Letters, We Get Mail, CCCLXXXVII



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters387.html#Bill_N ]

Date: Tue, January 21, 2014 8:39 am     (answered 23 January 2014)
From: "william N."
Subject: Oh no, an off-broadway play about.....

Hi Orange,

I have to stop reading the NY Times lol....now there comes this:

http://billwanddrbob.com/

If you scroll down the home page of the website, you'll find this old chestnut:

"THEY HIT ROCK BOTTOM AND HEALED MILLIONS"

which is interesting because they're not saying "They made millions sober." "Healing millions" sounds ominous too, though, knowing the despicable guilt trips and crazy brainwashing they lay on people.

Terry, maybe we should buy a block of tickets for Orange Paper readers — we could crank-up the big yellow bus and take a field trip into NYC to see the show.

Take good care,
Bill

Hello Bill,

Thanks for the link. I've been hearing about that show every so often. Martin Sheen is getting his kicks by pretending to be Bill Wilson. And they are acting out a fairy tale that is no more realistic than the current hit series "Grimm", which is about some strange monsters here in Portand. (Yes, those odd creatures live just down the street from me.)

Their show is based on the same sanitized script by William Borchert that was used for the Hallmark made-for-TV movie, "My Name Is Bill W.". Historically, it has no validity at all. It's a complete fantasy, and grossly dishonest propaganda.

We have discussed that grim fairy tale before:

  1. My Name Is Bill W.
  2. An imaginary anti-A.A. version of the movie
  3. My Name Is Bill W.
  4. My Name Is Bill W.
  5. Martin Sheen's new show
  6. Also see some of the A.A. promotion in The West Wing.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     It's okay for children to believe in Santa Claus. We don't have to
**     go around disillusioning children and destroying their faith in Santa.
**     The same does not apply to the 12-Step religion and 12-Step-based
**     drug and alcohol rehab, however. There, we need to tell the truth,
**     because people's lives are on the line, and fairy tales don't help them.





[The previous letter from Nathan_A is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters387.html#Nathan_A ]

Date: Tue, January 21, 2014 4:17 pm     (answered 23 January 2014)
From: "Nathan A."
Subject: Re: Hi

Thank you. I've been trying to moderate/quit for 15 years and can't do it. I stopped for 5 months and was absolutely miserable the whole time, sinking into suicidal depression. Alcohol seems to be the only relief, but it's not working anymore.

Hello again, Nathan,

When you tell me that you feel that miserable, sinking into suicidal depression, I think that you should see a doctor and get some anti-depressants. Now watch out for ineffective anti-depressants. There is a big problem with that right now. Half of the anti-depressants on the market are completely ineffective and should be banned. The pharmaceutical companies got bad drugs approved by the FDA through fraud and bureaucratic trickery. We discussed that before, here.

So if you have been getting some anti-depressants before, and they didn't work, then try others until you find something that does work.

Now something else that comes to mind is the Lizard-Brain Addiction Monster. He just wants to get high all of the time. When you quit drugging and drinking, he will cry and complain and tell you that you are miserable and depressed, so depressed that you might as well just commit suicide... or have a drink. So click on that link and read about him. He may have something to do with your problem too.

I'm not saying that he is the whole cause of your problem, but he will certainly do what he can to make it worse. Being aware of the mind games that he plays was a life-saver for me.

When you say that alcohol isn't working any more, I can relate to that. I had the same problem too. At the end of my drinking career, I was just feeding an addiction and trying to kill the pain, but not getting high much any more. I took that as another sign that it was time to quit it.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Sitting around talking about being depressed with depressed
**      people does not make you better."
**         ==  National Public Radio, 1:23PM, 23 November 2009





[The previous letter from Paul_R is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters387.html#Paul_R ]

Date: Wed, January 22, 2014 4:41 am     (answered 23 January 2014)
From: "Paul R."
Subject: Re:

If people like you and other historical figures who share your passion for the humanist religion of no religion, like Mr Vidal, whom you quote and others like Mr Marks , Mr Stalin, etc....if you and your brood of intellectual giants are right, and the Bible is wrong, then nothing matters very much . We are all just worm food in the end and anything anyone does (including all the work you put into your website) is just an exercise in futility, biding time until we decompose to the dust of the earth.

If however those that deny a Creator, The Bible and the Message it contains are wrong, if the Bible is in fact the inspired Word of God, then the consequences cannot be measured .

For you to defiantly paddle your boat toward a waterfall is one thing. But to actively recruit others to jump in the boat with you and even try to punch holes in the boats of others headed in the other direction? Well that is truly a thing of evil inspiration and whether you acknowledge it or not, (just like you don't acknowledge the source of and have no gratitude for every breath you take) such evil comes from a spiritually evil source.

There exists the possibility that you are wrong and the Bible is right. If that is the case , then I don't know which will be worse for you, finding yourself crashed on the rocks at the bottom of the waterfall or looking around you to see all the others you were responsible for bringing with you.

I leave you with some of the final Words of Christ, a prayer actually, it applies to you, it also applies to me and every man " forgivem the Father, they know not what they do"

Hello Paul,

Thanks for the letter.

Alas, I guess you were reading someone else's web site, and confused it with mine. Apparently, you were reading someone called "historical figures who share your passion for the humanist religion of no religion". That isn't me. I never said that I wanted no religion. Quite the opposite. I have said repeatedly that my personal religion is an amalgum of goodies stolen from all of the major religions of the world. Look here and here and here.

Apparently you are confusing me with someone you heard about from a talk radio demagogue.

And I don't recall ever quoting Karl Marx or Joseph Stalin. Or maybe I quoted Marx once about something, but I can't find where. They are certainly not heroes of mine. Karl Marx was a muddle-minded mystic who thought that "The Force of History" would magically make things turn out great, which is obvious nonsense, and Joseph Stalin was a monstrous murderer second only to Adolf Hitler.

Now I do have a problem with your philosophy of life.

  • You think that life is meaningless and worthless if we don't go and play harps in Heaven for eternity? (Heck, that sounds like Hell to me. After a few billion years, that routine is going to get very old.)

  • You think that there is no reason to be nice to other people unless it counts to get you brownie points for going to Heaven?

  • You can't think of any reason to care for sick children, or be nice to orphaned baby birds, if you can't go to Heaven?

Life is such a gas that I don't need to be bribed with a ticket to Heaven to make me be nice to babies.

When someone moans and complains that life will be meaningless unless we get to go to Heaven or something, I know that I am listening to someone who is not enjoying life. He thinks that this life is a real pain, and an unhappy existence, and it wouldn't be worth it if there weren't a big payoff at the end. People who are enjoying life don't need to be consoled by talk of Heaven later.

Now, about the Bible: The Bible cannot possibly be the Word of God. God is smart enough to know how the world is put together, and how the cosmos works. The Book of Genesis describes the Firmament, which is the big black dome over the Earth to which all of the stars are glued. (Sometimes the glue breaks and a star falls down. It's a "falling star".) Then the sun and the moon revolve around the Earth, under the black dome, and the Earth is flat. Another book of the Bible describes "the great circle of the Earth". Yes, circle like pancake. Here's Israel, and around it are Egypt and Persia and Europe and Asia and Africa. And around all of that is water, water, everywhere. That's the whole world. That was the cosmology that the Israeli goatherders believed 4000 years ago, so that's what the Bible says.

Then, in Revelations, the schizophrenic who wrote that book described how the Lord will grab the Firmament and roll it up and take it away with all of the stars still attached, and that's the end of the night sky.

Now, for the really important stuff: Are you obeying the commandments in the Bible? You really should, if you believe that the Bible is the Word of God. Specifically, are you killing, robbing, raping, and enslaving all of the non-Jewish people whom you meet? You should. You must hack them all with the sharp edge of the sword. Better start sharpening your sword. See the book of Deuteronomy. Moses tells us to be really nasty to people who belong to a different religion. Really nasty. The books Deuteronomy, Numbers, Exodus, and Leviticus are downright vicious and advocate murder, rape, theft, arson, genocide, and slavery. I know that is not the word of God. Maybe the word of Satan, but not the word of God.

I just wrote at length about all of that in a recent letter, here:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters381.html#Jim_B2.

Your rap about "punching holes in the boats of others who are heading in the other direction" is just an attempt to stop people from saying things that you don't want to hear. I guess you don't believe in freedom of speech, do you? And you really don't believe in searching for the truth, and examining all of the facts, do you? Too bad. I find learning to be a wonderful adventure. And I'm not afraid to learn new and different things, even when it means learning things like that the holy book of the Jews is badly flawed. So it goes.

On the bright side, it means that we can do better than them. The future can be much better than the past. The glorious days were not 2000 or 3000 or 4000 years ago. The great age is yet to come.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     In the Bible, Moses says that we must kill all of the
**     non-Jewish people who invite us into their churches.
**     (Deuteronomy 13:13-15, 7:3, 13:8-10, 20:14-15, 20:16-18)
**     There go a lot of fundamentalist Christians.

[The next letter from Paul_R is here.]





January 17, 2014, Friday, my back yard in Forest Grove:

squirrel
One of my backyard squirrels
It looks fat.

Annas Hummingbird
An Annas Hummingbird
I was very surprised when I saw a hummingbird cruising my yard, so I quickly filled a new feeder and put it out, and in no time, I had a visitor. I had heard that Annas Hummingbirds were one of the few species of hummingbirds that don't fly down to Mexico for the winter, but I didn't know that they were staying around my yard. Well now I know. So the hummingbird feeders are back up.

And they are getting a lot of traffic. More than half of the times that I go outside, I see a hummingbird at the feeder. And that is a tiny time window, less than 5 minutes, and I'm still seeing a hummingbird in that time. So either one hummingbird is feeding there almost constantly, or many hummingbirds are coming to the feeder all day long. It's probably a little of both. Hummingbirds eat constantly, all day long, and there are no flowers in bloom in January. This is the only source of "nectar" around. (A block away, a neighbor has one up. But that's it. Only two in this whole area.) So all of the hummingbirds will be coming to these feeders.

You don't see any wings flapping here because the hummingbird is perching on one of the little roosts that the feeder has. This hummingbird is getting a "sit-down dinner".

Hummingbird Feeder
The Hummingbird Feeder
Here you can get a better view of the constuction of the feeder, and you can see the little perches for the hummingbirds to sit on while they eat. The hummingbirds seem to like that, so I'll just get feeders with perches from now on. It may not seem like a big thing to us to be able to sit down and rest for 5 or 10 seconds, but it's a relief to hummingbirds. They are flying and hovering all day long, and have to hover to feed on a flower, all day long. And then suddenly here is a place where they can sit down and rest while they eat. Ah yes.

And hummingbirds live such fast lives that a 10-second rest is a good rest. That is about the longest that I've seen one staying still (except for when they go into a torpor at night. But that is not a rest, that's more like hibernation).

squirrel
A Squirrel Returning
This squirrel was funny. It ran up the fence in a panic when I walked into the back yard. Then, halfways up, it stopped and thought, "Wait a minute. This guy never attacks us or tries to eat us. He always just puts out more seeds. He isn't trying to catch me." So the squirrel stopped and turned around and came back down. The squirrel still cautiously hung back, and didn't go out on the ground until I went away, but the squirrel was clearly suddenly overcoming its fear and just waiting for its chance to go back to eating in peace. That is the beginning of the squirrels becoming tame.

(Now if some birds, like the Mourning Doves, would do that, they would save a lot of energy.)

[More gosling photos below, here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters387.html#No_Name_3 ]

Date: Wed, January 22, 2014 12:25 pm     (answered 24 January 2014)
From: "No_Name_3"
Subject: Thanks!

(No name or email address, thanks)

Orange,

Found your site after leaving AA. Sober in AA 24 years, stopped going a year ago. For the past several years I've been depressed and have had major problems with self-confidence. Stopped going to meetings, and my depression started to lift and my confidence started coming back! But I am still sorting it all out, it'll take some time.

My problem with AA was not the "God thing", nor was it any of the more egregious things I see written about online (13 Stepping, Clancy's groups, medication issues). Those things just weren't part of my AA experience. My problem was simply the relentless negativity. Sitting in thousands of meetings year after year immersed in an ideology that trained me to identify myself as a sick and suffering alcoholic drowning in character defects. Surrounded by others equally as depressed and beaten down. That whole thing about "we are not a gloomy lot" and the joyous laughter of drunks who identify with each other's experience? The former is a myth, the latter is shallow laughter. In the end, it's a depressing scene.

No wonder I was losing my self confidence.

Your ridiculously exhaustive (that's a compliment) research has helped me get some perspective! The history of The Oxford Group and it's intrinsic connection to AA is particularly fascinating.

Thanks!

No_Name_3

Hello No_Name_3,

Thank you for the letter and the news. You've got it. You know. That makes me happy. I foresee good things for you.

Yes, of course sitting around talking about how stupid you were and what's wrong with you, and all of the things that you did wrong for so many years is very depressing. It is really terribly unhealthy, mentally. Dwelling on the past leads to emotional sickness. And years of self-criticism will inevitably destroy your self-confidence and your self-image.

I don't think it's a coincidence that A.A. has an elevated suicide rate. There is a list of A.A. Suicide stories, here.

You are quite right that the laughter and cheerfulness is faked and phony. They just pretend to be a happy cheerful bunch.

And what is interesting is that A.A. learned that from the Oxford Group. It's been going on for a very long time. Marjorie Harrison was a contemporary who visited Oxford Group meetings, and observed:

When Dr. Buchman invited converts to stand up and confess at one meeting that I attended, he said: "Remember these three points when you speak: BREVITY, SINCERITY, and HILARITY." Members of his group are taught to be funny and jocular about their sins. I should like to know how that can be reconciled with the teaching of any religion.
Saints Run Mad; A Criticism of the "Oxford" Group Movement, Marjorie Harrison (1934), page 145.

Another critic of the Oxford Group who visited it in the nineteen-thirties and forties wrote:

I dislike their forced heartiness and the way in which they fawn upon the wealthy and the titled. I dislike their flattery and the way they pander to snobbish instincts. They may possibly claim that they are only exploiting human failings in others to bring people to their meetings. It still revolts me.
Inside Buchmanism; an independent inquiry into the Oxford Group Movement and Moral Re-Armament, Geoffrey Williamson, Philosophical Library, New York, c1954, pages 220-221.

I could overlook this, but most of the "guides" had a manner that was much too hearty. They were like a brisk games mistress greeting her girls as they came off the hockey field. In a phrase of O. Henry's, they were "too anxious to please, to please."
Inside Buchmanism; an independent inquiry into the Oxford Group Movement and Moral Re-Armament, Geoffrey Williamson, Philosophical Library, New York, c1954, page 88.


Date: Wed, January 22, 2014 3:35 pm     (answered 24 January 2014)
From: "No_Name_3"
Subject: For your Clancy collection

Oh Clancy, the guy cracks me up!

Here Clancy violates another AA'ers anonymity so he can show everyone he knows a star!

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/174193/How-Anthony-Hopkins-beat-booze-by-aiding-others

Ah, thanks for the link. Now that is informative. Yes, nothing like utterly blowing someone's anonymity.

Bill Wilson couldn't have been more clear on the subject, and Clancy clearly violated Tradition 11:

Tradition 11, Long Form:
Our relations with the general public should be characterized by personal anonymity. We think A.A. ought to avoid sensational advertising. Our names and pictures as A.A. members ought not to be broadcast, filmed, or publicly printed.

Clancy totally blew that one. Both name and picture publicly printed and broadcast. Actually, twice: both himself and Anthony Hopkins. I guess Clancy doesn't believe in the 12 Traditions. He obviously does not believe in anonymity.

Personally, I would be really pissed off if I were Anthony Hopkins. Self-appointed A.A. sub-gurus aren't supposed to publicize the recovery of other members, or publicly talk about their problems. That is private. Or it's supposed to be.

It's funny how that is going, these days. More and more celebrities and movie stars are breaking their anonymity and publicly bragging about their memberships in A.A. or N.A. We all know of a bunch of famous people who are members. I'm not sure when they started thinking that was fashionable or something. Then again, we can also list a whole mess of movie stars who think that Scientology is the greatest thing since J.C., and they don't believe in anonymity either.

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    The secret of health for both mind and body is
**    not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future,
**    but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.
**      ==  Buddha





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters387.html#Mac ]

Date: Wed, January 22, 2014 7:11 pm     (answered 24 January 2014)
From: "Mac"
Subject: AA

A walk around local AA groups here would, without question, yield zero for your arsenal of cherry picked articles designed to debunk AA principles and their effectiveness.

It's counterintuitive to imagine that many AA's are blinded to Bill Wilson's monstrous ego. You're right. It's huge.

Does this diminish the fact that locally, AA appears to be working where other methods have failed? Does this mean that every member stays sober?

Nope. And nope.

My own experience has proven to me that several other methods have NOT worked for longer than a few days. And yet, nearly 19 years ago, I had no hope, no prospects, family running and hiding from me, a son who was raising himself at a tender age. The miracle of sobriety may or may not be permanent for me.

As surely as I'm breathing, it's been working for me, so far. I'm sure your energy is well spent. I'd be willing to bet the farm that without this outlet for what appears to be your own form of insanity, you might be drunk this moment. So keep writing...

If this vast and selectively researched rant keeps you sober, keep doing what you're doing.

I thoroughly disagree with you, even as far as holding an opinion that this body of work is in general an immense disservice to ALL programs of recovery. BUT if it keeps you off the streets, that's cool.

Mac

Hello Mac,

Thanks for the letter. Alas, it is loaded with logical fallacies and errors:

  1. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Just because you don't see something during a casual stroll around some local A.A. groups doesn't mean that it isn't happening. I have a ton of evidence that the A.A. horror stories are happening.

  2. In the third paragraph, you asked, "Does this diminish the fact that locally, AA appears to be working where other methods have failed?"
    Appearances are deceiving. A.A. does not work. A.A. has no better a success rate than going it alone and quitting on your own. If you think that A.A. is really working, then please tell me what the A.A. success rate is.

    What is the REAL A.A. success rate?

    Out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A., how many will pick up a one-year sobriety medallion a year later?
    Or even several years later?
    And how many will get their 2-year, and 5-year, and 10-year coins? Ever?
    How about 11 years and 21 years?

    No qualifiers are allowed, like, "We will only count the people who worked the program right, or we will only count the people who really tried, and kept coming back." Everybody counts. No exceptions.

    No excuses are allowed. When the doctor gives a patient penicillin, and it fails to cure the infection, the doctor doesn't get to say, "But he didn't work the program right. He didn't pray enough. He didn't surrender. He held something back in his Fifth Step." No excuses.

    So what's the actual A.A. cure rate?

    HINT: the answers are here and here and here.

  3. Your own experience does not prove that A.A. works. What your experience proves is that quitting is a learning experience. You quit drinking a few times, and then went back to drinking when you wanted to. And then, when the suffering got to be too much, you decided to quit and stay quit. I did the same thing too.

  4. You assume that "It" is working for you, but you don't define what "It" is. Are you really trying to tell me that the practices of Dr. Frank Buchman's old cult religion from the nineteen-thirties actually work to make people abstain from drinking alcohol? I don't think so. The evidence says that Buchmanism is harmful.

  5. I don't write this web site to stay sober. That is another A.A. fallacy, that you must have a program or a meeting or "something" to do to avoid drinking. Nonsense. I choose to stay sober and that is that. It doesn't matter whether I go to the library or go shopping or go photographing and feeding wildlife or answer some letters while I'm not drinking.

  6. Then you complained, "...this body of work is in general an immense disservice to ALL programs of recovery."
    Ah yes, it's the old "disservice" grumble. I can't count how many Steppers have complained that telling the truth is doing a great disservice to alcoholics who are "seeking sobriety". I have a long list of such accusations, here. Now can you explain why telling the true facts about addiction and recovery is doing a disservice to anyone?

  7. Working on this web site doesn't keep me off of the streets. Just the opposite. I have to leave my home to get online.

Have a good day now. And don't forget to tell us what the actual A.A. cure rate really is.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     A.A.: "In the end, it's just one drunk talking to another."
**     Heck, if you want to see one drunk talking to another,
**     just go to any bar. What is so wonderful about that?

[The next letter from Mac is here.]





[The previous letter from No_Name is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters387.html#No_Name ]

Date: Wed, January 22, 2014 7:43 pm     (answered 24 January 2014)
From: "No_Name"
Subject: Re: Dude, SERIOUSLY? Chill!

Hi Terrence,

I found your reply to my email after I came home from work yesterday. My first idea was to send you something spiteful and snarky in return as your reply made me very mad at first. I calmed down and held off and then looked over what you had said. You raise a good point about the medication thing man. These people are not doctors, they have no right to expect me or anyone else to stop taking their meds. If they think I'm difficult to deal with now man — they should see me without my anti depressant medication. I become a nutcase, unable to function. Is that what they want, to make those on meds suffer and become who they are minus the meds? Crazy man, just insane. I gotta agree with you here.

So the plot thickens. I call my sponsor every night around 9 PM and last night I was online researching what yourself and others have to say about AA. I had no idea, man. There is a big body of work about issues in AA online — I had no idea. I got caught up reading online and didn't call my sponsor. He called me around 9:30 or so and was pissed that I hadn't called him. I was debating making up an excuse but then I thought about something else you had written — that it was telling that I did not want to give my name due to hassles in AA. I gotta say you have a point there man.

So I told my sponsor that I had been in touch with the man who writes the Orange Papers Blog and he flipped out, just totally lost it. I won't repeat most of what he said but the main point was if I wanted to be sober, I'd better start listening to the suggestions being made. (Suggestions are not yelled at you in my world). Also he was firing me and would tell others at the home group about this. (I remember watching a cartoon years ago and one of the characters said — I'll fix your little red wagon — that is just what he sounded like).

Good thing I was off work today as I didn't sleep last night — I was wound up from your reply and from dealing with my (ex)-sponsor's BS. So at this point man I'm asking myself why do I stay there in AA? What is in it for me if I am treated like this?

I know that I can't drink. For me to drink man is to be taken to places I don't care to go again. I can't control it. I don't know if this is a disease but in my case, there is no control. If I walk into AA, I am in a room with others who have similar problems, or as they say — issues — man, there's a word I resent — issues. There are people there who understand some of the crazy situations I have been in due to having no control over alcohol. I don't know many people outside of AA and I don't know what I would do to fill time I was not working. I think that going to meetings? It gives me some structure man, and I know what (mostly) to expect. This is what I get from going to AA. Not much else.

I am pissed off big time at my (ex) sponsor and don't know where I stand at my (ex?) home group but I am off tomorrow too and will be reading your blog more — it's a lot, A LOT to read, man — you really have thrown yourself into this, haven't you? I have also read a blog by someone named Massive that is anti AA. Also I have been reading some of the More Revealed Blog.

Right now I find myself pissed at everybody but if AA is a cult for real man.....I better know. I don't care for the 13th stepping that I have seen, I don't care for the people there telling me that I need to be off my meds and I don't care for what seems like follow orders or youre not welcome here. So I don't have any wisdom for you. I thank you for your reply, you have really started me thinking man. You and my (ex) sponsor. Schmuck. (I mean the ex sponsor here) I am an adult and I don't like being told who I can and can't be in touch with. That creeps me out right there man.

This is getting long, I'd better go. I hope I have made some sense here? You may use my first name this time BTW — screw anyone who has "issues" with what I have written here.

Signed, No_Name, Phoenix, Arizona

Hello again, No_Name,

Thanks for the letter. In spite of the problems with A.A., it sounds to me like you are making progress. You sound like you have your head screwed on straight and clearly see what is going on. Of course I can't help but think you are better off without that sponsor. I'm sorry about the pain and dislocation that you are experiencing, but I know that you don't need that sponsor as your guide and mentor.

You wrote:

I know that I can't drink. For me to drink man is to be taken to places I don't care to go again. I can't control it. I don't know if this is a disease but in my case, there is no control.

Yes, that is my problem too. I have to totally abstain from drinking too. I'm fine until I get a few drinks into me, and then I just want to drink myself into Heaven. I want to go beyond Cloud 9. I want to Astral Plane. I want it all. And I'll drink until I pass out. And then I'll drink until my health is wrecked and I'm dying. (At least, that's what I did.) That old saying about "One is too many, and a thousand aren't enough" is totally true for me.

But as long as I don't take the first drink, there is no problem. I can stay sober for years at a time without much problem or difficulty. Nowadays sobriety is pretty effortless. I don't think you call that a disease. More like just an adverse reaction to a drug.

And I have the same problem with tobacco. One cigarette and I'm hooked again. The only way to keep from getting readdicted to nicotine is to just never smoke a single cigarette. (Which is also what I'm doing.)

It's funny that alcohol and tobacco strike me that way. Nothing else has such a hold on me. I could and did just walk away from heroin and cocaine. No big deal. (Not bragging; that's just what happened.) I just didn't want to be doing that any more, so I didn't. But quitting alcohol and tobacco was like a battle to the death that took 30 years. (And it was a battle that I nearly lost).

I don't know if you saw it, but I recommend this letter: How did you get to where you are? It talks about what has helped me and other people.

Which brings up the question of fellowship. I understand the desire to have the company of some people who understand. Unfortunately, those guys in A.A. who put you down for taking your medications and asking for the truth do not really "understand".

May I suggest one of the alternative groups like SMART or SOS or Lifering? I know they will treat you much better. Here is the list of addresses:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-alt_list.html

And then there is the question of doing something else that has nothing to do with alcoholism or drugs or any of that. I mean, maybe something like Outward Bound or a membership in a gym or joining a bike-riding club, or a cooking class, or just something that is healthy and constuctive and gets you involved with people who are not obsessed with sickness and addiction. We have discussed this question before, and here are some of those answers:

Now I am remembering something that I wrote long ago about "What's wrong with A.A.?":

It is a culture of sickness.
I am still noticing what a joy it is to talk to an attractive young woman about drug or alcohol problems, and hear her respond, "Oh, I don't do that kind of stuff. I think it would just mess me up..." Then we are free to talk about other stuff, like art, music, computers, children, or whatever... Anything but more stories of misery. Anything but more stories of drug and alcohol problems.

So you don't really have to be always surrounded by people who "understand addiction" and who are "in recovery". (Actually, real recovery seems to be in very short supply in A.A. The way that your sponsor fired you for reading "forbidden materials" — not-Conference-approved books or web sites — shows that they need to do a lot of recovering and work on their spirituality.)

By the way, "Massive" is a woman named Monica. She was in A.A. for many years. She also does a blog-talk radio program on the Internet every Tuesday:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/saferecovery
And she is working on a movie about 13th-Stepping in A.A.:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/saferecovery/2014/01/22/live-from-the-sundance-film-festival-park-city-utah-the-13th-step-the-film
And she has a blog here: http://stop13stepinaa.wordpress.com/

More Revealed is Ken Ragge, who has been an outspoken critic of A.A. for many years, and who has written a couple of anti-A.A. books, The Real AA, and More Revealed. I learned a bunch from him, and he has a good writing style that I wish I had. More Revealed is now a free download from the Internet:
http://www.morerevealed.com/library/mr/newmr_0.jsp

I wish you well. Please don't hesitate to write back.

And have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If you make this an inner mantra: I intend to feel good,
**     you can picture yourself experiencing joy regardless of
**     what's going on around you.
**       ==  Dr. Wayne W. Dyer,
**         Inspiration Perpetual Flip Calendar, December 21.





January 19, 2014, Sunday, Fernhill Wetlands:

4 ducks
The gang of 4 drakes
The three domesticated ducks have been joined by a Mallard drake who is hanging out with them more and more. And he has become tame and happily comes to me for munchies too.

Gus the Greylag Goose
Gus the Greylag Goose
This pictures gives us an optical illusion. This picture makes Gus look like an old man with an orange clown nose. What appears to be his mouth isn't his mouth at all, it's a fold of skin and feathers in his neck. Gus's real mouth is immediately under his orange beak. In fact, it's in the middle of his beak. Still, this picture is funny because it gives us a totally different view of Gus.

Pondscape
Pondscape

[The story of the goslings continues here.]





[The previous letter from Jim_O is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters387.html#Jim_O ]

Date: Wed, January 22, 2014 9:50 pm     (answered 26 January 2014)
From: "Jim O."
Subject: RE: Re:

Hi Orange and thank you for the reply. How ironic, I sing that line from Carly Simon's haven't got time for the pain all the time when thinking back to the hell of drinking. Didn't mean to say better arguer, should have said better debater. Debate implies more of an effort towards compiling and presenting factual information to support the hypothesis, which you do very well. My hat's off to you. You've compiled an impressive array of irrefutable facts and have presented them meticulously.

Hello again, Jim,

Thanks for the compliments.

Just a quick aside, I don't want to take up your time but just got done reading a recently submitted letter where the writer wrote, "I was reading your blog against the wishes of my sponsor". And there you have it — against the wishes of my sponsor! Someone secure in their beliefs and enlightenment would not care what anyone else wrote, read or thought. There was a group in Germany a few decades ago that burned books because they didn't "wish" for others to read them. Speaking of books, have you considered extrapolating a book from the information you've gathered? You've definitely got one.

Yes, and it got worse in his next letter. His sponsor fired him for reading the Orange Papers. So much for the easy-going A.A. slogans like, "Let us love you until you can love yourself," and "Take what you want and leave the rest." Yes, sometimes they do act like Brown-shirt thugs burning books.

I have thought about a book, and what I thought was that it is a lot of work to put one together, and I seem to always be busy with something else. As it is, the web site is a book in its own way.

For a while, I was thinking about doing a book for Charles Bufe's publishing company. But then I had to move and got all disorganized and distracted and behind on the web site, and by the time I got caught up, it seemed like Bufe had died. At least, he vanished off of the planet and I haven't been able to contact him. So, no book.

Well, all best to you and thank you again. Your hard work is appreciated and I would venture your site has empowered many an alcoholic to figure out they and they alone have the ability and willpower to stop drinking. In closing, I would say to the folks kicking that poor person out of her home group that the Orange Papers has "cured" more alcoholics than AA. I bet that would go over big at the daily start the night right meeting!!

Jim

Well thanks for the compliments. Yes, I can imagine that A.A. meeting. You won't get a lot of serenity and gratitude by saying that.

You have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people
**      will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained
**      only for such time as the State can shield the people from
**      the political, economic and/or military consequences of the
**      lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use
**      all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the
**      mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is
**      the greatest enemy of the State."
**         ==  Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda





[The previous letter from Veauamil is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters387.html# ]

Date: Thu, January 23, 2014 7:52 am     (answered 26 January 2014)
From: Veauamil illè P.
Subject: Re: ROFLMFAO

mm hmm. It might be interesting if you also posted proof of all your Psychology degrees, Law degrees, Medical degrees and Theology degrees as well, so that you can verify, for the sake of all your readers, the qualifications you possess, that make any of your "factual statements" reasonably substantial. Otherwise you are posting nothing more than angry comments, rooted in fault finding and blame throwing. Neither is it lost on anyone that you remain just as anonymous — or more so — as those "Cult Members" and "Religious Fanatics".

Hello again, Veauamil,

Thanks for the letter.

Credentials? Suddenly you demand degrees? And how many degrees do your A.A. sponsors have while they play doctor and tell people not to take their medications?

Just to clarify: I have exactly the same number of degrees as Bill Wilson — absolutely none. (And A.A. members regard him as the greatest expert on alcoholism, the man with the plan, the only one with the answer.) Although I do like to joke that I have a Ph.D. from the School of Hard Knox. Well, I do.

A.A. members brag that they are not academics and don't have degrees, and now you play the credentials card?

That is a standard A.A. switcheroo:

  • "We don't have to listen to you because you don't have any credentials — you aren't a doctor or a professor. You don't know what you are talking about."
  • "We don't have to listen to you — you are just a doctor.
  • "AA is way ahead of science when it comes to alcoholism."
  • "You just want to sell pills."

Here was a book that said that I could do something that all these doctors and priests and ministers and psychiatrists that I'd been going to for years couldn't do!
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, page 473.

Ministers and doctors are competent and you can learn much from them if you wish, but it happens that because of your own drinking experience you can be uniquely useful to other alcoholics.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Working With Others, page 89.

You don't need a college degree to notice that a cult religion is crazy. You also don't need a degree to collect some true facts. You just need to be realistic and honest.

Meanwhile — the comments in the previous email...disillusioned, etc... thus far have not been justifiably refuted — at least not by any person or persons intelligent enough, educated enough and accredited enough to disprove my "accusation".

That doesn't make a lot of sense. I guess you are saying that you won't let your opinions be changed by mere facts.

In the previous letter, I asked if you would talk about the real issues, like whether quack medicine really works to cure diseases, or whether an old cult religion from the nineteen-thirties really works as a "treatment" for the "disease" of alcohol abuse. I see that you have dodged those questions and refuse to answer them.

And what "accusation" did you make in your previous letter? What you wrote was,

Such a sorely disillusioned individual. How miserable you must be, interpreting everything through the mind of a conspiracy theorist and not even enough sense to simply face reality as it is IN ANY GIVEN MOMENT and accept it for an opportunity for YOU TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

And I explained that I am accepting reality as it is, and I am working to make a difference. I also pointed out that such phony pseudo-spiritual buzz-phrases are typical of new-age cult religions like Werner Erhart's "est".

So what accusation did I not answer?

Have fun — I'm sure your fan club...all those people who refuse to accept responsibility and accountability for their own behavior and decisions — and probably just as {un}qualified to make "factual" or honest statements about anyone (including their selves) will drool over your every word.

Regards
KBS

Now that is a standard cultish ad hominem attack. If someone disagrees with A.A. dogma, you accuse them of "refusing to accept responsibility and accountability for their own behavior and decisions."

Wrong. You are reversing reality. The people who decide that they are not powerless and can control their own hands and can quit drinking without a cult religion, are the ones who are accepting responsibility for their own actions and decisions. It is A.A. members who don't accept responsibility, and rationalize, "I'm powerless over alcohol. I can't quit. Higher Power will have to do it for me. I'll turn it over to Him. Surrender."

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     "Whenever we seek to avoid the responsibility for our own behavior,
**     we do so by attempting to give that responsibility to some other
**     individual or organization or entity. But this means we then give
**     away our power to that entity."
**        ==  M. Scott Peck
*
**     The diagnosis of drunkenness was that it was a disease for which the
**     patient was in no way responsible, that it was created by existing
**     saloons, and non-existing bright hearths, smiling wives, pretty caps
**     and aprons. The cure was the patent nostrum of pledge-signing, a
**     lying-made-easy invention, which like calomel, seldom had any
**     permanent effect on the disease for which it was given, and never
**     failed to produce another and a worse. Here the care created an
**     epidemic of forgery, falsehood and perjury.
**       ==  Jane Grey Swisshelm (1815-1884), U.S. newspaperwoman,
**           abolitionist, and human rights activist.
**           Half a Century, ch. 30 (1880).

[The next letter from Veauamil_P is here.]





January 19, 2014, Sunday, Fernhill Wetlands:

Pondscape
Pondscape at Sunset
Pondscape
Pondscape at Sunset
Pondscape
Pondscape at Sunset
Pondscape
Pondscape at Sunset

[The story of the goslings continues here.]









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Last updated 16 February 2014.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters387.html