Letters, We Get Mail, CCCLXVIII



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters368.html#Jennifer_C ]

Date: Sep 8       (answered 17 September 2013)
From: Jennifer C.

It was stated here that AA says to "Dump your wife and marry AA." That could not be further from the truth!

Sounds like someone has a major resentment towards AA. Get the facts right before you go spewing bullshit.

Hope you enjoy a miracle filled day.

Hello Jennifer,

Thanks for the good wishes. Yes, I do occasionally have a miracle-filled day. Not every day, just once in a blue moon, but it's nice when it happens.

About A.A. breaking up marriages, A.A. is notorious for that. That happens much oftener than miracle-filled days.

  1. It happened to Linda here: Dump your spouse and marry the A.A. group.

  2. And Jeannine: here.

    And then here are a bunch of relevant horror stories:

  3. ...we are getting divorced, and I think it all comes down to her sponsor and AA indoctrination...

  4. ...a married lady who is being pressured to essentially cheat on her husband by members of her NA group.

  5. Another treatment center nightmare: losing a fiance to a rehab romance

  6. The how and why of losing a fiance to a rehab romance

  7. They were mad because I was getting married when I got back.

  8. My wife just informed me yesterday that she wants a divorce, within hours after I forwarded to her the information that I found on line from your web site

  9. Since he found AA our life together has been a living nightmare. He stopped communicating... My husband left me this past week (with 6 children still at home), choosing his AA family over us.

  10. her sponsor forbid her from seeing me for thirty days... and at the end of the 30 days I was told by my now ex that I could never talk to her again

  11. My partner has just passed 5 months in a highly restrictive 12 step based treatment center. (She has the "option" of staying up to a year, which has been "suggested".)   ...   It is being strongly "suggested" that she cut all ties with me.

  12. ...he's hardly at home when I get home from work he's gone, he eats dinner at his group because they take turns at taking dinner for eveyone, he said they told him it's ok if he doesn't eat with his family...

  13. "my husband says whenever I go to AA it causes so much trouble at home as they tell me to leave him as he drinks."

  14. After a few months of this, my partner and I were effectively leading separate lives, and I hardly saw my family at all. My entire thinking was being taken over by AA.

  15. they started showing a video of a new 18 year old girl that had just came in to the group and they said she was going to be one of the sponsor's girlfriend "the sponsor is 38 years old"

  16. ...they informed her that I was a bad influence and she needed to leave a stable man who found his own power and ability to not drink.

  17. And lastly, ex-members of A.A. were just discussing the standard A.A. destroy-your-marriage routine in the forum:
Then you declared,
Sounds like someone has a major resentment towards AA. Get the facts right before you go spewing bullshit.

Congratulations. You made the list of Steppers who have jabbered about me having a resentment. That is just such a common line. And a cheap and easy put-down. But it doesn't really mean a thing. So I have a resentment. So what? What does it matter? Does my head explode? Do I instantly relapse and start drinking again? That can't be true, because I have 12, almost 13, years of sobriety now.

And yes, I have my facts right. Now you have some reading to do to get your facts right.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     A little learning is a dangerous thing.
**     Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.
**       ==  Pope, Essay on Criticism, II





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters368.html#Jonathan ]

Date: Sep 8       (answered 17 September 2013)
From: Jonathan

It seems ur site is speaking of contemporary aa which is watered down aa these days and not what the program/ bb says. Ur speaking of what the watered down fellowship says. No where Does it say take what u want and leave the rest at the door. That's what spiritually sick contemporaries say but certainly not the bb. I see a lot of stuff that call aa on ur site that maybe ppl these days say is aa but goes against the actual program. Gnight

Jonathan

Sent from my iPhone

Hello Jonathan,

Thanks for the note. Alas, the idea that A.A. was better in the Good Old Days is just fairy-tale stuff. In fairy tales, the ancient times were always better:

  • The knights of the Olden Days were much braver and more heroic than today's knights.

  • And the kings of the Olden Days were much wiser and nobler than today's kings.

  • And the maidens and princesses of the Olden Days were much purer and more beautiful than the girls today.

  • And the magik of the Ancient Wizards was much more powerful than the magik of today's wizards.

But that is just fairy tale stuff. No truth to it.

And there was no Golden Age of Alcoholics Anonymous. There was no really strong powerful spirituality in the early days of Alcoholics Anonymous. The really pure Nazi spirituality that Bill Wilson got straight from Dr. Frank Buchman didn't work to make alcoholics quit drinking. Not at all.

In fact, when Bill Wilson stopped lying about how great A.A. was, and told the truth, just for a change, he switched to bragging about how hard he and Dr. Bob had to work to get A.A. established, because everybody relapsed. (Bill was making himself out to be a long-suffering hero, working tirelessly to promote Alcoholics Anonymous.) Bill described the early days of A.A. this way:

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, at the memorial service for Dr. Bob, Nov. 15, 1952; file available here.

If you have to cull hundreds of drunks to get a few success stories, then that sounds like only a one or two percent success rate. But wait! That was only the ones who were gullible enough to "take the bait", as Bill Wilson called it. That was just the recruiting success rate. How many of those new recruits stayed sober for a good long time, like several years? Even less, for sure. But that was far less than the usual five percent rate of spontaneous remission that we get with a bunch of alcoholics if we just do nothing with them.

There was no Golden Age of A.A. You can read more about the real success rate of early A.A. here.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Foisting ineffective quack medicine on sick people is not
**     a wonderful noble act of self-sacrifice to help others;
**     it is the reprehensible behavior of a damned fool.


[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters368.html#Jonathan ]

Date: Wed, September 18, 2013 9:03 pm       (answered 23 September 2013)
From: "Jonathan"
Subject: Re: It seems ur site is speaking of contemporary aa which

You can't count 1 of 100 as a 1 percent success rate. The success rAte is determined by the people who actually do the steps. It's the success rate of the steps working not of ppl u call to try to get sober. Most of those ppl don't Ben want it and even if they do it doesn't matter unless hey actually follow the program of action. Not contemporary watered down message stuff U hear in aa in every city. Thank you.

Sent from my iPhone

Hello Jonathan,

Thanks for the letter, but sorry, but that just isn't true. Bill Wilson clearly declared that you don't have to do the 12 Steps. They are only suggested as a "program of recovery". Page 59 of the Big Book says:

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery...
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, chapter 5, How It Works, page 59.

And actually, those are not the steps that they took. Fully half of the early members of A.A. chose to not do the 12 Steps, and they wanted nothing to do with Bill Wilson's favorite cult religion. In fact, the Twelve Steps did not even exist when "The First 100" (who really numbered between 40 and 70) got sober.

Claiming that you will only count the people who "worked the Steps" to your satisfaction is the propaganda and debating trick of Moving The Goalposts. The question was "What is the sobriety rate of people who go to A.A.?", not "What is the sobriety rate of people who practice the cult religion to the satisfaction of the oldtimers?"

Claiming that you will only count the people who "worked the Steps" to your satisfaction is also several bait-and-switch tricks:

Lastly, the 12 Steps are not "the program of action." The 12 Steps are the recruiting and indoctrination practices of Dr. Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman's "Oxford Group" cult religion. The Steps have nothing to do with quitting drinking, and they do not even say that you should quit drinking. And they certainly don't tell you how to quit drinking.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**
**     And the Lord our God spake, and He saeth: "Shall I give
**     the alcoholic woman Susie a day of sobriety, just for today?
**     Should I give her a one-day reprieve from her death sentence?
**     Should I release her from the 'spiritual disease' of
**     alcoholism today?
**        "Well, how much has she been praying? How much has she
**     been confessing? How diligently has she been working Bill
**     Wilson's Twelve Steps?
**        "Nah, I don't see why I should spare her. I mean, I've
**     been enjoying tormenting her with alcoholism for 20 years
**     already; there's no reason why I should change things now."





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters368.html#John_E ]

Date: Sep 4       (answered 17 September 2013)
From: John E

...but the paypal link didn't seem to work. Is it just me?

I'm 'in recovery', as the saying goes (C&S 7 years, first serious cleantime was 12 years ago) and spent a couple of years in the rooms, AA, NA and CA. Starting with multiple meetings a day (I did 90 in 26 days), tailing off to once a week or fortnight.

I felt that I did get quite a bit out of them (I have a 2 year keyfob) but never did the steps and never had a serious sponsor. No matter how I tried, just couldn't get the higher power stuff. One night at the end of my first relapse and in the throes of a hideous cluck I manicly wrote down a diagramme of how I'd managed to square the circle, managed to make the higher power thing work for me. However, when the sun came up it was obviously gibberish and I went back to quietly ignoring that part from then on.

I'd always felt that the rooms had helped me, even though I was 'constitutionally incapable' of believing in a higher power. When asked, I fudged with the 'group of druggies' definition but justified to myself by categorising groupthink and mutual support as my higher power. Not really getting it, was I?

I certainly considered it cult-ish but, at the start, I was bloody desperate and needed to do something, anything, to change — even if it meant a spell in a cult. We (my wife, non 12 step friends and I) called it 'Lodge'. As in, 'John has to go to his Lodge now'.

Reading your site has made me rethink my semi-positive attitude to this. My wife has said that both of my serious lapses happened after periods of really intense, earnest meeting attendance. I'd half-heartedly argued against her but I suppose I knew she had a point. I was powerless, so WTF — Once I'd started, I couldn't stop so what might have been a slip became a full bore, several month long relapse into some of the worst times.

I stopped going because I just didn't want to talk about all the shit anymore. It wasn't me anymore. I couldn't see how dredging this stuff up again and again (which is sort of expected for the benefit of newcomers) was helping me. I never was the sort to share about my everyday longer term recovery personal issues as I remembered how boring and trivial it seemed when OCM's did this when I was a newcomer myself. Christ, I thought — You have 20 years of sobriety and your'e still moaning about how crazy/hard done by you are? In fact, the last year of my attendance was largely in order to give back to the newcomer, as the saying goes. Apart from the occasional times of good fellowship at coffee shops afterwards, I wasn't getting any benefit. (Of course, this must have been because I wasn't 'doing the steps', and didn't have a sponsor — my natural inclination to critical thinking overruled this sort of doubletalk, almost as soon as I had my own mind back after about 6-9 months C-T).

I also realised that those who was still in the rooms after more than a year or two of clean time tended to be damaged lunatics or bureaucracy loving, meddling, control freaks.

Thanks for your site. Apart from a couple of close friends who have been through the same thing it's nice to know there are more out there. I always felt it crazy that everyone assumed those who left had relapsed, particularly when I'd met people who had great lives and were still abstinent, or mostly abstinent.

Anyway, I've blithered on enough now. I'd like to make a small donation in memory of the thousands of one and two pound/dollar contributions I made over the years to AA, NA and CA.

Oh, one more thing. I did find the fellowship a lot more fascistic/god bothering in the US than I did in Europe or Australia. Most of the meetings I went to in London or Brisbane or Sydney tended to gloss over the higher power thing and even the third step. I suspect Americans take their 'spirituality' a lot more seriously than the decadent Europeans and practical Australians. :-). Saying that, AA tended to be worse in this regard than NA or CA. This may just be my experience, of course. I'm aware it's anecdotal.

cheers,

John E

P.S.:
I meant to say 'rooms' where I said 12 steps in the 3rd main para. Otherwise this reads very oddly — 'I didn't do the steps but I felt the steps helped me'. What I meant to say was I'd always felt the rooms had helped me. I'm referring to NA/CA/AA — I did them all, in several places I lived there weren't enough meetings to meet my 'needs' in any single fellowship. I mostly attended NA with AA coming a close second. Although I occasionally came across anal retentives in AA who had an odd sense that one shouldn't mix, I was also told by people I respected that any meeting was better than none. In fact, my favourite meeting was an AA meeting in Brisbane where I really did feel part of something. It wasn't very religious but was genuinely supportive, not always the case by any stretch. Still, I relapsed badly on alcohol after my time there.

JE

Hello JE,

Thanks for the letter and the experiences and the compliments. And congratulations on your sobriety.

About this line:

I stopped going because I just didn't want to talk about all the shit anymore. It wasn't me anymore.

Yes. Something that A.A. will never talk about is the fact that it is mentally unhealthy to dwell on the past forever. After a while, you have to say, "Enough is enough. Let's live today."

As the brilliant mind Aldous Huxley said,

Classic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing.
ROLLING IN THE MUCK IS NOT THE BEST WAY OF GETTING CLEAN.

== Aldous Huxley

And your sentence, "It wasn't me anymore." reminds me of the song by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young:

Remember what we've said, and done and felt about each other, oh babe, have mercy.
Don't let the past, remind us of what we are not now, I am not dreaming.

== "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes"

Yes. A.A. members spend entirely too much time talking about who or what they used to be. But real life is here and now.

I'm not surprised that your worst relapses happened after your most intense periods of 12-Step indoctrination. The 12 Steps are harmful. Making you wallow in guilt is bad for your mind. Imagining that a ghost or spirit will solve your problems for you is insanity. (Step Two does not restore people to sanity; it makes them insane.) Teaching you that you are powerless over alcohol is bound to produce some bad results.

I'm very happy to say that I am not powerless over alcohol. Even in spite of the fact that it was killing me, I'm still not powerless over it. I only needed to take control.

About getting some moral support and help from a group, I can see that. That is why I hope that SMART and SOS and Lifering and WFS can spread and grow. They can offer the same kind of emotional support without the cult religion nonsense. Maybe you can start a meeting in Australia.

That usually works correctly, as far as I know. And so does just [email protected]. Google Wallet has never worked. I don't know what is going on there.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human
**     stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and
**     justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism
**     and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or
**     political idols.
**        ==  Aldous Huxley





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters368.html#Gonzalo_A ]

Date: Sep 5       (answered 18 September 2013)
From: Gonzalo A.

It is hard to understand why a person will spend so much time writing something so negative about an organization that made no harm at him.

The explanation has to be one of the following:

1). You are a drunk and you don't want to stop drinking.

2). You have never abuse alcohol and you don't know what are you taking about. You do not understand the problem.

AA un not sacred and doesn't solve all the problems, but it is a good tool to use in early recovery, specially after a rehab treatment. The advantage is that is is free and it is everywhere, so I can always find a meeting to go and remember that if drink, eventually I will end up doing things that I don't want. To me it does that, it help me remember and I go from time to time. I also go to remember that I don't want to be like any of those guys!

I shared many of your opinions once but after trying psycologisy, psychiatrists, priests, wiches, fortune tellers and doctors to help with my problem, I went back to AA and I finally got it. Now I go to AA just to remember.

You should't be so negative about it. Your article might give some people the excuse to stop going to meetings and start drinking again. AA is hard because you cannot drink, not even a little, if you don't like it, don't go, but live the rest of the world alone.

Live and let live.

I don't like some religions, but it is not my problem.

Regards

Gonzalo M. A.

Sent from my iPad

Hello Gonzalo,

Thanks for the letter. Alas, both of your opening assumptions are false.

  1. I was a drunk, but I have 12, almost 13, years of sobriety now.
  2. I drank until my doctor said, "Quit drinking or die. Choose one." I thought it over for a while and decided to live.

RE:

AA un not sacred and doesn't solve all the problems, but it is a good tool to use in early recovery, specially after a rehab treatment.

Sorry, but A.A. is not a tool, and A.A. does not improve the sobriety rate of alcoholics. A.A. is not useful, and A.A. is not good. You can read about the actual A.A. cure rate here: The Effectiveness of the Twelve-Step Treatment.

The fact that you can always find an A.A. meeting to go to is not a great thing. You can also always find a Scientology meeting to go to. Or the Moonies, or other cults.

You need a meeting to remind you not to drink alcohol? Is your memory broken? I can clearly remember why I don't want to drink any more alcohol. Like I don't want any more of that pain and sickness and suffering.

This is typical cult jabber:

I shared many of your opinions once but after trying psycologisy, psychiatrists, priests, wiches, fortune tellers and doctors to help with my problem, I went back to AA and I finally got it. Now I go to AA just to remember.

"Oh, yes, I was an unbeliever until I saw the Light. Now we don't need any of those effete intellectuals like doctors or psychologists or psychiatrists... because we have Faith. We have the Magik Answer."

RE:

You should't be so negative about it. Your article might give some people the excuse to stop going to meetings and start drinking again.

Yes, I do need to be so negative about a hoax and a fraud that is hurting people. And people do not go back to drinking just because they learn the truth about Alcoholics Anonymous. More people recover and live without A.A.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Doubt is not a pleasant condition but certainty is an absurd one.
**      ==  Voltaire (1694 — 1778)





June 18, 2013, Tuesday, Forest Grove:

squirrel
My neighbor squirrel, watching me from the fence.
He comes and eats the sunflower seeds and other goodies several times a day. He also has a couple of friends who occasionally come and eat with him. They are pretty tame. They even know the routine. They hear me coming, so they watch me spread out the birdseed and sunflower seeds and just wait until I leave, and then they are on it, and having lunch.

BLOG NOTE: 2013.09.24:

Feeding the wildlife in my yard has attracted quite a flock of birds. I am regularly treated to everything from hummingbirds to sparrows and jays and Mourning Doves and lots of things that I haven't identified. A few days ago I had a very funny experience. I woke up at dawn with the birds chirping. The weather was still warm and the window was open, and I could clearly hear that raucous chirping outside. And the birds could hear the radio inside. I had fallen asleep with the radio tuned to NPR (National Public Radio), and the announcer was reciting the morning news. After a few minutes, it seemed like the birds were talking to the radio. They were following his rhythm, and responding to his statements. Out of curiosity, I turned the volume of the radio down, to test my theory and listen to just the birds. Instant silence. It was as if somebody shouted, "Predator! Everybody shut up!" Nobody said anything.

Then I turned the volume of the radio back up, and all of the birds went back to chirping loudly. It was as if they interpreted the radio as a human saying, "This is my territory. I'm chirping and claiming this territory." And the birds answered, "Oh no you don't! This our territory. We own this space."

Sometimes, there are so many birds chirping in my back yard that it sounds like a jungle movie.


flowers
Flowers in my front yard.

Foxglove
More flowers in my front yard. These are Foxglove, aka Digitalis, a powerful heart stimulant. (Just an old herbal cure there. No, I don't use it.)

[More gosling photos below, here.]





BLOG NOTE: 2013.09.22:

The end of summer today. Well, it was fun while it lasted. Welcome to autumn. It's raining here.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters368.html#Michael_B2 ]

Date: Sep 13       (answered 23 September 2013)
From: Michael B. (2)

Terrance Hodgins.
xxxx Cedar Street, Apt x.
Forest Grove, OR.
United States.

Author Unknown indeed!!!
We will be coming round soon to have a meeting with you!

Date: Sep 14
From: Terrance Hodgins

Very funny. It only took you super-sharp Steppers 10 years to figure out that domain name registrations were public knowledge....


Date: Sep 14       (answered 23 September 2013)
From: Michael Brownlie

I have been sober for nearly ten years and I was wondering what your motivation was for creating your web page did you have a bad experience in AA?

Hello again, Michael,

Congratulations on your nearly 10 years of sobriety. Coincidentally, I have nearly 13 years of sobriety — just one more month and I'm there. Also 13 years off of cigarettes and drugs. And I happily did it without A.A. or any cult religion.

I've explained my motivation for doing the Orange Papers web site many times, in several different ways. Look here:

  1. Why did I make all of these pages? For a lot of reasons.

  2. About the motivation for creating the site, that is funny. I never set out to create any such thing. I was just going to write a 30-page essay about A.A. and what I saw as its failings and why it was inappropriate for use in treatment programs.

  3. the introduction, my introduction to A.A.

  4. the "treatment" bait-and-switch trick

  5. another friend goes missing

  6. who are you

  7. who are you, again

  8. really an alcoholic...

  9. definitions of "an alcoholic"

  10. Rat Park and Other Children's Stories

  11. How did you get to where you are?

  12. A biography written for SOS

  13. history of the Orange Papers, and

  14. censorship, the Orange Papers censored and erased by Yahoo Geocities

  15. the "Orange" name.

  16. There are some recent pictures of me and my little friends here and here and here.

I can sum it all up by saying that I saw that A.A. did not actually work as a cure for "alcoholism" or addictions, but it was being sold as the standard cure by most of the so-called "treatment programs" in the USA. So somebody had to say something. Somebody has to tell the truth.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

P.S.: Please don't send letters to the Gmail address. I never use it for correspondence because Google reads all of our email to determine which targeted advertisements to send us. They have no respect for privacy. None whatsover. (Are you now getting advertisements for rehab centers or alcoholic things when you read web pages? I do.)

*             [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


Date: Thu, September 19, 2013 2:36 pm       (answered 23 September 2013)
From: "Michael B2"
Subject: Re: I will be be ten years sober soon a

AA does not kill anyone, alcohol and drinking too much of it does.

Hello again, Michael,

Actually, A.A. most assuredly does kill people when A.A. "sponsors" tell their sponsees not to take their medications, and the sick people die, and the mentally-ill patients commit suicide or binge drink themselves to death. I just got another letter describing that problem, and the disastrous results, here:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters369.html#Matt

You can read a bunch more of those tragic A.A. "No Meds" stories here: the list of A.A. "No Meds" horror stories.

A.A. also kills people by driving them into depression and suicide. Telling people that they are disgusting incurable unspiritual selfish manipulative sinners who cannot ever recover and be normal pushes some people over the edge, and they kill themselves. You can read many such stories here: A.A. Suicides.

And then there are the people who give up on recovery. People think that if they cannot ever recover and be normal, what's the use? Why try if you are doomed to fail? Might as well just get stoned and forget the whole thing. Previous letters have described that problem too, including the first letter that I just pointed you to: http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters369.html#Matt

If you tell alcoholics that they are powerless over alcohol, then they just might believe you and act that way. Dr. Jeffrey Brandsma verified that effect in a controlled study. After several months of indoctrination in A.A., the A.A. members were doing five times as much binge drinking as a group that got no such "help", and nine times as much binge drinking as other alcoholics who got Rational Behavioral Therapy. Now I'm sure that you are smart enough to figure out that if alcoholics are doing far more binge drinking, that they just might kill themselves.

Lastly, you should read the A.A. Horror Stories to see many other ways in which A.A. kills.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     For me to sit with a new guy and tell him he needs God and he needs
**     to work the steps in order to save his life is tantamount to murder
**     or at least some form of assisted suicide.
**       ==  posted by Rant at 9:37 am, Monday, November 5, 2012, on
**         http://moynihaninstitute.blogspot.com/2012/11/aa-kills-more-drunks-than-it-helps.html





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters368.html#RK ]

Date: Mon, September 16, 2013 10:28 am       (answered 16 September 2013)
From: "RK"
Subject: Wish to become a Member

Dear Agent Orange

I am an Indian and was shocked at the De addiction centers operating in india based on 12 steps, and most of these centers are worse than Alzatraz or Guatemala. I have personal experience and wish to share

Okay, RK, all that you have to do is register. See the box in the upper-left-hand corner of the forum pages? Just register there, and make up any user name that you like (that isn't already taken by someone else). Then email me and tell me what name you registered, and I'll approve it. (That last step is to stop the spammers, who actually won't bother.)

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.





[The previous letter from Keith_G is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters368.html#Keith_G ]

Date: Wed, September 18, 2013 8:24 am       (answered 23 September 2013)
From: "Keith G"
Subject: Re: AA has helped millions. You seem not so well informed

You failed to answer a specific question; Because to do so would show your true colors

IF you had a loved one that was drinking to a dangerous degree and they had tried everything you would never suggest going to AA ? Is that correct?

If not what would you tell them?

Hello again, Keith,

I did not fail to answer a specific question. I answered plainly:

If he was really a dear friend, then I would not just "send him" somewhere, I would stay with him and take him to a variety of places and things, starting with SMART and SOS and Lifering. Here is the list of better organizations:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-alt_list.html

I would also read this letter to him: How did you get to where you are?

So there you are: SMART and SOS and Lifering. And I will add, I'd throw in a dose of Harm Reduction and Moderation Management, just for good measure.

Also, read the part of the letter "How did you get to where you are?" where I talk about about will power and determination and refusal to die.

What part of that do you not understand?

By the way, nobody has "tried everything". That is a common Stepper slogan,

  • "Oh, I tried everything and nothing worked until I came to A.A."
  • "A.A. is the last house on the block."
  • "A.A. is the last stop on the train."
  • "A.A. is the last stop on the track."
  • "Here was a book that said that I could do something that all these doctors and priests and ministers and psychiatrists that I'd been going to for years couldn't do!" == The Big Book, 3rd Edition, page 473.

Baloney.

Prof. William Miller lists 48 different methods and treatments, and nobody has tried them all.

Here is the list of methods of recovery where Prof. William Miller and his crew at the Center for Alcohol, Substance Abuse and Addictions at the University of New Mexico rated those 48 various methods of recovery:

http://www.behaviortherapy.com/ResearchDiv/whatworks.aspx

Note that A.A. and "twelve-step facilitation" are so far down the list that you have to look for them, at numbers 37 and 38 in effectiveness. Also, they have a very negative rating.

(You can read more discussion of that list here:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters177.html#what_works)

What usually happens is: Somebody tries a few methods, like two or three, for a few weeks or months, but doesn't try very hard, and soon goes back to drinking. But then he finally really quits drinking because he is sick and tired of being so sick and tired all of the time. Then, a few of those successful quitters go to some A.A. meetings and start bragging about how they "tried everything" before they came to A.A. and nothing worked. Nonsense. But the cult really loves the performance art. The speaker gets approval and Brownie Points for delivering such a popular false speech.

Lastly, yes, you are correct in assuming that I would never send people to A.A. Just read the A.A. Horror Stories to get many reasons for that.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     "No experimental studies unequivocally demonstrated the effectiveness
**     of AA or TSF approaches for reducing alcohol dependence or problems."
**       ==   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16856072
*
**     "AA is 'the last house on the block' for a reason: it's full
**     of arsonists who've been burning down the other houses!"
**       ==  Madame Senga


Date: Wed, September 25, 2013 11:11 am       (answered 26 September 2013)
From: "Keith G"
Subject: Re: AA has helped millions. You seem not so well informed

You are right I have finally seen the truth...the fellowship will begin to close up shop. Thanks for your service.

Keith

Hello again, Keith,

Now that is good news. That will save a lot of lives.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    There are some remedies worse than the disease.
**      ==  Publius Syrus, Maxim 301 (First Century B.C.)





June 20, 2013, Thursday, Fernhill Wetlands::

Garden
My front yard. Just another yard in Mayberry.

Garden

[The story of the goslings continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters368.html#Josh_W ]

Date: Wed, September 18, 2013 1:15 pm       (answered 23 September 2013)
From: "Josh W."
Subject:

Orange,

I've been studying your website for a month now and I'm still at the tip of the iceberg. I want to commend you on the construction of such a well-informed and insightful library on AA and the Twelve Steps. I'm currently still attending AA meetings and have done so for nine-months. I've abstained from drinking during this time, but have not followed any of the twelve steps and regularly question the dogma and "suggestions" of the program. I've made it clear that my sobriety is of no thanks to anyone but myself and the support of people I care about. At twenty-eight my drinking days have simply run their course. I had made two other attempts at quitting two and three years before this but never maintained any lengthy span without the occasional drink here and there, but once I decided it wasn't enjoyable it was only a matter of time before I felt it completely unnecessary. I found, ironically, that I drank more when I worked AA's program after I went through a thirty day rehab. I had built up eight months without a drink, but once I started finding holes in a program that defines itself as the only cure I relapsed and drank as if nothing mattered because I couldn't accept their philosophy.

I suppose the social aspect of the groups keeps me coming back occasionally (maybe one or two a month), but a large part of me wants to continue to be the voice of reason and logic in the rooms. Needless to say, I've been labeled dangerous, that I would cause people to relapse (and potentially die), and ostracized which I find vaguely insulting but mostly just amusing. I believe in no higher power contributing to my sobriety. I do not believe alcoholism a disease and I make no attempt to hide those key beliefs. I have had some people who will come up to me after the meeting and ask me how I do it, and some seem to genuinely be curious about other ways besides the higher power belief AA imposes. So that in itself is worth it. I don't know if you've had any experiences like that; trying to convert people back to sanity within the belly of the beast! I was told by someone in the program that "It's easy to find the holes in things." If it's so easy to find the holes in AA than why are they claiming it is the only successful option available to people? Clearly they mistake their monopoly on the treatment industry as successful.

I'll continue to use the resources you've made available. I especially enjoy the sections uncovering AA's conversion techniques and faulty debating strategies. Keep fighting the good fight.

Josh

Hello Josh,

Thanks for the letter. Congratulations for your sobriety and for keeping your head screwed on straight. Of course I agree with much of what you are saying.

The one thing that rang an alarm bell was the news that you drank when you found out that you had been deceived and lied to by A.A. Please, you don't have to do that. The reasons for not drinking are that alcohol ruins your health and rots your brain. And it messes up your life. That has nothing to do with A.A. Now A.A. also says that stuff, and that is one of the few things that they tell the truth about. The rest of the A.A. rap is of course a bunch of baloney.

I know it's disillusioning to discover how much they are lying to you. They start off saying that they will give you unconditional love, but in the end they won't even tell you the truth. That isn't much love. Nevertheless, please don't let it get you down.

My sobriety has nothing to do with A.A., and everything to do with the fact that I don't want to ever be that sick again. And even if I were to get that sick from some other cause, I wouldn't go back to drinking alcohol because that would still make things worse.

Thank you for being a member of the Newcomer Rescue League. Now that is good. It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. You may well save a few lives. You will certainly benefit somebody.

Yes, I can believe that people are coming to you and asking how you are staying sober without believing in A.A. and it's "higher power". Many people can sense that there is something wrong with the A.A. program, that it is goofy and illogical. And they want some answers.

And A.A. refuses to answer questions, and does not conduct rational discussions about alcohol abuse and recovery, and how A.A. methods work or don't work, and what is the real A.A. success rate anyway?

And that line about, "It's easy to poke holes in anything" is just a propaganda trick to deflect criticism. Or rather, two of them: Deflect Criticism and Blame By Delegitimizing It, and Escape via Relativism. That isn't answering the question, that's dodging the question. It is not easy to poke holes in true things like Einstein's theory of relativity, or Newton's calculus, or the theory of gravity. Or modern medicine's treatment of cancer. If it's easy to poke holes in the A.A. Big Book and their ideas of "alcoholism", then there is something wrong with their ideas.

Speaking of answers, these two pages are the first things that I point people to when they ask how I stay sober:

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

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business,
**     and eventually degenerates into a racket."
**       ==  Eric Hoffer





June 22, 2013, Saturday, Fernhill Wetlands::

Canada Goose goslings
Back at the wetlands, the geese are gathering for lunch.

Canada Goose goslings
This is the Family of 7 (7 babies plus 2 parents). They appear to be nearly full-grown.

[The story of the goslings continues here.]





BLOG NOTE: 2013.09.24:

A few days ago, the national news programs were running a story about a veteran who died of an overdose. He was apparently very overmedicated and he sat on his couch and gobbled pills until he died. The implication of the news stories was that the Veterans' Administration is just overmedicating veterans — just dope them out and forget about them.

In defense of the VA, I'd like to say that that has not been my experience. I'm also a veteran, and I'm also on medications. I get a variety of things, ranging from aspirin (for blood thinning and headaches) to Ranitidine (for acid reflux disease), to baclofen (for muscle tremors), to calcium plus vitamin D (for osteoporosis). And now, just recently, I'm also getting genuine narcotics: Oxycodone, for the pain of sciatica. The x-rays tell the doctor that I have degeneration of the bones in the lower spine and sacro-illiac and right hip, and the nerve trunk that runs to the right leg is getting pinched or stretched, and it screams and induces an incredible amount of pain. Welcome to old age.

The doctor was not eager to give me narcotics and just dope me out and forget about me. In fact, it took two months to finally get genuine narcotics. He wanted to try non-narcotics like Tramadol first, which did not help in the slightest — it just made me nauseous. But, finally, I got genuine painkillers. Still, the prescription is non-refillable, and the doctor has to represcribe it each month. They will only give me a month's supply at a time.

Of course overdosing is always a danger. I'm very careful about that. Being a senior, it's easy to forget whether you have already taken your pills. Worse, when you are taking medications that cloud your mind, like tranquilizers or narcotics, it's very easy to forget that you already took your pills. So you take them again. Which makes you even more forgetful and cloudy-headed. So you think that you forgot to take your pills, so you take them again. And again... And again... You can die that way.

My solution is I bought one of those pill boxes that have compartments for your doses. The box has a drawer for each day of the week, and each drawer has four compartments, which you can use for Morning, Noon, Evening, and Night. I fill the thing up at the beginning of the week and use it to dole out the pills. It's really a great invention, and it prevents overdosing accidents. I occasionally have "senior moments" where I'm asking, "Did I remember to take my pills this morning?" I seem to vaguely remember that I did, but that might be yesterday morning that I'm remembering. Did I take them today? I go to the box, and see that the compartment for this morning is already empty. "Ah, I did take them. Okay, I don't need to take them again."

Problem solved. No overdose.

I recommend that the VA give those boxes away to all of the Veterans. Heck, I guess I've got to write another letter. You can too.

pill box
This is the pill box. The brand name is "med sun".
The CD gives a size gauge so that you can see how big the box is.

The pill box needs to be that size. Anything smaller won't hold all of the pills, and if it won't hold all of the pills, then it will be inconvenient to use, and if it's inconvenient to use, then people won't use it.





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Last updated 17 October 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters368.html