Letters, We Get Mail, CCCCVI



[The previous letter from Gamine_H is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters406.html#Gamine_H ]

Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2014 12:02:16     (answered 24 June 2014)
From: Gamine H.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Not to bother you

Orange, I get that you pick bones with AA for two main reasons (correct me if I'm wrong)

Reason 1: AA just doesn't work for the problem it claims to solve . That its solution is not a solution and that it even makes the problem worse or fatal. That the "solution" itself causes a whole other separate problem.

Reason 2: AA's real existence is to spread its dogma and it is a psychosocial trap. It is a "cult" (I would argue that that word is not applicable in its true sense) I will admit that it is a place where a contagious poisonous social meme exists. I can see with my own eyes that its the only room I know of where 'not knowing what the fuck you're talking' about becomes contagious, that its meant to convert, that its for the most part quack medicine riding atop an accurate description of alcoholism, that it really doesn't offer a viable solution to alcoholism and is straight up steps to conversion.

Hello again, Neal,

Thanks for the response. I agree with the two points that you listed, but there is more:

  • 3. Alcoholics Anonymous uses the legal justice system and the health care systems to try to coerce more people into their cult religion. That is both illegal and unConstitutional.

  • 4. Then they lie and claim great success when they have none, to try to justify such coercion. They run an immense propaganda machine to promote A.A. and publicize it and plant plugs in every movie and radio and TV show that they can, while hypocritically declaring that A.A. is a program of "attraction, not promotion". — "Tradition 11."

  • 5. In that way, they also discourage and suppress other real methods of recovery.

  • 6. A.A. sponsors routinely tell sick people not to take their medications, and causing much suffering and death that way.

  • 7. A.A. is a very abusive organization that permits sexual predators and con artists to operate within A.A. freely, and A.A. even protects those criminals through its policy of anonymity. — Which is actually a gross misinterpretation of anonymity. Anonymity does not mean that you don't tell the police when a criminal is raping an underage girl.

  • 8. A.A. is very harmful, and produces very negative results. A.A. raises the rates of binge drinking and death. A.A. also raises the divorce rate, and the suicide rate, and A.A. increases the cost of hospitalization of alcoholics. Old cult religion from the nineteen-thirties is just not a good treatment for drug and alcohol problems. It's very bad, harmful, treatment.

  • And there are about two dozen more points. See the file What's Not Good About A.A.?

I also admit that people quit on their own, and have spontaneous remission like I did. But the scientific reason for spontaneous remission is unclear and the word 'spontaneous' is about as vague and miraculous sounding as what AA offers, that God did it. Do you see what I'm talking about? Saying it was God or saying you spontaneously had remission is equivalent to saying 'I don't know". One is just a PC version. I personally quit because of the realization of certain death<----is that good enough to support spontaneous remission? It worked because I was a terrible alcoholic and haven't drank a drop in a year. I dont disagree with the phrase 'spontaneous remission', it exists but is still a fortunate event with unclear causes parallel with 'God healed me!' Both are wonderful because we're sober but the reason; perhaps the wrong side has monopolized the real source.

The word spontaneous is not vague at all. It's very simple: Whenever anyone gets sick, there are only three possible outcomes:

  1. They recover their health without any treatment or medicine. They just get over it. That is "spontaneous recovery".

  2. They get better with treatment. That is a successful course of treatment. Congratulate the doctor and the medicine.

  3. They don't get better. They are either chronically sick for the rest of their lives, or they die.

Now why people spontaneously recover is wide open. It can be any cause. Sometimes the patient changes his habits and improves his lifestyle, and starts eating better, and stops bad habits like smoking and drinking and drugging. That is what happened to me. The cause for that was because I got sick and tired of being so sick and tired and I decided that I didn't want to die that way. There was nothing mysterious about that.

Or the patient recovers because the immune system can easily beat that disease. Like the common cold. Or simple skin infections that the immune system wipes out. No doctor is needed. The body routinely kills diseases and infections, and heals skinned knees, without any help from a doctor.

And then sometimes nobody knows why the immune system suddenly rallied and eliminated the disease. Sometimes it is mysterious, and the doctor doesn't know what went right.

Those are your points right? More or less? I get it and frankly agree (this is true, I do agree with a lot of your grievances) though there are numerous counter points that you cant just wish away no matter how many people get raped in AA or drink themselves into death because they think they're powerless. But, as above, reasons 1 and 2 are why you've done what you've done---because it doesn't work and that its a cult. Right?

Like I said above, there are more points.

Counterpoints? What counterpoints?

Here is where I don't understand your whole thing. Catholics, Protestants and Mormons (as well as Many other religious bodies) have structures on every street corner in this country as well as influence over every scrap of dirt on this planet. Their influence is without bounds and its been this way for circa 2000 years.

Yes, but the only two churches in the USA that are trying to use the legal system to force people do join their church are the Church of Scientology and the 12-Step church — Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

12-Step "rehab centers" and "treatment centers" make billions of dollars by selling Dr. Frank Buchman's old cult religion as a quack cure for alcohol abuse and addiction. Scientology sees the racket that the 12-Step cult is running, and they want to get some of that money too, so they have been campaigning to have the courts sentence alcoholics and drug addicts to Scientology "treatment centers" where people will be given "toxic rundowns" that are based on the ravings of the paranoid schizophrenic Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, the founder of Scientology.

So far, none of the Catholics or Baptists or Methodists or Episcopalians or any other mainstream religion has tried to coerce me into their church, so there is a big difference there.

We know now, without a doubt! that Darwinian Evolution and Natural Selection shaped all life and even morality itself — FACT. That these mammoth religions are absolutely wrong about the nature of reality. They are not only wrong in their claims but they make whatever problems they purport to alleviate worse, even fatally worse on a regular basis. They are also cults in the most accurate meaning of the word and seek to convert and encompass and rule through memeplexes, group think, dogma---they prey on social and individual weaknesses.

Yes, churches that deny science and tell Creationism fairy tales are wrong. But most of them do not qualify as cults — just a bunch of misguided people with erroneous unrealistic beliefs. It's a shades-of-gray thing. See The Cult Test for a long analysis of what is a cult.

My point is that the reasons you give to defend all you work and tirade against AA; they fit immeasurably more with these global faiths. These faiths have killed, enslaved, and fooled trillions of more people and usurped beyond recognition a future of humanity that would be admirable for any outside entity studying us. From an outside, objective standpoint these religions have made us look especially insane, cruel, hopeless, helpless and pathetic.

I am quite aware of the slaughter that religions have done. My history professor told me that the Christian Church burned 14 million girls as witches in the middle ages. Grand Inquisitor Torquemada in Spain marched into one Spanish city of 30,000 inhabitants one day, and declared that every woman, girl, and baby girl in the city was a witch, and three days later, there were only 15,000 inhabitants in the city, all male. Torquemada slaughtered all of the females, even the babies. The Pope refused to criticize Torquemada or stop him because the Pope didn't want to weaken the power of the Church. And the current Popes still have not apologized for that, or admitted any guilt on the part of the Church.

And then there were the 20 Years War and the 40 Years War where Catholics and Protestants murdered each other in countless numbers, and thoroughly wrecked Europe.

But all of that happened several hundred years ago. What Alcoholics Anonymous is doing is right now. I cannot change the past, but I can change the present and the future.

Similarly, right now in foreign countries, the true believers are murdering without restraint. In just the last week, the bunch of fanatics called ISIS slaughtered 1500 captured soldiers in Iraq. And over in India and Pakistan, the war between the Moslems and Hindus continues. And over in Myanmar, the Buddhists are killing the Moslems. Buddhists yet. They are supposed to be pacifists.

Still, I have no control over those countries or populations, nor do I have any influence there. But I have some influence here, so I shall work on what needs changing here.

AA is only the 'idea' of a minnow next to a real, flesh and blood grinding great white shark. AA is like fresh oxygen and 70 degree poolside weather compared to finding oneself on Venus, burning alive in a boiling chemical soup and breathing methane. Why blame AA for its faults when the real murdering, giant lie is destroying the whole of humanity? One is responsible for a finite number of deaths, falsehoods and sexual assaults, the other threatens to extinct an entire species after thousands of years of the most horrendous torture. Who is worthy of our criticism, really?

Sorry, but I find those analogies to be grossly inaccurate. Given a choice between A.A. or a mainstream standard-brand religion, I'll take the later any day. They may have goofy ideas about evolution, but they don't go around telling people that they are powerless over sin and cannot ever recover and the only hope is to surrender to God and become a slave of the Big Dictator in Heaven.

And they don't tell people not to take their medications.

And they don't drive people to suicide. Not usually, not like how A.A. does.

As far as my AA attendance, I withdrew it (from attending daily for 10 months at a very nice LGBT group welcoming atheists *nothing like the cult you describe*) I only attend it once a week, and only that because I committed to chair a meeting in June which I always introduce a topic that isn't insane (one week I did prescription drugs and outside doctors---no one was saying don't use them and expect AA to miracle your brain into not needing drugs--you exaggerate. Everyone said something to the effect that outside help was vital. The next week I did a meeting about how AA is not allied with any politics etc...<----This is the real reason I stopped attending (including many of your reasons) because the group and especially my former sponsor was so far left wing it was an insult to my history as a former infantry Marine. I was continuously being fed copious amounts of the most bitter liberalism. I like the left just not the out of control kind that the homosexual crowd loves to indulge in.

No, I don't exaggerate the issue of "no medications". You are lucky that you are going to a meeting where the people are not against medications. I have plenty of horror stories where people were told by their sponsors and other "elders" not to take their medications. Look here: A.A. "No Meds" Stories.

This study found that "only" 17% of the A.A. sponsors were against medications, and told their sponsees not to take them.

Alcoholics Anonymous and the Use of Medications to Prevent Relapse: An Anonymous Survey of Member Attitudes. ROBERT G. RYCHTARIK; GERARD J. CONNORS; KURT H. DERMEN; PAUL R. STASIEWICZ. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Jan 2000 v61 i1 p134.

[See the abstract of this paper, and futher discussion, here:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters295.html#Ray_S]

That means that newcomers have a one-in-six chance of getting a sponsor who might kill them with bad medical advice. That really is Russian Roulette.

Note that only one-sixth of the sponsors were telling people not to take their medications, but one-third of the newer members were counseled not to take their medications. So apparently each fanatical sponsor was giving bad advice to two or more newcomers. That makes sense. The crazies try to make as many converts as they can.

The official A.A. web site actually acknowledges that A.A. members have pushed newcomers into suicide by telling them not to take their medications. Their conference-approved pamphlet, "The AA Member — Medications & Other Drugs", on page 13 states

      Because of the difficulties that many alcoholics have with drugs, some members have taken the position that no one in A.A. should take any medication. While this position has undoubtedly prevented relapses for some, it has meant disaster for others.

      AA members and many of their physicians have described situations in which depressed patients have been told by AAs to throw away the pills, only to have the depression return with all of its difficulties, sometimes resulting in suicide. We have heard, too, from schizophrenics, manic depressives, epileptics, and others requiring medication that well-meaning A.A. friends often discourage them from taking prescribed medication. Unfortunately, by following a layman's advice, the sufferers find that their conditions can return with all their previous intensity. On top of that, they feel guilty because they are convinced that "A.A. is against pills."

http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-11_aamembersMedDrug.pdf

Of course the above wishy-washy back-and-forth apologetic quote begs the question:

So which A.A. members, old-timers, or sponsors are entitled to decide whether
  1. the newcomer should not take medications, in order to "undoubtedly prevent relapse", or
  2. the newcomer should take medications, in order to prevent sickness or death?

So who decides? Who has the knowledge and the power? Which sponsors or old-timers are entitled to play doctor?

I'm a Veteran too, and I find it odd that you consider A.A. to be "liberal". It is much more like Fascism:

    • A liberal will say, "One man, one vote."

    • A Fascist says, "The average man is mentally incompetent and is not qualified to think for himself, never mind vote, so democracy is impossible. It will never work. The best citizens are those who obey the orders of their superiors without question."

      So just do what your sponsor says, and stop your Stinkin' Thinkin'.

    • A liberal will say that you can join any religion you wish, or be an atheist if you wish.

    • A Fascist will say that you must join the correct faith, or else:

      "Force without spiritual foundation is doomed to failure."
      == Adolf Hitler

      "Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith ... we need believing people."
      == Adolf Hitler, April 26, 1933, from a speech made during negotiations leading to the Nazi-Vatican Concordant of 1933

      "The folkish-minded man, in particular, has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God's will, and actually fulfill God's will, and not let God's word be desecrated. For God's will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord's creation, the divine will."
      == Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 2 Chapter 10

      "Today Christians ... stand at the head of [this country]... I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit ... We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press - in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past ... (few) years."
      == The Speeches of Adolph Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1 (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pg. 871-872

I have to strongly disagree with your slurs that "the homosexual crowd loves to indulge in" "copious amounts of the most bitter liberalism." That is painting with a very broad brush, and stereotyping homosexuals.

One of my best friends is gay, and he doesn't "indulge in bitter liberalism". He is quite sensible on most subjects. And very intelligent. His knowledge is vast and encyclopedic, which is one of the reasons that I like to hang out with him. He also has Asperger's Syndrome, which makes him a lot like the guy on the TV show, "The Big Bang Theory". He just doesn't even vaguely resemble your stereotype of homosexuals.

I have two more meetings in which Im 'supposed' to chair. Through listening to your shit and forming unbiased reasons of my own, I've ceased AA attendance. But I'm still considering attending We Agnostics, a small group comprised of 10 hardcore atheist, recovered alcoholics. We talk about non-AA approved literature the whole time! You seriously exaggerated the negative aspects man and getting to my main point above, you are attacking the wrong organization. What you're doing is accusing the friend of a friend of a bully. Go after the real problem, Christianity, Judaism and Islam. That's where humanity is hit hard. AA is a joke that will die out on its own. All the newcomers go back out anyway and people argue over all of its literature and constantly gossip about each other. In those three religions though, millions swallow the fatal bait, hook, line and sinker.

Sorry, but I have no intentions of trying to wipe out all of the religions in the world.

Have you ever heard the advice to "Choose your battles carefully."? I have zero chance of eliminating all religions, so it would be a futile waste of my time to try. However, I can simply speak the truth and try to inject some common sense and reasonable rational thinking into the conversation. That can improve the situation.

Its like you're crying over getting splashed with water when whole cities are being sunk by tsunamis. Direct your efforts towards a more guilty institution or are you a fucking theist? I'd be extremely surprised and angry to hear that you were even Pantheist. making the wake you make, you had better be more Atheist than Chris Hitchens.

Again, the organized religions are not trying to get people sentenced to their church services (not in the USA), and they are not trying to push faith healing as a cure for deadly medical problems. A.A. is a special kind of evil.

Now I know about the appalling religious fanatics in other countries. We are hearing about the case of a Moslem woman in Sudan who was sentenced to death for marrying a Christian and "abandoning Islam". (Fortunately for her, she was pardoned and is apparently being allowed to leave the country, although she isn't out yet, as of today.) And other countries are plagued by religious fundamentalists. This decade, the Islamic extremists seem to be the most obnoxious. (In other centuries, it was Christian crusaders and missionaries killing brown- and black-skinned people by the millions.) On the evening news, we are treated to a never-ending series of horror stories of what they are doing, like shooting a 12-year-old girl who goes to school. Alas, I cannot change those countries or their people. But I can work against having such insanity happen here. What I want to avoid is having Ayatollah Anonymous enforcing a strict fundamentalist dogma here in the USA.

Anyway, thanks for reading, it truly is a pleasure arguing with you. Maybe you should think about giving up all attacks on these people (AA and believers) except when they're brought up in your conversational vicinity. I suggest this because you must spend all day on a computer doing this shit and its no way to live, no offense. Go duck hunting, just kidding. AA is not a worthy opponent of your true criticisms. The god damn xtians, jews and muslims are the real culprits.

Actually, I don't spend as much time in front of a computer as you think. And I do go duck hunting, often. And goose hunting, too. And I shoot them with a camera. And then feed them. We get along great. And as a result, my suntan is getting along fine too.

Lastly, I don't regard the Christians, Jews, and Moslems to be my mortal enemies. I think that irrational thinking is more of the problem. It's another shades-of-gray thing. Some believers are actually pretty sensible and some are nuts and wallow in wishful thinking and imagine that Santa Claus will give them everything that they want if they are good.

That gay friend of mine signs his letters with this signature. I'm sure that you will like it:

**    "The Jews, the Muslims & the Christians. They've all got it wrong.
**    The people of the world only divide into two kinds:
**    One sort with brains who hold no religion.
**    The other with religion and no brain."
**      == Al-Marri (973 — 1057). Syrian Poet & Philosopher. Muslim.

Notice that the writer was a Muslim himself. But he was a sensible one. He had brains. I think the same goes for all religious people. Some are very sensible, thinking people and they are not our mortal enemies. On the other hand, I worry about the ultra-Conservatives and Tea Party members and Neo-Nazi nutcases and loud-mouthed religious Fundamentalists. Many of them are even more irrational and radical and hateful than any religous true believer.

With respect, Neal

You have a good day too, Neal.

== 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

[The next letter from Gamine_H is here.]





June 22, 2014, Sunday, the Fernhill Wetlands at Forest Grove:

Savannah Sparrow
A very tame Savannah Sparrow
When I went to Dabbler's Marsh to feed the ducks, this little guy came right to me before I even started doling out the food. He recognizes me. He knows that I bring food, so he came to get his share. He landed on that log in front of me and then hopped towards me. Then he jumped up and down in anticipation as I doled out the rolled oats and broke up some bread for him. Then, as soon as I moved away from the pile of food, he jumped on it. And then he called out to his friends, "Food! Lots of food here! Come and get it!" and two more Savannah Sparrows flew in, and the three of them had a feast. Then a Redwing Blackbird [or "Tri-Color Blackbird"] came too, and joined in.

I think this is the same tame Savannah Sparrow that has been coming to me since last winter, here:
http://www.orange-papers.info/OP/orange-letters382.html#goslings2
and here:
http://www.orange-papers.info/OP/orange-letters398.html#goslings2
and here:
http://www.orange-papers.info/OP/orange-letters403.html#goslings

June 24, 2014, Tuesday, my back yard in Forest Grove:

It turns out that the hummingbirds are very much still around, both the Annas Hummingbirds and the Rufous Hummingbirds. They have simply been hiding in the new growth. But I've been seeing them more and more over the last few days. The Rufous male seems to have claimed the back yard, and the Annas Hummingbird male has taken the front yard, again.

Female Annas Hummingbird
Female Annas Hummingbird
The female Annas Hummingbirds seem to feed in both the back yard and the front yard. And I'm not sure if it's the same female or if there are more than one. There are probably several around, because I also see the male hummingbirds driving away intruders. Some females seem to be accepted, and some not. Females are often showing up and sneaking a meal from a feeder, and when a male sees that he quickly drives the intruder away. But they keep coming back. Those feeders are too good to ignore, even if the males do object and claim that they own the feeders.

Female Annas Hummingbird
Female Annas Hummingbird

Female Annas Hummingbird
Oops! The Female Annas Hummingbird leaned back too far while swallowing sugar-water and lost her balance and now it looks like she is doing pullups.

June 25, 2014, Wednesday, my back yard in Forest Grove:

I knew that a skunk frequently visited my back yard at night because I could smell it now and then, but yesterday my neighbor discovered that we have a whole family of them: Mother, Father, and four cute babies. Then this day, I saw two of them, Mama and a baby, beginning to cautiously creep out of the thicket in broad daylight. Then they saw me and went back into hiding. But I got these shots of one of the children before they hid.

Juvenile Skunk
A Juvenile Skunk

Juvenile Skunk
A Juvenile Skunk
Later, my new neighbors discovered that the whole family of skunks was happily chowing down on the cat food on their front porch. These skunks are apparently very well adapted to the environment, and quite comfortable here. And they will be even more comfortable. My neighbor Brandy decided to get some cheaper catfood for the skunks. She is just in love with the cute baby skunks. And they are already scarfing up the sunflower seeds and bread that I put out for the birds, and they are drinking the water out of the pots and pans that I put out for birdbaths. So they will do just fine.

Yes, I have some new neighbors downstairs now. Stephanie the college girl graduated as an optometrist, and they sent her to Kentucky to do her internship, and Joe and Brandy moved in. Brandy is in love with all of the Hummingbirds and wildlife. That came as quite a surprise to her. You rent an apartment, and get a free jungle in back along with it.

My yard is really turning into a zoo. I think we still have a raccoon in addition to the skunks and squirrels, and I haven't identified all of the birds that nest in that jungle in back. There are a bunch of them. Speaking of which, the squirrels Fat-tail and Scraggly-Tail also had babies, so now we have two cute little juvenile squirrels running around and hungrily eating the sunflower seeds.

June 26, 2014, Thursday, my back yard in Forest Grove:

I heard the familiar tap-tap-tap of a woodpecker, and looked closely, and found this guy hammering away. I looked him up in a bird field guide, and he (or she) is a Williamsons Sapsucker. The book said that he isn't even supposed to be here. He is supposed to be more up in the inland mountains, in pine forests, far away from the coastal mountain ranges. Apparently the bird doesn't agree with the book. He's here. There are some pine trees in my yard, and apparently that's enough to make him happy.

Williamsons Sapsucker
Williamsons Sapsucker

Williamsons Sapsucker
Williamsons Sapsucker

[More nature photos below, here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters406.html#Derek_J ]

Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2014 21:57:35     (answered 29 June 2014)
From: Derek J.
To: [email protected]
Subject: AA is terrible, and so....

Hello,

I read your 10 + page of negative points which basically are saying that AA is a terrible, fanatical conspiracy agenda full of predators and criminals ready to pounce on the downtrodden.

Couldn't get through ALL of that negative, but it would be wonderful of you to end your rant with a positive alternative. Then it wouldn't be a rant anymore but a useful article with a useful outcome.

Where do you, in your wisdom, suggest that depressed people struggling with alcohol addiction go to get low cost help and real support?

D

Hello Derek,

Thanks for the letter. I do provide a positive alternative, many of them in fact. I have a list of such things. Apparently you didn't see it.

Here is the list of non-cult, sane, evidence-based methods and support groups:

And here is the Top 10 reading list, which really numbers closer to 30 items, which can also give you much good information:

And here is my own description of what worked for me, with links to many more lists of treatment programs and ratings of their effectiveness, and also links to more discussions of what has worked for other people:

Then, it occurred to me that your question is asked enough times that I should put together a better web page about "what works?", so I did:

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     We've been brainwashed with wrong information,
**     and now we gotta get good information.
**       ==  Dr. Joel Fuhrman





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters406.html#Jamie_G ]

Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2014 09:29:15     (answered 29 June 2014)
From: Jamie G.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Good article on 12 steps

Who are you...?

Sent From mobile

Hello Jamie,

Thanks for the compliment. Your question about who I am can be answered in many different ways, like:

  • I'm an old hippie from the 'sixties.
  • I'm an ex-alcoholic.
  • I'm a recovered alcoholic.
  • I'm an old computer programmer, and old electronics technician.
  • I'm a guy who successfully kicked all of his addictions, and who has 13 years clean and sober now. And also 13 years off of cigarettes too, I'm happy to say.

We've discussed this before, in a variety of letters:

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      If you are going through hell, keep going.
**            — Sir Winston Churchill (1874—1965)





June 28, 2014, Saturday, my front yard in Forest Grove:

My downstairs neighbor Brandy checked her mail, and saw this:

Tree Frog
A tiny tree frog sitting on top of the mailbox.

The mailbox is mounted on the front wall of the house, under the porch roof. This little tree frog wanted to climb up a tree at dawn, so that it could spend the day sleeping safely in a tree, but it climbed up the front wall of the house instead. But it found that the top of the mailbox provided an acceptable sleeping platform. The lid of the mailbox was canted open, so it made a shallow V-shaped channel to securely sit in and sleep. No danger of falling out of bed there.

That is a regular clothespin, so it gives you a good size gauge to see just how tiny this little tree frog is.

Tree Frog
Tree Frog, magnified.

Tree Frog
Tree Frog, magnified some more.

Yes, my yard is turning into a real zoo. The density of life here is unreal.

[The story of the birds continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters406.html#Dr_Chris ]

From: Dr. Chris W.
To: [email protected] <[email protected]>
Subject: Correction Needed
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2014 14:59:21     (answered 8 July 2014)

You wrote:

>>And a disease that has only symptoms is called a psychosomatic illness. They say that it's all in your head. I never heard a competent doctor declare that alcoholism was a psychosomatic illness.

http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-interpreted.html#symptom

The definition of Psycho-Somatic means that the mind caused the problem in the body. A classic medical example is a stress induced ulcer that really exists. The physical ulcer is caused by the mind.

"Hysteria," is when there are no organic (somatic) signs but only subjective symptoms.

IMHO, alcoholism is a symptom and not a disease per say like Wilson claimed. The only way alcoholism can be remotely defined as a disease is that it causes difficult ease (dis-ease) to the person.

Anyway, I like your papers and want them to be accurate.

Chris W., DC
Chiropractic Physician

Hello Chris,

Thank you for the correction. I also want every last little detail to be correct.

Okay, so the proper term is hysterical, not psychosomatic. And yes, "alcoholism" isn't a disease. It's behavior.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     The way I see it, the real enemy is contagious mental illness.
**     The problem is, there are many such illnesses, not just one,
**     and many of them masquerade as respectable causes or beliefs,
**     like devout religions, or "conservative" political causes, or
**     "national policies", or "recovery methods", or "freedom fighters",
**     or "patriotic defenders of the homeland", or "defenders of the
**     faith". And the people who are victims of these contagious mental
**     illnesses are all convinced that they know the truth and they
**     have all of the answers, and anyone who disagrees with them is
**     wrong, or insane, or evil or treasonous or heretical. And they
**     recruit, and try to convert others to their insane beliefs. They
**     attempt to use every possible means to make converts, including
**     making their beliefs the law of the land, and forcing people to
**     become their recruits and converts.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters406.html#Iamnotastatistic ]

Date: Fri, 4 Jul 2014 01:52:49     (answered 8 July 2014)
From: Iamnotastatistic
To: Orange <[email protected]>
Subject:

Hi Orange,

Here's an interesting study from Germany in 2007 that concluded that "The present study was unable to show an advantage of self-help group [AA] attendance in reducing relapses compared to the control group."

THE IMPACT OF SELF-HELP GROUP ATTENDANCE ON RELAPSE RATES AFTER ALCOHOL DETOXIFICATION IN A CONTROLLED STUDY.

http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org/content/42/2/108.long

Participants were taken from the placebo arm of a pharmaceutical trial of the treatment of moderately to severely alcohol dependent individuals. In addition to receiving a placebo pharmaceutical injection the participants were allowed to choose between attending AA or not attending AA. Participants were monitored for 1 year and abstinence was verified by biological tests. Intention to Treat (ITT) evaluation was used where drop outs in both the AA and non AA groups were considered failures.

Over the course of 1 year 42% of participants in the AA group dropped out and 39% in the non AA group dropped out (possible treatment effect on retention here). At the end of 1 year the ITT abstinence rate in the AA group was 36.0% and in the non AA group it was 35.7% — essentially no difference.

Of those that completed 1 year of participation in the study (Per Protocol evaluation) 62% of the AA group was abstinent and 59% of the non AA group was abstinent — again, essentially no difference.

There are some really good aspects to this study:

  • 1. There is ITT evaluation data which considers ALL participants — it includes dropouts.

  • 2. There is also Per Protocol (PP) evaluation data which considers only completing participants. Rehabs usually report PP effectiveness and not ITT effectiveness — there's a huge difference.

  • 3. Participants were randomized to the placebo arm of the trial but were free to choose AA or non AA. This study shows that when participants are free to choose there is no evidence that AA is effective (there's already a lot of evidence showing that mandated AA is ineffective).

  • 4. All participants were part of a pharmaceutical trial (but receiving placebo) and thus their expectation was that the pharmaceutical was delivering any positive outcome. AA was an optional add on, not the primary approach. This is substantially different to a simple AA vs non AA approach where those in the non AA group might feel that they are receiving no help whatsoever which might generate self fulfilling results.

In summary, 36% of those who began the study remained abstinent for 1 year and ~60% of those who completed 1 year in the study remained abstinent regardless of whether they attended AA or not. Statistically, attendance at AA had no effect.

Iamnotastatistic

Hello Iamnotastatistic,

Thanks for a very interesting study. I am not really surprised that A.A. was shown to be completely ineffective and useless, of course, because ALL of the valid clinical tests of A.A. have revealed that A.A. does not work. Still, it's good to keep on collecting the evidence and reporting the truth to the public. The public will wise up eventually.

That study had a very high success rate, like 36% of the alcoholics getting a year of sobriety. That is much, much higher than the usual 5% per year rate of normal spontaneous remission. I suspect that they must have cherry-picked the people who would become the test subjects, and rejected the sickest ones who would not recover. Otherwise, those placebo pills would seem to be pure magic.

So far, there is no treatment or medication on earth that immediately cures 36% of the alcoholics, or alcohol abusers, or alcohol addicts, or whatever you wish to call them. And for a placebo pill to do it is outrageous.

I have a big problem with the author's introduction to the subject: He says that the results of various tests of A.A. are "inconsistent", and he cites A.A. promoters and propagandists as if their tomes were just as valid as the reports from researchers who conducted randomized longitudinal controlled studies. The author cites Emrick and Moos and Moos and Humphries as if they told the truth. But we know that they didn't. The International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction strongly criticized the Moos and Humphreys team for conducting a very bad test that was basically a fraud. And the Emrick "study" was nothing but Emrick quoting a bunch of other A.A. propagandists in order to "prove" that A.A. works.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     A recent review by the Cochrane Library, a health-care research group,
**     of studies on alcohol treatment conducted between 1966 and 2005 states
**     its results plainly: "No experimental studies unequivocally
**     demonstrated the effectiveness of AA or TSF [12-step facilitation]
**     approaches for reducing alcohol dependence or problems."
**     We're addicted to rehab. It doesn't even work., By Bankole A. Johnson,
**     Sunday, August 8, 2010
**     http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/06/AR2010080602660.html
**           Also see this information about Prof. Bankole A. Johnson of the
**            University of Virginia, here.





June 30, 2014, Sunday, my back yard at Forest Grove:

Honeybees on Hummingbird Feeder
Bees on Hummingbird Feeder
The honeybees are quick to notice any leak in a hummingbird feeder, and they gleefully help themselves to the sugar-water.

By the way, this is a very good thing. The honeybees are dying out in many places because of Varoa Mites, Sudden Colony Collapse Syndrome, and insecticides killing them off. But here, we have a wild hive that is apparently doing well. I don't know where their hive is, but it's around here somewhere. We also have lots of little bumblebees pollinating the flowers too, so this neighborhood isn't lacking in pollinators.

The loss of the honeybees would be a major ecological disaster. Most of our food crops — like over 95% of them — are pollinated by bees. If we loose the bees, we lose everything from A to Z: apples and apricots to Zuchini squash. The only things that do not require bees are the wind-pollinated grains like wheat and corn. Oh, and marijuana. So we can be stoned as we starve. (But pot gives you the munchies, so that would just make matters worse.)

Western Scrub Jay
Western Scrub Jay

While this Jay eats sunflower seeds that are on the ground, another Jay sits up on a chair and talks to him. I don't know if this is a mate or just a friend.

Western Scrub Jay
Western Scrub Jay
This bird looks like the variation of the Western Scrub Jay that the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America describes as "Interior juvenile woodhouseii".

Later, on June 30, 2014, Sunday, at the Fernhill Wetlands at Forest Grove:

Canada Goose with goslings
The whole flock is coming to get something to eat.

Canada Goose goslings
A Family of 10, coming for a feast.
Ten babies. Now that is a hard-working mama. The father is in the lead, and the mother is right behind him.

Later, on July 6, 2014, Sunday, in my front yard at Forest Grove:
Speaking of bee-pollinated things, sunflowers are bee-pollinated too:

Sunflowers
Sunflowers (from Black Oil Sunflower seeds)
These are the same sunflowers as I feed to the birds. Some of the sunflower seeds that I spread out for the birds planted themselves, and this is the result.

[The story of the birds continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters406.html#Bob_O ]

Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2014 20:20:44     (answered 12 July 2014)
From: Bob O.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Fwd: "real alcoholic"

Just a quick FYI if you have not seen this.

Long Island Bob O.

When is an Alcoholic not a "real alcoholic"?

When they stop drinking by any other means than AA.

Hello again, Bob,

Ah yes. Funny how that works. That is exactly what happened to me. The counselors and A.A. know-it-alls were sure that I was a real alcoholic before I quit drinking, but after I quit drinking without A.A. or doing the 12 Steps or "working a strong program", they suddenly changed their minds and declared that I wasn't a "real alcoholic" after all, and I didn't know anything about it.

Have a good day now.

== Orange


Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2014 11:00:38     (answered 12 July 2014)
From: Bob O.
Subject: Evil

Friends,
"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is He able but not willing? Then He is malevolent.
Is He both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is He neither able or willing? Then why call him God?"
== Epicures [341 — 270 BCE], Greek philosopher and author.

Indeed.

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     Making sacrifices to God, making a "burnt offering to the Lord",
**     slaughtering a sin-free innocent lamb on the alter in the temple,
**     is just as stupid and superstitious and barbaric as throwing a
**     virgin girl into a volcano to appease the angry Volcano God.
**     It's like killing your first-born son on the alter to appease
**     a blood-thirsty demon of a God, which the ancient Jews really
**     did. And that is the rationalization for why Jesus had to be
**     killed: To appease an angry God who wanted to kill everybody for
**     their sins. And the God-monster was supposedly made so happy
**     by people murdering his innocent Son that God let the sinners live.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters406.html#Ronnie_B ]

Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2014 12:02:33     (answered 12 July 2014)
From: Ronnie B.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Hi please read

I don't know who will read this, or who wrote this. I just wanted to say thank you. I too went to AA for 6 months going through difficult times. I allowed an alcoholic to tell me I had a problem and needed to go to AA. When what I needed was a therapist and anxiety medication. It destroyed me emotionally and mentally. Altered my sense of reality and my faith in humanity.

Never have I met such a crowd of hypocritical lying egotistical people stuck in their delusional pink cloud of narcissism in my life. I rarely drink now. My life although not perfect is not the complete chaos it was since I got away from AA.

I suffered much there and was an outcast all because I refused to become an drone and drink the AA kool aid.

The 12 steps don't work for everyone and as they say, "we are not doctors,". I was accused of not surrendering and not working the steps and that's why I was not happy in my sobriety.

Well with all due respect AA can kiss my ass. Once again thank you gor this article. I hope more people read this and get the proper help they need and stay away from the cult that is AA.

Hello Ronnie,

Thank you for the letter, and thanks for the thanks, and I couldn't agree more. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well, and are free of the madness.

Many people will read your letter. I don't have any statistics handy now, but the last time I was getting numbers, the web site was getting 5 or 6 million hits a month, so certainly at least a few thousand people will read your letter, maybe a lot more than that.

And I also hope that people get the help that they really need, rather than quackery and superstition, and abuse from cult members.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     This is the key to understanding the value of AA:
**     don't listen to what the members say;
**     watch what they actually do.
**     We as a society are much too gullible,
**     especially when we see a group of people who seem
**     like they are genuinely trying to help each other.
**       ==  The Addiction Myth
**      "Exposing the myth of drug and alcohol addiction"





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Last updated 9 October 2014.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters406.html