Letters, We Get Mail, CXXIV
by A. Orange



Date: Mon, April 13, 2009 8:02 am     (answered 2 June 2009)
From: "Brian S."
Subject: "Don't quit one day at a time; quit forever, all at once."

I love this, Orange.

I know I've written twice in the past day, but honestly, I'm freaked out by the fact that I'm being forced to go to A.A.

The irony is that I was a successful media professional in Los Angeles who had a 14-year addiction to methamphetamine. Losing my fiancee to breast cancer 3 years ago didn't help. And I proceeded to bottom out. Thankfully, my parents in FLA offered me a chance to regroup, which is what I've been doing. And the moment I stepped on that plane at LAX and left California just over a year ago? I have not touched speed. Haven't even thought about it. 14 years of addiction. Done.

Unfortunately, I got a DUI on a rare night out a few months ago. Now I'm on probation, up to my neck in fines and penalties, and being forced to attend A.A. meetings. And I hate to say this, but none of the people I have met there seem "successful" outside of them being sober. You know? Maybe I'm being elitist, I don't know. They may be inviting, kind, and welcoming, but no one I wish to emulate outside of their collective sobriety.

Anyway, I've been devouring everything on your site for the past 24 hours and I just wanted to let you know I appreciate it.

Brian

Hi again, Brian,

I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties. Unfortunately, there isn't any really easy way out of getting sentenced to 12-Step meetings. But you can certainly try to substitute SMART or SOS or Lifering meetings for 12-Step meetings. You should be able to. Legally, that was established in many Federal Circuit Courts because A.A. is a religion (and so is N.A.). It is unConstitutional to sentence anyone to a religion, so you are entitled to a secular choice. But of course there are lots of courts that have no respect for your Constitutional rights.

Check these out:

Good luck, and have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    An alcoholic is a fellow who is "trying to get his
**    religion out of a bottle... when what he really wants
**    is unity within himself, unity with God...."
**    "There is a definite religious element here."
**     ==  Bill Wilson at the Shrine Auditorium in
**           Los Angeles, in March, 1943





Date: Wed, April 15, 2009 7:15 am     (answered 3 June 2009)
From: Todd B.
Subject: AA Arcticle

I have read your acticle "Whats not good about AA" and you have done a great disservice to any one who reads it.

I have personally seen the lives it has saved and could pick apart your ludicrous notions one by one. but I sure it would fall on deaf ears. I am only sorry that this arcticle has probably coerced numerous people from finding a program that could change their lives.

This arcticle has taken "bits and pieces" of the program, taken them out of context, distorted them and then presented them as if it was doing some actual service to the reader.--------SHAME ON YOU

Todd B.

Hello Todd,

Well, you start off with the standard A.A. attack slogan, "You are doing a great disservice to those seeking sobriety."
I cannot count how many A.A. members have parotted that line. It's the standard A.A. excuse for why people should not tell the truth about Alcoholics Anonymous, as if A.A. actually worked to save the lives of alcoholics, which it doesn't, and as if telling the truth about A.A. will somehow hurt alcoholics, which it doesn't. Look here for more repetitions of that A.A. "disservice" rap.

And come to think of it, that line "You are doing a great disservice to those seeking sobriety" is described in Item 11 on that "Whats not good about AA?" web page, isn't it? So I guess I predicted your behavior in advance, didn't I?

Then you repeat the standard false assumption of success. "I have personally seen the lives it has saved."
No, actually what you should say is, "I've seen people quit drinking".
Yes, so have I. And they did it without any A.A. or any 12 Steps, or any yammering about "Higher Power" and "resentments" and "surrender".

There is zero evidence that A.A. actually saves lives or makes alcoholics quit drinking. Every time A.A. has been tested to see if it really works, it failed the test badly. And even a leader of A.A., a member of the Board of Trustees of A.A. World Services, Inc., found that A.A. made more alcoholics die than get sober. He found the A.A. death rate to be "appalling". No way of treating alcoholism that he studied had a higher death rate.

The only thing that A.A. is really good at is self-promotion and taking undeserved credit for other people's hard work to quit drinking and stay sober.

And no, I don't take things out of context. That's another standard A.A. attack line. We've been through that before, many times. Look here. Just quoting things is not taking things out of context.

Now, while you are talking about shame, the question for you is, "How can you, in good conscience, continue to promote Alcoholics Anonymous, and recommend that quackery to sick people?"

Have a good day.

== Orange

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





Date: Wed, April 15, 2009 8:02 am     (answered 3 June 2009)
From: "Mykeru"
Subject: Fark Thread Gets Twelve-Stepped

Orange,

Thought this thread on Fark might amuse you:

http://www.fark.com/cgi/comments.pl?IDLink=4327463

The linked article is about maintenance drunks among lawyers. In the thread the topic, as it does, turns to alcohol consumption. Someone asks if they may be an alcoholic. The AA true believers descend. I, and others put a few questions to them, aided immeasurably by your site. The God-boggling begins. Bill Wilson speaks from the grave. Suddenly words don't mean what we think they mean and, finally, of course, one of the AA faithful hopes I go out and have a drink.

Good times.

Regards,
Mykeru
www.mykeru.com

Hello Mykeru,

Thanks for the tip. That does sound interesting. I'll check it out as soon as I'm back online. (Thank you, Qwest.)

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     And I'm still waiting for someone to start SFS — Satanists For Sobriety
**     — a 12-Step program where there is no doubt who "Higher Power" is.
**     Then, what I really want to know is:
**     "Will the Christian churches still let that 12-Step group meet
**      in their basements?"





Date: Fri, April 17, 2009 3:46 am     (answered 3 June 2009)
From: "Daniel S."
Subject: Nice list of techniques

Hi!

I read through your page which listed the techniques, which I like by the way. So I thought I give something back.

Reading it, I discovered an error:

This Nazi propaganda poster from World War II used the Either/Or technique along with a lot of Glittering Generalities. It says:

In the Red War,
Mother [i.e., Motherhood] or [degenerate] Enjoyment?
People or Machines?
...
Race [Purity] or Mixed children?
----

I think you read "Mutter oder Genuss"
It actually says "Mutter oder Genossin"
-> Genossin is the female form of Genosse which means comrade — what the communists used to call each other

and

it says
Rasse oder Mischling -> Race or crossbreed

Regards from Germany,
Daniel

Aha! Thank you Daniel. Now that makes sense. I was struggling with "genussen", thinking that the past tense was genossen, and trying to understand the logic, wondering, "What is so terrible about enjoying something? Were they really that Puritanical and opposed to fun and enjoyment?"

Now it's clear. I'll fix that.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "What good fortune for governments that the people do not think."
**     == Adolf Hitler





Date: Sat, April 18, 2009 5:47 pm     (answered 4 June 2009)
From: Renee
Subject: Hi Orange

I was just reading your most current letters. My the AA folks do get extra pissy with your reasoned and rational point of view now don't they? I guess their patience, tolerance, kindliness and love is reserved only for those that agree with them.

It is quite amazing the sheer venom I see poured out in their letters. I guess debunking their entire way of living is rather scary for them. They have lost the ability to judge and reason obviously because you have done an absolutely terrific job of referencing your material.

Keep up the good work Orange... and you know you could retire quite comfortably if you published your work.... there is a HUGE market out there! Plus you would throw the whole treatment(AA) industry on its head.

Renee

Hi Renee,

Thanks for the letter and all of the compliments.

Yes, some of those A.A. members do become rather upset when they hear A.A. criticized. Apparently that A.A. slogan about "Let us love you until you can love yourself" only applies to alcoholics who don't criticize Alcoholics Anonymous or the 12 Steps, or tell the truth about Bill Wilson and Doctor Bob. Oh well.

It's nothing new. That behavior is as old as cults, which date back at least 2000 or 3000 years... (and probably a lot longer than that). I am reminded of what Marjorie Harrison wrote about the Oxford Group cult, which was the precursor to Alcoholics Anonymous. Marjorie Harrison described her experiences as a newcomer to the Oxford Group meetings this way:

...you are bound to fall under the spell of the most disarming friendliness that you have ever encountered. [It's called "love bombing".] The friendliness continues as long as you are a hearer of the word as interpreted by people anxious to add your soul's scalp to the rest of their collection.
      They will bear — for a little time — with some criticism. But if you fail to acquiesce in conviction and that fairly quickly, then you are no longer interesting, and in the end, you find yourself exhorted from the platform to "pack up your criticisms with your luggage and GO — you are of no use."
Saints Run Mad; A Criticism of the "Oxford" Group Movement, Marjorie Harrison (1934), pages 123-125.

Nothing is new under the sun.

About publication, I thought that I already had published the stuff, on the web. I think about paper, but it is so dead, and the links don't work, and updates are impossible. And it would be a ton of work to reformat everything for paper publication. I'd have to come out of retirement to do it.   :-)

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *

**    "Moral Re-Armament cannot be honestly opposed on intellectual grounds
**    because it is basic truth. MRA is built on incontrovertible moral truth,
**    whose effectiveness, however it is applied throughout the world,
**    cannot be gainsaid.
**    So opposition to Moral Re-Armament has special significance.
**    It always comes from the morally defeated."
**    Remaking Men, by Paul Campbell, M.D., and Peter Howard, page 66.
**
**    "Moral Re-Armament" was the renamed Oxford Group.
**    At the same time as Bill Wilson was renaming his branch of
**    the Oxford Group to "Alcoholics Anonymous", Frank Buchman
**    was renaming his branch to "Moral Re-Armament".





Date: Sat, April 18, 2009 7:08 pm     (answered 4 June 2009)
From: "Gary B."
Subject: Hi Orange! Thank you for your thoughtful response to my recent e-mail

Hi Agent Orange!

Thank you for your thoughtful response to my last e-mail.

Hmmm... I quite liked the term "embroidery" used in one of the citations that you gave as applied to describe how "shares" become over time.

I just liked that word (as it was applied in your citation) — "embroidery". I might just borrow that one myself quite soon.

Anyway, on to my main purpose with this e-mail: what do you know of Naltrexone treatment for alcohol addiction? Do you know anybody who takes this treatment? Have you formed any sort of opinion at all — or is the "jury still out" on the efficacy of this one?

Sorry to bombard you with this one, Orange. It's just that I've only heard about it as a real alternative recently and, since you live in America and I live here in dear old Blighty (where it's not yet officially approved as anything but an anti-opiate), I thought you or some of the readers of your website who have been on it for such use might have an opinion.

I mean, sure, I've looked it up on Wikipedia (which indicates it does have some positive results) and clicked on a few links — which seem to be blatantly positively-biased anecdotal evidence/advertisements from treatment centres....... however, I don't have your obvious grasp of statistics...... so what do you make of it all?

Orange, I'm a little bit concerned that if you publish this e-mail it will act as invitation for the 12 step Borg to type in a load of rubbish to your site about how things like actual medicine for alcohol addiction never work and how it's either "their way or the highway", blah, blah..... but as a person who is really, really struggling with my addiction right now, I'm actually interested in what science has to offer and what anyone out there who's actually on this stuff has to say about it.

I mean, I hear good things about Champix which is used for a similar purpose for Nicotine addiction (which costs far more lives than alcohol)... so I'm sort of thinking to myself, "Why not investigate Naltrexone"?

Besides, with money being tight, that sounds much cheaper (and much more worth a go) than the money I'd need for the radical lobotomy I'd need to enable me to be convinced enough to go back to the 12 step religious fascists.

I mean, seriously, it's like coming out of an extremely abusive, vicious relationship which was just killing me — but where it's been really, really hard to give up because as some sort of compensation the sex was absolutely FUCKING ORGASMICALLY MIND-BLOWING (oh yeah, I've enjoyed a hell of a lot of my drinking — something which I don't apologise for saying)... and then, leaving that relationship, trying to then "move back in with my family" (A.A.)....which is, weeelllll...... in this case like moving in with — let's face it — the frigging Phelps.

(yep, a bunch of hateful, mentally ill, religious nuts in other words)

It's just swapping one abusive relationship for another — except that where A.A. wants to claim your soul straight away, at least the drink is kind and patient enough to wait until you're dead. Is it any wonder most people prefer drinking themselves to death rather than A.A.'s dubious salvation?

[Also, for some reason, am I the only one who for some reason gets images of Bela Lugosi ominously saying "Enter of your own free will" in front of his castle whenever I hear the beginning of the Big Book yak about "The only requirement for A.A. membership....." being read out at the start of a meeting(???)]

To get to the point (and I'm sorry that my analogies have been somewhat laboured): From my (admittedly) limited reading about Naltrexone what seems to be quite interesting to me is that the "climax" from drinking (i.e. the endorphin release) doesn't quite happen anymore.... people instead feel more of a sense of — what's the word? -indifference (?) and are more likely to put the drink down rather than carry on to oblivion....

As I said before, Orange, I'd love to hear your opinion (or, indeed, anyone else's opinion on this).

Thank you for your great website.

GASH

P.S. do you still speak to Jay from blamedenial.co.uk at all? Do you know if he's doing okay? ...you know, that was quite a bad business with him having to shut down his website. What a hell of a shame — he's a nice lad. I actually corresponded with him a couple of times.

Hi again, Gash,

I must confess that I am far less educated about the various anti-alcoholism drugs than I should be. I have been pretty much dismissing them as useless, for the simple reason that, when alcoholics want to drink, they just stop taking the drugs. I read about how Anabuse didn't really work because, when the alcoholics wanted to drink alcohol, they just stopped taking the Anabuse, and waited 2 days for it to clear from their systems, and then they could drink all that they wanted. So the Anabuse wasn't even much of an "aid to willpower". What was missing was the will to take the Anabuse.

I may be wrong, but I suspect that the same thing will happen with the other anti-alcohol-abuse drugs.

And in the long run, what are the alcoholics supposed to do? Take that drug for the rest of their lives?

It is a simplistic truism, but it's still totally true:

People who want to drink alcohol will drink it.
People who don't want to drink alcohol won't drink it.

It seems to me that the more successful approach is to work on one's desires, to reduce the desire to drink — to essentially straighten out one's own thinking.

For me, whenever that stupid lizard brain starts yammering about how much fun it would be to just have a few — "It will be okay. We can handle a few after all of these years... Just one fun party for old times' sake...", another voice screams, "No! I don't want to ever go back to being that sick again." And I remember the bad times.

And that does it for me. That stops any more thoughts about the fun of drinking and smoking. No anti-alcohol drugs are required.

Now I don't want the alcoholics to go through Hell so that they will have a lot of bad memories to fall back on, but I suspect that most of them will go through Hell anyway, and will have some bad memories to remember.

That's where I keep thinking that something like SMART can be a big help, where people practice realistically looking at the pros and cons of drinking, and look at the suffering and the bad times, and don't try to forget it or gloss it over. When you truthfully, realistically, recognize how much pain and suffering alcohol has really caused you, that kind of puts the kabosh on the desire to drink more alcohol.

I haven't been in communication with Jimmy lately. I didn't know that he had shut down the Blamedenial web site. But, the last time that I checked, his videos were still up on YouTube. I did hear that Jimmy wanted to retire from the scene and go do something else with his life. I understand that, and even recommend it occasionally. In the end, everybody should go do something else with their lives. Real recovery means that you do something besides just spend the rest of your life in recovery.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  doesnt it suck when you accidentally drink a half empty
**  old beer that's been sitting on the ground?
**     ==  Calebina





May 7, 2009, Thursday: Day 7, continued:

After a while, the family with Carmen came back to the grassy field for more grazing.

Canada Goose family with 5 goslings
The father is standing guard over his brood while the mother rests.
Carmen is the one in the middle, as usual. You can clearly see the brown spot on her cheek, and the light stripe across the top of her tail, and the light stripe down her wing, and her dark back, darker than the other goslings, and her dark skull cap.

Here, the father is proudly standing guard over his children. But at another moment, he was very suspicious. He knew that something was going on. The father was thinking, "I know that my family is bigger than it was yesterday."

Now Canada Geese cannot actually count their children — arithmetic just isn't in their brain power — but they do have a feel for "how many" or "how much". And the father felt like he had gained a kid or something.

So the father gave each of the youngsters a hard look and a close examination, passing his head over each one in turn and giving it a suspicious stare. Poor little Carmen was cowering and shaking with fear, she was so afraid that he was going to bite her on the back and drive her out of the family. But he didn't bite her. He didn't reject Carmen. She passed inspection. He went on to the next gosling and gave it a hard look, and then the next one... In the end, he didn't reject any of them. He just shook his head and gave up.

He might have been thinking, "Darn! I'm pretty sure that my family is bigger than it was yesterday, but I can't figure it out. These mathematical puzzles are so hard to solve when you can't count or do arithmetic."

I'm sure it helped Carmen that she so closely resembled one of the other kids in the family. The father could look at Carmen and say, "Yeh, I have a kid who looks like that." What didn't occur to his little brain was the idea, "Yeh, but now you have two kids who look like that." That's more of that darned mathematics again.

There was also another factor working in Carmen's favor: she is probably related to the other goslings in the family she jumped into. The Waterfront Park flock has been intermarrying for 20 or 30 years now, so almost everybody is related to everybody else in some way or other. There is a good chance that Carmen jumped into a bunch of her own cousins — I don't know how many times removed, but cousins nevertheless. So she may well have some family resemblance to the other little goslings. That helps her to pass for one of the kids too.

It's interesting to see how geese think, or don't think. The father was simply comparing still pictures in his mind with what he saw in front of him. He completely overlooked behavior. He just didn't see it. Imagine a scene where four little babies are completely nonchalant and unfazed by the father examining them closely, while another one is shaking in fear and cowering down and trembling when the father looks at her. Which one do you think just snuck into the family? Which one is afraid of being found out? But the father didn't notice that at all. He was completely blind to behavior and only looked at appearances. His brain doesn't have the pre-frontal cortex required to visualize possible behavior. He can't think, "Now how would I act if I was a little gosling who had just snuck into a family?" Nope. That just isn't in his brain power. So he just compared still pictures in his mind with the goslings in front of him, and they all looked like one of his kids. So all that he could do was shake his head in frustration, and give it up.

A while later...

Canada Goose family + 5 goslings in puddle
The geese are drinking from a puddle of rainwater.
The father is drinking with the kids.
When was the last time that your parents said to you, "That's a good kid. Now go play in the mud puddle..."?

And this is the big one. This is life or death for a little gosling. A few hours later, they were back down at the river. Carmen was cold and wet, and begged the mother to let her get under the mother's wing and get warmed up. The mother let her in. The mother didn't reject Carmen; she accepted Carmen as one of her own children. Actually, the mother didn't even look. She acted like she was just tired. When one the babies chirped that it wanted to get under her wing and get warm, she just lifted her wing and let it in without even looking to see who it was. So Carmen got accepted by the mother. That's pretty much everything. That's the whole ball game. Without a mother to keep her warm at night, Carmen couldn't survive out there — hypothermia would kill her. But with a mother letting Carmen under her wing, Carmen could live outdoors.

Carmen was the first gosling to feel cold, probably because she had been in my warm apartment during the cold rain storms of the previous week, while the other goslings were out in it. So they were more aclimated to the cool weather than she was. But she had the advantage of being well-fed. She had spent a week stuffing herself with all of the food that she could possibly eat, and she had a small reserve of fat to carry her through the transition.

Carmen then climbed up the side of the mother's body, under her wing, so that she could sit under Mama's wing with her head poking out, safe and warm in bed while watching what was going on around her. Goslings like to do that. (So do ducklings.)

Canada Goose gosling under mother's wing
Carmen under her new mother's wing

Here, Carmen is determined to stay right where she is, even though the mother has gotten up on her feet and is walking around. Carmen has been so hungry for a real goose mother's attentions that she refuses to give it up now. She won't budge.

Canada Goose gosling under mother's wing
Carmen is staying under her new mother's wing, even when the mother gets up and walks around.
The mother has her mouth open like that because she is asking for some more bread. What you can't see in these photos is that I was feeding them some bread that I had. Now the mother would like some more.

When I saw this, I figured that the adoption was pretty much a done deal. And it was. I couldn't have gotten Carmen back even if I wanted to. And Carmen didn't want to come back to me. Carmen liked me and we got along just fine and everything, but she really wanted a goose mother. She wanted a normal gosling childhood — the gosling version of a Dick-and-Jane world — with a real goose mother and a bunch of gosling brothers and sisters, and a gander father. And in the end, that's what she got. (Even if she had to fib a little to get it.)

Canada Goose gosling under mother's wing
Carmen is still staying under her new mother's wing.

I followed Carmen around for a few hours more, to make sure that everything was okay, and it was. She was just another one of the kids in the family by then.

When it was getting late, and cold and dark, and the geese were still grazing, there was nothing left to do but let go of her and go home, and believe that everything would work out for the best.

And when I got home, I had a massive attack of empty nest syndrome, of course. So it goes.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]





Date: Sun, April 19, 2009 3:33 am     (answered 8 June 2009)
From: "Dan L."
Subject: thank you so much for exposing AA

Hi: I am a second offense drunk driver from Michigan. I suffered emotional abuse from my guardians my whole life. for 2 brief periods in my adult life I found myself forced to ask for their help and allow me to live with them. Of course getting sadistic pleasure from showing me how much they hate me they allowed it but conditionally. I would often turn to alcohol as an escape from their abuse and humiliation. Both times I got a drunk driving ticket.

Michigan has a very regressive law for 2nd offenders and they force you to prove that you will never drink again if you want a license back. The only way to prove that is to go to AA.

I tried for a year going to meetings every day. at first I thought I had to accept this as my new life. but AA was like a torture. people who knew nothing about me were constantly giving me advice. I felt I had no choice but to take it. after a little time I realized that these people were just like my guardians.

Now I am not saying that AA is bad for everyone or that it was not in some ways a good experience for me. however there is a cult aspect and I have a really difficult time when I see some people coming in and out of meetings almost bragging about how outta control they are.

Overall I think that AA has made my drinking worse but I have long since stopped going to meetings and I am doing much better. unfortunately I am finding myself tempted to go back to aa to try to prove that I am worthy of a license. AA is simply replacing one obsessive compulsive behavior with another. AA can be just as addictive as alcohol and just as damaging to ones life.

Why then does michigan believe it is the only way for people that have been pulled over while 'legally drunk' the ONLY recourse?

I will be doing more research on your site.

Thanks, Dan

Hello Dan,

I'm sorry to hear about your troubles. The reason that the State of Michigan thinks that A.A. is "the only way" or that A.A. has a successful program is probably because a hidden member of A.A. wrote the rules. That is usually the case. Either that, or hidden members of A.A. were "advisors" to the person who wrote the rules.

Of course, the assumption that A.A. works is never based on an accurate measurement of the real A.A. success rate. The valid controlled tests show that A.A. is a total failure that just increases the rate of binge drinking in alcoholics, and increases the rate of rearrests for drunkenness. The assumption that going to A.A. proves that someone will never drink alcohol again is absurd and totally disconnected from reality.

We were just discussing the whole issue of DUI and alternatives to A.A. "treatment" a few letters ago, so I'll point you to it here, rather than repeat it all again.

If you can get no satisfaction from the State, I'd consider going to the ACLU. The State of Michigan has no right or privilege to mandate a cult religion as the only "treatment for alcoholism", or the only way to get your driver's license back.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "AA certainly functions as a cult and systematically
**  indoctrinates its members in ways common to cults the
**  world over."
**  "...in the absence of proven scientific efficacy,
**  critics are legitimate in suggesting that mandated AA
**  attendance may be criticized as a failure of proper
**  separation between church and state."
**  == A.A. Trustee Prof. Dr. George E. Vaillant,
**  The Natural History Of Alcoholism Revisited, page 266.





Date: Mon, April 20, 2009 12:50 am     (answered 8 June 2009)
From: "amar r."
Subject: Hello

Hi Orange,

So hows things in your life. R u happy in your life. U always see the bad part thats the thing in ur mind. It will never gonna change . And u were 100% the member of thw fellowship of A.A. which u failed to do. And started observing people. There are people who likes and dislikes. I dont know what r u trying to prove ur self. In your life are you helping somebody or only talking.

Argument never ends. U will be the fool at the end and whi ever argue too.

In every work there is an argument. about God, Doctor, Science. There is right and wrong. The people who argues dosent have time to live is own lfe happily and becomes fools.

Take Care

God Bless You

Amar from India

Hello Amar,

Thanks for the letter.

Well, your letter is just a couple of the standard propaganda and debating tricks:

  1. Ad Hominem, Launch Personal Attacks On Opponents
    • "U always see the bad part thats the thing in ur mind."
    • "And u were 100% the member of thw fellowship of A.A. which u failed to do."
    • "U will be the fool at the end and whi ever argue too."
    • "The people who argues dosent have time to live is own lfe happily and becomes fools."

  2. Escape via Relativism, as if it's all just a matter of one opinion versus another opinion:
    • "There are people who likes and dislikes."
    • "Argument never ends."
    • "In every work there is an argument. about God, Doctor, Science."

Real facts, like the A.A. success rate, are what matter, not people's opinions about God or Science. Whether people are dying of alcoholism or living sober is not just a matter of one man's opinion. Whether A.A. works is not just a matter of opinion. Check out the facts here.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "You have no conception these days of how much failure we had.
**  You had to cull over hundreds of these drunks to get a handful
**  to take the bait."
**  Bill Wilson describing early recruiting efforts for Alcoholics Anonymous,
**  at the memorial service for Dr. Bob, Nov. 15, 1952; file available here.





Date: Mon, April 20, 2009 3:07 am     (answered 8 June 2009)
From: "jason o's."
Subject: Questions!!!!!!!!!!!!!????????????

jus bin reading this, quite disturbing, lot of it makes sense but other part say to me that the writer may hold resentment and may not even be christian or know anything about addiction due to it not being backed by scripture or any refference to his own experience gb jxx

Hello Jason,

Thanks for the letter.

Well, right at the start, I see that big red-flag word "RESENTMENT". The true-believer Steppers are always talking about resentments and claiming that you cannot have one or else you will get drunk again, or you will be spiritually defective. Bill Wilson even wrote:

It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also. But are there no exceptions to this rule? What about "justifiable" anger? If somebody cheats us, aren't we entitled to be mad? Can't we be properly angry with self-righteous folk? For us in A.A. these are dangerous exceptions. We have found that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 90.

Well, guess what? Bill Wilson was wrong. It is not a "spiritual axiom" that you are wrong if you "have a resentment". It isn't even true at all. That was one of Bill Wilson's crazier declarations.

By Bill Wilson's brain-damaged logic, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have been wrong to resent the bad treatment of blacks. And Abraham Lincoln would have been wrong to have resented the treatment of blacks in slavery. And the Women's Suffragettes would have been wrong to resent being denied the vote and other equal civil rights. And the Allies in World War II would have been wrong to have resented Hitler's treatment of the Jews in the concentration camps. The Americans would have also been spiritually wrong to have resented the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.

By Bill Wilson's ravings, even Jesus Christ would have been spiritually wrong for getting angry and whipping the thieving money changers from the Temple, and for criticizing the Hypocrites and Pharisees, and the corrupt Temple leaders.

Bill Wilson's warped theology is most assuredly not Christian or compatible with Christianity. You should read the file The Heresy of the Twelve Steps.

As far as my own experiences go, you are just attempting another Ad Hominem attack on a critic. My personal experiences actually have little or nothing to do with whether A.A. is a fraud that hurts more alcoholics than it saves. The facts speak for themselves. A.A. would still be just as much of a fraud even if I had never been born.

But I actually do have plenty of experience with both addiction and A.A. I have listed these references many, many times before, but once again, read:

  1. the introduction, my introduction to A.A. treatment
  2. Bait-and-switch treatment
  3. Friends driven away from help by the 12-step nonsense
  4. who are you
  5. who are you, again
  6. really an alcoholic...
  7. the story about "Rat Park"

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done
**    it unto one of the least of these my brethren,
**    ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25:40)





Date: Tue, April 21, 2009 10:04 am     (answered 8 June 2009)
From: "Dennis M."
Subject: Tobacco Free!

Hey Orange:

I wanted to "share with you" (LOL) that I quit smoking... as of this writing, it's day 24 of being tobacco free.

I was reading through your recently posted letters and you described your use of the patch... whatever works, but what worked for me was cold-turkey.

I read a book recently that touched on quitting addictions, smoking and drinking being the outstanding examples. This was not a book about quitting addictions specifically, it was about the lies we tell ourselves that hold us back.

Anyway, much of it is how we perceive ourselves. I realized that if I perceived myself as a smoker that is trying to quit, the cravings would be unbearable. However, if I perceived myself as a non-smoker, that no longer stinks and is working toward getting healthy, well, it's a lot easier!

I still have cravings, but this technique really helps shut up the ol' Lizard Brain!

Makes me wonder why someone that hasn't drank alcohol in 1, 3, 5 or 20 years would sit in a room and call themselves an alcoholic! Maybe it's time to... I don't know... get a life?

Keep up the good work.

Regards,

Dennis M.
Senior Consultant

Hi again, Dennis,

Congratulations. By now, I guess you have 2 months off of tobacco. Good. That's big, really big. Your life will improve so much. The quality of life difference for me is almost unbelievable.

You make some good points in your letter. Sitting around thinking, "I am a cigarette addict who is being deprived of a cigarette" is bound to plant a suggestion in your mind that you should be crawling the walls for a cigarette.

On the other hand, thinking "I am a non-smoker who is free, and I don't need a cigarette to be happy" has the opposite effect.

Funny how the mind works.

Stephen Gaskin said that the two most important words in the English language are "I am." And he said that you must be very, very careful what you put after those two words, because you are defining yourself, and making yourself into something.

And yes, sitting around declaring, "I am an alcoholic" can have some bad effects on someone's mind after a few years, especially if he isn't very careful about the definition of an "alcoholic". We discussed the various definitions of the word "alcoholic" before, here.

Unfortunately, A.A. mixes up the definitions, so when someone says, "I am an alcoholic," than can mean anything from
"I used to drink too much alcohol many years ago"
to
"I am an immoral unspiritual criminal who will tell any lie to get another drink."

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

Oh by the way, I've also quit cigarettes cold turkey, many times. I just used the patch the last time, and it made it a lot easier. I agree, whatever works.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "People always come up to me and say that my smoking
**        is bothering them... Well, it's killing me!"
**           ==   Wendy Liebman





Date: Tue, April 21, 2009 7:56 pm     (answered 8 June 2009)
From: "Jules R."
Subject: AA

Interesting stuff you have there regarding AA. All I can say form my seat is I have been in the program I guess you could say since 1990. I have had a relapse after years of not going to any meetings and started going again in 2005. It works for me and I do find spirituality in my life by "practicing these principles in all my affairs" I most certainly am not perfect and try and "take one day at a time" but one of things you seem to miss as do others, is that it is a program that is suggested not mandated.

The only reason I go is for me and I enjoy the group and the friends I have made in the program. I will also grant you that there is not one right way to do anything. And you bring up one very interesting point which is that people can stop drinking by themselves If they truly want to Kind of like the classic "I'll do anything to lose weight except eat less and exercise." It all starts with the individual. One can do anything they put their mind too. All too few people do that. And you are right, successful people do that.

For those that complain about how some people act. Find a different meeting, or don't go at all. That is the beauty of it. I enjoy the meetings and my association with the program. I feel it helps me and I have grown from it.

Cheers,

Jules

Hello Jules,

Congratulations on quitting drinking again. There is, however, no evidence that you started drinking again because you were not going to A.A. meetings, or that you quit drinking again becuase you went to some more meetings. That is just Confusing Correlation and Causation. The truth is, the vast majority of people who go to A.A. meetings don't quit drinking, and the vast majority of people who do quit drinking don't go to A.A. meetings.

The claim that the program is "just suggested, not mandated" is just some more A.A. double-talk — just another standard bait-and-switch trick. "The Program" is most assuredly mandated when someone has to get a "progress" statement signed by a sponsor to please a parole officer or treatment center "counselor". Failure to please a sponsor can have very serious legal repercussions.

And Bill Wilson repeatedly declared that the 12-Step program was mandated:

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

To one who feels he is an atheist or agnostic such an experience seems impossible, but to continue as he is means disaster, especially if he is an alcoholic of the hopeless variety. To be doomed to an alcoholic death or to live on a spiritual basis are not always easy alternatives to face.
The Big Book, William G. Wilson, page 44.

(That is, of course, the common cult characteristic of The Cult Implants Phobias — "You will die if you leave our cult.")

The statement on page 59, the second page of chapter 5 of the Big Book, that says that the 12-Step program is "suggested as a program of recovery" was just a sop that Bill Wilson threw to Jim Burwell, the resident atheist, who complained that such dogmatic religiousity would drive alcoholics away. But Bill immediately contradicted that statement in the start of the next chapter that he wrote:

If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, page 72 = the first page of chapter 6.

The rest of it, how good the meetings make you feel, is just fluff. That doesn't compensate for the alcoholics who die because they were given grossly wrong information about alcoholism and recovery, like that they are powerless over alcohol. As a program of recovery from alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction, A.A. has fatal flaws:

  1. A.A. raises the rate of binge drinking in alcoholics.
    Dr. Jeffrey Brandsma tested A.A., and found that it immensely increased the rate of binge drinking. The A.A. members were doing FIVE TIMES as much binge drinking as the "unhelped" alcoholics, and NINE TIMES as much bingeing as another group of alcoholics who got some Rational Emotive Therapy. Look here.

  2. A.A. raises the arrest rate of alcoholics.
    Dr. Keith Ditman found that A.A. increased the rate of rearrests for public drunkenness in court-mandated offenders. Look here.

  3. A.A. increases cost of hospitalizing alcoholics.
    Dr. Dianna C. Walsh found that "free A.A." made later hospitalization more expensive. Look here.

  4. A.A. raises the death rate in alcoholics.
    Alcoholics Anonymous Trustee Prof. Dr. George E. Vaillant tried to prove that A.A. works, and instead accidentally proved that A.A. kills. No program for treating alcoholism had a higher death rate than did A.A.-based treatment. Look here.

  5. A.A. is ineffective.
    In London, Doctors Orford and Edwards found that having a doctor talk to the patient for just one hour was just as effective as a whole year of A.A.-based treatment. Look here.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    'If merely "feeling good" could decide, drunkenness
**    would be the supremely valid human experience.'
**    William James (1842—1910), U.S. psychologist,
**    philosopher, in "The Varieties Of Religious
**    Experience", lecture 1, "Religion and Neurology" (1902)





Date: Thu, April 23, 2009 8:07 am     (answered 8 June 2009)
From: "Scott H."
Subject: How many sentenced to AA

Hi Orange,

Do you have a source for how many people are sentenced to AA each year?

Hi again, Scott,

No, that's one number I don't have. The would be good to find.

I've discovered a trend that shows AA is shrinking. New membership is down by half. If you look at the AAGSO worldwide membership estimates, it goes like this:

2006 estimate (worldwide)
1,867,212 members (increase of 122,048
106,202 AA groups

2007 estimate (worldwide)
1,989,260 members(increase of 122,000 or 6.5%)
Total Groups: 114,561 (increase of 8359 groups)

2008 estimate (worldwide)
2044,655 members (increase of 55,395)
113,168 groups (decrease of 1,393 groups)

and a growth of about .48 new members per group per year.

Groups decreasing and new membership waning by half.

I read somewhere that it is estimated that 1 million people are sentenced to AA annually, but the number was not backed up by a source so I will not pass this information along until I have a credible source. Do you know where to get this information?

Thanks!

Scott

No, just offhand I don't know where we could get that information. Readers, any ideas?

I can believe that A.A. attendance is shrinking. Sooner or later, people do wake up and realize that something is a hoax. You can't fool all of the people all of the time. Sometimes it takes a long time for people to realize what is going on and wise up, but eventually we get rid of the quacks and the quackery, and the phony preachers and fake faith-healers...

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  You can fool some of the people some of the time,
**  And that's enough to make a decent living.
**    == W. C. Fields









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