Letters, We Get Mail, LXXXVI



Date: Wed, June 6, 2007 6:15 pm
From: "Bev S."
Subject: Compliments

WOW! What an amazing site you have put together!

I'm not here to defend or bash AA. I have friends and loved ones who are in AA and happily sober for years, without letting it take over their lives or become a "cult." My eldest brother has been sober in AA for 27 years, and if he's in any cult, it's the cult of golf!

I also have friends who quit drinking on their own without benefit of AA and don't consider their sobriety in any way inferior or just a "dry drunk" because they aren't Working The Steps. They seem happy and well-adjusted to me. One who abstained for several years and still is active in several ACOA groups (his mommy was an alky) has even become — gasp! — a responsible social drinker.

My big issue with the 12-step movement is that it seems to have a monopoly in the treatment community. Is there ANY inpatient alcohol/drug rehab that doesn't include AA/NA meetings? You see young kids whose biggest problem is immaturity being forced into programs that tell them they have a DISEASE and can never touch another mood-altering substance again for the rest of their lives, when all they really need is to outgrow their party-animal ways.

These kids have a HABIT, not an addiction, and they are being coerced into a program created to treat hard-core addicts who were physically dependent on their drug of choice. What is wrong with this picture?

I was one of those young people. I sought ACOA-based counseling in my mid-20s because I was having a hard time dealing with plain old adulthood. I traced these problems to having grown up with an alcoholic father (even though he abstained from the time I was a year old till I was 15 — he wasn't really "sober" because he didn't do the Steps, was the line my AA brothers fed me). My counselor decided that since I drank a couple of glasses of wine a night, I should attend AA.

Long story short, I never felt as if I fit in there. I hadn't experienced those horror stories. (The line they feed people like me is we're "high bottoms.") But I was so grateful for the community and the acceptance that I never got from family or peers growing up, that I bought the whole AA package.

My self-esteem was already in the toilet and I didn't need the moral inventory, stinkin' thinkin' crap. I have issues but they are not about alcohol, my own use or my dad's. I walked away after 4 1/2 years. I became a happy social drinker once again.

Today I'm 48 and have a healthy respect for alcohol. I use it, I don't abuse it. I'm not about to dis AA to my loved ones who are into it; if they are happy with it, cool. As long as they are not behaving like cult zombies, there's no harm.

I just wish that the "recovery" movement would acknowledge that AA is not the magic key. It has its value — a place to meet people who have found ways other than drinking to relate and have fun. But so do SMART and SOS and the other programs you mention. And so does hanging out with plain old GROWNUPS who have outgrown their party-animal ways and gotten into music or fly fishing or theater or touch football or the gazillion other activities that don't rely on getting plastered to have a good time.

Have you seen the recent episode of "South Park" where Stan's dad gets a DWI and is sent to AA? He tells them he just "really likes beer" and doesn't consider himself an alky. But once he hears the party line about it being a "disease," he surrenders to the powerlessness and becomes a hopeless drunk — in a wheelchair, no less. It's called "Bloody Mary." Watch it when it comes out on DVD — it is priceless.

Best wishes for your continued cult-free sobriety,
Beverly S.

Hello Beverly,

Thanks for a very interesting letter.

Starting at the end, yes, I love that South Park episode. I watch it again every so often and still get a laugh out of it.

It is good that your brother is sober. But there isn't really any evidence that A.A. caused his sobriety. Just because he goes to some meetings doesn't mean that the meetings are due the credit for his own efforts to improve his life.

Heck, why not give the credit for his sobriety to golf? It gives him exercise, and exposes him to fresh air and sunshine, and it's good for him. Much better than depressing A.A. meetings.

The reason that the "recovery community" or "recovery industry" foists the 12-Step cure on everybody they get is because the staff members of most all of those places are themselves "in recovery" in the 12-Step cult, and they are just trying to get more converts for their church. They are true believers, and they are convinced that A.A. is right about everything, and that A.A. is the only answer that works. They have no desire to be rational, realistic, or even-handed in their approach.

They are often so extreme that they occasionally accuse other treatment modalities, like SMART, of killing alcoholics by depriving them of the magical 12-Step program. Check out this letter from a fellow who who is trying to promote a sane and rational program at a treatment center. The crazy 12-Stepper "counselors" accuse him of killing alcoholics by suggesting some other approach than Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.

Besides, the 12-Step program is all that those treatment centers have to sell. The staff know little more than parrotting 12-Step slogans and platitudes. They would be giving up $6 billion per year if they admitted that their treatment doesn't work, and that they are incompetent, so they aren't about to even consider that thought. So they keep on repeating the chant, "The 12-Step approach is the best, the only thing that really works, the tried-and-true method that has worked for most people..."

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "We were to do more business after dinner, and after dinner
**  is after dinner — an old saying and a true,
**  'much drinking, little thinking'."
**    ==  Johnathan Swift (Dean Swift, 1667 — 1745),
**  Journal to Stella (in Works, 1768) 26 February 1712





Date: Sun, June 10, 2007 3:46 am
From: "Logan McK."
Subject: Your essays

Hey Orange, I stumbled across your pages and have had a flick through them. To give you a background — I am not an alcoholic; I have always been interested, however, in the correct definition of alcoholism. And although your pages are more of a finger pointing session at A.A., I have found many things of interest.

I was appalled the other day to read a men's magazine and find an advice columnist (well, female model, making a poor attempt at being an advice columnist) getting a letter from a female reader saying when she starts drinking she can't stop and ends up doing stupid things, etc... The fact the columnist couldn't identify these as symptoms of alcoholism horrified me.

People are lead to believe that alcoholism is the dependency/disease which precipitates to an on-going alcohol consumption. That's not the only definition! One of the more common definitions, I would say, would be the inability to stop drinking on an occasion once one has started. Wouldn't you agree?

I agree with many of your views on A.A., based on your facts and experiences, such as the religious cult nature of their practice, their deceptiveness and completely incorrect approach to curing alcoholism. But have not had any experiences with A.A., so please forgive me for not making this my main discussion.

I do wonder, though, why you have made all these pages. You mentioned in the introduction that you have written these essays to clarify your own thinking of A.A. That's a lot of thinking!

Is that all you did it for? Do you plan to promote your views at all or just make the information available to everybody?

You did mention many non-religious organisations, so I have assumed you found that there was an availability of reasonable help from other sources.

Well done, and keep up the good work.
Logan

P.S. Might see you on rockhousemethod sometime.

Hello Logan,

Thanks for the letter. You bring up a lot of interesting subjects.

Starting at the top,

  • You are right about the magazine columnist — she should have noticed that such a drinking pattern is a giant warning sign.

  • Yes, there are many definitions of alcoholism, and some people, like the American Psychiatric Association, won't even use the word at all. (More on that here.)

    A.A. uses three different definitions for the word "alcoholic", and gets them all mixed up, which really confuses the issue. The definitions are:

    1. An alcoholic is someone who habitually drinks far too much alcohol.
    2. An alcoholic is someone who is hyper-sensitive to alcohol, almost allergic to alcohol, perhaps a genetic alcoholic; someone who cannot drink even one drink or his drinking will spin out of control and he will become readdicted to alcohol.
    3. An alcoholic is an insane sinner who is full of disgusting character defects and moral shortcomings and resentments and barely-contained anger, and is a prime example of self-will run riot and instincts run wild and selfishness and self-seeking and the Seven Deadly Sins, although he doesn't think so... etc., etc., ...

    When I call myself an alcoholic, I usually mean definition 2, and only occasionally definition 1, but never definition 3.

    1. By definition 1, I stopped being an alcoholic 6 1/2 years ago.
    2. By definition 2, I will always be an alcoholic.
    3. By definition 3, I was never an alcoholic. I was always a nice drunk. People liked having me at their parties because I was so much fun to have around when I got high. (But, as one friend said, "Even nice drunks die of cirrhosis of the liver...")

    About the description of alcoholism as, "the inability to stop drinking on an occasion once one has started" — I have been thinking about that lately, and am thinking that what alcohol really does is attack the will.

    It isn't that the alcoholic can't stop drinking; it's that he doesn't want to. Alcohol subverts his will. Someone may start off thinking that he will just have one or two and remain relatively sober and responsible tonight, but then he goes through a series of attitude changes as alcohol affects his brain:

    1. Oh heck, one more won't hurt.
    2. That went fast. Let's have another. Things are just starting to be fun. The night is young.
    3. Stoke that high, feed that buzz.
    4. Who's counting?
    5. It won't hurt to get good and high tonight. You have to really live once in a while.
    6. Don't worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow can take care of itself.
    7. If I can just get one more in me, I'll finally get to where I want to be. I'm almost there... Just one more...

    Now the net effect is the same, no matter whether it's "inability to stop drinking", or "difficulty wanting to stop drinking", but I think the difference is important for understanding the process of binge drinking. When I am trying to teach people how to survive alcoholism, I stress the importance of motivation and will power. Alcoholics should do everything they can to increase their motivation and strengthen their will power, in order to remain sober.

    Alcoholics Anonymous says just the opposite — they teach that will power is useless, and you are powerless over alcohol, and only surrender to "Higher Power" will save you from Demon Rum. That strikes me as a good way to tell an alcoholic that he is expected to binge drink; that he can't help it. That does great harm to some alcoholics.

  • The religious nature, and the cultish nature, of Alcoholics Anonymous is a given. We agree there.

  • Why did I make all of these pages? For a lot of reasons.

    1. As I said in the introduction and elsewhere, this whole project did start as just one paper, maybe 40 pages typed double-spaced, I thought, just my statement about why I thought it was wrong to use Alcoholics Anonymous as part of a treatment program.

    2. And then there was the discovery that a treatment center that was supported by city, state, and federal money was actually covertly pushing their favorite cult religion, and claiming that the cult religion would fix alcoholism and drug addiction. And that WAS the "treatment program". See that story here.

    3. And then there was seeing friends die, and seeing how useless and totally ineffective the 12-Step routine really is. Read about another lost friend here. We have lost so many in this so-called "recovery community".

    4. And nevertheless, the proselytizers for the 12-Step church continue to chant,
      • "A.A. works great. (And so does N.A., and so does Al-Anon, and so does....)
      • "RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail, who has thoroughly followed our path."
      • 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. Other thousands came to a few A.A. meetings and at first decided they didn't want the program. But great numbers of these — about two out of three — began to return as time passed.
        Bill Wilson, 1955, in the Foreword to the Second Edition of the Big Book, page XX.

      Those are blatant lies, just some propaganda intended to fool people into joining Bill Wilson's cult religion. Alcoholics Anonymous has never had a success rate anything near that. At best, one tenth of that, and that includes improperly taking credit for the cases of normal spontaneous remission. The best that you can say about those statements is that Bill Wilson was lying with qualifiers. More on that last quote here.

    5. So I felt like I was sort of stuck with the job of telling the truth, just to counter-act the river of lies and A.A. self-promotion. So the web site took on a life of its own.

    6. And then some things I pursued just out of curiosity and fascination, like the history of the Oxford Group.

      That thing was really big and famous in the 1920s and 1930s, but we never got taught a word about that in American History in high school or college. It was like it never happened. The most that I ever heard was that Charles Lindbergh was a bit discredited for having made some statements sympathetic to Hitler and the Nazis before World War II, and that Joseph Kennedy, J.F.K.'s father, had the same problem while he was an Ambassador to the United Kingdom. And that President Roosevelt had problems with isolationists who didn't want to get into a war with Germany.

      Nobody ever mentioned a Lutheran minister who was recruiting the rich and powerful people in the USA and Europe and selling them the idea of a Fascist theocracy running the world — "a dictatorship of the living spirit". Now that came as a bit of a surprise.

      It was even more of a surprise to discover the influence that Frank Buchman's goofy ideas had on the world, and still continue to have through Alcoholics Anonymous and its 12-Step brethren.

And here we are.

Oh and maybe I will see you on RockHouseMethod sometime.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  My laptop computer has been grumbling and griping lately:
**    "I don't have enough memory. I want more RAM."
**  Who would have ever imagined, way back when the original little
**  4-function calculator chip was invented, that it would evolve
**  into an electronic beast that complains that you haven't bought
**  it enough new things lately? — a gizmo that is every bit as
**  dedicated a consumer as any teenage girl at the shopping mall?...
**  And some people still say that they don't believe in evolution....





From: "Denise B."
Subject: Lorenz, Diana: "Hare Krishna: Spiritual Pain and Painkiller Spirituality"
Date: Wed, June 13, 2007 7:30 pm

Hey Orange:

Most people familiar with the cultish nature and sponsorship of AA will be able to substitute AA for ISKCON. The article has it all. Enjoy!

Regards,

Denise

http://www.icsahome.com/infoserv_articles/lorenz_diana_spiritpain.htm

Hello Denise,

Thank you for a great link. (That goes into the links page.)

That is quite an essay. I haven't finished reading it yet, but I like what I see. And it does a good job of revealing the problems with ISKCON, the so-called "International Society of Krishna Consciousness" (a.k.a. the "Hari Krishnas").

You are quite right about how you can take the description of one cult, and just substitute some names, and come up with a pretty fair description of a different cult. They all use pretty much the same tools to oppress and brain-wash people.

Thanks again for the link. Now I really have my homework to do.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "Oppression makes the wise man mad."
**    == Robert Browning (1812 — 1889), Luria (1846), act 4, 1.16





Date: Wed, June 13, 2007 11:06 pm
From: "David R."
Subject: Thanks a million for the information you have shared on your website

I stumbled across your extremely insightful website while attempting to research on my own the founder and author of the 12 steps of A.A. and want to thank you for the time you invested in providing factual information in regards to this hidden cult of a recovery program. Normally, I just browse for research and do not offer any feedback — However, I feel compelled to share with you my personal unbiased experience with A.A.

Firstly, I would like to provide to you some background on a preceding occurrence I have encountered in dealing with cults, namely scientology. Quite some time ago, I worked for a company for several years that was owned and operated by scientologists. I excelled in my position and of course wanted to continue to grow within the company to increase my salary. I had several discussions with my supervisor in regards to being promoted and was always instructed that I would have to complete such an amount of specific "company sponsored" training courses to qualify for the position I was requesting to be promoted to. So I did what any hardworking individual would do — I enrolled to better my career. I could not deny the distinct gut feeling I had on my first day of attendance that something was not right. The instructor was a die hard scientologist and the course literature was elementary, seemed to be somewhat logical — yet provided a point of view that insisted that the author's way of thinking was the ONLY way of thinking that was correct — which consistently related back to the principles of Scientology. Over the course of the next couple of months I had completed several courses all of which taught me nothing pertinent to the position I was applying for, but gave me a crash course into the mind of L. Ron Hubbard's idealisms. I witnessed several of my coworkers become brainwashed into believing that they had become enlightened by their studies — I, on the other hand, realized that I had merely educated myself on the way cult organizations attempt to insidiously get into people's minds and brainwash them.

Years later, I started my own company and met my future fiancé. At the time, my lady was just released (after 3 months) from jail for possession of opiates and was court ordered to live in a halfway house. To most men, I believe, just the thought of courting a woman with a drug problem who was living in a halfway house would deter them from even thinking about getting into a relationship with one — However, there was just something about her and I was hooked in an instant from the moment we met. I as well as her family want nothing more than for her to be happy and we know that her sobriety is essential in achieving this goal — so we support her by any means necessary to stay clean — We attend meetings together, we are always there to listen to whatever she has to share or get off her chest and would never judge her, and we have found her a certified master clinician outside of AA for her to counsel with.

However, the story gets twisted. . .

All of the effort she puts into staying clean is completely disregarded by the owner/operator of the halfway house she has been court ordered to reside in due to the fact that she does not attend a meeting *every *day — My initial concern was brought about by the fact that she expressed to me that she feels as though the coordinators of the AA meetings are attempting to brain wash her with their 12 step propaganda. My lady is spiritual, does believe in God, and has a tremendous amount of faith — yet she does not see eye to eye with the individuals in AA in regards to the way they attempt to shove their beliefs down her throat as being the "only way". She has now been ordered by the house operator to attend a 12 step workshop titled "AWOL" — meaning "A Way Of Life". I had already attended several meetings with her and held my tongue on the feelings I have regarding the 12 steps while endeavoring to be understanding and supportive in her strive to better herself. I can honestly say that AA certainly resembles a cult from my own personal experience and observations. I admire the drive people have to better themselves as well as the fellowship they share — However, I am appalled by the deceitful nature of the 12 step program which attempts to force beliefs and rob unsuspecting individuals in need of their ability to think for themselves. The scariest and perhaps most evil part of the program that I have witnessed is the fact that I thoroughly believe that the members (most of them anyway) of AA are completely oblivious to the mind f***ing they are being subjected to in journeying to find happiness in being alcohol/drug free.

My fiancé has been living in a rat infested and mold infected house (I am not exaggerating) for nearly a year now (with over a year clean considering her time incarcerated) and is still being held against her will by the halfway house operator who has full authority over her release due to the fact that she is court ordered to complete their "program". The woman who operates the halfway house scorns down on her for leaning on her family and I for support and not solely her meetings. The house operator has frequently made condescending statements such as: "[My lady] has no home"; "[My lady's] sobriety is not with her family it is at the [halfway] house"; "[My lady] is a lifer" and so on the list continues. Strangely enough, the halfway house program she is subjected to introduces the opportunity for temptation to drugs as she is exposed to them with the transient women who enter the house only to relapse a week later and end up back in jail. The halfway house operator is fully aware of the drug use in her houses and simply charges the women, who she is supposedly trying to help, an additional $250.00 on top of their weekly rent every time they relapse to allow them to stay in the house and not report the incident to their probation officer. It really seems as though this woman cares about helping other addicts doesn't it — but hey what does she care — shove 7 women into a 3 bedroom house located in the midst of a highly populated drug and crime slum of a neighborhood, charge them $135.00/week plus periodic relapse charges, own 6-8 houses and you can do the math — you're making good money — Never have to worry about a shortage of tenants; the jail system is full of individuals looking for help — Don't forget the 12 step cult is the *ONLY* way (As group members would have everyone believe) — and best yet there is no agency (that I know of) to regulate halfway houses in Florida. Therefore, these so-called "sober houses" can they do as they wish, make rules up as they go, play games with the lives of peoples' loved ones, and produce no results — all for their own monetary benefit and growth of their cult.

In the end they are all saints to the court system as they are doing a community service because they boast their use of AA, NA, the 12 step program, and all they have done to help addicts find a better Way Of Life.

Sorry about the lengthy and disorganized letter — guess I got carried away. In any case, thank you so much for the information and the help you have given me in understanding the background of the AA culture.

Respectfully and with much regard,

David

Hi David,

Thank you very much for the letter. That really says a lot. It pretty well sums up why I keep saying that the so-called "recovery industry" is a sham, a failure, and a fraud, and it amounts to little more than organized crime. And it is simply unconscionable for our criminal justice system to continue to force people into such criminal quack "treatment". And it's inexcusable for our government to continue to fund such a criminal enterprise.

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)





[This whole bundle of 9 letters came in rapid succession, before I had read even the first one, so this is not a back-and-forth conversation.]

Date: Wed, June 13, 2007 2:47 am
From: "Dean D."
Subject: AA

Sir,

You have written a lengthy essay, efficiently exposing the things wrong with various people within the fellowship and the fellowship itself.

Well done!

The wise have counseled know thyself, they have never counseled know others. It is easy to demonstrate the faults of others, we are used to that. From birth we look outside, outside, making assessments and judgments, condemnations or praise, in the meantime we build a picture of ourselves. How wonderful I am, so clever, so academic, my grasp of this and that shows how clever I am.

Personally I do not see intelligence in tearing down others whether the assessment is 100 percent correct or not.

I do know that at the level of experience the fellowship, in my case NA, provided an avenue towards freedom from myself, my animosities, my hatreds, my judgments, my shortcomings, my seeking to apportion blame on all others for the way that I felt. It helped provide me with an insight into my own abusive upbringing, it brought me into contact with community, it brought love and compassion into my life, with people I had only just gotten to know. It told me I did not need to believe in a biblical God or even believe in God. It did this for me 18 years ago and brought me out of denial and it instilled in me a determination never to use again, by getting me to realise that I was indeed an addict.

It started the penny dropping. If the penny does not drop for others, then you cannot force that person to drink the water, if they do not want to. You have to want it and I was made ready to want it. I do not ever recollect that I was told that this path was a cure. All of us, addicts or otherwise are in need of healing. The sewer pit holds different levels of shit for every human being. Addicts while using are full of shit. For example, an alcoholic will steal your TV, but an addict will both steal it then help you look for it. This is what we are recovering from, all that sort of bullshit, not just the drugs of addiction. If you have sat with a heroin addict you will know that they lie about lying.

For me the fellowship worked, despite the evil of the fellowship and Bill W and Lois W and its satanic, occult leanings, and ego tripping founder and followers and fascistic leanings and its cig smoking justifications. (Funny I don't smoke). Maybe I don't smoke because these days there is a lot more material on the harm it causes?

Despite all of his and her shortcomings, something worked for me. Of course they didn't come to the fellowship with shortcomings did they?

I can't help but think that you would have a lot more to gain if you applied your skills to the folly and evil of war, or investigation of people like Albert Pike or Aleister Crowley and their influence on history. Or investigation into the war on terror and if it is an exercise in 1984 style totalitarianism, propaganda? Or maybe even better an investigation of your good self? Or research into self sufficient lifestyles that are not harming the world we live in while working towards genuine community, that hopefully cuts off the potential for kids to grow up into addictive lifestyles.

Or an investigation of harmful farming practises, or Corporations that behave with sociopathic tendencies.

Right now what are you trying to achieve? the elimination of AA. That would be a great achievement! A great legacy to leave this world.

You would like to know what be a great legacy? Then go to this website;

http://www.holmgren.com.au/

This is the type of legacy we need and a way of life that would lead people away from abusive, alienated lifestyles, that compound into drug or alcohol addiction.

Now you can ring me if you wish to discuss this.

Dean D.

Australia

Hello Dean,

Starting at the top, you said, "Personally I do not see intelligence in tearing down others..."

Well, you aren't looking at the world very realistically.

  1. There was a time when insane people were treated with the snake pit and worse. Somebody had to "tear that down".

  2. There was a time when doctors insisted that they didn't have to wash their hands before surgery, and that puss oozing out of a wound was a good thing. Someone had to "tear down" those beliefs and practices.

  3. Likewise, the established Church authorities declared that the Bible said that women should bear their children in sorrow, so it was of course immoral to give women any pain-killers during childbirth. Someone had to "tear down" that belief.

  4. Speaking of the Church, they had a lot of Inquisitions and burned a lot of people at the stake for "heresy" — in other words, for saying something that the Church didn't like. Somebody had to "tear that down".

  5. The Church also prohibited the practice of dentistry, because they considered that internal medicine, and against the Will of God. The ancient Egyptians had a good practice of dentistry going — they could do extractions and gold bridges and all kinds of neat things. But the Church made sure that medieval people suffered to the max. So somebody had to "tear down" those beliefs too.

And now we have another church, the 12-Step Church of the Friends of Bill, that is foisting similar garbage on suffering people, and even using the criminal justice system to force that quackery and cult religion on sick people.

One of the signatures that I use is:

**  People who will not work for what is right
**  Are little better than those who are doing wrong.

Another famous saying is,
"All that is necessary for evil to rule this world is for good men to do nothing."

If you see something wrong, it is your duty to right it, or at least try. That includes "tearing down" what is wrong.

The fact that you enjoyed N.A. meetings does not make them good things, or prove that they help more addicts than they kill with misinformation and abuse.

When the 12-Step routine was subjected to properly controlled medical tests, it failed totally. It doesn't matter how much you talk about alcoholics and addicts being bad and needing healing, A.A. and N.A. do not provide healing.

Have a good day.

== Orange


Date: Wed, June 13, 2007 10:44 pm
From: "Dean D."
Subject: cigs

Sir,

Cigarettes and coffee are not in the same league as the harder stuff. The fact is if you try to stop everything at once, your mind may be overwhelmed with everything coming up at once, it may be too much and quickly lead to a fall.

Buddhist meditation recognises that too. If a student comes to a meditation centre in the Burmese tradition and you indicate that you have a drinking problem and smoke cigarettes, they recommend that you dry out from alcohol first as you will not be allowed to smoke during a 10 day course. They know that too much stuff will come up, too much stuff that has been suppressed for too long, and they would not last the 10 days. The meditation centre does not want a person to leave during the 10 day commitment.

Dean D.

Australia

Hello Dean,

It's funny how you group coffee and tobacco together. Bill Wilson did the same thing, to try to classify tobacco as "just another commodity".

Coffee and tobacco are not the same thing at all, not even vaguely the same thing. And yes, tobacco is "in the same league as the harder stuff."

In fact, tobacco is the biggest killer drug in the world. The death toll numbers for the USA are:

  • Tobacco, 430,000 American citizens per year.
  • Alcohol, 100,000 American citizens per year, plus about another 13,000 from auto accidents.
  • Heroin, cocaine, and speed, between 5,000 and 10,000 American citizens per year, each.
  • The other popular drugs, much less.

That definitely puts tobacco in the "big leagues".

I don't know what Buddhist center you are talking about, but I still lean the other way as far as quitting both alcohol and tobacco is concerned. The pain from tobacco is one of the big reasons for drinking too much. And tobacco causes depression. (Not to mention cancer and death.) The recovery that happens when you quit both alcohol and tobacco at the same time is dramatic and ecstatic.

Have a good day.

== Orange


Date: Wed, June 13, 2007 11:00 pm
From: "Dean D."
Subject: cigs again

[quoted from "The Funny Spirituality of Bill Wilson and A.A."]

Note that tobacco is the deadliest of the four drugs mentioned there, if you do a body count. Heroin and cocaine kill 5 to 10 thousand Americans per year each; alcohol kills 100 thousand, and tobacco kills 420 thousand Americans per year. So if someone can keep on smoking tobacco until it kills him just because he "frankly" isn't ready to stop it just yet, then why shouldn't he be able to continue taking any drug on Earth, including alcohol? Why make a big deal out of the number two or number three killer drug if the number one killer drug in America is perfectly okay, and quite compatible with a life lived "on a spiritual basis"?

When was the last time you heard of someone whose only addiction is cigarettes going out to rob people? Or lying through their teeth like a heroin addict does?

That's a bad analogy. Tobacco is legal, so desperate tobacco addicts can pick up butts off of the streets and from ash trays. They don't have to rob a convenience store to get a cigarette, although I've heard of them doing it.

Do you think that someone could walk into a meeting for the first time and walk out clean and sober, free of cigs, coffee, tea, sex addiction, this addiction that addiction, with a complete understanding of God, the universe and everything, (which of course is 42), fresh as the day they were born, athletically fit, muscles on their muscles, intellectually on a level with Einstein, as wise as the Buddha, as compassionate as Christ, stepping into the air and flying with the angels? Fully and completely cured?

That's a crazy question. Who says that meetings do anything good? A.A. meetings don't even make people quit drinking, never mind do all of the rest of that.

Look I know of a man from New Zealand called Lindsay, long term meditator of 20 years standing, regularly attends 60 day intense meditation courses but still smokes! Does that devalue his spiritual practise? Not in the least!

Wrong. When a smoker opens his awareness, what he sees is that he is sick from tobacco. I know. I've been there. Smoking tobacco seriously messes with meditation.

Dean D.

Australia


Date: Wed, June 13, 2007 11:02 pm
From: "Dean D."
Subject: Assume

I also notice that you make a lot of assumptions about what people are thinking. When you assume, you make an ass of you and me.

Dean D.

What are you referring to, specifically?


Date: Wed, June 13, 2007 11:27 pm
From: "Dean D."
Subject: Grant

In reference to your Lincoln story:

[quoted from "The Us Stupid Drunks Conspiracy"]

The secretaries, Nicolay and Hay, noted that when overzealous people had accused Grant of intemperance, Lincoln's reply was, "If I knew what brand of whiskey he drinks I would send a barrel or so to some other generals."

So Grant was successful and efficient at issuing orders that led people from both sides to their deaths? What a wonderful justification to drink. If I was killing people, I would no doubt drink to, I'd need to do something to suppress what I was feeling. But wait haven't they always supplied drugs and alcohol to soldiers to deaden the pain of being blown apart on the front line? The false courage is needed on the frontline.

Dean D.

Now that is the hell of war, isn't it? The general who kills the most enemy soldiers is considered the biggest hero. And I have no doubts that alcohol helps men to kill. I hear that fully half of the men in prison for violent crimes committed those crimes while under the influence of alcohol.

It's funny how many 12-Step true believers go non-linear over that quote. It's as if they can't stand to hear something good about a famous alcoholic. They really do want to continue the "Us Stupid Drunks" conspiracy.

They say that they want to "reduce the stigma of alcoholism", and then they turn around and say that alcoholics are horrible people, "liars, deceivers, self-centered, manipulative, selfish, only caring about themselves..."

And the true believers get very upset when I say just one good thing about one alcoholic (who isn't Bill Wilson or Doctor Bob or one of the other A.A. old-timers...)

I had a long correspondence with another guy about the same quote, here.

Have a good day.


Date: Wed, June 13, 2007 11:44 pm
From: "Dean D."
Subject: Yourself

[quoted from "The Us Stupid Drunks Conspiracy"]

The key sentence is "No drunk was going to risk being the thirteenth anything." All I can say is: "That's funny. I was an alcoholic for twenty years, and I never had a problem with being the sixth, or the twelfth, or the thirteenth anything. And I can't think of any drinking buddies who were particularly superstitious about the number 13. So why are you writing such garbage about us alcoholics?"

Oh so now we are getting down to it, as I suspected otherwise why all this energy to fight this organisation?

You take easy offence to such light hearted comments?

Excuse me? A.A. spends 70 years slurring and stereotyping alcoholics, and you minimize it and deny it and just call it "light hearted comments"?

Denial isn't just a river in Egypt.

As to the number 13, well here in Oz, lottery ticket sales increase by a great percentage of Friday the 13th, in a perverse response to its so called unlucky nature. People are superstitious. In OZ, cricket is our number one national sport, my son plays a reasonably high level of cricket, so through him, I have met and gotten to know the nations leading cricketers past and present. The whole bloody lot of em are superstitious. They get frightened when the score is on 87 because it is 13 away from 100. One batsmen insists that all toilet seats in the dressing room are up while he bats and woe betide anyone who puts a seat down if the batsmen gets a low score. People including alcoholics can be superstitious. Hotels have been known to have no 13th floor. Thats what the 60's rock band the 13th Floor Elevators was alluding to.

Dean D.

Yes, some people are superstitious. But the fact remains that Robert Thomsen, the author of "Bill W.", was incorrectly stereotyping alcoholics by claiming that they were all afraid to take a risk, and they were all afraid of the number 13.


Date: Wed, June 13, 2007 11:56 pm
From: "Dean D."
Subject: ?

Your quote.

'conspiracy to stereotype alcoholics'

Conspiracy? Come on? Get Real. I have never seen any masonic style worship standing in a pentagram, candles aflame and human blood.

Although I did see that sort of activity with some addicts before sobriety.

No one has got it in for you.

Dean D.

Yes, conspiracy. I described it as a "wink and a grin conspiracy", and that is an accurate description of what happens when a newcomer walks into an A.A. meeting room, and the old-timers start laughing about how stupid alcoholics are, and how they are all so selfish and self-seeking, and unspiritual, and have no will power, and have short fuses, and can't tolerate pain, and don't know God, etc....


Date: Thu, June 14, 2007 12:15 am
From: "Dean D."
Subject: Faith

A Leap of Faith
"I heard a noise in the kitchen, and turned to see my two-year-old son on top of the kitchen counter, teetering at the edge," said Mike G. "My heart almost stopped. 'Daddy!' he called, and stretched out his arms and leaped into space. I lunged forward and caught him in my arms. Later I thought: 'He had no fear of falling. He never doubted for an instant that I would catch him. How wonderful!' I thought, 'A true leap of faith. If only I could make such a leap of faith to my God.'" You, like Mike's little boy, may have the courage to go ahead and make that leap of faith. But even if you still have doubts, go ahead and risk it. "If you don't believe it, do it anyway," said Bill T.
Power Recovery, The Twelve Steps for a New Generation, by James Wiley, page 46.

Maybe you better speak to the Atheist and Anarchist and front man for the Dean Kennedy's about that. At every performance he took a leap of faith into the crowd. He started the mosh pit. He trusted that they would not part but that they would hold firm and catch him. He knew what he was doing. It is a trust game that every anarchist I knew, knew all about and approved of and participated in. If your trust has been broken as a child it is almost impossible to get it back and trust games or leaps of faith are a good training tool.

Leaps of faith took us to the moon.

Dean D.

Baloney. The fact that somebody (a televangelist?) does a stupid stage stunt does not mean that it is good to bet your life that a cult will save you.

And we did not get to the moon by a "leap of faith". There were a lot of engineers with a lot of slide rules and computers calculating everything to the gnat's eyebrow. And they built, and they tested, and things blew up in spectacular light shows, so they rejected their designs, and they tried again, and again, and again, until they felt confident that their machines would work. Yes, they were all keeping their fingers crossed during those moon shots, and they are lucky that more of the astronauts did not die (3 did, remember?), but that was most assuredly not a reckless "leap of faith".

Appeals to make a "leap of faith" are a hallmark characteristic of cult religions: "Just dump your logical thinking mind in the trash-can, and Have Faith."

This is how Bill Wilson exhorted the A.A. members to give up their sanity:

Some of us had already walked far over the Bridge of Reason toward the desired shore of faith. The outlines and the promise of the New Land had brought lustre to tired eyes and fresh courage to flagging spirits. Friendly hands stretched out in welcome. We were grateful that Reason had brought us so far. But somehow, we couldn't quite step ashore. Perhaps we had been leaning too heavily on Reason that last mile and did not like to lose our support.
The Big Book, 3rd & 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, Page 53.

Have a good day.


Date: Thu, June 14, 2007 12:57 am
From: "Dean D."
Subject: end results

[quoted from "Propaganda and Debating Techniques"]

A.A. appeals to some bad characteristics, too:

  • Arouse fear of death:
    • "You must either work a strong program or else you will die drunk in a gutter."
    • Unless each A.A. member follows to the best of his ability our suggested Twelve Steps to recovery, he almost certainly signs his own death warrant.
      Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 174.

And your evidence to the contrary is?

Read the file on "The Effectiveness of the 12-Step Treatment".
Even one of the leaders of Alcoholics Anonymous, Prof. Dr. George E. Vaillant, established that A.A. kills more alcoholics than it saves.

If I took a drink or a drug, I'd be dead in a week. I like a lot of addicts and alcoholics have liver disease, advanced liver cirrhosis and Hep C, with varices. My liver could not handle it and it is the reason why I went to my first meeting in 86. The Liver pain was too much.

My Doctors have placed me on the transplant list and the fact that I am sober assisted that decision. If I get a suitable liver, the operation will cost my government $500,000.00. My Doctor does not want me to have an operation and then turn around and destroy the transplanted liver.

It is a matter of life and death even if you do not have liver disease. If we keep on drinking or drugging, then it will simple be a matter of a yet to come.

That is a good example of the propaganda and debating technique called False Equality. You are trying to equate "not drinking" with "practicing the 12-Step religion". They are not equivalents. They aren't even sort of the same thing.

You have to abstain from drinking alcohol or you will die. That is simple and true. You do not have to attend A.A. meetings or practice the 12-Step cult religion. Nor do you have to believe Bill Wilson's bull. That is unnecessary and irrelevant, and doesn't affect your liver one way or the other.

I mean what are you arguing for, what are you trying to achieve? All these comparisons with totalititarianism, as if the organisation is the Illuminati. Which glorious leader is going to instruct the current membership to vote this way or that? Can you imagine rooms full of rebellious alcoholics and drug addicts accepting the orders of some AA big brother telling them how to vote? How come no one ever instructed me how to vote? Is the glorious leader waiting for the right moment or something? Who is this glorious leader? Bill? Waiting to rise again so that he can lead

I'm trying to get rid of illegal and immoral quackery — especially enforced cult attendance. It is an unforgiveable crime to lie to sick people and deceive them about how well a suggested cure really works.

Man, your supposition and perception, I'm just shaking my head.

The sky never knows east and west, it is only our perception that creates that view.

You really have it in for AA, Bill W must have bitten you on the bum when you were a kid or something.

Dean D.

Or maybe I just don't like to see friends dying while cult members parrot, "RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail, who has thoroughly followed our path...."

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== 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.





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