Letters, We Get Mail, CCCXCIV



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters394.html#Richard_B ]

Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2014 14:52:34 -0400     (answered 24 March 2014)
From: Richard B.
Subject: Hey you AA masochists out there — don't forget your hairshirts and flagellant's whips!

Hello again Terrance —

At a meeting last night I remarked, playfully, that Bill Wilson with his well-documented wet brain (half-believing that he had gone to MIT for goodness sake!) probably WASN'T quite ready for the first vacancy in the Holy Trinity.

On his way out someone told me I was "poisoning the wells" of A.A. again.

To make it all the more ghoulish, this took place at a discussion meeting at Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge MA, the alleged brains capital of the United States.

The overall atmosphere, when it came down to allowable freedom of expression and the questioning of orthodoxy, could have come from somewhere to the right of the Ku Klux Klan. One young man who had had what sounded to me a very minor slip went on and on about how he had failed The Program.

FYI the official name of this meeting: The Joy of Living.

Richard B.

Hello again, Richard,

Thanks for the laugh. Oh, that is ghoulish. And the censorship is outrageous. But that's what cults do: deny the truth, reverse reality, publish false histories.

And the hypocrisy of calling such a censored, controlled propaganda session a "discussion group" is outrageous. But that's what they do. It's like how "Big Book Study Groups" never actually study the history of what is in the book, like how Frank Buchman said it first, and Bill Wilson copied it. "Oh no, we can't talk about that. It was a revelation straight from God to Bill Wilson." Right.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Opposing viewpoints are welcome, just as long as they agree with mine.
**     This diet plan really works, just as long as you don't eat too much.
**     RARELY have we seen a person fail, who has thoroughly followed our path.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters394.html#Tim_F ]

Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2014 14:45:00 -0700 (03/14/2014 05:45:00 PM)     (answered 24 March 2014)
From: Tim F.
Subject: why the burr up your butt about AA

Hi, I've been reading through your writings on AA. Some of it makes sense and some of it does not, but what really puzzles me is what motivated you to put in so much time and effort on decrying a grass roots organization that at best helps people and at worst does no harm.

TsF

Hello Tim,

Thanks for the letter and the questions. Alas, you are grossly misinformed about what A.A. actually does. A.A. does not help people: the improvement in the sobriety rate of alcoholics who go to A.A., rather than quit on their own, is zero. And the A.A. cult religion does very bad things, like raising the rate of binge drinking, and raising the death rate, and raising the suicide rate and the divorce rate. A.A. is very harmful. But what else could you expect from doing the crazy practices an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties?

Here are the actual results when doctors tested A.A. to see how much it helped alcoholics:

  1. Dr. Brandsma found that A.A increased binge drinking.
  2. Dr. Ditman found that A.A increased the rate of rearrests.
  3. Dr. Walsh found that A.A increased the cost of hospitalization of alcoholics.
  4. Drs. Orford and Edwards found that having a doctor talk to the patient for just one hour was just as effective as a whole year of A.A.-based treatment.
  5. Dr. Vaillant, who went on to become an A.A. trustee, found that A.A. did not increase sobriety in alcoholics at all, not even a little bit, but it did raise the death rate in alcoholics.

Also, you should read these files:

Then here is more information about the divorce rate.

Now, about the question of what motivated me, or inspired me to write about Alcoholics Anonymous, I just answered the same question a few letters back, here:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters393.html#Elaine_G

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)





March 18, Tuesday, my yard in Forest Grove:

Female Rufous Hummingbird
Female Rufous Hummingbird
Look at all of the orange on her sides and legs and belly. That is definitely a female Rufous, not an Annas Hummingbird.

Female Rufous Hummingbird
Female Rufous Hummingbird

Female Rufous Hummingbird
Female Rufous Hummingbird

Female Rufous Hummingbird
Female Rufous Hummingbird
I don't know if this is the same female Rufous as in the previous pictures, or a different one. But suddenly, we really have Rufous Hummingbirds. I think they flew up from the south now that the weather has turned warmer. There were no Rufous Hummingbirds around when it was snowy and wintery — only Annas Hummingbirds stay for the winter, as far as I know.

[More bird photos below, here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters394.html#Bobby_G ]

Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2014 12:51:57 -0700 (03/13/2014 03:51:57 PM)     (answered 24 March 2014)
From: Bobby G.
Subject: Hey!! Mr Orange!

Howdy Mr Orange.

Just finished reading your section on Carl Jung's Real Treatment of Alcohol addiction (by A. Orange) Any relation of C Orange?

Please take a quick cursory look at this link and let me know your take on it.

Regards,

Bob

http://www.silkworth.net/aahistory/carljung_billw013061.html

Hello Bob,

Thanks for the question. I'm afraid that I don't understand the joke about C Orange.

The Silkworth.net web site reprints the famous letter from Carl Jung to Bill Wilson. I have it too, here:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters2.html#Jungs_letter

Yes, that is an interesting letter. What it does not say is as important as what it does say. The A.A. history lovers make far too much of that letter. First off, Carl Jung may not have even written it. At the time that the letter was written, Carl Jung was old and sick and not doing his own correspondence. His assistant Jolanda Jocoby or his secretary Aniella Jaffe may have written it, with Carl just supplying a few key phrases or comments. Then again, he may have written it. I guess we shall never know for sure.

Notice that Carl Jung never said that Rowland Hazard was one of his patients. He merely said that he had wondered what happened to Rowland. Jung also said that Rowland had accurately conveyed what Jung had said. But Jung's letter makes it sound like Rowland Hazard had merely interviewed Jung for an hour, and asked him whether he had a working treatment for alcohol abuse. Jung also said that he had not told Rowland the whole truth for fear of being misunderstood. That doesn't sound like a doctor—patient relationship; it sounds like a newspaper reporter—interviewee relationship.

Cora Finch has established that Rowland probably spoke with Carl Jung in the late nineteen-twenties, rather than in the nineteen-thirties like the erroneous A.A. history says. That was probably the occasion of the discussion between Rowland and Jung.

Then Jung thanked Bill Wilson for being interested in spirituality, and Jung complained that his ideas of spirituality were misunderstood.

That sure isn't a description of a cure for alcoholism.

Nowhere did Jung write that he had told Rowland Hazard that he must get a religious experience or he would die of alcoholism. That seems to be an old A.A. fairy tale, just some more scare-mongering to get people to join Bill's "fellowship" (and buy Bill's book).

Some of Carl Jung's statements in that letter are grossly unrealistic. To say that Rowland Hazard's desire for alcohol was "the equivalent, on a low level, of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness, expressed in medieval language: the union with God" assumes that a desire to feel good or a desire to get high is the same thing as a desire for union with God. That is a false assumption. I've seen too many junkies to believe that for a minute.

Just because someone is unhappy or in pain and desires "wholeness" or "feel-goods" does not mean that he desires union with God. That is high-falutin' nonsense. In fact, there is no evidence that the sufferer even knows what God is.

I am reminded of Pooh Bear, who famously said, "I just need a little something", as he rubbed his belly and eyed a jar of honey. Pooh Bear was not seeking God. Similarly, a junkie or an alcoholic who just needs "a little something" is not seeking union with God.

The following paragraph about getting a "spiritual experience" is pure psycho-babble:

The only right and legitimate way to such an experience is that it happens to you in reality and it can only happen to you when you walk on a path which leads you to higher understanding. You might be led to that goal by an act of grace or through a personal and honest contact with friends, or through a higher education of the mind beyond the confines of mere rationalism.

Just try to figure out, from reading that, what the heck you must do to get a spiritual experience. Those sentences don't really tell you anything. It's grandiose nonsense. No wonder Jung complained that people didn't understand him.

Then Jung repeated Frank Buchman's fascist idea that the average man is defeated by sin and is powerless over it:

I am strongly convinced that the evil principle prevailing in this world leads the unrecognized spiritual need into perdition, if it is not counteracted either by a real religious insight or by the protective wall of human community. An ordinary man, not protected by an action from above and isolated in society, cannot resist the power of evil, which is called very aptly the Devil. But the use of such words arouses so many mistakes that one can only keep aloof from them as much as possible.

That sure does sound like paranoid schizophrenia.

It's interesting to note that Carl Jung believed that evil — "the Devil" — stalks all of us in this world, but Jung assumed that he was above being led into perdition. He believed that he was superior to the ordinary man, that he had had the required "religious insights" needed to protect him. And yet, he had no problem collaborating with the Nazis and denouncing Jews and Blacks before and during World War II. Pardon me if I have serious doubts about Carl Jung's spirituality.

I have searched quite a number of Carl Jung's books, searching for his ideas about curing alcohol addiction or alcohol abuse, and found only one story. It is here: What Carl G. Jung really said about treating alcoholism.

We have discussed this before. Here are three letters on this subject:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters286.html#Jung

Here are even earlier letters and pages:

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**  Jede Form von Süchtigkeit is von übel, gleichgültig,
**  ob es sich um Alkohol oder Morphium oder Idealismus handelt.
**  Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic
**  be alcohol or morphine or idealism.
**    ==  Carl Gustav Jung (1875—1961),
**        Erinnerungen, Träume, Gedanken (1962) ch. 12





March 18, 2014, Tuesday, my yard in Forest Grove:

Female Rufous Hummingbird
Female Rufous Hummingbird
This female is holding her head up to swallow sugar-water. Like most birds, they have to raise their heads when drinking so that liquids will run down their throats. They also pump their little tongues in and out, which seems to help to get the liquid down. If you look closely, you can see the tip of her white tongue sticking out.

You can tell that this bird is a female Rufous, rather than a female Annas Hummingbird, by all of the orange on her belly. A female Annas has a grey-white belly, without a hint of orange. The orange is an easy identifying characteristic of the Rufous Hummingbirds. The males are mostly a burnt orange, and the females are light orange on their bellies and legs.

Rufous Hummingbirds
Rufous Hummingbirds
Then a male Rufous Hummingbird showed up, and she did not appear to be happy about it.

Rufous Hummingbirds
Rufous Hummingbirds
She glared at him and lowered her head and pointed her beak directly at him. Her body language seemed to say, "I'm going to stab you if you come any closer."

Rufous Hummingbirds
Rufous Hummingbirds
She is keeping her beak pointed straight at him.

It's hard to figure out what she was thinking. She may have been saying, "You can't drink up all of my nectar." Or she may have been saying, "No, I don't want to mate with you." It is actually possible that she was saying, "You're the one I want," but it doesn't look like that is what she was feeling.

Rufous Hummingbirds
Rufous Hummingbirds
She could even be playing hard to get, but it still looks more like she is saying, "I'm going to skewer you."

Rufous Hummingbirds
Rufous Hummingbirds

Rufous Hummingbirds
Rufous Hummingbirds

The male ignored her unwelcoming attitude and landed on the feeder beside her and started drinking sugar-water.

Rufous Hummingbirds
Rufous Hummingbirds
The male is eating. Now here, the behavior of the female is curious. She is just sitting there and watching the male. If she is so hostile to him, why doesn't she fly away while he is eating?

Rufous Hummingbirds
Rufous Hummingbirds
Then the male gave her a look that is hard to figure out. He might have been saying, "The heck with you. I'm getting lunch." Or he might have said, "Okay, first I'll have lunch, and then I'll have you."

Rufous Hummingbirds
No Rufous Hummingbirds
Then the two of them suddenly flew away. I don't know if he was chasing her, or if something frightened both of them. But I didn't see or hear anything to frighten them. They both just suddenly took off and flew away.

[The story of the birds continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters394.html#Peter_F ]

Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2014 13:16:07 -0500     (answered 26 March 2014)
From: Peter F.
Subject: Comic

http://www.drcrackhead.com/dch/the-comic.html

Peter Ferentzy, PhD
Scientist 1, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Author: Dealing With Addiction — why the 20th century was wrong
Author: Dealing With an Addict — what you need to know if someone you care for has a drug or alcohol problem
Co-Author: The History of Problem Gambling: Temperance, substance abuse, medicine, and metaphors
http://www.peterferentzy.com

Hello again, Peter,

Thanks for the link. Humor is always appreciated. Comics, cartoons, jokes, yes. This whole recovery field is so grim, with so many tragic stories, that we need all of the laughs that we can get.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     A sense of humor keen enough to show a man his own absurdities,
**     as well as those of other people, will keep him from the
**     commission of all sins or nearly all, save those that are
**     worth committing.
**       ==  Samuel Butler (d. 1902),
**           "Lord, What Is Man?" Note-Books (1912).
*
**     Gandalf said, "The little orks don't like humor. They
**     cringe in pain at the sound of laughter. And they really
**     can't stand it when you poke fun at them. So they howl and
**     growl and scowl and get all bent out of shape."
*
**     True wisdom is knowledge and humor combined.  


Date: Mon, 17 Feb 2014 12:16:27 -0500     (answered 26 March 2014)
From: Peter F.
To: Academic and scholarly discussion of addiction and related topics <[email protected]>
Subject: Seems The War On Drugs Is Hitting Bottom — Let's Also Lose the Baggage That Goes With It

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-peter-ferentzy/war-on-drugs-is-hitting-bottom_b_4796063.html

Seems The War On Drugs Is Hitting Bottom — Let's Also Lose the Baggage That Goes With It

Peter Ferentzy, PhD
Scientist 1, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Author: Dealing With Addiction — why the 20th century was wrong
Author: Dealing With an Addict — what you need to know if someone you care for has a drug or alcohol problem
Co-Author: The History of Problem Gambling: Temperance, substance abuse, medicine, and metaphors
http://www.peterferentzy.com

Hi again, Peter,

Oh yes. Thanks for the link. I do believe that, sometime in the future, the "war on drugs" will be regarded with the same contempt and scorn as we regard the "war on witches" that was conducted during the Dark Ages.

The war on drugs was never a war on drugs. It was a war on drug users, and hippie peaceniks, and black musicians, and wierdo artists, and political radicals, and all kinds of non-conformists whom the lying politicians and police didn't like or understand. And, even worse, it was a war on sick people, and mentally-ill people, unfortunates who had a hard time getting through the day without getting stoned on something.

It sure would be nice if we could get out of our own modern dark age.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     "The war on drugs has nothing at all to do with drugs. It is part
**     of an all-out war on the American people by a government interested
**     only in control."
**       ==  Gore Vidal,  The Decline and Fall of the American Empire





[The previous letter from Veauamil is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters394.html#Veauamil ]

Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2014 08:39:58 -0500     (answered 26 March 2014)
From: Veauamil illè P.
Subject: Re: Your letter to the Orange Papers

Ahh so... you actually accuse me of being a member of AA simply because I insult your tactics and close minded beliefs & approaches? At what point throughout any of this did I say — or even imply — that I am an alcoholic...recovering, drinking or otherwise? Your assumption that this is the case is simply further support for any critic of your tactics. Again, you acting exactly in the manner you harangue other people for behaving — who is the real hypocrite here? And it is not lost on me — nor should it be lost on anyone else — that when all else fails, calling names makes a person feel better. Or should that be ? . ? . ? Let me ask you...what if you had a bad experience with Rice Krispies — say for instance you purchased a box that had cockroaches in it. Would you then be on a years long, world wide rant against Rice Krispises and the manufacturer, tripping over yourself to turn the world against that cereal, or even other cereals by the same manufacturer?

Why is it that anyone...ANY one who ever has a bad experience with ANY thing, always finds it necessary to turn the rest of the world against that <insert experience here>... "Christianity didn't work for me, so Christianity is bullshit and all of you NEED to know it!" Islam didn't work for me, so Islam is bullshit and all of you NEED to know it!" "Alcoholics Anonymous didn't work for me, so Alcoholics Anonymous is bullshit and all of you NEED to know it!" "Rice Krispies didn't work for me, so Rice Krispies is bullshit and all of you NEED to know it!" You assault the historical people that have shaped the world over the centuries, you claim to know more than politicians, artists, historians, scientists and on & on add nauseam...you have taken conspiracy theorem to new heights. Ultimately, when the rubber meets the road, you are simply playing Devil's Advocate and you will argue against any viable statement that a person presents to you, or else you simply think the whole world is wrong, and out to get you, but you simply haven't the courage to put a bullet through your own skull...choice os words here...I use skull rather than brain so that you don't get confused thinking my reference to an organ actually implies intelligence of any sort.

No, I do not simply dismiss all statistics as invalid. I do however point out that statistics — like blame throwing — are easily manipulated by every source who wants their own "conclusions" to be proved. For every Harvard, or Helsinki study that shows AA to be a failure, there will be another report using equally qualified Medical, Psychiatric and Scientific personal to provide "provable" statistics of AA success. And the same for Nuclear Energy. And the same for Cancer Cures. And whether or not man walked on the moon, on and on... And quite frankly, your outright assault on my credentials, while lauding and shouting from the rooftops the non necessity for any credentials of your own lends a lot of credence to whatever insult I present regarding your tactics and approaches. They are cowardly, and based upon everyone else's hard work, so as to avoid any hard work of your own...like maybe self improvement? Then again, as "Work" is defined as inertia and the use of muscles, I guess — in the end....all this blaming, running your mouth/typing fingers, energy spent trying to find out what's wrong with the world — rather than put forth any effort to try and help make things right (complaining and bitching is NOT a solution, it merely makes the problem...whatever the problem might be...worse so there's your contribution...a negative contribution at best) — I guess at the end of it all, you're actually working ten times harder than any of the rest of us.

As I said earlier, I neither support nor refute AA and it's approaches. Nor any other 12 step points of view. Nor any religious approaches to life. Nor any particular food group. My entire issue is — and has been right from the beginning — your incessant need to sway the world to see everything through your eyes and accept your points of view, when you never concede that same privilege to anyone else. It's your "right" to spew anything you want to against any person, organization or other establishment, but it is not the next person's right to choose his or her own path without being referred to as weak minded, or blinded by foolishness, again, add nauseam. You attack my comment about personal responsibility as some sort of statement in favor of AA. That simply shows how close minded you are...EVERY thing...regardless of what our problems, goals or other life circumstances, requires OUR OWN personal commitment and responsibility if we hope to have success, solutions, contentment, whatever it is we seek.

Hello again, Veauamil,

Thanks for the response. I'm answering this letter out of order because it got misplaced during the switch-over of host systems.

I assumed that you were a member of A.A. because you were repeating the standard slogans and clichés and buzz-words, and you were very annoyed at someone criticizing A.A.

I did not criticize the statement that people should take responsibility for their actions and their lives. I noticed that you first said that people should take responsibility for their thoughts and behavior, and then you switched to complaining about me criticizing a cult religion and quack medicine:

The problem is — plain and simple, and undeniably — a total lack of willingness to stand up and take personal responsibility for ones' own thoughts and behaviors. As long as a person spends all of his or her energy throwing blame, finding fault, slandering, pointing fingers, etc...add nauseam...as long as a person spends the bulk (if not all) of his/her energy wearing the robe of "victim" and :"saint" and blaming all that is wrong on someone else, then he/she will NEVER be free from whatever ails him/her, neither through AA, Medicine, Psychology, Science, not even God Himself. Playing the 'blame game' is a sure and proven way to remain locked into whatever emotional or psychic or spiritual prison that a person has (99 out of 100 times) inflicted upon him/herself.

That is a big switcheroo. Those are very different subjects. And yes, we should "play the blame game" and criticize quack medicine that harms people. And we should criticize phony lying cult religions that mislead people.

And the statement that a person will NEVER be free while criticizing a cult and quackery is just plain wrong. You keep trying to imply that people criticize A.A. instead of getting their lives together. Lots of people do both at the same time. They notice that A.A. is a cult that has no working answers or honest spirituality, so they quit drinking and get their lives together on their own, while warning others about what a fraud A.A. really is.

So why are you so hyper-sensitive to me criticizing Alcoholics Anonymous if you are not a member of it?

As to "I did reply directly. And I said that I was sending out the email from an Inbox account because the email on the host machine wouldn't work right. (It won't send letters with attachments.)" That is not a reply per say...it does not fulfill "reply" so much as it informs the recipient that "If you want a reply from me, visit my bullshit website, because I haven't the courage to engage you personally and privately — I am only someone of reasonable pertinence when I have the support of the rest of my community full of blame throwers and responsibility dodgers".

That is nonsense. Why is it such a big issue with you that I had to use Inbox.com to send a few letters while I was switching hosts? And again, I did reply directly. Do you not understand what an attachment is? The answer was the attached web page that I sent to you. (Just like I am doing again, now.)

Glenn Beck may have the courage to spew his hatred on the air when he receives a letter from a political individual, Howard Stearn may be brave enough to hurl insults at some woman who wrote him a letter about his radio show, and you may well be brave enough to "fight" viciously and publically for your First Amendment rights, while trampling any rights that other folks may have. But none of those "responses" or "replies" are any valid for or either a response or a reply. More hiding behind the masses.

More nonsense. You are just trying to delegitimize criticism of A.A. That is a standard propaganda and debating technique: Deflect Criticism and Blame By Delegitimizing It.

I pity you. You assume much, prove little, and in the end, you believe nothing at all. Not a good direction to be aiming and hurtling in.

Veauamil

Oh well, Veauamil, pity all you want. I'm doing just fine.

So have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     "...AA certainly functions as a cult and systematically
**     indoctrinates its members in ways common to cults the
**     world over.  ...in the absence of proven scientific
**     efficacy, critics are legitimate in suggesting that
**     mandated AA attendance may be criticized as a failure
**     of proper separation between church and state."
**     == A.A. Trustee Prof. Dr. George E. Vaillant,
**     The Natural History Of Alcoholism Revisited, page 266.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters394.html#Christine_L ]

Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2014 10:49:46 -0700     (Answered 26 March 2014)
From: Christine L.
Subject: Jim Burwell — Atheist

Hi Orange.

Thanks for your work. Although I continue to attend AA your web site has opened my eyes up and I am much more skeptical in accepting what is presented to me on face value. Much more critical reading of the literature is called for and I am becoming more observant of inconsistencies in the text.

I have a question for your regarding a Mr. Jim Burwell. Mr Burwell, as you are probably aware, was one of the original members of AA and a staunch atheist. It was through his efforts that we got the qualification of the Big Book references to God with the euphemisms of "Higher Power" and "as we understood him".

From what I understand he was a totally unrepentant atheist until the day he died.

However, reading the 3rd tradition the other day it describes Mr. Burwell (referred to as "Ed") "touching a book. ... It was a Gideon Bible. ...He hasn't had a drink since."*. The implication being that Mr. Burwell received some sort of religious conversion which "saved him".

I can find no other reference to substantiate this assertion of events. Mr Burwell wrote a piece for the Grapevine titled "The Vicious Cycle" which was also included in the second edition of the Big Book. There is no reference to the alleged event involving the Bible. I did come across an interesting critique of the event on another web site which states "...it was...assimilated into the genre of...revivalist conversion story."**

Now here is my question: In your research have you ever encountered this story and, if so, can you substantiate or refute the events as stated in the AA literature or is this another attempt by Mr. Wilson to distort history to comply with his religious conversion agenda?

Again, thank you for your efforts. Keep up the good work.

Christine

* (Pg 145. Twelve and Twelve, 1981, AAWS)

** Taken from www.hindsfoot.org/atheistburwell.html

Hello Christine,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments.

As far as I know, you are quite correct: Jim Burwell was a totally unrepentant atheist until the day he died.

So where did the story of Jim Burwell's conversion experience come from? Bill Wilson just made it up, like he made up so many other stories.

A.A. in San Diego was founded by Jim Burwell, the resident atheist of Alcoholics Anonymous. Apparently San Diego's A.A. is much more liberal than the fundamentalist A.A. found in other places (like Akron, Ohio). Here are two letters from Greg, an old member of the group that Jim Burwell founded there. Greg leaves no doubt that Jim remained a committed atheist, and his wife was jokingly called a "Traditions Nazi", enforcing the traditions that promise freedom of religion (or freedom from religion).

Also see http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters274.html#Richard_B for more about Jim Burwell.

And we discussed that further here:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters295.html#Hetu-Ahin

Bill Wilson really had a thing for atheists. He loved to make up stories about them getting enlightened and seeing the error of their ways and getting converted to Bill's religious beliefs. Bill Wilson also wrote, in 12X12, a story about the Vice President of the American Atheist Society getting converted and joining A.A. and believing in what Bill said. Rubbish. Another correspondent investigated that story and found that there was no such organization as "The American Atheist Society" in existence then. The story is a total fabrication. Read about it here.

Bill Wilson just couldn't stand the idea that someone could get sober without believing in Bill's religion, and he just loved to make up stories that talked about how prejudiced and narrow-minded and blind and stupid and mush-brained those atheists were until they saw the brilliance of Bill Wilson's holy teachings.

You can read much more of Bill's rants about how stupid those agnostics and atheist are in the Big Book chapter "We Agnostics". I wrote about that here: A.A. and Religious Faith. It includes more information about Jim Burwell.

Bill Wilson was really a piece of work. I find such blatant lying about a matter of life or death simply inexcusable.

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Instead of regarding ourselves as intelligent agents, spearheads of
**     God's ever advancing Creation, we agnostics and atheists chose to believe
**     that our human intelligence was the last word, the alpha and the omega,
**     the beginning and end of all. Rather vain of us, wasn't it?"
**       ==  The Big Book, 3rd & 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, Chapter 4,We Agnostics, page 49.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters394.html#Peter_D ]

Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2014 20:14:02 +0000 (03/25/2014 01:14:02 PM)     (Answered 26 March 2014)
From: Peter D.
Subject: AA is a cult?

If ti is a cult, it is one which as a charity, declines donations other than those given by members at the end of each meeting.

Hello Peter,

Thanks for the letter. It is quite a long list of untrue A.A. slogans and lines and fallacies.

For starters, A.A. is not a charity that declines donations. A.A. is an organized crime unit that sues A.A. members for publishing their own literature, like translations of the out-of-copyright first edition of the Big Book. And yes, they accept outside donations, like $100,000 from the city of San Diego for holding a convention there.

You are constantly saying that AA says "This or that", or that AA passes judgement on you or tells you hoe to live your life.

Yes, A.A. is extremely dictatorial and judgemental.

The 12 steps are suggestions, not instructions.

That is just another A.A. slogan. No truth to it. You have to really twist the meaning of the word "suggestion" to make the Steps into "suggestions". A.A. says that you must follow their "suggestions", or else you will die. That is a death threat, not a suggestion.

Unless each A.A. member follows to the best of his ability our suggested [Bill Wilson's required] Twelve Steps to recovery, he almost certainly signs his own death warrant. His drunkenness and dissolution are not penalties inflicted by people in authority; they result from his personal disobedience to spiritual principles [Bill Wilson's cult religion practices].
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 174.

And the Table of Contents in the same book declares:

Absence of coercion works because unless each AA follows suggested steps to recovery, he signs his own death warrant.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 12.

That is downright Orwellian.

I have never, ever read anywhere that Bill W denigrated alcoholics. On the contrary, he always said that alcoholics were god people whose obsession with drink had turned them against their own true, good nature.

Geeze Louise. Get real. Bill Wilson denigrated alcoholics non-stop. And what you are describing there is another A.A. bait-and-switch trick:

  1. First, Bill Wilson said that alcoholics are good people who have the "disease of alcoholism", and "a disease is respectable, not a moral stigma."

  2. But then he said that alcoholics were inherently evil, immoral people, and that is why they drank alcohol:

    • "Our liquor was but a symptom."
      (The Big Book, William G. Wilson, page 64.)

    • "After all, our problems were of our own making. Bottles were only a symbol."
      (The Big Book, William G. Wilson, page 103.)

    • "But it is clear that we made our own misery. God didn't do it."
      (The Big Book, William G. Wilson, page 133.)

Here are some of Bill Wilson's statements about what alcoholics are:

An alcoholic in his cups is an unlovely creature.
William G. Wilson, The "Big Book" Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd and 4th Editions, page 16.

Alcoholics especially should be able to see that instinct run wild in themselves is the underlying cause of their destructive drinking. ... This perverse soul-sickness is not pleasant to look upon.
William G. Wilson, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 44.

...the body of the alcoholic is quite as abnormal as his mind. It did not satisfy us to be told that we could not control our drinking just because we were maladjusted to life, that we were in full flight from reality, or were outright mental defectives. These things were true to some extent, in fact, to a considerable extent with some of us. But we are sure that our bodies were sickened as well.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, page XXIV.

Drinkers are like that.
William G. Wilson, The Big Book, 3rd Edition, page 9.

We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God discipline us in the simple way we have just outlined.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, page 88.

More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life. He is very much the actor. To the outer world he presents his stage character.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, page 73.

The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, page 82.

... in A.A. we slowly learned that something had to be done about our vengeful resentments, self-pity, and unwarranted pride.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 47.

We alcoholics are the biggest rationalizers in the world.
The A.A. Way Of Life; a reader by Bill, William G. Wilson, page 160, and
Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, William G. Wilson, page 292.

We want to find exactly how, when, and where, our natural desires have warped us.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William Wilson, page 43.

As excuse-makers and rationalizers, we drunks are champions.
The A.A. Way Of Life; a reader by Bill, William G. Wilson, page 267, and
Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, William G. Wilson, page 236.

Alcoholics being the argumentative lot that we are, the A.A. membership will undoubtedly come up with a few who will dispute these figures.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, page 399.

Whatever our protestations, are not most of us concerned with ourselves, our resentments, or our self-pity?
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, pages 61-62.

Such gross misbehavior is not by any means a full catalogue of the harms we do.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 81.

You can read about a hundred more such put-downs of alcoholics here: The "Us Stupid Drunks" Conspiracy

The wisdom and experience of AA does, indeed, realise that many people turn up to the rooms with a sense of guilt.

Guilt because of their horrendous behaviour towards their families and others caused by their alcohol addiction.

Yes, and shame. Shame that they have become the person they do not wish to be because of their alcoholic behaviour.

The shame and guilt felt by alcoholics is well documented in psychiatric observations in the mainstream medical profession.

So what does A.A. do about all of that guilt and shame? They make it worse by making new members list and confess everything they ever did wrong, and yammer about how insane they are and how they are selfish and self-seeking and resentful and argumentive and guilty of the Seven Deadly Sins, etc. A.A. makes people dwell on the past, and even worse, dwell on all of the negative stuff in the past. That promotes mental illness; it doesn't cure it.

So what exactly is you problem with a movement which might offer a more productive and happier way of life for someone in the grips of alcohol?

A.A. is not a "movement" any more than Scientology or the Moonies or Rev. Jim Jones' Peoples' Temple are "movements".

And saying that A.A. "might offer a more productive and happier way of life" is a "Sly Suggestion" that dodges the fact that A.A. fails to do that. A.A. actually makes more alcoholics worse. They binge drink more and die more as a result of A.A. participation.

Are you setting yourself up as some kind of God, sitting in judgement?

No, I'm setting myself up as a sane human, sitting in judgement of a lying cult religion.

Have you ever put yourself in the shoes of someone whose drinking is so much out of control, and they are abusing their wife and their children and are in danger of losing their job, driving licence and respectability?

Been there, done that. All except abusing the wife and kids. I'm happy to say that I didn't do that. But I have suffered through all of the rest: sick unto death, DWI, unemployed, homeless, losing everything. As usual, A.A. defenders try to imagine that I know nothing about A.A. because I'm not a "real alcoholic". Wrong on both counts.

If nothing else, AA is a great educator about the dangers of out-of-control drinking. There are many who just go to a few AA meetings and realise the danger they are in and quit without the help of the programme.

No, A.A. is not a "great educator". A.A. is a rehashed old cult religion from the nineteen-thirties.

Do you realise that your posting might actually cause real harm, to the families of active alcoholics by putting them off from seeking a possible avenue of recovery?

And here we go again. That is such a standard A.A. line: "Telling the truth about Alcoholics Anonymous might hurt an alcoholic." Wrong. They need to hear the truth. Lies and misinformation don't help alcoholics to recover.

A.A. apologists parrot that line so much that I have a whole file of letters that mindlessly repeat the same accusation: Accusations that telling the truth about A.A. is killing alcoholics.

I am not saying that AA is the only path to recovery, but it is one option out there.

No, A.A. is not a path to recovery. A.A. doesn't work. A.A. increases the death rate, and the relapse rate, and the binge drinking rate, and the divorce rate, and the suicide rate.

Let it be on your conscience that you have helped contribute to many, many thousands of people desperately searching for a way to change, be put off by your rather extreme ramblings.

On my conscience? I am proud to have told the truth about A.A.

How many children and wives are suffering today because your narcistic self-centred resentments have put off those seeking a way out of their alcoholism?

You are doing it again: claiming that telling the truth about A.A. hurts people. Wrong.

And you are doing psychological projection: It was Bill Wilson who was narcissistic and self-centered and resentful.

AA is not perfect. Bill Wilson never, ever professed to be perfect.

Right. A.A is not only not perfect, it is very, very wrong. And Bill Wilson did often imply that he was a messenger from God:


"Bill Wilson, converting a fawning moron."

Bill Wilson posing for a staged "Man On The Bed" publicity photograph, where Bill allegedly performed miraculous faith healings, making the drunks "pick up their beds and walk."
Notice the cross on the wall. This photograph was very carefully staged for best effect.

If only the rest of the world had your own sense of self-righteous indignation and ensue of being perfect.

Yes. So why don't you have any moral indignation when you see an old cult religion lying to sick people?

Perhaps we should all follow you, in your fascist quest.to make your views prevail.

Fascist? Sorry, but it was Frank Buchman and Bill Wilson who were the fascists.

Or are you harbouring the kind of resentment that caused Hitler to invade Poland, in order to fulfil his own sense of self-supremacy.

What is this nonsense? You imagine that "resentment" caused Hitler to invade Poland? That is typical A.A. rewriting of history. No connection to reality. It wasn't "resentment" that made Hitler invade Poland, it was his greed and ambition and the desire to be the ruler of a Thousand-Year Empire. Again, A.A. twists the meanings of words and tries to claim that "resentments" are the cause of all bad things. Not true.

Good luck wit that one.

You have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     If some fool practices medicine without a license and kills a
**     coronary disease patient by giving him a poisonous witch's brew
**     of toxic herbs and chemicals, that fool will most assuredly be
**     prosecuted for manslaughter and practicing medicine without a
**     license.
**     But if some fool practices medicine without a license and kills an
**     alcoholic or a drug addict by giving him a poisonous witch's brew
**     of old cult religion and faith healing, nobody gets prosecuted.
**     Now why is that?





March 18, 2014, Tuesday, my yard in Forest Grove:

Male Annas Hummingbird
Male Annas Hummingbird
After the couple of Rufous Hummingbirds flew away, the male Annas Hummingbird dropped in for a quick snack.

Male Rufous Hummingbird
Male Rufous Hummingbird
Then the male Rufous Hummingbird returned and slurped up some more sugar-water. While he did, he watched me. He seemed to be studying me. He wasn't terribly afraid of me. He would have flown away if he was. He could see that I was not stalking him or trying to catch him. I was just sitting and watching him and snapping pictures. So he watched me while he ate, and I think he was curious about me, and wondered why I was making those clicking sounds (the camera's shutter and mirror snapping).

That is the beginning of the process of becoming tame. When the wildlife are calm enough to watch you and study you and wonder what you are about, instead of just panicking and flying away in fright, they can learn that you mean them no harm. And some even learn that you are a friend who will feed them. It's just like the female Pintail Duck who became so tame two summers ago. She watched me feeding the other ducks and geese, and saw that I didn't hurt them, and they happily came to me to get things to eat. She eventually learned that I was a friend, and she came to trust me. And she came to get munchies.

The local TV news ran a story a few years ago about a girl who managed to tame the hummingbirds in her yard, and they became so tame that they would actually eat out of her hands. She would hold various things full of sugar-water out to them, and they would feed out of the things. And she made her yard into a major rest stop for migrating hummingbirds, and she had many dozens, maybe a few hundred, passing through. That sounds like a fun thing to do.

Male Rufous Hummingbird
Male Rufous Hummingbird
You can see that these pictures have badly-blown highlights. The white areas are just flat white without any details. That is caused by the camera's small silicon imaging sensor getting overloaded with light in the bright areas. This is that Sony Alpha 100 camera doing that. Again, we can see why it went to Goodwill. I'll have to use the Canon 5D camera more. It has a full-frame sensor which doesn't blow highlights so much. (Full frame means that the silicon sensor is just as big as a 35mm piece of film. It's a huge integrated circuit, one of the biggest in the world. Its larger size lets it gather more light before it gets overloaded.)

Male Rufous Hummingbird
Male Rufous Hummingbird
He is studying me.

[The story of the birds continues here.]









More Letters


Previous Letters









Search the Orange Papers







Click Fruit for Menu

Last updated 16 June 2014.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters394.html