Letters, We Get Mail, CCCLXV



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters365.html#Mike_W ]

From: "Mike W."
Subject: Your AA analysis
Date: Fri, August 16, 2013 2:27 pm       (answered 18 August 2013)

While you make a great number of valid points about A.A. I could also make the same points about the Bible, the Koran and many other religious texts. Anything on the planet can be used inappropriately and that applies to A.A. groups which can border on the totally unhinged all the way to common fellowships for people trying to get out of an alcohol based existence. I am a recovering alcoholic that attends A.A. meetings from time to time and can say that our group has never engaged in the cult like activities. Everyone is welcome, even if just to listen and take what they can get out of a meeting if it helps them. In addition, I have never heard anyone from A.A. say that it is a cure for alcoholics. It is a program which has worked for some people, but since it isn't a cure it won't work for everybody. The only thing I can say is that it helped me out, but it wasn't the only thing that got me sober. It isn't the only thing keeping me sober either.

Thanks,

Mike W.

Hello Mike,

Thanks for the letter.

What you did not mention in your letter is the harm that A.A. does to many. The issue isn't just a question of whether A.A. sobers some people up, it is also a question of how many people are worse off because of their involvement with A.A.

But before I even get into that, I want to comment on a few of your statements:

  • I could also make the same points about the Bible, the Koran and many other religious texts. Anything on the planet can be used inappropriately...

    Two wrongs don't make a right. Pointing to the bad parts of other religions doesn't make it okay for A.A. to be a bad religion. And the fact that there are obnoxious Bible-beating fundamentalists doesn't make it okay for A.A. Big-Book-thumping fundamentalists to foist their craziness on sick newcomers.

  • and that applies to A.A. groups which can border on the totally unhinged all the way to common fellowships for people trying to get out of an alcohol based existence.

    That is an Escape via Relativism, like "your mileage may vary." The standard A.A. line is, "If you don't like one meeting, go to another." Sorry, but they all use the same Big Book, and they all push the same Buchmanite religion as a quack cure for alcohol abuse and alcohol dependency.

  • I am a recovering alcoholic that attends A.A. meetings from time to time and can say that our group has never engaged in the cult like activities.

    As Carl Sagan liked to say, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." Just because you didn't see something happening in your group doesn't mean it isn't happening in thousands of other meetings.

    (By the way, did you read The Cult Test to see what is "cult-like activities"?)

  • Everyone is welcome, even if just to listen and take what they can get out of a meeting if it helps them.

    Everyone is welcome at Moonies' meetings too, and at Scientology meetings, and on and on.

  • In addition, I have never heard anyone from A.A. say that it is a cure for alcoholics.

    Now that is hair-splitting, arguing about the word "cure". Bill Wilson alternated between declaring that A.A. was the big answer to alcoholism, and then declaring that there is no cure and you can't ever recover, and all that A.A. offers is a one-day reprieve from your death sentence. That trick is so standard that it's listed on the page of bait-and-switch tricks: First, a cure, and then, no cure. First, hope of recovery, and then hopelessness.

  • It is a program which has worked for some people, but since it isn't a cure it won't work for everybody.

    Actually, there is no evidence that it works for anybody. Just because someone quits drinking near an A.A. meeting doesn't mean that A.A. is due the credit.

    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, Sunday, August 8, 2010
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/06/AR2010080602660.html

    Dr. and Prof. Bankole A. Johnson currently serves as Alumni Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia. Look here.

  • The only thing I can say is that it helped me out, but it wasn't the only thing that got me sober. It isn't the only thing keeping me sober either.

    What helped you out? What, exactly, and what did it do, and how did it work?

    • Did you work the Steps and confess all of your sins to your sponsor? How does that make people quit drinking?
    • Did you swear that you are powerless over alcohol? How does that help people to quit drinking?
    • Did you declare yourself insane? How does that help people to quit drinking?
    • Did you conduct a séance and hear voices telling you what to do? How does that help people to quit drinking?

    So what, exactly, does the A.A. program do, and how is it supposed to "help" people to quit drinking? I mean, really.

    Your last sentence said, "It isn't the only thing keeping me sober either." I should hope not. If you are really sober, and I believe you when you say that you are, you must be using something other than declarations of powerlessness and insanity and moral defects to keep you sober. I think that you will find that those other things are helping you a lot more than you are giving them credit for, and A.A. is helping you a lot less than you imagine.

Now, about the harm that the A.A. program does:

  1. Dr. Brandsma found that A.A. increased the rate of binge drinking.
  2. Dr. Ditman found that A.A. increased the rate of rearrests for public drunkenness.
  3. Dr. Walsh found that "free A.A." made later hospitalization more expensive.
  4. Drs. Orford and Edwards found that having a doctor talk to the patient for just one hour was just as effective as a whole year of A.A.-based treatment.
  5. Dr. George E. Vaillant the A.A. Trustee found that A.A. treatment was completely ineffective, and raised the death rate in alcoholics.
  6. Then there are the young women who get sexually exploited in A.A. See
  7. And there are the people who get told not to take their medications, often with very bad results. See their stories here: A.A. "No Meds" Stories.
  8. And then there are the A.A. suicides.
  9. And the A.A. divorce rate.
  10. And you can finish with the list of A.A. horror stories.

That's a lot of harm. The simple unavoidable conclusion is that an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties is not a good treatment or therapy or "self-help group" for people who are drinking too much alcohol.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable
**     ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor.
**       ==  Henry David Thoreau





June 02, 2013, Saturday, downtown Portland:

Downtown Portland
The City Fair at the Rose Festival

Downtown Portland

Downtown Portland
This is a stylish bank building

Downtown Portland
Bank building and the MAX (Metropolitan Rapid Transit)

[More gosling photos below, here.]





BLOG NOTE: 2013.08.21:

UGLY THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: I just heard on NPR news that Vietnam is set to overtake Brazil as the world's largest exporter of coffee. But during the Vietnam War, the USA dumped 12 million gallons of the "Agent Orange" defoliant on Vietnam, and that stuff is not biodegradeable, and it doesn't just go away.

"Agent Orange" was Dow Chemical's brainchild, a mixture of 2,4-D ("Roundup"®) and 2,4,5-T, with traces of dioxin. ("2,4-D" = 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, and "2,4,5-T" = 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid). The dioxin is not supposed to be there. It is a manufacturing artifact from impure chemicals. The dioxin is particularly dangerous because it causes all kinds of horrendous birth defects in fetal babies who get exposed to it, even in very tiny amounts. Dioxin also causes quite a variety of other serious ailments that the Vietnam Vets are still suffering from.

For more information, see: http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters179.html#agent_orange
Also see the Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_Orange

Now the kicker is that Vietnam will send us back the Agent Orange in coffee. I am going to be checking where my coffee comes from. I have nothing against the Vietnamese, understand, but I really don't want to be drinking that stuff each morning.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters365.html#M ]

Date: Tue, August 20, 2013 10:25 am       (answered 25 August 2013)
From: "M."
Subject: Just some comments to your website

Hello, Mr. Orange.

I hope this email finds you fine. I know you won't disclose my e-mail address, and that I can be safe on that respect.

This is a short email to tell you several things... random thoughts, actually First of all, I give you applauses for your site. You have done a massive amount of research and put your ideas and your insights in an extremely comprehensive, detailed and openhearted format. 12-steps have many cult-like facets. You focus on AA and in 12-steps as a whole, and spend little time in other specific 12-step groups. This is OK. Others are copycat versions of the main one, AA, part of AA's "grapevine".

I have always had problems with stress management, and one of the "natural" escapes for that stress is lust. Lust is a real, real problem. You make a comment in your "Snake Oil" page about how you don't know if "Partners of Sexaholics" are complaining or bragging. As a sexaholic myself, I can assure you sexual addiction is a very real and serious matter. Exasperated and lost, I assisted to SA meetings. I left after going to a bunch.

There were several things that disturbed me of this 12-step group. One of them was the need to "reach to the bottom" ("tocar fondo" is called in Spanish). Members told me that I should get to my most addictive and desperate point before starting my recovery path. Yes, I was encouraged by them to do this, or I would never feel the need to recover. I think this is very dangerous advice. I didn't follow it.

Something else I didn't like was the radicalism. Now, with a problem like alcoholism I can clearly understand that not touching a bottle again is a very commendable goal. Sexual addiction is different: it's not an addiction to a substance but to a state of consciousness: lust. One can lust even without touching a woman, and even without using one's hands (literally). I do think that lust is wrong, always. Nonetheless, my vocation is not celibacy. I just want to say that when, in a virtual meeting I said that I wanted to, someday, get married to a good, nice, attractive woman, my comment was removed, and I got as a reply that such a thought was, indeed, a lustful one. I don't think so. I said bye after this.

And, that's the thing: SA (and AA) tells you that lust (or alcohol, or whatever addiction) is the most important thing in your life. No, I am sorry. Lust is not the most important matter in my life. I am not my addiction. It is but a tiny aspect of my life, and I want to spend my afternoons doing interesting, passionate work, not going to meetings. I have tried SA again, out of desperation, but I always drift off after a few meetings.

I have found your page on 'what works' very insightful. I am seeing the light! I also admire you for your sobriety, and how you made it, as a rational human being. Such is the way. As a traditional Roman Catholic, I expect your conversion someday, somehow. Truth sets souls free, and you are in the path of truth. :)

I have more to say but I'll keep it short. All the best to you, mr. Orange. I don't know what else to say than kudos for your great work. You are a brave man. Gracias!

--M.

Hello M.,

Thank you for the letter, and thanks for the compliments. Sorry if I came off a little too flippant in my remark about the Partners of Sexaholics complaining or bragging. Yes, that was a lame joke.

I can understand how some of the partners of sexaholics must really be suffering. And of course the confession and self-criticism routines of Dr. Frank Buchman's religion won't help that at all.

I quite agree with your points about "hitting bottom" and the radicalism. In fact, the radicalism seems to be problem with a lot of the 12-Step programs. Now 100% abstinence is okay and not too radical for many people when it comes to quitting drinking and smoking cigarettes, and quitting gambling, but it isn't possible to 100% abstain from eating as a solution to over-eating. And 100% abstinence from sex will often just produce more obsession with sex. And how does a member of Emotions Anonymous abstain from having emotions? And Workaholics Anonymous members better not 100% abstain from working.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      "You can observe a lot just by watchin'."
**          ==  Yogi Berra





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters365.html#Pete_S ]

Date: Wed, August 21, 2013 9:22 pm       (answered 25 August 2013)
From: "Pete S."
Subject: You appear to be crazy

Thou dost protest too much .
Orange you a nutcase?

Sent from my iPad

Hello Barry,

That isn't very original. Other Steppers have used that line before:

Notice how that response cleverly avoids talking about any of the important issues, and does not refute or answer any of the serious charges against Alcoholics Anonymous, like the failure rate, and the death rate, and the sexual exploitation. The Stepper just changes the subject and launches a personal attack against the critic.

Likewise, the accusation of insanity is also just another very commonplace ad hominem personal attack. Again, it's just standard behavior in cults. Nothing new there.

Now, do you actually have any real facts to bring to the table?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men".
**        ==  Ella Wheeler Wilcox





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters365.html#E ]

Date: Thu, August 15, 2013 10:03 pm       (answered 25 August 2013)
From: "E."
Subject: Bill Wilson Letters

Hey Orange,

If you haven't seen the following, I think you will enjoy it.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BILL-WILSON-SIGNED-LETTERS-DR-FORRIST-HALEY-Alcoholics-Narcotics-Anonymous-/161062273612

(scroll down, if they are there you won't miss it)

This was an auction of about 40x — letters, pamphlets, telegrams, notes, by Bill Wilson. The auction has since been removed because of "an error", but I was able to view all of the pictures and save them onto my computer :)

If the link doesn't direct you to it (if they take down the pictures, perhaps), let me know and I'll send you the pictures some how. I'm sure the files are quite large.

*There are some juicy information in these letters. * Public Relations speech, acceptance of $ for Bill's 12 step work, handwritten and typed "stories" by Bill.

E.

Hello E.,

Thank you very much for the tip. That is very interesting. I love to get that kind of historical documentation. It will take me a bit of time to digest all of that.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know."
**     ==  from MERLE MILLER, Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography
**           of Harry S. Truman [1974], ch. 23





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters365.html#Torrent ]

Date: Sun, August 25, 2013 7:34 pm       (answered 27 August 2013)
From: "Torrent"
Subject: Would like to discuss the destructive nature of AA

Mr, Orange,

I have skimmed some of your work on AA. Great job.
Is there a way you would have time to speak further on this?
I am feverishly studying the evil ploy that AA is.
Do you have a number I can reach you at?

Sincerely,

Torrent

Hello Torrent,

Thanks for the compliments, and yes, we can discuss the destructive nature of A.A. however you wish.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Alcoholics especially should be able to see that instinct run wild in
**     themselves is the underlying cause of their destructive drinking.
**     ... This perverse soul-sickness is not pleasant to look upon.
**       ==  William G. Wilson, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 44.





[The previous letter from Avi is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters365.html#Avi ]

Date: Mon, August 26, 2013 10:28 am       (answered 27 August 2013)
From: "avi"
Subject: Re: Hi i can, tell you everything you need to know about the atlantic group in nyc.

Hi orange how are you?

As i mentioned earlier, the atlantic group was founded by a lady named peggy byrne. everyone else rotates off the steering committee after 12 years but her.

They hit the sponsor sponsee control thing in a big way.

And no athiests or agnostics allowed!

The chairperson is not an alcoholic. she came from alanon. when she spoke she told her brothers story. she shares about "alcoholism".

They have clancy speak for them every year in march.

There are a lot of young people there now, probably who got caught drinking once by their parents, and now they go to aa.

Anyway, will talk soon, best avi.

Hello again, Avi,

Thanks for the note. Now that's interesting — a permanent leader who doesn't rotate off. And a refugee from Al-Anon as chairperson. Ugh.

Coincidentally, just yesterday, I picked up a copy of Al-Anon's Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions in Goodwill, and it fell open to a page where a woman was "discovering" that her behavior drove her husband to drink. (And presumably, when she becomes a perfect docile, obedient, Buchmanite wife, working the 12 Steps properly, Hubby will quit drinking.)

What a bait-and-switch trick. Al-Anon is advertised as a support group that will make the lives of alcoholics' spouses more bearable, but then what they really get is guilt-tripped and told that they are horrible sinners who are the cause of the family's problems.

I would not want anyone who buys into that con job to be my chairperson.

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "I will realize that, even in doing nothing about my problems,
**     I am actively practicing the Al-Anon idea."
**     One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, p. 143





June 02, 2013, Saturday, downtown Portland:

Flowers at Pioneer Courthouse Square
A flower display at Pioneer Courthouse Square

Pioneer Courthouse Square
Pioneer Courthouse Square

Pioneer Courthouse Square
Pioneer Courthouse Square

Pioneer Courthouse Square
Pioneer Courthouse Square

[The story of the goslings continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters365.html#MW ]

Date: Fri, August 23, 2013 11:16 pm       (answered 28 August 2013)
From: "MW"
Subject: thank you for your paper

I was going through an irritating few days as a group I am in read "We the Agnostics", which was obviously not written by or about agnostics.

Hello MW,

Thanks for the letters. You are quite right about the Big Book chapter called "We Agnostics". Bill Wilson just pretended to be many things that he was not, like a stock broker, or a scientist, or a mathematician, or an atheist or agnostic, or a theologian and holy man. There is more about that here: Bill Wilson's education as an "atheistic scientist".

I have little or no time to make arguments, but if ok with you, I will comment on a few areas where you make claims you might be better off without.

Okay.

Your story about Bill is so well researched, you may not benefit from making statements that look more like antidotes.

You were saying AA's (a program I am not a member of) intimidate people into believing and do not help the poor, etc... and a lot of churches let people believe anything and do help the poor.

I think you make a great case about AA pressuring people into specific religious beliefs.

But I do not think will find churches across the board will act differently. They can be very manipulative and uncharitable and use the same techniques of encouraging failure in those outside their beliefs as that will help them have a slight chance or arguing that their faith caused good results. I suggest you can make the case about AA without the comparison to the churches.

I hope I never gave all churches in general a free pass on bigotry or demanding conformity in thinking. I've been trying to make the point that there is a huge range there, from open-minded tolerance (Unitarians have this reputation) to narrow-minded demands for conformity in belief.

I personally believe and observe AA and the other groups help a lot of people. In programs that use the AA Big Book, like AA and OA, they are a lot more religious and do torture people with their twisted logic and philosophy.

I keep hearing about the wonderful "help" that people get from 12-Step programs, but I'm not seeing it. The huge failure rate and appalling death rate of 12-Step programs indicate that the people don't really get any help.

Groups such as NA, SLAA and others, remove that approach of religion or else, take the free choice and variety very seriously, do not have a pattern of trying to tell people a religion. Most programs do not allow sale of AA literature. OA is a rare exception and I think they suffer terribly as a result. AA has maturity and they are very used to atheists and agnostics and Buddhists and people who really care less about religion. OA is like a new religion.

In my experience, both A.A. and N.A. demand faith and belief in historical fairy tales. And yes, speakers in N.A. exhorted the crowd to "just believe".

Well, SA is the most fanatical religious 12 step program I have seen. They specifically say gay people are not capable of recovery and gay marriage does not count as real marriage.

It is very sad that AA will not apologize or at least make a correction regarding "We Agnostics". It is just as insulting as saying, "We Jews", but agnostics have no popular group to support them so they are still fair game for ignorance and attack.

Yes.

Are you aware that AA does not own the rights to the big book in the US? Feel free to right and publish your own version of "We AA freaks" where you claim that before become AA members, we beliefs in eating poo and stealing cars. It is as irrational as that stupid chapter.

Oh yes, I know.

Bill is the one that took LSD in sobriety, right?

Yes. Bill Wilson loved LSD. We have discussed that many times, including here: Bill Wilson experimenting with LSD.

Now... you can also find that Bill falsely claimed he wrote all of the book in order to get a copyright under false information. AA accidently lost the rights to the book in the US and it is in the public domain.

Yes.

Big Book Copyright, front side
Original Big Book copyright certificate, front side.

Big Book Copyright, back side
Original Big Book copyright certificate, back side.

Also see: A.A. is guilty of perjury in Mexico and Germany.

Oh... how about this one.. per the traditions AA is supposed to make its money from voluntary contributions but makes most of it from selling literature it owns or pretends it owns.

OK... so, I think twelve step programs help a lot of people. Not magic. Just the fact that people that get together to do something can be successful whether they have some flaky history or inaccurate words.

Sorry, but the A.A. death rate says that A.A. does not help people. So does the failure rate. We just covered all of that in another letter, here.

Punk Rock, seafood diets, whatever, perfect or not, stuff tends to work based on the people that make it work.

Thanks for the good read. I might return to research some of your information. It is really cool.

= Mark W 2 =

Mark W 2 from California. Owner of a significant cat.


Date: Sat, August 24, 2013 12:28 am       (answered 28 August 2013)
From: "MW"
Subject: http://anonpress.org/faq/239

http://anonpress.org/faq/239

re AA copyright

= Mark W 2 =

Mark W 2 from California. Owner of a significant cat.


Date: Sat, August 24, 2013 5:28 am       (answered 28 August 2013)
From: "MW"
Subject: What I posted on a discussion of this chapter.

It is a lie, or an insult, or both. Bill was never an agnostic and was not an atheist. So he is either saying me, I used to believe all these dumb things... none of which are agnostic beliefs, or it is just an insult, he decides for both side.. we all think you are weak thinkers and you will not think well until you think like us (me).

It is terrible writing. It just rambles on. Most of the sentences are untrue, insults, tricks or preaching one person's very specific faith.

AA should apologize for "We the Agnostics" the same as they would if Bill had written "We the Jews" and wrote we used to want to kill Jesus, and we liked to spit on children and pets, but now we are cured and properly religious so we do not have to die from alcohol. Not like those who stay Jews and should just die a horrible death in the streets.

That is basically what this chapter says about other faiths. It was written by a cult member to indoctrinate cult members. Obviously Bill was a sick man. He knows it and he said so. He was a liar like most addicts. Power corrupts.

In no way would having all these human traits keep him from joining others in the establishment of a program to save lives. I live in a country where slave owners joined to form a country that would provide freedom. It is not Bill that saved our lives. It is Bill working with others.

Bill was a dismal failure except by the accident of following something like the 12 steps. And in working step 12, he made something of himself. What he was not was honest or a good writer.

= Mark W 2 =

Mark W 2 from California. Owner of a significant cat.

Hello again, Mark,

I quite agree. But no way is A.A. going to change "We Agnostics", or apologize for it.


Date: Sat, August 24, 2013 6:06 am       (answered 28 August 2013)
From: "MW"
Subject: Akron requirement to worship Jesus?

"In the pioneer A.A. Akron Fellowship, every member was required to accept Jesus Christ as his personal lord and savior."

Alcoholics Anonymous and the Lord Jesus Christ
A.A. History Fragment No. Four
Dick B.
© 2009 Dick B. All rights reserved

In 1934, just before he entered Towns Hospital for the last time as a patient, Alcoholics Anonymous Founder Bill Wilson went to the altar at Calvary Rescue Mission in New York. And, in the words of his wife Lois Wilson, "And he went up, and really, in very great sincerity, did hand over his life to Christ." ("Lois Remembers: Searcy, Ebby, Bill & Early Days." Recorded in Dallas, Texas, June 29 1973, Moore, OK: Sooner Cassette, Side One). In the earliest Akron A.A. days, Bill Wilson stated: "Henrietta [Dotson, wife of A.A. Number Three], the Lord has been so wonderful to me, curing me of this terrible disease that I just want to keep talking about it and telling people." Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 191. On pages 216-217 of Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd ed., a Cleveland A.A. newcomer asked Bill Wilson what it was "that worked so many wonders" and said, "hanging over the mantel was a picture of Gethsemane and Bill pointed to it and said, 'There it is'." The picture was a painting of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-39). In the pioneer A.A. Akron Fellowship, every member was required to accept Jesus Christ as his personal lord and saviour. This has been personally verified to me by the wife and writings of Clarence H. Snyder; the recorded remarks of oldtimer J. D. Holmes, and my telephone conversations with oldtimers Ed Andy and Larry Bauer. For many of the specific details about early Alcoholics Anonymous and the Lord Jesus Christ, see Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W.: More on the Creator's Role in Early A.A.http://dickb.com/conversion.shtml, and Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous: His Excellent Training in the Good Book as a Youngster in Vermont
http://dickb.com/drbobofaa.shtml


Date: Sat, August 24, 2013 6:55 am       (answered 28 August 2013)
From: "MW"
Subject: http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-spirrel.html

A separate history of Hazelden and profit from writing official 12 step material would be a good one.

I argue a lot within 12 step programs against literature as profit.

Power corrupts.

Selling literature corrupts.

= Mark W 2 =

Mark W 2 from California. Owner of a significant cat.

I quite agree. But there is a lot of money to be made by selling fairy tales to the believers, and Hazelden is making it.


Date: Sat, August 24, 2013 7:19 am       (answered 28 August 2013)
From: "MW"
Subject: Hazelden coffee

You may want to research this now.

If you go to a treatment center NA meeting, it is a trip.

They have to be SO CLEAR... no one can or should tell you what prescribed medication to take.

A very large percentage of 12 step members are not on SSRIs I think SSRIs are as effective or more effective than the 12 steps for many people.

Yes.

As you might figure out by now, I am a non religious 12 step member who does not think anything about the steps are sacred. It is a book and a bunch of groups that work. It is in now way the end all.

Alas, the groups don't work.

I am no more against following a program than I am against eating brown rice instead of oatmeal.

I am very much for openly teaching that the steps are just words and just a very old fashion attempt to do something. I encourage from inside the program to change the language. And I think criticism of the program is necessary and warranted.

I like my country, but I would be petrified the day we had a war and no one objected to it.

I digress... the study of the use of drugs in recovery is interesting on its own. Let me know if you are interested in discussing the topic.

= Mark W 2 =

Mark W 2 from California. Owner of a significant cat.

Hello again, Mark,

I am very much against some programs. I remember that Uncle Adolf (Hitler) had a wonderful program that he outlined in his famous book, Mein Kampf. All that you had to do was follow his simple program and everything would turn out wonderful.

We all know how that worked out.

What is interesting to notice is that both Adolf Hitler and Bill Wilson had the same education in sociology and psychology and psychiatry and medicine. Namely, none.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The worst deluded are the self-deluded.
**        ==  Christian Nestell Bovee (1820—1904), American author and editor





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters365.html#Anon ]

Date: Aug 10, 2013       (answered 27 August 2013)
From: Anon
Subject: eyes wide open in canada

THANK YOU REALLY, 15 years clean and sober, if you post this please leave my name out,

i walked into aa about 15 yrs ago because i had nowhere to go, i thought. i was a binge drinker, once i started i couldn't stop [ i realize now just don't start ], i bought into the 12-steps sort of, and once you did you were in. i really never did them but i faked it till i made it i guess. now i'm a big bill, sponsoring people, telling them they must do the steps and so on, basically lying. see i stopped and i got better, my morals changed, i was becoming a better husband, father, son, and just because i wasn't drinking, i was living the way i was supposed to. i could not buy the powerless thing, aa friends would argue with me that i was still powerless over booze, i'm not unless i drink it i would argue, i was starting to go against the grain, then about 6yrs ago i found your site and every thing came together.

what a joke, its a mind fuck, turn your will over to some guru in the group. i've seen it all, since i stopped drinking i haven't hurt anyone, but i look at some of these bleeding deacons, who preach 12-step bullshit, while they steal, come on to young women, and basically hurt 10 people to maybe 1 person they help and they control their lives. i have a buddy who has over 20 yrs sober time, and we now have a couple laughs at the expense of 12-step nut bars. well i just wanted to say thanks, my live is good and i'm busy with work, faimly and just having a good time booze and aa free.

p.s — have not been to a meeting in 6 months and don't miss it, i keep in touch with aa friends that accept that, but there are 12-step kooks have condemed me to a sick drunkin death. what ever, maybe i'll drop into a meeting and save a newcomer and send him to your site.

Hello Anon,

Thank you for the letter and the story, and the compliments, and thanks for the thanks.

I'm glad to hear that you are free and doing well. Life is just so much better when you aren't sick all of the time, isn't it?

All that I can do is agree with all of your points. And I sure am glad that I'm not powerless over alcohol.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty We are free at last.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters365.html#Richard_M ]

Date: Aug 25, 2013       (answered 27 August 2013)
From: Richard M.
Subject: Much Love

Wow! LoL ! That Is incredible !

Brilliant !

Yes!
Your orange paper are spot on !

I grew up in Philadelphia suburbs and had an "opiate abuse problem" because I put the narcotic into my bloodstream for 15 years strait with my own hands and arm!

I been beat in the head with na bullshit for years ...."I" came to realize that "my life was fucked up" ....and "the consequences were no longer the pleasure .....

A guy named "bill" (ironically) handed me a copy of Rational Recovery which I read and "came to realize" I wasn't fucking crazy after all!
" I never allow opiates into my bloodstream/ I now never change my mind "

!

Hello Richard,

Thank you for the happy message and the compliments. I'm really glad to hear that you got it together. Life is just so much better when you aren't a slave to an addiction, isn't it?

Since you liked Rational Recovery, you will probably also like The Lizard-Brain Addiction Monster, which talks about some of the same stuff.

Have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      He is the freeman whom the truth makes free,
**      and all are slaves beside.
**        ==  William Cowper (1731—1800), English poet





June 02, 2013, Saturday, in downtown Portland:

Downtown Portland
Lounging at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Isn't it funny (or not funny) how few cities have comfortable places for just hanging out?

Downtown Portland
MAX, the Metropolitan rapid Access

Downtown Portland
MAX, the Metropolitan rapid Access

Downtown Portland
MAX, the Metropolitan rapid Access

[The story of the goslings continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters365.html#Steve_C ]

Date: Aug 22, 2013       (answered 27 August 2013)
From: Steve C.
Subject: A question of motives.

Dear Whoever-you-are,

I'll make it plain from the start that I am a former athiest, a re-convert to evangelical Christianity, a convert to Roman Catholicism, an alcoholic who has not had a drink in 31 years, and a happy member of AA.

I ran across your site in the process of researching some AA history and, although I am sure it won't surprise you, you are one of a score of sites that seeks to a) dissuade people from being a part of AA, or b) encourage people in AA to leave it, or c) preach to the choir, or d) who knows.

I have no need to debate you on the facts on your site, although I think many of them are based on a superficial reading of the texts. I would have no problem defending my positions.

What I want to know is why? What good thing are you trying to accomplish? Generally, when I see this kind of rancor directed at someone or something, if feel that there's some underlying reason for that intensity.

Since you quote scripture at the top of your page, I am guessing (it's only a guess) that you feel that AA is leading people away from Christ under the guise of their "spiritual" program. If that is the case, I think it is a fine endeavor. But if so, is there not a better way to make your case than being so aggressive?

I think you are losing some of the people you are trying to persuade by the very shrillness of your invective. And for the life of me, I can't imagine what AA has ever done to you to merit this kind of treatment. Live and let live, as we say.

In any case, I would enjoy a reply. It's not my aim to persuade you, I just want to understand where you're coming from.

Hello Steve,

Thanks for the letter and congratulations for your many years of sobriety.

The answer to your "why" question is very simple: To get the truth out there, to counteract a river of lies. Sick people need to know the truth about addiction and recovery. They do not need fairy tales from the nineteen-thirties. And they sure don't need an old pro-Nazi cult religion that was banned by the Catholic Church twice.

Perhaps you will like the file The Heresy of the Twelve Steps. It discusses a lot of the theological conflicts between Christianity and the A.A. religion.

Sorry if you find my tone shrill. I know that saying that A.A. is killing people with quackery sounds radical, but it's the truth. The A.A. crime is so immense that it is almost beyond belief.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Go put your creed into your deed,
**     Nor speak with double tongue.
**        ==  Emerson, Ode: Concord





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters365.html#Shaun_C ]

Date: Aug 21, 2013       (answered 27 August 2013)
From: Shaun C.
Subject: So what is the answer then if you are an alcoholic?

I read your paper on AA and all it's evils. So what is the answer. I am not a heavy drinker, but wanted it and could not have fun without it.

I have enjoyed AA and have been sober for 3 weeks and my life with my wife and kids are better and my life overall is better. I have less temptation of sinning in general than before.

So please again tell me what the answer is? Are you an alcoholic? If not then you cannot relate.

I would like to hear more from you. I do know in today's world everything is criticized. If someone wanted to start a program to help dying babies someone would say its bad because...

So please tell me more.

Sent from my iPhone

Hello Shaun,

Thank you for the letter and the questions. And congratulations on quitting drinking. That is good. And yes, there are answers.

You said that these days, everything is criticized. I do not criticize A.A. for the sake of criticism, I criticize A.A. because it is a harmful fraud that hurts more people than it helps.

You asked whether I was an alcoholic. The answer is, "Yes, I am, but watch out for the definitions." If you want some personal history, look here:

  1. who are you,
  2. who are you, again
  3. Who are you?
  4. A biography written for SOS

When you declare that you are an alcoholic, and ask if I am one, I can see already that you have been to a bunch of A.A. meetings and they are giving you their dogma already. They are trying to convince you that you are a different kind of diseased subhuman. A.A. uses at least four different definitions of the word "alcoholic", and freely mixes them up, which really confuses the issue.

The definitions are:

  1. An alcoholic is someone who habitually drinks far too much alcohol.
  2. An alcoholic is someone who is hyper-sensitive to alcohol, almost allergic to alcohol, perhaps a genetic alcoholic; someone who cannot drink even one drink or his drinking will spin out of control and he will become readdicted to alcohol.
  3. An alcoholic is somebody who cannot quit drinking — he is "powerless" over alcohol.
  4. An alcoholic is an insane sinner who is full of disgusting character defects and moral shortcomings and resentments and barely-contained anger, and is a prime example of self-will run riot and instincts run wild and selfishness and self-seeking and the Seven Deadly Sins, although he doesn't think so... etc., etc., ...

When I call myself an alcoholic, I usually mean definition 2, and only occasionally definition 1, but never definitions 3 or 4.

  1. By definition 1, I stopped being an alcoholic more than 12 years ago.
  2. By definition 2, I will always be an alcoholic.
  3. By definition 3, I wasn't an alcoholic, because I could quit drinking, and I did. I was not "powerless over alcohol". I even quit drinking without any help from A.A., because I quit drinking two weeks before I was ever sent to an A.A. meeting.
  4. By definition 4, I was never an alcoholic. I was always a nice drunk. People liked having me at their parties because I was so much fun to have around when I got high. (But, as one friend said, "Even nice drunks die of cirrhosis of the liver...")

What if we throw away the word "alcoholic" and quit calling ourselves names as if we were a separate sub-species of sub-human? What if we just talk about drinking too much, and deciding to quit it so that we can have a better life? It doesn't matter if we are "a real alcoholic" by some goofy definitions; what matters is whether alcohol is messing up our lives.

(The statement that I cannot understand if I am not a real alcoholic is standard A.A. propaganda. They want you to believe that only they understand, and that you need them. Not true. That is just the cult trying to own you.)

Now then, the answer to problem drinking is super-simple: Either cut down or totally quit drinking, whichever works best for you. Some people can just cut down, and some can't.

Personally, I'm one of those people who has to totally abstain from drinking alcohol. I was never able to moderate, because moderate drinking didn't stay moderate. Once I started down that slippery slope, it always ended up being too much. So I totally abstain from drinking alcohol, and I have almost 13 years of sobriety now.

So, what can help you to quit drinking and stay sober? There are lots of things, and many methods. You can start here:

  1. How did you get to where you are?
  2. The Lizard-Brain Addiction Monster
  3. What works?
  4. The magic moment of quitting
  5. A comparison of 48 different treatment methods
  6. Top 10 Reading List

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





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Last updated 29 August 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters365.html