Letters, We Get Mail, CDXXIII



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters423.html#Duncan_B ]

Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2014 13:33:57 -0600     (answered 12 January 2015.)
From: Duncan B.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Quick Question

At first, I respected A.A. But now, after I have seen the evidence, I agree it is most definitely a cult.

Where should people go for alcoholic recovery?

Hello Duncan,

Thanks for the question. And the first answer is another question:

Who says that you have to go anywhere?

Bill Wilson and A.A. have been repeating these myths for 70 years now:

  • Nobody can do it alone

  • You need a support group.

  • If you don't go to a lot of meetings, then you are isolating.

There is no truth to any of that. The benefits of going to meetings are minimal, if not non-existent.

The NIAAA reported that 75% of the people who successfully quit self-destructive drinking did it alone, without any treatment or group. The Harvard Medical School reported 80%.

Nevertheless, if you wish to go to meetings and get some emotional support from others, or learn something from others, you have plenty of choices like SMART, SOS, or Lifering. (Admittedly, going to those meetings is far more likely to benefit you than going to 12-Step meetings.) The whole list is here:

You can also see these files for more discussions of what works or helps:

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence
**     over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled."
**       ==  Richard Feynman





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters423.html#JJB ]

Date: Dec 27, 2014, 10:28 PM     (answered 12 January 2015.)
From: JJB
Subject: RE: Reply from Orange Papers

Thanks Orange.

So we agree that the actual revenue to AA HQ is small potatoes of around $10M/year

I guess I am surprised to hear that the Recovery Industry is $20B/year!

And even more surprised to hear that 75% of those purveyors are selling AA/God based 12-step (I assumed that they had 'step' programs that were not God, plus self/ego-decimation, plus lifelong-dependence-on-program). I would imagine that is because AA is a lowest common denominator approach, free, and readily available to piggy-back ontop of.

My own observation is that AA can be dangerous to newcomers who are victims of abuse and fell into addiction as a maladaptive way to deal with stress or insecurity. I see it as dangerous for those types of folks (as opposed to ego maniacs like Bill Wilson) because those folks need support of the self rather than destruction&rebirth of the self. However, I do see people who are a combination of addict-types (e.g. you can start off as an abuse-victim and become an ego maniac).

I do know one old-timer who insists on outside help for newcomers she meets who fall into the category of previous-victim — it is quite good/responsible that she does this — too bad so few other old-timers do this.

And I also know some old timers who are a bit more broad-minded, smart, deep, esoteric, etc. Too few, but at least some.

I do think the program is better than nothing for allot of folks — the simpler the person, the better. Basically, those who have their first experiences of deep self-awareness as a result of AA are the ones who get the most out of it, and it can be net-good if the person is not a prior victim of trauma.

Many of the smarter folks I meet are A-types who are driven by insecurities. Some are slaves to their insecurities, some know they run on such thoughts and harness them, but like a wild horse, they can be a great mount but they can get out of the barn every once in a while too.

J

Hello again, JJB,

Thanks for the reply.

And yes, the numbers of dollars wasted on "recovery" and quack "treatment" are collosal. By the way, that number comes from the Institute for Behavioral Research, Athens, Georgia, which is connected to the University of Georgia. Paul Roman and Terry Blum did the National Treatment Center Study Report in 1996, and they found that 93.1% of all treatment centers in the U.S.A. used the 12-Step approach to treating alcoholism and drug addictions. But when they repeated the survey in 2005, they found that only 75% of the treatment centers used the 12-Step method. (Look here.) That is a large change. A lot of treatment centers have abandoned the 12-Step approach because it doesn't work. People are waking up. But the progress is coming with glacial slowness. Seventy-five percent of all drug-and-alcohol treatment being quackery is a national disgrace.

I totally agree that lots of people do not need the "destruction&rebirth of the self" routine of A.A. for their recovery. In fact, that can be very harmful. It can even drive sensitive people like Robin Williams to suicide.

By the way, this line: "start off as an abuse-victim and become an ego maniac" is a textbook description of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. (And that is what Bill Wilson suffered from.) This book described it well:

Narcissism, Denial of the True Self     Alexander Lowen, M.D.
Macmillan Publishing Comany, New York, 1983, and
Collier Macmillan Publishers, London, 1983.
ISBN: 0-02-575890-X
LC: RC553.N36L38 1983
LCCN: 83-18794

This is a great book, a real classic. Dr. Lowen advances the idea that narcissism is not falling in love with one's self, but rather with a false image of one's self. That small subtle difference actually makes a very large difference. In the original Greek mythology, Narcissus died — starved to death — because he was obsessed with his own image and stared at it endlessly. But as Narcissus approached death, his real emaciated appearance could not have been very attractive. Narcissus was seeing an illusion, not his true appearance.
      Dr. Lowen advances the idea that narcissism is often caused by child abuse and prolonged humiliation and pain in childhood. The child adopts a persona where he feels no pain and is powerful and invulnerable. The child thinks, "When I grow up, I'll be so powerful and strong that no one can hurt me or humiliate me ever again." Then the child, who grows into adulthood, spends the rest of his life pursuing and defending an illusion. Narcissists are obsessed with defending and preserving their image — they can't stand it if somebody "makes them look bad" — they can't stand criticism. They deny their true feelings and put on a mask of unfeeling, because they imagine that it will keep them from being hurt again. Likewise, they completely disregard other people's feelings. They are obsessed with power and control, so that they can control the world around them and prevent anyone from humiliating them again. Narcissists are often extremely seductive and manipulative people, often charismatic charmers, and occasionally high achievers as well. They lie habitually, without giving it a second thought. They fear insanity.
      In other words, Dr. Lowen was describing Bill Wilson, the abused son of an alcoholic father and a neurotic mother.

This is great:

I do know one old-timer who insists on outside help for newcomers she meets who fall into the category of previous-victim — it is quite good/responsible that she does this — too bad so few other old-timers do this.

Alas, it's so unusual that this is the first time that I've ever heard of a Stepper sponsor doing it. But yes, it's the right thing to do.

About this:

And I also know some old timers who are a bit more broad-minded, smart, deep, esoteric, etc. Too few, but at least some.

Yes. I have the Newcomers Rescue League, which is an honorary organization of sane, wise, good-hearted people who attend A.A. meetings to save the newcomers from bad sponsors. But there are not nearly enough members to save all of the newcomers.

I really wonder about this:

I do think the program is better than nothing for allot of folks

When Dr. George E. Vaillant, who just loved A.A. and went on to become a member of the Board of Trustees of A.A. World Services, Inc., tried to prove that A.A. works, he accidentally proved that A.A. kills. He spent 8 years tracking his first 100 A.A.-treated patients. At the end of 8 years, the score was 5 continuously sober, 29 dead, and 66 still drinking. But A.A. couldn't even take the credit for those 5 sober people because 5% per year is the normal spontaneous recovery rate of untreated alcoholics. Dr. Vaillant wrote:

After initial discharge, only five patients in the [A.A.] Clinic sample never relapsed to alcoholic drinking, and there is compelling evidence that the results of our treatment were no better than the natural history of the disease.
...
Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism, but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling.
...
Once again, our results were no better than the natural history of the disorder.
The Natural History of Alcoholism: Causes, Patterns, and Paths to Recovery, George E. Vaillant, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1983, pages 283-286.
The same text was reprinted in Vaillant's later book, The Natural History of Alcoholism Revisited, George E. Vaillant, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1995, pages 349-352.

"The natural history of the disorder" means "what happens to untreated alcoholics." So A.A. scored no better than "no treatment". But A.A. had the highest death rate of any way of treating alcohol abuse that Dr. Vaillant studied.

So there is no reason to believe that "some people" are helped by A.A. The results of careful controlled studies say otherwise.

And when you think about it, it makes sense. Teaching people that they are powerless over alcohol is a self-fulfilling prediction that doesn't end well. Making people wallow in guilt for years depresses them, and make them relapse or commit suicide, or both. It sure would be nice if A.A. worked and helped some people, but the success rate just isn't there.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     The hell to be endured hereafter, of which theology tells,
**     is no worse than the hell we make for ourselves in this world
**     by habitually fashioning our characters in the wrong way.
**       ==  William James [1842—1910],
**             The Principles of Psychology [1890], Chap. 10
*
**     Being surrounded by a group of people who keep
**     telling you that you are powerless over alcohol,
**     and that your will power is useless, is not
**     getting "support". It is getting sabotaged.
**     With friends like them, you don't need any enemies.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters423.html#Patrick_G ]

Date: Sat, 3 Jan 2015 05:47:34 -0500     (answered 12 January 2015.)
From: Patrick G.
To: "[email protected]" <[email protected]>
Subject: Hey

Love your site. I'd rather drink than go to another AA meeting. I have no intention of drinking.

Hi Patrick,

Thanks for the note. I totally agree. I've also had people write in and say that the reason they don't drink alcohol is so that they don't ever have to go to another A.A. meeting.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "A well conducted professional study" showed that
**     "some 5% of newcomers are still attending meetings
**     after 12 months. This is a truly terrible statistic.
**     Again we must ask 'Where does the fault lie?'"
**        ==  Dr. Ron Whitington — Chairman General Service Board,
**            AA Around Australia, Spring Edition No 90, October 1994





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters423.html#Wroger ]

Date: Sun, 4 Jan 2015 01:34:48 +1100     (answered 12 January 2015.)
From: "Wroger"
To: [email protected]
Subject: You can add and use this image on your site as you wish....

Cheees.

WW
--
"Oh Benson. Dear Benson. You are so mercifully free of the ravages of intelligence."

[I_burned_my_AA_basic_text_last_night_doo_dah_doo_dahh.jpg image/jpeg (647695 bytes)]

burned Big Book

Hello Wroger,

Thanks for the picture.

That sure looks cathartic.

But I have to ask, if people have older books, like first or second editions, please toss those my way. They still have use as history books.

The same goes for other really old "council-approved" literature.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption
**     abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man
**     wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of
**     the world is fast approaching.
**       ==  Assyrian tablet, c. 2800 BC





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters423.html#Peter_C ]

Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 17:37:57 -0800     (answered 12 January 2015.)
From: Peter C.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Fwd: Hitler and Ford

Hi Im just curious did you read a history book on Germany after the war, or did you just read other articles on Ford being anti semitic as Ford and the whole of Germany have other explanations, i have attached them.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Peter C."
Date: Dec 10, 2014 9:38 AM
Subject: Hitler and Ford
To: <info...>

Hi

I am an abbid reader of history.
Here is a timeline on the connection between Ford and Hitler.

Nov 28th 1918- only 17 days after wars end the communists pounce in Berlin, like dogs, using the instability the war has caused. Rosa Luxemburg the leader of the "spartacus league" storms Berlin in an armed take over. In a coordinated strike Kurt Eisner leads a mob and they take over Munich.

The German people are panic stricken fearful another soviet state will be set up in Germany.

Feb 6th 1919- World war 1 vets form the freikorps and march into Berlin, after fierce street to street fighting Luxemburg is finally rooted out, shot, then thrown in the river, to the rejoicing of the people of Berlin.

2nd April 1919- Kurt Eisner is rooted out of Munich and shot, to the rejoicing of the people of Munich.

1920- the German people hear Ford has just written a book on Jewish communism, and as Kurt and Rosa were both Jewish, and as most of the "spartacus league" were Jewish, millions of Germans buy Fords book.

Late 1920- no one is more surprised then Ford when his publisher says your book is a best seller in Germany, they are holding you up as a anti-communist demi god. Ford was chuffed.

Ford was no Nazi, the Nazi was a Fordite, it is the chicken and the egg.

All photos from wiki.

Pete

[SC20130813-221418.png image/png (67350 bytes)]

[SC20130813-205124.png image/png (76874 bytes)]

[SC20130914-035000.png image/png (59614 bytes)]

[SC20130914-034643.png image/png (117104 bytes)]

[SC20130914-034758.png image/png (77251 bytes)]

Hello Peter,

Thanks for the letter. That's an interesting timeline. Alas, it doesn't in any way show that Henry Ford was not a Nazi sympathizer. What that timeline leaves out is things like Henry Ford sending Hitler 50,000 Deutsche Marks each year on Hitler's birthday. And the timeline doesn't mention the mutual admiration society that Ford and Hitler had going with each other. And you are totally ignoring Ford's famous diatribes and rants against Jews in his Dearborn Independent.

Yes, the turmoil in Weimar Germany, with the leftists and the Fascists fighting in the streets, is well-known history. But the radical leftists and Communists do not excuse the radical right from responsibility for what they did, like mass murder and genocide and racism and ethnic cleansing and waging war on innocent nations, and starting World War Two and getting about 50 million people killed. Now I know that the Communists were not any better. They have a long list of crimes too, with millions more dead. Both extremes were wrong.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     "There is a road to freedom. Its milestones are Obedience,
**     Endeavor, Honesty, Order, Cleanliness, Sobriety, Truthfulness,
**     Sacrifice, and love of the Fatherland."
**      ==  Message, signed by Adolf Hitler, painted on walls of
**          concentration camps; Life magazine, August 21, 1939
*
**     The Twentieth Century may go down in history as the first century
**     where more than 100 million people were killed in wars and genocide.
**     The Turks started the century by killing 1.5 million Armenians,
**     then World War One killed a few more millions, then the Russian
**     revolution killed more, and then the Communists under Stalin killed
**     35 million Kulaks and many more millions of other people in purges
**     and pogroms, and Hitler got 50 million people killed in World War Two.
**     And the Japanese killed many millions of Chinese and other people.
**     Then the USA chimed in with 3 or 4 million Vietnamese dead, and the
**     Khmer Rouge got at least 2 million Cambodians.
**     What a century. We have to do better, although the start of this new
**     century is not promising.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters423.html#Avo ]

Date: Sat, 3 Jan 2015 19:49:57 -0600     (answered 12 January 2015.)
From: "exposingtruth.aa"
To: Orange <[email protected]>
Subject: Works Publishing Report

Hi Orange,

I posted more documents for AA in the forum. Please post what you think? Also might want to save them to your website in case they get "lost" on the internet.

Thanks,
Avo

Hello Avo,

Thanks.

This is stage 2 of the Big Book.

To see the first phase of financing and writing the Big Book, you have to look the records of the "100 Men Corporation." That was the name that the publishing company originally had. See:

And have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     "Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be
**     looking for it."
**       ==  Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862
*
**     "The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life
**     run on self-will can hardly be a success."
**       == William G. Wilson, Big Book, page 60
*
**     "Success is simple. Do what's right, the right
**      way, at the right time."
**          ==  Arnold H. Glasgow





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters423.html#Tim_K ]

Date: Sat, 3 Jan 2015 23:24:38 -0700     (answered 12 January 2015.)
From: Tim K.
To: "[email protected]"
X-Mailer: iPhone Mail (12B440)

You are an idiot and should not be allowed to have a computer to put this trash on the Internet!

Tim K.

Hello Tim,

Thanks for the sentiments. Why, I'd almost say that you have a resentment. I guess you need to do a fourth and fifth Step over that one.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of
**     a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely
**     grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings
**     we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity
**     of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.
**       ==  The Alcoholics Anonymous "Big Book", page 66, How it Works





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters423.html#Jennifer_S ]

Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2015 08:02:33 -0500     (answered 12 January 2015.)
From: Jennifer S.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Lip Balm Anonymous
X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.1990.1)

Hey Orange,

I just ran across this gem and thought I'd share:

http://www.lipbalmanonymous.com/recovery/12-steps/

Lip Balm Anonymous! At first glance I thought it was a joke, but the more I poked around the sight, the more I became convinced these people are completely sincere (and mentally challenged). They maintain their "sobriety" from lip balm (?!) by working the 12 steps, practicing them in all their affairs and carrying the message to other lip balm addicts. Wow.

Happy New Year!
Jennifer

Hello Jennifer,

Thank you for that priceless link. Just when you think it can't get any crazier, it does. I never cease to be amazed by the capacity of the human race for insanity and credulity.

There are times when I know that there is a God, and she is laughing her head off.

Oh, and let me see now. Should I use my chocolate lip balm, or the spearmint today?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     "Stupidity, like hydrogen, is one of the
**      basic building blocks of the universe."
**          ==  Frank Zappa
*
**     "Only two things are infinite, the universe and
**     human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
**         == Albert Einstein (1879—1955)





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters423.html#Dave ]

Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2015 10:28:35 -0500     (answered 12 January 2015.)
From: Dave
To: "[email protected]" <[email protected]>
Subject: The effectiveness of the 12-step treatment.
X-Mailer: iPad Mail (12B440)

Holy Cow---

This article reminds me of the person who says "my mind is made up, so don't confuse me with the facts"

I gleaned the following from this article:

1. It is HIGHLY unlikely that you have ever personally suffered from Alcoholism, although I suppose, it's possible.

2. If a person has had successful past experiences driving Ford's, they are highly likely to stick with a Ford when it's time to purchase another car.

3. You have WAY too much free time on your hands, but, we live in a GREAT country and I respect the fact that you can spend your time any way you choose.

If an Alcoholic experiences a " * spontaneous remission", where do they go to and why would it benefit them to fill out these "surveys" and participate in these "studies"?

* Is it like this?: "I've been suffering from Alcoholism for years. It's ruined my marriage, I've lost jobs, my health is terrible, and I just can't stop drinking no matter how hard I've tried. Then, one Tuesday morning, out of the blue, I thought, spontaneously, that I'll never drink again" — that was 24 years ago and I attribute my sobriety to "Spontaneous Remission"

Try this idea out while discussing Alcoholism with any MD/Phd who specializes in Chemical Addictions. That should make for a very interesting discussion.

Hello Dave,

Thanks for the opinion. Actually, if that Ph.D. knows his stuff, he will be the first to admit that spontaneous remission is the biggest healer of alcoholics and drug addicts.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health, performed the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. For it, they interviewed over 43,000 people. Using the criteria for alcohol dependence found in the DSM-IV, they found:
"About 75 percent of persons who recover from alcohol dependence do so without seeking any kind of help, including specialty alcohol (rehab) programs and AA. Only 13 percent of people with alcohol dependence ever receive specialty alcohol treatment."
http://www.spectrum.niaaa.nih.gov/features/alcoholism.aspx

It's both amazing and appalling how A.A. members get so angry when you talk about spontaneous remission. Why is it that they just cannot stand the idea that people stop drinking and drugging and heal themselves when the pain gets to be too much and the fun too little?

Does it destroy their whole reality to hear that the slogan "Nobody can do it alone" is so wrong?

By the way, yes, I was a hard-core alcoholic, dying from it. Here is the autobiography:

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "There is nothing quite like dying for convincing you that
**     you really need to take better care of your health."
**       ==  Me





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters423.html#King_Fan ]

Date: Mon, 05 Jan 2015 23:03:52 -0800     (answered 12 January 2015.)
From: king fan
To: [email protected]
Subject: interesting site

It's full of inaccuracies, flat out lies, and logical fallacies, but it's interesting.

I don't know whatever happened to you that left you so full of hate, but I hope you find some peace at some point.

Best wishes, you will be in my prayers (yes, Buddhists pray, too).

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab®|PRO

Hello King Fan,

Thanks for the letter. And once again, a Stepper accuses me of being resentful and hateful because I believe in telling the truth. Now why is that?

Unfortunately, you weren't specific about what inaccuracies, lies, and logical fallacies are in my writings. Please pick out your favorite two or three points of disagreement, and show us what the real truth is, citing valid and credible sources of information. (The lies and propaganda tricks and mind games of Bill Wilson don't qualify as valid information.) Surely you can do that, can't you?

Thanks, and have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
*     Everybody is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.
**       ==  Senator Patrick Moynahan
*
**     To treat your facts with imagination is one thing,
**     but to imagine your facts is another.
**         ==  John Burroughs
*
**     "If the facts change, I'll change my opinion. What do you do, Sir?"
**       —  John Maynard Keynes

[The next letter from King_Fan is here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters423.html#Susan_J ]

Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2015 17:08:18 -0700     (answered 12 January 2015.)
From: Susan J.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Audrey Conn
X-Mailer: iPad Mail (12B435)

I don't think "they killed Robin Williams. I think he killed himself for a number of reasons. First, he was ill. Robin Williams and Michael J. Fox were both AAs and both with Parkinsons. Robin chose not to live with whereas Michael Fox was only 30 when diagnosed and couldn't do anything BUT live with it. They had a different level of acceptance. Robin was also taken numerous pharms whose side effects included increased potential for suicide. While I didn't live with him, he was adored by his children and got on well with his ex-wives. I am not sure what guilt or shame you could assign to him.

I knew Audrey through an email correspondence. She seemed upbeat and expansive. Nice woman that I would have liked to have known personally. She told me once that there were people who would judge her solely on one horrific incident. It was as if everything that came afterward didn't matter or count. While that is true, I doubt people in AA would have believed that, especially those of us with a history of drunk driving and being in blackouts.

Hope you've been well.

Susan

Sent from my iPad

Hello Susan,

Thanks for the opinion, but that is just a language dodge.

Here in Portland Oregon we have a church that has fanatical members who kill their children by refusing to get them proper medical care. They will not take their kids to a doctor, no matter how sick the children are. They insist on only faith healing and prayer. And down the road another church, in Albany, Oregon, the "Church of the First-Born", does the same thing.

Two sets of those parents were just convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to prison for killing their children. The Albany couple got 10 years in prison.

Now nobody accused those parents of picking up a knife or a gun and killing their children, but the parents killed their children just the same. The parents killed the children by foisting quackery on them. And that is how Hazelden killed Robin Williams, too. Instead of giving their severely-depressed patient good medical care, they gave him guilt-inducing superstition and cult religion, and pushed him right over the edge into suicide. That is manslaughter. That is killing somebody.

And yes, we can establish how Robin Williams felt guilty:

Shaming and guilt induction are a big part of the 12-Step program. And they can produce very bad results. They can drive depressed people to suicide. I blame the Hazelden routine of repeatedly making Robin Williams do Steps 4 and 5 for his death. Steps 4 and 5, I'm sure you know, are where the "client" lists and confesses all of his sins, moral shortcomings, wrongs, and defects of character. After 28 days of that routine in a previous stay in Hazelden, Robin Williams confessed to Guardian newspaper reporters that it was so hard to live down all of the things that he had done, "You know, I was shameful, and you do stuff that causes disgust, and that's hard to recover from. You can say, 'I forgive you' and all that stuff, but it's not the same as recovering from it. It's not coming back." See:
http://www.theguardian.com/film/2010/sep/20/robin-williams-worlds-greatest-dad-alcohol-drugs

One more trip through Hazelden, and one more repetition of Steps 4 and 5, and he committed suicide. When he went into Hazelden, Robin Williams was talking about "fine-tuning" his sobriety. But when they were done with him, he didn't last a month.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**         THE PROBLEM WITH OUTSOURCING
**     "I was feeling very depressed, and thinking about suicide.
**     So I called the local Suicide Hotline. My telephone call was
**     rerouted to an answering service in Pakistan. The people there
**     were very excited when they heard my story. They asked if I
**     could fly an airplane."
*
**     What's the difference between an Islamic fanatic in training,
**     diligently studying the Koran for justifications to be a suicide bomber,
**     and an A.A. member diligently studying the Big Book for
**     reasons to be a misguided A.A. fanatic and lie to sick people about cures?
*
**     For me to sit with a new guy and tell him he needs God and he needs
**     to work the steps in order to save his life is tantamount to murder
**     or at least some form of assisted suicide.
**       ==  posted by Rant at 9:37 am, Monday, November 5, 2012, on
**         http://moynihaninstitute.blogspot.com/2012/11/aa-kills-more-drunks-than-it-helps.html
*
**     Fred W. Johnson of the Prevention Research Center at Texas A&M;
**     University said there is a strong relationship between drinking
**     and suicide. In any given year, people with alcohol dependence
**     commit more than 20 percent of suicides in the general population;
**     while 80 percent to 90 percent of alcohol dependence suicides are
**     by men, mostly white, Johnson added.
**         http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1756721/more_rural_suicides_linked_to_bars/
*
**     Is it just a coincidence that 75% of the "alcoholism treatment
**     centers" give their clients 12-Step treatment, and then so many
**     of them commit suicide?

[The next letter from Susan is here.]





[The previous letter from Keith_G is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters423.html#Keith_G ]

Date: Jan 6, 2015, 10:41 PM     (answered 13 January 2015.)
From: Keith G
Re: Reply from Orange Papers

As per usual you are as full of yourself as ever. When you claim I am misinformed no one misinformed me as I am speaking from experience. I may as well reply to a wall they are more receptive. You ought to place your passions with let's say global warming awareness ...your current endeavor helps no one

Hello again, Keith,

Nothing like starting off with an ad hominem attack, is there?

You began your previous letter by declaring, "May The Lord keep you in His Light." Apparently you aren't feeling so religious today, are you?

Yes, you are misinformed. You think that Dr. Frank Buchman's cult religion actually works as treatment for the "disease of alcoholism". That is grossly misinformed. And, in your previous letter, you declared that A.A. is a big success because it "brings joy to people". That is also grossly misinformed. A.A. is supposed to save the lives of alcoholics, but it doesn't do that, so jabbering about the "joy" that some members get is merely a distraction.

And I have received numerous letters from people who said that learning the truth from my web site did help them, so yes, the web site is helping some people.


Date: Jan 6, 2015, 10:44 PM     (answered 13 January 2015.)
From: Keith G
To: Orange Re: Reply from Orange Papers

You never did answer my question. .....if you had a lived one who had tried to quit drinking but could not you are telling me you would not suggest they went to AAA if they had tried everything else? You would expose yourself fully then....please answer without an attachment or scripted response...you're a fraud

Hello again, Keith,

I did answer your letter. Apparently, you ignored all of the links that I sent you about "what works?" and "how did you get to where you are?"

Are you incapable of clicking on links?

If you simply refuse to read answers, then there is no point in replying to your letters, is there?

This premise is false: "if they had tried everything else..." Nobody has tried everything else. Nobody. I also sent you a chart of more than 40 different treatment programs where Professors Miller and Hester rated them for effectiveness. Brief Intervention was number one and A.A. and 12-Step Facilitation were numbers 37 and 38, so far down the list that you have to look for them:

I have never met anyone who tried the previous 36 methods before going to an A.A. meeting and declaring that he tried everything before A.A. and nothing worked. It's a common slogan in A.A. meetings, "I tried everything else, and nothing worked before A.A.", but it's untrue. Usually, people try one or two or maybe three other things and then declare that they tried everything. That is just the standard cult characteristics of We have the panacea and Denigration of competing organizations or groups.

Now then, back to your question: If someone had tried to quit drinking several times, and failed, I would first send him to a psychiatrist to see what shape his brain and mind are in. Mental illness is one of the commonest causes of alcohol abuse. Excessive drinking is merely a "symptom" or sign of the underlying disorder. Obviously, quit-drinking programs do not cure mental illness.

Mentally-ill people often get into trouble with drugs and alcohol as they try to fix themselves with self-medication. A friend just showed me a BBC — Stephen Fry TV program about Bipolar Disorder, which Fry suffers from. Fry interviewed many people who suffer from Bipolar Disorder, and every single one of them had gotten into trouble with drugs and alcohol. It was like a standard characteristic of the disease.

Obviously, those people would not be helped by a guilt-inducing 12-Step cult religion.

So first, let's check out the "alcoholics" and see what their real problem is.

  • If they are not mentally ill, then they should be able to get a grip and stop their irrational compulsive behavior. They should benefit from something like SMART or SOS or WFS or Lifering.
  • But if they are suffering from mental illness, then fix that first. Often, the "alcoholism" and "drug-seeking behavior" disappear when the underlying illness is successfully treated.

About your complaint about an attachment, I always answer letters with attached web pages because I answer all letters in HTML format so that the same answer can go on the web site and also get emailed to the correspondent. Also, links don't work if the answer isn't in web page format. If you refuse to read an attached web page, then I can't help you with that. And my answers are not "scripted". I'm actually wasting my time writing an original answer to your letter (which you may refuse to read).

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If only Bill Wilson had gotten the right medications,
**     we wouldn't have the 12-Step quack cure killing people today.





[The previous letter from John_L is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters423.html#John_L ]

Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2015 00:20:31 -0500     (answered 13 January 2015.)
From: John L.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Thanks for the reply

Thank you for the reply.

It is not possible for me to answer your question about success rate. You make some very valid points. I am not sure if we can agree on a definition of success.

I would estimate a very small success rate if you count everyone that has ever attended an AA meeting. I would estimate a very high success rate for those that have completed the first eight steps and continue with making amends, personal inventory, prayer, mediation and working with others.

You might feel these things as unnecessary or fake. I am not real sure what you believe. I believe that a spiritual awaking can change a person. I also believe that there are other ways for people to change. I also believe that there are other ways for people to stop drinking. AA and the 12 steps are not the only way.

For me, AA has worked. Maybe something else might have worked, but up to that point in my life, nothing else had worked.

You have much more information and knowledge about AA and I think that is awesome.

I can see how a person would feel that AA hurts more than it helps. Since there is no real leadership, groups and members can spread teachings that are not in alignment with basic AA principles. No member of AA should ever suggest someone stop taking medication. Heck, members of AA need to not give medical, financial or martial advice. But they do.

So what do you think the success rate is? What methods do you think are successful?

Thanks again for your well thought out response.

John

Hello John,

Thanks for the reply. And it seems to be well thought out too.

Well, starting at the top,

  1. "It is not possible for me to answer your question about success rate."

    Other people have managed to answer that question — credible people, like doctors — and they have found that A.A. has a zero percent success rate, above normal spontaneous remission. That includes a Trustee of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

    Bill Wilson's statement on page 58 of the Big Book, which is read out loud at the start of every A.A. meeting, is a lie, pure and simple:

    RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are those who cannot or will not give themselves completely to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way.
    A.A. Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, page 58.

    Mr. Wilson was of course Lying With Qualifiers. He only wanted to count those who "thoroughly followed our path". But the first requirement for "thoroughly following our path" is to quit drinking. So it's like a circular definition: Only count those people who quit drinking, and darned if you don't have a 100% success rate.

  2. Then you continued with, You make some very valid points.

    Thanks. I try hard to have information that is accurate and truthful and complete. People's lives are on the line.

  3. I am not sure if we can agree on a definition of success.

    I would estimate a very small success rate if you count everyone that has ever attended an AA meeting. I would estimate a very high success rate for those that have completed the first eight steps and continue with making amends, personal inventory, prayer, mediation and working with others.

    I sure hope that we can agree on a definition of success. The idea was to save the lives of the alcoholics. Obviously, if they die from alcohol, then the program is not a success. If they don't stop self-destructive drinking, then the program failed.

    I don't care whether people totally abstain from drinking or simply cut down to moderate, controlled drinking, just as long as they stop self-destuctive levels of drinking. If they were dying from alcohol, and now they are no longer dying, and their health is good now, then I would call that a success.

    Now personally, I find that even small amounts of alcohol are damaging. But other people seem to feel that a little drinking doesn't harm them. So be it.

    I agree that the overall success rate of A.A. is very, very low — so low that it is no more than the success rate that untreated alcoholics get by quitting on their own.

    Your last sentence is again using qualifiers to limit those people who get counted. And they have to be devoted cult members who faithfully practice Dr. Frank Buchman's cult religion, praying and meditating and confessing and apologizing and all of that. But only a convinced true believer will do that. So what you are really saying is that if some people will devote their lives to a cult religion, then they won't drink alcohol. But even that cure only works on a very few people — only those people who find cult religion an acceptable way of life.

  4. You might feel these things as unnecessary or fake. I am not real sure what you believe. I believe that a spiritual awaking can change a person. I also believe that there are other ways for people to change. I also believe that there are other ways for people to stop drinking. AA and the 12 steps are not the only way.

    Yes, I feel that Dr. Frank Buchman's cult religion is a fake. It is fraud and heretical pseudo-spirituality. See The Heresy of the Twelve Steps for more about that.

    I am not knocking all spirituality or spiritual awakenings. Alas, there are lots of fakes around. I am a child of the 'sixties, and I saw a wave of aroused interest in spirituality among the young generation of the 'sixties, quickly followed by a wave of fake gurus who sprang up to steal their money, their hearts and minds, and their souls. Dr. Frank Buchman and his bastard child called Alcoholics Anonymous is just more of the same fraud. Cult religion is a very old game.

  5. Now here is one of the key points, and one of the biggest problems that I have with the whole A.A. rap:

    For me, AA has worked. Maybe something else might have worked, but up to that point in my life, nothing else had worked.

    What worked? What the heck is the real A.A. program?

    • It can't be Working The Steps, because Bill Wilson wrote on page 59 that the Steps are only "suggested as a program of recovery". So you can still be a good A.A. member without Working The Steps.

    • It can't be going to meetings. Bill bragged about the early "lone wolf" A.A. members who lived way out in the country where there were no meetings, and who just bought the book and got sober alone.

    • But it also can't be reading the book. When I criticize the insane things that the Big Book says, some A.A. true believers invariably write to me to brag that they have years of sobriety and have never read The Book.

    • And it can't be getting a sponsor. When I criticize abuses of the sponsorship system, someone declares that he never had a sponsor, and sponsorship isn't even mentioned in the Big Book. (It is heavily recommended in Bill's second book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.)

    • It can't be praying and meditating. Bill Wilson declared that you don't have to believe anything.

      So since I don't believe in Doorknob Almighty, I don't have to pray to Him. And I don't have to meditate in Step 11 and hear Him talking to me and telling me what to do, and giving me the power to carry out His orders.

    • So what is The Path that A.A. members are supposed to thoroughly follow? What "WORKS" for you? What is the real essential heart of the Program?

    And when you say that nothing else worked, what are you talking about? How many other methods did you really try? A.A. members routinely repeat that slogan about, "I tried everything, and nothing worked before A.A."

    But that isn't true. They didn't try everything. Often, they didn't try more than two or three things before declaring that "nothing else worked". There are more than 40 treatment modalities to try.

    We were just talking about that in a previous letter, so I won't repeat it all again.
    Look here: http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters423.html#Miller

    And then of course there is the problem that people stop looking for an answer after they quit drinking. They just assume that the last thing that they tried is what worked, rather than that quitting and not restarting is a learning experience.

    Heck, by that logic I can declare that living in a homeless men's shelter and eating pizza is what worked for me. Nothing else worked before that, but the pizza worked. I haven't had a drink since, and it's been 14 years now. So that pizza is unbelievably powerful medicine. See the story here: The magic moment of quitting.

    Even a previous Trustee of A.A. wrote about that problem with the logic:

          Another root of Professional-AA strains consists of the very human tendency to be loyal to the therapy which has been successful in one's own case — and rather uncritically to adopt the ideological framework within which the help has come. We see this phenomenon in other areas. For example, the benefits of religious faith and personal integration can come through many different theological frames of reference — Roman Catholic, Pentacostal, Christian Science, Theosophy, Zen Buddhism, you name it. And, so often, the help found is taken as absolute proof of the truth of the accompanying theological framework. Or, witness what happens when a patient has shopped around from doctor to doctor, and finally finds one that helps: he becomes very loyal to the successful therapist — and to the successful therapeutic program. Why should the behavior of alcoholics be so different? I've been in alcoholism clinic and hospital settings where I've heard: "I tried the 'cure' over there. I tried AA. None of it worked. But this place has got the answers." And I've heard alcoholics talk who had boxed the professional compass and finally made it in AA. In either case, the reason for the success of the particular treatment may have been due more to the patient's by-now greater pain and desperation than to the nature of the treatment or the context of beliefs. But few patients can see this at the time and they become loyal to the "successful therapy" — and, unfortunately, sometimes antagonistic or unfavorable in their attitude toward other therapeutic programs. Now, I submit that this is quite standard human behavior. But it is one of the roots of misunderstanding, distrust, and strain in AA-professional relations.
    PROFESSIONAL and ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS RELATIONS IN OREGON; An Exploratory Study Report, Milton A. Maxwell, Ph.D., 1965, page 10.

  6. You have much more information and knowledge about AA and I think that is awesome.

    Thanks. I try. I've been at it for a lot of years. (Like 14.)

  7. I can see how a person would feel that AA hurts more than it helps. Since there is no real leadership, groups and members can spread teachings that are not in alignment with basic AA principles. No member of AA should ever suggest someone stop taking medication. Heck, members of AA need to not give medical, financial or martial advice. But they do.

    It isn't a matter of the leadership. (Which is bad, but that isn't the most important thing.) It's a matter of killing people with quackery and cult religion. That is the primary cause of A.A. deaths. Telling people that they are powerless over alcohol produces disastrously bad results. Remember that Dr. Vaillant discovered, after 8 years of testing A.A. on alcoholics, that the biggest effect that A.A. had on alcoholics was raising the death rate in his patients.

    Likewise, telling people that they drink alcohol because they have moral shortcomings and defective characters is very harmful and produces more bad results. A.A. is just the opposite of good psychotherapy.

    Your second sentence, about groups spreading teachings that are not "aligned" with "basic AA principles", is so true. Look at Clancy's Clones and Mike Quinones' "Midtown Group", both of which are sexual exploitation societies, in addition to being basically fascist organizations where one dictator rules the roost. So, since A.A. has no control over A.A. groups, and it cannot be reformed and fixed, the best thing to do is shut it down and replace it with better organizations that won't elevate the death rate in alcoholics.

    We agree about how A.A. sponsors should not be playing doctor and telling people not to take their medications. But they do. It is rampant in A.A., those nutty sponsors really believe in faith healing, and again, since all A.A. groups are beyond control, there is no way to stop it. Again, shut down A.A. before it kills more sick people.

  8. So what do you think the success rate is? What methods do you think are successful?

    Which success rate?

    The success rate of Alcoholics Anonymous is the same as the normal rate of spontaneous remission in alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. In other words, the success rate that is caused by A.A. practices is zero. A.A. is merely stealing the credit from a few people who were going to quit drinking anyway.

    By the way, the normal rate of spontaneous remission in alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction is about 5% per year. Each year, about one out of 20 of the drinking alcoholics decide that they are sick and tired of being sick and tired, and don't want to die that way. They quit because the pain has gotten to be too much, or to save their marriages and careers, or for their health, or because of legal difficulties, or for a variety of other similar reasons.

    If you mean the success rate of other organizations or methods, that is an open question. We don't have nearly enough good, valid, controlled studies of all of the different treatment modalities. A.A. promoters have obstructed and sabotaged such studies and tests for years, like how they sabotaged Project MATCH, complaining that giving "no treatment" to alcoholics was unethical. (But giving them an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties is "ethical".)

    The one thing that we do know about those other treatment methods and modalities is that none of them yields as high a death rate as Alcoholics Anonymous. While Dr. George E. Vaillant was testing A.A. on his alcoholic patients, he also studied other treatment methods, and found that A.A. had the highest death rate of any treatment program that he studied.

    The one test that I know of, Dr. Jeffrey Brandsma's test, where A.A. was directly compared to another treatment program — Cognitive Behavioral Therapy — produced dramatic results. After several months of treatment, the A.A. group was doing five times as much binge drinking as the control group which got no treatment at all, and the A.A. group was doing nine times as much binge drinking as the CBT group. The moral of the story is, teaching people that they are powerless over alcohol is a self-fulfilling prediction. When they come to believe it, they will act like it.

    Obviously, CBT got a higher success rate, but I'm not sure how much higher. I need to get that book back and study it again. (See: Outpatient Treatment of Alcoholism, by Jeffrey Brandsma, Maxie Maultsby, and Richard J. Welsh. University Park Press, Baltimore, MD., page 105.)

    Now what do I think is successful? Start with these two lists:

  9. Thanks again for your well thought out response.

    Thanks to you too.

And have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**        We are not cured of alcoholism. What we have is a daily reprieve contingent
**        on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we
**        must carry the vision of God's will into all of our daily activities.
**       ==  The Big Book, 3rd & 4th editions, William G. Wilson, Into Action, page 85.
**
**     Just where did that "vision" come from?
**     Prayer, meditation, belladonna, delirium tremens, LSD, or delusions of grandeur?





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Last updated 11 February 2015.
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