Letters, We Get Mail, LXI



Date: Sun, July 23, 2006 11:24 pm
From: "Hans S."
Subject: Love your website!

Love your website! It kept me up all night reading!

Hans S.

Hello Hans,

Thanks for the letter, and have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** When you can't tell the difference between patriotically
** defending America, and killing thousands of children in
** a foreign country with "Shock and Awe" bombing, you are
** officially crazy.





Date: Mon, July 24, 2006 7:36 am
From: "Jim H."
Subject: A friendly, supportive note.

Dear Mr Orange,

Thank you so much on your website (http://orange-papers.info). It gave me what I needed to stick with my resolve to stay smoke free.

Good luck and Goodspeed.

Sincerely, Jim H.

Rationally Recovered from nicotine abuse as of July 1, 2006!
Find out more at http://RationalRecovery.net

Hi Jim,

Thanks for the note. That is great news. Personally, I consider quitting smoking to be just as important, and just as hard, as quitting alcohol. You really come to life when you get your lungs back.

By the way, if you haven't already, you must see the page on The Lizard-Brain Addiction Monster. Half of the information on that page came from 30 years of fighting to get unhooked from tobacco. And clearly understanding what is going on there has been a huge help in avoiding getting restarted on cigarettes again.

Congratulations again, and have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** As I see it, every day you do one of two things:
** build health or produce disease in yourself.
**         Adelle Davis





Date: Mon, July 24, 2006 1:24 pm
From: "Darrick H."
Subject: interesting

AA concepts did come from the Chapter of James in the Bible. Everyone has Truths, I know what my Truths are, I'm sure you know yours as well. But not everything is the Gospel either...

interesting perspective you have.

D

Hello Darrick,

Could you be more specific, please? — Much more specific? Precisely what "concepts" did A.A. get from the Book of James?

The only obvious thing about A.A. that came from the Book of James is the practice of public confessions — i.e., "sharing" in meetings. Dr. Frank Buchman used that one line from St. James to rationalize his Oxford Group practice of having get-togethers where everybody confessed everything to each other, including sexual habits. A.A. simply continued the practice of "sharing" in meetings.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** The George W. Bush oath of office: "I solemly promise that
** when danger threatens and Americans are being killed, I will:
**  1. Go on vacation in Texas and ride my bicycle."
**  2. Read The Pet Goat."
**  3. Go to a birthday party in Arizona and pretend to play a guitar."





Date: Mon, July 24, 2006 10:31 pm
From: Steve
Subject: A thank you

Hello Orange,

I just want to send a simple "thank you" and let you know that your work has been a tremendous help to me, as I've been desperately, but now more sensibly, deprogramming my self after many years in and around AA. I've come a long way in these past three years without getting high: Little money in the bank, regained the love and trust of my family, strong as horse in the gym, and now with a 4.0 grade point average for the last 2 semesters in a community college. I was never so strong and independent until I broke away from the dogma of AA and realized that it was all up to me, always was and always will be. It's been hard for me, very, very hard — to "Un brain-wash" myself. I know, from my own experience and the things I've seen, that AA is a psychologically destructive cult. I'll write to you again and give you more detail. Until then — Greenest of wishes to you my friend! Please don't ever stop what you're doing.

With respect and admiration,

Steve

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the note. That really brightened up my morning. Here I am, nursing a double latté and just waking up, and I check my mail, and this comes in. That's a nice way to start the day.

And you have a good day too. Oh yeh, and lest I forget, congratulations on both your sobriety and your newfound freedom.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Bill Wilson wrote that you cannot quit drinking by
** using your own intelligence and will power; that you
** must have a "Higher Power" doing the quitting for you.
** When I asked Jesus about that, He said,
** "Screw Bill Wilson.  I'm not gonna quit drinking."





Date: Tue, July 25, 2006 10:04 am
From: "Gerard O'S."
Subject: New to your website

Dear Orange,

I came across your website when I goggled "anti-aa". I have been reading some of the articles and I do agree with some of the information. I have much more to read (BIG website). I am a 44yr old male with 22years of sobriety. I have been in and out of aa the whole time. I believe the amount of time that I spent in the "rooms" of aa add up to 9 to 10 years. Yet I haven't "relapsed" the whole 22. In the beginning I was very gung-ho with the program. I went to meetings, set-up, chaired meetings, etc., but by the time my 1st anniversary rolled around I was already pulling away from aa. I had a on-again off-again relationship with the program for the next 22 years.

As the years passed I began to feel like I didn't belong anymore. I wasn't always working the steps or making meetings. When I would tell someone at a meeting that I haven't drank for years without meetings, I would get a strange look from them. I felt like something was wrong with me. Maybe I was on a "dry drunk". I never did follow the whole program. I never did a "90 in 90". I rarely had a sponsor, and yet I wasn't drinking.

My father tried aa, too but never got sober. He died from a heart attack one month after attending my 1st anniversary. I'm glad he was there. After he died I met a woman at a meeting who knew him. She told me my father had "good program" but he just couldn't get the 1st step. I never understood that. How can you have "good program" without admitting there is a problem. My dad was only 60 years old.

The last time I went to a meeting was in Sept./2005. I had started going to school for a degree and combined with work, it was too much for me to always make meetings. I was exhausted, so I stopped going. The funny thing is only one aa friend called to see how I was doing? The guy that called didn't always agree with the program either.

He felt that we shouldn't say the "Our Father" prayer, because that was a Christian prayer. He also didn't agree with not being able to get angry. He felt that was denying how he felt. I also heard from another guy that he hasn't had sponsor in the last 5 years and he's still sober.

My thinking has changed about my sobriety. I no longer think I am on a dry drunk just because I don't go to meetings.

I don't even believe in the dry drunk syndrome anymore. I do believe that aa can help, but I don't believe it is the only way.

Though I have a hard time thinking of it as an occult.

I've been married for 12 years. I just started a new job, making a decent salary. Life is Good

Thanks for listening.

Jerry

Hi Jerry,

Thanks for the letter, and congratulations on your sobriety and your new life. Life is good, isn't it, when you aren't always waking up hung-over and sick.

About the occult aspect — some people are more into it, some less. Step 11 is inherently an occult practice — you just conduct a private séance and hear the voice of God giving you messages and orders. Some people take that more literally than others.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  George W. Bush economics:
**  Question: "How do we finance keeping a huge Army in Iraq?" 
**  Answer: "Slash veterans' benefits to nothing and defund the
**  Veterans' Administration. That will save lots of money.
**  Also take combat pay away from the guys who are over there."





[Three people sent me this item:]

Date: Tue, July 25, 2006 3:55 pm
From: dh
Subject: NYTimes.com: Review Sees No Advantage in 12-Step Programs

You probably have already seen this from 7/25/06 NY Times. Keep up the good work. Your site was invaluable to me when I was trying to escape the AA trap. I love being sober & free & spending my time at the gym and with friends instead of sitting in meetings. Even my AA friends seem puzzled and comment about how much happier and "lighter" I seem now than when I was trying to buy into the "Helpless", "sick alcoholic mind" and "struggling from day to day" AA mode. Dan

HEALTH | July 25, 2006
Review Sees No Advantage in 12-Step Programs
By NICHOLAS BAKALAR
A new review suggests that 12-step programs are not superior to any other intervention in reducing alcohol dependence or alcohol-related problems.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/25/health/25drin.html?ex=1154491200& amp;en=d4f72a4d2106e954&ei=5070&emc=eta1


Date: Tue, July 25, 2006 8:23 pm
From: "R.T.B."
Subject: READ THIS

Yo,

Read this html attachment.

*Attachments:*
Review Sees No Advantage in 12-Step Programs — New York Times.htm


Date: Thu, July 27, 2006 7:32 am
From: margo m.
Subject: NYTimes.com: Review Sees No Advantage in 12-Step Programs

Thought you would be interested in this. This is a little closer to the truth than the previous article to which I referred you.

Margo M.

HEALTH | July 25, 2006
Review Sees No Advantage in 12-Step Programs
By NICHOLAS BAKALAR
A new review suggests that 12-step programs are not superior to any other intervention in reducing alcohol dependence or alcohol-related problems.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/25/health/25drin.html?ex=1154664000& amp;en=8243e3552d8c75a5&ei=5070&emc=eta1

Hi,

Thanks to all three of you. I had not seen that article. And that is a good article.

It certainly doesn't surprise me, because it essentially says the same thing as Project MATCH did — that it doesn't matter what kind of treatment the patients get; the outcome is the same. Nevertheless, it is good to get more verification of the facts.

Unfortunately, a HUGE detail is this line:

None of the studies compared A.A. with no treatment at all, and the researchers said that made it more difficult to draw conclusions about effectiveness. About one-fifth of alcoholics achieve long-term sobriety without treatment.

The elephant in the living room that no one will talk about is the ineffectiveness of all treatment programs in general. Nobody is eager to blow up the whole game by declaring that "treatment" of drug and alcohol problems is completely ineffective and just expensive fraud. Very expensive fraud — $6.2 billion each year in just the USA. I don't know what it is in the rest of the world.

As long as they just compare one treatment program to another, they can avoid proving that none of the programs work any better than no treatment at all. Valid randomized tests with a control group — that is, with a group that gets no treatment at all — are as rare as hen's teeth.

(Now in fairness to Rational Behavioral Therapy, there was one test that showed that RBT groups binge drank less than the no-treatment people.)

And I believe that the "one fifth" spontaneous remission rate is way too low. I think that it is more like 50%. They are probably overlooking much of the "silent majority" who don't bother to advertise the fact that they had a drinking problem which they overcame themselves (recycling an obnoxious old political slogan). So those invisible people don't get counted as alcoholics who overcame their problem without treatment.

And then the mathematics are further complicated by the people who do get something that is called "treatment", but the treatment is just a fraud and a joke. I fall into that category. I got a cocaine-snorting, child-molesting, slogan-slinging 12-Stepper who told us that we must "have a Higher Power in our recovery programs", and then he sent us to 3 A.A. or N.A. meetings per week, or "preferably, one every day." So how is that treatment?

I had actually quit drinking 2 weeks before that "treatment program" started, and I managed to stay sober in spite of it, not because of it. So I count myself as one of the people who recovered without treatment. Nevertheless, the treatment center counts me as one of their success stories, and I'm sure that somewhere, some talking head is including me in the numbers to show that "treatment works" (and spontaneous remission doesn't).

Thanks again for the tips, and have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism,
**  but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling."
**  == Dr. George E. Vaillant, currently a member of the A.A. Board of
**  Trustees, describing the treatment of alcoholism with Alcoholics
**  Anonymous, in The Natural History of Alcoholism: Causes, Patterns,
**  and Paths to Recovery, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA,
**  1983, pages 283-286.





Date: Wed, July 26, 2006 10:47 am
From: "John C."
Subject: GOOD JOB!

You are an ass. Why dont you put your time and energy into helping someone instead of blasting someone. At least he can tell his God he helped many people- you on the other hand can say you blasted at LEAST one person. A JOB WELL DONE!

John

Hello John,

I am working at helping people. Telling the truth about the whole recovery problem is helping people.

When you say, "At least he can tell his God he helped many people..." I can only guess that you must be referring to Bill Wilson. Um no. Bill Wilson can tell his "Higher Power" that he lied like a rug and deceived a lot of people, and sold Dr. Frank Buchman's toxic cult religion to them, and helped himself to the A.A. treasury, and also helped himself to the sick but pretty women alcoholics who came to A.A. meetings seeking help to overcome an alcohol problem...

Such fraud does not qualify as "helping people".

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  One Stepper declared, "My stability came out of trying to
**  give, not out of demanding that I receive." Serving humanity
**  is all fine and well, but what if you are humbly, lovingly,
**  spiritually giving out cups of cyanide koolaid?
**  No matter how generous and loving and unselfish you are
**  while you hand it out, it's still cyanide koolaid.





Date: Wed, July 26, 2006 4:00 pm
From: "susan c."

thanks for the article on the cult of AA.

I had a death in the family and my alcoholic drinking created problems in my life.

For the first time ever I opened myself to the program.

My sponsor yelled at me today bc I told her I didn't feel I would make it without a few beers bc of what was going on — felt ill, had to work all day, etc etc.

My best friend of 13 years since she is in the program acts like she met me last month bc I don't earn the kind of money she and her sponsor make and bc I kept relapsing the first month.

I shared after a meeting last night that anger was not a problem for me bc I have had 2 murders in my family spurred by alcohol and drugs and through fear and pain learned years ago how to deal with anger. She looked at me like you poor stupid idiot, keep coming back.

I never could be a joiner, I think too much.

Thanks.
when I am not so wrecked (by that I mean tired) I will read more of your site.
Thank you
thank you
thank you
thank you
thank you

thank you.

Susan
a Catholic who puts credence there.

Hi Susan,

Thank you for the letter, and thanks for the thanks. Hang in there, you can succeed and get your life arranged that way that you want it.

Have a good day, and a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** 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.





Date: Thu, July 27, 2006 8:18 am
From: "kimbel"
Subject: bible quote

Since you are quoting Isaiah (from the Bible) I take it you must believe in the Book itself?

Kimbel

Hi Kimbel,

Now there is a loaded question if ever I heard one.

It depends on what you mean by "believe in the Book itself".

I am sure that the book exists. I fervently believe that. In fact, I have half a dozen different copies within reach, and I'm pretty sure that I'm not hallucinating them into existence.

But I don't think that is what you meant. You probably meant something else, like maybe that every word in there is the unquestionable Voice of God.

Um no, I don't believe that. I believe that the various books in the Bible were written by a lot of different people, at different times, and they say a lot of different things, and they even contradict each other, sometimes. They give instructions that range from "be nice to other people" (Jesus), to "kill other people" (Moses).

The reason that I quote the Bible is to show what the Bible says about sundry things. You are welcome to give as much credence to the statements in the Bible as you wish.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God
** who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect
** has intended us to forgo their use."
**     ==  Galileo Galilei


[2nd letter from Kimbel:]

From: "kimbel"
Subject: Re: bible quote
Date: Sun, July 30, 2006 12:32 pm

Rather, I was wondering if you honestly believed the theme of teachings found therein or whether you were one of those who superficially select excerpts, like soundbites; when they suit the editorial purposes of the moment.

So have you read much else in Isaiah?

Kimbel

Hello again, Kimbel,

That sounds like an ego game of religious one-upmanship — accusing other people of only "superficially selecting excerpts" from the Bible, and not really being True Believers who are entitled to quote from your Bible (like you are).

I honestly don't even remember how much of it I have read. It's been a lot of years of reading bits and pieces of the Bible, and then killing the educated brain cells with alcohol. How much of Isaiah do you have to remember before you are entitled to quote it?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  One day Mara, the Buddhist god of ignorance and evil, was traveling
**  through the villages of India with his attendants. He saw a man doing
**  walking meditation whose face was lit up in wonder. The man had just
**  discovered something on the ground in front of him. Mara's attendants
**  asked what that was and Mara replied, "A piece of truth." "Doesn't
**  this bother you when someone finds a piece of the truth, O evil one?"
**  his attendants asked. "No," Mara replied. "Right after this they
**  usually make a belief out of it."


[3rd letter from Kimbel:]

Date: Sat, September 30, 2006 10:54 pm
From: "kimbel"
Subject: Re: bible quote

Then, you, sir, are a liar and a fraud- the truth is not so complicated.

Have a nice day
Kimbel

Hello again, Kimbel,

Complicated? What's so complicated?

I quoted Isaiah thusly in the page on the A.A. lies:

No one calls for justice;
No one pleads his case with integrity.
They rely on empty arguments and speak lies;
They conceive trouble and give birth to evil.
They hatch the eggs of vipers and spin a spider's web.
— Isaiah 59:4-5

Isn't that beautiful? That is really poetic, and uses graphic imagery. It describes a gang of liars perfectly.

So what is my lie? What is my fraud?

I think you are just upset because somebody besides yourself is quoting something from the Bible. Do you imagine that you have a monopoly on the Bible?

I want to see your certificate from God that says that only you and your fellow true believers are entitled to read, interpret, and quote the Bible.

Thank you, and have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "I've never understood how God could expect his creatures
**  to pick the one true religion by faith — it strikes me as a
**  sloppy way to run a universe."
**    ==  Robert A. Heinlein,  Stranger In A Strange Land





Date: Thu, July 27, 2006 10:20 am
From: bill
Subject: Bill Wilson/Depression

I was wondering if you would have any information related to any professional help Bill Wilson may have obtained during the years he claimed he was depressed. I have read a few of your papers and they have been very informative about the real man behind the image that is portrayed by the self help groupies. Thanks Bill

Hello, Bill,

Bill Wilson's first psychiatrist was Dr. Harry Tiebout, who was a bit of a nutcase himself. His big thing was getting all of those nasty alcoholics to surrender to him. I have five papers by him, which will show you pretty clearly what his attitudes were:

  1. The 12 Steps as Ego Deflating Devices
  2. The Act of Surrender in the Therapeutic Process
  3. Direct Treatment of a Symptom
  4. The Ego Factors in Surrender in Alcoholism
  5. Surrender Versus Compliance In Therapy with Special Reference to Alcoholism

Later on, after several years with Tiebout, Bill switched to using Dr. Frances Weeks, a Jungian. I do not know a lot about her.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Drunkenness is nothing but voluntary madness.
**  == Seneca (c. 5—65), Roman writer, philosopher, statesman.
**  Epistulae ad Lucilium, epistle 83, sct. 18.





Date: Thu, July 27, 2006 4:02 pm
From: Treacle
Subject: you

do you know Albert Ellis

Hi Treacle,

Alas, no. I have read some of his writings, and saw him on TV once, and that's as close as I ever got to him.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Tommy Franks and the coalition forces have demonstrated
** the old axiom that boldness on the battlefield produces
** swift and relatively bloodless victory. The three-week
** swing through Iraq has utterly shattered skeptics'
** complaints."   (Fox News Channel's Tony Snow, 4/13/2003)





Date: Fri, July 28, 2006 3:47 pm
From: "sasha t"
Subject: Sentanced to Alcoholics Anonymous

I'm sorry you feel that way about AA. I used to feel the same. The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.

Hello Sasha,

That is wrong, totally wrong. There are many requirements for membership in Alcoholics Anonymous. See this list.

It works if a person is desperate enough for it.

"It" — the A.A. program — doesn't work at all. What works is people quitting drinking. They quit if they are desperate and determined enough to do it.

Who are we to say that court-ordered people are not allowed to be there? Many of our members have done time in one way or another. It is not our place to judge.

Allowing court-ordered people to be there? That wins the prize for slanted language and reversal of reality. That's like a prison warden allowing the prisoners to reside in the prison. How generous of him.

Obviously something happened to you to make you feel this way. You mentioned a "true-believer" counselor. We are not affiliated with that program in any way.

Actually, you are affiliated. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous manufacture those crazy counselors. They are your true-believer members.

I believe celebrate recovery is the name for it. I have a distaste for it also, but I doubt people would care to hear about it. We are not a cult, if you would care to, we have open meetings which is open to the public or friends/family of the alcoholic.

I am talking about the real A.A., not some extremist splinter group called "Celebrate Recovery". And yes, A.A. is a cult, open meetings or not. Lots of cults have open meetings. How do you think they recruit? They are always inviting people to a meeting.

It is easy to point out the faults of the people who didn't stay sober. It is not AA's fault. Some people unfortunatly cannot be honest with themselves and therefore die from this disease.

You are trying to shift the blame to some imaginary people who aren't sober and who are not honest. The blame goes to the A.A. oldtimers who are sober and who are not honest. They make A.A. what it is now.

Bill Wilson (you should know) was not a 13th stepper.

Your level of minimization and denial is staggering. Read the file The Other Women. That is all well-known history, documented by A.A. oldtimers, even documented by Lois Wilson's personal secretary. There is no doubt about Bill Wilson's philandering and 13th-Stepping and seduction and exploitation of women who came to A.A. seeking help.

One would only need to read "Dr.Bob and the good old-timers" to see this. They had a very strong aversion to letting women into AA in the first place because of that.

The book "Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers", which was written by nameless, faceless, anonymous A.A.W.S. staff, doesn't prove anything about Bill Wilson. The fact that Dr. Bob (over in Akron) didn't want women in A.A. doesn't mean that Bill Wilson (over in New York) didn't want them in his bed.

The sponsors you talk about were not true members because the men sponsor men, and the women sponsor the women.

Yes, they were true members, even while they misbehaved.

If someone saw that that principle was not upheld, I am quite sure they would do all they could to end that relationship.

Get real. You are living in a dream world.

You need not worry about us being bible-thumpers or harrasing people to join us, if we see that they do not have a desire to quit drinking, we don't waste our time.

You may not waste your time, but plenty of other A.A. members are happy to have people sentenced to A.A. meetings.

I have a feeling that you were once a member of AA or a friend was, and because of your negative attitude it did not work for you. Think about it, if you think AA is so horrible why would you even waste so much energy on it?

I am not wasting time on Alcoholics Anonymous; I am telling my friends the truth about alcoholism, recovery, and Alcoholics Anonymous.

Sort of like people who say they don't believe in God and will waste hours debating it. If people don't believe, they don't care. I'm sorry things did not work out for you, I wish you happiness, understanding and empathy.

Again, you misunderstand the situation. Things worked out great for me. I have 5 3/4 years sober now, and life is getting to be more fun every day.

Things just didn't work out so good for my crazy Stepper child-molesting counselor. He is in prison now.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== 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.





Date: Fri, July 28, 2006 6:06 pm
From: "barry j."
Subject: not confused

Howdy.

Love your site. I am currently possibly losing an excellent job of 20 yrs. because I will not attend aa cult meetings. The misunderstanding, and well intentioned caring my employer, the government, is giving me in this forced madness is driving me far more madd than any detoxing, or drinking episodes ever did.

>From British Columbia Canada

Hi Barry,

Thanks for the letter. I'm sorry to hear about your troubles.

Definitely check out the book Resisting 12-Twelve Step Coercion: How to Fight Forced Participitation in AA, NA, or 12-Step Treatment by Stanton Peele and Charles Bufe with Archie Brodsky. It is now free to download from the Internet, at http://www.morerevealed.com/library/index.html.

This book was written for American law, but I imagine that you can get a lot of hints and similar ideas out of it.

Good luck, and have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** If alcoholism is really a disease, then A.A. sponsors are
** guilty of practicing medicine without a license. They are
** also guilty of treating a life-threatening illness without
** having any medical education or training.  They have never
** gone to medical school, and never done an internship or
** residency, and yet they presume to be qualified to make
** life-or-death decisions in the patients' treatment. That
** is what you call quackery.


[2nd letter from Barry:]

Date: Sun, July 30, 2006 5:33 pm
From: "barry j."
Subject: Re: not confused

Hi Orange,

Thank you for your reply and excellent book suggestion, I need to go get a printer and record it.

Have a good one

Barry

I doubt you'll have time to read this, but it feels good to 2 finger it down.

So as it happened my 20 yr. nightly drinking career pretty much coincided with the length of time at my current job. It had nothing to do with the job, I just liked my daily dosage of nicotine and beer, and during the last year a pretty good dose of coke. When I was called up to H.R. Star a few months ago and told there had been complaints that alcohol had been smelled on my breath it came as no surprise. The implication was that I had been drinking on the job. I said that other than an occasional lunch drink that I did not drink at work, but that I didn't think it was a secret that I liked to party. They said there was no problem at all with my job performance, but we're concerned, and would I agree to be assesed by an independant doctor. I agreed.

I drank up until the night before seeing the Dr., so he had the full blown birds eye view of my addiction. I had already decided I was going to quit everything, so I came clean with him, and answered all his questions honestly. Starting with all the hallucinogens in the early days (I do not think they are addictive, and I think they opened my mind in a very good way, SHOULD HAVE left it at that), tried heroin a couple of times, coke, and on into lots of alcohol/cigarettes. He wisely determined I had become dependent on alcohol, and had developed a tolerance to cocaine. Duh! He hereby recommended/sentenced me to 2 week detox, 28 day in-house treatment, and 2 yrs.monitoring. I was then urine/blood tested. Alcohol/ marijuana in urine, and my liver thankfully in relatively good shape.

Meanwhile back to work. I had then quit drinking and all drugs using Rational Recovery. I'm still on those dammed cigs., but they are soon to go. They were very good to me at work. I got to detox at home, even though I had already done so, and make a choice between the 28 day thing, or a 5 1/2 week outpatient course both followed by 2 yrs. monitoring. I did my 5 1/2 week watered down 12 step course. Watered down because everyone in the course was not required to be 12 step monitored for the next 2 yrs., but they might be able to suck some innocent in. Anyway, my 2-hatted therapist, if that is what someone working within the system and being AA is, had run the 5 1/2 wk. course. He had said I should be going to twice weekly AA during the course, and for the following 2 yrs. along with seeing him regularly, and being tested. I have no problem with being tested ever, and should be fired if positive. I went to about 5 AA and dutifully turned in my report card. I came to a quick conclusion that AA is like being stuck in a Franz Kafka story forever, probably worse, and that it is very harmful. Then I found your site and others. I just cannot go to those mind-depleting meetings. So my 2 hatter knows and my work. Some of my friends say I am just being stubborn, and I should just go to AA. Part of my resolve to abstain from intoxicants of all kinds for ever, which feels GREAT, will have to include staying away from 12step horrors of all kinds. I hope I can work something more productive out with work, like doing some useful for the city, but we shall see. Life is sure awesome.

Thanks again Orange

And have a great one

Barry

Hi again, Barry,

Thanks for the story. And thanks for the thanks. And congratulations on your recovery. Take care of yourself now, and have a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Emotional Coercion
**  Although we may be able to behave to some extent differently than
**  we feel, any successful coercion to feel other than we actually 
**  feel — even a coercion to fit some preferred version of ourselves
**  — will keep us at a distance from our true selves.
**     —  Robert Langan in "Psychoanalysis and Buddhism", from
**   More Daily Wisdom, edited by Josh Bartok, Wisdom Publications 
**    (http://www.wisdompubs.org)


[3rd letter from Barry:]

Date: Sat, August 5, 2006 11:18 pm
From: "barry j."
Subject: Re: not confused

Hi,

I hope you are having a good day. My experiences from your site; inluding reading letters to you, your responses, and the extensive historical library you have compiled have been the best "therapy" I could have ever hoped for. Thanks so much.

It seems to me that your site is offering a chance for change. Could AA change ?, and offer a TRUE gathering and support for people with substance abuse problems... 12 step owns, at this time, " programs " that seem to inhibit personal growth. If AA does not see the neccessity to evolve, then I will be happy to be, a Canadian, in support of moving towards a bright future.

Jethro Tull == It was a new day yesterday, but it's a new day now.

Hi again, Barry,

Thanks for the letter, and good luck.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  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.


[another letter from Barry:]

Date: Sat, October 7, 2006 7:32 pm
From: "barry j."
Subject: Re: not confused

Things just get better all the time. We are all in this together. And, it is for sure we should have a great experiance. IT'S A MIRACLE

Hi again Barry,

Thanks for the laugh.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   "Laughter is the best medicine,
**   and it's cheaper.
**   == Victor Borge





Date: Fri, July 28, 2006 9:36 pm
From: "Mairtin O M."
Subject: Hi

Hi Orange,

Hope you are well. As you might remember I am out of AA nearly a year now. I'm not drunk and not dead! So I guess they were wrong! Some of the members have been really annoying and patronising. They stop me on the street and look at me with this false pity. Just two days ago I met a member. I was feeling really low because of some sad news. He asked me to go for a coffee. This guy talks about nothing but AA. I said, 'Sorry I don't feel the best, thankyou anyway'. His reply, 'Maybe you need a meeting'. These people are crazy. They think it's wrong to feel sad sometimes.

I was talking to a woman in college who AA tried to recruit. She said her neighbour was driving her mad talking about AA, and begging her to go to a meeting, telling her that she was an alcoholic. Check this out: She hasn't drank in 20 years! They don't care if you're sober because as we both know it's nothing to do with drink as this example shows.

Best of luck, my friend. I love the letters section!

Mairtin

Hi again, Mairtin,

Thanks for the letter. It's good to hear from you again. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well. So am I.

That story about the A.A. member trying to recruit a woman who doesn't drink is a laugh, but unfortunately too true. It reminds me of the Stepper who said, "The 12 Steps are so wonderful that there needs to be another group for people who don't drink, so that they can do the Steps too."

(There is such a group. It is called Al-Anon. There, you can do the Steps and confess everything because you happen to know somebody who drinks.)

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** People whose own lives are not worth living desire
** the power to control other people's lives.





Date: Fri, July 28, 2006 9:51 pm
From: thinair
Subject: hey man

hey man or ma'am.. i like the site. there is a ton to read here! i've been reading for hours and you are right on. i was forced to attend meetings for almost a year as well as counseling as the result of a DUI. i started to buy into it for a bit, but i kept having strange feelings that there was something not right and cult like about it. turns out i'm not the only one eh?

Hi Thinair,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments.

And no, you aren't the only one, not at all. There are millions of us who are aware of the facts. (Unfortunately, there are still a few hundred millions who are not aware, so we have to enlighten them.)

Have a good day.

== 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, August 21, 1939]





Date: Sat, July 29, 2006 9:17 pm
From: "Mvega"
Subject: An excerpt from my medical journal to be published soon! Enjoy!

This will be published in a medical journal. At least the doctors who read this might see it for what AA is. For reasons that I can't let it all out is that the main body of work that this was taken from actually explains and identifies a cure. Yup! Keep an open mind, I know we've been told that there is no cure but there is now! I am not the same person I was, and I don't feel like being that way. I can't be like that even if I wanted to. My brain just wont go there anymore. I stumbled upon the cure when I was dealing with my PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Dissorder) and OCD (Obssessive Compulsive Disorder). I have found that there is a root cause for all of these. I have also helped many others and they will back me up legaly if they have to, for they are cured as well.

No. There are no steps lol.

The people get to decide/choose how they get well.

It can't be done in group.

Cheers!

A shift in approach and thinking must take place. The present concepts of addiction depict it as a hopeless disease, progressive leading to death. Attempts to arrest the disease are made, yet the causes and exact mechanism for it are unknown. Defining and understanding the problem will lead to a solution.

The majority of established treatment centers employ the step method, along with the group therapy model. This is not a cure. In fact, it is encouraged and suggested to the persons attending these meetings that it is a progressive and terminal disease and that there is no cure. The ideology of this method can be extremely harmful to some individuals. The steps succeed in breaking the person down through the method of guilt induction and self-doubt is encouraged. Dependency on the group and a higher power that they create is the norm for this method. Power from the individual is taken away. Self-reliance is discouraged. Therefore what results is that the person goes through an indoctrination process. Some people find it quite hard to stop attending the meetings and suffer withdrawals (from the meetings). The method that was intended to control an addiction has now in turn become an addiction. The indoctrinated person not only is left with the initial addiction, but also has now acquired a new one.

The step method creates a focal point. The popular slogan 90 meetings in 90 days is a perfect example of an indoctrination technique. A routine is hopefully established and the old one (of addiction) is not removed, but masked or covered over. Regular attendees complain of feeling uncomfortable, even admit to bouts of anxiety and confusion if meetings are not maintained on a regular basis. The frequency seems to be titrated differently for each individual. This cause and effect observed, and even the apparent titration self-prescribed is a sign of an addiction process at work.

In conclusion, a key component for a cure should involve empowering the individual. Instead of promoting that the person becomes dependent on a group and/or a self-created higher power, which enforces the belief of a solution outside them selves, dependency and trust should be directed and encouraged toward the individual. The addiction/behaviour is known to involve people seeking comforts, happiness, and control outside themselves. The very same behaviour that the steps promote!

A system has to be put in place where a person can achieve acceptance of self, unfiltered, without guilt induction. People should be encouraged not only to accept individuality, but also to treasure it.

Hi Mvega,

Yes, that sounds good, very good. Right on. Let me know when the whole thing is published.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Every thinker puts some portion of an apparently
** stable world at peril.





Date: Sun, July 30, 2006 4:28 am
From: "noel b."
Subject: Think, Think, Think.

Hola, Naranja,

From what I can see, your excellent website is missing a quote from that most sacred of books, namely Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

From page 12;

Absence of coercion works because unless each AA follows suggested steps to recovery, he signs his own death warrant.

Priceless.

Even George Orwell would struggle to make that one up.

The time is fast approaching 12:30, so I'm off to exercise my tobacco-free lungs (20 weeks today).

Hasta luego,

Noel.

Hi Noel,

Thanks for that quote, and congratulations on your new healthy, empty lungs. That is great. Tobacco is just such a killer. And worst of all, it kills you very slowly. Death by a million little cuts.

I happily recommend the page on The Lizard-Brain Addiction Monster to all of the ex-smokers, because half of the information on that page came from my 30 years of fighting to get unhooked from tobacco, and clearly understanding what is going on there has been a huge help to me in avoiding getting restarted on cigarettes again.

About that quote — You know, it's funny how I go through those A.A. holy books again and again, and I think I've found all of the insanity and dogma and propaganda, but there is still even more of it to find, tucked away here and there. Incredible.

I knew about the quote that the table of contents was referring to, but that item in the table of contents itself had never caught my attention. The table of contents just so succinctly reduces it to a double-think one-liner.

Unless each A.A. member follows to the best of his ability our suggested [Bill Wilson's required] Twelve Steps to recovery, he almost certainly signs his own death warrant. His drunkenness and dissolution are not penalties inflicted by people in authority; they result from his personal disobedience to spiritual principles [Bill Wilson's cult religion practices].
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 174.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  You can either hold yourself up to the unrealistic
**  standards of others, or ignore them and concentrate
**  on being happy with yourself as you are.
**  J. Jacques, Questionable Content webcomic, #352, 05-04-05





Date: Sat, July 29, 2006 10:32 pm
From: "michael g."
Subject: False Gods

[Michael began by quoting the previous letter:]

Since you are quoting Isaiah (from the Bible) I take it you must believe in the Book itself?
Kimbel

[And then he quoted:]
Deuteronomy 20:16-18 (King James Version)

16 But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:
17 But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee:
18 That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the LORD your God.

Greetings Orange

The people in the Bible deserved to die — like Wilson they were worshiping "false gods" & they had to be destroyed or they would have polluted the rest of the true believers. Very much like what your doing with your website — exposing the 12 step "false doctrine" (false gods). Wilson was a detestable necromancer who has deluded a couple of million people — he was anti-Christ.

You must remember, Orange, that was the Old Testament — in the New Testament, you will find that God doesn't want to destroy unbelievers like your self [He loves you] that's why he sent His Son as a sacrifice for your sins & mine. You have not responded to any of my recent postings — I have not seen any on your website, either!! Have some feelings from your childhood come to the surface? I "love" you, Orange & will continue to pray for you. Just remember: John 3: 16
Peace Be With You
Micky

Hi again Micky,

No, those people did not "deserve" to get killed because they had the "wrong" religious beliefs. And the faith of the true believers isn't very good if they can be "polluted" by listening to a pagan or something.

The reason that I haven't responded to all of your religious arguments and diatribes is because you send so many of them. This web site is about alcoholism and drug addiction, recovery, and Alcoholics Anonymous. It isn't really a web site for arguing religion, although the subject is impossible to avoid, because Alcoholics Anonymous is such a crazy cult religion.

There are thousands of other web sites and news groups where I'm sure you can carry on religious debates for the rest of your life.

Speaking of arguments:
To explain that Moses was in the Old Testament is no excuse. The rules about murder haven't changed from the Old Testament to the New.

What you are overlooking is the fact that Moses would kill you too for "worshipping false gods". Moses didn't include any exception in his rules for people in the future who would worship a kid named Jesus whose followers would establish another competing church that would largely displace Judaism. The Jews still consider Jesus to be a false prophet, remember?

According to Moses, you are guilty of having invited people to your Christian church, which is certainly not the Jewish Temple of Jahweh.
You belong to the wrong religion.
Therefore you must be smote with the sharp edge of the sword until dead, and your whole town must be burned to the ground, and everybody in your town must be killed, even the livestock.

If you hear it said ... that wicked men have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, "Let us go worship other gods" (gods you have not known), then you must inquire, probe, and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true... you must put to the sword all who live in that town. Destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock. Gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God. It is to remain a ruin forever, and never be rebuilt.
(Deuteronomy 13:13-16, New International Version)

Jesus Christ was not a "god" whom Moses knew or recognized. Nor do the Jews recognize Him today. Moses would kill you for leading people away from Judaism and Jahweh, the one and only true religion.

The language of the King James version is harder to understand, but much more colorful. After having investigated and determined that somebody in a city (that is, just one person out of a whole city) invited a Jew to a non-Jewish church — to the church of "gods, which ye have not known" —

      15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of the city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.
      16 And thou shalt gather all of the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and thou shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.
(Deuteronomy 13:15-16, King James Version)

The whole city gets destroyed and everybody killed because one person there did something that Moses didn't like.

Doesn't that sound just like what Israel is doing to Lebanon today?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

P.S.: It sure was convenient how Moses heard God giving him as an inheritance all of the lands where Moses practiced genocide and ethnic cleansing.

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "I distrust those people who know so well what God
** wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides
** with their own desires."  ==  Susan B. Anthony, 1896





Date: Mon, July 31, 2006 3:18 pm
From: "John M."
Subject: Last letter I saw

The article from Michael G seems funny to me. Okay, a god in one instance advocates mass murder, and then turns around and forgives all of those groups he send the Israelis around massacring. Does that mean God changes? Or that God could be wrong? But then again, this is the God that supposedly allowed us to get drunk and then stepped right on in and made a spiritual change in us, so, anything goes.

Anyway, got my head on straight and started using antabuse (and no, I have not decided to make antabuse my "higher power"), as well as going to groups and examining the self-destructive thinking going on in my own head. I'm not going to swear and say I will never do alcohol, but I've put it off for the next year. I can't rip out all the hairs at once, to use your parlance, but I can do more than just rip them out one hair at a time.

John M

Hi John,

It's good to hear that you are hanging in there. The fact that you are actively fighting your battle is 90% of the game. Congratulations.

I also get a funny feeling when I hear people saying that someone "deserves" to die. That word "deserves" is just so loaded, so fraught with dangers.

SMART considers the word "deserves" to be one of the deadly words that trap you in irrational beliefs. Here is a list of similar words:
  1. deserve, as in "I deserve to get that..."
  2. entitled, as in "I am entitled to get that..."
  3. ought, as in "I ought to get that..."
  4. must, as in "I must get it..."
  5. should, as in "They should do what I want..."
  6. expect, as in "I expect them to behave as I desire..."

All of those words imply a lot of unexamined beliefs, a whole moral code and value system which hasn't even been clearly stated, never mind justified. And in this case, with the word deserves, that hidden moral code is even enforced by the death penalty.

If we accept the idea that some people in the Old Testament deserved to get killed 4000 years ago because they belonged to the wrong religion, it just opens the door of Pandora's Box and lets out a whole host of nightmares.

  • The American Indians (First Nation, Native American Peoples) "deserved" to lose their land and get slaughtered because they belonged to the wrong religion. Back around 1493, the Pope actually declared that the Native Americans were "in rebellion against the One True God" because they weren't Christians, so they deserved to forfeit their lands to Spain and Portugal.

  • By the same logic, it is now okay to kill Americans because they are Infidels and in rebellion against the One True God — Allah... The theology is the same.

(What goes around comes around...)

No thanks. I don't want any part of that disaster.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "Every identity has its fundamentalists — the gatekeepers of what is and
**  isn't permissible for those who share that identity.  Since we all have
**  access to multiple identities — race, religion, nationality, ethnicity,
**  class — these fundamentalists usually have their work cut out trying to
**  keep everybody in line.  As the guardians of authenticity, their job is
**  to deny complexity and impose uniformity."
**   == Gary Younge, "To Fight These Reactionaries We Must Tackle the Crisis
**  That They Feed Off", in The Guardian/UK, August 21, 2006
**  http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0821-22.htm
**  http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,329557728-103677,00.html





Date: Sat, July 29, 2006 3:34 pm
From: "Sharen K."
Subject: But They're No Longer Powerless!

Hi Again, Orange!

I just ran into something in a book, that reminds me of what you were saying about Jesus throwing the money-changers out of the temple, as versus the expectations that we practice Christian forgiveness and acceptance of unforgivable and unacceptable behavior. This is the distinction that the recent book about pedo-priests throughout history, Sex, Priests and Secret Codes, by Thomas P. Doyle, A. W. Richard Sipe, and Patrick J. Wall, made as to how abuse survivors are to handle their own anger. This book says that like Jesus' throwing the money-changers out of the temple, survivors' anger that would motivate them to fight injustices, is good. Jesus called these hypocrites, "Whitewashed vaults that look clean on the outside, but their insides are filled with rot and dead men's bones."

On the other hand, this book also advises the all-encompassing The World as Will and Representation Stoicism, that you'd hear at Al-Anon and Ala-Teen meetings.

"First of all, it is necessary to accept that fact that life is not fair,"
and,
"Resentment, grudge, hate, and retaliation are burdens. Once people free themselves from these weights — it's like carrying a ten-pound brick in each hand — they can heal. They must be dropped; they do nobody any good."

Thomas Doyle is both a canon lawyer and a priest, so he was probably taught to counsel people like this.

Yet there's one big fact that this is ignoring. That is, that only recently has it become very acceptable for those molested by their ministers, to say so. Before the Fr. Gilbert Gauthé case in 1985, it might have seemed very unacceptable in the more devout circles, for kids to say that their ministers had molested them. Some who'd been molested by Fr. John Geoghan, said that the boy's mom would have hit him if he told her that Geoghan molested him, or that the boy did tell his mom, she believed him and was very upset, and as an adult this still made him upset. Before 1985, if those abused by their ministers had decided to practice the sort of constructive anger that Jesus practiced in chasing the money-changers from the temple, yet put a stop to any resentment that couldn't do any good, how could they have put their anger to constructive use? They were pretty much helpless.

They were in the same position as are those who grew up with alcoholic parents. If there were now a big social movement to enact more laws that would somehow stop this abuse, then that would constitute a constructive channel for any anger at the abuse. But if no social movement exists, then all that the sufferers would have, would be "Resentment, grudge, hate, and retaliation are burdens. Once people free themselves from these weights — it's like carrying a ten-pound brick in each hand — they can heal. They must be dropped; they do nobody any good," even if what's to be forgiven and accepted, is very unforgivable and unacceptable. As Dr. Burns wrote about the moral relativism that would hold that there's absolutely no such thing as unfairness, this is something that "you may see either as a bitter pill or an enlightening revelation," since even in the case of child abuse, resentment that couldn't do any good, couldn't do any good.

And speaking of alcoholism very likely leading to child abuse, on one day in the mid-1980s I was with my boyfriend in the counseling charity where he worked, and he told me that he had to report to child-protection authorities, that in a family he was just dealing with, at least one of the parents was alcoholic. I don't remember anything about anyone abusing the kids. Simply that at least one parent was alcoholic was enough that the mandatory reporting laws required that he report them. This was in Tucson, and according to Sex, Priests and Secret Codes, but I doubt that at that time in Arizona, ministers were obligated to report anything!

~Sharen

(Ever since I was a teenager, anyone who didn't have a chronically manic personality seemed half dead to me, smirk, smirk.)

Hi again, Sharen,

Thanks for the input. More grist for the mill. And that's yet another book that I will have to check out.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Emotional Coercion
**  Although we may be able to behave to some extent differently than
**  we feel, any successful coercion to feel other than we actually 
**  feel — even a coercion to fit some preferred version of ourselves
**  — will keep us at a distance from our true selves.
**        —  Robert Langan in "Psychoanalysis and Buddhism", from
**   More Daily Wisdom, edited by Josh Bartok, Wisdom Publications 
**    (http://www.wisdompubs.org)

[The next letter from Sharen is here>.]





Date: Sun, July 30, 2006 12:41 am
From: "Joe W"
Subject: Re: Your Site

Dear Mr. Orange,

As you can see, it's taken me a while to get back to you. But I have been digging and asking and on and on...

First, let me explain that I'm at the end of the road with alcoholism. If I have one more drink, I'm dead. I'm not sure how you feel about the phenomenon of craving, but I just heard radio guy Michael Savage describe how to him alcohol "tastes bad" after a few drinks. So he stops. That is a normal drinker. For me, after two drinks, I'm just getting started. I stayed stopped for 16 years, picked up, and had progressed even though I hadn't had a drop. Whereas the first time I put it down it was because of bad hangovers and black-/brown-outs, after I picked up 16 years later, it was entirely new territory — DTs, sweats, shakes, round-the-clock drinking, and so forth. So that progression part is there, at least it is for me.

Hi again Joe,

Sorry to hear about your troubles. But congratulations on your decision to just stay sober forever.

My relapse lasted 17 months and cost me everything. Now I'm trying to rebuild my life. I enjoy A.A. but not all of it. However, I hang with the people I love and who are sincerely interested in getting better. And that requires a healthy skepticism and a finely tuned A.A. B.S. detector.

I've been sober 14 months again but before I finally was able to stay stopped, I'd gone through 4 rehabs. The first out-patient rehab cooked the books as you mention in your thoughtful reply. The way they achieved an 80% success rate was to only count those who completed the program. Those who did not complete the program were also not counted among the 80%. The 20% who failed were those who relapsed within the first year after leaving.

Congratulations on getting it back together. I know it's hard. Fifteen years ago, when I resumed drinking after 3 years of sobriety, it took me 9 more years of drinking to quit for the second time, and stay quit.

When I started drinking again, I started up again right where I had left off, at the same level of drinking. It had not progressed while I was sober, but it progressed plenty after that.

Since I've had my share of statistics, the interpretation of A.A.'s success or failure depends not so much on the descriptive, but on the inferential phase of the statistics. Hence, I prefer the middle road when reading and studying papers (topics entirely unrelated to the topic-at-hand).

Wally told me he saw the attendance ledgers at A.A. archives in the U.S. and Canada. I think they are open to anyone. I think most acknowledge Wilson was a showman; then and now. However, those attendance ledgers would be fascinating to see.

Yes, really. I would love to get any historical documents that I can.

Wally is also a stand-up guy. He doesn't profit from his books at all. He's also had people literally spit in his face as he's tried to get at a more principled way of doing this.

Finally, as a psychologist and behavioral scientist I'm trying to unpack Wilson's model of the alcoholic personality composed in part of three instincts: sex, (emotional & financial) security, and society. Do you know where it came from?

I haven't heard of any such model. I'd like to learn more too.

So, I will ask about those ledgers.

Thanks,

— joe

Okay, thanks for the message, Joe. Have a good day, and a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
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**   The way to love everything is to realize that it might be lost.

2012.02.18: P.S.:
It occurred to me that Wilson's so-called "model" was this crazy line from 12X12:

When the satisfaction of our instincts for sex, security, and society becomes the sole object of our lives, then pride steps in to justify our excesses.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William Wilson, pages 48, 49.
Full quote here: http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-us_stupid_drunks.html#security_society

That was just Bill Wilson selling his negative stereotypes of people while pushing his dogmatic Oxford Group cult religion dogma. Accusing people of "instinctively" wanting "sex, security, and society" is not a model for the human mind.





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Last updated 26 April 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters61.html