Letters, We Get Mail, XLII



Date: Sat, March 25, 2006 21:47
From: "Ellen L."
Subject: website

Dear Mr/Ms Orange:

What damage has been done to you by AA that you have so thoroughly researched a paper set on defaming probably the single most effective solution to alcoholism.

Hi Ellen,

Thanks for the letter.

Well, you are starting off with the propaganda trick of "assuming facts not in evidence", three times:

  1. A desire to get the whole truth out there does not indicate "damage".
  2. My goal is not just to defame Alcoholics Anonymous.
  3. A.A. is probably the least effective solution to alcoholism.

I am a member of AlAnon, and I am acquainted with many recovering alcoholics and addicts who have found sobriety in the rooms of A.A. and N.A.

Again, you are assuming a cause-and-effect relationship where none exists.

People do not "find sobriety in the rooms of A.A. and N.A.". ("Yeh, I found it lying right there on the floor, between those two chairs.")

People sober themselves up, and A.A. steals the credit.

Bill Wilson even explained that the successful A.A. recruiter just finds people who are going to quit drinking anyway, and talks them into joining the A.A. club:

"As a matter of fact, the successful worker [A.A. recruiter] differs from the unsuccessful one only in being lucky about his prospects. He simply hits cases who are ready and able to stop at once."
Bill Wilson, quoted in 'PASS IT ON', The story of Bill Wilson and how the A.A. message reached the world, page 252.

I only wish my loved ones who are using and drinking would agree to attend meetings, but they, like you, complain the program is too cult-like. I find their complaints to be an excuse... they've barely tried the program, and they are still suffering the ravages of the disease of addiction.

And you just cannot imagine that they could be right, because they drink alcohol, right?

Nobody could possibly object to a lying cult religion for any reason except that they want to consume drugs and alcohol, right?

While some of your claims are not totally in left field, e.g. I find myself sometimes wondering whether I'm not thinking an issue through on my own in my trying hard to figure out what AlAnon would say. However, I've also learned that I can take what I like, and leave the rest. And I've truly found truths in the rooms that I know I would've never come to on my own that work FAR better than years of pursuing certain philosophies that simply don't work and have gotten me deeper in poop.

Well, that's painting with a broad brush. What philosophies that "don't work"?

I'm truly grateful that I've found these rooms, and call it what you will, the fellowship and serenity I've found there has truly helped me deal with my sons' horrendous, destructive disease, despite Bill Wilson's philandering and Dr. Bob's crummy parenting.

So you enjoy Al-Anon meetings? So what? They harm a lot of other people.

The fact that Al-Anon meetings make you feel good doesn't mean that they are good. That's the philosophy of hedonism. That's the philosophy of drug and alcohol users — "If it feels good, then it is good."

It's sad that your son uses harmful drugs to feel good.
It's sad that you use a harmful cult religion to feel good.

Like I just said before, take what you like and leave the rest. Seems like many of our greatest political and historical figures also have been revealed to have some pretty shady histories.

That's called rationalization, minimization, and denial.

But don't throw out the baby with the bath water. They also have made some wonderful contributions. Hope you work out some of your anger at an organization that has helped so many.

Sincerely,
Ellen L.

Now you are back to assuming facts not in evidence. A.A. has a failure rate that is basically 100%, after you discount the normal rate of spontaneous remission. All that A.A. does is fool some people into believing that somebody quit drinking because of goofy cultish practices like the 12 Steps.

And foisting cult religion and misinformation about alcoholism on the American people for 70 years is not "some wonderful contributions" or "helping so many". Those are just some more of A.A.'s groundless claims.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Rev. Jim Jones said, "Drink the red koolaid. It
** has cured millions. RARELY HAVE we seen it fail...
** But then again, the green koolaid is good too.
** Take what you want, and leave the rest."





Date: Mon, March 27, 2006 14:09
From: "Lucie J." @ U.K.
Subject: Thankyou!

Dear Orange,

I would like to start by saying how much I enjoy your website. I am writing from the UK but every description of AA that you have given applies here in the same way as the states. the slogans may be different but the dogma is the same. I have been reading your website for a few weeks and it has changed my life. when i entered AA, I was too afraid to look at any literature that criticised AA. I was given two choices; stay in AA and recover or leave and drink. i was vulnerable so i decided to stay.

however, the longer i stayed, the more disturbed i became. I am in the final year of a psychology degree and many AA members suggested that i should quit my degree and 'concentrate on my recovery'. I am now glad to say that i did not take this advice and left AA.

I have not had a drink for six months and the thought rarely crosses my mind. In fact, the only time I ever did feel 'a desire to drink' since stopping was when i was sitting in meetings.

I was not a daily drinker and drank like many other students. after my '90 in 90' I was convinced I had an obsession with alcohol. This was most definitely true after talking about alcohol every day for ninety days! AA developed the obsession and when I left, so did the obsession. Funny that!

I now feel that my mind is being de-programmed and I am becoming more confident in the person that i am becoming. I think that this was the problem in the beginning.

I have also enjoyed books by Ken Ragge and Charles Bufe. The only gift that AA is given me is a wonderful piece of auto-ethnography for my final year thesis! (your website is much quoted!) I have read many of the letters that criticize this website but i just wanted to say how much good it has done me

Hi Lucie,

Thanks for the letter, and thanks for all of the compliments. I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better.

You are not the only one to comment that A.A. meetings made her want to drink. I have heard that repeatedly, and have experienced it myself too. I could be completely okay going in, and by the time the meeting was over I wanted a drink and was really thinking about it. The same thing was true about coming out of N.A. meetings wanting to get high on something.

I don't know if it is just the power of suggestion, an hour of listening to other people talking about doing it, or if I might be soaking up other people's cravings and desires, but it sure is funny how 12-Step meetings make us want to drink and dope.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Drinking makes such fools of people, and people are such
** fools to begin with, that it's compounding a felony.
**         Robert Benchley (1889 — 1945)





Date: Mon, March 27, 2006 16:25
From: "Gina"
Subject: Another contradiction on AA's theories

Hello,

I just found your web site (great job!) and am sifting through and reading the information. You've probably heard from many like me but I haven't read that far yet so, just in case you haven't, I wanted to write. I'm sure my circumstances are not rare.

I have been "sober" (as in, not abusing any chemicals) since 1997, after 25 years of abusing something nearly every day. I went into 3 "country-club treatment centers," tried methadone, and by the time I was in my 30's had alienated even my own mother. In 1997, after marriage to yet another louse (a bi-polar drunk and addict who was abusive) I decided I'd had enough. I checked into the local emergency room and after detox went into a religious-based half-way house for 4 months. I was the only white girl in the place, the only non-crack addict and the only one in residence who had not been to prison. As a matter of fact, most of the women had been freshly released. There were 8 of us and we shared a tiny 3 room/1 bathroom shack in Jackson, GA. This house was based on the principles of AA and the bible, and I had to "humble myself" and take a job as a CNA at the local Medicaid-run nursing home in order to stay there. I spent my days feeding, cleaning and changing the diapers of my patients who all had Alzheimer's. The 4 months in that halfway house were the most horrific (and the most life-changing) months of my life! It would take hours to explain, but let's just say I saw where my life was headed and that shocked me into awareness.

After my release I moved back to my hometown with my newly-clean husband in tow, ready to start my life. I did AA for two years — daily meetings, sponsors, stringently working the steps, working with sponsees, volunteering at the central offices. I walked a straight line for two years. My hubby got high again (and grew violent) so I divorced him, got a restraining order and had to move to a different city 5 years ago. I am now re-married, still sober, and living a quasi-normal life, although I have not been to a meeting in 5 years. When I was attending the meetings and reading the literature, listening to my sponsors' lectures about my non-addictive sleep medications and how it was best not to make any emotional changes (such as divorcing my abusive husband) for a year, I had thoughts similar to yours.

Although I don't agree with everything said in AA, it did have a hand in getting me where I am today. I simply used it as a tool and disregarded it when it was no longer needed. I know that it is not the gospel it makes itself out to be. Hell, if it were, I could not have an occasional glass of red wine with my meal (just ONE glass. No, I have no trouble stopping after one.) I began allowing myself one glass of Pinot Noir, Cabernet or Merlot with dinner just this past year and although I don't recommend that for everyone, it hasn't given me any problems. So, I don't think alcoholism need be incurable. As a matter of fact, I doubt the chemicals were ever really my problem, just a symptom.

What works for me will not work for everyone; we are all unique. What will help everyone is to stay open-minded and open to change.

Sorry, I didn't mean to lecture. Great website — thanks!

Gina
:)

Hi Gina,

Thanks for all of the compliments.

That issue of moderate controlled drinking is sure good for starting fireworks among the true believers, but I know that it is possible for some people.

I don't know if you are familiar with it, but the Rand Corporation think-tank did a study of alcoholism back in 1976, Alcoholism and Treatment, Rand Corporation Report R-1739-NIAAA, that found that 50% of the alcoholics who recovered from self-destructive drinking did it by total abstinence, and the other half did it by tapering off into moderate controlled drinking. As you can imagine, the more dogmatic A.A. members hit the roof.

My take on the whole issue is that it is a very individual thing. People who are genetic alcoholics (like me) cannot drink moderately — total abstinence is the only thing that works for us. Other kinds of alcoholics can. The challenge for all of us is to figure out which category we are in.

And then there is the issue of "which drug". Different drugs hit different people in different ways. I cannot touch alcohol or tobacco or I will get readdicted immediately, but I am actually okay with opiates, cocaine and speed. Now don't get me wrong, I don't do those things now, and haven't in many years. But I never got addicted to them, and was able to quit them effortlessly. Quitting alcohol and tobacco, on the other hand, was a battle to the death.

Conversely, I have an ex-junkie friend who is okay with a beer, but he cannot touch opiates at all, not even the legitimate pain pills that his doctor gives him. He is hyper-sensitive to opiates, and just a taste will re-awaken the dragon, and he'll probably relapse.

So we have to figure out for ourselves what pushes our buttons the wrong way.

About your remark about "As a matter of fact, I doubt the chemicals were ever really my problem, just a symptom." — I agree. That is really often the case.

A couple of doctors whose posts I was reading were saying that they considered all cases of drug and alcohol addiction to be dual-diagnosis cases — that there was always some underlying cause for people needing to use drugs or alcohol so heavily in order to feel okay. The problem could be biochemical or neurological or psychiatric, but there was always something more going on than meets the eye.

I know that's true in a lot of cases. People with bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder) are notorious for trying to self-medicate with alcohol, vainly trying to fix what's broken, and they are often labeled as alcoholics, which they aren't, not really. Fix the bipolar disorder with medications and the alcohol problem disappears.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** If you persist in making criminals out of
** alcoholics and addicts, you will find that
** you have lots and lots of criminals. — Orange





From: lia
Subject: I have a few questions... please.
Date: Mon, March 27, 2006 18:30

Peace Orange...

I know you are most likely a very busy person, I used to run a website to help adopted people and birth families find each other, (for free of course) and I can relate to all the Email and time it takes to run a website. I would appreciate a bit of your time, in the hopes that maybe you can give some advice.

Your site is Phenomenal! I also had a site that tried to gather any available information in one place. I have learned more since finding your site than I could have hoped for. But I didn't notice a link for my particular situation.

hi Lia,

Thanks for the compliments.

I am so very well aware that AA and the Twelve Steps programs are horrible. Painfully aware, they got my dad 15 years ago. (He still has to go to 3-5 meetings a week!)

My questions surround my daughter, who is 20. She had been doing some chemical drugs, I stepped in to let her know this was not cool. A verbal fight ensued, I won.

Good for you.

The problem starts where her father's sister got involved, deciding that my daughter is a hopeless addict, she kinda kidnapped my daughter to a 3 month 12 step program. (90 meetings in 90 days) My daughter went voluntarily, she knew she was fed up and went because she was led to believe this was the ONLY option for getting her $hit figured out, and she didn't want to disappoint her aunt who had been planning an intervention and was going to ship her to Oaklahoma within a week, I guess I jumped the gun and wrecked the plans... but the woman wasn't planning on telling me or anyone else in our family until they had taken Jess to OK.

That is not "kinda kidnapping", that is kidnapping, which is a Federal Felony. Taking her to another state automatically makes it an interstate issue, which brings in the FBI.

Your daughter may have gone "sort of voluntarily", but the girl was taken against your will. And the aunt knew that. She did it against your will. The aunt committed a kidnapping. It is custodial interference too, another felony.

You are the mother. You have the right to decide what is done with your daughter until she is 21, at which time the girl can decide for herself.

The aunt has informed me that I need to stay away from my daughter, for her good. I know technically they can't keep us from talking... but because she is in the program, I can't seem to get in touch with her.

It's the other way around. You are the mother. You have the right to tell the aunt to stay away from your child. You have the right to get a restraining order from the court.

My daughter had realised she was out of control, but I feel she has a right to know that there are other programs available to her. (such as RR and SMART et al)

Yes.

I feel she has a right to make an informed and educated decision as to her care and choice of treatment... apparently I am sick, twisted, and/or mentally incapacitated because no one in my family or her father's seems to think she has this right.

The aunt is not qualified to make any such judgements. She sounds like a domineering bitch.

If I try to talk about options, other programs, or the possibility that AA isn't all it's cracked up to be, I am met with contempt, told I have to stop thinking about myself, and to let her be, "She's getting help, leave it alone." "It worked for your father!" bla bla bla.

Who is saying this, your aunt? She is full of cult B.S.

I said that it doesn't much matter what I think or feel about AA and their 12 steps, but that my daughter has a right to make an informed/educated decision, which she has not been allowed to do. (Her aunt gave her a choice between 3 different 12 step facilities.) My daughter is not even aware that there are different programs available to her.

Wait a minute! "Her aunt gave her a choice?" Her aunt has no business giving ultimatums or forcing choices. It's your daughter, not hers.

I seem to have no way of contacting her. The facility she is in says she is not there, then says I can talk to the case manager who never answers her phone. My daughter called once, but I was not here to answer, she said she would call again, but hasn't.

What? Hey, you call the police and the FBI, NOW! Your daughter has been kidnapped by a cult. This is a police matter. You are the mother, aren't you? You have custody of your child, don't you? I mean, a court didn't take custody of your child away from you and give it to the aunt because you were judged an addicted unfit parent, did it? If not, then you have custody of a child who is 20, not 21. Just as soon as you finish reading this letter, call the police and the FBI and report a kidnapping.

Be prepared to file charges against the aunt. If you choose, you can later drop the kidnapping charges in a deal to make the aunt pay for all expenses, including the treatment center's bill and your lawyer's bill (assuming you get a lawyer, which you might need). And of course the aunt must agree to never contact or approach your daughter again.

I think it's important to mention that my daughter and I are very close, best friends in fact, we talk about everything, including drugs, and she is trying to get in touch with me, but it seems her efforts are being blocked by these people.

So she is the victim of false imprisonment too.

Do you know if there is anything that can be done??? This facility is the kind that only allows *approved reading materials* She is only allowed one phone call every-other day for 10 minutes... but they seem to change the schedual or something. Her message said she would call Sunday, but she called Saturday. Sunday she never called, she didn't call today either (Monday). Please realise It's not a freak mom trying to control her child's life. If that were the case, I'd have sat on her and kept her from using anything in the first place. It's just that I am trying to look out for her rights, she is, after all, an adult, which everyone seems to forget as they are making her decisions and planning her life for her.

Like I said, get the help of the police and FBI. This is a kidnapping.

I should mention also that the aunt is planning on transferring Jess to a facility in OK as soon as a bed opens up... I am wondering if she has already been shipped. (We live in Vermont) Right now, so far as I know, she is in Bradford, VT at a place called Valley Vista which has only been open for 2 years and won't give a success rate. The aunt has also stated to me that she has NO intentions of letting Jess run her own life when she gets out. She WILL work for her paternal grandfather, the money WILL be given to the aunt, she WILL live in the aunt's appartment, she WILL NOT be allowed to drive, etc, until they deem her capable of running her own life. I mentioned that AFTER she is out of the program she would be able to run her own life, the aunt told me that she and her family will determine that.

So her aunt plans to imprison your daughter and make her into unpaid slave labor? That is two more federal felonies. We outlawed slavery around 1864.

Speaking of which, did the so-called treatment center force your daughter to sign a contract where she will owe the treatment center many thousands of dollars, to be paid off for many years? That is invalid, a contract signed under duress. Or is the aunt going to generously pay it off? Or is the aunt going to steal your daughter's wages to pay it off?

If my daughter wants to stay in this/or that program, that is her decision to make... if she wants her father's family to run her life, again, that is her decision. I would just like to be sure she can make an informed decision.

Do not even accept a statement from her that she wants to stay in the program, or wants to stay at the facility. She is so indoctrinated and confused right now that she is liable to say whatever they told her to say. Enforce your right as the mother to take care of your child. You have the right to make the choices until the daughter is 21.

Obviously, I am terrified... I know my daughter is in the Ministry of Love having her brain reprogrammed by Big Brother... but I know she is tough.

You should be terrified.

We talked for a moment when she first arrived at the place, I said, "Don't get too brainwashed in there." She said I wouldn't even believe it, but that she couldn't talk as someone was listening, that she would write a letter. I know she mailed it as she said on the phone message, that she actually mailed two letters, but so far, I haven't seen either of them.

Yeh, so it's one of those places.

I know that sometimes the only thing we can do is nothing... wait... wait... But I am hoping you may know of something I can do. She's been gone over a week now.

No, you don't wait. You get the help of the police and the FBI, tonight. Your daughter has been kidnapped. It is no different than an angry ex-husband stealing the children from the mother who has custody. Ignore the yammering about how it's for the girl's own good.

I know my child. I know she is strong. I just can't see a reason not to tell her to check out other options. I can't see the reasoning behind "letting things be"... or "it's too late she's there". Yes, she is there, but she has rights... or had rights.

Had, it's past tense right now.

Okay... the worried mom is rambling... sorry for that... as I said, I know you are surely busy... I am just hoping for some advice on what I might be able to do to get in contact with her. If she checks into other options and SHE DECIDES to stay with The Steppers, I would absolutely respect that. We all have to go through our own things and learn our own lessons... she's getting a crash course in mind melting right now... it's up to her... if she only knew her options.

Do not accept a statement that she wants to go back to the Steppers until she has had at least a month with you to detox and decompress from the indoctrination. Remember that they have been doing their best to brainwash her.

This is the most traumatic situation I have ever been in! I feel like I am in a burning building yelling FIRE and no one believes me. I sometimes think being blindly ignorant was better/easier/simpler. What good is knowing something, when you can't help the people you care about with the information?

You can help. A felony has been committed against both you and your daughter. Call the police.

Anything you can advice would be most appreciated.

Love and Light,
Lia

The trouble with trouble is it usually starts out as fun. — Mae West
When choosing between two evils, I like to pick the one I haven't tried yet. — Mae West

Call the police and the FBI. Get your daughter back. She has been kidnapped.

Really, call right now.

Take care, and have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "The therapeutic state is a totalitarian state all
** the more so for masking its tyranny as therapy."
**  —  Thomas Szasz


[2nd letter from lia:]

Date: Tue, March 28, 2006 18:36
From: lia
Subject: Re: I have a few questions... please.

Peace Orange,

I called the Police... They said I have to call back in the morning as they don't think I have any rights because my daughter is 20... and there is no one there who seems to know for sure. (Small town Vermont!)

Hmmm, this is a sticky wicket. I looked up the age of majority, and it is 18 in Vermont. I am surprised. I thought it was 21 everywhere.

But all is not lost. If she is being held in that center against her will, then it doesn't matter what age she is. False imprisonment is false imprisonment. You should be able to show up at the treatment center and announce that you are there to take your daughter home, and see her, and ask her if she wants out.

And while the aunt may claim that she went voluntarily, there is a good argument that she was under duress when she "agreed" to go. Death threats and scare tactics conflict with "free will". If your daughter was threatened with death if she wouldn't go, then that was not a voluntary decision.

Today is Tuesday. As I stated, my daughter's message said she would call Sunday, and it's after 9pm Tuesday. I am so grateful for the information and the detailed responce, I didn't expect such a quick responce.

Well I consider kidnapping by cult fanatics to be important.

The fact that they won't let her call you is an important legal point, by the way. Mention it repeatedly while talking to police and FBI. It it is such a good treatment center, there is no good reason why she can't talk to you, or send you letters.

I did have sole custody her entire life. Her father challenged it once, but accidentally attacked his wife with a butcher knife in front of my daugher and dropped the case because I brought a case against him for endangerment. (That was years ago) but gives an idea of the mentality I am dealing with.

Okay, so that is 100% clear. You have parental rights. But the difficult legal question is what rights or privileges you have when the child is between the age of 18 and 21.

My daughter said in the message that she mailed a letter to me at the aunt's, the woman is not admitting that it came. I know withholding mail is a federal offence, but if the letter wasn't sent certified, I am not sure I can do anything. Another question for the police in the morning.

Yes, true.

My first line of business tomorrow will be to find out the laws in the state of Vermont as to what age (18 or 21) my custody ends. I sincerely hope the laws in my state are the same as yours and I can do something.

The Internet says Vermont is 18.

The ones who kidnapped my daughter are her father's family. My family feels it's okay, because they took her to AA and, after all, it worked for dad!

I hate to call your family a bunch of blithering idiots, so I won't....

Okay... rambling again... It's just a breath of fresh air to know I am not the only person on the planet who thinks AA and Steppers are mindless drones.

Yes, you aren't alone.

I also wanted to comment that I'm not the only lunatic who sees the Orwellian aspect of AA... I have stated my daughter has been kidnapped to the Ministry of Love and is being reprogrammed by Big Brother, and I am told I am a lunatic. It's sad, but nice I am not the only one who sees that! Sad because it shouldn't be happening, nice, because I can't be too insane if someone else sees it!

No you aren't insane. It's the aunt and her friends who are crazy cult members.

I wonder if you have any comment on how much AA is like the Amway brain fuck?? They use nearly identical jargin and slogans. (The plan works if you work it, stinkin' thinking, approved reading lists, et al) Do you know of any connections?

They are alike. Coincidentally, I was in Amway for some months, too. I wasted a lot of money on an inventory of soap and "sales tools" before I did the math and realized that there was no way on earth that I could get 10,000 downlines like my Emerald Janz had.

What I objected to there was how it turned into a lifestyle thing. Forget about making money, you were supposed to turn conservative Republican just like Jay and Jay, and dress like them, and agree with the group-think... Amway was supposed to become your new life. And then you had to learn how to play mind-games on your prospects, and fool them into joining and working for you, just like had just been done to you... Yes, that's a cult too.

Help us if we say conspiracy... but... uh... spades are, after all, spades aren't they?

Yes.

I will send a short note (As short as a wordy person like myself is capable of) tomorrow when I find out something from the police. The local boys in blue did say that the Feds would be upset if I called them, as they felt it would be a crank call and I could end up in jail for reporting her missing when she went *voluntarily*.

That sounds like scare tactics. There is no crime in calling the FBI and asking for information and advice. Especially ask if it is "voluntary" if she was deceived with a pack of lies and scare tactics and death threats.

And isn't it false imprisonment if your daughter has changed her mind and decided to leave? The treatment center does not have the legal power to keep people imprisoned.

So that is where I am at... another sleepless night... I am sure she is... safe... physically... I just hope she is stong enough for this! I do believe in her... but she knuckled under when her aunt told her to go instead of telling the woman to shove it... so I worry.

Yes, exactly. We are all human.

IF she has been sent to Oaklahoma, again, she would have been taken *voluntarily*... I am sure the aunt would pretty much force her, but Jess would sign the papers if all the adults in the room are telling her it's her only real option.

Again, there is a fine line between voluntary and coercion.

And if she has been taken across state lines, that makes it an interstate issue. That's a big detail. Find out where she really is, for sure.

I am grateful Orange, for your time, and advice... Do you happen to know if there's a twelve step program for mothers who's children have been abducted to Twelve Step Programs? "Mothers who care too much anonymous" OR something, GRIN.

That's a good one.

Seeing as how I have read nearly EVERY file on your website, I think I will spend this night looking up the Vermont statutes on age of consent, custody, etc.

Yes, so will I.

Love and Light,
Lia

~Even a tiny light shines in the darkness
~A candle loses none of it's light by lighting another candle.

Okay, take care. I'll get back in contact later, whenever I learn something new.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Foisting ineffective quack medicine on sick people is not
** a wonderful noble act of self-sacrifice to help others;
** it is the reprehensible behavior of a damned fool.


[letter sent to Lia:]

On Wed, 29 Mar 2006 05:48:23 -0800 (PST), "Orange" wrote:

Hi. I've learned some things, and collected a bunch of random facts. Attached find a text file that lists some interesting facts.

There are also questions at the end of the file that I need answered, if you wouldn't mind. The reason for the questions is that I am contemplating writing to the Valley Vista treatment center and Congressmen and Senators to bring attention to this issue. I can tell those politicians that their answers will be posted on the Internet. That often wakes them up.

But before I can do that I at least need to get all of the facts straight and get all of my ducks in a row.

Thanks.

 —
 *               Agent Orange              *
 *          [email protected]       *
 *      AA and Recovery Cult Debunking     *
 *      http://www.orange-papers.info/      *
 ** "Now I know what it's like to be high on life.
 ** It isn't as good, but my driving has improved."
 ** == Nina, on "Just Shoot Me", 13 Jan 2006.


Attached text file:

If a young person between the ages of 18 and 21 is mentally impaired or incapacitated, (as in the case of drug addiction) the next of kin — a parent — has the right to the determine the medical care that the child will receive. — Not some great aunt.

=====================================================

Valley Vista, Bradford VT
http://www.drug-rehabs.org/content.php?cid=1700&state=Vermont

Who is paying for this "treatment"?
Who diagnosed the daughter as needing such treatment?

=====================================================

"In Bradford the state has created Valley Vista, the first major residential drug treatment program center, to address some of the needs of some women in prison."
== http://rutlandherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041126/NEWS/411260366/1003/NEWS02

Is the daughter being incarcerated with criminal offenders?
Is the daughter being given an education in crime by hard-core offenders?

Was the daughter ever convicted of a crime? Any drug-or-alcohol-related crime?

=======================================================

WHO: Jack Duffy and Rick DiStefano developed and jointly run Valley Vista. Both men worked at Conifer Park, a drug rehabilitation center in New York where many Vermonters were being treated until Valley Vista opened.
WHERE: It opened a year ago in a former nursing home in Bradford.
CENSUS: Since opening, Valley Vista has admitted 318 women and 47 adolescents.
LENGTH OF STAY: Patients stay between 20 and 90 days. The average stay in the first year of operation has been about 30 days.

Neither Jack Duffy nor Rick DiStefano are doctors. They are "business partners".

There are three residential facilities in the state that treat adolescents, said Peter Lee, chief of Treatment for the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse of the Vermont Department of Health; Valley Vista in Bradford, which accepts only adolescents and women; and Maple Leaf Farm in Underhill and the Serenity House in Wallingford, both of which accept adults.

Valley Vista, Inc.
23 Upper Plain
Bradford, VT 05033
(802) 222-5201

http://vermont.drugrehab101.com/clinicDetails_10787.html

This is their web site, which is secured with an expired security certificate that belongs to "Bradford":
https://www.vvista.net/

http://www.drug-rehabs.org/content.php?cid=1700&state=Vermont

says:

Valley Vista opened a year ago, filling a longstanding gap in the treatment options available in Vermont for women and teenagers struggling with complicated addictions to Heroin, Alcohol and other drugs. Prior to its opening, as many as 400 Vermonters a year had to go outside the state for long-term residential drug treatment.

Valley Vista isn't a jail, although 30 percent of the patients come from the corrections system. "They can leave any time they want, but there are consequences," DiStefano said. Some must serve jail sentences if they leave treatment. "If they aren't motivated to be in treatment," he added, "we will ask them to leave."

==================================================

What is your full name and address?

What is the girl's full name?
Was she ever arrested for drugs?
Was the daughter ever convicted of a crime? Any drug-or-alcohol-related crime?

What did you mean by "she was out of control"? Can the aunt argue that getting the girl into treatment was an urgent matter of life or death?

P.S.:
I forgot to ask about the great aunt.
(She is a great aunt, right? Your father's sister?)

What history of drugs and alcohol does she have?
Is she a lifer in the 12-Step cult?


Date: Wed, March 29, 2006 9:47
From: lia
Subject: Re: I have a few questions... please.

Peace Orange...

I don't mind giving you the information at all. I have tried to call V.V. this morning, got the case manager's voicemail again (Prisilla)... So I called back and a nurse named "Tom" promissed to hand deliver the message as soon as she got out of a meeting.

I am on wireless, I can be online and wait for the phone to ring.

Okay, last question first as I am trying to keep the file up and answer so I can go point for point.

1. The Aunt, Robin, is my daughter's father's sister. Paternal aunt. My ex-almost-sister-in-law.

2. Who is paying for this "treatment"?
— State insurance: VHAP and... I hope the freakin' aunt!

3. Who diagnosed the daughter as needing such treatment?
— Ummmm... the aunt? I always wondered about that... if these people have a disease, how come doctors don't diagnose it? How is it that other alcoholics are the ones diagnosing this $hit? (Rhetorical, sorry, just bitchin')

4. Is the daughter being incarcerated with criminal offenders?
— WOW... I didn't have ANY of this information! I guess, she's in there with a bunch of hard core offenders.

5. Is the daughter being given an education in crime by hard-core offenders?
— Yes, it would seem so.

6. Was the daughter ever convicted of a crime? Any drug-or-alcohol-related crime?
— Okay, here's a good one for you: 2 and a half years ago, (2 days before her 18th birthday) She got an "02 Violation". This is, someone under the age of 21 driving and having had basically ANY alcohol.) She lost her license *supposedly* for 6 months. She was ordered to go to AA and get counciling. 2 and a half years later, after having pissed neg EVERY test, she still hasn't gotten her license back. This is her only offence. And was supposedly on her file as a minor. (It's also *only* a misdemeanor)

7. What is your full name and address?
— My full name is: Lia XXXX XXXXXX.
Here's where I have to admit that I live kinda on the road... I don't like to be settled down, so I travel, I make arts and crafts or work as a carpenter, plumber, electrician, painter, computer geek, gardener... I am currently staying in Vermont because my daughter wasn't doing so well, and wanted me to hang around.

Being a free spirit is not a crime.

I am currently staying on a fellow's land who is just down the road from my brother's house. So I have access to a phone and internet at my brother's house. (I live off completely off grid, off radar)

I can recieve mail here:

[deleted for reasons of privacy]

8. What is the girl's full name?
— Jessica XX XXXXXXX: XX-XX-XX She is 20, will be 21 in Oct.

9. Was she ever arrested for drugs?
— Interestingly enough, NO, Yet after an alcohol offence, she continuously has to piss test for Marijauna. She has passed all of the tests. Chemical drugs don't stay in the system long enough for piss tests, so she would just not take chems for a few days before the appointment. She stopped smoking pot. It seems to me... oh, nevermind, that's a whole different can of worms.

10. Was the daughter ever convicted of a crime? Any drug-or-alcohol-related crime?
— Already got this one.

11. What did you mean by "she was out of control"?
— This poor kid has been rung through it the past few years, since losing her license. She lost her job, and her apartment, and had to move into her paternal grandfather's apartment building. Because she wasn't living up to his standards, he sold the building, to force her into the paternal aunt's *mother-in-law apartment* over her garage, so the aunt could "get a bit of control over her." I tried to get Jess not to go to the Aunt's, but her only other option was living in the woods with me in a very small cabin... so she took the apartment. Her aunt doesn't allow cigarettes, drinking, overnight guests... and did random bed checks. Jess was making tracks to move into the boyfriend's house... I think that was what set me off that day.

I should mention that my daughter met a junky working for her paternal grandfather, started dating this guy, and started paying for his drugs, then, using them herself when she had enough money for both of them.

My daughter is an idiot, sucked in by a smooth talking user. But she was trying to get out of it. I had been trying to let her deal with it herself, I wanted to sit on her, I know this child... she is a *Pleaser*, but eventually, she gets fed up and gets it straightened out.

She was miserable in this aunt's apartment, trying to save what little money her grandfather paid her, and then of course, secretly see the boyfriend they wouldn't allow her to see. (They martyred this guy, now Romeo and Juliet had to sneak to see each other.)

I had always told my daughter if I caught her doing chems, I would kidnap her to the Skeleton Coast of Africa to dig Rose Quartz alone in the desert if I ever caught her. Reciently I told her straight up she was about ready to find herself in the trunk of a car... which translates into,"Momma is getting sick of this shit, I am worried and I am not putting up with this!"

Then, one day, Last Monday, I snapped. I picked her up at the boyfriend's, took her home (She knew I was picking her up, I didn't kidnap her.) We had a nice dinner at her place, then I told her she was going to be upset with me, but that I wasn't bringing her back to her boyfriend's. I was not going to allow her to stick another needle in her arm. (She had only done that a couple times, but enough to piss me off!) I ended up calling the police. I told them that one or the other of us was going to assult the other in a minute because she was insisting she was going to leave, and I wasn't going to let her.

The cops were actually kinda cool... for a change. I explained about the drugs, and I couldn't let her leave, and if they needed to, they could arrest me, but I wasn't going to let her go there. When my daughter suggested that I was holding her hostage, the cops asked her why I would want to do that. They knew I was a concerned mom, trying to keep her kid off drugs.

Anyway, at one point, after the cops left, She had tried to leave, I grabbed her and tripped her to the floor... the Aunt's girlfriend came running up the stairs, and thrust a phone into my daughter's ear. I was very upset... I have NEVER gotten physical with her or anyone... We never even raise our voices. But I couldn't let her go do drugs. I have seen too many people die because of chemicals, I just couldn't "leave her alone, she's an adult, you can't stop her." Kiss my A$$... Yes, I can stop her, and I was willing to go to jail to get that point across.

My daughter was talking on the phone to the Aunt, I called one of my brother's to come. Then the Aunt showed up, and the next thing we knew, she was going to re-hab. I didn't know she was going to AA, 12 steps, whatever... I thought, counciling or something, I have never really run into re-hab stuff and didn't know that they were AA. So I thought, a few days off would do her some good, get her some perspective, think things through. My daughter was saying things like, she knew she needed to get away from her situation. She wanted to think things through and get help with her issues (Meaning help with the problems in her life that she had been trying to medicate.

I was a wreck, and too shocked to realise what all this re-hab meant. (And honestly, naive, ignorant, scared) The next thing I knew, she was gone. The Aunt made a big deal that they were planning an *intervention* and I blew it all to hell, now they would have to take her to a lesser facility. The plan had been to take her, without talking to me or my family, just one day, we were going to wake up and wonder where Jess was, and find out she was in Oaklahoma. They were waiting for a bed to open up, I didn't know this, I just couldn't allow her to go to a hotel with this guy to do drugs, so I stopped her. That is as far as my plan went... stop her from going, talk with her, help her figure out what she wants, give her guidance... moral support... and let her get it straightened out on her own, with support from the family, and friends.

The first place they took her, sent her to the hospital, and asside from the 6-pack of Mike's Hard Lemonaide the Aunt gave her as they geared up to go, she had nothing in her system, and no needle marks. (I think the Aunt gave her the booze so they would find SOMETHING to prove she has a problem.) (I am checking into pressing "Serving alcohol to a minor" charges against her.)

Jess called me that night and said she was okay.

The next day, She was being shipped from that place to V.V. They stopped and picked me up. I went with them, but I couldn't talk to Jess without the Aunt hearing, so I figured I would wait for a moment. I didn't get one. In the place, we waited in a room... they took her in, and asked us to leave, I didn't get to see what, if anything she signed. I noticed a sign on the way out that said "We are a Twelve Step Facility" My heart siezed.

I wanted to go back through the locked door and grab her. But I didn't know just how bad this was until I started looking it up on the internet. I knew my dad turned into a prick in AA, so I started checking and found your site. When I left the facility, I figured I would talk to her on the phone, and she would leave... I know I was ignorant of the situation, I didn't know I wouldn't be allowed to talk to her again.

I was already aware that things were bad... I just didn't know how bad til I started digging around. My daughter left a message on Sat, Mar 25th saying she would call on Sunday. She never called Sunday, and hasn't called since. I did get a letter at my Mother's house where she had colored a faerie from a coloring book (yeah, sounds like a mental health ward at a state farm) she said she was FINE "Fucked up, Insecure, something something,... ack. She wrote on the back of that envelope that she had already mailed a letter for me to her Aunt's house. The last my daughter knew, I was going to stay in her apartment for a couple weeks, til things settled down, taking care of her cats and plants. (The Aunt told me to "get the fuck out of my house" on the way back from dropping Jess off.

Making me leave, was the Aunt's way of insuring that Jess wouldn't be able to contact me for a week or so. Jess would call her apartment looking for me, I don't answer, she calls the Aunt, "Where's Mom" Aunt says, "Not sure, not here." Finally, my letter to my daughter made it. (I should mention that I went to the facility to drop things off on Friday 24th, I intended to talk to Jess and get her out. I guess Jess was outside, saw my truck, she mentioned that her mom was there, they said they had forgotten some paperwork and whisked her into the building. She wrote this in the letter I recieved through my mother) I did drop off her things, and a note telling her where I was and to call... she didn't mention the note in her letter, only the letter I mailed. I don't think she got the note.

So I haven't been able to talk to her... I would send another letter today, but I can't be sure she is in there anymore. She wrote the letter I recieved on Friday, left a message on Sat, today is day 4 with no news. She could be in Oaklahoma by now for all I know, and it seems the case manager isn't calling me back again.

IF my daughter IS in Vermont... I will drive down there today and force the issue... and most likely get arrested. IF she is in Oaklahoma, I live in a Vardo (Gypsy wagon) and even if I have to *fly a sign* I will drive out there.

I know that was long winded... but that's basically the whole thing in a large nutshell.

12. Can the aunt argue that getting the girl into treatment was an urgent matter of life or death?
— I doubt it, because she didn't have anything in her system but the booze the Aunt gave her that night, as they were readying to leave. She wasn't threatening suicide or anything either. By the time she left, she wasn't mad at me for not letting her leave, she actually thanked me for helping her see she didn't want to do *this* anymore. She said she loved me.

This is a big point.
The aunt committed a crime by giving alcohol to a minor — to the girl whom she was supposedly saving. What a setup for a positive urinalysis test at admission, thus "proving" the diagnosis of alcoholism.

If the treatment center gave her a drug and alcohol test when she was admitted, and it came up positive for alcohol, so much the better. That is evidence that is admissable in court. — Evidence against the aunt.

I am going to wait until 2pm for this case working Prisilla to call me back, then I am going to make other phone calls. To the Aunt to get that letter, Jess wrote in her letter to me that she mailed a letter to the Aunt's, that proves one was sent. I want it.

Then I guess I am going to start calling people like the civil rights folks and the Govorner's hotline, etc... The cops told me the same thing you said about her being over 18... So I guess it's just a matter of getting to talk to my daughter to get her out of The Ministry Of Love... and get the Aunt arrested for serving a minor, and possibly for not giving me my mail. And anything else the cops can suggest as charges.

Yes, definitely the governor, among others. The governor shows up in old press releases as being very enthusiastic about the center, and he helped to get it established and funded, so he has political capital invested there.

Also Senator James Jeffords:
"OAS further states that federal funds [were] secured through Senator James Jeffords."

OAS is a Florida corporation that owns the Valley Vista treatment center. Florida??!
OAS is a privately-owned company headed by Jack Duffy and Rick DiStefano, former executives at Conifer Park, a 225-bed treatment facility in Glenville, N.Y.

Thank you for your time Orange... I really dont mind if this letter is on your web-site, it might open people's eyes a bit... but do please edit names, places, contact info... thank you.

Love and Light,
Lia

— Real eyes realize real lies.
— Breathe

You are welcome. Keep the faith.... Somehow...

And of course I'll edit out all of the specific identifiers.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** At least two thirds of our miseries spring from
** human stupidity, human malice and those great
** motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity,
** idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on
** behalf of religious or political idols.
**  ==  Aldous Huxley


[another exchange of letters:]

Date: Wed, March 29, 2006 12:31
From: "lia"
Subject: Re: I have a few questions... please.

I finally spoke to my daughter, I am on my way to go get her, she wants to leave there... I will let you know what happens, most likely they are going to talk her out of leaving, and the aunt could be there by the time I get there to cause even more trouble and guilt for Jess.

I'll keep you posted.

Love and Light,
Lia

Okay. Remember to stress to the aunt the issue of her giving the girl alcohol. You have a weapon in your hands. Don't be afraid to use it.

You might also ask the treatment center if they did a drug and alcohol test when the girl was admitted.

If so, get a copy of the results.

If they say that you are not entitled, then have your daughter demand a copy.

That is court-admissable evidence that the aunt gave the girl alcohol.

--
*               Agent Orange              *
*          [email protected]       *
*      AA and Recovery Cult Debunking     *
*      http://www.orange-papers.info/      *
** "Now I know what it's like to be high on life.
** It isn't as good, but my driving has improved."
** == Nina, on "Just Shoot Me", 13 Jan 2006.


[Next letter from Lia:]

Date: Thu, March 30, 2006 9:01
From: lia
Subject: Re: I have a few questions... please.

Hi Orange...

Thank you so much for all your help, advice and just general support on this.

I picked up my daughter yesterday, of course the facility tried to convince her that she needed to stay. They felt her level of drug use was *moderate* and that she should stay at least a month. Interestingly enough, my daughter said that the girls there who had private insurance companies that pay $400 a night, had to stay at least 2-3 months. Yet the girls with state insurance, who pay $200 a night, only had to stay for one month.

Far out. Good show. I'm so happy to hear that she's out of there.

The scam you mention, about how long they need to stay, is a standard part of the racket. The better the health insurance, the sicker the child is diagnosed to be. And then, when the insurance runs out, the child is suddenly recovered, and out she or he goes.

There was a movie done about that, whose title I'm trying to find, about an abusive psychiatric treatment center for children. A normal girl with good insurance who got into something like a squabble with her parents needed 6 months, but the really sick suicidal kid whose insurance ran out was "fit for release". Of course he committed suicide within a week.

When I picked her up, I asked her if she was ready to take control of her life and her problems, she said she is. She is VERY upset with her father's family (Especially the Aunt) and wants to prove to them that they are wrong by getting her shit together without the Steppers or anyone else controlling her life.

Yes, foster that feeling of resentment and "I'll show them." It can actually help. Sometimes it keeps me going. There are just so many people who hate me and are wishing for my relapse that I just can't give them the satisfaction. :-)

She brought home an array of paperwork from Valley Vista, if you are interested at all. I can scan them into the computer and send them... just a little inside paperwork to show the mind fuck these people are conducting there.

Yes, absolutely yes. I can add that to the garbage that I got at my own treatment center where my cocaine-snorting child-molesting "counselor" wanted us to fill out a stack of questionaires and forms that Narcotics Anonymous calls a "First Step", which included confessing everything in your life story including your masturbation habits. No joke. For real.

Fortunately, that goof-ball counselor got sick and was replaced with another for a while, until just after I graduated, and he had a different agenda, so I also never did my Narcotics Anonymous "First Step". But I still have 5 years clean and sober anyway.

And now that so-called "counselor" is doing hard time in prison, in the Snake River Correctional Facility on the Oregon/Idaho border, for criminal sexual penetration of minors, possession of cocaine, and Internet child pornography.

I kept those papers just for laughs, as an example of really bad psychotherapy, and I've been thinking of scanning some pages and putting them on my web site to show what "treatment" really amounts to. I guess I really should do that, and I can add the worst of your daughter's stuff too.

My daughter was telling me all of the mind bending things that were going on... I knew she was strong, strong enough to keep her mind in there... and because she was aware, they really didn't get to her much. We are going to your web-site, after she sets up counciling meetings and checks out alternative programs (which can be done without holding her hostage in a facility.)

Yes, really.

She did believe all the BS they told her about the *disease* of drug addiction and alcoholism, but the facts are staring her in the face today. She said she knew nothing sounded right.

She never got the first step. She just couldn't fathom being *powerless* over substances. She felt she just had to make a decision to straighten out her life, and just stop doing it.

Yeh, really. See my file on "Powerless Over Alcohol" for my take on that nonsense.

Putting it all in just one sentence, I would say, "How the heck could I quit and stay quit if I was powerless over it?"

I will contact you again in a week or two. To let you know how things are going. Jess thinks she is going to have to use the *alcohol to minors* thing to get her money and stuff from her Aunt.

Okay, sounds good.

We are very aware that everyone in her father's family will blame me for taking her out, so will my family... but they are just going to have to get over it. Jess is finally going to be able to do what SHE wants. And she is an adult after all!

Yes.

We are searching our area for councilors who don't use Twelve Step Programing.

Good.

Thank you again, for your wonderful website, and your compassion... You will most likely never understand what a positive difference you have made in our lives with your website.

That's true. I might not understand. But that's okay. And thanks for the compliment.

Love and Light,
Lia

Thanks for the thanks, and thanks for brightening my day too.

About finding non-cultish counselors or self-help groups, here's a list of easy things to start with:

I'm so happy to hear that she's out. That makes my day.

And have a good day.

Oh, and just one lecture that I have to give your daughter — just one:

I was also into shooting heroin (and some cocaine) when I was young. I didn't do smack for very long, just a month, just 13 times all totalled, and I didn't get addicted. I was usually very clean and neat about it, using clean syringes and rubbing alcohol and all of that. But I did, in the end, get loose about it and shared needles about 4 times altogether.

I got infected with hepatitis C. Only 4 lousy times sharing needles, and I still got infected.

It turns out that when you are sharing needles, you are sharing with the kind of people who share needles, and they have already all infected each other with everything they've got. Sharing needles is almost guaranteed to infect you with Hep C or AIDS or both, very quickly.

But I lucked out. I won the lottery. I was never sick, I showed no symptoms whatsoever, and I didn't even know I had been infected until 5 years ago when a doctor insisted on testing me for everything.

It turns out that about 15% of the people who get infected with Hep C manage to actually beat the disease. Their immune system rallies and kills the germs, and the only way you know that they ever had the virus is by the antibodies that are left behind to kill any more of the germs that show up.

What is frightening about Hep C is that the other 85% of the people can't beat it on their own. That is one tough m'f**kin' germ.

With a lot of people, Hep C will lay low for 10 or 20 years, slowly destroying the liver. When people finally get sick from liver failure, it is far too late. The liver has been destroyed and nothing but a liver transplant will save the patient. == If you can get a liver, and if you have health insurance that will pay for the operation, which lots won't. Around here, the poor people don't get liver transplants. They get a nice stay at a hospice where they can die in comfort.

Mathematically, the odds of spontaneously beating Hep C are the same as the odds of winning at Russian Roulette where you take an old Colt 45 six-shooter and put 5 bullets into the revolver, and then spin it, and point it at your head or your liver and pull the trigger.

I didn't even know that I was playing Russian Roulette, but I caught the empty chamber 35 years ago.

Obviously, 5 other kids around me weren't so lucky. I don't know what happened to them.

End of sermon.

I would advise your daughter to get tested for Hep C. If she has it, it can be halted with treatments like interferon before it damages the liver. If she doesn't have it, then she has a very good reason for not shooting any more.

Have a good day and a good life.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "My enemies I can handle, but Lord save me from
** those who would do unto me for my own good."
** == Orange as a young hippie, 1968.





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