fernhill Wetlands

Canada Goose family with goslings
A younger Family of 4, coming for munchies

Canada Goose goslings
The 4 Goslings getting lunch

June 20, 2012, Wednesday: The Fernhill Wetlands

Robin
Robin

Robin
Robin

[More gosling photos below, here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters344.html#Tinoy_J ]

Date: Wed, February 20, 2013 10:46 pm     (Answered 22 February 2013)
From: "Tinoy J."
Subject: Duh

Hello not once does aa say this is the only way. I argue with members multiple times. It says we have no monopoly in God. It also says alcoholics have been getting since man first started crushing grapes. Hey there are other ways. Yes maybe I just needed a sense of belonging and sense I've been in this program I have friends who I didn't have when I was loaded. Simply I don't really care there are other ways to get sober. A couple of idiots decided to say this is the only way, when our literature refers to a variety of spiritual experiences a book. It says a vital spiritual experience is required to over come drinking, for the real alcoholic. Now 15% of members are real alcoholics described in the book not everyone in aa is a real alcoholic who suffer from the mental obsession, a physical craving, and spiritual malady. There are a lot of things in that book that can be misread. Now bash all you want but I have seen peoples behaviors changed. I've seen selfish asshole go into ministry and move on from aa and these principles which are universal, have changed People's lives and these principles aren't just found in the big book they are found in taoism, Buddhism, Christianity anywhere. Religion can sober up a man. Fishing can sober up a man if he has a spiritual experience every time he fishes I've seen it. I've Watch people's behaviors changed I've seen miracles. Through where they decided oh yeah treat others as I would like to be treated that's in the bible I was told that in grade two. It's spiritual kindergarten, it's a school of life. Now to bash these principles that are universal you are bashing a lot of religions. I understand religion has done a lot of bad things like my people in residential schools, but the big book also said I looked at a few ugly trees and missed the beauty of the forest. You see you may be misinformed. I also don't understand why you feel so important or obligated to write this. I read this last year and threw away a year sobriety cause I said aa is bullshit. After reading you quack off cracking at the lips and I thought I can control my drinking I can have one. Now turns out I am one of those 15 % in the rooms who am an alcoholic, I got loaded ended up with a crack pipe in my mouth lost the house truck job everything within two weeks and went back and realized I was wrong. But hey what ever works for you eh. I suffer from an obsession of the mind meaning yes I obsess over women drugs alcohol the bible but I would prefer to obsess over these principles and doing the next right thing and that doesn't always mean sobering someone up it means kindness and good will towards all men. To understand I have defects and fall short and I will never be perfect. There are other ways aa was never the first and doesn't claim to be that's other people's opinions. Its a better way of living, you find new friends. My life is a testimony to this , I came from the streets from a broken reserve from a bad upbringing , knowing nothing but violence and anger drugs and alcohol. These principles I was taught in aa have helped me, and I could have found these principles anywhere. If you would taken away the drink and drug I would have still been a prick. It taught me a new way of living.

Thank you for your time
Sincerely T.A.J.

Sent from my iPhone

Hello Tinoy,

Thank you for the letter. Well, staring at the top:

  1. A.A. does not claim to be the only way to get sober? What a coincidence that you should bring that up now. We were just discussing that issue on the Orange Papers forum, here:

    The new leader of A.A., Rev. Ward Ewing, Class A (nonalcoholic) Trustee and Chairperson of the General Service Board of A.A., says that A.A. really is the only way:

    "The spiritual program of A.A. is the only program that provides long-term sobriety."

    "We have a powerful spiritual program that works — the only program that truly works for long-term sobriety."

    "This is the only way that has ever worked effectively over the long term."

    Document available at: http://www.aa.org/lang/en/en_pdfs/en_rf_finalrep_sept14-16-12.pdf

    Now I know all about Bill Wilson's statements that "We have no monopoly", and "We have no desire to convince anyone that there is only one way by which faith can be acquired." — As if A.A. was supposed to be an "acquire faith program", not a quit-drinking program.

    We have no desire to convince anyone that there is only one way by which faith can be acquired.   ...
    Those having religious affiliations will find nothing here disturbing to their beliefs or ceremonies. There is no friction among us over such matters.
    The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William Wilson, Chapter 2, There Is A Solution, page 28.

    Upon therapy for the alcoholic himself, we surely have no monopoly.
    The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Foreword, page xxi.

    But that was just one of Bill's bait-and-switch tricks to lure in the newcomers. Bill wanted to sound easy-going and broad-minded and tolerant of differing opinions. But Bill soon switched to declaring that you will die unless you do it his way:

    Any willing newcomer feels sure A.A. is the only safe harbor for the foundering vessel he has become.
    Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 35.

    For most cases, there is virtually no other solution.
    The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, page 43.

    ... you may be suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer.     ...
    At first some of us tried to avoid the issue, hoping against hope we were not true alcoholics. But after a while we had to face the fact that we must find a spiritual basis of life — or else.
    The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, page 44.

    Unless each A.A. member follows to the best of his ability our suggested [Bill Wilson's required] Twelve Steps to recovery, he almost certainly signs his own death warrant. His drunkenness and dissolution are not penalties inflicted by people in authority; they result from his personal disobedience to spiritual principles [Bill Wilson's cult religion practices].
    Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 174.

    You can read much more about that bait-and-switch trick here:

    Also see the Cult Test item:

  2. You think that someone must suffer from "the mental obsession, a physical craving, and spiritual malady" in order to be a "real alcoholic"? Well in that case, there are no real alcoholics in this world.

    You are trying to make "alcoholism" into something that is simultaneously a physical disease, a mental disease, and a spiritual disease. There ain't no such beast.

    By the way, mental diseases are supposed to be treated by a licensed doctor, not an A.A. sponsor or a Voodoo witch doctor.

  3. Now bash all you want but I have seen peoples behaviors changed.

    Sure, so have I. And the people whom I saw get clean and sober did it without the 12-Step religion. At the same time, I've seen more Steppers relapse than I can count, so there is no reason for you to assume that attending A.A. meetings or doing the 12 Steps makes alcoholics quit drinking.

    It's wonderful to see people just get a grip and stop killing themselves. Real recovery is beautiful. It's also wonderful when they wake up and free themselves from a cult.

  4. I've seen selfish asshole go into ministry and move on from aa and these principles which are universal, have changed People's lives and these principles aren't just found in the big book they are found in taoism, Buddhism, Christianity anywhere. Religion can sober up a man. Fishing can sober up a man if he has a spiritual experience every time he fishes I've seen it.

    Religion can sober up a man, or religion can make men wage religious wars and crusades for centuries, and burn girls and astronomers at the stake. Religion can improve men's lives, or religion can make men crucify meddling touble-makers like Jesus. Religion can make men burn crosses and bomb Negro Sunday-schools. Religion can make people bomb abortion clinics and kill doctors. Religion can make people wage wars against their neighbors for a thousand years because of the smallest of doctrinal disagreements, like the Sunnis versus the Shias, or the Moslems versus the Hindus, or the Protestants versus the Catholics. Please be very careful in your assumptions about what "religion" does to people.

    Mark Twain summed up the situation nicely:

    Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion — several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat, if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven.
    == Mark Twain (Samuel Longhorne Clemens) 1835—1910

    Also, there are no "Principles" in the 12 Steps. The 12 Steps are just Bill Wilson's copy of Dr. Frank Buchman's cult religion practices. Practices, not principles.

  5. Through where they decided oh yeah treat others as I would like to be treated that's in the bible I was told that in grade two. It's spiritual kindergarten, it's a school of life.

    Now that is some fine-sounding talk. Too bad it isn't practiced more often. How does that square with the sexual exploitation of young women that is rampant in A.A.? And harming sick people by telling them not to take their medications?

    Read some of these stories:

  6. ...but the big book also said I looked at a few ugly trees and missed the beauty of the forest. You see you may be misinformed.

    And that is called Minimization and Denial. Denial isn't just a river in Egypt.

    The abuses and medical malpractice that are going on in A.A. are not just a few ugly trees. We should not overlook people getting hurt by criminals.

  7. I also don't understand why you feel so important or obligated to write this.

    Because a lot of people are getting hurt by A.A. quack medicine and psycho-babble and heretical religion and fake corn-pone philosophy.

  8. I read this last year and threw away a year sobriety cause I said aa is bullshit. After reading you quack off cracking at the lips and I thought I can control my drinking I can have one. Now turns out I am one of those 15 % in the rooms who am an alcoholic, I got loaded ended up with a crack pipe in my mouth lost the house truck job everything within two weeks and went back and realized I was wrong. But hey what ever works for you eh.

    I'm sorry to hear that you are having troubles. I never told you that you should "just have one". What I said that that some people can handle drinking moderately, and some cannot. And it's our job — a critical matter of life or death — to figure out which kind we are. And those people who cannot drink moderately, like me, and apparently also you, should never touch alcohol. I never said that you should just quit A.A. and go back to drinking.

    And then I really never said that it would be okay for you to go smoke crack until you lost everything you had. I never said that it was okay for anybody to smoke crack. You are really trying to twist and stretch my words a lot, and make out like I'm saying things that I am not.

    I'm sorry to hear about the troubles that you are going through. But I'm not to blame for your decision to drink alcohol and smoke crack until you lost your job and your truck and your house.

    Have you ever heard the A.A. slogan, "You are just looking for an excuse to drink."? It sure sounds like that.

    Speaking of A.A. slogans, don't you notice how you fulfilled the A.A. teachings? A.A. teaches that you are powerless over alcohol, and N.A. teaches that you are powerless over your addiction, and you went out and made those statements into self-fulfilling prophesies. Now what if they had taught you that you could stop after just having a few? Where would you be?

    Would you please read the web page on The Lizard-Brain Addiction Monster? That page explains and warns against the kind of thinking that says, "Oh just a little alcohol and crack will be okay, and it will feel so good..."

  9. I suffer from an obsession of the mind meaning yes I obsess over women drugs alcohol the bible but I would prefer to obsess over these principles and doing the next right thing and that doesn't always mean sobering someone up it means kindness and good will towards all men.

    Okay, now we come to the heart of the problem. You should be seeing a psychiatrist who can help you with your Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. A.A. sponsors are not qualified or licensed to treat mental illnesses. The practices of the 12-Step religion are not good therapy for OCD.

  10. There are other ways aa was never the first and doesn't claim to be that's other people's opinions.

    We just covered that above, with A.A. claiming to be the only way. And yes, Bill Wilson did claim that A.A. was the first and only thing that works:

    In all, about two hundred cases of hopeless alcoholism have been dealt with. As will be seen, about fifty percent of these have recovered. This, of course, is unprecedented — never has such a thing happened before.
    THE ONE HUNDRED MEN CORPORATION Prospectus

  11. Its a better way of living, you find new friends. My life is a testimony to this , I came from the streets from a broken reserve from a bad upbringing , knowing nothing but violence and anger drugs and alcohol. These principles I was taught in aa have helped me, and I could have found these principles anywhere. If you would taken away the drink and drug I would have still been a prick. It taught me a new way of living.

    But unfortunately that "sobriety" and "new way of living" was so weak and shakey that all you had to do was read some pages of a web site and you totally relapsed and threw everything away. So what good are the A.A. teachings?

    Will you relapse again the next time you read something that isn't "council approved"?

    You really need to see a good doctor and get some real help. Please.

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.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters344.html#Eric_P ]

Date: Wed, February 20, 2013 4:18 am     (Answered 22 February 2013)
From: "eric p."
Subject: Your interpretation of the 12 steps.

I was just wondering how you feel about the program call "Celebrate Recovery" wear Jesus is your higher power?

Hello Eric,

Thanks for the question. We were just discussing Celebrate Recovery a little while ago, here:

I have no problem with people worshipping Jesus Christ. But I do have a problem with someone taking the 12 Steps — the occult practices of Frank Buchman's heretical pro-Nazi cult religion — and claiming that they are a "Christian" program of recovery. No they aren't. As I said in one of the previous letters, doing the 12 Steps is very close to selling your soul to the Devil in trade for sobriety.

You can see the file The Heresy of the Twelve Steps for much more about the huge theological conflicts between the 12 Steps and Christianity.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     Wherever God erects a house of prayer,
**     The Devil always builds a chapel there;
**     And twill be found upon examination,
**     The later has the largest congregation.
**       ==  Daniel Defoe, The True-Born Englishman





June 21, 2012, Thursday: The Fernhill Wetlands

Eagle
Papa Eagle, waiting in his favorite dead tree

Mama Eagle on nest
Mama Eagle on her nest
Here, you can clearly see how the nest is securely wedged in a 5-way fork in the tree.
June 23, 2012, Thursday: The Fernhill Wetlands
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron, fishing
Great Blue Heron, fishing

[The story of the goslings continues here.]





[The previous letter from Meatbag is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters344.html#Meatbag ]

Date: Wed, February 20, 2013 7:03 pm     (Answered 24 February 2013)
From: "Meatbag"
Subject: Re: Another Bullshit Comment from the Peanut Gallery

I've sent a reply before, but I think it got lost. That, and I did just get my laptop fixed after the blighted thing burned my finger.

Hello again, Meatbag,

I'm happy to hear from you again. I was wondering what happened to you. The last letter that I see from you is here: orange-letters336.html#Meatbag2

Anyhow, Claws is a mail client.

Ah so. Yes, I finally sort of figured that out. I assumed that it was a computer, not a cat.

I think my hearing issues are mostly autism-related, since I've been like that for a while. Although age-related hearing loss does run in my dad's side of the family.

As for cameras, I probably need a DSLR. I don't think it has to be terribly fancy, though, considering I'm a beginner.

Well, fortunately, used DSLR cameras without all of the newest frills are increasingly inexpensive.

Say, what happened to the spider story?

I haven't written it yet. I shall have to do that soon, because it's an amusing story, and I've even got photographs.

There's a lot of comments I can make on the letters, but I don't feel up to it. I'm fighting off metal fume fever that I got from soldering. It's exactly like a bad cold, except everything tastes like metal. Guess I better wear a mask next time. And stock up on chocolate milk beforehand.

Bummer. I'm surprised that I never got that. Maybe it's just that all of my soldering was electronic, with rosin-core solder, which isn't toxic.

I will make a comment on Chris's letter, though. Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act allows employers to pay disabled employees less than minimum wage. The definition of disability includes alcoholism and drug addiction. Is that what you wanted when you said you should be in the same class as special needs people, Steppers?

Oh yeh. Special treatment, huh? That just goes to show, "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it."

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     Researchers led by Abhijit Majumder at the Indian Institute of Technology
**     in Kanpur, India, studied the toe pads of tree frogs to figure out what
**     makes them stick to surfaces, and copied the idea. ...
**     The result: stickiness [of tape] increased by as much as 30 times, and
**     the material could be peeled off and reused...
**     http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Getting-a-Grip.html
**     I am happy to report that soon, you will be able to replace your
**     refrigerator magnets with tree frogs.
**
**     A research team led by professor Masayuki Sumida at Hiroshima University's
**     Institute for Amphibian Biology created a type of transparent frog whose
**     internal organs are visible through its skin.  ...  They also say that by
**     fusing the genes of fluorescent proteins onto the frog's genes, they can
**     create frogs that glow. (Digital Journal, "Hiroshima scientists create
**     transparent frogs", posted Sep 22, 2007.)
**     == Gee, just what I always wanted: A transparent, glow-in-the-dark frog.
**     I suppose if you got enough of them, you could use them as night-lights.
**
**     Now if we combine the genes of those two types of frogs, do we get
**     night-lights that we can stick anywhere?

[The next letter from Meatbag is here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters344.html#David_G ]

Date: Wed, February 20, 2013 9:25 pm     (Answered 24 February 2013)
From: "David G."
Subject: Approve me Please

I was a member of AA for a long long long time and I burned out from it and I have a lot of interesting stories to tell. Some you may not believe. But I assure you I am a very smart and sane person. Not really what I was told growing up or at AA meetings but... LOL.

AA is seriously a Cult. I have been stalked and like I said you would not even believe me the shit I have had to put up with because I was vocal about how over the top AA has gotten. It is as plain as the nose on my face that they actually try to brainwash people. More overtly in my case. I hope you don't think I am a total nut. I just want a life without AA or those freaks nosing into my life. Any problem I may have is dwarfed by the problem I have with AA being all up in my business. One of my father's favorite Irish sayings is about how they use to keep kid just a little drunk for a year or two and this would sometimes cure them. " If the cause doesn't kill you the cure will".

I would rather die drunk than have to ever go to a meeting and coffee after again. All they do is talk about the new people and everyone else too about how they are not doing to steps right.

Well, LOL I'm sorry about my rant but I really think it's a shame what has happened to AA. It use to be kind of light hearted and fun. They are Nazis now... just look west to the Pacific group or the west portland group. I've seen it all.

Bye for now, Dave

Hello Dave,

Thanks for the letter. And no, I don't think you are crazy. I've heard similar things before. So feel free to rant.

About the brainwashing, check out: Dr. Robert Jay Lifton's description of Chinese Communist brainwashing, here:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-cultinfo.html#Liftons8.

The whole country was shocked and appalled that some American prisoners of war in the Korean War came back denouncing America and praising Communism, so doctors like Dr. Robert Jay Lifton and Dr. Edgar H. Schein studied what was done to the prisoners, and they wrote pioneering books about brainwashing and how it works. The interesting thing is, when you compare Lifton's "Eight Conditions of Thought Reform" (brainwashing) and A.A.'s Twelve Steps, the similarity is stunning. It's the same darned stuff. So yes, A.A. does brainwashing.

    P.S., 2013.06.01: The similarity may be much more than a coincidence. A.A. got all of its conversion techniques from the Oxford Group cult religion, which was founded and run by Dr. Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman. Well Buchman went to China as a Lutheran missionary in the late nineteen-tens and pushed his version of conversion that he called "changing people" (into his true-believer followers). His methods relied heavily on what Dr. Lifton described: lots of confessions, and meetings with group pressure, and loaded (redefined) language, and doctrine over personal experience, and confession of powerlessness over sin, and "you can't think right because you are a sinner," and all the rest of it.

    Is it just a big coincidence that 30 years later the Chinese Communists were using Buchman's techniques for "changing" people to make people into obedient Communists? It is more than just a possibility that some of Frank Buchman's converts quit his cult and joined the Communist Party, and taught the Communists the conversion techniques that they had learned from Buchman.

    Oh, and then there was the story of a Moral Re-Armament (the renamed Oxford Group) member who was a soldier in the Korean War, and who was captured and became a POW in North Korea. When he was subjected to the Chinese Communist brainwashing, he remarked that it was just like an MRA meeting.

And also check out the description of Dr. Edgar H. Schein's book in the bibliograpy. Even back in 1960, Dr. Schein saw that Alcoholics Anonymous was a mind-control or thought-reform program. Can you believe it? One of the pioneering doctors who first studied brainwashing immediately recognized A.A. as a brainwashing organization.

And yes, I enabled you in the forum. Welcome to the club.

And have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  His brain is "obviously brainwashed, although a light rinse would
**  probably have been sufficient. Even worse, it's been Scotchgarded,
**  and is impervious to contamination by any idea which conflicts
**  with his prejudices."
**     == walter_map,  May 14th, 2007
**      Published on Monday, May 14, 2007 by CommonDreams.org





Fast forwards to present time:
February 24, 2013, Sunday: The Fernhill Wetlands

This is out of sequence, but I have to jump forwards in time for this one: Gus' wife is back. She flew south for the winter, and Gus has been lonely all winter, and just hanging out with the crippled geese with broken wings who can't fly south, but now she's back, and they are inseparable again. The geese that flew south for the winter are beginning to return. That's a sure sign that spring is coming.

I need to hurry up with the story of last year's goslings because this year's babies will be coming in a couple of months.

Gus the Greylag Goose
Gus
Gus took bread out of my hand for the second time ever today. The first time ever was just last week. It has taken years to get him tame enough, and used to me enough, to do that. But he still doesn't like it. He has the idea, and he isn't really afraid of me, but he just doesn't like to eat out of my hands. He will take one piece, and then grumble and complain when I want him to take another piece out of my hands. He says something like, "What do you think I am, your pet performing dog? Put the bread on the ground, where it's supposed to be." I give up and toss him the bread.

Gus the Greylag Goose and his Canada Goose wife
Gus and wife

Gus the Greylag Goose
Gus

Canada Goose
Mrs. Gus

[The story of the goslings continues here.]





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Last updated 8 June 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters344.html