Letters, We Get Mail, CCCLXXII



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters372.html#Rick_T ]

Date: Sat, October 19, 2013 3:07 pm (answered 20 October 2013)
From: "Rick T."
Subject: The Religious Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps

Dear Whatever your name is,

I just finished reading your article entitled "The Religious Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps." It is quite apparent you have expended much time and energy researching AA's inception and the men involved. I believe some of the questions you pose and the arguments and postulations you make are no doubt valid and well founded. What I don't understand is the reason for your crusade against the AA program. Based upon the emotionally vitriolic content of your writing one might assume you are an atheistically inclined individual struggling with your own alcoholism and using the imperfections of the program founders to completely invalidate a set of principles that have changed hundreds of thousands of peoples' lives.

Might this stem from your own inability to get sober and thus needing to place the blame of your own failings onto the shoulders of others? Although not Catholic, when I was younger I used the behavior of my Catholic aunts, uncles and cousins to indict the entire Catholic Church. Regardless of what you might think of Catholicism many find peace in the practice of it. Such is the case with Alcoholics Anonymous. Why throw the baby out with the bath water? Have you taken on the crusade simply to validate your need to be right or to make others wrong? Or are you simply that threatened by "The Cult?" You seem like an intelligent individual to me...why not take on more lofty crusades such as world hunger, genocide, pollution, overpopulation, terrorism, etc.? I find your crusade against AA sadly narrow in scope and woefully misguided despite and regardless of the accuracy of the arguments you profer.

Sincerely,

Rick T.

Hello Rick,

Thank you for the letter and the questions. For a name, you may call me either Orange or Terrance. It doesn't matter.

Happily, my work on this web site is not caused by any failure to get and stay sober. In fact, coincidentally, today is my thirteenth "sobriety birthday". Yes, as of today, I now have 13 years off of alcohol and drugs. And in three more weeks, I'll also have 13 years off of tobacco. I got sober, and I stay sober, without any help from A.A. I have never done the 12 Steps, I never had a sponsor, and I don't believe in the Big Book or Bill Wilson or Buchmanism, and I don't go to A.A. meetings.

The reason why I am so opposed to A.A. and its so-called "program" is because of the people whom I have seen die, and the others whom I have seen hurt by quackery and fraud. A.A. doesn't help people; it gives them misinformation and makes them more likely to die.

There is no "baby" to throw out with the bath water. A.A. does not work. A.A. does not keep a single one of its promises. A.A. is a fraud.

  1. A.A. does not increase the amount of sobriety in this world.

  2. A.A. does not sober up alcoholics.

  3. A.A. does not save alcoholics' lives. In fact, A.A. increases the death rate in alcoholics.

  4. A.A. does not make people spiritual or holy.

  5. A.A. does not offer a safe and sane environment where people can recover. In fact, it's a dangerous place where women get sexually exploited.

  6. A.A. does not offer unconditional love and understanding to the newcomers.

  7. A.A. does not have a sane and working technology for getting people sober.

  8. A.A. is not the best way, or the only way, to get sober. Far more successful people quit drinking without A.A. than with it.

  9. A.A. members are not the experts on addiction.

  10. A.A. sponsors are not wise trusted servants who live exemplary lives of sobriety and morality.

  11. A.A. is not honest. The talk about "rigorous honesty" is hypocritical. A.A. won't even tell the truth about the A.A. sobriety rate. And A.A. was not a great success in the beginning, either. The "Golden Age of A.A." is a myth, just another fairy tale.

  12. A.A. does not reduce anger or resentments.

  13. A.A. does not offer a new morality. Lying to sick people about what will cure them, and how well a suggested cure works, is immoral and heartless.

  14. A.A. has not saved millions, or helped millions, or sobered up millions. All that A.A. really has is "churn" — hundreds of thousands of people are shoved into A.A., and then hundreds of thousands of people reject A.A. and leave. See the following for proof:

Alcoholics Anonymous is just another religious cult that pushes a quack cure that some nutcase invented a long time ago. Just like so many other cults and radical religions and radical political parties, A.A. teaches that if you conform and obey the rules and obey the leaders, you will be happy, and you will be successful in life, and you will get a guaranteed ticket to Heaven.

But that just isn't true. The meaning of life is not to follow the leader.

Speaking of the promises that A.A. makes, here is Bill Wilson's list of promises:

        If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
        Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.
The Big Book, 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, pages 83-84.

Not a single one of those promises is true. It's a shame that that stuff doesn't really work. We could be cranking out saints on an assembly-line basis if it did.

Notice that The Promises actually say that you are a real spiritual slob. You are not happy or serene or grateful. You are selfish and you regret the past. You are not free. You don't see. You are self-seeking. You are afraid. You feel self-pity. You feel useless. You don't know how to handle situations, and you can't do things for yourself. Geez. You are a real loser.

And if The Promises don't materialize in your life, it's because you are a defective loser who didn't work The Program right, and you weren't "painstaking about this phase of our development." The Program is perfect; you are a loser. Yes, it's a cult.

Another critic noted that "The Promises" were written in the future tense, not the present, and asked "Why?"

A possible answer that he suggested is that the early AA members were themselves still waiting for the great results of doing the Twelve Steps when they published the Big Book. Bill Wilson and his colleagues were trying to reassure themselves that the Promised Land lay just around the corner...

Lastly, you asked why I was focused on A.A. and recovery, and not writing about other things like "world hunger, genocide, pollution, overpopulation, terrorism, etc.". I got focused on A.A. and alcoholism treatment by a sequence of events and experiences in my life, like by seeing how A.A. was being used as a quack cure for alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction, and seeing how that was harming more people than it helped. You can read the story here: A biography written for SOS.

I can't be an expert on all subjects all of the time, so I will leave those other issues to other people. Besides, when people ask me to give my attention to other subjects, what they often really mean is, "Why don't you stop writing inconvenient truths about Alcoholics Anonymous and go do something else?" No, I think I'll stick to this subject until the job is done.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     Democracy, which has grown up in the last three hundred years,
**     represents, with its emphasis upon individual responsibility
**     and individual actions, the most difficult societal system,
**     requiring a definite human maturity.
**         Totalitarianism and especially fascism can in many ways
**     be regarded as an escape from this difficulty into the
**     irresponsibility of following a leader who deprives the
**     people of their liberty and their maturity but promises them
**     'security' and 'economic progress'.
**        == walter_map,  May 14th, 2007
**        Published on Monday, May 14, 2007 by CommonDreams.org
**
**     And the same is true of authoritarian religions that reduce people
**     to children who are supposed to just obey and conform and do what
**     they are told and not think too much.





September 11, 2013, Wednesday, Fernhill Wetlands:

Pelicans
The Pelicans are back.

Gus the Greylag Goose
Gus the Greylag Goose

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

Gus the Greylag Goose
Gus the Greylag Goose

[More gosling photos below, here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters372.html#Georgie_T ]

Date: Sun, October 20, 2013 11:37 am     (answered 22 October 2013)
From: "Georgie_T"
Subject: while perusing the orange papers...........

I found your very interesting and informative website several years ago. I had once again become addicted to alcohol and had been toying with going back to a 12 step program. I had never been one of the enthusiastic kool-aid drinkers, choosing to take what you want, leave the rest. Initially found it to be a helpful time filler and could always keep sober in between meetings. After a while, came to really resent some of the horrible advice given under the guise of "sharing our experience, strength, and hope." Anyway, thanks for the info. I am wondering if you have any information about NA? This was the group I had gone to off and on for a year +. I did find some things helpful, but for the most part have found my support through family, church, and friends. You know what the biggest gripe I had was? I started noticing the parroting of information, just vomiting up the same stuff week after week. People would bitch about how rotten their week was, how they cussed everyone out and treated people like shit. "But thank God for the NA program. I now have some serenity". All the while I would think to myself, "Holy crap, there's not a one in here who seems to have any serenity, peace of mind. Most of them are so f'ed up, I don't want a single thing they have." And even if they have "clean time" (God forbid you slip and say sober; they crucify you for that), most of them don't have anything I want. So, to sum it up, Orange, thanks for the over abundance of AA material you have collected to expose it for what it is; a dangerous organization best left for the Jim Jones wannabe's. Once again I would ask if you have any similar information about NA and the so-called success rates of that, or is it about the same as AA? Cheers. A grateful "former" alcoholic (well, mainly because I don't drink anymore)

Hello Georgie,

Thank you for the letter and all of the compliments.

In the beginning, when I first got clean and sober, I went to both A.A. and N.A. meetings, and the differences between them were hardly worth mentioning. About the only differences that I saw were:

  1. Like you said, N.A. talks about "clean time", while A.A. talks about "sober time".

  2. The 1st Step of N.A. says that we are powerless over "our addiction", rather than "alcohol".

  3. But at the same time, the standard rap that is recited at the start of every N.A. meeting declares that alcohol is also a drug.

  4. In N.A., you can talk about both drugs and alcohol, while in A.A. you are supposed to only talk about alcohol.

  5. N.A. meetings do not worship Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob the way that A.A. does. The founders of N.A. are hardly ever mentioned.

  6. N.A. considers itself more cool than A.A.

Otherwise, they are pretty much the same thing. The book of N.A., "How It Works", is just a clone of the A.A. "Big Book". You can put the two books on the table side by side, and go through them page by page, and they say the same things in the same chapters. The N.A. book just changes the words "alcohol" and "alcoholism" to "drugs" and "our addiction". Otherwise, it's all the same goofy dogma based on Dr. Frank Buchman's cult religion in the nineteen-thirties.

The recovery rates seem to be about the same. In other words, both organizations merely take credit for the cases of spontaneous remission that are happening anyway, and don't really cause anyone to get clean and sober. The people who are success stories are the ones who decided to save their own lives, and who then do it.

I don't have a lot of controlled studies that tested the recovery rates in N.A. groups and rehab programs, but I do have one. One controlled study tested whether getting an N.A. sponsor caused any improvement in the success rate. The answer was "no". The test is described here:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-effectiveness.html#sponsorship

Getting support from family, church, and friends sounds good. If you want a group for some companionship and moral support, may I suggest SMART and SOS? Here is the list of non-cult support groups and methods: http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-alt_list.html

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     It is better to be alone than in bad company.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters372.html#Kurt ]

Date: Sun, October 20, 2013 12:39 am     (answered 21 October 2013)
From: kurt
Subject: Wish List — mein kampf

Hi Terrance,

I was curious so I searched on google for this. Here is a link

http://www.radioislam.org/historia/hitler/mkampf/pdf/ger.pdf

Kurt

Ok wow, thank you Kurt. I searched and searched with Google too, and never got the first volume.

This came up because someone accused me of misquoting Adolf Hitler, saying, "He never said that." Well, actually, because I was quoting him in English, of course he never said that. The problem was just that I was quoting one translation, and the other guy was quoting a different translation, which had different wording for saying much the same thing.

The answer to such problems is to go to the original German, and quote that.

So thanks for this link. Now I have more homework.

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-letters372.html#Jim_B ]

Date: Mon, October 21, 2013 5:55 am (answered 21 October 2013)
From: "Jim B."
Subject: Registration

Please approve my registration. My user name is jimbattle. Thank you. I have also attached a pamphlet I wrote titled BEWARE OF DRUG COURT! Is there any way that I can get this posted on the forum? I am handing them out in front of the Drug Court in Phoenix AZ. I sent one to West Huddleston, CEO of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (at his request) and he replied stating that he was "personally and professionally a great supporter of AA and NA" and that he found my pamphlet "offensive, inaccurate, and divisive. I can forward you a copy to post on the forum if you would like.

I am also wondering if there is any way that forum members can come together to take protest these courts somehow and force them to get rid of the recovery/treatment religion or offer all religions to participants, including atheism. I am a Christian but I am against the courts endorsing the religion of their choice. I am willing to work with atheist and people of other religions to stop this injustice and violation of the constitution. We have enough research evidence and witnesses to win against drug courts. Please let me know if and how you think this might be done. I'm thinking that we should schedule a meeting of like-minded people.

Jim B.

Hello Jim,

You are approved and authorized in the forum.
You shouldn't have any problem posting the pamphlet.
I'll check it out a little later, and reply at length later.
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.


22 October 2013

Okay Jim,

Now I can type a little more.

I am not at all surprised at the response you got from the CEO of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. He said that he found the pamphlet "offensive, inaccurate, and divisive"? That is the propaganda and debating trick called The Prima Donna Ploy: "I'm so offended."

  • Of course he is "offended". You are saying that he is doing a bad job of it. He sure doesn't want to hear that.

  • Inaccurate? That is just a slur. What facts are wrong?

  • Divisive? As if we are all supposed to agree that a heretical old cult religion from the nineteen-thirties is the best cure for alcohol addiction? That is pure A.A. dogma:

    A.A. Tradition 1: Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.

    Apparently, "A.A. unity" means that you cannot disagree with their misinformation.

That CEO of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals has a vested interest in keeping things as they are. He makes a living off of the system as it is. He might be out of a job if things are improved.

**   "It is difficult to get a man to understand something
**   when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
**     ==  Upton Sinclair

That is one of the big problems with the whole rehab and drug court system. The powers that be do not necessarily want what is best, and they don't want to improve the system. They want to keep their positions and their power and money. They will not voluntarily give up all of that. It takes court cases and lawsuits and superior judges' orders to force them to change their ways.

Please do send me a copy of your pamphlet. And you will find many kindred spirits on the forum.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "If you think you are too small to be effective,
**      you have never been in bed with a mosquito."

[The next letter from Jim_B, including the pamphlet, is here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters372.html#Taylor_W ]

Date: Sun, October 20, 2013 9:06 am (answered 22 October 2013)
From: "Taylor W."
Subject: Hello Orange

Orangester,

Just writing my yearly letter to congratulate you on 13 years of not only alcohol, but also tobacco. Way to go dude. One day after your "AA Birthday" (PUKE) is my own, 3 years for me.

In those three years, I've put on the bodyweight I wanted and gotten back in shape. I found gainful employment, and inside this period of time have doubled my hourly wages.

I do not say this to brag, at all. I do not have much money, I live a fairly Spartan life compared to lots of folks. But I've accomplished a lot in 3 years sober, and I'm very proud of the improvements I've made.

"Recovering" (I say becoming an ex-addict) has to be about more than just not drinking, just not doing drugs. Stopping the destructive behavior is very good, it is a massive step, unquestionably. But it's a very reactionary sort of response. If one isn't endeavoring to improve their life, to do good things, instead of just not doing bad things, what's the fucking point?

I wish you and your others readers the very best in continued abstinainence (or moderate drinking, as it is for some of your audience). I hope you're able to continue to scrape together the energy to keep answering the letters and keep putting the message out there. What you do is so important, and I hope the letters from folks like me, or those with truly awful AA stories who where enlightened by the Orange Papers are enough to keep your aware of this.

Rock on Big T,

Taylor

Hello Taylor,

Thank you for the letter and all of the compliments. And congratulations on your own recovery. Life is just so much better when you aren't sick and dying, isn't it?

You are quite right that there is more to life, and there needs to be more to life, than just not killing yourself.

Thanks for the encouragement to keep on doing the Orange Papers. It's good to hear now and then that it might help somebody.

So have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Found in a fortune cookie: "Among the lucky, you are the chosen one".
**     I got this the day I left drug rehab, knowing most of those I was
**     in the hospital with would relapse shortly.
**        == 15 yrs Sober, Brooklyn NY. ==
**           Written in a blog, January 16th, 2008 4:26 pm





September 11, 2013, Wednesday, Fernhill Wetlands:

Gus the Greylag Goose
Gus is checking out a loaf of bread. He is rather wary; he doesn't usually get bread like this. He likes it sliced, with a very soft crust.

Gus the Greylag Goose
He can't bite through hard-shelled bread.

Gus the Greylag Goose
Nope, he definitely does not like that hard crust. He is looking at me like, "What is this garbage you are feeding me? Don't you have any good bread?" He will wait until the water softens the crust of this loaf before he tries to bite through it.

Gus the Greylag Goose
Gus is working on it. The water is gradually softening the crust.

[The story of the goslings continues here.]





**     Dr. Wayne Dyer's instructions for how to become spiritual:
**     
**     You may believe that inspiration is something that arrives
**     in some mysterious way that's beyond your control,
**     but it's clearly best to rely exclusively on your decisions
**     to act in ways that will intensify your awareness of Spirit.
**       ==  Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Inspiration Perpetual Flip Calendar, October 22.
**
**     Notice how that contrasts with declaring yourself powerless,
**     and denouncing self-reliance, and expecting Higher Power to
**     take care of your will and your life for you, and
**     give you a spiritual experience.





BLOG NOTE: A PASSING THOUGHT: 2013.10.24:

The idea that "the market", or "the free market" will solve all of our problems and create the best possible world is sheer insanity. For example, the free market says that the best drugs to invest in are drugs that the patient will take for the rest of his life, like Viagra or Levitra or Cialis or Lipitor or Celebrex or Boneva. The worst investments are drugs that quickly cure the disease, because then the patient will stop taking the medicine, so there is no long-term profit. So modern profit-hungry pharmaceutical companies are not developing medicines like new antibiotics. In the near future, you will be able to die quickly from a new superbug germ that is resistant to all existing antibiotics, but at least you will have low blood pressure, low cholestrol, and a big hard-on as you die. That's the free market at work.





[The previous letter from Jim_B is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters372.html#Jim_B2 ]

Date: Tue, October 22, 2013 6:47 pm (answered 25 October 2013)
From: "Jim B."
Subject: Re: Registration

Orange,

I hope the pamphlet is attached this time. Thanks for the insight on the Drug Court CEO.

Jim B.

[Attachment:]
DRUG_COURT_PAMPHLET.docx

Hello Jim,

Thank you. Yes, this time it came through.

Well, you say a lot, and it's good stuff. So all that I can do is start at the top:

  1. Yes, Drug Courts push A.A., which has never been proven to work in valid clinical studies. Rather, it has been repeatedly disproven. A.A. is one of the worst ways to treat alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. (Click on that link.) The so-called "studies" that proponents of 12-Step treatment push are illogical messes of deception and propaganda tricks, like these examples:

  2. About the war stories: I am reminded of a war story that I heard during "group therapy" in my "treatment program" at PAAC (the Portland Alternative Addiction Center). A fellow went on a wild binge with some drinking buddies in Portland Oregon and wound up in Hawaii, in bed with an airline stewardess, with his pockets full of hundred dollar bills, and he had no idea what happened (and still doesn't know).

    When the "counselor" asked for my opinion of the story, I said, "I feel cheated. How come that never happened to me? Where is mine?"

    The counselor told me that wasn't the "right reaction", that I should have been frightened and horrified at what could have gone wrong. But the point is, I wasn't frightened. I was amused. That is the kind of adventure story that you will cherish in your old age. Such stories suggest an attitude of, "You only live once, so live life with all of the gusto that you can." That is just the opposite of a calm, sober, responsible lifestyle.

  3. I totally agree about A.A. and N.A. meetings making people want to drink and drug. I've experienced it myself, and many other people have told me that they felt the same thing too. I would be fine before I went into a meeting, but I came out wanting to get a big fifth and really tie one on, or get a big bag of dope and get really high. And it wasn't just the fun grandiose stories that induced the desire, either. Miserable stories of being down and out could induce the desires too. Sometimes I wondered if I soaked up other peoples' desires by osmosis. People in the meetings were just sweating cravings and desires, and I was inhaling it or something. Whatever it is, the effect is real.

  4. About Dr. Herbert Fingarette saying that the treatment programs steal the credit for spontaneous remission, I can only totally agree. They charge $30,000 to tell people that hocus-pocus cured them.

  5. Yes, there are many people who do not respond well to the 12-Step model — but who can and do succeed with other methods (and I am one of them). Only passive people who expect some external "higher power" to control them and cure them will find the 12-Step program appealing. And people who have strong religious feelings and are devoted to their own religions will be offended by the fake religiosity of A.A. "You can pray to a bedpan or a group of drunks or a parakeet." Really.

    By the way, need we even mention the fact that it is illegal and unConstitutional to shove a religious philosophy on prisoners?

    This line of yours should be chiseled into the front doors of drug courts: "So why do drug courts offer religions like AA and NA but will not offer Biblical Christianity?"

  6. About the 12 Steps "coming from the Bible", or being "based on the Bible", you are quite correct in pointing out that they are not. The 12 Steps are merely Dr. Frank Buchman's cult recruiting and indoctrination practices. They have nothing to do with the Bible, and are in fact, downright heretical and anti-Christian in many ways. I wrote much more about that in the file, The Heresy of the Twelve Steps.

    I have not read 12 Steps to Destruction, by Martin and Diedre Bobgan, but it sounds interesting. I'll have to see if the library system can find me a copy.

  7. Good luck in getting the drug courts to "redress the harm caused by A.A." They won't even admit that there is any harm. Most drug courts just cite false statistics and rave about how well their program works.

By the way, you mentioned wanting to post this pamphlet on the forum. You don't need to worry about getting it embedded there; it's in the Orange Papers now. You can refer to it with this URL:
http://www.orange-papers.info/DRUG_COURT_PAMPHLET.docx

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     One of the interesting things about politics is that you don't have to
**     prove your theories.  In politics, you can mouth off with lots of long-
**     winded opinions about economics or social order, and proclaim that the
**     world will be much better off if everybody does such and such...
**     But you don't have to come up with any real evidence to prove your point.
**     You can even ignore history where things didn't turn out very well.
**     Thus the Right-wing Fundamentalists can declare that everything will be
**     wonderful if we just post the 10 Commandments in all of the schools ...
**     (ignoring the fact that Moses, who wrote those commandments, was a racist
**     mass murderer and war criminal who delighted in robbing, raping, enslaving,
**     and killing everybody who wasn't Jewish). If we just force a bigoted
**     religion on everybody else, we can return to the glorious days of The Dark Ages.





September 11, 2013, Wednesday, Fernhill Wetlands:

Mongrel Ducks
The resident mongrel ducks, coming to get some munchies.

Mongrel Ducks

Mongrel Ducks
Blackie, running to get his share of the goodies.

Mongrel Ducks
Ah yes, life in the green muck is wonderful (if you are a duck).

[The story of the goslings continues here.]





BLOG NOTE: A PASSING THOUGHT: 2013.10.25:

The age of full employment is over. The time when anyone who was willing to work hard could graduate from high school and then get a job in the local factory and keep that job for 47 years and have a successful career and then retire at age 65 with a comfortable pension is long gone. That idyllic time was merely a short-lived happy phase at the peak of the industrial age, which coincided with the peak of the age of cheap and plentiful oil. Between unpaid robots working 24 hours a day in automated factories, and hundreds of millions of Chinese wage-slaves working ultra-cheap and cranking out products by the billions, many Americans just cannot get a good job in the town factory any more, and they will not find such a job. The jobs just aren't there to be had, and often, the factory is not there any more.

So, is there an answer? Yes. Simple. Make the jobs. Our government must make jobs, because private enterprise isn't doing it, and won't do it. Our ugly rundown cities need to be rebuilt and beautified, and our bridges deperately need fixing before they fall down, and our highways are cracked and full of potholes, millions of families need better houses built for them, our whole darned country needs fixing and improving and modernization, while millions of able-bodied men and women sit around depressed because they cannot get a job. There is plenty of work for them to do. It's just the "job" system that is broken.

If we just wait for "free enterprise", or "the free market" to fix our country — in other words, for some businessmen to do something that they believe will make a big profit for them — then we will wait forever.

There are no guaranteed mountains of profits to be earned by fixing sewers or refurbishing old buildings or fixing the streets, highways, and bridges, or upgrading the electrical system. Not like the profits that come from creating a new iPad or iPhone. The creative and ambitious people are not casting greedy gazes on blighted neighborhoods and bankrupt cities and contemplating a great career fixing what is broken.

Our future isn't about profits, fixing America isn't about profits, it's about quality of life, or whether our futures will be just Hell on Earth. Yes, we will benefit from fixing what is broken, but an investor may not profit from it enough to move him to action.

In the mean time, while we wait for government to get its act together (fat chance, right?), perhaps we can invent our own jobs to improve the world. They probably won't pay anything, but volunteerism beats just sitting around depressed and doing nothing. There is much to do.

Still, volunteering will not pay the rent. We cannot just expect many generous people to make great sacrifices to fix the problems of our society for free. They need to be able to pay their bills, they need a paycheck, so we need to get government back to taking care of the real problems of our society.

HINT: We are in far more danger from urban blight than we are in danger from terrorists. Terrorists strike once every 10 years; urban blight strikes every day.





NEWS: 2013.10.26:

The Orange Papers has recieved its first threat of a lawsuit. A convicted murderer who skipped out on parole and who was a fugitive from justice for 32 years, living under an alias and running a "treatment center" during that time, doesn't like people reporting his story, and he is threatening a lawsuit for the Orange Papers forum reporting his story.

J.R. Harris posted the news story in the forum, here:

And I recently received this letter:

Zucker Letter page 1


Zucker Letter page 2

(Click on images for larger versions.)

And I responded:

30 October 2013

Dear Mr. Blaylock,

I see that you are complaining about someone telling the truth about a criminal who was convicted of first-degree murder and who was a fugitive from justice for 32 years, at:

The story that you are complaining about is a condensation and reprint of multiple news stories that were published on other web sites on the Internet.

You claim that I did not check the facts. Wrong. At the top, the post cites the LA Weekly article about Mr. Bradford. And if you had bothered to carefully read the article to the bottom, you would have seen that THE INQUISITR and CBS local affiliate TV news were also cited as sources. The INQUISITR article in turn cites the Huffington Post, CBS TV news, and the LAWeekly. I looked them up to see what they said, and they all confirmed the facts. So yes, I did check the facts in the story. See:

You complained that I did not get favorable opinions from wife, neighbors, church members, treated addicts, or friends. Those people and their opinions are quite irrelevant. The only opinions that matter are the opinions of the judge and jury who convicted Mr. Bradford of first-degree murder and first-degree attempted robbery, and who sentenced Mr. Bradford to life in prison. The statements of the police who recaptured him are also relevant when they describe how he evaded justice for so many years by using an alias and hiding behind a trust and a treatment center.

I see from the other cited articles that Mr. Bradford's wife was also arrested with Mr. Bradford for being a felon in possession of pepper spray, and that she claimed that the charges against Mr. Bradford were fictitious. So what is her opinion worth?

Convicted murderers do not get to dictate how the press will report their crimes. Not in the United States of America, that is.

You complained that Mr. Bradford and his family have suffered from negative publicity. How about the suffering of the employee of the mini market in San Jose whom Mr. Bradford murdered, and the suffering of the murder victim's family?

You claimed that Mr. Bradford's treatment center has "helped" many people, but you provided no evidence of the actual cure rate that results from the "treatment" that was sold by Mr. Bradford's treatment center. Specifically, what percentage of the people who paid the money and started the treatment ended up getting a year of clean and sober living following treatment? What percentage of the clients enjoyed 5 years or 10 years of clean and sober living following treatment? When people relapse within months of getting the treatment, you cannot claim that the treatment center really helped people. It merely took their money while giving them ineffective treatment.

If Mr. Bradford did not conduct a valid randomized longitudinal controlled study to determine what improvement was caused by the treatment, then you have no grounds for claiming that the treatment center helped people. The fact that a few people may have gotten sober before or during "treatment" does not show that the treatment works. Rather, it shows that some people get sick and tired of being so sick and tired, and change their lifestyles for the better, and choose to be healthier. That is normal spontaneous remission and it happens in both treated and untreated populations of alcoholics and addicts. That has been verified by both the Harvard Medical School and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health. Look here:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-effectiveness.html#Harvard_Mental

The 12-Step treatment has repeatedly been shown to be completely ineffective when tested by doctors. You can read about the tests and the work of many doctors here:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-effectiveness.html#Brandsma

The whole point of the story, and indeed of the Orange Papers forum threads about treatment centers, is that any incompetent fool or criminal can set up a so-called "drug and alcohol treatment center" and sell an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties — the "12-Step treatment" — as a "treatment for alcoholism and addictions", and make a lot of money selling quackery, while claiming to be "helping people". What evidence do you have that Mr. Bradford did anything better than that?

I agree that the word "escaped" in the headline is not the most accurate word to describe Mr. Bradford's actions. Since he was not in captivity at the time that he chose to become a fugitive from justice, it is better to say that he "skipped out on parole", rather than "escaped", even though he did escape from justice and the justice system. I shall change the word "escaped" to "skipped out on parole" in the headline and the introduction, which is the same wording that the local CBS TV news web site used in their description of Mr. Bradford's actions. See:
http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/03/13/police-nab-convicted-murderer-who-skipped-parole-34-years-ago/

You will notice that the body of the story already uses the language "In 1980, he missed an appointment with his parole officer and has been a fugitive for the last 32 years." That conveys the right impression.

Your unreasonable demands for censoring of true information and threats of legal action amount to harrassment. Should you persist in harrassing me, you and your client will be subject legal action yourself. It is a federal felony to conspire to deprive someone of his civil rights, specifically freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Since I am an elderly disabled veteran, and your client is a convicted murderer who was a fugitive from justice for many years and who is now objecting to truthful reporting of the facts of the matter, neither the judge nor the jury will be sympathetic to your client in a lawsuit.

Have a good day,
Terrance Hodgins
Author of the Orange Papers and host of the Orange Papers Forum

CC: Pasadena California Police Department
Forest Grove Oregon Police Department
American Civil Liberties Union, Portland, Oregon
[email protected]
www.huffingtonpost.com
www.inquisitr.com
losangeles.cbslocal.com
www.mercurynews.com





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters372.html#Pennywise ]

Date: Mon, October 28, 2013 8:06 pm (answered 29 October 2013)
From: Pennywise
Subject: [www.orange-papers.info] Re: lawsuit threat

Hello Orange,

Hi Terry,

I am not a California attorney, and this is in no way intended as legal advice or to substitute for the advice of licensed counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. That said, hypothetically speaking, if someone sued me in CA for the article published in the Orange Papers, I would hit him with an anti-SLAPP motion faster than Bill Wilson on a nubile newcomer:

http://www.casp.net/california-anti-slapp-first-amendment-law-resources/statutes/

"The California anti-SLAPP law was enacted by the state Legislature almost twenty years ago to protect the petition and free speech rights of all Californians. Amendments have been made since that time to improve the law and provide stronger protection from meritless lawsuits to anyone who is SLAPPed in California.

Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16

California's anti-SLAPP statute provides for a special motion to strike a complaint where the complaint arises from activity exercising the rights of petition and free speech. The statute was first enacted in 1992.

Code of Civil Procedure section 425.17

This statute was enacted to correct abuse of the anti-SLAPP statute (CCP ยง 425.16). It prohibits anti-SLAPP motions in response to (1) public interest litigation when certain conditions are met, and (2) certain actions against a business that arise from commercial statements or conduct of the business.

Code of Civil Procedure section 425.18

This statute was enacted primarily to facilitate the recovery by SLAPP victims of their damages through a SLAPPback (malicious prosecution action) against the SLAPP filers and their attorneys after the underlying SLAPP has been dismissed. It provides that the prevailing defendant attorney fee and immediate appeal provisions of the anti-SLAPP law do not apply to SLAPPbacks, and that an anti-SLAPP motion may not be filed against a SLAPPback by a party whose filing or maintenance of the prior cause of action from which the SLAPPback arises was illegal as a matter of law.

Code of Civil Procedure sections 1987.1 and 1987.2

These statutes set forth a procedure for challenging subpoenas. The 2008 amendment to section 1987.1 allows any person to challenge subpoenas for "personally identifying information" sought in connection with an underlying lawsuit involving that person's exercise of free speech rights. This amendment also added section 1987.2(b), which provides that such a person who successfully challenges such a subpoena arising from a lawsuit filed in another state based on exercise of free speech rights on the Internet is entitled to recover his or her attorney fees.

Civil Code section 47

Defines privileged publication or broadcast and immunizes participants in official proceedings or litigation against all tort actions except malicious prosecution. This statute figures prominently in many cases. Check back soon for links to some cases arising from this law."

Hello Pennywise,

Thank you very much for the tip. That's just the kind of hints that I can use.

I know that this case is ridiculous. For a convicted murderer to cry that his feelings were hurt by someone reporting his recapture is downright absurd. I can only imagine the look on the judge's face were such a case to ever come to trial.

While we are at it, I was looking for the "mafia lawyer" case in New York (with Google), but couldn't find it. That case established that when a lawyer participates in the planning and commission of a crime, that he looses his standing as an officer of the court, and looses his immunity, and becomes merely another participant in the crime. The DOJ got that ruling while battling organized crime in New York. Do you have any idea what case that was? I think the case was something between 10 and 20 years ago.

Thanks again for the tip, and 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 next letter from Pennywise is here.]





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Last updated 12 November 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters372.html