Letters, We Get Mail, CCCLXXXIV



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters384.html#Amanda_P ]

Date: Thu, January 2, 2014 1:09 pm     (answered 4 January 2014)
From: "Amanda P."
Subject: Your website

Hi friend. I am a friend of bill wilson and dr bob. I am also one of those zero % you talk about taking a 5 year chip sept 4 2008. I feel horrible that the only type of meeting you have researched is that in which I call depression meetings. There are more than just talk therapy type meetings out there. Just to qualify myself a little I habe done talk therapy for about 15 years I have tried staying sober and yes the book does refer on pg 32 to the terms sober and dry. The outcome of my lack of not using aa is within 8 months of my first drink I was in the mental hospital for 3 1/2 months with dts. Yes full on dts after 8 months of alcoholic drinking. I am a 5'4 women who at the time weighed 160 lbs. I could down two large bottles if slightly flavored vodka followed by a case of fruit type drinks. Oh and not to mention my snorting the amount of cocaine up my nose to keep me high for days.

So if you know anything about this book and no I haven't read your entire website because I didn't much like the abuse you spew. I'm actually a highly intelligent individual. So assuming you have read the book in full you did read the part about choosing a god as I understand him. One of my choosing. I dare you to find the page where this is quote. 'Take pen to paper and create your own concept of god' I have a concept of a higher power and do not belong to not wish to enter a church. Have you evet watched spirit science theres a good youtube channel you could in fact tear apart next. Oh I'm so sorry that was one of my character defects know as sarcasm peeking out. I have a lot of character defect which yes I try and work on. See its sad you only had a few bad instances with groups that in my opinion as a primary purpose member really have no place. There is no doubt that aa has been so watered down that no its success rate is aweful. I don't agree with open discussion meetings where members apew their shit and have verbal diahrea all over the place.

I actually attend whats called a primary purpose book study meeting where we actually just focus on the teachings in the book. I love the fact aa never claims that a person will be better in a night. Its chief belief is that its progress rather than perfection. Bill wilson tried working with over 60 drunks before he met dr bob. Out cof curiosity how much of aa's history do you actually know? Yes we are a sort of branch off another fellowship. However bill didn't like how religious that group was so he left it.

I have recovered from a hopessly seeming state of mind and body due to having a spiritual experience as a result of working these steps. I still struggle with my daily life because I'm far for perfection.

Did I mention how aa never makes claims to be the only program in town? There are church organizations that actually take a religious view and people due recover that way.

Oh I am also a sponsor and no I seriously do not try and convert everyone as the book actually talks against that in chapter 7 working with others. It says to approach your prospect/protege/friend and if he is not willing to discuss it don't push it as you may spoil a latter opportunity.

Sir/madamn since I haven't any idea who you are, because I actually think your a coward if you can't publish your name for whichever reason. I could actually take you to court and sue you for defamation of character. Yes my legal right says that you are not legal allowed to walk around causing serious mental harm to people.

Ooooh another question is there is a youtube channel called justanotherface123 in which that individual who sounds an awefully like you spews the same bs just in voice form. Would you happen to be that same individual?

I'm sure you get alot of requests but since aa is a huge topic and OBVIOUSLY you are seriously misinformed just about how aa works I would live to have a voice to voice discussion. I will even be willing to skype with you.

I have free long distance so I am more than willing to call you. However I will leave my phone number and since I can see you must not be employed as you have spent alot of time breaking down a program you know lil about I would so love to help you understand it better as I do this as a Sponsor.

By the way my name is amanda p. a recovered alcoholic.

Edmonton albeta 1-587-xxx-xxxx.

Please call anytime. Or email facebook or text message or skype or hangout on apps.

I very much look forward to speaking with you.

Thank you ever so much.

Amanda p. ♥

Hello Amanda,

Thank you for the letter.

  1. Starting at the top, you said,

    I am also one of those zero % you talk about taking a 5 year chip sept 4 2008.

    Congratulations on taking care of your health for five years. Alas, you are grossly misquoting me. I never said that zero percent of the A.A. newcomers pick up 5-year coins. What I said, here: http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters62.html#coins, is that 1.63% of the newcomers pick up 5-year coins.

    What I said is that the A.A. success rate is zero percent above normal spontaneous remission. Meaning: A.A. does not improve on the situation at all. People who quit alone on their own do just as well as those who go to A.A. meetings and "work the Steps". People who go to church or the local Ladies' Home Garden Club get the same success rate. A.A. is not due the credit for any recoveries. People always do it themselves, and save their own lives.

    The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health, performed the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. For it, they interviewed over 43,000 people. Using the criteria for alcohol dependence found in the DSM-IV, they found:
    "About 75 percent of persons who recover from alcohol dependence do so without seeking any kind of help, including specialty alcohol (rehab) programs and AA. Only 13 percent of people with alcohol dependence ever receive specialty alcohol treatment."

    For example, there is me. If I was in A.A., I would have picked up my 13-year coin a few months ago. I'm sure that someone in A.A. picked up a 13-year coin a few months ago, and someone else opined that he proves that A.A. works. No he doesn't. He only proves that it is possible to attend A.A. meetings for 13 years. So why don't you also opine that quitting alone, on your own, like how I did, also works just as well? Why don't you count the success stories where people got sober without A.A.?

  2. Then you said,
    I feel horrible that the only type of meeting you have researched is that in which I call depression meetings. There are more than just talk therapy type meetings out there.

    Nonsense. It isn't a matter of what kind of meetings I attended. And it isn't just me. I have received horror stories from a lot of different people who have been to every kind of A.A. meeting. Look here: the list of A.A. horror stories.

  3. This is bad logic:
    The outcome of my lack of not using aa is within 8 months of my first drink I was in the mental hospital for 3 1/2 months with dts. Yes full on dts after 8 months of alcoholic drinking. I am a 5'4 women who at the time weighed 160 lbs. I could down two large bottles if slightly flavored vodka followed by a case of fruit type drinks. Oh and not to mention my snorting the amount of cocaine up my nose to keep me high for days.

    Actually, you went into DT's when you stopped drinking alcohol. DT's are caused by the sudden lack of alcohol after prolonged heavy drinking. DT's have nothing to do with whether you are attending A.A. meetings. Likewise, your mental illness is not caused by failure to attend A.A. meetings. Nor was your cocaine consumption. You are trying to assume that A.A. is a cure-all, which it isn't.

    You said, "The outcome of my lack of not using aa is...", and then you listed some disastrously bad drug consumption habits that ended with 3½ months in a mental hospital. You are trying to imply that not going to A.A. meetings causes people to drink alcohol and snort cocaine. No it doesn't. That is illogical and ridiculous. The vast majority of people in the USA don't go to A.A. meetings, and they also don't snort suicidal amounts of cocaine and drink suicidal amounts of alcohol. Look at me. I haven't been to an A.A. meeting in almost 12 years, and yet I have 13 years off of alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, heroin, and all other illegal drugs. I don't need an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties to control my hands and keep me from drinking and smoking and drugging. Do you?

    Can you explain how that works? How does A.A. control your hands and keep you from picking up a drink or hit of coke? Or does A.A. control your mind and control your behavior? If so, how does that work? Dictators all over the world want to know how to control people like so many robots.

    It is illogical for you to give all of the credit for your sobriety to A.A., and none to the mental hospital that detoxed you and kept you from drinking and drugging for 3½ months. Obviously, the mental hospital deserves a lot of the credit. You already had 3½ months of sobriety when you walked into your A.A. meeting, didn't you? But then the A.A. members started working on you and telling you that your sobriety was because of A.A., not because of anything that you learned in the mental hospital. They usually steal the credit that way.

  4. Then you lectured me about your ideas of God:
    So assuming you have read the book in full you did read the part about choosing a god as I understand him. One of my choosing. I dare you to find the page where this is quote. 'Take pen to paper and create your own concept of god' I have a concept of a higher power and do not belong to not wish to enter a church. Have you evet watched spirit science theres a good youtube channel you could in fact tear apart next. Oh I'm so sorry that was one of my character defects know as sarcasm peeking out. I have a lot of character defect which yes I try and work on.

    That is nonsense. You are trying to tell me that a sick, cloudy-headed, detoxing, patient in a mental hospital is a qualified theologian who can design and choose an appropriate "god", and then create that god, and it will work for her and deliver miracles on demand?

    You want the Big Book quote where Bill said that you can create your own concept of God? Okay, here you are: Bill Wilson loved to brag that "God" can be whatever you wish:

    ...   I resisted the thought of a Czar of the Heavens, however loving His sway might be.   ...
          My friend suggested what then seemed a novel idea. He said, "Why don't you choose your own conception of God?"
          That statement hit me hard. It melted the icy intellectual mountain in whose shadow I had lived and shivered many years. I stood in the sunlight at last.
    Big Book, 3rd & 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, Chapter 1, "Bill's Story", page 12.

    (By the way, there was no icy intellectual mountain in Bill Wilson's life. Bill Wilson was a superstitious flunk-out, not an intellectual.)

    Bill also wrote,

    Stress the spiritual feature freely. If the man be agnostic or atheist, make it emphatic that he does not have to agree with your conception of God.
      ...
    There is no use arousing any prejudice he may have against certain theological terms and conceptions about which he may already be confused. Don't raise such issues, no matter what your own convictions are.
    The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Working With Others, page 93.

    Why stress "the spiritual feature" freely? Because you aren't supposed to stress the religious feature. Keep on yammering, "It's spiritual, not religious" when the prospect says, "I don't want to join a religion."

    Also note Bill Wilson's arrogance. He thinks that people who disagree with his crazy Buchmanite theology are "prejudiced" and "confused about certain theological terms and conceptions".

    The "spirit science" channel sounds interesting. I've never watched it. Have you? Do you have a link?

  5. See its sad you only had a few bad instances with groups that in my opinion as a primary purpose member really have no place. There is no doubt that aa has been so watered down that no its success rate is aweful. I don't agree with open discussion meetings where members apew their shit and have verbal diahrea all over the place.

    Again, you are trying to claim that A.A. is good, and it's only a few meetings that you don't like that are bad. Not so. Read and honestly answer all of those A.A. horror stories.

    And the "watered down A.A." argument is an old one: "If we just get Back to the Basics and return to the good old days when Dr. Frank Buchman and the Oxford Group praised Adolf Hitler, then we will have some real spirituality." I don't think so.

  6. Your next paragraph verifies what I was saying: the "Primary Purpose" sub-cult is a fundamentalist branch of A.A.:

    I actually attend whats called a primary purpose book study meeting where we actually just focus on the teachings in the book. I love the fact aa never claims that a person will be better in a night. Its chief belief is that its progress rather than perfection. Bill wilson tried working with over 60 drunks before he met dr bob. Out cof curiosity how much of aa's history do you actually know? Yes we are a sort of branch off another fellowship. However bill didn't like how religious that group was so he left it.

    I know a lot of A.A.'s history, including the fact that Bill Wilson failed to sober up alcoholics both before and after he co-authored the opening chapters of the Big Book:

    Nan Robertson reported:

    [Bill Wilson] had only scattered luck with those he tried to sober up personally...
    Getting Better Inside Alcoholics Anonymous, Nan Robertson, pages 67-68.

    And Bill wrote:

    At first nearly every alcoholic we approached began to slip, if indeed he sobered up at all. Others would stay dry six months or maybe a year and then take a skid. This was always a genuine catastrophe.
    Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, William G. Wilson, (1957), page 97.

    At a memorial service for Dr. Bob, Bill Wilson actually bragged about the pathetically low success rate of the whole A.A. program. (Bill was making himself out to be a long-suffering hero, working tirelessly to promote Alcoholics Anonymous.) Bill described the early days of A.A. this way:

    You have no conception these days of how much failure we had. You had to cull over hundreds of these drunks to get a handful to take the bait.
    Bill Wilson, at the memorial service for Dr. Bob, Nov. 15, 1952; file available here.

    "Take the bait"? Only a few percent of "these drunks" would "take the bait"? And what percentage of those new members who took the bait actually got sober and stayed sober? Even fewer.

    You can read much more about the failure rate of A.A. in the early days here:
    http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-effectiveness.html#Bob_memorial

    Yes, I know all about that "other fellowship" that was the parent of Alcoholics Anonymous. It was called The Oxford Group, and it was the creation of an evil lying deceitful Lutheran minister named Dr. Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman who praised Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler as wonderful lads. I wrote up a history of that cult, here:
    The Religious Roots of A.A. and the Twelve Steps

    By the way, neither Bill Wilson, nor Dr. Robert H. Smith, nor Clarence Snyder quit the Oxford Group in protest when Frank Buchman publicly thanked Heaven for giving us Adolf Hitler.

    And Bill Wilson did not quit the Oxford Group because it was "too religious". Bill Wilson was kicked out for failure to follow orders to quit recruiting alcoholics and building up his own private sub-cult within the Oxford Group.

  7. It's hard to comment on this statement:

    I have recovered from a hopessly seeming state of mind and body due to having a spiritual experience as a result of working these steps. I still struggle with my daily life because I'm far for perfection.

    I won't say whether you actually had a "spiritual experience", whatever you think that is. I will say that "Working the Steps" does not induce spiritual experiences, it induces mental breakdowns and conversion to belief in a cult religion. The 12 Steps are nothing but Dr. Frank Buchman's practices for recruiting people and converting them into believers in his cult religion.

    If you have recovered your health by not drinking alcohol and not snorting cocaine, then wonderful. Now that really does something good for your health.

  8. The first sentence here is wrong, totally wrong:

    Did I mention how aa never makes claims to be the only program in town? There are church organizations that actually take a religious view and people due recover that way.

    See these Bait-and-Switch tricks:

    Now it is true that there are religious programs like the Catholic Calix and St. Vincent de Paul programs, and the Protestant Evangelist Rick Warren's Christianity-based Saddleback program, but they don't get any better success rate than secular treatment programs. Meaning: They get the same success rate as going it alone, and quitting without a program.

  9. Oh I am also a sponsor and no I seriously do not try and convert everyone as the book actually talks against that in chapter 7 working with others. It says to approach your prospect/protege/friend and if he is not willing to discuss it don't push it as you may spoil a latter opportunity.

    Now that is interesting. So you downplay the agressive recruiting techniques in the Chapter 7 recruiting manual in the Big Book?

    You are also ignoring all of Chapter 4 of the Big Book — "We Agnostics", which declares that all atheists and agnostics must convert to Bill Wilson's religious beliefs.

    What Bill Wilson really said there is that, when recruiting, you should not waste your time on people who will never become good A.A. members. Be efficient, and seek out better prospects:

    Do not be discouraged if your prospect does not respond at once. Search out another alcoholic and try again. You are sure to find someone desperate enough to accept with eagerness what you offer. We find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not work with you. ... To spend too much time on any one situation is to deny some other alcoholic an opportunity to live and be happy.
    The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, chapter 7, "Working With Others", page 96.

    Indeed. We aren't trying to save alcoholics here, we are trying to get more cult members. Don't waste your time on the ones who won't join the cult. Keep fishing, and you will find someone desperate enough to grab, like a drowning man, at anything you hold out. And you will find somebody; that's how this cult succeeds in getting new members.

    And note Bill Wilson's delusions of grandeur showing again: If you don't push some alcoholic into Bill's program, then you will be denying him the "opportunity to live and be happy." Bill actually claimed that alcoholics couldn't possibly recover, be happy, or even live, without his Alcoholics Anonymous program. Nobody else in the whole world had the magic. Just Bill Wilson. That is the standard cult characteristic of We have THE ONLY WAY.

    Your reference to spoiling a latter opportunity actually comes from Bill's rap about making amends. Bill Wilson rationalized why A.A. members should hide the religious nature of Alcoholics Anonymous from outsiders while doing the 9th and 10th steps:

    It is seldom wise to approach an individual, who still smarts from our injustice to him, and announce that we have gone religious. In the prize ring, this would be called leading with the chin. Why lay ourselves open to being branded fanatics or religious bores? We may kill a future opportunity to carry a beneficial message.
    The Big Book, 3rd and 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, Chapter 6, Into Action, page 77.

    When Bill speaks of "a future opportunity to carry a beneficial message", what that really means is, "a future chance to recruit the individual who still smarts from our injustice." Bill was always scheming to enlarge his cult.

  10. Sir/madamn since I haven't any idea who you are, because I actually think your a coward if you can't publish your name for whichever reason. I could actually take you to court and sue you for defamation of character. Yes my legal right says that you are not legal allowed to walk around causing serious mental harm to people.

    Again, you really haven't read much of the web site, have you? I have revealed my real name, and my identify, many times, over many years. Here is the autobiographical information:

    1. Why did I make all of these pages? For a lot of reasons.
    2. About the motivation for creating the site, that is funny. I never set out to create any such thing. I was just going to write a 30-page essay about A.A. and what I saw as its failings and why it was inappropriate for use in treatment programs.
    3. the introduction, my introduction to A.A.
    4. the "treatment" bait-and-switch trick
    5. another friend goes missing
    6. who are you
    7. who are you, again
    8. really an alcoholic...
    9. definitions of "an alcoholic"
    10. Rat Park and Other Children's Stories
    11. How did you get to where you are?
    12. A biography written for SOS
    13. history of the Orange Papers, and
    14. censorship, the Orange Papers censored and erased by Yahoo Geocities
    15. the "Orange" name.
    16. There are some recent pictures of me and my little friends here and here and here.

    My birth name is Terrance Hodgins, and I live in rural Oregon, west of Portland. The name "Orange" began as a joke. A woman who used the name of "Apple" ran a web site called AAdeprogramming.com, and I sent some of my original papers to her web site. I said that since she was "Apple", I would be "Orange", so that we could make jokes about mixing Apples and Oranges. And the name stuck. I've been using that pen name for so long that many people know me by no other name.

    By the way, isn't it curious how maintaining anonymity is a spiritual virtue when A.A. members do it, and "cowardice" when non-members do it? Nothing like hypocrisy and a double standard, is there?

    You think you can sue me for defamation of character? The last guy who threatened that slunk away with his tail between his legs.

    And defamation of whose character? Bill Wilson is dead. You cannot sue for defamation of the character of a dead man. Besides, Bill Wilson's character is indefensible. He was a compulsive liar, a 2-bit hustler and stock touter, a Wall street stock manipulator, a religious cult member, a narcissistic buffoon, a thief and embezzler, a philanderer and sexual predator, a con man and quack healer, a fake holy man, and a raving nut-case — both before and after sobriety. Suing for defamation of his character would be some kind of an obscene joke.

    And Dr. Bob was a crazy vicious child abuser and a thoroughly digusting man. Dr. Bob's character is also indefensible.

    How about defamation of the character of the A.A. members who foist an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties on sick people and lie to them and tell them that the religion is a cure for alcohol addiction that works great, when it really has a 100% failure rate above normal spontaneous remission? Those people are guilty of fraud and quackery and self-delusion too. And then those quack healers tell people to stop taking their doctor-prescribed medications, and cause people to die. Their character is also indefensible.

    About causing serious harm to individuals: That is the big problem that I have with Alcoholics Anonymous. A.A. is just an old cult religion that pretends to be a cure for alcohol abuse, and it has hurt a lot of people. It should get sued out of existence.

    Again, you have some reading to do:

    1. Dr. Brandsma found that A.A. increased the rate of binge drinking.
    2. Dr. Ditman found that A.A. increased the rate of rearrests for public drunkenness.
    3. Dr. Walsh found that "free A.A." made later hospitalization more expensive.
    4. Drs. Orford and Edwards found that having a doctor talk to the patient for just one hour, telling him to quit drinking or he would die, was just as effective as a whole year of A.A.-based treatment.
      (Maybe not coincidentally, that is the real treatment that I got, and maybe it worked. If any "treatment" had anything to do with my recovery, that was it.)
    5. Dr. George E. Vaillant the A.A. Trustee found that A.A. treatment was completely ineffective, and raised the death rate in alcoholics.
    6. Then there are the young women who get sexually exploited in A.A. See
    7. And there are the people who get told not to take their medications, often with very bad results. See their stories here: A.A. "No Meds" Stories.
    8. And then there are the A.A. suicides.
    9. And there is the excessive A.A. divorce rate.
    10. And you can finish with the list of A.A. horror stories.

  11. Ooooh another question is there is a youtube channel called justanotherface123 in which that individual who sounds an awefully like you spews the same bs just in voice form. Would you happen to be that same individual?

    I never heard of that YouTube channel. Do you have a link?

  12. I'm sure you get alot of requests but since aa is a huge topic and OBVIOUSLY you are seriously misinformed just about how aa works I would live to have a voice to voice discussion. I will even be willing to skype with you.

    I have free long distance so I am more than willing to call you. However I will leave my phone number and since I can see you must not be employed as you have spent alot of time breaking down a program you know lil about I would so love to help you understand it better as I do this as a Sponsor.

    I'm always open to discussions of the facts, and debates. But email works best. Telephone debates accomplish nothing because no one else can listen in. Vocal arguments that aren't recorded are a waste of time. When I answer emails, thousands of people can follow the discussions.

    And I'm not misinformed. I've been studying A.A. for 13 years now, which is a lot longer than your 5 years. So I suggest that you start by reading the entire Orange Papers web site, so that you will know what we have already discussed and established and revealed. I know the facts, you don't. You just have a few mistaken beliefs.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     Faith in a holy cause is to a considerable extent
**     a substitute for the lost faith in ourselves.
**         ==  Eric Hoffer





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

Greylag Goose and Canada Goose
Gus and friends, eating rolled oats

Greylag Goose and Canada Goose
Gus and a crippled friend

Canada Goose
One of Gus's friends

Canada Goose
Gus

[More gosling photos below, here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters384.html#Ben ]

Date: Thu, January 2, 2014 7:41 pm     (answered 7 January 2014)
From: "ben"
Subject: Concerning what you wrote about A.A.

Dude u got it all wrong. Call us feeble minded alcoholic crack-pots or whatever, but if you took this much time and energy to write something that takes forever to read, then your letting it control some area of your life and it obviously has power over you. I found it quite disturbing that someone could hate a group of people to this extent, much like how Hitler hated Jews.

Hello Ben,

Dude, you got it all wrong. I do not hate A.A. members. I simply object to a cult selling quack medicine to sick people. That does a lot of harm, and telling sick people not to take their medications makes sick people get even sicker. Somebody has to talk about that.

A.A. does not work as a cure for excessive drinking. A.A. is just an old cult religion from the nineteen-thirties — The Oxford Group. To get the 12 Steps, all that Bill Wilson did was write down the cult recruiting and indoctrination practices that were used by the Oxford Group. Of course that is not a cure for a disease.

If you think I'm spending a lot of time denouncing A.A., think about the guys who go to one or two or three A.A. meetings a day for 10 or 20 years. Now that is nuts.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil
**       is for good men to do nothing."
**         ==  Edmund Burke (1729—1797)





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters384.html#William_M ]

Date: Fri, January 3, 2014 10:37 am     (answered 7 January 2014)
From: "William M."
Subject: Questions for you

I am writing a critique of AA and have seen your information over the years. Would you be willing to speak with me or would you prefer email only.

I am not in favor of promoting AA. I am in your corner

Thank you

William

Hello William,

Thanks for the question. I'd be happy to correspond with you. I prefer email because then thousands of people can read the correspondence.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Never answer an anonymous letter.
**       ==  Yogi Berra





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters384.html#xx ]

Date: Sat, January 4, 2014 12:09 pm     (answered 7 January 2014)
From: "Oh Sweat Bret"
Subject: Your site intrigues me

Hi, I would love to discuss 12 step programs with you. im a recovering drug addict with almost 9 months clean. I have gone to meetings and currently live in a halfway house but agree with a lot of the things you say and disagree with some. Are you in recovery?

Also i am open to skype, online voice chat or phone calls.

Hello Sweet,

Thanks for the question. Yes, I'm open to communication. I prefer email so that other people can follow the conversation too, but am open to whatever.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      On life's journey faith is nourishment,
**      virtuous deeds are a shelter,
**      wisdom is the light by day and
**      right mindfulness is the protection by night.
**      If a man lives a pure life, nothing can destroy him.
**        ==  Buddha





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters384.html#Bill_W ]

Date: Mon, January 6, 2014 1:17 pm     (answered 7 January 2014)
From: "william N."
Subject: NY Times Article

Hi Terry,

Happy New Year to both you and your fine feathered friends ;-), whose exploits you often catalogue in your delightful photographs. Incidentally, birding and bird photography is something I've gotten into myself since deciding not to drink and drug myself to death some years ago, now.

Anyway, I was minding my own business when I stumbled over this article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/02/opinion/cold-turkey-isnt-the-only-route.html?_r=1&

I was amazed to read such a clear, rational article about drinking. I myself drink moderately now. I learned how to do it myself. It was no big deal, either. I think it's wise to use approaches that are not limited to only total abstinence which, for the hypothetical 22 year old forced into AA, are nearly impossible to attain. I also enjoyed reading the 6th paragraph which sums up what the Orange Papers have been saying for years — that AA does not work.

Four days later I read the letters to the editor about this story (below). The letters are fascinating, particularly one from a retired criminal justice professor by the name of Daniel Hood. Hope you and your readers find this interesting:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/06/opinion/which-path-to-control-drinking.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&_r=0

Your friend,
Bill

Hello Bill,

Thanks for the links. Now that is interesting. I recognize the name Gabriella Glaser. She has written some books about recovery. I quite agree with what she wrote here.

I think I found just one error in the article: "Bankole Johnson, an alcohol researcher and consultant to pharmaceutical companies who is also the chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine..."
I'm pretty sure that Dr. and Prof. Bankole A. Johnson currently serves as Alumni Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia. Look here.

The information about Naltrexone is good. I have high hopes for that.

I wanted to post a comment, but the comments were already closed. I wanted to say that I saw that nobody mentioned the Rand Corporation study. Many years ago, way back in 1978, the famous government think tank, the Rand Corporation, found that the successful people who had stopped drinking self-destructively were evenly split between total abstinence and tapering off into moderate, controlled, drinking. So total abstinence is not the only way. It all depends on the individual person. Of course, the A.A. true believers flipped out when the Rand Corporation released that report, and screamed that it was irresponsible to release such information, and the Rand Corporation was "giving alcoholics an excuse to drink". (More on that here.)

I see that the A.A. members flipped out the same way here when Gabriella mentioned moderate drinking. I'm reading the comments, and what a mess of hostility and anger. Talk about "having a resentment"! The emotions are high; the facts are few. (Try clicking on "All" of the comments; the web page defaults to showing you only the NY Times picks.)

Those A.A. members just seem to go nuts when somebody says, "But it's not the only way to change your drinking habits."

Really. Since when was an old cult religion the only way to change our lives? Sieg Heil! and all of that.

"Dave of Portland" (my own home town!) complained:

This has to be one of the most misguided op-ed pieces I have ever read in the Times.

Oh yes, recommending anything but the A.A. way is "misguided".

And as usual, "Lee from MN" just had to mention Audrey Kishline, the former leader of Moderation Management. And like the Steppers always do, he neglected to mention that Audrey quit MM and returned to A.A., and after 3 months of A.A. meetings drove drunk and killed two people. They always try to claim that Audrey proves that MM does not work, not that A.A. does not work.

And of course numerous A.A. supporters made great claims for the A.A. success rate, backed up by no evidence, of course. Not a single valid medical test or controlled study or poll or survey. They just constantly bandy about the word "millions". That is the cheap propaganda trick of Appeal to Numbers.

  • Dave of Portland said:
    The reason we are 'treating' alcoholism the same way since 1935 is simple — for tens of millions of men and women over the last 80 years, Alcoholics Anonymous has helped them stop drinking and never start again.
    That is of course totally untrue. The real A.A. success rate is much closer to zero. It is nothing more than the normal rate of spontaneous remission — the success rate of people who do it alone, without any program. The real reason why they are still using the 1935 program is because they believe that Bill Wilson's rewrite of Dr. Frank Buchman's cult religion is revealed wisdom from God.

  • Nein Danke of Georgia said:
    If on the other hand you drink when you don't want to and you have a sincere desire to quit AA just might be able to help you as it has helped millions of others.

  • MXRCR129 of Boston wrote:
    You clearly have no idea about the subject that you are writing about. AA has certainly helped millions of problem drinkers Worldwide and continues to.

  • Michael Lederer of Great Barrington, Mass. wrote:
    This is a dangerous op-ed, promoting the idea that abstinence for the problem drinker is but one option. At the very least, it should launch with bold lettering proclaiming that for the serious alcoholic, abstinence is indeed the only viable alternative to ruin. If Ms. Glaser then wants to parse words and offer counsel for those who are just "a little pregnant," with any wisdom she should do it only after reaffirming that the approach A.A. takes has helped...no exaggeration here...millions!

And all of the token atheists are interesting too. For an organization that claims that it is not a religion, they sure do talk about God and atheism a lot:

  • John S. Terry, Sacramento, CA:
    Alcoholics Anonymous is for people who want it, not people who need it. And, for the record, I've been clean and sober in AA for over thirty years and I am an atheist.

  • Yonder Hero, New Jersey:
    I stopped drinking 12.5 years ago. My life is better for it. I am an atheist, but did find help at AA. I believe that if drinking causes problems then stopping is the only way. I need only one statistic, me.

  • Bill Green, Boca Raton:
    I'm an alcoholic — and atheist. Started drinking 42 years ago at 18... ... Went to my first AA meeting. Haven't touched booze in a year. ... So far, AA's worked for me and, as long as I keep going to meetings, I expect it to do so.

  • TB, Atlanta GA:
    I am an atheist as are many other members of AA. We are not at odds with the program or our fellow members. AA is NOT about religion.

  • SusanJones, El Paso:
    I don't believe AA meetings are getting smaller because of abstinence. It has been based on t at since the beginning. Go to another program that doesn't have that as a goal. I believe that Toronto has two very progressive atheist/agnostic meetings, so go to them.
    NOTE: The local A.A. headquarters delisted the Toronto atheist A.A. meetings just because they were atheists.
    Look here for the story.

  • Bob Smith, Florida:
    I am a confirmed atheist and am never been bothered by the "God talk" that occasionally emerges during meetings.

  • Anonmous [sic., sp.], in California, sneers at the atheists:
    The irony lost here, at least for the critics and the atheists, is that AA's principle of being of service to others without asking for anything in return is one of the most important things anyone can do to help themselves have a happier, healthier life.
    Actually, they do ask something in return: You have to join A.A. and go to their meetings for the rest of your life, and believe what they believe, and "work the Steps" and parrot a zillion slogans, and yammer that A.A. has saved millions, and then go recruit more A.A. members. They ask a lot.

  • Redwood Guy, Northwest California:
    If the profoundly religious members get too vociferous there are almost always moderating voices to remind them that, as stated in the literature, AA is not a religious organization. As an atheist, sober for 38 continuous years in AA, I can say that the tent is large enough for anyone's beliefs.

  • jprfrog, New York NY:
    (I am also a convinced atheist in AA..)

  • KEVIN DOYLE, TORONTO:
    I often go to AA for the community. Being an atheist puts me at odds with most members of AA. Like an exclusive religion, AA has it's own insular concept of a God that specifically helps only alcoholics. This attitude is now proving to be self destructive especially with attracting the young and educated.

Now "KM from Philadelphia" had a different perspective:

It is surprising to me that there are not more randomized trials of AA's effectiveness relative to other therapies. It has certainly been the model for sometime and we all have seen the lives it has helped. But missing from this discussion are comments on the social dynamics that surround AA. It is not "just" a therapy. It is a world view, an identity, a ritual and a community. We should never underestimate the power of those factors to help us structure or restructure our lives. I would still put my money on AA for those who truly want to change their lives. For those who want to drink one drink less. Just do it!

Well, I won't bet my money on A.A., but he is right about A.A. being a community, a culture, an identity, a lifestyle, a ritual, and a world view. It's also a cult religion that becomes your new family.

Now that leads to the question of whether cult religion is a cure for addictions. Well, it has never worked so far. Synanon, Rev. Jim Jones' People's Temple, and A.A., all were cult religions that pretended to have a cure for drug addiction and alcohol abuse, and they all failed to produce good results.

"Karen of Montreal" made one of the most intelligent and reasonable comments. I notice that she is also a recovery professional who works to get good results. She is not just a cult member who says that if the religion doesn't work for you, it is because you are bad:

NYT Pick

When I work with people who are concerned about their substance use (or people close to them have expressed concern), I find a two step approach very helpful. If the person is more motivated to moderate their consumption, I suggest a trial of that. We make the plans, do the trouble-shooting, look at the thoughts that lead to over-consumption, itemize consequences of use and set goals. The person makes a real effort to make reduced consumption work, usually over many months, with as much honesty as possible, so that trouble spots can be identified and dealt with.

But from the beginning, this is framed as an experiment, with outcome unknown. If the person cannot successfully and quite consistently moderate their substance use, then we both know; abstinence becomes the goal, with the multiple possible paths to that goal.

There are no other physical or mental health problems where only one approach ever works. Why would we assume that to be the case for alcohol abuse, or any other substance abuse problem or compulsive behaviour?

I agree with Gabriella Glaser's summary: Moderation isn't for everybody. Like the Rand Corporation found, half of the recovered alcoholics succeeded by moderation, and half by total abstinence. I learned the hard way that I'm one of those who has to totally abstain. But that's okay. I feel like I already drank my lifetime quota.

And you know what? That makes me a "real alcoholic" by the A.A. definition. But then when I say that I quit drinking without A.A. or any cult religion nonsense, they say that proves that I'm not "a real alcoholic". First I am a real alcoholic, and then I'm not. Apparently, the only sober real alcoholics in the world are to be found in the A.A. meeting rooms. (NOT!)

Lastly, yes, bird and nature photography is a lot of fun, isn't it? Beats the hell out of drinking yourself sick.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**
**     Evidently God can cure cancer and tuberculosis, but cannot
**     grow a new leg...  This is blasphemy, but not mine — the
**     priests and faith healers are guilty of limiting God's powers.
**          ==   Abraham Myerson
**
**     The same goes for God curing "alcoholism",
**      while failing to cure other conditions.





December 27, 2013, Friday, my back yard in Forest Grove:

Mourning Doves
Mourning Doves sleeping in my back yard at dawn.
There is a flock of a dozen of these birds, and they have taken to sleeping in the trees in my back yard. That way, breakfast is immediately available underneath them when they wake up. They just open their eyes, and look around, and see whether there is a cat or dog down there, and then swoop down to get some seeds for breakfast.

Now the irony is that they are terribly afraid of me. Whenever I walk into the back yard to feed them, they fly away in fright. They don't even feel safe 100 feet up in the tallest tree; they fly down the block to get away from me. Then they come back to get more seeds, again and again. If they could just get the idea through their heads that I mean them no harm, they would save themselves a lot of flying around in a panic.

Dark-Eyed Junko sleeping
Dark-Eyed Junko and another bird, sleeping.
The one on the left is a Dark-Eyed Junko. I'm not sure what the one on the right is. Other birds sleep here too. It's logical. Here is where the food is. Why go sleep someplace else, only to come back here to eat? So they get their last meal of the evening here, and then fly up into the trees to roost and sleep, and then they get their first meal of the morning here too.

unknown bird sleeping
An unknown bird. I have no idea what this little guy is. But he sleeps here too.

Christmas Tree
Not a bird photo. This is Pacific Avenue in Forest Grove in the evening.
It's just a coincidence that "Starlight Photography" is getting photographed by starlight.

[The story of the goslings continues here.]









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Last updated 13 January 2014.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters384.html