Letters, We Get Mail, CCCCIII



[The previous letter from Thomas_C is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters403.html#Thomas_C ]

Date: May 23, 2014, 4:23 AM     (answered 31 May 2014)
From: Thomas C.

You need help. AA works for people if they want it to. Take it or leave it.

Sent from my iPhone

Hello again, Thomas,

Alas, that isn't true at all. That is called Lying With Qualifiers. The trick is to insert a qualifier that rules out all of the cases of failure and masks the truth, like the staggeringly high A.A. failure rate.

You can use the same trick to declare that the Baskin Robbins cure never fails. That is, whenever you want to take a drink, you go to Baskin Robbins and eat ice cream instead.
"Never have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path."
"It works if you work it."
"Of people who came to Baskin Robbins and really tried, 100% got sober right away."

You can also use the same trick to "prove" that the Ballerina Tutu cure works. That is where you put on a ballerina's tutu and dance around whenever you want a drink, and you keep dancing until the cravings pass:
"It works if you work it."
"It works if you want it to work."
"It works if you always follow our path."

But in the final analysis, those are meaningless statements, just word games, aren't they?

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Men are not prisoners of fate, but
**     prisoners of their own minds.
**       ==  Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt

[The next letter from Thomas_C is here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters403.html#keepkimballin ]

Date: Tue, 27 May 2014 12:51:56     (answered 31 May 2014)
From: keepkimballin
To: [email protected]
Subject: No Subject

One man's trash is another man's tresure, or to each his own. I love how much time people spend to prove how "wrong" other people are. Nice work.....dip shit!

Hello keepkimballin,

Thanks for the note. I'm not trying to "prove" that A.A. does not work. Many doctors have already done that. All I'm doing is warning people about quack medicine that does not work.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     He who attempts to make others believe in means which he himself
**     despises, is a puffer; he who makes use of more means that he
**     knows to be necessary, is a quack; and he who ascribes to those
**     means a greater efficacy than his own experience warrants, is an imposter.
**         ==  John Caspar Lavater (1741—1801), Swiss theologian





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters403.html#Thiago_F ]

Date: Tue, 27 May 2014 21:51:40     (answered 31 May 2014)
From: Thiago F.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Very good information

Hi, Im doing an awsome research in your website, my name is Thiago Im from Brazil, Im also have had drinking/drugs abuse problems, I've been in rehab few times in as happened with with I began to see all of that as nonsenses crazy shit. I'm writing a book about the rehab centers here in Brazil, 99% 12 step bases, completely a Cult an it is spreading all over the contry.

I want to ask you if you have any material focused on the "rehab industry", is my main topic on the book,

It will be very helpfull,

Keep the good work, you must be tired of hearing shit of A.A./N.A. sheep.

best regards

Thiago F.

Hello Thiago,

Thank you for the letter and the compliments. And I'm glad to hear that you are working on a book. Yes, there is some information about the "recovery industry" in the Orange Papers, but it is scattered all around, a little here and a little there and more someplace else.

The search engine within the Orange Papers isn't working now, so what occurs to me is to use Google this way: Search for terms ANDed with the Orange Papers, like this:

"rehab industry" "Orange Papers"
"treatment centers" "Orange Papers"
"drug and alcohol treatment" "Orange Papers"
ASAM "Orange Papers"
PHP "Orange Papers"

Putting quotes around the Orange Papers makes Google search for the Orange Papers as a single term, rather than finding papers about growing oranges. The same applies to those other quoted phrases.

Good luck with your project, and have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   The so-called "recovery industry" has more quacks
**   than a flock of ducks.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters403.html#Jacques_L ]

Date: Thu, 29 May 2014 15:49:07     (answered 31 April 2014)
From: Jacques L.
To: [email protected]
Subject: NA no way

Dear Orange,

I have stumbled across your site after nearly six months free from drugs — the last five of which have involved attendance at NA meetings. I wish to thank you for your work which has essentially confirmed my misgivings about NA.

Reading your page on the 'Lizard Brain' makes a lot of sense — in the light of a very definately not NA approved course I have recently done. This course — something called Intuitive Recovery has awakened in me the ability to put the addiction monster to bed permanently. I need never use again. Not that I ever needed to, mind you. It's so much better than a one day at a time recovery.

What NA has become it has become the addiction — instead of using drugs to relieve lousy feelings, I am encouraged to work the programme, do the steps, etc. Like the drugs, repeating the programme seems to have less of an impact in relieving such feelings

The so-called spiritual side to the NA programme is likewise flakier than a 99. I actually had spiritual experiences when I was using crack. I chose to ignore them for a long period because they were telling me 'What the hell are you doing?' If you carry on you are going to screw up your life real bad!' Now the spiritual experiences I get as a result of not hitting the pipe are much more mundane and I don't need to beg God every day to spare me from using, nor do I have to follow a programme which becomes obsolete at midnight and must be renewed daily for it to function or else I'm in trouble. I mean look at it this way. I would be very foolish if I was to buy a very expensive watch which failed at midnight and kept on buying the same brand of watch which would only have a one day guarantee.

I chose to ignore the suggestion not to do anything too stressfull during my first year of recovery. The way I look at it I have one life and it is slipping away one gentle heartbeat at a time and too much has been wasted already through drugging and recovery. I have enrolled on a computer course and I expect to pass the first module of it in the next couple of weeks. Next week, I receive a certificate for completing the Intuitive Recovery course. That to me beats a blue NA keyring. I am seriously thing about a career as a Drugs and Alcohol counsellor. It's all not bad going after I was wandering the streets in the depths of last winter, pulling a suitcase with me going from night shelter to night shelter. I am recovering because I wish from now on to treat myself as my own best friend instead of my own worst enemy. I believe it would not serve my interests to belong to an organisation where one of its members said just before closing the meeting 'NA is like the Mafia. You die if you leave!'

I do, however feel rather sad at the fact that there are so many intelligent and beautiful people wasting themselves away in the rooms of NA. One's too many and a thousand is much more than enough.

I have not read the half of your work, but once again thank you for it.

Hello Jacques,

Thank you for the letter and the compliments. And congratulations on your beating your addiction. I'm glad to hear that clear-thinking people like you are becoming drug and addiction counselors. That field desperately needs some new brains. You sound like you will do well. You already understand the whole thing, so I don't need to tell you anything.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "I don't know why we have to go around the world forcing our
**      way of life on other people at the point of a gun.
**      When you have something good, man, they will steal it."
**          ==  Dick Gregory (famous comedian)
**      (The same is also true of A.A. using courts, parole officers,
**      treatment centers, counselors, and 12th-Steppers to force itself
**      on unwilling victims.)





May 28, 2014, Wednesday, the Fernhill Wetlands at Forest Grove:

Mongrel Domestic Ducks
The guys are coming for munchies.

Domesticated Ducks
The girls are following, dawdling a bit, but they came and got their share of the goodies too.

Domesticated Ducks

Savannah Sparrow
A little Savannah Sparrow is coming to help itself to some of the bread, too.
This might be the same Savannah Sparrow as I photographed here last year. There is this one tame Savannah Sparrow in this one place who comes and joins in the feast when I feed the geese and ducks. It is sharp; it knows what is going on, so it comes and gets some bread too. It is tame enough to come within a dozen feet of me. It is still wild and wary and cautious and will fly away if I frighten it, but if I don't make any sudden moves towards it, it will happily feast on the bread and seeds.

[More bird photos below, here.]





[The previous letter from Gamine_H is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters403.html#Gamine_H ]

Date: Thu, 29 May 2014 18:06:41     (answered 31 May 2014)
From: Gamine H.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Gamine Correspondence

I thoroughly enjoyed your time and responses. Ill consider them deeply and read more of the site Ive now bashed. I do agree with most of what you've said but I think you've amplified some of the negative aspects of AA. I think your definition of cult is a it loose, a rich soccer mom club could be similarily fatal lol. I also know beyond a doubt that people do recover no matter how retardedly religious AA is.

I'm glad you don't take meds. I understand your argument and agree about the hardships of previous centuries. We're very lucky to have the medicine we have but you're not convincing me that scores of people in every town aren't abusing them and malingering. They HAVE been sold a lie. Of course there are authentic schiztos that need some dope and Id never argue against other modern medicine that has indeed saved my life. I wanted you to know that I was in the depths of real alcoholism when I attempted suicide. Drunk people are out of their minds—you know. I'm as sane as you and very put off by AAs Jahova Witness style psycho dogma. However, the steps aren't that sinister bro, even if their coversion tactics lol. I know..I hate religion too. Its been very informative with you and I hope you haven't taken anything too personal. I'm actually a funny guy to be around. I definitely read some of your other 'papers'

Well thanks for your time Agent Orange. I "get" the names historical meaning of course when I was younger and learned of Vietnam. Ironically I used a similar screen name when AOL came out Axis Orange. Orange being the color of wisdom was my fascination. Perhaps you're an oil painter like me too. I realize my name Gamine Hoyden screams female but its meant as a dis to women. I'm Neal, a 28 yearold atheist recovered alcoholic in Dallas.
Talleyho pal

Hello again, Gamine,

Thanks for the letter and I hope you do well.

Alas, yes, the 12 Steps really are that sinister. They are conversion techniques that Dr. Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman refined and developed. He originated the mind-bending practices that are now used in both the Chinese Communist Brainwashing and 12-Step conversion (A.A., N.A., Al-Anon, etc.). Buchman went to China in the late nineteen-teens and early nineteen-twenties and taught his guilt-inducing confessional methods of religious conversion to the Chinese. And of course he taught that stuff to the Oxford Group while Bill Wilson, Dr. Robert Smith, and Clarence Snyder were members.

Look here for a summary of how Chinese Communist brainwashing works, and notice the similarity to the A.A. program:
Dr. Lifton's 8 Criteria for Thought Reform

And no, my definition of a cult is not loose, and soccor moms don't qualify. Please read The Cult Test for a thorough description of just what a cult is, and how it acts.
The Cult Test, and Alcoholics Anonymous as a Cult

The fact that some people abuse drugs doesn't validate the A.A. or N.A. dogma. They are two very different things. But that is a common conflation that A.A. does: "Alcoholism is very bad, so A.A., which is opposed to alcoholism, is very good." Nonsense. Not so. That is a false equality. "Opposed" does not equal "cure". Just being opposed to alcoholism doesn't make it a working cure for "alcoholism".

Of course you have seen people recover in A.A. That is normal. That is called Spontaneous Remission. People spontaneously recover from alcohol abuse and drug addiction no matter what organization they may happen to be near at the time. The normal rate of spontaneous remission from alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction is about 5% per year. The people you have seen recover in A.A. would have recovered just as well in any other program or no program at all. In fact, the vast majority, like 75% or 80%, of the people who recover from alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction do it alone, on their own. All that A.A. is doing is claiming the underserved credit for a few people who were going to quit anyway, while ignoring the huge numbers who do not recover in A.A. And A.A. claims the credit for people who already quit days before they walked into their first A.A. meeting.

Now please do see a psychiatrist about that thing of slicing your own throat. Do not assume that the 12 Steps are going to fix that. They won't.

About the "Agent Orange" name, it isn't really about Vietnam. It began as a joke about mixing apples and oranges. Then it changed into "Secret Agent Orange" because I was anonymous as I lived among the Steppers and did the web site. Then it got shortened to "Agent Orange", and then it got shortened to just "Orange". You can read that story here:

Have a good day now, and please take care of yourself.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     Confucious say:
**     He who take pundit at his word
**     Have the brains of little bird.
**       ==  Klytus (Salon forum, 22 Oct 2008)

[The next letter from Gamine_H is here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters403.html#Shan_M ]

Date: Wed, 28 May 2014 22:13:12     (answered 31 May 2014)
From: Shan R. M.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Thankyou for your effort it apears to confirm my 27 yrs of 12 steppe attendsnce thougj you appear to be biased and assert merky ideals not wholly true my experience is to have studied the steps and traditions* for many years as they are in the 12&12 this showed me autonomy that alloeed me to drink again after 8yrs, of abstaining& to continue attending meeti.gs and worki.g to practi ce the principles in all my afairs etc.much to the chagrin of dry aa s. Who have not studied how the tradition work towards intergrating an individual's life with society my assertion is that biblicsl hegemony has caused the need for and resulted in the 12&12 a recovili.g response ability to\for a species seperated from narure in a masochistic vulture culture .i suspect u will dismiss me cause og my poor grsmsr oh well yet wad adolus huxley so misguided in his assertions of aa s place in history please be more dtudied in this matter if u desire to be of benefit to others.1 4 all all for 1! O:-)

Ok nice try

--
Shans R. M.

Hello Shans,

Thanks for the message, and thanks for the compliments.

But I don't think I'm biased or overdoing it or exaggerating. I research and double-check my facts very carefully. On top of that, I have hundreds and hundreds of letters where people have described even worse things than I wrote about. You can read the worst of those letters here: A.A. Horror Stories.

I don't dismiss you because of grammar or your difficulties with texting. (I hate texting, and just don't even do it.) I commend you for figuring out the truth for yourself, which is that you can drink in moderation. Not that I'm recommending drinking — I'm not — I'm just recommending that people learn about themselves and find out the truth for themselves rather than just swallowing everything that some group leader tells them.

Your ability to drink in moderation is not unusual. Many years ago, way back in 1978, the famous government think tank, the Rand Corporation, found that the successful people who had stopped drinking self-destructively were evenly split between total abstinence and tapering off into moderate, controlled, drinking. So total abstinence is not the only way. It all depends on the individual person. Of course, the A.A. true believers flipped out when the Rand Corporation released that report. (More on that here.)

Now I'm not recommending that anybody drink alcohol. I'm just saying that one drink does not necessarily end all recovery and instantly readdict all alcoholics. Some yes, some no.

Personally, I'm one of those people who has to 100% avoid alcohol, or I slide back down that slippery slope very quickly. But that's okay, because I'm tired of being sick from alcohol anyway. No big loss. I already got my lifetime quota of that kind of suffering. I don't need any more of that.

I certainly don't want to force my style of recovery onto other people. Whatever works. Different strokes for different folks.

About Aldous Huxley, I don't know what you are referring to, unless it is Bill Wilson's wild bragging that Huxley called Wilson "the greatest social architect of our century." I don't believe that for a minute. I think that Bill Wilson was lying, as usual. We — I and others — have searched the writings of Aldous Huxley for many years, searching for any mention of Bill Wilson, and all that we ever found was a letter where Huxley said that Bill Wilson was taking drugs.

There are some references to the discussions of Huxley:

  1. Aldous Huxley's history and the TIME magazine "100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century" list.

  2. a rebuttal, and

  3. another rebuttal, including an image of the page of Huxley's letters.

  4. Bill getting LSD from Doctors Humphry Osmond and Abram Hoffer

  5. orange-Huxley_letter.pdf == a letter from Huxley describing Bill Wilson's drug consumption.

  6. another discussion of Bill Wilson's grandiose claim that Aldous Huxley called him the greatest social architect of the 20th century.

  7. Letter from Aldous Huxley to George Orwell

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human
**     stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and
**     justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism
**     and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or
**     political idols.
**        ==  Aldous Huxley
*
**     Classic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most
**     undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make
**     what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving
**     better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing.
**     ROLLING IN THE MUCK IS NOT THE BEST WAY OF GETTING CLEAN.
**       ==  Aldous Huxley

[The next letter from Shan_M is here.]





[The previous letter from Mike_P is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters403.html#Mike_P ]

Date: Jun 1, 2014, 9:53 AM     (answered 3 June 2014)
From: Michael P.
Subject: Re: response from Orange Papers

I don't remember if I mentioned this one to you the other night, but it drives me up a wall when some moron says, "do you know what the definition of insanity is?" Like they are trying to sound intelligent or something. Some dumb butch said that to me a few weeks ago in the aftercare meeting because I was unhappy. By their own misguided definition, insanity for me would be to keep going to meetings to receive this magical serenity somehow bestowed upon me by a sponsor or whatever. That is just absurd.

Sent from my iPhone

Hello again, Micheal,

Yes, several people have commented that going to A.A. meetings again and again, year after year, and expecting better results is insanity.

"Don't leave five minutes before the miracle".

"Ah, so if I keep going to meetings, I'll get a miracle, huh? When I never did before? Maybe tomorrow? This month? This year? Next year?"

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     These big confused human brains that we have seem to lead to
**     special troubles.  You don't see preacher chimpanzees or gorillas
**     telling their fellows, "Give me all of your bananas so that
**     you can go to heaven."
**     Nope, that kind of insanity is strictly the province of humans.





June 2, 2014, Sunday, the Fernhill Wetlands at Forest Grove:

Great Blue Heron
A Mama Mallard Duck with Duckings Approaching a Great Blue Heron
Fortunately, the Heron didn't have an appetite for ducklings. They passed by without incident.

Great Blue Heron
Mallard Drake and Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron Taking Off while the Canada Geese watch
The geese look like they have wing-span envy.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron Flying

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron Flying

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron Landing

[The story of the birds continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters403.html#Paul_R ]

From: paul r.
Date: Jan 11     (answered 3 June 2014)

I stumbled across some of your content and was struck with some observations. You are intelligent and articulate and have an obvious flare for research, but your use of derogatory and aggressive terms towards others with whom you disagree taint the credibility of your work and actually emulate the very traits you attribute to others. I am not attacking, I am giving you an honest assessment and I hope a helpful one.

I am just a man, like you. I have no definite answers. I struggled with questions of purpose faith and destiny. I was a skeptic. But it came down to this simple question with regard to all the fuss in our world about God and religion....Is God a reality or not? I approached that question with an open mind, and tried a "spiritual experiment" because if God is real He exists in the Spirit, and I had to try to be in that medium in order to explore the issue. I examined the evidence for and against God, and logically and intellectually determined there was enough evidence for the possible existence of God that it was worth doing the experiment. The critical realization was that if God is the biggest fallacy of all time, perpetrated by ....(I could not really imagine who would be the perpetrator, that was part of what led to my ultimate conclusions)....then human life has no purpose or meaning but is a cosmic accident and I am destined to culminate my life as being worm food and nothing more. If however, God does exist, then somehow connecting with and maintaining ongoing and constant communication with that God would be the most important thing any person could do. So the experiment began. I tried to bring my spiritual aspect of myself into focus, I tried to "pray" to think in my mind about God as a creator of all things, and to talk to Him, in my mind, as if he were real, openly saying to the God I did not know if He was there or not, that I was doubtful at best but open to his reality if He was in fact real, and I asked Him to somehow communicate with me or touch me in some way that would confirm for me that He existed. The key for me was to do this with an open mind like any good scientific experiment dictates. One cannot do a true experiment without allowing for and accepting the results to speak for themselves. One must have a hypothesis of course,the question is the reason for the experiment, but it must be a question not a pre determined and assumed outcome that is sought. Some of the most remarkable discoveries of all time were results that were contrary to the initial hypothesis, and I had to be willing to accept what results were manifest from my "spiritual experiment".

I conducted this experiment on a daily basis, first thing in the morning, spiritually reaching out to "God", sending out messages hoping for a sign of spiritual life to return, and I did the same just before going to sleep at night. Maybe 5 minutes or so at each session. I resolved to do this for at least 2 weeks, but made the concession that I must be diligent, and if I broke the chain of sessions as described, I had to start over, just like I had to start a chemistry experiment over if I messed up the protocol along the way.

I have taken a good amount of time writing this up for you but I am going to stop here without describing my results. I think it would be quite interesting for you and I to compare results and I do not want to influence you in any way. This is not a pitch, it is a challenge to you to do something outside the box, and regardless of the outcome, you will benefit from the exercise and experience.

I hope you will accept this challenge and I look forward to hearing from you and comparing our results.

Thanks,.

Paul

cell 520-xxx-xxxx

Hello Paul,

Thanks for the letter. Sorry to take so long to answer it; I just found it. I think you sent it to Gmail.com, which is a problem. Either that, or Inbox.com. I check my email account in the signature below — [email protected] — at least every few days, if not every day, but other email accounts like Gmail.com and Inbox.com get checked infrequently. A letter sent to Gmail may go unseen for 5 months, like happened to your letter. If it's down there among all of the spam, I just might not see it for months.

I don't use Gmail for anything but a spam bucket and a last resort mailbox. By "last resort", I mean that if the server for the Orange Papers were to go down, I would still be able to receive and send email through Gmail. So I keep the Gmail account for a backup channel of communications, but I never use it because Google spies on us and reads our email so that they can figure out the best advertisements to bother us with. So everybody, please just send the email to [email protected]

Now, about the writing style that you mentioned in the first paragraph: I am very aware of my writing style and my use of emotional language. I know what it is to write a very dry, scholarly, neutral-sounding paper or essay, and if I were writing for some serious journals, I would have to do that. But such a dry style can be very boring.

For the Orange Papers, I decided to use a conversational style of writing. In familiar conversation with friends, I don't hesistate to call a liar a liar, and an asshole an asshole. There is one big difference between my writing style and the other people whom I criticize: That is, I have a huge respect for the truth, and go out of my way to make sure that everything that I am writing is the truth. And if I goof and get something wrong, I will go back and correct it.

And it isn't slander or libel when you are telling the truth. That's the big thing: Is it true? That's the big difference between me and the people whom I criticize. I'm not just like them and will never be like them because I make every effort to tell only the truth. I won't lie to sick people and tell them that quack medicine works great when it doesn't. I won't tell people that a raving nutcase had a special hotline to God.

Speaking of a hotline to God, I understand what you are talking about in your experiment with prayer and meditation. I'm sure that you hear some voices and believe that you are getting results. The problem is, you don't know who or what is talking to you. You assume that the voice that is talking to you is "God". But that is just an assumption. It could be anything — some spirit or demon, or even your own subconscious mind.

I am reminded of the movie "Dogma". Now that was just a comedy, but they had a lot of fun with some real religious concepts. In one scene, an angel appeared to a woman who was The Last Scion. She was afraid of him and asked who he was. He said, "I am The Metatron."

"The what?"

"The Metatron. The Voice of God. You know all of those stories in the Bible where people heard the Voice of God, like Moses hearing God talking to him through a burning bush? That was me. Human beings simply cannot handle the magnificence of the real Voice of God. Their heads explode. We lost several Adams before we figured that one out. So whenever people claim that they are hearing the Voice of God talking to them, it's me that they are hearing."

What the movie did not get into is the fact that people who pray or meditate — or play with Ouija boards and spirit rapping, like Bill Wilson did, have absolutely no idea who or what they are really hearing. And they have no way to find out, either.

I am also reminded of a story that John Lilly told. He was interviewed for a magazine, and the interviewer asked him if he had ever talked to God. Lilly answered that he had encountered several beings who claimed to be God, but when he got to know them better, they confessed that they weren't really God, that God was the guy on the next level up. So Lilly went up a level and talked to that being, who said that he was God. But after a while, when Lilly got to know the spiritual being better, he confessed that he wasn't God, that God was really the guy on the next level up... And so on and so on. God was always on the next level up. It's like trying to get to the horizon: It recedes as you approach it. God was always receding in the same way.

Personally, I have my doubts about anyone talking directly to God. When you consider that God is larger than the entire physical Universe, it's going to be hard to shrink God down to human dimensions.

And you know what we haven't talked about? The definition of God. It's funny how people immediately launch into talking about how God said this, or God did that, without even defining what entity they are talking about. I have to ask, "What do you mean, when you use that 3-lettered word God?"

When people say, "God is what created the world," they are not defining God, they are just reporting something that He, She, or It allegedly did. Notice that they never define God, they just list things that they think God did. That isn't a definition. They never get around to saying what God really is.

Personally, I don't think God is even defineable. To define something, you have to limit it. You have to say, "God is this, and not that." But what if God is everything? To define something, you have to draw a line around it. But how do you draw a line around something that is much bigger than the physical Universe?

I can only conclude that most people who talk about God don't know what they are talking about.

Then we have the problem of human psychology. We know that it is relatively easy to induce highly suggestible trance-like states with meditation, prayer, chanting, self-hypnosis, and the like. And it's easy to make people percieve things that may not be there. The "recovered memories" hoax a few decades ago was a sad example of that. A lot of families were shattered because young women were convinced that they remembered their father molesting them when no such thing actually happened. (A dishonest or incompetent "counselor" planted the suggestions of rape in the minds of the clients, and the clients came to believe that the suggestions were real memories.)

Similarly, if you work hard enough at hearing the Voice of God, you just might start hearing things that you believe are God. The power of suggestion is strong, and so is the power of desire. Wish to hear the voice of God long enough, and you just might. Or you might hear something else, and confuse it with God.

Perhaps that is the reason that the Bible bans séances and mediums and dabbling in the occult.

By the way, I don't remember anybody proving that God wants to spend His time talking to hairless monkeys. In the Bible, Jesus condemned the Pharisees for seeking signs and wanting to see miracles.

Worst yet, such practices can easily turn into an ego game. "I hear voices, and you don't, so I'm more spiritually advanced than you guys." (Bill Wilson played that game.) Unfortunately, that leads to a state of mind that is the opposite of spirituality.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     There is no rational argument that can address the claims of
**     a group of people who claim absolute authority from an invisible
**     man whose voice is heard only in their heads.
**       ==  PZ Myers, biologist and associate professor at the
**              University of Minnesota, Morris.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters403.html#James_M ]

Date: Jan 10     (answered 3 June 2014)
From: james m.
Subject: Brilliant site

Greetings,

I was recently in detox where we were forced to sit through a 12 step meeting every evening except for SMART one night (didn't show up). Anyhow, I have had various experiences in AA and NA over the years- parents, treatment, desperation, etc. I awoke one morning at 4am with a brilliant diagrammatic structure of the program in my mind. I titled it "12 step programs: a cultic paradigm: my personal discomfort". None of the staff could dispute what I came up with. I do not wish to poison anyones positive experience in these programs, yet, I do recommend not checking your brain in at the door.

On further exploration after returning home I found your site. Absolutely brilliant. Keep up the good work. I will never be able to view 12 step groups the same. I do not dispute the value of one addict helping another. But, you don't need to join a "not religious, but spiritual" religious cult represented by a "simple spiritual program" which can only be found in "the rooms" of "the fellowship of AA". Keep the independent critical thinking mind you have been given. Free will is what it is all about — and the choices we make. That is why we are humans not robots.

Hello James,

Thank you for the letter and all of the compliments. Sorry to take so long to answer it; I just found it. I think you sent it to my Gmail account. Well, I finally got around to cleaning all of the spam out of my Gmail account and found a few very old letters. I don't use the Gmail account for anything but a spam bucket and alternative email address in case the regular one doesn't work. So for best results, people, please use the email address in the signature below.

Now, about the independent thinking: Oh yes. I totally agree. And yes, it seems like having an experienced person who has successfully kicked his bad habits acting as a counselor should be a good thing. Unfortunately, they surreptitiously mix in an old cult religion, which is not good.

They start with,

Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

But then they change that into:

At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not an end in itself. Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Into Action, page 77.

... which just makes it into a bait-and-switch trick:
First, it's only a "spiritual" alcoholism recovery program, and then it's a fundamentalist religion whose 'real purpose' is to make you 'serve God'.

Unfortunately, the cult religion makes the A.A. "program" less effective, and raises the death rate in alcoholics.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     I do not believe in people telling others of their faith, especially
**     with a view to conversion.  Faith does not admit of telling. It has to
**     be lived and then it becomes self-propagating.
**       ==  Mahatma Gandhi, October 20, 1927.
**         All Men Are Brothers, Mahatma Gandhi, page 55.





June 1, 2014, Sunday, the Fernhill Wetlands at Forest Grove:

Canada Goose + goslings
A Mother Goose with 5 goslings, eating bread on the water.

Hybrid: Greylag Goose + Canada Goose
Son of Gus
I was happy to see this goose. This is one of Gus's children, whom I had not seen since the year before last. I thought that none of Gus's children made it back from migrating south for the winter. But obviously this one did.

Hybrid: Greylag Goose + Canada Goose
Son of Gus
You can see how his features are a blend of Greylag Goose and Canada Goose.

Hybrid: Greylag Goose + Canada Goose
Son of Gus plus his mate
Yes, it appears that Gus's son has his own wife now.

Canada Goose goslings
An older Family of 4, coming to get something to eat.

Canada Goose goslings
A Family of 3, eating rolled oats and bread.

Notice how all of the plant life is dead and brown. That is because the new managers of the Wetlands, the "Tualatin Valley Clean Water Association", has been spraying herbicides all over the place. It's probably the non-biodegradeable Round-Up®, which is half of the "Agent Orange" defoliant that was sprayed on Vietnam and caused so many birth defects and strange diseases in our troops. It's illogical for the sewage workers turned self-appointed wildlife experts to claim that the geese should forage for food naturally — they put up signs that say that people should not feed the ducks and geese — and then they spray poisons on the geese's food supply. That is nuts. And heartless. And downright inconsiderate.

Incidentally, the Tualatin Valley Clean Water Association claims that they are promoting clean water, but their poisonous herbicides that do not biodegrade will wash out of the soil here and go into the rivers downstream. So how is that clean water?

Pondscape
Another view of the dead zone.
Normally, the whole area is as green and lush as the pictures in the middle of this page.

[The story of the birds continues here.]





BLOG NOTE: 2014.06.04: 25th Anniversay of the Tianenmen Square Massacre.

The Chinese may not be able to talk about it, but we can. Twenty-five years ago today, the Chinese Army, under the orders of the leaders of the Communist Party, murdered about 900 protesting students (maybe many more than that) in the center of Peking. Let us not forget.

(This should be good for getting the Orange Papers banned in China, again. Mentioning what Mao Tse Tung and gang did to Tibet is also good for banning and censoring.)





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters403.html#Steve ]

Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2014 18:48:00     (answered 6 June 2014)
From: Steve
To: [email protected]
Subject: ?

Don't know what you're talking about!

Shhms

Sent from my iPhone

Hello Steve,

Actually, I do know what I'm talking about. You can start with the bibliography for the web site, here:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-bibliography.html

You don't have to actually read all of those books like I have; you can start with just reading the list and the comments on the books. Also notice that the list begins with all of the Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Council-approved books that I've been able to get my hands on.

(So how many anti-A.A. books have you read, just to know both sides of the issue?)

Then, yes, I do know about spiritual experiences, so it isn't like A.A. members got some special insiders-only knowledge from working the 12 Steps that I couldn't get.

And then I've been to enough A.A. meetings to know what goes on there.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    The man who does not read good books has no advantage
**    over the man who cannot read them.
**      ==  Mark Twain (Samuel Longhorne Clemens), 1835—1910





[The previous letter from Shan_M is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters403.html#Shan_M2 ]

Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2014 17:43:58     (answered 6 June 2014)
From: Shan R. M.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Rhymes wit doorhinge

Byblikill headgamen u & We not much 2 c sept evils handmaden orthodox beliefs 2b tooln u n me xpect u $ maken from social deformities a plenty

Hello again, Shan,

Well, that is pretty incomprehensible. The only sense that I can make of it is at the end, where you seem to imagine that I will make plenty of money from social deformities. Alas, not so. I'm not the one who is running a 12-Step-based "treatment center" that charges anything from $15,000 to $40,000 for 28 days of indoctrination in an old cult religion. Nope, the total donations to the web site have been averaging about $400 per year for a few years now, and true to form, the donations so far this year are a little over $200.

And that gets eaten up by a zillion expenses that range from replacing computer gear as it blows up to buying blank disks for backups and new disk drives for more storage to buying books and paying Internet costs.

Just yesterday, I registered five new domain names for the Orange Papers to prevent copy-cat web sites:
orange-paper.com
orange-paper.net
orange-paper.org
orangepaper.net
orangepaper.org

Try them and you will see that they all redirect to the Orange-Papers.org web site. And that is in addition to most of the variations of "orange-papers" that I already registered. Try orange-papers.com and orange-papers.net, and you will see the same redirection. So I have a total of 13 domain names registered now, just preventing another pro-A.A. copy-cat web site like orange-papers.com was for several years.

And then I bought a rare old book on eBay yesterday: T.S.ARTHUR, STRONG DRINK / The Curse And The Cure, 1877, Philadelphia, PA. I'm always interested in seeing what "the cure" was before Bill Wilson sold Dr. Frank Buchman's cult religion as a cure for "alcoholism". Bill Wilson claimed that his cure was something completely new and never discovered before — even the greatest medical and spiritual discovery of the century — which was totally untrue. Everything that became A.A. was present in some previous cult religion or "drunk cure" or "temperance society" long before Bill Wilson started pretending to cure drunkards with religion.

I'll do a book report on this book after I get it and read it and see what his cure was.

And of course special thanks to Robert and Marcelle whose donations paid for that stuff.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If you make money your god, it will plague you like the devil.
**       ==  Henry Fielding (1707—1754)

UPDATE: 2014.12.16: I got STRONG DRINK / The Curse And The Cure, and have been reading it. Of course I had to jump to the back of the book and see what the cure was. It was "go to church", and "get religion". Gee, why does that sound familiar? Bill Wilson wasn't very original.

Fortunately, there is more to the book than that. There is much very interesting material in there, like more descriptions of sobriety programs and temperance unions and associations, and organizations that I had never heard of before. It will supply some more material for the descriptions of early temperance unions in the file about The Funny Spirituality of Bill Wilson and A.A.:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-funny_spirituality.html#End_of_Affluence





[The previous letter from Thomas_C is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters403.html#Thomas_C2 ]

Date: Jun 3, 2014, 5:14 PM     (answered 6 June 2014)
From: Thomas C.
Re: reply from Orange Papers

Have no idea what your beef is, your arguments are silly. You ate not a student of Rhetoric.

On June 10 I will celebrate 31 years w out a drink.

But if course, to you that's not valid.

Hello again, Thomas,

I do not declare that people's years of sobriety are not valid. I never do that. I congratulate people for getting their act together and saving their own lives. It's A.A. that claims that people's years of sobriety do not count if people are not doing the 12 Steps or going to A.A. meetings. "You are just a dry drunk."

So congratulations on your sobriety. I'm glad to hear that you didn't commit suicide by bottle. It is good that you decided to save your own life, and then you really did it. That was a wise choice, and it saved your life. Your best thinking got you there.

The fact that you later got hoodwinked into joining a cult religion is secondary.

Your complaints about whether I know something about rhetoric are just typical cultish ad hominem attacks. Rather than honestly discussing the relevant facts, cult members will just attack the speaker with irrelevant sniping.

So, let's have some of the "rigorous honesty" that Bill Wilson bragged about (page 58, Big Book). What is the actual A.A. cure rate?

Since you believe that A.A. somehow works and makes people quit drinking, please tell us:

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.

Lastly, "my beef", as you call it, is simply that A.A. is a fraud. It is quack medicine that does not work. And A.A. lies about its cure rate constantly, to fool more people into joining. Foisting ineffective quack medicine on sick people and lying to them about how well it works is a despicable crime.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The common dogma [of fundamentalists] is fear of modern knowledge,
**     inability to cope with the fast change in a scientific-technological
**     society, and the real breakdown in apparent moral order in recent
**     years.... That is why hate is the major fuel, fear is the cement of
**     the movement, and superstitious ignorance is the best defense against
**     the dangerous new knowledge. ... When you bring up arguments that cast
**     serious doubts on their cherished beliefs you are not simply making a
**     rhetorical point, you are threatening their whole Universe and their
**     immortality.  That provokes anger and quite frequently violence. ...
**     Unfortunately you cannot reason with them and you even risk violence
**     in confronting them. Their numbers will decline only when society
**     stabilizes, and adapts to modernity.
**         ==  G. Gaia





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Last updated 16 December 2014.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters403.html