Letters, We Get Mail, CCCLXXVII



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters377.html#Sibylle ]

Date: Tue, November 26, 2013 4:32 am     (answered 27 November 2013)
From: "Sibylle B." (from Germany)
Subject: Stephen King's Doctor Sleep

Dear Orange,

have you read this new book of Stephen King? It is a lot about his own(?) AA experience.

I really would like to know what you think about it.

I also would like to write about my opinions about this book and Stephen King, who is a good writer and intelligent man — unfortunately I can't. My English is so poor!

Thank you for your good work!

Sibylle

Hello Sibylle,

Danke für die Briefe. Ich habe das Buch nicht gelesen. Ich muss das machen. Das is noch ein mehr.

(Okay, for the non-bilingual readers, I said, "Thank you for the letter. I haven't read that book. I must do that. That's one more (for the list of things to do).")

That should be interesting. (Ich denke dass wird interesant sein.)

Oh, und vielleicht du kanst auf Deutsch screiben, und wir können es übersetzen. (Oh, and perhaps you could write in German, and we could translate it.)

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who
**       falsely believe they are free."
**         — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749—1832),
**           German poet, dramatist, and philosopher





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters377.html#Alezunde ]

Date: Mon, November 25, 2013 5:37 pm     (answered 27 November 2013)
From: "Alezunde McC."
Subject: Re: [third letter from Andrew Meacham, February 16, 2004 ]

Hi Orange,

I've been reacquainting myself with the content on your website for the first time since I stumbled across it during my own research into the idea of addiction several years ago. I'm impressed with your research and, coupled with other sources I've come across that examine AA from different perspectives, it's been quite educational.

I was reading the correspondence between you and Mr. Meacham and I noticed this passage:

I know that part of the cause of that phenomenon is that people filter the incoming information stream constantly, and they tend to hear and see just what they wish to hear and see. Once they buy a particular viewpoint like that, they will tend to just see and hear things that support that viewpoint, so they will become more and more convinced of its correctness (so they become even quicker to reject and ignore contradictory information...).

There must be a good name for that phenomenon, but I don't know what it is... (And I'm also looking for a good word that is the opposite of a panacea — something that is allegedly the cause of all of our problems and ills.)
<http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters36.html#panmalefic>

Another writer submitted the term "Apophenia", but there is another term which is appropriate: Confirmation Bias. It's an extremely common psychological phenomenon that is often taken into account out of necessity whenever particular kinds of studies are conducted.

Here is some more information, courtesy of Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

It is related to the Dunning-Kruger effect, which has often come to mind during my research of AA (particularly in relation to members whom you refer to as "old-timers", and sponsors).

More information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

Thanks for your diligence in maintaining the site and making this information as easily-available as possible.

Cheers,

Alexander

Hello Alexander,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments. And thanks for the additional information. More to learn. And yes, that certainly makes sense.

It says:

"Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses."

And also:

"Explanations for the observed biases include wishful thinking and the limited human capacity to process information. Another explanation is that people show confirmation bias because they are weighing up the costs of being wrong, rather than investigating in a neutral, scientific way."

I especially hear that last one: "Oh God! I'll die without A.A.! (So it must be true.)"

I'm reminded of the Simon and Garfunkle song "The Boxer",

All lies and jest,
Still a man hears what he want to hear
And disregards the rest.
Tra-la-la-la-la-la-la-la.

We ran into the idea of the Dunning-Kruger effect before, when someone came up with a study that showed that the more incompetent people were in a particular area, the more that they mistakenly believed that they were quite good at it:

The more incompetent someone is in a particular area, the less qualified that person is to assess anyone's skill in that space, including their own. When one fails to recognise that he or she has performed poorly, the individual is left assuming that they have performed well. As a result, the incompetent will tend to grossly overestimate their skills and abilities.
== "Unskilled and Unaware of It", Alan Bellows, March 25, 2006
http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=406

And thus completely incompetent 12-Step counselors are quite convinced that they are doing a good job of counseling people to quit drugs and alcohol (by introducing the clients to the 12-Step cult religion), while really getting nearly a 100% failure rate.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty.
**      I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have
**      finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
**         —  Buckminster Fuller (1895—1983)





BLOG NOTE: 2013.11.27:

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone. I'm thankful that there are as many of us as there are, free and unaddicted and alive and healthy, in spite of everything. So have a good day and enjoy your feast.





October 6, 2013, Sunday, Fernhill Wetlands:

Pelicans
Pelicans

Pelicans

Pelicans

Pelicans

[More animal photos below, here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters377.html#Jim_B2 ]

Date: Wed, November 27, 2013 3:29 pm     (answered 27 November 2013)
From: "Jim B."
Subject: Anti-AA TV Program

Orange,

I'm going to quote you quite a bit on these four 30- minute programs, even when it comes to the heresies. What do you want me to tell the audience about your "religious affiliation". I will word it exactly the way you want it said OR I can tell them that you don't disclose it OR that you have none.

If you want me to reveal that you're an atheist, I will make the point that it's a shame that an atheist is aware of AA's heresies but pastors who host their meetings are not.

Churches need to be publicly shamed for not looking into what AA teaches before renting to them. Thanks Orange.

Hello Jim,

I'm not an atheist, not at all. I was asked the same question many years ago, and gave this answer:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters30.html#hippie

1. you say you aren't agnostic or atheist. What are you?

A hippie. Sorry if that sounds flippant, but that's really the most honest answer I can give. I can't be an agnostic or an atheist because I got blasted into other dimensions too many times, and saw too much. I can't say that I ever saw God, but I definitely saw the possibility. My personal religion is an amalgum of goodies stolen from all of the major religions of the world.

If you want a label, the word "mystic" seems as appropriate as anything. Either mystic, or "mystically-inclined". There is more to this universe than meets the eye. I also like the way that Baba Ram Dass put it, "The physical universe is only a small part of the whole Cosmos."

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.


Date: Wed, November 27, 2013 4:49 pm     (answered 27 November 2013)
From: "Jim B."
Subject: Re: Anti-AA TV Program

Orange,

Would it be fair to tell the viewers that I am quoting a man called Orange who is not even a Christian, and yet he sees how AA's teachings are heresies as far as Christianity goes?

This is not in any way a put-down of you for not being a Christian. My purpose is to shame the pastors for being so careless as to allow AA to deceive them.

I will let you know the link, channel and time as soon as I find out. Thanks for the encouragement and being fair-minded towards me.

Jim B.
The Anti-AA Preacher

Hi again, Jim,

Wow, the wording is really tricky, isn't it?
"Not a Christian" usually means anti-Christian, which I'm not.
How to say it?
It's more like I'm ecumenical, which means that I like all religions, more or less.
Maybe the best wording would be to say that I am "not exclusively Christian" in my philosophy. Meaning, my beliefs include at least some of the tenets of most major religions.

Have a good day now, and a happy Thanksgiving.

== Orange (or Terrance, whichever you prefer)

*             [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-letters377.html#Jim_B3 ]

Date: Wed, November 27, 2013 12:50 pm     (answered 29 November 2013)
From: "Jim B."
Subject: "Recovery" Options

Hi Orange,

I do not mind if you post this one:

What I am saying on the forum is tied into the anti-AA issue by showing that biblical Christianity should not be seen as a deceitful and dangerous option like these programs are.

Some OPF members are trying to shut out all options that are NOT secular. This should be addressed on the forum since these same members are complaining about AA doing the same thing — shutting out all options that are not in agreement with their disease/treatment, 12-step view.

Research has not shown biblical Christianity to cause more relapses and binges, so why ban it as an option? So I am for all options that have not been proven to be harmful, "secular" or "religious".

Hello again, Jim,

Yes, you sure have stirred up a hornet's nest, haven't you? I wish and hope that everybody can just cool off a little bit.

You did provoke quite a reaction when you posted an article about "Is Atheism Dangerous?"

Many atheists have thought out their positions very carefully, and they know full well what horrors the Roman Christian Church gave us in the Middle Ages, and they find attacks on their philosophy just as offensive as a sweeping attack on religion or Christianity. Imagine if someone posted articles like,

  • "Will worship of Jesus Christ lead to more burnings of innocent girls as witches, again?"
  • "Will more religion lead to more tortured confessions of witchcraft in dungeons?"
  • "Where do Catholic Priests and Protestant Ministers go to learn how to torture girls into confessing?"
  • "Are all Christian ministers and priests really child-molesters?"

Now, about attacks on atheism, some religious believers have very negative ideas about the human race, and they believe that people will not do good, or do the right things, unless they are afraid of being punished by an angry God. So atheists can commit any crime they want because they are not afraid of a God coming after them to punish them. The truth is that people have built-in ethics and morals, and they tend to do what is good for other people just because that is their nature.

I am reminded of herding animals. They probably do not believe in God, or believe that there is a God-given set of morals, because they don't have the brains to think such abstract thoughts. And yet, they do things like caring for injured herd members, and defending them, and even giving them food, without any thought of Heavenly rewards or punishments.

Yes, I know that TV shows like Criminal Minds will show you the worst perverts that the human race has to offer, but thankfully, most people are not like that.

Yes, of course I think about guys like Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. The human race always produces a few of them, but most of them never get political power. I think that one task that we have is to refine our political systems so that the creeps don't get power. So far, we aren't doing very well on that account: Vladimir Putin, Bashir al Assad, Ayatollah Khomeini, Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein... Lot of creeps getting too much power. We the human race must do better.

Now, in defense of Christianity, there has actually been very little of it taught, in recovery, or out of recovery. Too much of what passes for Christianity is really just Fascism in disguise. Don't think for yourself, just believe and obey. And hate the "others".

Like in the nineteen-sixties, vicious, murdering, church-bombing racism was passed off as Christianity. The KKK pretended to be a Christian organization. (That's why they burned crosses in people's front lawns. Actually, personally, I don't get the connection between crosses and racism, other than the fact that some KKK members were so deluded that they thought they were defending white Christian purity.)

Real Christian recovery has not been tested much, that I know of, so there may not be any reliable numbers for what the actual success rate of "Christian recovery" really is. 12-Step "recovery" has nothing to do with Jesus Christ, so those numbers are not applicable. (And if they were, that would be bad, because the 12-Step numbers show massive, consistent, failure.)

Before we can draw any conclusions about the Christian recovery rate, we have to get some reliable tests of Christian recovery. But before we can do that, we have to find some actual Christian recovery.

I quite agree with your last line, "So I am for all options that have not been proven to be harmful, 'secular' or 'religious'." I've never criticized the Catholic programs like Calix or St. Vincent de Paul, because they are honest and up front about what they are: religious programs that try to use Jesus for recovery. A.A. and N.A. and the other 12-Step ilk are the only ones that I know of who try to maintain that they aren't religious while they simultaneously declare that God is the only answer.

Alas, I don't have any numbers from Calix or St. Vincent de Paul that reveal what their success rate is. I suspect that it's about the same as everybody else is getting, because if it were better, they would be proudly saying so.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     "Whenever we seek to avoid the responsibility for our own behavior,
**     we do so by attempting to give that responsibility to some other
**     individual or organization or entity. But this means we then give
**     away our power to that entity."
**        ==  M. Scott Peck
*
**     Responsibility walks hand in hand with capacity and power.
**        ==  J. G. Holland 





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters377.html#Jim_B4 ]

Date: Wed, November 27, 2013 5:18 pm     (answered 29 November 2013)
From: "Jim B."
Subject: TV Program In Portland

Orange,

Did you know that you can sponsor this anti-AA TV program for free and that it will air in Portland for free? The Portland area has about a million viewers if I remember correctly. A few years back, I was on the air exposing AA with a pastor. It only air once I think, but you can get it to air once or twice a week with very little effort. Just google "Portland Oregon community access television" and the info should come up.

Jim

Hi again, Jim,

Now there is an interesting thought. I shall have to check that out.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     "Good publicity does not manufacture itself."
**     Bill Wilson rationalizing how he manipulated Jack Alexander, the famous
**     Saturday Evening Post writer, to get him to do a very favorable
**     article on A.A. (So much for "attraction, not promotion".)





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters377.html#Donald_Q ]

Date: Tue, November 26, 2013 3:18 pm     (answered 29 November 2013)
From: donald q.
Subject: jimbattle has flooded the forum with...

Hello Orange,

jimbattle has flooded the forum with controversial and anti atheist nonsense.

Hello Donald,

Yes, he has, hasn't he? That's one of the things about a forum: Everybody gets to say his piece. And may the best ideas win out. That's why they call it "the free marketplace of ideas".

It would be kind of boring if everybody just said the same things all of the time, and always agreed with each other.

Still, I hope people can cool off and mellow out, just a little bit. And try to respect or understand each other's viewpoints. (Although I realize that peace between the religious believers and atheists is about as likely as peace between the Israelis and Palestinians...)

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Keeping an open mind is a virtue,
**     but not so open that your brains fall out.
**       ==  James Oberg





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters377.html#Mona_Lisa ]

Date: Tue, October 22, 2013 2:34 pm     (answered 29 November 2013)
From: "Mona Lisa S."
Subject: Dept of Justice FAQs re 12 step programs

I thought you'd be interested to see that the Department of Justice is (finally) getting the message that it's illegal to use government money to force people to go to 12 step meetings. See the attached, which was issued in June, 2013.

Mona

Attachments:
TwelveStepRecoveryPrograms_FAQs.pdf
Size: 114 k
Type: application/pdf

Hello again, Mona,

Thank you for the information. That is very informative.

There is so much twisty legal language in this document. I can see many ways in which the 12-Step facilities get around it. For example, page 5 says:

Recipients of DOJ financial assistance must ensure that they are not mandating beneficiaries of the DOJ-funded programs to participate in any twelve-step programming.

The fox must guard the henhouse, and certify that he isn't grabbing chicken dinners.

But at the government-funded "outpatient treatment program" that I went to, the crazy child-raping Stepper counselor ordered us to "Go to at least three meetings a week, and get a sponsor." In other words, participate in the 12-Step religion.

So while they say that they aren't coercing people to participate in the 12-Step religion, they pressure people to do just that. And the list of meetings that they gave me contained only 12-Step meetings.

Then, the next sentence says:

While it is permissible to require a beneficiary to participate in substance abuse treatment, recipients cannot only offer twelve-step programs; recipients must offer at least one alternative treatment program that is secular in nature.

At my treatment center, they just didn't call it a 12-Step program. They said that it was secular. "Secular", not religious, where everybody just happens to be a Stepper.

Recipients should also be careful that they are not coercing beneficiaries to participate in twelve-step programs by making DOJ-funded services or benefits contingent upon participating in the twelve-step program, or otherwise leveraging DOJ-funded services to influence an individual's decision to participate in a twelve-step program.

But when the same corporation owns both the treatment center and the housing for the patients while they participate in the "treatment program", the patients sure as hell had better be fully "in compliance with the program", or else they quickly become homeless. Any resistance to the program is interpreted as being "in denial", and refusing to "work a strong program", so out they go.

And the final sentence in that paragraph is a caution without a consequence:

When assessing whether such decisions by program beneficiaries are voluntary, funding recipients should be mindful that beneficiaries of substance abuse services may be particularly susceptible to pressure or persuasion to engage in activities.

Well of course the patients (or "clients", as they were called) are susceptible to pressure. That's how the cult recruiting racket works.

In the next paragraph, the DOJ writers approve of SMART, SOS, Rational Recovery, and Lifering as secular programs. That is encouraging. And least their hearts are in the right place.

The last line is gold:

The Office for Civil Rights is available to provide guidance on how the Equal Treatment Regulations relate to twelve-step recovery programs. For technical assistance, please call the Office for Civil Rights' main line at (202)307-0690.

I'll add that to my file of links.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The less reasonable a cult is,
**     the more men seek to establish it by force.
**       ==  Jean Jacques Rousseau





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters377.html#Sherwood ]

Date: Thu, November 21, 2013 8:26 am     (answered 30 November 2013)
From: "Sherwood"
Subject: The Barlows go to AA Meeting

Check out this video on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b7MXuVvrWo&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Sent from my iPhone

Hello Sherwood,

Thanks for the link. That's good satire. Subtle, dry, wry, British humor has a wonderful way of devastating human stupidity.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     I always felt that the great high privilege, relief and
**     comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing.
**       ==  Katherine Mansfield (1888—1923), New Zealand-born English writer.





November 28, 2013, Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, my back yard in Forest Grove:

Squirrel
The squirrel in my back yard, having his own Thanksgiving dinner of Sunflower seeds.
You know, this guy is starting to look fat. It's possible. He gets a lot to eat. I make sure that they — the birds and the squirrels — always have food to eat. So for the last couple of years, he has been helping himself to the birdseed and bread and other goodies that I put out for the birds and him. Yes, I feed him too. I don't begrudge him a meal. He is one of God's little creatures too.

Fat Squirrel
The fat squirrel in my back yard.
In this photo, the squirrel looks even fatter. Maybe even obese. He has to be the fattest squirrel that I've ever seen in my life. Well, he sits in the back yard and eats Black Oil Sunflower seeds, and rolled oats, and millet all day long, so he has reason to be fat. I don't think he will starve this winter.

I had not noticed him being so fat before. It wasn't until I got these photos and zoomed in and got a good look at him that I realized just how fat he is. I know that fattening up before the winter is normal animal behavior, so that they can hibernate through the winter without starving, but this guy is really doing it up in a big way. I'd say that he's already set for the winter, and he's still eating.

UPDATE: 2014.04.04: It turns out that "he" is a "she", and she got pregnant, and all of that fat got turned into babies.

Squirrel

Squirrel
Now the squirrel has fled to the fence.
The squirrel became nervous about me staring at him so intently, and pointing a camera at him, so he fled to the safety of the top of the fence. But he's still eating.

Squirrels have the ability to stuff their cheeks with food, which they eat later in a safe place, or stash someplace for the winter. It looks like this squirrel quickly filled his cheek pouches with sunflower seeds, which he is now calmly shelling and eating while he watches me.

Look at his little hands. His hands are so much like human hands. I only need to look at his hands to know that he is a little brother.

When people ask me whether I believe in evolution, I look at little guys like this, and ask, "How could I not? Look at this guy's hands. He has four fingers and a thumb on each hand, just like us, and five toes on each foot, just like us. And each finger has three sections, same as us. And each finger ends in a fingernail, same as us. And then each arm has two sections, the forearm and the upper arm, and he has two bones, the Radius and the Ulna, in the forearm, and one bone in the upper arm, the Humerous, just the same as we do. We can continue through the whole body like that, and it's almost all the same. We can go from the arm to the shoulder blades to the rib cage and spine and pelvis, and it's all the same. We just have bigger ones. There are far more similarities than differences. When you get down to the level of the DNA, we are more than 90% identical."

And yes, they get fat just like we do.

Speaking of hands, here are Raccoon handprints and footprints from my back yard the winter before last (2012.03.01). The small ones are the hands, and the large ones are the feet. A hand and a foot are side-by-side because the raccoon was walking, and putting a foot down beside where he just put a hand down.

Raccoon footprints

The other footprints are of course birds. All of them were searching for more seeds to eat. HINT: You can help out your little feathered friends, and furry friends, this winter. Sunflower seeds, millet, mixed birdseed, oatmeal or rolled oats, cracked corn or corn meal, even bread scraps, it's all good for them, and they really appreciate it when snow covers the ground and they can't find anything to eat. And when snow is covering the ground, you can put the seeds on a plate or pie pan or cookie sheet, or something like that, to keep the seeds from sinking into the snow and disappearing.

And it doesn't have to be expensive. The trick is to buy in quantity at a feed store. At the local farm feed store, big bags of such feed cost:
50 pounds of rolled oats, $11.50
40 pounds of mixed wild birdseed, $22.95
50 pounds of Black Oil Sunflower seeds, $28.95
So buy in quantity at the feed store, and it costs only a fraction of what buying seeds at the supermarket would cost.

[The story of the goslings continues here.]





NEWS NOTE: 2013.12.01:

Well, the Orange Papers total hits for the month of November went over 6 million, by a healthy margin: 6,322,227, which totally broke the previous record of 4,190,614 hits in a month, set just a month earlier. That was a 50% increase in traffic in just one month. And the Bob Beaman thing happened: the record never stood at 5 million hits a month. We skipped right over it.

You can see the numbers at: http://www.orange-papers.info/webstats





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters377.html#Jim_B4 ]

Date: Wed, November 27, 2013 6:46 pm     (answered 5 December 2013)
From: "Jim B."
Subject: TV Program

Hi Orange,

I've always seen "Not a Christian" as being all inclusive when it comes to possibilities. Anyway, it's pretty obvious that you are not anti-Christian. If you were, I would have been verbally reprimanded by now or banned. I will go with "Ecumenical" and "not exclusively Christian in [his] philosophy." Thank you for giving me something to work with.

Hello again, Jim,

Thanks for the thanks.

I'm use too accustomed to calling you Orange now. So I'm gonna stick with that. Thank for the choice though.

Jim

Okay.


Date: Sat, November 30, 2013 1:58 pm     (answered 5 December 2013)
From: "Jim B."
Subject: The Forum

Hi Orange,

I started a poll with the question "Would you like for Jim B to leave the Orange Papers Forum?" and some said they saw "Jim is a troll" next to the YES button but now it's gone. Does someone besides you have that kind of control of the forum? BTW, the recording went well. I will let you know when they are going to air and stream on the internet as soon as I find out.

Jim B

Hello Jim,

I just learned that someone has gained the ability to edit other people's posts on the forum. That should not be the case. Other people have been complaining that their posts got changed too.

My best guess is that I accidentally clicked on the wrong checkbox when I authorized someone as a new member, and gave him administrator powers, rather than normal user privileges. Now I have to find him and stop that.

Unfortunately, it isn't easy because the forum software doesn't have much in the way of tools for searching for users by characteristics like privileges. I will have to brute force check all new registrations for the last few months, and it's thousands. But I'll get on it.


Date: Sat, November 30, 2013 4:56 pm     (answered 5 December 2013)
From: "Jim B."
Subject: Hits

Hi Orange,

Could you give a guestimate of how many people go to the forum each day and how many have joined? Even if you can say something like "Over 10,000" or something like that. I would like to be able to at least say that thousands of people from around the world are members OR log on each day. Thanks.

Jim B

Happily, the total hits on the Orange Papers just set a new record of 6 million hits in the month of November. Actually, 6,322,227. That total is 50% higher than just the previous month. So yes, more and more people are reading the Orange Papers all of the time.

Now that is just the count of hits. A "hit" is any access. Like if someone downloads a web page with 10 graphics or pictures on it, that counts as 11 hits: 1 for the web page itself, and 1 for each of the graphics. So that isn't the same thing as a count of pages viewed, or visitors, but it gives a fair idea of the activity that is happening.

Now one number that the web statistics give me that is meaningful is: the average number of visits per day was 10,467 in November. And the average number of pages that they looked at each day was 132,658.

The total number of visits in November was 314,037, and the total number of pages viewed was 3,979,761.

You can see the web statistics at: http://www.orange-papers.info/webstats

The actual number of members is really hard to figure. There are currently at least 25,000 registrations, but over 90% of them are spammers that I need to clean out of there. The "spam-bots" just hammer the web site and try to get in to post advertisements for all kinds of junk and scams. They create thousands of fake registrations, trying to get the ability to post their garbage. But I'm managing to keep them out.

There might be 2000 or 3000 valid users registered. And then there are some people who registered and posted a few messages a year or two ago, and then haven't been active since. So it's hard to say how many active members there are.

And then of course there are the people who just read the forum, but never registered or posted.


Date: Sun, December 1, 2013 6:05 pm     (answered 5 December 2013)
From: "Jim B."
Subject: The TV Program

I just uploaded the TV program again without the water mark. Now that you can get a good look at my face you'll probably wish that the water mark was back up. lol

Here is the link to part three

AA Is Dangerous! (Part 3) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYA2CdU1Gsg&feature;=youtu.be

Okay, yes, I saw part 3, and now I have to see parts 1 and 2. Your video is quite good, and makes a bunch of valid points. I was surprised by all of the compliments. Thank you. I never thought that the web page on What's Not Good About A.A.? would become the outline for a video.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     The less reasonable a cult is,
**     the more men seek to establish it by force.
**       ==  Jean Jacques Rousseau
*
**     Buy a Hallmark Christmas card and help A.A. to rape underage girls. 





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters377.html#Noneya_Bidnez ]

Date: Mon, November 25, 2013 1:28 pm     (answered 7 December 2013)
From: "Noneya Bidnez"
Subject: antidenial's letter

Hi Orange.

I have to object to the letter by antidenial about me as posted in your letters section. What she said makes it sound like I was the one being homophobic and nothing could be further from the truth. It borders on libel on a site that gets millions of hits per month.

Antidenial's letter also makes it sound like I might be anti-Christian. That's not true either. I also welcome all perspectives on AA, atheists and religious views alike. In fact, I initially defended Jim when he was being attacked for being a Christian. And I remained neutral about his plans until I knew more about them.

It was Jim Battle who was bashing, not only LGBT, but interfaith marriages, Buddhists (also in another post), certain churches and bashing other Christians he views as evildoers because they practice tolerance, saying they are lower than gang members who will kill you. He is talking about threatening the churches, exposing them as "evildoers", and even talks about suing them. The list goes on and on. This is offensive to good "Love Thy Neighbor" type of Christians. He's not going to get many friends like that. A spirit of cooperation would go a lot further than making the kinds of "demands" he's talking about. In fact, his approach could make people all the more defensive of AA.

Here's his post. Please note the timestamp of 11/20. The original post was on 11/13, as you can clearly see by the timestamps of the responses. And he was editing it for days. The original version specified the people he didn't think should be welcome in churches AT ALL, which he later changed to "members". You can see this when Pennywise quoted him just below.

I simply object to Battle setting himself up as our leader while refusing to share more about his belief system, when that system could be used to discredit him, and by association, discredit us. That's what my signature is about. There are others who feel this way, and they are in the majority, which is obvious if you read the thread. I also feel others who didn't see his original unedited, post should know what exactly they are aligning themselves with and not run blindly into this thing. I'd also like to add that Battle is anti-psychiatry and anti-psychology, as well.

It's a 12 page long thread, but if you read it, it will be clear that we were objecting to Battle's bigotry and simply stating that we weren't going to follow him.

Here's my first comment on that particular thread regarding the matter.

(Please note that my disclaimer wasn't added until much later. And Brett asked to be added to it.)

Here's where antidenial started with her personal attacks immediately after.

If you scroll down a bit you can also see that Avo tried to capture what Battle said by copy and paste, but this was only AFTER and BECAUSE we were aware that he repeatedly edited his original comment.

Here's Ben quoting Battle's attacks on churches

Then they had the nerve to accuse us of being intolerant and calling us bigots because we didn't want to tolerate Jim's hate. Nice reversal of reality. There's a load of projection going on here.

Here's more.

Here's where antidenial made this about being anti-Christian, rather than anti-hate, which has become a main theme for them:

The members of the forum repeatedly expressed that Battle has the right to his beliefs and to express them on the forum and elsewhere, but that we equally have the right to know what his positions are, and to not follow him based on our objections to those beliefs. Here's only one of many posts stating such:

The tactics they plan to use against churches were also objected to:

And here's Avogadno stating her objections as a Christian:

Battle's feeling that his hateful attitudes should remain unquestioned is a huge red flag. He wants a blind and unconditional following. His attitudes and other religious bigots he aligns himself with can be researched by anybody, just as people did on that thread, and can easily be used to discredit the cause of exposing AA. In other words, someone like Battle can do this movement great harm. This isn't about Christianity or any other religion; it's specifically about hate-mongering forms of religion in general and it's a really bad idea to align yourself with hate-mongering.

Another problem I have is that Battle is speaking in a public arena and linking back to the Orange papers, which links to the forum, which links to the rest of us personally. I have every right to distance myself from whatever I'm offended by and that's the reason for my signature. And it also reflects that the majority of the members of the forum feel the same way, as they expressed themselves on that thread and others.

The funny thing here is that I have REPEATEDLY asked antidenial why she still hasn't featured Battle and his bus on HER website. She has never answered that question. It would appear that even Battle's number 1 defender and cheerleader wants to keep a degree of separation from him, while attacking us for openly stating we don't support him. She wants this to all play out on your forum and not hers; even though she could delete any comments she wants to.

The claims that we are trying to silence anybody is patently absurd when you actually read the thread. Nobody is trying to stop them from what they are planning to do, either. And you should know personally that I've never called to have Battle or antidenial banned.

Since antidenial's letter has been published on your site, with no supporting evidence of her accusations, I hope that you will publish this one, since I have supported my claims. I have only written this in response since I found her letter on your site. I deserve the right to defend myself. And I have the right to defend myself from being lumped in with Battle.

I also hope that you will not publish my previous letter to you, as it was a private "heads up" to let you know what was really happening on the forum, after having seen your post supporting Battle.

Thank you,
causeandeffect

Hello again, causeandeffect,

I'm sorry to hear about the bitter disagreements that are going on.

I am still hoping that we can find some common ground with the religious believers. If we change the campaign against the 12-Step cult into a fight against religion, we will lose. I lived in the South for a while, in Arkansas and North Carolina, in the heart of the Bible Belt, and there are as many churches as bars there, and we will get nowhere by trying to push a purely atheistic viewpoint on those people. Not gonna happen. That is a big chunk of the country, which we don't want to ignore or lose.

Steppers often try to frame the arguement as faith versus atheism. But that isn't what the disagreement is about. It's about a hocus-pocus quack cure being foisted on sick people. And it's about a heretical anti-Christian philosophy being pushed by rehab centers and drug and alcohol courts.

Now that last item is where we can have common cause with standard-brand American churches.

You objected to Jim Battle's editing his previous posts. That might be a good thing: That shows that he is capable of hearing and responding to criticism, and changing his stance. Another name for that is "learning". That opens the door to finding some common ground in the middle.

Have a good day now, and a Merry Christmas.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     When I reflect upon the number of disagreeable people
**     who I know have gone to a better world, I am moved to
**     live a different life.
**        ==  Mark Twain (Samuel Longhorne Clemens) 1835—1910





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters377.html#Peter_F ]

Date: Fri, December 5, 2013     (answered 7 December 2013)
From: "Peter F."
Subject: Re: Toronto's Mayor

Dealing With Toronto's Mayor Two — Enabling, Denial, Disease and Blah, Blah, Blah...

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-peter-ferentzy/dealing-with-torontos-may_b_4376711.html

Peter Ferentzy, PhD
Scientist 1, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Author of "Dealing With Addiction — why the 20th century was wrong"
Co-Author: "The History of Problem Gambling: Temperance, substance abuse, medicine, and metaphors"
http://www.peterferentzy.com

Hello again, Peter,

Thank you for the article. You make a bunch of good points.

You apologized for repetition, but I'll still repeat it again:

  • 1. It is by now common knowledge in the addiction field that most people who change their behavior do it without treatment of any kind.
  • 2. It is also common knowledge that, other predictors being equal, addiction rehab will only slightly increase someone's chances of kicking.

Yes, and I'll add:

  • 3. The positive effects of treatment are just some encouragement to abstain, which wears off quickly in the months following treatment, so that by the one-year-after-treatment point, there is no difference between the treated and untreated alcoholics and addicts.

Thus, rehab is usually just a very expensive vacation in an abusive resort.

Addiction is seen through a strange lens, one that emerged just over two hundred years ago and received a real boost in the 1980s.

Yes. The disease concept of alcoholism is historically ancient. Dr. Benjamin Rush published the first edition of An inquiry into the effects of ardent spirits upon the human body and mind about 1785, where he designated addiction to spirits as a "disease of the will". There was a counterpart in Britain: the Edinburgh physician Thomas Trotter wrote in his doctoral dissertation, An essay, medical, philosophical and chemical on drunkenness, submitted in 1788 and published version in 1804, that "In medical language, I consider drunkennes to be a disease..." He also wrote that "the habit of drunkennes is a disease of the mind".

Now mind you, just because those doctors believed that alcohol abuse was a disease does not make it so. Contemporary doctors had such primitive ideas of medicine that they bled old George Washington to death to get rid of "bad humors".

And then "denial":

Take the theme of denial. In articles and in interviews, I have pointed out that denial is not specific to addiction. It is a normal human response to adversity. For example, if your three year old shows the early warning signs of a disability, the temptation to ignore those signs can be strong: you don't want to know. It's hard to admit.

Yes. Denial is a survival mechanism that has little to do with addiction. Tell people that they have cancer, and they will often go into denial: "Oh that can't be true. Run the tests again. There must be a mistake." In fact, denial is also one of the five classic stages of death: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

This should be printed in foot-tall letters of gold:

In one panel discussion I was on, one member dismissed the possibility of natural — meaning unassisted — recovery as "magic". In one article I read, the possibility was dismissed as "bulls**t."

Hmm ... I would counter that most of the rehab options are rooted in "magic", that they help only a little and, unlike some, I am happy to spell it out: bullshit!

Indeed. The whole idea of the 12-Step program is that a "Higher Power" or some "God" will save you if you confess your sins and surrender. That is pure magical thinking. A.A. is not a "self-help group", it's an "elf-help group" where an invisible magical being will supposedly save you. If all else fails, call on Cinderella's Fairy Godmother.

And then,

It's worth noting that many in the field dismiss harm reduction out of hand.

Yes, it's very much worth noting. They do a lot of harm by their refusal to do any harm reduction.

And their stance is certainly moralistic: You are either a pure virgin or a hopeless sinner. There is no inbetween. Purity is the only answer. That is extremist thinking: The Either/Or Technique — Bifurcation — the Excluded Middle.

Not coincidentally, the Demand for Purity was one of Dr. Robert Jay Lifton's Eight Conditions for Thought Reform — i.e. "brainwashing", and the demand for purity is also a common cult characteristic. Funny how that Puritan demon just won't lie down and die.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     [The Oxford Group recruiters] Ebby and Shep C. were now asking him [Bill
**     Wilson] to give up the one attribute of which he was the most proud, the
**     one quality that set a man above the animals — his inquiring,
**     rational mind. And they wanted him to give this up for an illusion.
**     Not-God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous, Ernest Kurtz, page 18, and
**     Bill W., Robert Thomsen, pages 213-214.





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Last updated 17 January 2015.
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