Letters, We Get Mail, LXXXIV



[2nd letter from Natalie. The first is here.]

Date: Sun, October 29, 2006 3:33 pm     (answered 11 May 2007)
From: Natalie K.
Subject: Re: Alcoholism

Nice work. First maybe we should agree to disagree. I read some letters that was sent to you, and I will keep my serenity. Yes, I have done some research on AA myself. I must admit not to the fullest content as you! Please first send me some true evidence for the discussion of the two AA front group writing the definition of alcoholism for the AMA. In plain English.

Hello again, Natalie,

Sorry to take so long to answer. I'm really backlogged on answering email.

The discussion of the two A.A. front groups writing the goofy definition of alcoholism for the A.M.A. is here. It's in plain English.

Explain the genetics of alcoholism. I personally think that you're either born with the gene, or with continued use body and mind will become addicted. Have you ever read the AA Big Book? Before Bill's story there is the doctor's opinion,,,which holds the truth for today!

I have read the Big Book a lot, and have even typed a lot of it.

The genetics of alcoholism are funny. I am also convinced that there is a genetic component, and I've got it. So did my father, and his mother...

The genetics of alcoholism are different from what geneticists usually mean when they say that something is genetically determined. If you inherit the genes for blue eyes and blond hair, you get blue eyes and blond hair, no matter what you eat or drink or how much you pray, or how you choose to act. There is no gene that just makes somebody into an alcoholic like that, with no choice in the matter.

There do, however, seem to be some genes that make you more likely to become an alcoholic. I really like the way that the doctors said it in one study:

"This is only the second specific genetic mechanism ever identified that modulates risk for alcohol dependence."
A Functional Neuropeptide Y Leu7Pro Polymorphism Associated With Alcohol Dependence in a Large Population Sample From the United States
Jaakko Lappalainen, MD, PhD; Henry R. Kranzler, MD; Robert Malison, MD; Lawrence H. Price, MD; Christopher Van Dyck, MD; Robert A. Rosenheck, MD; Joyce Cramer, BS; Steven Southwick, MD; Dennis Charney, MD; John Krystal, MD; Joel Gelernter, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2002;59:825-831
http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/59/9/825

Modulates the risk, not causes. You have a choice in the matter, which blue-eyed blonds do not, but the genetic factor is loading the dice against you.

Unfortunately, the Doctor's Opinion, by Dr. William D. Silkworth, is pretty worthless. Dr. Silkworth was just endorsing quackery and Oxford Group nonsense. Dr. Silkworth allowed Bill Wilson to use him to promote a cult religion. Remember that Dr. Silkworth is the guy who gave Bill Wilson the poisonous Belladonna Cure, which was what Charlie Towns' Hospital was selling at the time — just more quackery — which caused Bill Wilson to "see God".

The statistics that kept me sick was the one's you've been showing. For so long I looked at AA as a cult. The people were pathetic, whining over their lives. Having a sponsor to advise you through the 12 steps, I thought was weak. Always looking at your part to play in every situation, weak. And that my friend, kept me sick.

Baloney. What kept you sick was drinking alcohol. Statistics don't make people drink alcohol. People drink alcohol for a variety of reasons, like that they are sick and in pain, or that they strongly desire to feel good and get high, or because they want to drink away some mental anguish... There are a lot of reasons for drinking to excess, but hearing some statistics isn't one of them.

Likewise, thinking that A.A. is a cult does not keep people sick.

Now what was the REAL REASON that you drank too much alcohol?

This "disease"/alcoholism cannot be understood by anyone that is not one themselves. We will definitely disagree if you are not an alcoholic/addict and say you do understand what it's like to be a prisoner of a mental illness.

That is again a bunch of bull. That is the typical cult attitude that Only Another Member Really Understands. They have been teaching you garbage.

I most assuredly am an alcoholic, and have been through the mill too, and to Hell and back, so you can dump the rap about how I won't understand. Please read the introduction.

And that reminds me of something else, Bill W. probably did have delusions of grandure because if he was anything like me I am also Bipolar!

Okay. Sounds true.

I do not want anyone to die from this (to not be selfish I will call this an illness and not a disease)! You must know that in order to recover, you must surrender.

NO! That is not true at all. That is the cult talking, saying that you must surrender to them. Now they cleverly change the wording, and say that you are surrendering to God or something, but then they will be the ones who tell you what God wants...

I recovered from alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction without surrendering to anything.

I have a brother who is an active alcoholic who has hit many bottoms and do not take this out of context-he only has one ultimate bottom left,,,DEATH. Do you think I wish that on my only sibling? I pray every single day for him. I cannot change him. I have tried and tried and tried. He would rather sit in jail right now than go to treatment. Orange, that is heartbreaking to me.

Yes, it is heart-breaking to me too. The sad truth is that approximately half of the alcoholics choose to die rather than quit drinking.

I have experienced healthy sobriety for once in my life, I have finally found the solution for my alcoholism,,,but my brother has to want it, at this time he doesn't want it, and I have to accept that.

Yes, you can keep trying to get him to quit harming his health, but you have to accept the fact that you cannot make his choices for him.

And do not rule out suggesting something else to him. Perhaps he just hates Alcoholics Anonymous because he doesn't like the cultish nature of it. How about suggesting SMART or one of the non-cult self-help groups? I have a list of them here.

There are different degrees of AAs. Some feel they must go to a meeting every day. They only hang out socially with AAs. Personally, that is still life unbalanced! I have God, and it's not AA. I found him, again, through AA. I make 3-4 meetings a week, actually have a sponsor and working 12 steps. I also sponsor. I also have a life outside of AA. Friends outside of AA, and do things socially outside of AA! THAT WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED IF AA WAS A CULT, DON'T YA THINK? I'm curious to hear back from you.

Again, that is nonsense. There are degrees of possessiveness in various cults. Many do allow lots of outside contact. And then, some discourage it. We have just been discussing the Washington DC "Midtown Group", an obnoxious and criminal Young People's A.A. group, which does in fact restrict people to just associating with the group and only attending their meetings (one every day). Look here.

The fact that they will let you out of your cage once in a while doesn't mean that you are free.

Have a blessed day,
Natalie

You have a good day too, Natalie.

*             [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.





Date: Sun, October 29, 2006 6:11 pm     (answered 11 May 2007)
From: "Dave E."
Subject: huh?

Somebody has too much time on his hands.

Some of your points are well taken. Yes, Bill W. was no saint. We who have been around AA a while know he was a womanizer, we know he did LSD, we know he was depressed. Big fuckin' deal. All of the history and gray underbelly doesn't belong in a primer on recovery. Yes it is a little over simplified, yes it leans towards stereotypes, but the fact is, it works pretty well. I am an athiest intellectual and a skeptic, and despite having discovered the clay feet of the founders, I've gone twenty years without a drink. I can skip over some of the religious points and keep the best parts- the analysis and catharsis of the steps, the shame-defeating 9th step, the confidence builder of working with the newcomers.

Yo: Chill out a little. Nothing in any of the books is evil. Antiquated, maybe. A little precious sometimes, surely. But I swear to Dog, it works.

(You are right that AA wants to cause a failure of ego, because recovery demends a surrender. But our self esteem builds up immediately with the successful recovery.)

Dave E

Hello Dave,

I assume that "chill out" must mean "please quit telling the truth about Alcoholics Anonymous."

You say, "Yes it is a little over simplified, yes it leans towards stereotypes, but the fact is, it works pretty well."

I guess you must be claiming that Alcoholics Anonymous works to make alcoholics quit drinking alcohol.
No, it doesn't. A.A. is a total failure. We've been over this a hundred times before. (Look here and here.) A.A. members just keep chanting, "Keep Coming Back! It Works!" while ignoring the obvious facts of the matter, like the humongous A.A. dropout rate, and the death rate, and the suicide rate, and the cultish nature of Alcoholics Anonymous...

Lying to sick people about what will cure them and how well the cure works is most assuredly evil.

Have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  A.A. is not a "self-help group", it's an
**  "elf-help group". You are supposed to pray
**  and beg for an invisible "Higher Power",
**  like a leprechaun, or Cinderella's Fairy
**  Godmother, to solve all of your problems
**  for you and grant all of your wishes.





Date: Sun, October 29, 2006 7:24 pm     (answered 11 May 2007)
From: "Stephen B."
Subject: Your webpage...

I started reading it but I haven't finished. I just felt that maybe you are one that is able to look back and see the present. I am a sponsor in AA who doesn't teach the traditional way of half measures. I go all the way. I've learned that just like the prophets in the bible and of every religion didn't know what they were seeing and writing down, so it is also with AA. I'd like to discuss AA coming of age in the present tense and where God taking this ship, this fellowship.

Are you familiar with the seven deadly sins in the Big Book? They match the seven deadly sins that Jesus spoke of. Believe me, I see Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, virtually all religions and sects doing the same thing you talk about in AA. Body addiction. Flesh worship. For example, Christians worshiping Jesus which is only the flesh rather than the word, which is God. They are totally into stroking their bodies which is only a tabernacle, a tent, a temporary dwelling place.

Hi Stephen,

I did not notice the Seven Deadly Sins in the "Big Book", but did know about Bill Wilson's rap about them in his second book, "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions".

One other example is sex and marriage. Marriage is for those who can't contain themselves... It's right there in the bible in very plain English. Sex is no different than smoking in the spiritual realm. It's a destructive distraction that puts the focus on the senses and takes the focus off God. Remember, adultery and fornication are not good things but they're accepted as good now like smoking wasn't seen as being that bad back in Bill Wilson's day.

Judges used to smoke sitting at the bench during court back then. It's gotten much worse since then, trust me, I see what you see in hindsight, only it's in the present right now. Let's talk murder for example. Doctor's have a pre set fee schedule and the majority of them turn away patients every day. Those patients treatment is postponed or never comes. The doctors know that the patients condition is life threatening; they will die without treatment. That's pre meditated murder.

Ok, now what about food, water, shelter. When man assumes the role of land lord and withholds the basic necessities of life and someone dies as a result. That's pre meditated murder. Shall I continue.

So, in the world of justifications Coffee and tobacco are no problem. Every tax paying American has killed and has blood on their hands. I know this because they payed me to kill people to protect their way of life, not because their lives were being threatened.

I will go further with you if you like. Please feel free to write back or not. In fact I don't expect to hear from you at all. I've evolved, I can only hope for humanity to do the same.

Patience, tolerance, love & understanding,
Stephen

Okay, Stephen,

That's quite a philosophy. Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "Wisdom tells me I am nothing.
**  Love tells me I am everything.
**  Between the two my life flows."
**    ==  Nisargadatta Maharaj





Date: Wed, November 1, 2006 7:54 pm     (answered 11 May 2007)
From: "deleted"
Subject: Re: Boot Camps: Children's Gulags or Child Abuse for Fun and Profit

This letter has been deleted at the request of the sender. Ordinarily, I don't do this, but this was a special case of a young girl being distressed at how things had turned out, and later having second thoughts.





Date: Tue, October 31, 2006 8:44 am     (answered 11 May 2007)
From: "Michael R. R."
Subject: Comments and a Question

Dear A. Orange,

I have to admit I find your articles to be very interesting regarding the psychological state of Bill Wilson. You paint a picture of a power-crazed egomaniac. From what little I've read on my own, I can't dispute anything that I've read in your articles. You provide example after example to support your case. You obviously feel very passionate about the subject, and I can admire that.

I also thoroughly enjoyed reading your analysis of propaganda and debating techniques. I've never really thought about how brain-washing is accomplished, but you've sparked some interest in me, so thank you for that.

That said, what motivated you to put so much time into tearing apart Bill W's personal life, his pathology, and general lack of humility?

To put the question another way: So what if AA's "Buddha" is a crazy alcoholic? His message seems to be working for millions of people. Why do you feel compelled to tear it apart?

(If you've already addressed this in one of your other articles that I haven't stumbled upon yet, please send me the link)

I really found reading your articles very enlightening and entertaining, especially since I'm relatively new to recovery myself. If Bill was an Asshole, so be it. But I get the feeling that something really crawled up you're ass about this whole thing and I'm curious what it was!!'

I hope to hear back from you.

Sincerely,

Mike

Hello Mike,

Sorry to take so long to answer. I've been way backlogged in answering email. Thanks for all of the compliments.

You hit on the key point right here:

So what if AA's "Buddha" is a crazy alcoholic? His message seems to be working for millions of people. Why do you feel compelled to tear it apart?

The truth is that Bill Wilson's "message" is not working for millions. That is The Big Lie of Alcoholics Anonymous. A.A. does not work any better than no treatment at all, and has a higher binge drinking rate, and a higher death rate.

We were just talking about the A.A. failure rate here and here.

The statement that A.A. has worked for millions is the biggest fairy tale that A.A. has promulgated. Bill Wilson started lying about the A.A. success rate in 1938, and they have been doing it ever since.

And that leads to sick people getting quack medicine and cult religion foisted on them when they need some real help — when their lives are on the line. They get 12-Step quackery instead of something that actually works.

I have been living in and around the "recovery community" for several years now, and I have seen first-hand the harm done to people by the 12-Step hoax.

And that is why I feel compelled to expose Alcoholics Anonymous for what it is.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "If a man be discreet enough to take to hard drinking in his youth,
**   before his general emptiness is ascertained, his friends invariably
**   credit him with a host of shining qualities which, we are given to
**   understand, lie balked and frustrated by his one unfortunate weakness.
**    ==  AGNES REPPLIER, "A Plea For Humor," Points of View (1891)





Date: Tue, October 31, 2006 10:58 am     (answered 12 May 2007)
From: H.
Subject:

Dear Orange:

I saw this phrase on a forum: "Shame based pecking order sobriety".

It refers to AA.

I think it fits.

Regards

H

Hello again, H.,

That is good. That has a ring to it.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  The vine bears three kinds of grapes:
**  the first of pleasure,
**  the second of intoxication,
**  the third of disgust.
**    ==  ANACHARSIS, (c. 600 B.C.), quoted in
**    Diogenes Laertius' Lives and Opinions of
**    Eminent Philosophers (3rd c. A.D.), tr. R. D. Hicks





Date: Tue, October 31, 2006 12:19 pm     (answered 12 May 2007)
From: "Mike B."
Subject: what he would have said about AA

Hey, AO,

Here is one you may have if you like it...

There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance — that principle is the steadfast adherance to irrational faith in the face of irrefutable evidence.

Later, Mike B.

Yep, that's good.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "Three great forces rule the world: stupidity, fear and greed."
**    ==  Albert Einstein





Date: Tue, October 31, 2006 8:15 pm     (answered 12 May 2007)
From: "Steve A."
Subject: Thank you

I have been in and out of AA for 12 years and it has never made a whole lot of sense to me. It certainly hasn't kept me clean (cocaine, not alcohol) for any appreciable length of time. Now, after reading your book, I know why it makes no sense, and I have finally decided to dump AA entirely. I will never attend an AA meeting again.

I have been clean this time for five months. Usually, I relapse right about now. But I am especially motivated to stay clean this time if for no other reason than to prove to my sponsor that his dogmatic insistence that I can't get clean because I don't buy into AA 100% is entirely misplaced.

Thanks for writing your book.

Steve A.

Hello Steve,

Thanks for the letter, and thanks for the thanks. Sorry to take so long to answer; I'm way backlogged in answering email.

By now, you must have almost a year clean. Great.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Opiate, n. An unlocked door in the prison of Identity.
**   It leads into the jail yard.
**    ==  AMBROSE PIERCE, The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1911)





Date: Wed, November 1, 2006 12:57 pm     (answered 12 May 2007)
From: "John K."
Subject: question

Have you read the book — under the influence or beyond the influence?

These are books that acknowledge A.A. short comings as a 'Recovery Program' but also acknowledge it as a great force in maintaining sobriety —

I notice your intro has not been updated since 2004 —

Just curious because while I understand some of your points, I think maybe you take some of it a bit too literally and at least to me, appear to be a bit 'cult paranoid'.

I find A.A. meetings have helped a number of my family maintain sobriety once having been medically detoxed and educated on the true nature of their physiological disease —

I also find the spirit of the A.A. 12 steps to be admirable in terms of looking inwardly at yourself, and making amends for wrongs previously committed.

Tell me — What is wrong with this?

As far as the 'God as you understand it' — This statement makes perfect sense to me, as I can not define GOD --
I can not argue that the Christians (million different varieties), Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc have it right or wrong --
But I certainly believe in a creator of the universe, for to me — it just seems improbable that man has evolved for millions of years from some ameba like cell —

but anyway — to each their own — But I am particularly interested in understanding your thoughts on the books 'under the influence and beyond the influence', along with the book's recommendations on modifications to the AA Program —

Thanks for taking the time to read — (and hopefully respond)
Best Regards,
John Krebs

Hi John,

Thanks for the letter. I'm responding. Late, as I'm very backlogged in answering email, but I'm responding.

Starting at the top,

  1. Yes, I've checked out the Under The Influence and Beyond The Influence books a couple of times, but never got all the way through them.

    I have to check them back out of the library again, and finish them. That's another item on a long list of things to do. But right now I'm busy trying to get caught up on email.

    There are lots of people who apologize for Alcoholics Anonymous and explain that it seems to help some people some of the time. It seems like some of them are a bit wimpy and just don't want to get into a war with the A.A. fanatics, so they say that A.A. helps some people. The facts, when A.A. is really properly tested, say otherwise.

  2. I haven't updated the introduction because neither the events described nor my experiences there have changed.

  3. When I see people getting quack medical treatment for a deadly illness, and being told that there is something wrong with them if they object to the bullshit, I don't think that I am being "cult paranoid".

  4. As far as "finding that A.A. meetings help", well, if they really helped then that would be a good thing. But the real evidence is that A.A. does not help. The fact that you enjoy the meetings, or get warm smoozy feelings there, does not mean that A.A. is really helping alcoholics to quit drinking.

    When A.A. was put to the test, Alcoholics Anonymous was actually shown to cause:

    All of those facts were revealed by carefully controlled medical tests.
    The last test was even done by a leader of Alcoholics Anonymous. He tried for many years to prove that A.A. works, and he accidentally proved that A.A. does not work; it just raises the death rate of alcoholics.

    Alcoholics Anonymous teaches some really harmful ideas, like that you are powerless over alcohol. That is a ready-made excuse for relapsing. It's also a great excuse for the morning after.

    Bill Wilson: "Lois, I'm sorry that I threw a drunken screaming temper tantrum last night and tore up the house and kicked out the door panels and threw a sewing machine at you. I can't help it. Dr. Silkworth says that I have a disease. I'm powerless over alcohol. (Just like how Frank Buchman says that I'm powerless over sin.)"

    The A.A. teachings can even backfire years later. I had that experience myself. The first A.A. meeting that I ever went to (back in 1987 or 1988) was on a Thursday. I announced that I was quitting drinking. I did. I didn't take a drink after that. Friday night, at 48 hours without alcohol, I went into DTs. I was shaking and jerking so violently that I nearly ripped the thigh muscle tendon off of the femur at the knee. It hurt for years afterwards. I was having seizures like I was being electrocuted, and seeing things as if I was on LSD, and feeling pain in my stomach like I was going through heavy-duty drug withdrawal.

    On Saturday night, I was able to get it together to go to another A.A. meeting to ask for advice. I was new to all of that and didn't have a clue about what was going on.

    A woman talked with me after the meeting and said, "Drink plenty of orange juice. That will help to restore your electrolyte balance. Also eat plenty of ice cream. That will help with the stomach cramps. Just park in front of Baskin Robbins."

    That was great advice, and helped a lot.

    Unfortunately, she also played an ego game of one-upmanship: "Oh that wasn't DTs. Now I really had DTs. They had to tie me down to the bed for three days. I went into convulsions. You probably just had a minor reaction to quitting drinking."

    I remembered that statement when I was debating whether to take my first drink three years later. Yes, I had three years of perfect no-cheating-whatsoever sobriety (without even going to meetings or having a sponsor) when I began to doubt that I really was an alcoholic. I was thinking that I could handle just one beer, because I had it under control now.

    But the wiser part of my mind asked, "Not an alcoholic? What about going into DTs when you quit drinking?"

    And the more addictive part of my mind answered, "Oh, that wasn't really DTs. Remember what that woman said at the A.A. meeting? That was just a minor reaction. So you aren't really an alcoholic. You can take a drink now."

    Unfortunately, that voice won out. I relapsed and went out for 9 years.

    Just one little goof by an incompetent counselor, saying something that she really should not have said, can lead to a relapse three years later. And A.A. is full of incompetent counselors.

  5. No matter how you define God, it is still immoral to lie to sick people about how well a suggested cure really works, like how Bill Wilson did, and A.A. still does.

    RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves 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. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty.
    The Big Book, William G. Wilson, Chapter 5, How It Works, page 58.

    "Of alcoholics who came to A.A. and really tried, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with A.A. showed improvement."
    The Big Book, in the 1955 Foreword to the Second Edition, page XX.

    The best that you can say for Bill Wilson is that he was Lying With Qualifiers. The intention of those words is to deceive the newcomers and fool them into believing that Alcoholics Anonymous and its 12-Step program really work.

    Lying to sick people about how well a certain medicine or treatment works is one of the lowest, most disgusting, sins that there is.

          "Let's go to the hospital and go up to the cancer ward and tell all of the women with breast cancer that they will recover if they join a cult religion. That should be good for laughs.
          Oh, and let's write a book that is full of stories about women who joined the cult religion and then recovered from cancer. We can sell the book and make some money."

    I can't think of a single God of any religion who would approve of that.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== 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: Wed, November 1, 2006 1:54 pm     (answered 12 May 2007)
From: "Willard J."
Subject: COMMENT

I've been in AA for some 17 years and some of what you speak is undoubtedly true. AA as an institutional is appalling. The groupthink and mindless devotion to the sub-culture is a theme I continually point out. I'm not the most popular guy there. But, I believe the program of AA, as written and in context, is valid. It worked for me, but only after I STOPPED going to meetings.

Hello Willard,

Thanks for the letter. Now that is an interesting statement. WHAT "worked" after you stopped going to A.A. meetings?

I know you'll disagree, but Wilson didn't author the book; he compiled it. He stole the copyright and claimed ownership, but he clearly did not write it alone. Regardless of it's divine, or demonic, spiritual foundation, it can work.

Actually, I have a pretty good idea how much of the Big Book was authored by other people. See the files Birth of BigBook and Birth of BigBook II: Financial Analysis of the Creation of the Big Book.

In addition, Bill's second book, Twelve Steps And Twelve Traditions, had several ghost-writers, including Tom Powers, whom Bill cheated out of any share of the royalties. That led to Tom quitting Alcoholics Anonymous and going off and starting his own sobriety program in upstate New York.

But your statement, "It can work"? What works? Please show me the evidence. The real evidence is that A.A. makes things worse.

FYI: Your bias shows through. You would be more effective without the spin.

Yeh, well, I get kind of emotional when I see my friends who are sick and in trouble getting fed a load of bullshit instead of some real help. And it bothers me, watching the 12-Step treatment industry sucking up the health care money without actually providing any health care.

Have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  We drink one another's healths and
**  spoil our own.
**    == JEROME K. JEROME, "On Eating and Drinking,"
**    The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow (1889)





Date: Wed, November 1, 2006 4:15 pm     (answered 12 May 2007)
From: "Sharen K."
Subject: Re: A Telling Example, Etc.

Hi Again, Orange!

First off, regarding
I wonder just how many families Al-Anon has messed up. It must be a lot. I can see two reasons why the Al-Anon conception of "personal responsibility" would seem very acceptable to mainstream America. First off, that very much fits traditional American ideas that holding people response-able for their own problems is more reliably self-motivated than is moral responsibility, that self-reliance is honorable, that forgiveness is ideal, etc. Also, "self-help" seems synonymous with mental health, and that means that problems are solved by those who have the problems, helping themselves by solving their own problems.

And regarding deferred gratification, my own experiences with chronically manic, or hyperthymic, personalities, has told me that if someone is considerably more impulsive than most, intellectual processes such as deciding to defer gratification don't even come into play. That friend of yours who keeps speeding when he seems to get hypomanic, is probably a good example of this. If someone showed a similar impulsivity toward starting a booze or dope problem, and/or relapsing in an addiction, then thought processes that would weigh the benefits of deferred gratification, wouldn't even come into play.

Those with hyperthymic temperaments are actually very likely to have impairments in the frontal lobes of their brains, the very same parts that booze anaesthetizes which leads to the disinhibition. Therefore, these hyperthymic people's decision-making power could be impaired exactly as booze would impair it. In fact, the original lobotomies hurt the frontal lobes, so when the surgery worked, those who got it would live pretty carefree lives! (Carefree in the sense that they didn't feel much care, not in the sense that their resulting impulsivity didn't then lead to some very real problems.)

Two other facts about powerlessness, really do make me wonder. One is that while addicts' family members are supposed to treat the addicts as if their diseases of addiction make them absolutely not guilty by reason of insanity, the law would certainly never do that. Those who committed their crimes due to their addictions, might get different degrees of mitigation, and would get less and less of it each time they're in trouble with the law. The law wouldn't even be as tolerant as the sort of person that the Tshiluba in the Congo call an ilunga, that is, "someone who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time." Yet even if an addict's family member was as understanding as an ilunga, that wouldn't seem to have enough acceptance that even if the addict abuses his rights ten or a hundred times, the addict's disease made him do it.

The handbook of Gamblers Anonymous includes the result of a survey on questions regarding pathological gambling, which was given to members of GA, treatment experts, psychologists, and psychiatrists. One of its questions was whether one agrees or disagrees with, "'Innocent by reason of insanity' might be an appropriate defense for a compulsive gambler accused of stealing to get money to gamble." Of course, a considerably greater percentage of the GA members agreed with this, than did the professionals. Yet family members are treated as if they're unsophisticated if they don't simply accept that the addicts' diseases made them do it.

The other fact is that a good fraction of the cases that are considered to be alcoholism, are binge drinking, so most of the time the alcoholics are sober and free of physical dependence on the booze. In fact, the book Alcohol Problems in Native America: The Untold Story of Resistance and Recovery — "The Truth About the Lie," by Don L. Coyhis and William L. White, says that the alcoholism of Native Americans tends to take the form of binge drinking in groups, which looks a lot like your stereotypical non-alcoholic frat-boy binge drinking. "The pattern of Native drinking that developed over time was one of group-oriented, high-dose binge drinking," and, "The initial pattern of binge drinking that became known as 'Indian drinking' is a misnomer. It was and is not uniquely Indian, but a pattern more aptly described in the alcoholism literature as 'frontier drinking' or 'bottle gang drinking' — a pattern of drinking that has long crossed racial and cultural boundaries." Yet those who are considered alcoholic binge drinkers, are considered to be just as powerless against their own alcoholism as are those who are under the influence most or all of the time.

And regarding,
I'd really like to know how the 12 Steps are supposed to teach children that... ("Let me confess all of my moral shortcomings and defects of character some more...") Well, that "confession" would probably look something like the model moral inventory in Chapter 5 of the Big Book, except that instead of an addict confessing that he feels resentful about getting caught doing the things that he should have been confessing, this would be addicts' kids confessing that they feel very warranted resentment about their addicted parents:

I'm resentful at: The cause: Affects my:
Mr. Brown His attention to my wife.
Told my wife of my mistress.
Brown may get my job at the office.
Sex relations
Self-esteem (fear)
Mrs. Jones She's a nut — she snubbed me.
She committed her husband for drinking.
He's my friend.
She's a gossip.
Personal relationship.
Self-esteem (fear)
My employer Unreasonable —
Unjust —
Overbearing —
Threatens to fire me for my drinking and padding my expense account.
Self-esteem (fear)
Security.
My wife Misunderstands and nags.
Likes Brown.
Wants house put in her name.
Pride
Personal sex relations
Security (fear)

"Mea culpa, I felt resentment because my addicted dad..., and this resentment affects my..., so it's self-defeating, passive, counterproductive, etc."

And regarding Mark Foley's sending the kinky e-mails to those boys, pedophilia hebephilia and ephebophilia have also been linked to frontal lobe malfunctions. The same goes for other perversions. This has got to be the reason why those with aggressive perversions often must be treated as "sexual psychopaths," as if they're under the sway of compulsions that they can't control, they do things with obviously huge consequences as if they don't see them, etc. Intuitively speaking, it really does look like the sort of obliviousness that you'd expect from booze.

~Sharen

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

("`-''-/").___..-''"`.
`6_ 6 ) `-. ( ). `.___.`)
(_Y_.)' ._ ) `._ `. ``-..-'
_..`-'_..-_/ /-'_.' '
(il),-'' (li),' ((!.-''

Hi again, Sharen,

Thanks for the input. That whole thing about powerlessness versus responsibility is such a confused mess, isn't it? It isn't your fault, because you have a disease, but you should confess everything to your sponsor anyway...?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so."
**     ==  Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)





TIP:
There is still more from the Midtown Group — A good historical narrative from one of the earlier old-timers, who saw how Mike Q. took over the Midtown Group. Includes stories like how girls are counseled to have sex with the older male members of the group. Described here.





Date: Tue, May 15, 2007 7:50 pm
From: "mike b."
Subject: Midtown AA Banned From Another Church — News Story

*Midtown AA Banned From Another Church — News Story — WRC | Washington*
http://www.nbc4.com/news/13317282/detail.html?rss=dc&psp=news

— *Video: *Another Church Bans Midtown AA
http://video.nbc4.com/player/?id=103936

Midtown AA Banned From Another Church *Group Described As Cult*

POSTED: 3:41 pm EDT May 14, 2007
UPDATED: 8:59 am EDT May 15, 2007

*ROCKVILLE, Md. — *An Alcoholics Anonymous group known as Midtown has been barred from meeting at another church, News4 reported Monday.

Leaders of St. Mark's Presbyterian Church on Old Georgetown Road in Rockville said the group could no longer meet there, News4's Pat Collins said.

Last week, St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Northwest, D.C., said the group could no longer meet at it's building.

Midtown also left The Church of the Pilgrims in downtown, D.C., about a year ago after church officials launched an investigation amid allegations of misconduct, Collins reported.

Melissa, whose real identity has been concealed because of the nature of the story, said she only stayed in the group for two months because she was disturbed by its sexual activity.

"I would describe Midtown as a cult," Melissa said. "(I was sitting at a table with) three young women, a 15-year-old, 17-year-old and 21-year-old, in their group homes. They were talking about all the men that they had had sex with in the group. It was very unnerving for me, and they were all laughing about it and talking about stories of the men that they had slept with in common."

Pastor Roy Howard of St. Mark Presbyterian Church said, "My concern is that there are too many allegations about this group for me to feel comfortable that they are about helping people recover from alcoholism."

Newsweek magazine recently ran a story about Midtown AA, discussing some of the alleged sexual exploits of some of the members and what some described as a cult-like atmosphere.

Melissa said the group tries to cut members off from old friends and family.

Attempted contact with the Midtown AA group from News4 has received no response.

However, a current Midtown member who was not identified said, "These allegations are based on gossip and untruths ... AA is based on love and service."

Members of other local AA groups described Midtown as a fringe group that does not follow all the traditions of Alcoholic Anonymous.

*Previous Stories:*
— May 11, 2007: Midtown AA Accused Of Sexual Exploitation
http://www.nbc4.com/news/13306389/detail.html

Hi again, Mike,

Thanks for the tip. That is good. It is high time that some church leaders realized that they are responsible for what they allow to happen in their church basements. When little Suzie's parents send her to the A.A. meeting at the local church, they don't expect her to get sexually exploited as her first lesson in sobriety...

Now if those church leaders would just closely examine the theology of Alcoholics Anonymous, they would be in for another shock... They might realize that little Suzie shouldn't be learning that stuff either.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

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





Date: Wed, May 16, 2007 7:05 pm
From: "mike b."
Subject: Fwd: From A Friend: 'More Allegations Arise About Midtown AA — News Story — WRC | Washington'

And another. They seem to be grabbing hold of this at NBC.

http://www.nbc4.com/news/13333860/detail.html?taf=dc

Mike

Thanks again, Mike,

And readers, also see the video at this URL:

http://video.nbc4.com/player/?id=104812

NBC 4, the local TV station, has another story about a girl who ended up in the hospital after she was told to have sex with the male cult members and stop taking her doctor-prescribed psychiatric medications.

One of the saddest parts of the story is how the girl with mental problems says that she has no ill will against the leaders of the Midtown Group who did that to her.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  The reality inside of a cult is often just the opposite
**  of the grand ideals that they advertise in public.

[Also see the previous stories here.]





Date: Wed, November 1, 2006 8:58 pm     (answered 13 May 2007)
From: Eddie S.
Subject: excellent

I still go to AA cuz I meet sober folks there, and I like staying sober... and also now that I have been sober a while, a lot of my friends are sober, and we go to meetings sometimes, and hang out and eat and go to movies and such.

On the other hand, I was NOT born an Alkie and do NOT necessarily believe in the Almight God, etc.....

Anyway, I wanted to thank you for showing some of the harmful parts of AA and other opionions... I wonder how many "open Minded" AAs would even read this... I send it to some poeple.....

Quickly, I will tell you years ago, I spoke exactly this way at meetings. talking about didn't need God to stay sober and Bill W. being depressed and dying from Nicotine addiction, etc. and people would come up to me after the meeting and ask me NOT to share, because it was BAD for the newcomers to hear that... but frankly a lot of new people were happy to hear it, and we kind of have our own group within AA, and although I don't stir the pot as much anymore as I use to.... I still do sometimes.... haha..... Pepole look at me. like What? You be sober ten years and you have power over your life and God does NOT keep you sober.. How can that be? haha

Peace Love and Harmony,

eddie

Hi Eddie,

Thanks for an amusing letter, and congratulations on your sobriety.

And 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





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