Letters, We Get Mail, CDXVII



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters417.html#Andrew_D ]

Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2014 01:00:51 -0400     (answered 17 November 2014)
From: Andrew D.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Story about a highly abusive rehab

Hello, Agent Orange

My name is Andrew, and I've been browsing your site quite a bit recently. I really appreciate all of the work you've put into the site, on my better days I think that your efforts have helped me clarify my thinking on some things. I truly appreciate that.

I would be surprised if you hadn't run across this by now, but I wanted to pass along a link describing a particular rehab that was shut down back in 2007, the was owner charged with sexual assault and narcotics related offenses. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts:
http://www.lamag.com/longform/straight-time/

I grew up with a lot of the kids who went to that rehab, and saw the changes they endured as they entered. All of them cut ties with me, and the young woman named A.J (who I was very close with for some time) subsequently died in a drunk driving accident after this article was posted. I can't help but think that if she could have gotten some help, things may have panned out differently for her. None of the others remain sober.

Anyway, I thought I'd share. I've been browsing your site as of late. I'm six months clean from drugs but having a really rough go of things. I attended a twelve step rehab and have continued AA meetings for the last six months. As I continue with the program I feel myself getting worse — as if there are two parts of my mind in constant struggle — one that fully understands the utter nonsense of the program, but the other side terrified of living a life of misery and strife if I choose to abandon them.

It's an exhausting tug of war between my mind telling me that everything I hear in meetings is ridiculous, and the constant fear based monologue I have in my mind that insists "you just won't accept the program because you're a defensive addict", "you're doomed a miserable life without it". It's like battling a tyrant, very exhausting.

I simply can't spend another evening reciting the half-cocked ramblings of a delusional narcissist written in the 1930's. Addiction isn't fun — but some days this is worse.

I appreciate the work you've put in to constructing a pretty sensible narrative to all of the random features of the program that disturbed me from the very beginning. Again, I appreciate it.

Take care, Andrew

Hello Andrew,

Thank you for the letter and the story. I had not heard of that rehab before. (That's why I didn't write about it.)

Your fear of leaving A.A. is normal. One of the dirty tricks that cults do is The Group Implants Phobias. (Check out that link.) The cult constantly tells you that you will die without them, or relapse, or go insane, so you can't leave. There is no truth to it. They are lying to keep you in. That's just one of the ways that cults get more slaves.

About the constant battle with yourself, that is understandable. On the one hand, you want to do your best and stay off of drugs and recover. But on the other hand, A.A. or N.A. is constantly putting you down and telling you that you are a disgusting addict and a sinner and in denial about it. That makes you feel worse. That is almost enough to drive you to drink, or drugs. Remember that the A.A. routine actually increases the amount of binge drinking.

You said, "It's like battling a tyrant." You are battling a tyrant, an evil cult that wants to own you and dominate your life, and they constantly lie to you and tell you that you are bad and you cannot live without them. And if you disagree with their lies, they say that you are "in denial".

May I recommend some SMART or SOS or Lifering meetings? I think you may like them. See the file, What works?

Also, The Lizard-Brain Addiction Monster, and How did you get to where you are?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If you want what A.A. members have,
**     and are willing to go to any lengths to get it,
**     then you are making a suicidally grave mistake.

[The next letter from Andrew_D is here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters417.html#DJ ]

Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2014 12:56:32 -0700     (answered 17 November 2014)
From: DJ
To: [email protected]
Subject: omgoodness

I voluntarily entered a private rehab program. (weed, cigarettes, casino's)
They promised no gods nor AA. (I have issues with religions)
They lied.
Physical and mental illness led me down the slow spiraling road of addiction after many years of no medical help even though I asked and asked.

They made me go to AA meetings. Their insistence that I make myself delusional and believe in a higher power or I won't get better makes me want to find a rope and go join Robin Williams for a tea party.

For some that crap works, for some that is all they have and it keeps them sober. I am not them. I am atheist and was feeling empowered by the medical help I got from the programs GP who found two illness's I have had for over 15 years which lack of treatment led me to my addiction issues. Now I just feel guilty , angry and suicidal because apparently I am not tolerant or patient because I can't stand the meetings. I get nothing but frustration and anger from them. I am forced to have a 30yr AA veteran as my sober companion who has breached all confidentiality, not just mine but other members of the AA cult.

The rehab psychologist doesn't get it and supports them forcing me to go to these meetings. The psychiatrist gives me ativan, which I take just before each meeting.( and the dentist). They all think AA/NA is the solution for everyone and blame me, label me non compliant, impatient and intolerant. I was feeling better physically and mentally. Now I just want to die.

Thank you for your writings and other people's letters. It truly helps to read about and hear from other people who have gone through the same feelings of frustration, by being made to feel worse and more inadequate by the cult that is supposed to help us. It truly is brainwashing in my opinion and an insane amount of peer pressure.

I do see how it helps some those people. I see and hear them speak for god now, how great god is and how great they feel because god has taken over each and everyone of their lives and cured them of all their weaknesses as long as they pray to him 24/7 and go to daily meetings they can and do stay sober.

If it means I never have to go to an AA/NA meeting again I will never indulge again in illegal substances. I'll just use the ones the shrink hands out like candy. ( oh wait I volunteered for this treatment) I prayed to god the 1st half of my life, when I was a good girl. He never helped why would he help now that I am a bad girl? fuuuuuuuuuck. Such a delusional species we belong to. Shoot me already. Can you feel my crazy happening?

DJ

Hello DJ,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments and the story. I'm adding this letter to the list of A.A. Horror Stories.

About this: you said, "For some that crap works, for some that is all they have and it keeps them sober."
And: "I do see how it helps some those people. I see and hear them speak for god now, how great god is and how great they feel because god has taken over each and everyone of their lives..."

I question that. That may be the way that things appear, but it's like an optical illusion. You see a few hoodwinked, convinced, true believers who rave about how God saved them, but you don't hear the stories of the zillions of other people who were not helped by the A.A. superstitions at all. Whenever A.A. was put to the test in a valid medical test, A.A. failed, totally failed, to sober up the alcoholics. Failed every time. Failed every test. A.A. never improved the recovery rate or sobriety. For every true believer in A.A. that you hear raving about God giving him sobriety, there are 19 others who were not helped by "Higher Power" or the 12 Steps. But those other people don't come to A.A. meetings and deliver testimonials. You don't hear from them, and nobody will tell you about them. A.A. members will never tell you the truth about the real A.A. failure rate.

About your "30yr AA veteran ... sober companion who has breached all confidentiality", please don't trust him (her?) or tell him anything. People like that are notorious for blabbing peoples' 5th Step confessions all over town. Someone does a 5th Step and confesses everything that he ever did wrong, and then the sponsor either blackmails him with the information, or broadcasts it in revenge for the guy quitting A.A. I've heard that story repeatedly. Since your 30-year A.A. member has already shown that he cannot be trusted with confidences, please don't trust him. Dump him.

I would do everything in my power to get a different "sober companion". You need no other reason than that he violated confidentiality. That is a big no-no. One of the cardinal rules of A.A. is that you do not break another person's anonymity or reveal their 5th-Step confessions to anyone. The confidentiality is supposed to be sacred. You know, "What you hear here, stays here." He isn't fit to be a sponsor or a teacher. I don't care how many decades of A.A. membership he has. I guess your "rehab psychologist" is insisting that this 30-year guy must be your sober companion, but your "psychologist" should learn the facts and do a better job of it.

And do you really know for sure if he/she has 30 years sober? Lot of the old-timers don't. They fake it instead of make it. Look here for another story of that.

About "join Robin Williams for a tea party", that isn't funny, you know. I'm not criticizing you. I mean, I am convinced that the Hazelden Foundation rehab center killed Robin Williams with their guilt-inducing 12-Step routine. They made him list and confess everything that he did wrong. They did that to an already very-depressed man, and pushed him right over the edge into suicide. I feel angry that Hazelden took Robin Williams away from us. He was a national treasure, but now he's gone, and we won't get any more laughs or cosmic wisdom from him. They hurt him so bad that he died. And they pretend to be holy and talking to God. They are evil.

About this line, "If it means I never have to go to an AA/NA meeting again I will never indulge again in illegal substances." — you aren't the first one to say that. I recall several people who say that they are staying clean and sober just so that they will never have to go to another A.A. meeting again. It makes sense.

Above all, you are quite right about the fact that they are the crazy ones, not you. You clearly see that jabbering the insane nonsense of an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties is irrational and delusion behavior. And their insistence that you are "in denial" if you disagree with their nonsense is standard cultish behavior. Cults cannot stand the least little disagreement or criticism. The fact that you have mental problems and need something like Ativan does not make you totally insane and delusional. Their cultish behavior makes them a lot more insane than you are.

So please don't feel bad. And don't think about suicide. You will get out of there and your life will be better.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     About Robin Williams:
**     "For his role in Good Will Hunting, he received an Academy Award in 1997.
**     If only Mr Williams' treatment was as successful as what he provided in the movie."
**       == A Psychiatric Eulogy for Robin Williams, by H. Steven Moffic, MD,
**       Psychiatric Times, August 13, 2014
**       http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/blogs/couch-crisis/psychiatric-eulogy-robin-williams





[The previous letter from Patrick_D is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters417.html#Patrick_D ]

Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2014 09:58:28 -0400 (10/12/2014 06:58:28 AM)     (answered 17 November 2014)
From: Patrick D
To: [email protected] <[email protected]>
Subject: Thanks

Orange

Patrick again. As I sit in yet another as meeting surrounded by 30 to 40 sober people laughing and having fun. All of your horror stories and failures I have not experienced since 2002. I have seen many people go out and many people disappear. But aa as a cult old timers sleeping with younger members 13 stepping and all just don't see it. Yes there are some sick people in aa and do things like this. But just like any large organization church company with over 1million people involved you can have corruption and horror stories but if I was as talented as you. Which I am not. Your writing and skills are impressive. I could site just as many stories of love kindness and success as you have posed to the contrary. A member of aa I know is dying of cancer not long to live. 15 men came to his house had a meeting and his line he would say every day was. "Don't drink". He spoke and said thank you and wanted to make sure we were all alright! He was worried about us! I choose to find what is good around me and find the winners that are living right. The people you refer to might reside within aa but I am not one of them and the 100s of men and women I know arnt either. I would be dead without aa that is for me and me only. I also do have to agree with you aa is sneaky about God. Higher power works as a start but you are right finding God is a big push. But I had no issue with that. I think u can survive without it. I do not bible thump people I am no where near a saint never will be. But I love God and Jesus. God is a good dude! Hope you find him someday.

Patrick D.
Iron Mountain
614.xxx.xxxx
iPhone Reply

Hello again, Patrick,

Thanks for the reply.

You are again trying to imply that three or four dozen people attending an A.A. meeting and laughing and joking proves that cult religion works as a cure for alcohol abuse. That is simply wrong. No, it doesn't. They also don't prove that A.A. is a good organization. They don't prove that abuses are not happening in A.A. The only thing that they prove is that a bunch of guys went to a meeting and laughed and joked around.

Your claim that you haven't seen any abuses or sexual exploitation in your group is just another attempt to use the logical fallacy of "I didn't see it, so it didn't happen." Like Carl Sagan said, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

Besides, do you get honest reports from the sponsors in your group, telling you exactly what the sponsors have done to the sponsees after the meetings? I don't think so. So how could you know what people aren't telling you?

You think that it is a wonderful thing that 15 men went to a dying man's house to have an A.A. meeting? While it's nice that he isn't lonely, that doesn't prove that A.A. works to reduce alcohol addiction. It also doesn't prove that somebody isn't sexually exploiting the newcomer females. And it doesn't prove that somebody isn't foisting an old pro-Nazi cult religion on sick people.

The rest of your letter is commonplace Minimization and Denial, like claiming that all large corporations have a few creeps in them. Yes, they do, but large corporations are also not a cure for alcohol abuse or alcohol addiction.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they
**     don't want their illusions destroyed."
**       ==  Nietzsche 





September 08, 2014, Monday, Downtown Portland Oregon:

Old Building
Old Building

Old Building
Old Building

Burnside construction
Construction on Burnside Blvd.

Downtown Street Scene
Downtown Street Scene

[More photos below, here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters417.html#Mary_H ]

Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2014 12:29:50 -0400 (10/01/2014 09:29:50 AM)     (answered 17 November 2014)
From: Mary H.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Susan Cheever

Dear Agent Orange,

first I would like to thank you for the awesome work you have done with your Orange Papers. They are an invaluable resource. Your sense of detail is very inspiring. I have noticed that you don't seem to like the work of Susan Cheever. When I read her book on Bill Wilson a few years ago, it was the first time I had been exposed to the idea of Bill as womanizer, no , sex addict. This was being put forth in a new best-seller, by a well respected author. I thought it took amazing courage to do this, and I will thank her til my dying day for informing me that Bill was not the know it all saint I thought he was. Also, this book of hers is no longer available in my library system, along with others that tell the truth about AA. I also have a suspicion that they asked her to front that Alcoholic Council so that she will eventually break down and edit and revise her book, deleting the truth about Bill Wilson. Stranger things have happened. It sounds so odd to me that they would have her working for them, the person who told the sordid truth about Bill to the mainstream. She is a stepper, straddling the dangerous waters of Steppism and regular society. It is tough and I imagine she is being pulled in 2 directions.

Good day, Orange,
Mary

Hello Mary,

Thanks for all of the compliments.

About Susan Cheever: I don't think that she revealed much that was new.

  1. We already knew about Bill Wilson's LSD use from The Soul of Sponsorship: The Friendship of Fr. Ed Dowling, S.J. and Bill Wilson in Letters by Robert Fitzgerald, S.J. That book also described Bill Wilson's spook sessions and necromancy.

  2. The council-approved book PASS IT ON revealed Bill's spook sessions.

  3. Then this book also described Bill Wilson's infidelities and sexual exploitation of newcomer women, as well as his spook sessions and LSD consumption: Bill W. and Mr. Wilson — The Legend and Life of A.A.'s Cofounder by Matthew J. Raphael.

  4. Bill W. A Biography of Alcoholics Anonymous Cofounder Bill Wilson, by Francis Hartigan, who was Lois Wilson's personal secretary, also described Bill Wilson's sexual habits and LSD consumption, as well as death by smoking.

  5. The only new thing that Cheever revealed in her book My Name Is Bill; Bill Wilson — His Life And The Creation Of Alcoholics Anonymous, is that she read the log book of the male nurse who attended Bill on his deathbed, and found that Bill Wilson died screaming for whiskey.

It seems like the cat was pretty well out of the bag by the time Susan Cheever got around to publishing her book, so her book was just one more. And more than anything else, she still worshipped Bill Wilson and wrote a white-washing glorification of Wilson. When she appeared on NPR for an interview with Linda Wertheimer, she said that she "just loved Bill Wilson", and it was none of our business how Bill and Lois got along.

Saturday, 10 April 2004: One of the Saturday morning National Public Radio programs, Weekend Edition, interviewed Susan Cheever about her book. The woman announcer — Linda Wertheimer — asked of Bill Wilson, "He was a bit of a monster, wasn't he?"

Cheever replied that she just loved Bill, and however he and Lois got along for 53 years was their business... Cheever explained that she had fallen in love with Bill during the research for the book.

Ah, the mind of a true believer — rationalize, minimize and deny: "Don't distract me with mere facts..."

The rap about Bill and Lois staying together for 53 years is pretty irrelevant. People didn't get divorced so much in those days. Besides, Tom Powers and other early A.A. members had to sit up with Bill all night one time, talking Bill out of divorcing Lois and marrying his young mistress, because they feared that it would make A.A. look bad if the leader was treating his wife that way. Then Bill even got one of his mistresses a house just a couple of miles down the road from Stepping Stones, so that he could go visit her any time he felt like it. The fact that Bill remained legally married to Lois, and might have sometimes even slept in the same house as her, didn't really mean that it was any kind of a relationship to brag about.

Now I'm not surprised that the books that tell the truth about Bill Wilson have disappeared from your library. I have wondered why they have survived so long here. The Steppers aren't above censorship. Recently, they have been attacking the web server that hosts the Orange Papers, and trying to bring it down.

I don't know if they are trying to get Cheever to change her story. Possibly, but I doubt it. Too many other books also tell the same story, so it's a little late now. My best guess is that Susan Cheever got appointed to the Board of Directors of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency — the NCADD — the A.A. front group founded by "Mrs." Marty Mann to promote Alcoholics Anonymous — as her reward for parrotting the A.A. party line.

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





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters417.html#Wess_H ]

Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2014 16:51:13 -0500 (10/10/2014 02:51:13 PM)     (answered 17 November 2014)
From: Wess H.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Orange-Papers

Mr. Orange,

I stumbled across your VERY informative and unabashedly truth telling website recently in doing some further digging on A.A. upon hearing that my not so skeptical cousin whom I love dearly was attending. I personally had a very brief stint in NA and was luckily sufficiently immunized in intellect through knowing things like the 5% number, and being generally opposed to all organizations that avowedly preach defining one's self as "powerless," not to mention being of a pretty shrewd skeptical mind already. Ergo, I came out the other side fine. I do worry about my cousin though and think I will attend a meeting with him and hold the members' feet to the fire if they act out of line, and we'll see how they take some valid criticism. I had no idea at all of the actual quantified death numbers of A.A.

As a free thinking christian, I wanted to offer some brief words of encouragement to you as a truth seeker when steppers who say they are "christian" preach fire and brimstone to you for legitimately questioning A.A. First, Christ said I did not come to bring peace (as in forced unity of ideas or thinking) but a sword. Also the prophet Isaiah had some great words on truth telling: "and He shall make my tongue like a sharp sword, inside His quiver of arrows He will hide me."

Anyway, thanks for what you do and have done on the site!

Wess H.

Hello Wess,

Thank for all of the compliments, and I'm glad to hear that your mind is functional. And I love those Biblical quotes.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     "When you live in a world of universal deceit, telling
**      the truth becomes a revolutionary act"
**       ==  George Orwell
*
**     "A great deal of time and intellectual force are lost in the world,
**     because the false seems great and the truth so small and insignificant."
**       ==  Maria Montessori
*
**     "In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy
**     of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot."
**       ==  Czeslaw Milosz 
*
**     "When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses
**     over generations, the truth will seem utterly perposterous and its
**     speaker a raving lunatic."
**       ==  Dresden James
*
**     "Time's glory is to calm contending kings,
**     To unmask falsehood, and bring truth to light."
**       ==  William Shakespeare  (1564—1616), The Rape of Lucrece, Line 939
*
**     "Who speaks the truth stabs Falsehood to the heart."
**        ==   James Russell Lowell (1819—1891)
*
**     "For every good reason that there is to lie,
**     There is a better reason to tell the truth."
**       ==  Bo Bennett
*
**     "Nothing is more damaging to a new truth than an old error."
**       ==  Goethe
*
**     "What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer."
**       ==  Francis Bacon
*
**     "God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose.
**     Take which you please, — you can never have both."
**        ==  Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays: Intellect
*
**     "When the story becomes the truth, the actual facts just get in the way."
**     All Things Considered, NPR, 12:54 PM 2011.10.25
*
**     "A lie gets halfway around the world before the
**     truth has a chance to get its pants on."
**         == Sir Winston Churchill (1874—1965)
*
**     "Some people want to know the truth, and some
**     people want their favorite beliefs reaffirmed."
**       ==  Orange
*
*      "Unthinking respect for authority is a great enemy of truth."
**       ==  Orange
*
**     "For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie —
**     deliberate, contrived, and dishonest — but the myth —
**     persistent, persuasive — of our forebears. We enjoy
**     the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."
**        ==  John F. Kennedy, commencement address,
**              Yale University, June 11, 1962
*
**     "The truth?! You can't handle the truth!"
**       ==  Jack Nicholson, in A Few Good Men
*
**     "If the truth is that ugly — which it is — then we don't have
**     to be careful about the way that we tell the truth. But to
**     say somehow that telling the truth should be avoided because
**     people may respond badly to the truth seems bizarre to me."  
**       ==  Chuck Skoro, Deacon
*
**     "The fact that there are many fools who tell lies does
**     not mean that there isn't such a thing as truth."
**       ==  Orange
*
**     "All truth passes through three stages.
**     First, it is ridiculed.
**     Second, it is violently opposed.
**     Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
**       ==  Arthur Schopenhauer
*
**     One day Mara, the Buddhist god of ignorance and evil, was traveling
**     through the villages of India with his attendants. He saw a man doing
**     walking meditation whose face was lit up in wonder. The man had just
**     discovered something on the ground in front of him. Mara's attendants
**     asked what that was and Mara replied, "A piece of truth." "Doesn't
**     this bother you when someone finds a piece of the truth, O evil one?"
**     his attendants asked. "No," Mara replied. "Right after this they
**     usually make a belief out of it."
*
**     "A faith that cannot survive collision with the truth
**     is not worth many regrets."
**       ==  Arthur C. Clarke
*
**     "Some people want to know the truth, and some don't.
**     He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
**     He who has eyes to see, let him see."
**       ==  Orange
*
**     "When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will
**     either quit being mistaken, or cease to be honest."
**       —  Anonymous
*
**     "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains,
**     no matter how improbable, must be the truth."
**       ==  Sherlock Holmes (by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1859—1930)
*
**     "A big lie is more plausible than truth."
**       ==  Ernest Hemingway
*
**     "The scarcest resource is not oil, metals, clean air,
**     capital, labour, or technology. It is our willingness
**     to listen to each other and learn from each other and
**     to seek the truth rather than seek to be right."
**       ==  Donella Meadows
*
**     Confidence in Truth
**     From the habit of speaking truthfully confidence is acquired, since
**     there is no need then to dissemble or conceal the truth. Moreover,
**     the speaker of truth inspires confidence in others who come to know
**     that they may rely implicitly on his words.
**       ==  Hammalawa Saddatissa, "Right Speech"
**           Daily Dharma December 27, 2012
**      http://www.tricycle.com/onpractice/right-speech-how-workable-is-it
*
**     "Note that any- and everything that keeps you from appreciating
**     your spiritual source is an impediment. This particularly
**     includes relying on someone else or some organization without
**     examining the truths that they insist you believe."
**       ==  Dr. Wayne Dyer, Inspiration Perpetual Flip Calendar, 19 December
*
**     "There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth;
**      not going all the way, and not starting."
**       ==  Buddha
*
**     "There is no god higher than truth."
**       ==  Gandhi
*
**     "Whenever I despair, I remember that the way of truth
**     and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers,
**     and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they
**     always fail. Think of it: always."
**       ==  Mahatma Gandhi
*
**     "You can always tell when someone isn't telling the truth,
**     because he doesn't speak clearly. Euphemism is a cover for either
**     ignorance or dishonesty. In other words, if you can't state it in
**     a clear simple declarative sentence, then either you don't know
**     what you are talking about, or you are trying to prevent me from
**     understanding what you are talking about, and both bug me."
**        ==  Tucker Carlson, in an advertisement for his TV program
**     "Unfiltered" on Public Television, August 6 to 27, 2004.
*
**     "People say I give 'em hell. I don't give 'em hell.
**      I just tell the truth on them and they think it is hell."
**       ==  Harry Truman
*
**     "If you're going to tell people the truth, you better
**     make them laugh; otherwise they'll kill you."
**       ==  George Bernard Shaw





September 14, 2014, Sunday, the Fernhill Wetlands, at Forest Grove, Oregon:

Gus the Greylag Goose
Gus the Greylag Goose, and friends
I was happy to see that Gus is still with us, and still doing well. And that looks like Mrs. Gus right behind him. You can tell her by the rounded shape of her white head markings (which reminds me of a ball pein hammer), plus the fact that she is always hanging out with him.

Gus the Greylag Goose + his Canada Goose wife
Gus the Greylag Goose and his Canada Goose wife

Canada Goose family with 6 goslings
A Family with 6 Children
The father is the largest one near the front. Which one is the mother is hard to see, because the babies have grown as large as her. Maybe it's the fifth one in line, or the last one, both of whom look larger than the others. But those could just be her sons, who will grow larger than her.

Canada Goose flock
A flock of Canada Geese, including Gus
Some of them are looking at me expectantly, wondering if I would throw them some bread. I did.

[The story of the birds continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters417.html#Mike ]

Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2014 19:12:02 -0700     (answered 17 November 2014)
From: Mike
To: [email protected]
Subject: Just my 2 cents (or 10 cents)

Emails are always so easy to misinterpret... so I like to paint a "Mike" picture at the start to create some emotional context for the words that follow. I am smiling as I type this. I have just woken up fully (fighting to get more sleep on the couch with SpongeBob bouncing in and out of dreams) after being dragged downstairs way to early in the morning by my son. Who is way to energetic and joyful at 4:30 in the morning. I guess that can be loosely attributed to our parenting and home environment. Anywhoo... I am tiredly smiling, that's all you really needed to know. Sorry to take 4 sentences to paint that emotional context.

I imagine you have received a fair amount of overtly emotional emails from AA members. And I imagine that many of them unintentionally lend themselves to actually supporting the cult comparison. Silly people.

I agree with the spirit of your thoughts about AA being a cult; however, using 10 /10 for each argument diminishes the overall strength of the posting. I feel the scores convey a lack of objectivity on your part. And ends up coming across as a personal vendetta against the program.

Just my 2 cents,

Mike

Hello Mike,

Thanks for the compliments.

About scoring each cult test item with a 10, that happens at the beginning of the test. The reason for that is that the test begins with the most common and usual cult characteristics, which A.A. has to the max, things like "The guru is always right", and "You are always wrong", and "No graduates", and "No exit", and "Group Think". There A.A. scores a 10 on each item, because they really do that.

But at the end of the test, we have more obscure and rare items like "Membership Rivalry", and "Appropriation of all of the members' worldly wealth", and "The use of heavy-duty mind control and rapid-conversion techniques", and "Threats of bodily harm or death to someone who criticizes the group", and "Mass suicide", where A.A. scores a zero.

And inbetween, we have a bunch of items where A.A. might score a 3 or 5 or so, like "Threats of bodily harm or death to someone who leaves the group" — because they say that you will die drunk in a gutter if you leave A.A., so they really do threaten you with death. (But it isn't like the People's Temple where they shot those who tried to leave.)

Perhaps you would like to score A.A. on the test yourself. It is designed so that you can do that. Just grab a piece of paper and go through the questions, and rate A.A. on each item yourself. I'd be interested in seeing how you would score it.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     You can say that some groups are cults. LaRouche's bunch,
**     Moonies, Scientology, Heaven's Gate, etc. There are
**     published scales to measure how much some group is a cult.
**       ==  Keith Henson





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters417.html#David_M ]

Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2014 21:31:45 -0700     (answered 19 November 2014)
From: David M.
To: [email protected] <[email protected]>
Subject: Why keep going to as?

Why keep going to AA if you don't like it? I left, no regrets. There was no secret police that came after me. If you are court ordered to go to jail or AA, then choose what you want. If you go to AA in place of jail, then just say nothing. It is just that simple. You don't need to waste your money on AA books, Rational Recovery shit, "spiritual" stuff, etc. Just start looking for others that don't drink, like fishing buddies, card playing buddies, what ever your interest, it is out there, and guess what? There is a lot of free stuff out there too. Look up your interest. It is out there.

Hello David,

Thanks for the question. I don't keep going to A.A. meetings. I haven't been to an A.A. meeting in 12 ½ years, and I've only been to two meetings in the last 13 ½ years, and the only reason that I went to those two meetings was to pick up sobriety coins and show that I was still making it. I basically only went to A.A. meetings for 3 months before I learned about SMART and switched to that because in SMART meetings I could tell the truth.

You don't seem to understand that it is illegal and unConstitutional to force a choice of jail or the A.A. cult religion on people. That is just as illegal as saying, "Choose between the Catholic Church or jail." Or, "You must attend meetings of the Church of Scientology, or go to jail." Or, "Convert from Judaism to Christianity or die." Or, "Convert to Islam under the guidance of ISIS, or die."

Our country was built on the principle of Freedom of Religion, and A.A. is routinely violating that freedom. And A.A. is most assuredly responsible for it. They rationalize that the judge sentences people to A.A., not them, but the truth is that they could stop the coercive recruiting quickly if they wished to. But they don't. They promote it. They need the fresh meat to keep their membership numbers up. A.A. is an organization in decline and they desperately need the new slaves.

See the pamphlet titled "AA Guidelines, Cooperating with Court, DWI, and Similar Programs". You can see the document on the A.A. web site:
http://www.aa.org/en_pdfs/mg-05_coopwithcourt.pdf.

I continue to tell the truth about A.A. because A.A. continues to practice coercive recruiting, and lies to the public about their success rate in order to justify the coercion.

I agree with your last sentences about just going and doing something else. Yes, you can develop a positive, balanced lifestyle without either alcohol or Alcoholics Anonymous. For me, it was going and feeding the geese and baby goslings, and playing the guitar on the beach and working on my suntan. And then photographing the cute little fluff-balls. That worked out well. I now have 14 years of sobriety, and also 14 years off of cigarettes and any other drugs. And all without A.A. To each his own.

Oh, and about free stuff, there is a lot listed here too: What works?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     Freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and freedom of person under
**     the protection of the habeas corpus, these are principles that have
**     guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation.
**       ==  Thomas Jefferson
*
**     The less reasonable a cult is,
**     the more men seek to establish it by force.
**       ==  Jean Jacques Rousseau





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters417.html#John_M ]

Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:06:30 -0600 (10/15/2014 09:06:30 AM)     (answered 17 November 2014)
From: John M.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Hazle wins $2 mil

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/15/barry-a-hazle-jr-atheist-settlement_n_5987630.html

Hello John,

Thanks for that. I think that will have some real impact on the state of affairs.

LATER: Now that I have had time to read the comments below the article, I see numerous Christians claiming that sending people to a "Christian" treatment program isn't so bad. They should understand that A.A. is not Christian, not at all. Read The Heresy of the Twelve Steps. Alcoholics Anonymous is actually grossly heretical and unChristian. A.A. is Buchmanism, not Christianity. A.A. is Dr. Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman's goofy made-up theology. Buchman bandied about the words "Christ" and "Christianity" just for decoration and appearances, but Buchmanism isn't Christian at all. Dr. Frank Buchman even declared that the messages that he and his followers received during séances were just as authoritive as anything in the Bible.


Then consider the other side of the coin. How would Christians feel if they were forced to attend the meetings of Satanists For Sobriety for "therapy" and "treatment" of their problems? In SFS, they will learn that Jesus was not divine, and Satan is the only dependable Higher Power who will answer your prayers. And the Answer To Life is to sell your soul to Satan in trade for sobriety. Satan will give you everything that you want. And newcomers will be exhorted to declare their faith in Satan, and then they will learn to "Fake It 'Till You Make It", and "Act As If" (act as if you really believe in Satan, and as if it really works, and as if Satan really is solving all of your problems for you and life as a Servant Of Satan is so wonderful). And "Dole out the truth 'by teaspoons, not buckets'." (if you ever tell the truth at all). And "G.O.D." is merely an acronym for "Group Of Devils". And if you don't properly sing the praises of Satan, then you will be labeled "disruptive" and put in jail.

Now, really, how would Christians like that kind of coerced religion?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Self-appointed do-gooders arrogantly imagine that they
**    have some God-given right to tell others what they should
**    or shouldn't think, and how they should or shouldn't live.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters417.html#Taylor_W ]

Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:29:13 -0400     (answered 19 November 2014)
From: Taylor W.
To: Orange <[email protected]>
Subject: Annual letter

Mr. T,

Just wanted to say I'm glad you've got another year sober under your belt. It's easy to remember, because I quit on the 21st of October. It'll be four years booze and cult free.

Still stop by to read the letters, glad to see you're still doing your thing.

Rock on,
Taylor

Hello Taylor,

Thanks for the message, and happy birthday to you too. Four years booze- and cult-free is a life-changer, isn't it?

Have a good day now, and a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Buy a Hallmark Christmas card and help A.A. to rape underage girls.





September 14, 2014, Sunday, the Fernhill Wetlands, at Forest Grove, Oregon:

Pondscape with Canada Geese
Pondscape with Canada Geese
You can also see Gus on the right.

Domestic Ducks
The Domestic Ducks are still doing well, too. They are enjoying some bread.

Cornfield
The path to the back pond; cornfield on the left and trees on the right.

Cornfield
Cornfield

[The story of the birds continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters417.html#Anon ]

Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:53:18 -0700     (answered 19 November 2014)
From: Anon.
To: [email protected]
Subject: My PO regrets

Greetings

Thank you for all of your work. Sure opened my eyes. I've seen AA and NA from both sides, if you will. I spent many years as a state Parole Officer. During that time I sent countless offenders to AA and NA. I never gave them a choice; it was do it, or violate your court-order to get 'treatment.' The scoring system counts 'pro-social' activities, time spend at meetings, progress reports from sponsors, and on and on. We did it without question. AA was the gold standard of an honest, up-front attempt to get alcoholics and drug addicts straight in the company of their fellows where, it was thought, they could get better with people they would relate to. Eventually, we were told to quit making people go to specifically to AA, because courts had ruled that it was a religious-based program. We ignored this by simply requiring that offenders take part in a 12-step program. What else was there?

At the same time I was struggling with my own addiction problems, and attended NA meetings far away from my hometown. I was uncomfortable with the program from the first meeting. My sponsor was a morphine-addicted pimp. Men were hitting on women every chance they got. People with 16 years clean and sober were 'going out'. People were using drugs on the sly and not admitting it. Funds would go missing. The leadership seemed like cold and angry people. There were turf wars and infighting. Every issue was answered by a slogan. I know it sounds snobbish, but I rarely ever saw 'normal' people attending. By 'normal' I mean people who bathed, wore decent clothes, had a steady job, had been in a stable relationship for any length of time. No, meeting were filled with lengthy recitations of their horrible, self-blaming drama past and present — relapses, rape, living with other addicts, incarceration, and on and on. Listening to this sure didn't seem to be doing me any good, even as cautionary tales. People kept pressing to work the steps, work the steps, if you aren't working the steps you are a dry drunk; a pretender; not serious about recovery, etc.

What the worst part was — I made no connection between my bad experiences and continuing sending people to AA. I thought my displeasure with AA was all my fault. I must not be honest enough, dedicated enough, not confessing enough. I am through with them and retired. I wish I could go back and tell those people I sent to AA to avoid it at all costs.

<anon> Name provided upon request

Hello Anon,

Thank you for the letter. That says so much. I'm adding it to the list of A.A. Horror Stories.

About this point:

"I made no connection between my bad experiences and continuing sending people to AA. I thought my displeasure with AA was all my fault. I must not be honest enough, dedicated enough, not confessing enough."

Yes, that shows several of the standard cult characteristics:

You cannot criticize the cult, but the cult can criticize you. If you disagree with the cult, then your thinking is defective. Any criticism of the cult or disagreement with the cult doctrines proves that you are morally defective. What you see with your own eyes does not matter; they are still right and you are still wrong.

And yes, they use a zillion slogans to answer every question:

Well, I'm glad that you are out of it now, and I hope that you are doing well.

So 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.)





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Last updated 1 January 2015.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters417.html