Letters, We Get Mail, CCCLX



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters360.html#Alexander_D ]

Date: Wed, July 10, 2013 3:32 pm       (answered 16 July 2013)
From: "Alexander D."
Subject: Hello, I just read your paper on AA and you confirmed my suspicions...

I have 2 friends in AA... and since I moved to LA I've been "invited" to come along with them to meetings a number of times... something I found very very odd as I really only drink every now and then and I never get drunk except perhaps at long summer barbecues by accident... The even [event, experience] of being drunk for me is sort of unpleasant and is something I typically avoid... and I think this puts me into the class of "the normal average american beer drinker" I went to bars when I was younger mostly to meet girls and also occasionally in the event of over staying might have drank to much.... but who hasn't done this a few times in their 20s? again... normal...

so as to people remembering me on wild nights in NYC some dating back 10 years... and now that I'm in my 30s and just a normal average guy working in LA... I'm branded an alcoholic... one summer afternoon I was chided and given a lot of grief for having a glass of wine while trying to play chess with my AA friend... the reason was I had had a beer an hour before... this to him suddenly was me "knocking them back" .... who "knocks back" a glass of wine? that was a little nuts...

this was before I knew of two girls I know have been getting pretty badly damaged by AA... one is spiraling out of control with depression and is trying to fill up her life with 2 meetings a day rather than coping with her real problems... that being that she basically isn't going to be a world famous DJ and she is single and 35 years old and beginning to realize she is going to be getting more and more lonely very soon... sad, blunt, harsh even but very true in her case and many other women like her... she can't let go of some kind of dream she had when she was in her 20s...

the other girl is a party girl with really nothing else going on in her life... she outright rejects AA but her partying "relapses" which by all means should be landing her in jail are simply landing her in rehab centers where she is getting hard boiled prison AA which basically is how you described it... she's mostly a victim of a desperate need for attention which she is always trying to get from men and she accepts this attention in the form of gifts (drugs and alcohol) and sex and partying... she is happy as long as she is the star... she is a very typical type of specimen that has been found around hollywood since hollywood has been called hollywood and in fact as far as I can tell is simply copying her mother... NONE of her issues are being addressed by AA except drinking and drugs... And TADA it's not working...

so these people in my life are in this cult that isn't helping them at all while they are all being told they will have all their problems fixed by this 12 step program thats all laid out before them...

no one ever talks about what the 12 steps are however... in fact I didn't find a summary in your paper...

I still don't know what they are and frankly I don't care... I knew it before I read your paper that AA is hurting people... just as bad as prescribing one wonder pill to cure everyone in a hospital you can't rationally argue that some 12 step program replaces all rational thought or self control...

face your own demons... paddle your own canoe...

but these people are so far gone I don't know how to get them to listen to me and take their own lives back...

one of them is my best friend... he is going to be the best man at my wedding... and I'm scared a little bit of how insular he is becoming as result of AA here in LA... in AA here people seem to be under the impression that they have to break ties with their past and just go full in and only have AA friends...

like... wtf?

so... do you have any advice for me?

how can I help my friend rejoin the human race?

Hello Alexander,

Thank you for the letter and the questions. The problem that you are describing is just so classic. That is just what cults do. The cult training teaches people that the only people whom they should associate with are other cult members. And the only people whom they value are other cult members. And the only people whom they think they should listen to are other cult members. That is a standard cult characteristic, or rather, several of them:

(Note that you can switch between the Cult Test question and the answer for A.A. by clicking on the number of the question or answer inside of the cult test.)

Also see:

And Heaven help you if you take a drink in front of A.A. members. Oh horrors! They loose it.

I agree that your drinking habits sound boringly normal and not at all alcoholic. But in their extreme beliefs, well-indoctrinated A.A. members think that any departure from absolute purity is an immediate descent into Hell. They want to make you into an alcoholic just because you have a few drinks now and then. The Demand For Purity is another standard cult characteristic:

And the claim that they have all of the required answers to all of life's problems is yet another standard cult characteristic, or several of them:

As you already noticed, the 12 Steps are not good therapy for people who have mental problems like depression. In fact, spending hours and years confessing everything that is wrong with yourself — all of your sins and wrongs and "defects of character" and "moral shortcomings" and resentments — is so depressing that it drives some people to suicide. Literally. Look here: A.A. Suicides.

That confession routine is psychologically damaging and tears you down. It does not build you up and help you to recover. Nor does it make you spiritual. It just messes with your head. That is why so many cults — and even Chinese Communist brainwashing — use confession sessions to tear people down and make them more vulnerable to conversion.

I can tell you what the 12 Steps really are in one short sentence: "The 12 Steps are Dr. Frank Buchman's cult religion recruiting and indoctrination practices." Their major effect is religious conversion and brainwashing. (Compare the A.A. practices to the Communist Chinese brainwashing practices, here. Also see this: Did the Chinese Communists learn brainwashing techniques from Frank Buchman?)

Bill Wilson was a member of Frank Buchman's cult, and he just copied Buchman's crazy fascist theology to get the 12 Steps and all of the rest of the warped A.A. religious dogma. Here are some pages that describe the 12 Steps and their origins:

Now for the big question: How do you rescue your friends from that loony bin? That is difficult because cult members usually wish to remain cult members (although they won't admit that they are in a cult.) And cult members usually immediately reject any criticism of their cult, or any suggestion that they should leave the cult. I usually end up referring people to Steve Hassan's books about how to free people from a cult. We have discussed such issues many times. Here are some of them:

  1. http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters69.html#Hassan1 — What does she get out of it?
  2. http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters99.html#Steve — Wife Doing 13th Step; Was Absorbed by AA
  3. http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters141.html#hassan — help for anyone in a.a. looking to get out
  4. http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters144.html#in_cult — every cult has the same agenda and the same M.O.?
  5. http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters157.html#get_out — My wife ... frequents AA meetings and it feels like at any point in time she can be pulled under the wing of a complete moron leading to stress in the home.
  6. http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters179.html#get_out — she has completely withdrawn from me as well as her other former friends (and her husband as well), and only surrounds herself with other AA members.
  7. http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters351.html#Holly_J — I'm convinced that a cousin's 22 year old daughter has gotten herself mixed up in a cult.
  8. http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters352.html#Hirondelle — I speak French and there's nothing comparable in French.
  9. http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters359.html#Rick_N — Frank Buchman and "The Five C's".

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     There is no rational argument that can address the claims of
**     a group of people who claim absolute authority from an invisible
**     man whose voice is heard only in their heads.
**       ==  PZ Myers, biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters360.html#Richard_B ]

Date: Thu, July 11, 2013 11:14 pm       (answered 18 July 2013)
From: "Richard B."
Subject: Oliver Sacks — Neurologist — William James: 'The Adorable Genius' — Web of Stories

Sorry to be such a pedant — it's my line of work actually — but William James's dates are 1842-1910.

Quickly, to the point. In the very first weeks of my sobriety, I was damned damned damned — I'd already seen it — if I would read that pea-brained Bill Wilson's pathetic Big Book, so instead set myself to reading patiently, one chapter every night, "The Varieties of Religious Experience."

30 years later, what a valuable investment of my time this has turned out to be. James's was a capacious mind, curious about and sympathetic to almost anything conceivable. Not for nothing did Alfred North Whitehead refer to him as "that adorable genius."

http://www.webofstories.com/play/oliver.sacks/338;jsessionid=328359347780FC1980D101438BC00186

It's just an accident of geography of course, but I happen to live a few blocks away from James's house at 95 Irving Street. Every time I pass by there's a certain buzz — yes, giants have indeed trod this earth! — along with a feeling of gratitude.

My conclusion (and his): Sober is better.

rb

Hello Richard,

Thanks for the correction and the information.

Interesting, very interesting.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The hell to be endured hereafter, of which theology tells,
**     is no worse than the hell we make for ourselves in this world
**     by habitually fashioning our characters in the wrong way.
**       ==  William James [1842—1910],
**             The Principles of Psychology [1890], Chap. 10





June 01, 2013, Saturday, downtown Portland, Starlight Parade:

Dragons
Dragon

Dragons
Little Dragons

Zombies
Zombies

Zombies
Zombies

[More gosling photos below, here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters360.html#Paul_K ]

Date: Thu, July 18, 2013 2:16 pm       (answered 18 July 2013)
From: "Paul K."
Subject: What really keeps me sober?

I do not know nor I do not know if I will ever know what keeps me sober? God? Steps? ego deflation? helping people? what the hell.... i hope you respond...

Hello Paul,

Thanks for the question. That's a good one.

I have a pretty good idea of what keeps me sober. I don't have a "program" or a method or a strategy for staying sober. It's more like just a collection of odds and ends attitudes and ideas and beliefs. Like the idea that I don't want to die that way, and the belief that committing suicide is usually a very stupid thing to do.

I chose to quit drinking after my doctor said, "Quit drinking or die. Choose one." And he wasn't joking. I was so sick that I could believe him too. It was close to the end (and he said so). Strangely enough, when push came to shove, I decided to live. In spite of the fact that I had been drinking for 20 years, and smoking and drugging for 30 years, I just suddenly quit all of them because I decided to live.

I still get thoughts of drinking. I just had it happen again a couple of hours ago. The new TV series "Under The Dome" had a commercial on TV, advertising the next show, where they said that the Army was going to target the dome with missiles and try to blow the thing away, and everybody under the dome would die. So the people under the dome were doing the usual end-of-the-world partying (like we've seen in so many sci-fi movies). One woman was drinking a bottle of wine, and she held out a glass in invitation.

Suddenly, in my mind's eye, I was in the movie, thinking about accepting the offered glass of wine. If I was there, why not drink? What would it matter, if we were all going to die the next morning? Who are you saving it for? I could drink and party with her until the end.

But then I thought, "No, I'd rather go out sober." Funny how that works. Even in a fantasy, you can still have values. And I notice that I value sobriety. And it isn't just sobriety for sobriety's sake. It's for very specific things like being clear-headed and having memory that works.

Those two things are a big deal. It took me nine months to recover from alcohol enough to be able to remember faces, and five years to get my short-term memory back. And it took several years to really get the clarity back, and I'm not eager to lose it now. Even just a little alcohol can destroy the clarity. That's one of the things that keeps me sober.

Inability to remember or recognize faces is called "Prosopagnosia", and it can be caused by either alcohol-induced brain damage or by poisoning with toxic industrial chemicals. I guess, when you come right down to it, alcohol qualifies as a toxic industrial chemical.

It's hard to describe how weird it is, not having working memory. People say hi to you by name, and they know you and know a bunch of things about you, and you can't remember ever having seen them before in your life. It's so surreal that it feels like the Arnold Schwartzenegger movie "Total Recall" where people were erasing his memory and lots of people knew him from his past, but he didn't know them.

Then there are a lot of odds-and-ends reasons for staying sober: Like waking up without a hang-over. I'm happy to say that I haven't had a hang-over in more than 12 years now. And then, even a little alcohol can make you wake up the next morning feeling a little fuzzy-headed, even if you aren't hung over. The clarity is gone. I don't like that.

Then there is the big thing that if I got drunk, there is a very good chance that I'd want a cigarette, just to make the room stop spinning. My will power and resistance to the temptation of a cigarette is weak when I'm drunk. And that is the kiss of death. Tobacco nearly killed me. And it is so addicting that I had to come down with bronchitis and pneumonia to get the motivation to really quit and stay quit. I really don't want to go back there again. And if staying sober is what it takes to stay off of cigarettes, then I consider that a small price to pay.

Then there is the self-respect thing. That is, I can feel good about the fact that I finally got it together and have 12 1/2 years of sobriety now. I don't care to lose that. And if I did relapse, thousands of the hostile Steppers would be crowing and cheering. I just don't care to give them the satisfaction.

Then there is the health thing. The quality of my entire life is completely different from how it was when I was smoking and drinking. I was basically chronically sick and depressed, for many years. I never got on my bicycle and went and fed the ducks and geese, and enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine. (Didn't even have a bike.) Health-wise, I'm basically on another planet now. And I don't care to go back to being chronically half-sick.

Now, for some hints and kinks and techniques for quitting and staying sober, I wrote up a few letters describing some of mine:

Have a good day now, and a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Success is simple. Do what's right, the right
**      way, at the right time."
**          ==  Arnold H. Glasgow





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters360.html#S ]

Date: Thu, July 18, 2013 7:33 am       (answered 20 July 2013)
From: "S."
Subject: Fwd: Fwd: Safety Issues in Alcoholics Anonymous — Alcoholics Anonymous Awareness — Pacific Palisades, CA Patch

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Fwd: Safety Issues in Alcoholics Anonymous — Alcoholics Anonymous Awareness — Pacific Palisades, CA Patch
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2013 07:33:02 -0700

PS thought you'd be interested in this article
http://pacificpalisades.patch.com/groups/alcoholics-anonymous-awareness/p/safety-issues-in-alcoholics-anonymous

Thank you. That's good. There is suddenly a lot of publicity about the dangers of attending A.A. meetings, including going on the Katie Couric show on TV and talking about the dangers.

So that sexual exploitation happened in southeastern Pennsylvania, huh? It's happening everywhere.

The author's last sentence said, "there aren't even any 'suggestions' in the Big Book or 12&12" (regarding not sexually exploiting newcomer women). Actually, there are some suggestions about sex in the Big Book. Bill Wilson said that wifey was being hysterial and her vision was highly colored when he cheated and philandered, and when he stepped out, wifey should just shut up and forget it. Parrotting Bill's crazy teachings, the women of Al-Anon say to the other wives:

When a newcomer to Al-Anon tells his or her sponsor about the alcoholic conflict in the home, we must realize this is only one side of the story.
      At first these reports of our grievances are highly-colored and dramatized by our confusions. A small incident may be blown up out of all proportion to its reality; constant tension, anger and frustration have deprived us of a rational perspective.
      Growth in Al-Anon brings us to compassionate understanding of the alcoholic's deep guilt and unhappiness. As we apply the program day by day, we become willing to acknowledge that we, too, must share the responsibility for the family troubles.
One Day At A Time In Al-Anon, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, 1990, page 162.

And then, in the Big Book, Bill wrote these instructions for how to cheat on your wife:

      ... If we are sure our wife does not know, should we tell her? Not always, we think...
      Our design for living is not a one-way street. It is as good for the wife as for the husband. If we can forget, so can she. It is better, however, that one does not needlessly name a person upon whom she can vent jealousy.
A.A. Big Book, William G. Wilson, pages 80-82.

Isn't that neat? Cheat on your wife, but don't tell wifey because she will become jealous and vindictive towards the other woman. Then tell wifey to forget it.

Then, in a classic textbook example of psychological projection, Bill Wilson actually struck back at Lois and accused her of being unfaithful. In the Big Book chapter "To Wives", which was supposedly written by the wives of the alcoholics, but was really written by Bill Wilson, Bill put these words into the mouths of "the wives":

We have told innumerable lies to protect our pride and our husbands' reputations. We have prayed, we have begged, we have been patient. We have been hysterical. We have been terror stricken. We have sought sympathy. We have had retaliatory love affairs with other men.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, "To Wives", page 105.

Bill Wilson was cheating on his wife, so he accused the wives of cheating on their husbands. As if his behavior would be okay because everybody is doing it. And that is Bill Wilson's holy "Big Book" advice about sex.

Laura Thompkins left a good comment, too.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "WHEN a pretension to free the world from evil ends only
**     in a new proof of the danger of a fanatic to the commonweal,
**     then it is not to be marveled at that a distrust is aroused
**     in the observer which makes sympathy impossible."
**          ==  Sigmund Freud





June 01, 2013, Saturday, downtown Portland, Starlight Parade:

Zombies
Zombies

Starlight Parade
Cleaning Crew
And suddenly, the end of the parade has arrived, and a cleaning crew is bagging the trash. The parade clean-up is amazingly fast and efficient. The last vehicles in the parade are the street-cleaning and maintenance vehicles, and they move at the speed of the parade, like a gigantic snake whose tail erases its own tracks. The tail of the parade erases the parade.

Starlight Parade
Street-Cleaning Trucks

Starlight Parade
Street-Cleaning Truck

[The story of the goslings continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters360.html#John_C ]

Date: Wed, July 17, 2013 9:45 pm       (answered 18 July 2013)
From: "John C."
Subject: Want to blog

I want to occasionally tell the horrid tale of AA here in Spartanburg. its morbid, its sick twisted and word needs to get out the methods these locals use

john

The forum lets people blog. You are welcome there.
Just register.
Have a good day now.
== Orange

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





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters360.html#CC ]

Date: Tue, July 16, 2013 7:22 pm       (answered 20 July 2013)
From: "Cc"
Subject: hello mr orange

I'm initially seeking to join the forums to ask people about Ibogaine treatment. I found your site while seeking non-cult recovery.

Thank you for your website. Your section entitled "12 step snake oil" is a wonderful introduction into the world of sound science replacing AA/ NA baloney.

Hello CC,

You are welcome in the forums. Just register, and then email me and tell me what user name you registered.

By the way, here are some links:

Have a good day now.
== Orange

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





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters360.html#Peter_F ]

Date: Tue, July 16, 2013 3:38 pm       (answered 20 July 2013)
From: "Peter F."
Subject: "Marijuana Recovery"

Given recent inroads into marijuana legalization, we should expect the emergence of support groups for persons who use marijuana while recovering from the use of alcohol and other drugs. This development is long overdue, and should be encouraged
...
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/addiction-beat

Peter Ferentzy, PhD
Author of Dealing With Addiction — why the 20th century was wrong
Co-Author: The History of Problem Gambling: Temperance, substance abuse, medicine, and metaphors
http://www.peterferentzy.com

Hello again, Peter,

Thanks for the input. I have also often thought that if alcoholics drank less alcohol and smoked more pot, that their health would be much better.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  The vine bears three kinds of grapes:
**  the first of pleasure,
**  the second of intoxication,
**  the third of disgust.
**    ==  ANACHARSIS, (c. 600 B.C.), quoted in
**    Diogenes Laertius' Lives and Opinions of
**    Eminent Philosophers (3rd c. A.D.), tr. R. D. Hicks





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters360.html#Robbie_R ]

Date: Fri, July 19, 2013 9:13 am       (answered 24 July 2013)
From: "Robbie R."
Subject: website

Hey man, I like your website. I don't agree with all of it but I've definitely had my struggles with this whole cult thing. I was in Midtown and still have a lot of friends there but just recently pulled all the way out, which is very difficult. In my mind it was the only way to go, and I'm sure I'm going to have a long bumpy road ahead of disillusionment looking back, which I'm sure is pretty typical of someone leaving a cohesive organization like that.

I've been in and out for a while, and quite frankly I'm sick of being told things like it's all my fault or being surrounded with people who care more about their own sobriety and state of mind or supporting an agenda of mythical beliefs than they do about the actual welfare of others.

The other thing that you may not have discussed so much in your website that is the dead truth is that no one actually cares. They don't care when someone dies, they see it as a knock to the A.A. program, or "another one bites the dust" or something like that. But I rarely ever see anyone grieve someone's death, and my friends who are still in are led to believe that such displays of emotion are somehow selfish. I can tell they are struggling with it, but of course that might just be my perception.

Anyways, it seems like your website needs a face lift, which I could help you with if you want. I do website design sometimes and I think you have a lot of really good points but the way they're presented are in very fanatical ways. I think you could clean up the site some and have people take you more seriously. I'd be willing to do that as a project if you'd like.

Hello Robbie,

Thanks for the letter and the offer of help. I have often thought about a facelift for the web site and improving the appearances. And maybe a little more artwork.

But right now the most pressing issue is finding a new host for the web site. Hostmonster, which I've been using, is really bad and they are constantly screwing things up and overloading their servers by overselling, and thus causing things to break down. I have been unable to get into my email for as long as a week at a time when Hostmonster has broken the system again.

I would like to co-locate my own server somewhere. I can do a far better job of running a host system than Hostmonster is doing. I'm looking into that.

I quite agree about the A.A. members not caring. I find it appalling that when someone dies after having done the 12 Steps and stopping taking his medications on instructions from his sponsor, that someone opines, "Some must die so that others may live." No. That is rubbish. Joe Blow does not have to die to help me to stay sober.

I don't know what you mean by "the way they're presented are in very fanatical ways." I research very carefully, and always err on the side of understatement. I know that when someone contradicts the corn-pone wisdom that "everybody knows" about alcoholism and addictions — because A.A. has been repeating their lies for 75 years now — that it sounds extreme. But it isn't; it's the truth.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually 
**     to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly 
**     perposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.
**         — Dresden James





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters360.html#B ]

Date: Sun, July 21, 2013 10:36 am       (answered 24 July 2013)
From: "B."
Subject: Ur a genius!!!

I just happened upon your pages while google searching things to debunk the "amazing" AA theories. LOL!!

I am 33 years old. When I was 7 my father, who was a healthy successful person who ran marathons, became addicted to opiates due to an illness. My mom and aunt, who were heavily involved in Al-anon, forced me to go to Al-a-teen meetings. I was so young and I hated those meetings. I remember very clearly how awful I felt sitting in those rooms. It was so depressing and all anyone talked about were heavily negative things and events. I am not a psychologist (although I spent years in useless therapy), but my common sense tells me that those meetings were quite possible largely traumatic, more so even than what was going on in my family, in a certain way. What better way to learn about drugs than to be in a room where that's all they talk about?! Lol! Smart move al-a-teen/tot!! I just learned to ride a bike at 33, I was too busy as a child learning about addiction ;)

I felt like somehow what was going on in my family was somehow my fault. How sad for all children put in this position. Your parents are supposed to be the ones helping you and allowing you to enjoy your childhood. I have no happy memories from mine.

In high school I got into using cocaine for a year on and off... Still functioning in my life in many ways.

One day I wanted to stop and expressed this to my dad (who was still using and preaching AA at the same time, lol!!), and he immediately threw me in rehab where I was filled with more and more 12 step dogma.

I never used drugs and/or alcohol more than on a "binge for a couple days" basis and always functioned at a high level.

My common sense always told me "alcoholism" is not a disease, from the time I was a child it was easy to see that if someone puts u in a space where everyone is telling u r something that u can easily become convinced that u are that thing.

I have questioned AA theories for 26 years. I did somatic experiencing therapy that got me in touch with traumas I've experienced and AA was one at the top of my list. I went in and out of that program, no matter what my common sense told me, because I listened to the people around me. I never believed I was an alcoholic, but an innocent victim of their dogma whose life was negatively altered because of it.

I am finally at an age and point in my personal life that I feel more than confident in standing up for my beliefs. I read tons of scientific research that debunks AA dogma and I thoroughly enjoy it.

I work in wellness coaching and am expanding my practice to help people through addictive behaviors with positive self management tools. I also start Somatic Experiencing training this fall so that I can help people deeply recover from such traumas

It is my personal mission to help as many people and families through these methods in hopes that more children can actually enjoy their childhoods while their parents find a positive path to deal with their own issues.

Thank you for putting your intelligent information out there!!

Warmest regards,
B.

Sent from my iPhone

Hello B.,

Thank you for the letter. That says a lot. Shoving the 12-Step religion and quackery on children is especially insidious. I'm glad to hear that you survived it and came out on top. And you are working to spread a little light and sanity in this world. Good luck with that.

By the way, I'm adding this story to the list of A.A. horror stories.

And have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "I do not know how to avoid the conclusion that a man who is capable
**   of taking the illusions of religion so literally and is so sure of a
**   special personal intimacy with the Almighty is unfitted for relations
**   with ordinary children of men."
**      ==  Sigmund Freud





June 01, 2013, Saturday, downtown Portland, Starlight Parade

Starlight Parade
Dump trucks collect the bags of trash.

Starlight Parade
A tow truck, just in case something breaks down.

Starlight Parade
They have spares of everything.

Starlight Parade
And then, like a big snake in the night, the parade crawls away and is gone.

[The story of the goslings continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters360.html#Ctmjon ]

Date: Tue, July 23, 2013 1:49 pm       (answered 26 July 2013)
From: "Ctmjon"
Subject: Fwd: Al-Anonisms revised

-----Original Message-----
From: HausG
Sent: Tue, Jul 23, 2013 12:50 am
Subject: Fwd: Fw: Fwd: Al-Anonisms revised

Subject: Al-Anonisms

I hope you can forgive one instance of using the email list to forward something a friend forwarded to me.

I especially like number four as antidote to "You may be right," and number two as contrary action when someone expects me to go gentle with that malicious twit who roused my eternal wrath.

If I'm wrong to use the list in this way, I trust you will punish me in inappropriate ways.

Paraprosdokians [par-a-pros-dok-i-ans] are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.

1. Where there's a will, I want     ...     to be in it.

2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it's     ...     still on my list.

4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be     ...     wrong.

5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in     ...     public.

13. I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so     ...     sure.

16. You're never too old to learn something     ...     stupid.

17. I'm supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me     ...     to find one now.

Keith F.

Hello again, Ctmjon,

Thanks for the laugh, and a genuine lesson in yet another linguistic trick. Paraprosdokians. I shall have to remember that.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
**       ==  George Orwell





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters360.html#Kenneth_A ]

Date: Tue, July 23, 2013 12:49 pm       (answered 26 July 2013)
From: "Kenneth A."
Subject: [Orange Papers] How the Media Misrepresents Alcoholics Anonymous

Kenneth A. posted in Orange Papers

How the Media Misrepresents Alcoholics Anonymous
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/overcoming-addiction/201307/how-the-media- misrepresents-alcoholics-anonymous

If the media portrayed AA accurately would people stop joining?

Reply to this email to comment on this post.

http://www.facebook.com/n/?groups%2Faorange%2Fpermalink%2F562948920434947%2F& aref=218795142&medium=email&mid=858db78G25f2680eGd0a8c86G96& bcode=1.1374608971.Abmn6IEVuHcZrI3o&n_m=orange%40orange-papers.info

Hello Kenneth,

That article is quite good. And right on. The author's observations agree with mine. Even though the first words uttered from the plastic-laminated dogma at every A.A. meeting are:

1. [We] Admitted we were powerless over alcohol...

I've never seen a TV program portray that correctly. They always gloss over the cultish aspects of the 12 Steps. Now why is that?

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     When they tell you that you are powerless,
**     that just means that somebody else gets the power.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters360.html#Peter_F2 ]

Date: Tue, July 23, 2013 3:30 pm       (answered 26 July 2013)
From: "Peter F."
Subject: Who Hates the Addict?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-peter-ferentzy/drug-policy-addict-stigma_b_3632775.html

Peter Ferentzy, PhD
Author of Dealing With Addiction — why the 20th century was wrong
Co-Author: The History of Problem Gambling: Temperance, substance abuse, medicine, and metaphors
http://www.peterferentzy.com

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "You are doing a great disservice to those seeking sobriety
**     (by telling the truth).  Everybody knows that those disgusting
**     feeble-minded alcoholics cannot handle the truth."
**     "Oh, and we are working real hard to remove the stigma of alcoholism."





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters360.html#JT ]

Date: Thu, July 25, 2013 9:22 am       (answered 26 July 2013)
From: JT
Subject: knock knock

hi Orange —

interesting site — great information — i've been poking around and getting lots validated — (not that i need it)

thanks for the great work!

-JT aka toothpick john

Hello JT,

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

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     And then Cinderella's Fairy Godmother visited the A.A. meeting,
**     and waved her magic wand, and Bibbity-Bobbity-Boo!,
**     they all quit drinking.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters360.html#Elisa ]

Date: Fri, July 26, 2013 4:03 am       (answered 28 July 2013)
From: "Elisa"
Subject: Hey

I just read your fancy paper with all your fun graphs and proof AA does not work. It seems to be working for me pretty good. I guess the difference is I do not expect NA (I am a recovering heroin addict) to solve the issue of my illness. I detoxed myself on the couch just like you described tired of watching people die or go to jail. The reason I stick around NA is partly because I do not want to relapse, but also to show people who are checking out meeting that people do recover. Also that life gets better. I go to NA to improve my quality of life. I also enjoy the spiritual principles outlined in the program. No program sent me there, no one told me it was the only way to get clean. Nor did I even tell my ex-husband that he needed to attend meetings to stay clean (unfortunately he is not clean, hence the ex part).

I am sure you are receiving a bunch of mean emails from die hard 12stepers. I don't want to criticize you, you obviously put a lot of hard work into this paper. You seem to have a chip on your shoulder about 12 step programs. It's like someone who was scared by Catholic School. I just wanted to let you know some of us are into it because we truly care about others and want to stop being leaches on society. You will hear in meetings you don't have to work the steps to stay clean, but they do help the quality of life (emotionally not materially). That part I do agree with. Whether I was a spontaneous remission case or not. For me it is all about not living dirty any more in active addiction and also in my previous clean time (2yrs) I didn't find much joy in life. If I can't connect with life on life's terms which is what NA teaches me. It is hard for me to grasp a reason to not do heroin it's amazing. I mean YOLO right?(that was sarcasm I hate that term). Just the YOLO part though. Seriously there was not 1 reason for me until I started to change my actions and my thinking. Now I am coming on 2 1/2yrs scary time since I didn't make it last time, but I am grounded in NA and I want to stay that way. After all it's parent program AA worked well for my own parent. My dad is one of those 36yr chip people. I have never once seen him touch a drink.

Thanks for your time.
Elisa
Sent from my iPad

Hello Elisa,

Thank you for the letter. Congratulations on quitting heroin. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well. I'm sorry to hear that your ex-husband is not. People quit their bad habits when they choose to, and not until. You chose to quit, and your ex-husband did not. So it goes.

And I hate to have to disillusion you, but there are no "spiritual principles outlined in the program." None.

  • Confessing that you are powerless over drugs or alcohol (or tobacco) is not spiritual, it is self-crippling.
    (And you are obviously not powerless over your addiction; you detoxed yourself as an act of strong willpower. Congratulations.)
  • Declaring that you are insane but some ghost or spirit will fix your brain and restore you to sanity is barking mad lunacy, not spirituality.
  • Expecting some "god" to take care of your will and your life for you is delusional infantile narcissism, not spirituality.
  • Listing and confessing all of your sins and moral shortcomings and wrongs is self-damaging behavior, not spirituality.
  • Demanding that a "god" or "higher power" remove all of your defects and shortcomings is a Pharisiacal demand for a miracle, not spirituality. It also borders on black magic.
  • Going around apologizing to everybody whom you ever offended is more self-damaging behavior, just more wallowing in guilt. That isn't spiritual.
  • Imagining that a spirit talks to you and gives you instructions and work orders and the power to carry them out in Step 11 is more insanity and dabbling in the occult, not spirituality.
  • And "carrying the message to others" is recruiting for the cult, not spirituality.

The 12 Steps are actually gross heresy, not spirituality. Check out The Heresy of the Twelve Steps.

You said, "You seem to have a chip on your shoulder about 12 step programs. It's like someone who was scared by Catholic School." No, that isn't it at all. I am just very strongly opposed to fake spiritual teachers and quack doctors who mislead and hurt people. And that is the final result of the 12-Step routine. Steppism kills more people than it saves. And that was proven by a doctor who became a member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous, and he still loves the 12-Step cult religion, and is its biggest promoter, even though it doesn't cure people.

This is nonsense: "If I can't connect with life on life's terms which is what NA teaches me". I know that is a standard Stepper slogan, but it is still nonsense. What are life's terms? Well, you have to breathe or you will die. You have to drink water and eat food or else you will die. You have to avoid damaging situations like jumping from tall buildings. You have to avoid poisoning yourself, or overdosing on some drug. Since you are alive to write a letter to me, I have to assume that you already know how to connect with life on life's terms. What that slogan really means is that they want you to live on the cult's terms, which you do not have to do.

And no, the Steps do not "help the quality of life (emotionally not materially)." The Steps actually raise the death rate in alcoholics (and drug addicts), and also increase the suicide rate, and the divorce rate, and the arrest rate, and the cost of hospitalization. Spending years in meetings confessing how bad you are is very damaging.

About not finding much joy in life: That sounds like a depression problem. Have you talked to a qualified psychiatrist? And since you mentioned that your father is a 36-year-chip man, that means that you were raised in a Stepper household. Have you considered what effect the 12-Step environment had on your mind while you were growing up, and your resulting depression and inability to enjoy life? Your sad state of mind may be due to a lifetime of exposure to Bill Wilson's remake of Frank Buchman's toxic perverted philosophy. Buchmanism is really poisonous, you know, and will seriously mess with your mind.

You couldn't think of any reason not to take heroin (without Steppism)? Let me give you several:

  1. It's too expensive.
  2. You waste your life chasing a fix. You can't think about much else.
  3. You end up doing all kinds of things that you would rather not do, just to get another fix.
  4. Heroin turns nice people into real assholes.
  5. You live a life of paranoia when you are a junkie.
  6. Heroin costs you everything else in life, like the joys of a normal marriage or love affair, or enjoying lazing in the sun by the beach on a summer day.
  7. Shooting poor-quality drugs messes up your lungs and the rest of your body too.
  8. Being sick isn't any fun.
  9. There is always the danger of an overdose.
  10. Being a junkie really reduces your self-esteem.
  11. In the beginning, heroin seems like just a nice feeling, just a pleasant buzz for the evening, but in the end, it's hell. Heroin is insidious, the way it sucks you in and betrays the promise.
  12. Sharing needles (which you will do, sooner or later) will get you some of the worst diseases in the world.
    (I know a little bit about what I'm talking about there. I got infected with Hep C while sharing needles, shooting heroin and cocaine.)

By the way, that list is the start of a "cost-benefit analysis". If we do another list, of the benefits of taking heroin, like that it kills the pain and feels good, then that would be a cost-benefit analysis, which is one way to look at things and decide which gives the greater benefits. Look here and here and here for more about the cost-benefit analysis.

I don't know what YOLO means.

Now, do you have to be alone, or recover alone? No, of course not. All that I'm saying is that the 12 Steps are total fraud and cult religion bullshit that is intended to mess with your mind. You can find a variety of recovery groups and organizations where they will give you moral support and encouragement without shoving old cult religion and misinformation on you. Check out this list:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-alt_list.html
And here are some raps about various people's recoveries:
How did you get to where you are?

Lastly, congratulations on hanging in there for 3 1/2 years. I also relapsed once, at the three-year point, about 22 years ago. I thought that a little nibbling — just a few beers — would be okay, but I got sucked right back into the habit, and drank for another 9 years. But now I have 12 1/2 years clean and sober (and without any meetings or Steps or any of Bill Wilson's crazy dogma). You can treat your previous relapse as a learning experience. You don't have to make the same mistake again.

Have a good day, and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     With every mistake, we still must be learning...
**     While my guitar gently weeps.
**       ==  The Beatles

[The next letter from Elisa is here.]





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Last updated 4 September 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters360.html