Letters, We Get Mail, CCCLXXXIII



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters383.html#Mary_Jane ]

Date: Sun, December 22, 2013 7:03 pm     (answered 30 December 2013)
From: "Mary Jane"
Subject: I love all of the information on your Web site!!!

Hello,

My name is MJ and I have been sober over 21 years in AA. I came into AA at age 25 and did not have an issue with the God thing but I never bought into most of their drivel about needing a sponsor for one reason or another. For the life of me, I could not imagine WHY I needed someone to confess all of my sins to. God already knew what they were and I didn't see the point. However, I did ask a woman to be my sponsor. She was six years sober and use to be a drug and alcohol counselor before she got sober. Thankfully she was about being available to talk to if I had any questions. Sometimes she would suggest a topic for me to bring up at a meeting. She did the best she could to guide me into the steps but she must not have been a Big Book thumper because we used the Hazelden guides. She also made it clear that she would not try to play God in my life. She felt that just because she was sober she didn't have a right to try and manage my life. You see, God does do for us what we cannot do for ourselves!

Unfortunately, when I was about 1 1/2 years sober she moved to Alaska to marry her college sweetheart. After she moved away, I had a few sponsors here and there (usually in name only). I rarely have something bother me to the point that I feel the need to talk about it or get someone's approval from AA. I have a couple of older brothers that never drank and I trust them way more than I ever would an AAer! Typically, I like to address life head on and just roll with the changes. I will admit, though, that since getting sober I have gained weight over the years because I do have a tendency to eat when stressed. Yes, I do have an addiction to "unhealthy" carbs. :(

Anyway, one of the first things I remember being told was to not get in a relationship for the first year. Well, I had one love of my life before I got sober and when I did get sober I had been single for 2 1/2 years. When I was four months sober I went on my first date with my now husband (we're still married). My hubby was 7 1/2 years sober and I was four months sober but we could have missed out on what we have if I listened to other people try to tell me what I should or shouldn't do regarding relationships. I'm glad I didn't listen because he is genuinely a nice man and was NOT trying to 13th Step me (that happened a few times already when I was fresh meat in the rooms).

Luckily, I was always able to hold my own out in the drinking world and the advances of these questionable creeps (to be polite) was met with a "I don't think so pal!" I got engaged to my husband when I was 9 months sober, married 1 1/2 years later and we just celebrated 19 years of marriage last September. He asked my Dad for my hand in marriage and my Dad walked me down the aisle. For the most part we have always agreed to keep AA out of our relationship and our marriage. We do attend meetings together. More so now than the earlier years. I remember back then the AA's murmured behind our backs that it would never work. Blah, blah, blah. I love how they "KNOW" everything! Well, despite their know-it-all-ism we are still happily married today and SOBER.

My hubby has never sponsored a lot of guys. The last one he sponsored died in Feb 2012 sober. For whatever reason, my hubby does not want to sponsor anyone. He has his battles with depression as a Vietnam Vet and there are times that he is not able to get to meetings for days or weeks at a time caused by long bouts of depression. He will celebrate 29 years sober but has always suffered with the depression despite the concept of the 12 Steps being able to solve all of our problems. That simply is NOT true! He refused getting any medical help the first 17 years of his sobriety because he worried that he'd be shunned in AA as not being sober. Well, he finally got over that fear (Thank God)!

When I was new to AA, I went to 2-3 meetings per day probably for the first year and a half. Then I went back to school and dropped down to two meetings a week and DID NOT drink! I found a great job and did the juggling act of work, play and AA for many years. All the while not really wanting or needing a sponsor and simply enjoying the laughter and the "recovery" in the rooms. Whenever I share it is straight from the heart NOT the Big Book! I was a low bottom drunk, too, by the way.

A few years ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and trying to work a full time IT job in a very stressful environment. After a long day at work I would be exhausted when I got home so my meetings dwindled down to one two a week. Eventually I sort of wandered away from meetings for about five months or so and then went back because my sobriety anniversary was coming the following month and I felt guilty for being MIA from the meetings. FYI, no one ever called to see how I was doing, either. They may have seen the hubby and he just told them I was doing fine. Again, when I returned to the meetings, I picked up a couple of sponsees. About a month or so later, BOTH drank during the 4th of July weekend. One drank and came back to AA the next day and then that night the other one drank. Well, I have always believed that is on them NOT me. You either want to be sober or you don't. A few months later I wandered away from meetings again for about eight months then went back because I was sort of missing the camaraderie. My husband was never fearful of me drinking and he continued to go to meetings without me. Neither one of us had an issue about it because we have always had the common sense to keep AA out of our relationship. He's retired and so the AA meetings is his daily social outlet. Who am I to stand in his way. He rarely shares and doesn't give two craps about being a "good" AAer. He simply likes to listen and likes being sober. My kind of man — he keeps it simple!

Well, after going to meetings for about a month or so once or twice a week I again was discouraged by ALL of the AA fanaticism and lies that they spew. I've always believed in listening to my gut instincts. My guts were screaming to me that these people (not all of them) are whackadoos. I cannot stand the non-stop gossip and I just simply felt like it was mostly bullshit all of the time. I realized that I was getting depressed listening to all of the regurgitated Big Book thumping rather than genuine expressions of experience, strength and hope. Work got hectic so I strayed again from the meetings. This time I stopped going for 11 months and DID NOT drink! Well, last year I ended up leaving my job I loved and going on disability for issues that stem from my drinking days. I was in a near fatal car accident when I was 23 y/o and lived. I continued drinking for two more years against my own will and then got sober on June 15, 1992. The arthritis, Fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism and depression finally caught up to me and made my working life difficult. Sadly, I am currently not working.

I refused to go to AA meetings during those 11 months after I went on disability because I didn't want all of the know-it-alls to get into my private life. My private health problems are between me and my healthcare professionals. PERIOD. I was already feeling low as it was — I DID NOT need their meddling nor did I want it. Truthfully, I just wanted to sit still with the God of my understanding and come to grips with the changes that were taking place in my life. Life on life's terms. I wholeheartedly believe that Me + Thee = WE! I have never needed AAer's to hold my hand since the get go of my sobriety. I lost a sister to death when I was four years sober. She lived in a group home and died in her sleep. She was the female version of Rainman. I also cared for my Dad with Alzheimers for the last six years of his life. He died when I was 10 years sober. I never wanted to drink during any of the time that life's hardships were happening. I knew the answer was not in the bottom of a bottle. I drank all of my drinks and knew I was done back in 1992.

Sorry to be so long winded and all but it feels good to finally know that I am NOT alone with my resistance to the AA brainwashing. My drinking started with hanging out with many of my childhood school mates / neighbors. We were a bunch of burnouts and having fun. My Mom got sick with cancer when I was 14 y/o and died a year later when I was 15 y/o. Six months later, during a vulnerable time in my life, I got pregnant and gave my baby up for adoption. Those two life changing events were all the reason I needed to stay drunk almost on a daily basis until I was sick and tired of being tired and sick all of the time.

I had nice jobs but struggled with paying rent and car payments on time because "partying" was more important. My priorities were mixed up and I needed to grow up. My car accident was somewhat of a turning point but I was only 23 y/o and not ready to stop drinking yet. Last May, when I went back to meetings, it was mostly out of pure boredom. One of my sponsees wanted me to sponsor her again. Her then sponsor with 37 years had a tantrum about it but she's over it now. Believe it or not, this girl had a horrible life-threatening car accident sober. She had almost the exact same injuries I had 23 years before and it was surreal. Perhaps I needed to be in her life again to help her family get through the difficulty of not knowing whether she'd live or die. I assured them that I looked exactly like that when I was in ICU and I recovered from all the same injuries. I'm happy to report she is doing fantastic.

However, I don't know what to say to her about my wanting to leave AA (for good this time). My husband knows how I feel and he says it is my decision but that he plans to continue to go to his meetings. He likes them and so do I. I just don't buy into all of their fear monguring theories. Honestly, it is the only social life we have together. We do things outside of AA as a couple but we don't really have any friends outside of AA. All of our friends and family live up north. Actually, I currently have a couple of sponsees and both love AA, which is their prerogative. I'm not sure how to tell them that I plan on moving on without AA, though. I've always went to meetings all of these years but did as suggested — I took what I needed and left the rest. My medallion says, "To thine ownself be true." I'm not sure that I can continue to sit in the rooms knowing in my heart that it just doesn't sit right with me. It never really did. I have ZERO desire to drink!!!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I picked up a sponsor back in May, too, that understood about food addiction. I tried going to FAA (Food Addicts Anonymous) and found it to be even more loonier than OA or AA! They appear to be fanatics about food/abstinence and I believe in common sense things like don't eat so much and exercise. She is a lovely woman but BIG TIME in AA around here, too, which I did not know when I met her. She got sober out in California and was sponsored by some of the biggest big wigs on the west coast in AA. She got sober in a place called the Snake Pit. ??? She was able to get me a paid service job with FAA as their webmaster (IT skill sets). I have also been the Webmaster for OA's Region 8 for the last couple of years and have not attended one OA meeting since 2007! How the hell do I get myself into this stuff? LOL Anyhoo, she already thinks I am an isolator and insane because I won't surrender to FAA and the FAA food plan. I have ZERO desire to become abstinent one day at a time on the FAA food plan. I quit drinking and quit smoking many years ago. Damn it, I'm going to enjoy a sweet treat or a piece of pizza on occasion without the guilt of having lost my abstinence! As far as I'm concerned, she can believe I am an isolator all she wants. In my opinion, which I have a right to, I am a loner and love it. I am content with being a loner. I don't have to listen to the bullshit of these people that think they have the right to play God, MD or therapist in my life or anyone else's for that matter. They thrive on meddling all of the time without actually being a trained doctor or therapist. WE already know they are NOT God! ;)

Well, there you have it. I just wanted to let you know that I have been enjoying 100's of pages on your Web site for the last week or so. There is a TON of information and I am in tune to your take on AA! I've been sober since June 15, 1992 in AA. My husband will celebrate 29 years next month. We met in AA and despite what all the know-it-alls had to say, we are still happily together and married over 19 years now. I have strayed from meetings before without even thinking about taking a drink. I find myself again wanting be rid of ALL of the AA drama and leave once and for all.

BTW, I completely disagree with the previous letter I just read and I've been sober over 20 years in AA! I've always found much of the dogma unnecessary for me to stay sober. The only thing I do truly believe in that I heard in AA is "If I don't drink the first drink I cannot get drunk!" :) I have had a lot of wonderful experiences in AA over the years. I have also been witness to A LOT of the BS that goes on in those rooms. Well, you know the saying they always like to use about "Nothing changes when nothing changes!" Well, AA hasn't changed in 78 years so that might be the friggin' problem that I and many others have with it. Kudos to Monica R. for doing a documentary on 13th Stepping. It is high time that AA is exposed for the skanky cult that it is so it can go down in the history books like Buchman's Oxford Group!

I guess I have always been a "rogue" member of AA! However, after having been sober for 15+ or so years I started to get depressed when going to meetings. I had gone back to school (several times over the years despite AA resistance), received a bachelor's degree in technology management, changed careers after 20 years from being an administrative assistant to IT but I'd go to meetings and feel like something was wrong. I now realize it was nothing had changed in the rooms all of those years and it doesn't look like it will anytime soon. I agree with what I've read about getting a firm foundation as a sober person then getting on with life. If I cannot get anyone sober nor keep anyone sober then what am I still doing there? According to AA it is to give back what was freely given to me. NO! That is how they hook people into staying with all of their fear mongering crap that I have never bought into. Nobody freely gave me sobriety. I had to earn my sobriety when I said, "NO" to the drink and I did that on my own free will. I cannot give away anything to folks that don't want to stay sober. They either do or they don't want to stop drinking and all of the AA jargon in the world will not get them sober or keep them sober.

BTW, I do believe in God because of my own experiences before and after AA. I was never a "holy roller" before AA and I refuse to be an AA guru groupie! I have no idea what God's will is for myself let alone anyone else. The only thing I am sure of is that God does not like to see my life in turmoil, which is what happens to me when I drink so I'm pretty sure it is his will for me to abstain so I don't get killed in a car wreck like I almost did in 1990. After two more years of drinking I started getting behind the wheel of a car under the influence again and that scared me. You see, despite what AA says, someone can be scared sober!

I will pray for the strength that I need to leave AA but I know it will be difficult. I bought three tickets to see Clancy I. speak in February from my sponsor last month. $30 per ticket to go hear some garden variety drunk tell his story. Can you believe it? $30 per ticket!!! My husband doesn't want to go because he thinks it is ridiculous to pay $30 per ticket to hear an AA speaker. I had already told her months ago that I wanted tickets (not knowing the price) so I bought them so I could take my two sponsees that cannot afford $30 to go see someone speak. Unbelievable!!! God help me!!! Thanks for having this Web site!!! I plan on joining your forum. My user name will be KISMJ. Stands for Keep It Simple MJ! :)

Hello Mary Jane,

Thank you for the letter and the story. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well, and your mind is still intact even after so many years in and out of A.A.

I feel like I don't need to tell you anything because you already know it all.

So I'll just wish you a good day and a Happy New Year.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "The essence of the independent mind lies not in
**      what it thinks, but in how it thinks."
**        ==  Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian

[The next letter from Mary_Jane is here.]





December 25, 2013, Wednesday, Christmas Day, Fernhill Wetlands:

Cackling Geese
A flock of Cackling Geese, taking off.
You can just make out Gus and his mate on the water, in the center of the picture. You can distinguish him by his orange beak. They are heading towards me for munchies. So is the goose in the water on the far left.

Cackling Geese taking off
Cackling Geese taking off, while birdwatchers watch.

Cackling Geese
A flock of Cackling Geese

Cackling Geese and Gulls
Gulls and Cackling Geese
Sea Gulls often like to winter here too.

[More gosling photos below, here.]





[The previous letter from Thomas_C is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters383.html#Thomas_C ]

Date: Wed, December 25, 2013 1:39 pm     (answered 30 December 2013)
From: "Thomas C."
Subject: Re: AA

Orange

Sorry you feel this way, I have thirty years in AA continual sobriety, I see it as anything but a cult. And I have never seen anything that you are talking about as endorsed behavior.

I laugh at most rehabs because all they do is house them and send them to meetings. AA does not endorse anything or lend its name to anything, including rehabs and treatment centers.

Merry Christmas

Tom

Sent from my iPhone

Hello Tom,

Congratulations on your 30 years of sobriety. It is good that you are taking care of your health.

You said, "Sorry you feel this way..." It isn't a matter of how I feel. My feelings have nothing to do with the A.A. failure rate. My feeling negative or positive about A.A. will not change the A.A. failure rate by a single percentage point. Talking about how I feel is just a diversion from the real issues, like that A.A. does not work, and A.A. constantly lies about its success rate. As in, "RARELY have we seen a person fail, who has thoroughly followed our path." (That is the propaganda trick of Lying with Qualifiers.)

What you have not seen is not evidence. Like Carl Sagan said, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absense." Many other people have written their stories documenting the horrible abuses that they have seen in A.A. Here is the list of A.A. Horror Stories.

If you have an A.A. group where nobody ever does anything wrong, then you are unusually lucky. No 13th-Stepping? No telling newcomers not to take their medications? No sponsors abusing their cloudy-headed new sponsees? No dogmatic Big Book thumbers? No religious evangelists? No drinkers claiming to be sober, and sponsoring newcomers? Not any in 30 years? Lucky you.

I agree that rehab is a hoax and that all they do is warehouse people for a while and send them to A.A. meetings, and call that "treatment". In fact, those 12-Step rehabs are criminal frauds that cheat people out of their money by promising things that they do not deliver. Like success, and recovery. Ah, but they are clever enough to never write that into the contract. All that the contracts say is that the clients must abstain from all drugs and alcohol, and pay the bill in full in advance, and if it doesn't work, no refunds. Yes, it's a racket.

However A.A. is very much complicit in that crime. And the favored partner in crime is Hazelden, which is the biggest reseller of A.A. books on Earth. For a while, A.A. and Hazelden even exchanged members on the Board of Directors and Board of Trustees. The claim that A.A. does not endorse rehabs is just another one of those A.A. sayings that is the opposite of the truth, just a veil to protect A.A. from lawsuits. Rehabs are big A.A. recruiting centers. Without the rehabs and the courts sending people to A.A., it will shrink and die out.

By the way, don't you know that Bill Wilson himself set up the first A.A. rehab center? High Watch Farm, in Kent, Connecticut. There, Bill Wilson sold Dr. Frank Buchman's cult religion as a cure for the "disease of alcoholism". Check it out.

Have a good day now, and a happy New Year.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**    The Carl Sagan rule:
**    "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
**    The far-fetched claims of Bill Wilson that Frank Buchman's
**    cult religion could cure alcoholism have not been backed
**    up by even a little ordinary evidence, never mind some
**    extraordinary evidence.

[The next letter from Thomas_C is here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters383.html#Maria_W ]

Date: Fri, December 27, 2013 1:53 am     (answered 30 December 2013)
From: "Maria W."
Subject: Your AA debunking

Hi, I'm pretty impressed with this webpage you've created. It's long and incredibly accurate (as far as the scripts from AA). I am skeptical about the sounding hatred in your written voice — however, that could probably be answered once I knew why you were motivated to write at lengths to disprove AA's workings.

I have been to 5 meetings last year at the start of my sobriety, and my life was extremely terrible — and to this day I still have a different thought about what alcoholism is from the woman who sent me to AA (she does the alanon meetings). To this day, I am sober — and cringe at alcoholism being described as a disease. I see it on TV, which is why I am deciding to quit watching tv for the new year. Apparently I have loads of will power to be able to quit alcohol and tv without a program.

I do however work as an activist for a women's shelter, and the support group I run there — is completely different than AA meetings. Completely different. And I strive to make it so. It starts with support, follows with education, and ends with Action. Also, I am a facilitator and a participant in the group — so I do often receive just what I need from my own group (directed at aiming to solve different problems)

Also, I made it important not to have religion involved whatsoever, and commend women for taking proactive actions for themselves (and they must brag about something every meeting and be appreciated for something at every meeting) I was raised catholic — and want to run as far away as I possibly could from organized religion. That is how I felt those 5 sessions at AA.

I don't know if AA leads to move deaths, but I appreciate that you wrote several points that had been bugging me all along about my concerns over AA. I do believe I can do this on my own, or with a sober friend — and I am a little offended at being told to try AA whenever I'm at a point of unhappiness. AA won't cure it. Actually, what has made me more happy was being sober in the last 18 months — and really focusing on self-care. (That is the first topic of the first session of every round of my support groups). Also my support groups have an end date: as I anticipate that they will have gotten what they needed and to go on and flourish.

Anyway, thanks for writing what you did, and I am happy to have an exchange of thoughts should you ever reply. Otherwise this is a great letter to a computer moderator.

Ciao.
Maria W.

Hello Maria,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments. And thanks for the work that you do to help people. What you are doing sounds good, and I don't need to tell you how to do your job.

I hope that I don't sound "hateful". I do sometimes get a little emotional over issues like lying to sick people about what will cure them, and how well the suggested cure works. And of course the creeps who sexually exploit sick women who come to A.A. and N.A. seeking help with an addiction are really something else.

Since you only went to five A.A. meetings, you were probably lucky enough to avoid running into the worst of the A.A. abuses, although you did clearly see that A.A. is actually a cult religion, not a cure for a "disease".

Here are some links to lists of stories that I've received from people who did see A.A. at its worst:

Yes, I'd be happy to exchange thoughts with you.

Have a good day now, and a happy New Year.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     One Stepper declared, "My stability came out of trying to
**     give, not out of demanding that I receive."
**     Serving humanity is all fine and well, but what if you are humbly,
**     lovingly, spiritually giving out cups of cyanide koolaid?
**     No matter how generous and loving and unselfish you are
**     while you hand it out, it's still cyanide koolaid.





[The previous letter from Mary_Jane is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters383.html#Mary_Jane2 ]

Date: Fri, December 27, 2013 10:58 am     (answered 30 November 2013)
From: "Mary Jane"
Subject: FREEDOM FROM THE BONDAGE OF AA!!!

Well, Orange, wait until you hear what I did earlier this week. I grew some balls!!!
LOL

Several weeks ago I volunteered to chair the noon meeting at my home group, which was scheduled for last Monday (Dec 23). After the readings nobody had a topic so I stated what the meeting format instructions say that if no one has a topic it is up the chairperson to select the topic. I even went a step further to say that they will not like my topic (as I sat there feeling like a hypocrite).

Someone blurted out — "Honesty!" Well, that just pushed my button. I replied back, "OK. How about rigorous honesty? I will even elaborate." Then I elaborated about the dangers that are haunting the rooms of AA with the 13th Stepping, the sexual predation, et al. You should have seen their faces!!!

My sponsor was there, too. Let's just say it was a VERY fired up meeting. Some folks sat in their seats looking as if they had just swallowed a gold fish. Some folks were "trying" to be very intellectual about the whole thing. One man (an out-of-town visitor with 34 years) shared that if he hadn't chased skirts the first couple of years he might never had gotten sober. Sounds like a winner ... Huh? NOT!!!

Well, I elaborated some more at the end of the meeting about the unfortunate victims that have come to AA seeking help but instead had been murdered or raped as a result of trusting a predator sent to the rooms of AA by the courts. Everyone acted shocked that some vulnerable newcomers seeking sobriety in AA have been raped or murdered by the hands of another member of AA. I didn't even think to mention the folks that have been suckered out of boat loads of money.

Then the "intellectual" woman with about four years sober blurted out that she had never been to a meeting anything like this one. It made her sick that someone with over 20 years sober would bring up such a topic for discussion (with a newcomer in the room) and that AA has saved millions of lives. I replied back, "Yeah, well how many lives have died because of AA's ignorance?" She got so pissed she stormed out before the Lord's prayer. The truth hurts!

Some folks were shaking their heads afterward. Some thanked me for a great meeting. Everyone now knows where I stand and that I think it is high time to move on if folks cannot have this stuff brought up for discussion. If we can't talk about the truth of the dangers in AA then I don't belong there. BTW, even the newcomer liked the topic and thanked me.

Just proves that maybe (JUST MAYBE) there are long time sober folks in the rooms that know that this has gone on long enough and that is WHY they are leaving AA! I plan on being one of them and I will stay sober despite what AA's say about those that leave the meetings. For God's sakes, I'm leaving AA so that I don't pick up a drink!

Anywho, when I got home I called my sponsor because she left before I could say good-bye. She did something that I was NOT expecting, though. She told me that was an awesome topic and she was proud of me for bringing it up. REALLY? I'm still surprised.

I thought I was good to go, so long sponsor, and Hasta la vista, AA. She said it fit perfectly with my topic (rigorous honesty). We talked on the phone for well over an hour (a first) and she shared some stories with me that she knew about that had happened out in California that were unbelievable! I still wonder WHY she even continues to stay and be so heavily involved in AA service work knowing what she shared with me.

Apparently, about 15 years ago, a woman out in California that had many years sober (heavily involved in service work, a circuit speaker, et al) brought her teenage daughter to an AA dance at the Snake Pit. Well, the teenage daughter was brutally beaten and raped out in the parking lot while the AA dance was happening. The woman who was the longstanding member of AA disappeared and my sponsor hasn't heard anything about her whereabouts or whether she stayed sober after her daughter was raped. That was 15 years ago. It made me sick to my stomach. I'm sure A LOT of AA members think the woman drank over it, too. SAD.

After I spoke to my sponsor, I called my two sponsees. Both of my sponsees were not troubled by the topic or my perspective about AA being full of shit. They know they need to find a new sponsor because I cannot continue as that role in their life but they can call me anytime. I do not believe in the 12 Steps of AA and what they do with that information that I revealed about the dangers in AA is entirely up to them.

Since my last email to you I've learned everything I need to know about Clancy I. so I will be giving the tickets away for the AA Anniversary Dinner in February. I am just going to chalk up the lost cost for the three tickets I bought ($90) as a crap shoot. I'm feeling relieved that I no longer need AA meetings and it is time for me to move on.

When I was a brand new member of AA back in June 1992, my home town had several meetings that would open with the typical readings of the AA Literature (How It Works) then state: The following is non-approved AA literature but we choose to read "The Twelve Rewards."

THE TWELVE REWARDS

  • 1. Hope instead of desperation.
  • 2. Faith instead of despair.
  • 3. Courage instead of fear.
  • 4. Peace of mind instead of confusion.
  • 5. Self respect instead of self contempt.
  • 6. Self confidence instead of helplessness.
  • 7. The respect of others instead of pity and contempt.
  • 8. A clean conscience instead of a sense of guilt.
  • 9. Real friendships instead of loneliness.
  • 10. A clean pattern of life instead of a purposeless existence.
  • 11. The love and understanding of our families instead of their doubts and fears.
  • 12. The freedom of a happy life instead of the bondage of an alcoholic obsession.

I always loved the Twelve Rewards despite them being NON-APPROVED AA literature. Now that I know that my decision to leave AA is the best decision I can make for my serenity and sanity, I have finally received the TWELVE REWARDS but the most important one is the 12th Reward: The freedom of a happy life instead of the bondage of an alcoholic obsession (Alcoholics Anonymous). I'M SOBER AND FREE!!! :)

Hello again, Mary Jane,

And thanks for the story. I'm glad to hear that you had the courage to speak truth to A.A. I wish I could have seen it. And congratulations on your new freedom.

The story about the rape is appalling. I'm adding this letter to the list of A.A. Horror Stories.

Have a good day now, and a happy New Year. And it will be a new year for you, won't it?

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Buy a Hallmark Christmas card and help A.A. to rape underage girls.

[The next letter from Mary_Jane is here.]





December 25, 2013, Wednesday, Christmas Day, Fernhill Wetlands:

Gus the Greylag Goose
Gus getting Christmas Dinner

Ducks resting
Ducks resting.
These are mixed Northern Pintail Ducks and Mallards. The ones on the far left and far right are Pintail drakes. Second from the left is a Mallard drake. The other two look like Mallard ducks.

Mallard Duck pair
A Mallard pair, the Drake is in front, and the Hen behind.
Notice how it is the middle of winter, and they are still paired up. They seem to form relationships that last longer than just one breeding season.

Mallard Duck pair
The Mallard pair is coming to me for their Christmas dinner.

Mallard Drake
Got bread?

[The story of the goslings continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters383.html#SQ ]

From: "SQ"
Subject: Story Submissions
Date: Wed, December 25, 2013 9:31 pm     (answered 27 December 2013)

Hey Orange-
Wondering if this website is still active. Very helpful information has been submitted and I would like to see it continue for the greater good. I made my positions clear to some various (12 step involved) people regarding my beliefs in AA recently and the responses have been hilarious. Would love to share. Please keep me anonymous but sign me
Very lovingly,
S.Q.

Hello SQ,
Yes, the web site is very much alive and active, and I welcome all stories.
So please send in your story.
And have a happy holiday season.
== 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.





BLOG NOTE: 31 December 2013:

To All:

Thanks for an incredible year. We went from 2 or 3 million hits a month to five or six.

We've seen more publicity about the negative side of A.A. than ever before, and more judges declaring that sentencing people to A.A. meetings is unConstitutional.

And we have seen the slow, steady growth of non-cult recovery methods and groups like SMART, SOS, Lifering and WFS.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it isn't an oncoming locomotive.

Have a happy, sane, safe, and sober New Year.

== Orange





December 25, 2013, Wednesday, Christmas Day, Fernhill Wetlands:

Deadwood and Canada Goose and Duck
Deadwood Ducks
Actually, it's a Canada Goose and a Pintail Duck. I seem to recall that "Deadwood Duck" is a name that Daffy Duck liked to use in his Wild West fantasies.

Pintail Drake
A Northern Pintail drake

Eagles' nest
The abandoned Eagles' Nest.
Killing all of the fish in the first pond may have had a lot to do with the eagles leaving. That is, one of the sewage workers declared that the carp in the ponds were an "invasive species", so they killed all of them in late 2012. What that worker does not understand is that sewage treatment plants are also an unnatural invasive species. There is no native Oregonian fish that thrives in sewage ponds. The carp serve as an indispensable food source for herons, eagles, pelicans, and osprey, so it is good that they are there. Or used to be there. They are trying to make a come-back, but it isn't the same. You don't see the carp in big feeding frenzies whenever someone throws bread on the water.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

[The story of the goslings continues here.]





BLOG NOTE: 1 January 2014:

Happy New Year.

Okay wage slaves, party's over. Back into the salt mines.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters383.html#Garry_C ]

Date: Mon, December 30, 2013 7:26 pm     (answered 1 January 2014)
From: "garry cox"
Subject: YOUR RIGHT ! IT DOESN'T WORK ! ....YOU HAVE TO WORK IT ....

LISTEN TO THE MESSAGE

Hello Garry,

I have listened to the message. And the message is, "It doesn't work. You have to do all of the work yourself."

At which point, there is no reason to participate in a harmful cult religion that teaches you that you are powerless and a disgusting sinner who needs to grovel and apologize for the rest of your life.

If you want a "program" or an organization for quitting drinking, which you don't really need, you can do better in any of the secular organizations like SMART, SOS, Lifering, or WFS.

Have a good day now, and a happy new year.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Being surrounded by a group of people who keep
**     telling you that you are powerless over alcohol,
**     and that your will power is useless, is not
**     getting "support". It is getting sabotaged.
**     With friends like them, you don't need any enemies.





[The previous letter from Mary_Jane is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters383.html#Mary_Jane3 ]

Date: Tue, December 31, 2013 5:30 pm     (answered 3 January 2014)
From: "Mary Jane"
Subject: RE: LMAO @ your reply Orange!!! :)

Hello Mary Jane,
Thank you for the letter and the story. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well, and your mind is still intact even after so many years in and out of A.A.I feel like I don't need to tell you anything because you already know it all.So I'll just wish you a good day and a Happy New Year.
== Orange

LMAO @ "I feel like I don't need to tell you anything because you already know it all." Jeez Louise, if I really did "know it all" WHY did I wait so stinkin' long to trust my thoughts and gut instincts?

AA was really good for me in the early days because it got me out of the bars and allowed me enough time away from the drink to see how much better life is without drowning in the bottom of a bottle! One thing I did know for sure was that I was NOT going to let anyone in AA take away my God-given free will and intellect. I'm grateful I had a strong connection to the God of my understanding BEFORE quitting drinking and smoking. I quit smoking on my four month anniversary (10/15/92) and my sponsor did suggest not making any major changes in the first year. If being stubborn is a "defect of character" it sure has hell suited me over the years. I didn't listen about not quitting smoking or dating my hubby. C'est la vie!!!

God only knows what might have happened if I didn't have the common sense to trust my head and heart when something I read or heard didn't seem quite up to snuff. I'm a risk taker and I am AOK with that badge. ;)

Take care, Orange!!! ♥ Best wishes for a Happy New Year in 2014!!! :)
Fondly,MJ

Hello again, MJ,

Well, when I said that you knew everything, I guess that was a little strong. But you do know what you need to know. And you know how to run a real support group.

You said, "Jeez Louise, if I really did "know it all" WHY did I wait so stinkin' long to trust my thoughts and gut instincts?"
Ah yes. I didn't say that you always knew everything, now did I? Of course life is a learning experience. But from very early in the game, you knew that you didn't want to hand your mind over to a smooth-talking con artist, didn't you?

Funny how that works. I was the same way. When they told me to stop thinking and just have faith, I said, "The heck with that noise." And I'm glad I didn't.

I can see how having some kind of a sober social club was helpful in quitting. Fortunately, there are more and more secular meetings around, like SMART, SOS, WFS, and Lifering, where nobody is asking people to throw their brains in the trash can.

It isn't a coincidence that I also quit smoking three weeks after I quit drinking. When your head clears, it quickly becomes obvious that smoking is also killing you. When you decide to live and get healthy, you see that half measures avail you nothing. (Funny how many Big-Book-quoting smokers ignore that obvious point.)

Have a good day now, and a happy next year.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Tobacco kills 440,000 smokers every year in the United States,
**     and secondhand smoke inhaled by bystanders claims another 50,000.
**       ==  New York Times editorial, "Ending Our Tobacco Addiction",
**            May 30, 2007.
**  http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/opinion/30wed3.html?n=Top%2fOpinion%2fEditorials%20and%20Op%2dEd%2fEditorials





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters383.html#LCS ]

Date: Wed, January 1, 2014 2:25 pm     (answered 3 January 2014)
From: "LCS"
Subject: Heroin Addiction Non-12 Step Treatment

I just recently was pointed to your site and found some very interesting information that has really made me think about the treatment my son is going through for his addiction. He is 19 and started with an addition to opiates when he was 15 which progressed to heroin at 18 when he could no longer get the 0xycontin. Prior to oxy, he was a heavy marijuana user, but also tried many other highs including alcohol. He has spent a significant part of the last 4 years in some form of treatment with little success:
Intensive outpatient- age 15
28 day inpatient- age 16
Intensive outpatient- age 17
28 day inpatient- age 18
28 day inpatient -age 19
Sober living- age 19 (he is on his 5th one in 7 months)

One of him main struggles is that all of these programs are 12-step focused and he doesn't believe in a Higher Power. He admits that he can't stay clean on his own...he needs support and accountability...but we've not seen any programs that are not 12-step. All of the inpatients within our insurance network only include 12 step treatment. All of the sober living programs he has been in are 12-step focused. Do you know of any non-12 step programs out there that are free or low-cost? He has looked into the free long-term programs, but discovered that all of these are 12 step and faith-based (Salvation Army, Teen Challenge, etc.). He doesn't have any funds to pay on his own and we are tapped out financially having paid out of pocket for many of his programs. Any guidance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
--
*LCS*

Hello LCS,

Thanks for the question. Wow, that is a tough question. Combining all of those requirements: good, sane, cheap, leaves me scratching my head. I don't know of any free in-patient treatment centers that don't push the 12 Steps. But there might be one. Or you might be able to find some helpful friends who can work out an arrangement like mentoring from the members of secular organizations like SMART, SOS, Lifering, or Rational Recovery. (Strictly speaking, Rational Recovery is no longer an organization or a meeting, but there are still people who like it and practice it.)

What I would do is ask in the forums of all of those things. Here is the list of secular recovery organizations and methods:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-alt_list.html.

Note that most of them have forums where you can ask the same questions. Just to get the ball started, I'll ask your question in the Orange Papers forum. And I'll create an account for you in the forum, user name "LCS".

For some quick reading for your son, I recommend:

  1. How did you get to where you are?

  2. The Lizard-Brain Addiction Monster

  3. And the books The Small Book and Rational Recovery may be helpful. In fact, look at the whole "top 10" list. The books from SOS and SMART are good too.

By the way, your son is right to object to the hocus-pocus nonsense in the 12 Step programs. They push the worst kind of superstitious heresies. It isn't just a matter of believing in God; lots of people who do believe in some kind of God strongly object to the A.A. and N.A. program which is really just the pro-Nazi religion of Dr. Frank Buchman, who declared that God would solve all of your problems for you if you just confessed enough and "surrendered" to God or your sponsor.

Good luck now, and have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The hell to be endured hereafter, of which theology tells,
**     is no worse than the hell we make for ourselves in this world
**     by habitually fashioning our characters in the wrong way.
**       ==  William James [1842—1910]
**           The Principles of Psychology [1890], Chap. 10





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters383.html#Calla ]

Date: Tue, December 31, 2013 5:16 pm     (answered 2 January 2014)
From: "calla"
Subject: Registering

Hello, my name is calla. what do i have to do to register on your forum?
Thanks.

Hello Calla,

To register, use the link in the upper left-hand corner of the pages, like the first page of the forum. See address below.

Just click on register. Use a valid email address (verification email will be sent) and any user name that you like that isn't already taken.

Then email me and tell me what user name you registered. The last step is to keep the spammers out. They create thousands of fake registrations, trying to get the ability to post advertisements for their schemes.

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.





BLOG NOTE: RANDOM THOUGHTS: 2014.01.04:

Cult religion is such an easy con to sell to the suckers. And it's cheap too. It doesn't cost anything to sell cult religion. And you never have to produce the goodies. The routine is always, "If you don't get holy from this cult religion, it's because you are a disgusting sinner who won't get clean."

Let's face it, if some preacher says, "You are a disgusting sinner!" and you respond, "Yes, that's the religion that I want to join!" then you have a problem.





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Last updated 13 May 2014.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters383.html