Letters, We Get Mail, CCCLXXIV



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters374.html#William_D ]

Date: Mon, October 28, 2013 5:30 pm     (answered 12 November 2013)
From: "William D."
Subject: Your Interesting Page

Hi Orange,

I had a couple questions concerning your preferred program of recovery. Is that the only one that works because it works for you? Based on what I have read on your page, you will most likely be quick to deem me a `Stepper` (much, might I add, like McCarthy did with supposed communists), but I feel the question begs to be asked: what brings about your strong feelings of disdain for AA and step programs? Programs, that when worked properly, bring people into lives they may never have found had they not found a God? I understand your program to be one of willpower, but does it also teach to denounce other methods as wrong? Is anonymity an important issue, as I notice the handle `Orange` used in reply to letters as opposed to a name? I would love to keep the lines of communication open between us so that I may better understand. Thanks. Also, the definition of a cult on dictionary.comdoes not sound like the cults we think of today. However, I suppose that if you're against religion in any sense, organized or not, it would seem like a bad thing.

Hello William,

The answer to your question is very simple: I am strongly opposed to the 12-Step treatment of alcohol abuse and addictions because it does not work, and they lie about that fact. The failure rate of 12-Step treatment is well-known, and well-documented, and yet, they still begin every meeting by lying to the newcomers:

RARELY have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.

By the way, that line uses the propaganda technique of lying with qualifiers: "has thoroughly followed our path."
If he doesn't get sober, then he didn't "thoroughly" follow our path.
If he did get sober, then he did thoroughly follow our path.
Nonsense.

Likewise, you used the same qualifier in your letter:

Programs, that when worked properly, bring people into lives they may never have found had they not found a God?

When worked properly? Please define "worked properly".

You are also assuming that people find God through A.A., which is also a groundless assumption. There is as much reason to believe that they find Santa Claus or Satan as their helper. Pray, "Oh Higher Power, please gimme, gimme, gimme!"

About:

I understand your program to be one of willpower, but does it also teach to denounce other methods as wrong?

There really isn't any "my program". I do not push any particular program, although I do recommend programs that teach self-control and rational thinking, like SMART, SOS, WFS, and Lifering. My personal way of staying sober is to just not ever put another drink in my mouth. (Or another cigarette. Or another hit of dope.)

Just don't take that first drink, not ever, no matter what.

That is the answer to all questions about drinking, or "just having one".

And yes, sometimes that does involve willpower, but more often it requires clear, realistic thinking, like, "Once you open that door, all Hell will break loose."

I wrote more about "my methods", or my personal way, here: How did you get to where you are?

I denounce those methods that are proven failures. Especially when they lie to sick people about how well their suggested cure works. That is really heartless treatment of sick people.

Anonymity used to be an issue, but it isn't any more. My birth name is Terrance Hodgins, and I live in rural Oregon, west of Portland. I continue to use the "Orange" pen name because I have used it for so many years that many people don't know me by any other name.

If you want to understand the definition of a cult, we can do far better than the short dictionary definition. Please read the Cult Test, both the questions and the answers:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-cult.html

But even the dictionary definitions of "cult" are applicable:

Cult (Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Second Edition, 1993.)
n.
  • 1. a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
  • 2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
  • 3. the object of such devotion.
  • 4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
  • 5. Sociol. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.
  • 6. a religion or sect considered considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.
  • 7. the members of such a religion or sect.
  • 8. any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.

A.A. especially qualifies with definition 8, where A.A. claims to be the only way to treat alcoholism, and Bill Wilson just somehow magically came up with all the answers that had eluded everybody from Jesus Christ to contemporary doctors.

Cult (Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, 1993.)
n
  • 1: religious practice: WORSHIP
  • 2: a system of beliefs and ritual connected with the worship of a deity, a spirit, or a group of deities or spirits
    <the ~ of Apollo>
    <the earth ~>
  • 3:
    • a: the rites, ceremonies, and practices of a religion : the formal aspect of religious experience
      <dissent occurs in all three fields of expression of religious experience, in doctrine, in ~, and organization — Joachim Wach>
    • b: Roman Catholicism: reverence and ceremonial veneration paid to God or to the Virgin Mary or to saints or to objects that symbolize or otherwise represent them (as the crucifix or a statue) — called also cultus; compare DULIA, HYPERDULIA, LATRIA
  • 4: a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious
    <an exuberant growth of fantastic ~s>;
    also: a minority religious group holding beliefs regarded as unorthodox or spurious : SECT
    <provided a haven for persecuted ~s>
  • 5: a system for the cure of disease based on the dogma, tenets, or principles set forth by its promulgator to the exclusion of scientific experience or demonstration
  • 6:
    • a: a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea, or thing
      <the ~ of success>; esp: such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad or fetish
      <the ~ of art-for-art's sake>
    • b: the object of such devotion
      <square dancing has developed into something of a ~ --R.L.Taylor>
    • c:
      • (1): a body of persons characterized by such devotion
        <America's growing ~ of home fixer uppers — Wall Street Jour.>
      • (2): a usu. small or narrow circle of persons united by devotion or allegiance to some artistic or intellectual program, tendency, or figure (as one of limited popular appeal)
        <the exclusive ~ of those that profess to admire his esoteric verse>

Again, A.A. matches several of those descriptions, and especially matches definition 5.

Yes, I'll be happy to have lines of communication open. We can talk again.

Have a good day now. == Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Wonderful little our fathers knew,
**     Half their remedies cured you dead —
**     Most of their teaching was quite untrue.
**       ==  Rudyard Kipling, Our Fathers of Old, Stanza 3





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters374.html#James_L ]

Date: Tue, October 29, 2013 4:39 pm     (answered 12 November 2013)
From: "James L."
Subject: you should definitely link to this news program

http://www.theonion.com/video/aa-destroying-the-social-lives-of-thousands-of-onc,18349/

Hello James,

Thanks for the laugh. I like humor. Lord knows, we get so many grim unhappy tales of suffering and death, we need a laugh now and then.

So have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "If we couldn't laugh, we'd all go insane."
**       ==  Jimmy Buffet





[The previous letter from Pennywise is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters374.html#Pennywise ]

Date: Tue, October 29, 2013 5:04 pm     (answered 12 November 2013)
From: "Penny Wise"
Subject: Re: [www.orange-papers.info] Re: lawsuit threat

Hi Orange,

I am not aware of that case. On any account, I am not aware of any criminal statues that this attorney may have violated. So far, all he has done is threaten to invoke lawful process, and he has not asked for any settlement money.

Hello again, Pennywise,

I haven't been able to find that case either. It was just a passing thought about a lawyer being a co-conspirator in conspiring to deprive someone of his Constitutional rights. That would be a long-shot, and would probably have to go to the Supreme Court. But no matter. The anti-SLAPP thing is much better.

That said, it appears he is threatening to file what is known as a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP). A SLAPP suit is basically a meritless lawsuit designed to deter people from exercising their First Amendment right to free speech. Fortunately, many states (such as Oregon and California) have enacted laws to quickly dispose of these types of actions. Specifically, in those jurisdictions, once the lawsuit is filed, a defendant can file a special motion to strike pursuant to that state's anti-SLAPP statute. In CA, for example, the defendant would first have the burden of showing that the lawsuit was brought as a result of his engaging in constitutionally protected speech. Then, the burden would shift to the plaintiff to show that he has a reasonable probability of prevailing in the case. If the plaintiff fails to show a reasonable probability of success, the motion to strike will be granted, and the defendant can recoup costs and attorney's fees.

Here, I think it would be hard for the plaintiff to demonstrate a probability of success because 1) you did not publish any defamatory statements, and 2) even if the statements were defamatory, you have immunity under Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act (47 USC § 230)
http://www.casp.net/california-anti-slapp-first-amendment-law-resources/communications-decency-act/,
which states, "[n]o provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." In other words, the article J.R. posted was true, and even if it weren't, you could not be held liable because you didn't write it yourself — you simply provided the internet forum.

Yes, very good point. I hadn't even gotten around to harping on the fact that I did not actually write or post the article. But I also believe in protecting my posters, so I'll fight it.

At this point, I imagine the court would grant your motion to strike. Then, at least in CA, you would file a SLAPPback motion, which would require the court to award you costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

Ah yes. It would be too bad if I won, and didn't have a lot of lawyer's fees to collect on. But don't you charge a million dollars an hour for consultations? :-)

Anyway, as I said, I am not a licensed attorney in California or Oregon, and this is meant only as a friendly overview. Please contact a lawyer in your jurisdiction if you are served process. Also, you might find this page very insightful:
http://www.casp.net/sued-for-freedom-of-speech-california/slapp-being-sued-for-first-amendment-online/

Love your work,

Penny

Thanks for all of that, Penny.

You have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly,
**     while bad people will find a way around the laws.
**        —  Plato  (427—347 BC)





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters374.html#John_S ]

Date: Wed, October 30, 2013 3:44 am     (answered 12 November 2013)
From: "john s."
Subject: Thanks

Even though I think I will be the only person I know (at my job) who was ever "sentenced" to AA. Your papers speak the truth. I lost my job, believing the dogma... I was powerless, according to Kaiser (AA). Such BS. I wish Kaiser, and my union, would have actually spent MY MONEY on a scientific (medical), research based "program". Fuck Kaiser, fuck my union, and fuck AA. Thanks Orange. I get it now. Sorry to be like that but... I had to. You and all your peeps know the AA thumps will never get it.

Hello John,

Thanks for the letter. Sorry to hear about your troubles. Yes, the way that so many people are forced into programs of quack medicine is a national tragedy. Good luck in your future.

And have a good day now (I hope).

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     When you kill from a distance, Is anybody to blame?
**     And the armies of war will never be the same.
**     After the Dolphin.
**     == Crosby, Stills, & Nash, After the Dolphin
**
**     If a corporation pushes quack medicine on sick people, is anybody to blame?





September 21, 2013, Saturday, my back yard in Forest Grove:

Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow, curious

Sparrows
Two Savannah Sparrows

[More bird photos below, here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters374.html#Mike_B ]

Date: Mon, October 28, 2013 11:44 am     (answered 11 November 2013)
From: "Mike B."
Subject: 12 Steps to Destruction e-book

Hi there,

I have been reading many of your recent letters. I find them informative and beneficial. A recent one mentioned "12 Steps to Destruction: Codependency Recovery Heresies" and you said you might try to find it at a library. It is available as a free e-book at the Bobgan's website:

http://www.psychoheresy-aware.org/mainpage.html

Just click on the link there for their free e-books and it will take you to the page where you can download it. I hope you have your own laptop and can get it without depending upon a library computer.

I read most of this e-book way back in the fall of 2006, right after I had to move out of my home and watch a thirty year marriage blow up in my face. I had been diagnosed as a sex addict though I never once cheated on my wife. So, wife and I were seeing a psychotherapist supposedly all up on how to "treat" a sex addict husband and his "codependent" wife. It's basically a canned program. These psychotherapists who sign onto "SASH", Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health" basically just follow the plan developed by Patrick Carnes (a true 12 stepper) and it's one size fits all.

Lord help you if you are not receptive to attending a 12 step group like SA or SAA. Not being a total idiot, I started investigating everything with a rather critical eye and this was one source of information which flew in the face of the nonsense being pushed on me by this SASH psychotherapist. Just based upon reading this e-book, I was astonished that this supposed "Christian Psychotherapist" could push a 12 step program on anyone. It gave me a completely cynical view toward about 90% of the entire mental health community, for sure any member dealing with supposed addictions.

Patrick Carnes is one of the master snake oil salesmen. The entire concept of sex addiction is flawed. If you follow the money, it's really all about how to get wealthy off gullible people who will believe the nonsense and must turn to Carnes and his minions to obtain "treatment" and put their addiction on hold, this having to be done through a 12 step process. Codependency is a flawed construct as well. What it provides is an excuse for the therapist to "treat" two people instead of just one and the dollars flow in. They misappropriate counseling away from clergy and take it upon themselves. But, they can't call viewing porn as sin, it has to be an addiction and the person has a chronic disease.

Regarding codependency, that same fall of 2006 there was a Dr. Westermeyer who used to have his own website, but which has since folded. Part of an article he wrote is still available at http://www.addictioninfo.org but it is incomplete. Now, this is a psychologist with a PhD. finally showing some sanity instead of adopting the position of the majority treating addictions. I saved the entire article and have attached it for your perusal. From a Christian point of view as well, the Bible never condemns self-sacrifice. But the people who push the condependency nonsense sure do. It's an opportunity to throw the switch and devote oneself to the focus of self and with the approval of all the misguided therapists.

After doing loads and loads of my own research, I wasn't buying any of the 12 step nonsense. I found your website way back then too! So, my balking at submitting to the 12 step nonsense made me appear to be totally rebellious and wife opted to file for divorce by March of 2007. We had a total of three joint sessions with the idiot therapist. I had been required to move out at the end of October of 2006 and we were to have no contact with each other. I thought at the time this was the most asinine therapeutic regimen I had ever heard of and still do seven years later. Funny how so many therapists assume there is a "one size fits all" therapeutic program.

Well, I am doing ok. My kids and my grandkids love me. I continue working and making my own way, sharing a house with another single guy. I just wish there was a way that these misguided psychotherapists would get stopped from pushing the same old garbage onto people and calling it "treatment".

I hope the link and the article provide even more insight for you into the contrived diagnosis of "codependency". I found many, many articles and a book which question the entire notion of sex addiction. Here is just one example:

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/21646830/

and another:

http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/San-Diego-Magazine/March-2010/Sex-Addiction-Not-So-Fast/

I have a number of different links to articles all disputing the idea of sex addiction but they are in my home computer. There is certainly NO NEED for a 12 step program for a nonexistent addiction.

Your work is brilliant. I just wish you received more credit than you receive. Obviously, your research and writings don't sit well with a great majority of addictions counselors. It can take a long time for a paradigm to change, unfortunately.

One last set of links: this is for one of the best articles I have read which disputes the idea of alcoholism or addiction being a disease:

http://www.baldwinresearch.com/alcoholism.cfm

http://www.baldwinresearch.com/treatmentdoesnt2004.cfm

I hope you enjoy the reading.

My best regards,

Mike

PS. I can't help it. I thought of one more article you might enjoy. This is a critique of Celebrate Recovery, the "Christianized" but misguided adoption of doing twelve steps. Funny that God would wait 1900 years before providing a method for turning away from destructive drinking and in this tardy fashion provide to the necromancer, Bill Wilson, the "right" method and be 2000 years tardy for the "Christianized" version to arrive. Dream on.

http://www.thebereancall.org/content/way-which-seemeth-right

Attachments:
When_Caring_Becomes_a_Disease.pdf
Size: 91 k
Type: application/pdf

Hello Mike,

Thank you for the letter. That says so much. I'm sorry to hear about your suffering. I trust that you are doing okay. And thanks for the compliments.

I quite agree about what a racket "codependency" is. It's pure fraud. There is no scientific or medical basis to it. Neither the American Medical Association, nor the FDA, nor the American Psychiatric Association even recognize the existence of such a disease. Andrew Meacham, in his great book Selling Serenity: Life Among the Recovery Stars, described "Codependency" as "invent a non-existent disease, and then charge a fortune to treat it."

Then, the idea that they are going to "treat" this "disease" with an old cult religion from the nineteen-thirties is really over the top. And for it to be an old pro-Nazi cult religion that resembles Satan-worship more than it resembles Christianity is almost unbelievable. And yet it's true. You wouldn't think that an anti-Christian religion could possibly become popular in America, would you? Alas, a lot of people don't pay close attention to the details. They just hear someone mumble the word "God" a few times, and they think that A.A. must be a great organization, and very spiritual too.

And the bottom line, the fact that several of your references stress, is the fact that 12-Step treatment does not work. That has been proven many times.

So why isn't there a law against it? Because the FDA regulates medications, but not treatments for addictions. Or pseudo-addictions like codependency.

Yes, there is lots of room for gray areas in the debate about sexual addiction. It's an undeniable fact that Nature has given us strong sex drives to keep the species going. Someone who wants sex on a regular basis is normal and healthy, not diseased or addicted.

Show me a species without any sex drive and I'll show you an extinct species.

You are also quite right about the conflict between Christian teachings and the "codependency treatment" teachings. Christianity teaches that people should be more caring and loving and giving. The "codependency counselors" teach that caring about and loving an addict or an alcoholic is a disease from which you must be cured. What amazes me is how few people notice such glaring contradictions.

The document that you sent, When_Caring_Becomes_a_Disease.pdf, says:

The idea was that the caring behavior manifested by family members and spouses actually "enabled" the addict to continue using. At first glance, the emphasis on the family was certainly a welcome step. Regardless of theoretical orientation working with a substance abuser in isolation, who is in an intimate relationship, is missing a rich opportunity to recruit more players into the change agenda. Unfortunately, from the mid eighties to the present, the codependency idea has become bastardized, and with each new self-help book the symptoms of codependency mount.

Yes indeed. See the file Twelve-Step Snake Oil for much more about that. Everything and anything is a "symptom of codependency", even caring too much and caring too little.

And the idea that you are "enabling" someone by being nice to him is downright evil. It reminds me of the Nazi philosophy more than anything else. "Treat the Untermenschen very harshly. It will improve their character. Besides, they deserve it."

The idea that the cure for caring about an addict is to do the practices of Dr. Frank Buchman's religion for the rest of your life is insane.


About the Berean research article that criticizes Celebrate Recovery (CA) as heretical:
http://www.thebereancall.org/content/way-which-seemeth-right

Yes, I have to agree with most all of it. There are just a few glaring errors that I have to comment on:

  1. This paragraph contains several errors or misimpressions:

    To begin with, 12-Steps programs are not just a Saddleback Church issue. Increasing numbers of evangelical churches are sponsoring Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) and Narcotics Anonymous (N.A.) meetings and/or creating their own self-help groups based upon A.A.'s 12-Steps principles. Bill Wilson, one of the founders of A.A., created the 12 Steps. Wilson was a habitual drunk who had two life-changing events that he claims helped him achieve sobriety: 1) he was (mis)informed by a doctor that his drinking habit was a disease and was therefore not his fault, and 2) he had an experience (which he viewed as spiritual enlightenment) that convinced him that only "a Power greater than" himself could keep him sober. Attempting to understand his mystical experience, he was led into spiritism, a form of divination condemned in the Scriptures. His official biography indicates that the content of the 12-Steps principles came to him "rapidly" through spirit communication. Certainly not from God.

    Last item first, Bill Wilson did not have a "mystical experience", he had a drug experience. In 1933 and 1934, Bill Wilson was detoxed in Charlie Towns' Hospital — four times in a little over a year — where he was given the quack "Belladonna Cure", which featured large doses of belladonna, which is a poisonous atropine alkaloid in the same family as Deadly Nightshade. How it works is: it basically poisons you until you have one foot in the grave, and you hallucinate your brains out. Belladonna is even more powerful than LSD for making people hallucinate. Belladonna had the handy side effect of completely immobilizing the patients. They were too busy talking to their ancestors or flying through the sky with weird animals to even think about leaving the hospital. After two or three days of being dosed with belladonna, Bill Wilson saw a white light which he interpreted as "the God of the preachers". (More details and descriptions of that are here.)

    There are some big problems with even that story (as there are with most of Bill Wilson's history of himself and A.A.). Bill Wilson bragged that he had a great spiritual experience where he felt like he was on a mountaintop, with a wind of spirit blowing through him. Wilson's biographer Robert Thomsen repeated Bill's story this way:

    His fingers relaxed a little on the footboard [of the bed], his arms slowly reached out and up. "I want," he said aloud. "I want..."
          Ever since infancy
    , they said, he'd been reaching out this way, arms up, fingers spread, and as far back as he could remember he'd been saying just that. But always before it had been an unfinished sentence. Now it had its ending. He wanted to live. He would do anything, anything, to be allowed to go on living.
          "Oh, God," he cried, and it was the sound not of a man, but of a trapped and crippled animal. "If there is a God, show me. Show me. Give me some sign."
          As he formed the words, in that very instant he was aware first of a light, a great white light that filled the room, then he suddenly seemed caught up in a kind of joy, an ecstasy such as he would never find words to describe. It was as though he were standing high on a mountaintop and a strong clear wind blew against him, around him, through him — but it seemed a wind not of air, but of spirit — and as this happened he had the feeling that he was stepping into another world, a new world of consciousness, and everywhere now there was a wondrous feeling of Presence which all his life he had been seeking. Nowhere had he ever felt so complete, so satisfied, so embraced.
    — Robert Thomsen, Bill W., 1975, pp. 222-223.
    (There is a longer quote and discussion of it here.)

    First off, Bill Wilson summoned up God the way that a sourcerer summons up a demon, and Bill Wilson did not even bother to say "please". Bill commanded God to appear, and God had no choice but to obey Bill Wilson and make an appearance. And "show me a sign" is Pharisiacal, which Jesus condemned in the Bible.

    And drug hallucinations are not necessarily mystical experiences, or spiritual experiences. Now some may be, I don't want to be too narrow-minded, I think spiritual experiences are wonderful no matter how you get them, but what really defines such a spiritual experience is what effect it has on your life in the following years. Someone who went from a "spiritual experience" to lying, thieving, sexual predation and philandering, and practicing necromancy and "spooking" does not inspire confidence in the validity of his "mystical experience".

    Then, the entire story seems to be stolen from Bill Wilson's own grandfather. In the biography of Bill that was written by Lois Wilson's personal secretary, Francis Hartigan, we learn that Bill's paternal grandfather, who was also named William Wilson, also had a bad drinking problem. In desperation, he climbed a mountain one Sunday morning and had a religious experience of a wind of Spirit blowing through him, and he never drank again:

    William Wilson may have preferred inn keeping to quarrying, but inn keeping is seldom the right occupation for a hard-drinking man. His attempts to control his drinking led him to try Temperance pledges and the services of revival-tent preachers. Then, in a desperate state one Sunday morning, he climbed to the top of Mount Aeolus. There, after beseeching God to help him, he saw a blinding light and felt the wind of the Spirit. It was a conversion experience that left him feeling so transformed that he practically ran down the mountain and into town.
          When he reached the East Dorset Congregation Church, which is across the street from the Wilson House, the Sunday service was in progress. Bill's grandfather stormed into the church and demanded that the minister get down from the pulpit. Then, taking his place, he proceeded to relate his experience to the shocked congregation. Wilson's grandfather never drank again. He was to live another eight years, sober.
    Bill W.; A Biography of Alcoholics Anonymous Cofounder Bill Wilson, Francis Hartigan, page 11.

    What are the odds that both Bill's grandfather and Bill would have exactly the same dramatic religious experience, almost word-for-word identical,

    • both beseeching God for help,
    • both seeing a blinding White Light,
    • both feeling that they were on a mountaintop with a wind of Spirit blowing through them,
    • and both being so overwhelmed by the experience that they never drank again?

    Or did Bill Wilson just appropriate his grandfather's story to embellish his own detox experience?
    Did Bill Wilson just exaggerate his drug experience to get more "spiritual credentials" to be the leader of a cult religion?
    Did Bill's grand vision of God really happen at all?


  2. Back to that first quote from Berean Research above, it contains this sentence:

    His official biography indicates that the content of the 12-Steps principles came to him "rapidly" through spirit communication. Certainly not from God.

    That is almost right, but wrong. It is true that Bill Wilson conducted séances and played with a Ouija Board and spirit rapping and channelling spirits, and Bill Wilson claimed that he got help with his second book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions from the spirit of Boniface the Christian missionary. But Bill Wilson got the 12 Steps straight from Dr. Frank Buchman's "Oxford Group" cult religion, and he said so. The 12 Steps are merely a rewrite of Frank Buchman's cult recruiting and indoctrination practices:

    "Early AA got its ideas of self-examination, acknowledgement of character defects, restitution for harm done, and working with others straight from the Oxford Groups and directly from Sam Shoemaker, their former leader in America, and nowhere else."
    == William G. Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, page 39.


    Where did the early AAs find the material for the remaining ten Steps? Where did we learn about moral inventory, amends for harm done, turning our wills and lives over to God? Where did we learn about meditation and prayer and all the rest of it? The spiritual substance of our remaining ten Steps came straight from Dr. Bob's and my own earlier association with the Oxford Groups, as they were then led in America by that Episcopal rector, Dr. Samuel Shoemaker.
    == William G. Wilson, The Language of the Heart, page 298, published posthumously in 1988.

    Bill Wilson was of course being deceptive there. Bill Wilson gave the credit to Rev. Sam Shoemaker, who was the number two man in the Oxford Group, and Frank Buchman's right-hand man. Wilson was reluctant to mention the name of Frank Buchman then because Buchman was so hated by the American and British people for his support of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

    So the material for the 12 Steps did not come from the Bible, or from talking to spirits. It came from the practices of the pro-Nazi Oxford Group cult religion.

    The 12 Steps are not spiritual practices or "spiritual principles", they are brainwashing practices. Dr. Robert Jay Lifton was one of the pioneering doctors who studied the American soldiers who came back from the Korean War brainwashed, and Dr. Lifton summarized the essential elements of an effective brainwashing program as eight characteristics (summarized here). The 12 Steps of A.A. contain all eight of them. So do the practices of Frank Buchman's Oxford Group and "Moral Re-Armament", which is what Buchman later renamed the Oxford Group to.

    Here is the interesting kicker: During the Korean War, a member of Moral Re-Armament was in the U.S. Army in Korea, and he got captured and was a prisoner of war who was subjected to the Red Chinese brainwashing program. The MRA member marvelled that Chinese brainwashing was just like an MRA meeting.

    Was that just a coincidence? No. Dr. Frank Buchman was a missionary to China in the late nineteen-tens and early nineteen-twenties, and he taught the Chinese his strange mind-damaging methods of religious conversion. The Chinese Communists merely recycled Frank Buchman's conversion techniques.


  3. Further down, the Berean page says,

    In these foundational steps, Wilson is summarizing his beliefs based upon his experiences as a "recovering alcoholic." He felt "powerless" because he believed alcoholism was an incurable disease that consequently made his life "unmanageable." Since he couldn't "cure" himself (although millions do without 12-Step or other therapies!), he put his faith in "a power greater than ourselves," whom he called God, and "understood" Him by fabricating Him out of beliefs discovered in his study of different religions and religious experiences. That's more than "biblically vague." It's a false religion.

    That is sort of right, but also very wrong. Bill Wilson's Steps were not based on his alcohol abuse or recovery, or study of foreign religions. Again, this is a misunderstanding based on the Berean author's lack of knowledge about the Oxford Group roots of Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 Steps:

    That was not a Biblical teaching at all. Jesus never said that the ideal religious life was being a mindless "surrendered" slave of God (Step 3) who got his work orders through séances (Step 11).

    In both Buchmanism and A.A., the ideal believer could be a radio-controlled toy robot bought at Radio Shack. It just always immediately follows orders and mindlessly obeys commands from above. Dr. Frank Buchman even claimed that his follows were controlled by "powerful spiritual radiograms". So the Buchmanites marched around like so many little robots who were "guided by God". And they were always listening for what "God" told them to do next. And then they did whatever the voices in their heads told them to do.

    And yes, sometimes they also listened to "other spirits" for entertainment. (Look here.)

    Bill Wilson learned all of that while he was a member of the Oxford Group. And so did the other co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith and Clarence Snyder. All three of them were true believers in Frank Buchman's cult religion, and they continued to believe in it and teach it even after they left the group. And Alcoholics Anonymous is still teaching the same perverse religion today.

The rest of the Berean Research page is pretty correct. Rick Warren is making a huge mistake when he tries to adapt the 12-Step program and make it into a Christian program. He might as well adopt a Satan-worshipping church and try to make it compatible with Christianity.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     You are in the wrong group if you are looking for Jesus.
**      ...  you are one blind fuckwit.
**       ==  Robert, in the Internet newsgroup
**            "alt.recovery.addiction.alcoholism" (August 2003)





INTERESTING HISTORICAL NOTE: (2013.11.13):

I was at the semi-annual used book sale at the Forest Grove Library yesterday, when I saw a book about Nazi history: "the SS, alibi of a nation, 1922-1945", by Gerald Reitlinger (1957, Viking Press). I looked at the index to see if there was any mention of Frank Buchman or the Oxford Group, like I always do with any history book from that period. I can't begin to estimate how many books I have searched for any mention of Buchmanism. There is almost never one. Frank Buchman's cult was apparently just too small and unimportant to make it into many histories. The indices alway list things like, "Buch, Walter; Bucharest; Buchenwald; Budapest..." but no Buchman. But this time I got lucky: "Buchmanites; 21n".

I had to look carefully to find the reference in the last footnote on page 21, where it was describing the character of Heinrich Himmler:

He had just married Marge Conzersowo, a nurse in a fashionable Berlin clinic who had seen through the science of medicine as practiced by the orthodox faculty.9 She interested Himmler in mesmerism, homœopathy, and herbal remedies. Himmler with his agricultural diploma particulary liked herbs.


[Footnote]
9. Evidence of Karl Gebhardt, in Bayle, Croix gammée ou caducée, p. 222. It was widely reported towards the year 1935 that she had converted Himmler to the Buchmanite movement.

Holy shit!

Heinrich Himmler joined Dr. Frank Buchman's cult religion?

Heinrich Himmler was a Buchmanite?

Was "the author of the holocaust" actually a follower of Dr. Frank Buchman, who was also indirectly the founder (or grandfather) of Alcoholics Anonymous? Was the guy who exterminated 6 million Jews in the concentration camps, and also another 4 million gays, Gypsies, Poles, political dissidents, Leftists, Communists, intellectuals, and Catholic priests and Protestant ministers who opposed Naziism, actually a member of the Oxford Group?

How could almost all of the historians have missed such an important detail? Historically, this is significant.

And "from 1935 onwards" would mean that Bill Wilson, Dr. Robert Smith, Clarence Snyder, and Heinrich Himmler were all members of the Oxford Group at the same time. Then British Prime Minister Nevil Chamberlain joined too. What a big happy family it was.

Previously, we knew that Heinrich Himmler was friends with some Oxford Group members:

Byron entered in his diary: 'Himmler apparently dotes on the Oxford Group and writes to its English members discussing their troubles with them.'66

64. Robert Byron's diary, 6.9.1938; Spectator, 22.8.1987, pp. 22-3
...
66. Ibid., 11.9.1938; ibid.

Himmler, Reichsführer, Peter Padfield, pages 233 and 620.

But neither Byron nor Padfield said that Heinrich Himmler actually joined the Oxford Group cult religion, or was a convert.

I shall have to study this further. Maybe interlibrary loans (ILL) can get me the source book, which is in French. Alas, I don't speak much French. Maybe Bablefish or Google translator can help there.

By the way, I bought the SS book. $2. Special thanks to the guy who donated $25 the day before yesterday. The money is already being put to good use. (Who would have thought?)

Upwards and onwards. Have a good day now.

LATER: 2013.11.16:

I finally found the referenced book in Worldcat (the library's world catalog). Apparently, Gerald Reitlinger got the name of the book slightly wrong. It isn't Croix gammée ou caducée, it is Croix gammée contre caducée, by Francois Bayle. The first name translates to "the Swastika or the Caduceus", and the second one is "the Swastika against the Caduceus", or "the Swastika versus the Caduceus".

The full name of the book is: Croix gammée contre caducée — Les Experiences Humaines En Allemagne Pendant La Deuxieme Guerre Mondiale, by Francois Bayle. That is, "The Swastika versus the Caduceus — The Human Experiments In Germany During The Second World War". Published by Centre De L'Imprimerie Nationale a Neustadt (Palatinat), 1950. 8 volumes, 1521 pages.

caduceus
Caduceus
A caduceus is that symbol that we identify with doctors and medical treatment, the two snakes entwining around a winged staff. Like this:

Apparently, this book is an eight-volume chronicle of the Nuremberg War Crimes trials of Nazi doctors who tortured Jews and other prisoners with medical tests and experiments. So apparently, Karl Gebhardt testified in a trial that it was widely reported around 1935 that Heinrich Himmler had joined Dr. Frank Buchman's religious movement. And Heinrich Himmler's wife was a Buchmanite who managed to recruit him into the Oxford Group.

I put in an ILL request on it. I hope I don't have to go through all eight volumes to learn what I seek. I have the feeling that I may learn more French than I really wanted to.

We know that Frank Buchman and Heinrich Himmler met at the 1934 Nuremberg Nazi Party Day rally. The German aristocratic lady Moni von Cramon was a leading Buchmanite who worked for Heinrich Himmler as his secretary. (In the sanitized and white-washed MRA history, they claim that Himmler blackmailed her into working for him, and that she used her position to warn people who were about to be liquidated.) Moni invited Frank Buchman to the Nuremberg rally. There, Frank Buchman and Heinrich Himmler had lunch together where they discussed religion and politics. Then, in 1935, Buchman was again the personal guest of Himmler, and again they had lunch together and discussed religion and politics. Then in 1936, Frank Buchman was the personal guest of Heinrich Himmler at the Berlin Olympics.

But to hear that Heinrich Himmler "surrendered to God" and was "changed" by the Buchmanites is something new. And to hear that Heinrich Himmler's wife was a believer in Buchmanism who converted Heinrich Himmler is significant too.

So, after Heinrich Himmler was "changed by God", he went and murdered about 10 or 20 million innocent people? That isn't how religious conversion is usually supposed to work.


Nazi treatment of Poles
Himmler's death toll was like:

  • 6 million Jews killed in the concentration camps and mass killings.
  • 4 million others killed in the concentration camps — gays, Gypsies, foreigners, political dissidents, Leftists, Communists, intellectuals, and Catholic priests and Protestant ministers who opposed Naziism.
  • 6 million Poles killed when the S.S. did "housecleaning" in Poland, killing everyone who could be a potential leader of resistance: political leaders, priests and ministers, intellectuals, university professors, doctors, labor union leaders... any and all leaders. Himmler wanted to reduce Poland to being a nation of subservient slave servants of Germany. Well, actually, Adolf Hitler wanted it, so he gave the orders to Heinrich Himmler, and Himmler gave the orders to the S.S., who did the "housecleaning":

    In 1939 he [Adolf Hitler] began liquidating what he termed the 'leading classes' in Poland — teachers, priests, intellectuals, entrepreneurs. About 70,000 Poles were killed in action, but by the end of the war about 6 million Poles were dead. Only half were Jewish.
    Hitler and Geli, Ronald Hayman, page 216.

  • I don't know the numbers of people killed in the Ukraine, but it's millions. The S.S. rounded up and killed all of the Jews that they could get, and also anyone else who resisted German occupation. The total death toll in the Soviet Union, including deaths in combat, was 12 million.

    (You know you are dealing with mass murder when you just round off the death toll to the nearest million.)

Wow. With "servants of God" like that, who needs a Devil?

What I wonder about is, do you suppose Heinrich Himmler imagined that he was hearing the Voice of God during his morning "Quiet Times" as he "listened for Guidance"? Do you suppose Heinrich Himmler believed that he was carrying out the Will of God?

Quite possibly so. Hitler believed it:

I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lord's work.
    == Adolph Hitler, Speech, Reichstag, 1936

Did Himmler imagine that he was getting secret messages from Higher Powers? Quite possibly. Heinrich Himmler was crazy superstitious, and a real nut about "spiritual" matters. Peter Padfield notes that from late 1923 to early 1924, Heinrich Himmler's reading included books on spiritualism, second sight, astrology, telepathy, and the like. Heinrich Himmler fancied himself the reincarnation of an ancient Bavarian king, King Heinrich, returned to life to fulfill a grand destiny.

Note that Heinrich Himmler fancied himself the reincarnation of the Bavarian King Heinrich. But Heinrich Himmler was not decended from that king; Himmler was descended from one of King Heinrich's servants. In spite of Himmler's belief that "spirituality" and "folk" characteristics are transmitted genetically, through the blood line, in his mind Heinrich Himmler somehow managed to jump family lines and believe himself the reincarnation of a king from whom he was not descended.

Fascinated by tales of King Arthur and his knights, Himmler's "Camelot" for his own knightly Order was the castle of Wewelsberg near Paderborn in Westphalia. Having acquired it in 1934, Himmler had massive reconstruction work done (paid for by his company "The Society for the Protection and Maintenance of German Cultural Monuments") — the labour came, of course, from the concentration camps.

The focal point of the castle was a huge round oak table with seating for twelve of his senior Gruppenführers:

"They sat in high-backed chairs made out of pigskin, on each of which was a silver disk on which the selected 'knight' had his name engraved. Here the chiefs of the SS were compelled to sit in the company of their Grand Master [Himmler] for hours of contemplation and meditation ... Each 'knight' had his own quarters in the castle..."[Graber]

Beneath this room was a crypt containing pedestals where should one of the "knights" die an urn containing his ashes [Graber] or his coat of arms [Padfield] would be burnt. Vents in the ceiling would allow those in the main hall to see the smoke rise or "the spirit ascend into a type of Valhalla". [Graber]


Graber, G.S., History of the SS, Robert Hale, 1978
Padfield, Peter, Himmler: Reichsführer SS, Macmillan, 1990

THE NAZI NECROMANCER? The Magical World of Heinrich Himmler, by Liam Rogers

Himmler declared that the S.S. was a holy order, who, like Teutonic Knights of Old, were on a Holy Mission to ennoble humanity by making the Aryan race pure and supreme everywhere. Both Hitler and Himmler even had portraits of themselves painted, showing them as knights dressed in shining suits of armor. They bandied about words like "honor", "nobility", "spirituality", and "purity", which may strike us as unbelievably hypocritical today, but they believed them at the time.

painting by Lanziger: Hitler the Standard Bearer
Lanzinger: Hitler the Standard Bearer

Dr. Seuss satire of Hitler as a knight in shining armor
Dr. Seuss ridiculed portraits of Adolf Hitler as a knight in shining armor, Dec. 23, 1941.
(Yes, it's really the same Dr. Seuss, the one who is famous for the children's stories like The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. A little-known piece of historical trivia about Dr. Seuss is that he was a political cartoonist before and during World War II.)

The transcripts of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials should be very interesting.





September 21, 2013, Saturday, my back yard in Forest Grove:

Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow feeding
On second thought, that does not appear to be a fleshy growth above the beak, it's just a protruding tuft of feathers.

Sparrows + uknown bird
Two Savannah Sparrows plus an unknown bird at lower center

UPDATE: 2014.10.12: The unknown bird, the lower one with his back to the camera, is a Black-Capped Chickadee.

[More photos here.]





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Last updated 17 October 2014.
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