Letters, We Get Mail, CCXVII
by A. Orange



Date: Sat, January 15, 2011 4:21 pm     (answered 19 January 2011)
From: "Cricket H."
Subject: Right on, A Orange!

Dear A Orange,

I don't know who you are, but I am at this moment recovering from a full frontal ass-ult from my own sister.

She invited me over to her home in another country, it seems, not for a rekindling of friendship, but to turn me into her, I guess.

I had spent a year in AA long ago in the past and learned quite a bit.

I told my sis about it and she dove in. Now she is "Fully Certified" as a social worker who is qualified to evaluate others who are "down on their luck".

Here's what I learned and the reason I left was the addictive people, with their excessive smoking, sexing, bragging. you know what I mean. selfish types, mostly.

My sister, having a hard life for herself in the past, has finally had some luck and is now married and a state worker. "Child Protection", to be specific.

It seems the models of all these programs, even in the UK, are based on the AA model.

I don't know it, except through "friendships" with some of these people. they all have the same bad advice and they totally miss the point. In other words, except for maybe the most desperate 5% of folks, they are useless.

I went there for a visit, which I needed badly as I had moved, lost my 40 year career, sold my home and spent the money on a new life that "isn't working" at present. Drinking is not a part of this. besides, I can't afford alcohol. it's a luxury.

Instead of a nice time, I was constantly bombarded with her "Philosophy", as well as insulted.

I couldn't protest as it would have been ungrateful of me, after all, she paid for my trip, which was cool.

But her approach to me, after 5 years of us living in other countries, was a total turn- off as it resembled an "intervention".

The minute I fall on to hard times, this woman suspects me of total stupidity and acts like she has to fish me out. all in the name of "I was worried".

This was supposed to explain her anger, which was often apparent and brought me more pain.

I am still healing the self-esteem damage that occurred. If my own sister dislikes who I am, what must anyone be like?

Change comes from the person within, not so much from the often-louder look-at-me voices on the outside.

I'm left with empathy for those who get forced into this flawed system.

They are the real victims.. unless they 'GET WITH THE PROGRAM" they are considered losers and when they succeed, usually in spite of THE PROGRAM, the State wants to take credit for their wonderful setup that "works".

Who are these people that have these jobs?

Why are they in such a hurry. case overload???

What are the control issues these workers are struggling with themselves?

And then, there is that ever-present issue of: PROJECTION.

I apologise for being so long winded but your article has helped me find a little more hope in this world.that there are real people still here.

Thanks, I am saving your article.

Sincerely,

Cricket

.somewhere in the Catskills.

Hello Cricket,

Thank you for the letter. It is informative.

One of the standard cult characteristics is We Have The Panacea. Another is Aggressive Recruiting. Your sister is exhibiting both of those things. A.A. is just as much a missionary religion as the other obnoxious cults that knock on your door and try to save you.

Your sister got "educated" for her certificate, which really means that she got indoctrinated, and she drank the koolaid. Now she sees the world in Stepper terms.

That brings up another interesting phenomenon: apophenia. It's like this:

  1. Fundamentalist Christians see Satan as the cause of all of our problems, and every bad event on the evening news is seen as further evidence of the truth of that belief.
  2. Communists see those rich capitalists waging class warfare as the cause of all of our problems, and the news 'proves' their viewpoint right.
  3. Other people see it all as conspiracies of the Trilateral Commission and the Illuminati and the New World Order...
  4. The X-Files crowd sees everything in terms of Roswell crashes and government cover-ups and alien abductions and secret organizations and interplanetary plots...
  5. Neo-Nazis see everything as the Jewish Conspiracy to take over the world...

Once somebody buys into one of those models of reality, a perceptual filter kicks in where they notice more and more "facts" that appear to reinforce their chosen beliefs, and they ignore any conflicting information that comes along, so they become more and more convinced of the correctness of their beliefs — "It's all so obvious to anyone who learns the real truth!"

It sounds like your sister has bought into the Stepper model of reality, and she is seeing everything throught the tinted lenses of a Stepper missionary. She is quite certain that she could save the world if only everybody would do the 12 Steps. She just cannot imagine any other reason for you being broke and in financial difficulties other than something like alcohol abuse or drug abuse.

Never mind the fact that the economy of the whole world is messed up, and the economy of the USA is in serious trouble. And millions of American jobs have been outsourced to China. Your financial difficulties could not have anything to do with that. You must have drunk up the house money and drank away your career, she thinks.

Alas, I don't know of any easy cure for such mental aberrations. Trying to "un-koolaid" people can be pretty difficult.

Have a good day, and a good life, and good luck.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his 
**     own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for
**     his nation, his religion, his race, or his holy cause. 
**     A man is likely to mind his business when it is worth
**     minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own
**     meaningless affairs by minding other people's business.
**       ==  Eric Hoffer, The True Believer





Date: Sun, January 16, 2011 11:30 pm     (answered 19 January 2011)
From: "Greg P."
Subject: The Twelve Steps, Interpreted

This is a very irresponsible article. Starting from the first paragraph explaining how you can take alcohol or leave it...i.e. you ARE NOT AN ALCOHOLIC..So the rest of this is pointless, you arent an addict therefore haven't the ability to relate.

Irresponsible and arrogant. I can;t believe this is readily available online, what a joke.

Hello Greg,

Bill Wilson's doctrine that alcoholics are powerless over alcohol is just as wrong as Dr. Frank Buchman's doctrine that people are powerless over sin — which is where Bill got the idea.

The idea that alcoholics cannot quit drinking by using their own will power and intelligence is a complete myth — just an unsupported superstition. Herbert Fingarette dispensed with that fallacy in his book Heavy Drinking: The Myth of Alcoholism as a Disease.

Heck, every alcoholic in Alcoholics Anonymous who quits drinking proves that alcoholics can quit drinking by using their own willpower. You aren't really going to try to tell me that "gods" like Doorknob Almighty, Baal Bedpan, and Group Of Drunks perform miracles and save people's lives, now are you? So obviously, alcoholics are quitting drinking by using their own God-given powers.

And unfortunately, I am, or was, an alcoholic, depending on what you think that word means. My doctor thinks so, my ex-wife thinks so, and everybody who knows me thinks so. The only people who say that I'm not an alcoholic are Steppers who are unhappy that I quit drinking without cult religion.

And once again, for the zillionth time, we have another Stepper claiming that it is irresponsible to tell the truth to alcoholics. Congratulations, you made the list.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Being surrounded by a group of people who keep
**     telling you that you are powerless over alcohol,
**     and that your will power is useless, is not
**     getting "support". It is getting sabotaged.
**     With friends like them, you don't need any enemies.

[The next letter from Greg is here.]





Date: Mon, January 17, 2011 2:11 pm     (answered 19 January 2011)
From: "Tom M."
Subject:

First I had an over-enthusiastic relationship with alcohol and other chemicals. Then I had an overenthusiastic relationship with a bonkers cult religion called AA (I was unfaithful to AA for a while, while I philandered with NA, but I eventually came back to my first true-believing love affair). Now I am having an over-enthusiastic relationship with Orange Papers! ;)) I never read AA's official literature with anything like this much interest and relish. It took me 6 years in the cult to finally plow my way through the first 164 pages of the Big Book. I never managed to read too much of the 12x12, that book was far too twisted and downright nasty for me to stomach. I always preferred the bite-sized doses of propaganda in Daily Reflections and As The Raving Lunatic Sees It.

It has been pretty difficult for me to deal with the realization that AA/12-step world is a cult, but there is no other conclusion that a reasonable person who considers the evidence can reach. I have tried debating on some message boards with true believers about what AA really is and how useless it is in treating people with drinking problems, but it is really difficult. They are totally uninterested in talking about AA and seem to just want to engage in ad hom attacks that discredit the "AA-basher" and spouting garbage about AA working, for some people at least. Always with the qualifiers and always without any demonstration of a cause and effect relationship between attending cult meetings and abstinence from alcohol. There is only so much abuse I am willing to take from these losers, and I tend to be mentally tormented thinking about their utterly rubbish arguments for a few days after engaging with them. I don't want to lose any sleep (which I easily do) over these fools. Still, it does at least provide more confirmation and evidence to me that AA is a cult. It is a downright, crying-out-to-the-empty-heavens shame that this 12-step bull is STILL, in 2011, the go-to, dominant, virtual monopoly, 'treatment' for people with a drinking problem. I find it very depressing.

Yours Sincerely
Tom M.
Ireland.

Hello Tom,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments.

Please don't feel too depressed over the situation. Things are actually looking up. I just learned yesterday that some new numbers are out.

For many years now, I have been quoting the National Treatment Center in Atlanta, Georgia, which found in 1996 that 93% of the treatment centers in the country used the 12-Step model. Well, it turns out that they did another study in 2005, and found that only 75% of the treatment centers are now using the 12-Step model. That is a big drop.

1996 Study:
http://www.uga.edu/ntcs/reports/NTCS%20summary%20reports/NTCS%20Report%20No.%201.pdf

2005 Study:
http://www.uga.edu/ntcs/reports/NTCS%20summary%20reports/NTCS%20Report%20No.%208.pdf

The 12-Step empire is a cult in decline. Doctors and insurance companies are wising up and learning the truth. That is the kiss of death to the 12-Step racket. They are toast. It's just a matter of time now.

Admittedly, it takes time. The monster is huge and has a lot of momentum. But it is a giant that is slowly falling over. The momentum is now downward.

Remember that Alcoholics Anonymous has had 70 years to indoctrinate the public and pass off their simple-minded slogans as enlightened wisdom.

  • "Nobody can do it alone."
  • "Alcoholism is a disease."
  • "You must have the help of a Higher Power."

A.A. actually began in a superstitious age where a lot of people really believed that the Ouija Board was a serious tool for psychic research. (And that's what Bill Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith used it for.) Obviously, the general public is not quite that superstitious today. Yes, there are still a lot of fools around, but the public isn't that superstitious any more. Remember what the Beatles sang, "With every mistake, we still must be learning... While my guitar gently weeps..."

So rejoice, keep the faith, and know that you are seeing the decline and fall of an organized crime gang. Sit back and enjoy the show. And help to "carry the message". (Sorry, I couldn't resist that one. ;-) )

Oh, and I learned about that new National Treatment Center study from "Stinkin' Thinkin'", a new web site of kindred spirits. There is an excellent article that reveals that A.A. does not even have a "retention rate", they only have a "churn rate" — a zillion coerced newcomers in, a zillion out a few months later. Check it out:
http://stinkin-thinkin.com/2011/01/10/aas-own-stats-show-slow-demise/#more-4923

Have a good day and a good life.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     A little patience and we shall see the reign of witches
**     pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people
**     recovering their true sight, restore their government
**     to its true principles.  It is true that in the meantime
**     we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the
**     horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public
**     debt.
**         ==  Thomas Jefferson





Date: Tue, January 18, 2011 9:14 am     (answered 19 January 2011)
From: "Lisa B."
Subject: How Are You?

Hi Orange,

I was just wondering — How are you? Please do tell. Still love the site and read regularly even though I can't get my AA friend to listen or look.

Sincerely,
Lisa

Hi Lisa,

I am fine, really good, thank you. I'm healthy, reasonably sane, sober, and fairly happy. My doctor raves about how good all of my medical test results are. I plan to live to be at least 150.

About your AA friend who won't listen or look: Yes, that is par for the course. We can't have disturbing information lodging between the ears, now can we?

That is typical of all cults. Cults routinely teach their members not to read certain books, and not to listen to critics. Scientology teaches its members that if a critic cannot be silenced, then the Scientologist must "disconnect", and have no further communication with the critic.

That all falls under the general heading of "Information Control", which is a standard cult practice, and an essential part of any brainwashing program. Because cults are teaching their followers a pack of lies, they feel very threatened by anyone who insists on telling the truth, so cults teach their followers that they must avoid "bad" information that will "harm their faith".

So the cult members practice self-censorship and restrict their own information inputs, out of fear of being harmed. And I think they are also afraid that their whole world will crumble if their favorite beliefs turn out to be wrong. In the case of A.A. members, they are also afraid that they will die if they lose their faith in the A.A. program. Those things are also examples of how a cult induces phobias in its followers.

And then another standard cult characteristic is that many members don't really want to know the truth — they are having too much fun playing spiritual make-believer.

One of the things that convinces me that I'm on the right track is the fact that I'm not afraid to read their books. I've read a zillion of them. (See the bibliography.) But they won't read my selection of books. They run away in fear, afraid that I'm going to destroy their cherished illusions. Which I will, if I get a chance.

The situation is so extreme that when Steppers write critical letters to me, and I answer by saying, "Read this web page where I already explained all of that," they refuse to read the web page. They write back making arguments and asking questions that were just answered by the page that they didn't read.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     When you live in a world of illusion, you live in a world of
**     perpetual childishness.  You never grow up.
**        ==  Chris Hedges, "Death of the Liberal Class"





Date: Tue, January 18, 2011 1:23 pm     (answered 20 January 2011)
From: "David C."
Subject: TV series mentioning AA

The show Life (see link below) portrays AA as having sexual predators and mixed gender sponsorship. There was also an episode of Dexter showing similar relationships, but I don't remember which episode. Anyway, thought you might be interested.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/6670/life-powerless

David

Hello David,

Thanks for the link. Yes, I'm very interested. I'll go check it out.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever.
**     Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again.
**     Then hit it a third time — a tremendous whack.
**       ==  Winston Churchill





May 20, 2009, Wednesday: Day 20, continued:

Canada Goose goslings
The orphans, trying to get in there
The smaller orphan has managed to half-snuggle into a warm spot, and now the larger orphan is trying to figure out how it can get in there too.

[More gosling photos below, here.]





Date: Wed, January 19, 2011 3:45 am     (answered 20 January 2011)
From: "ED S."
Subject: Question It All

If not AA, what?

Have a great day!

"Beliefs are what divide people. Doubt unites them."
---Peter Ustinov
(1921-2004)

Ed S.

Columbus, OH

Hello Ed,

There are a lot of alternatives. If you want a meeting group or a method, there are a bunch of them, like SMART and SOS and Lifering and WFS and RR. I just reprinted the list again, here.

If you are looking for some other treatment modality, even rated by effectiveness, I recently talked about that list too, here. There, Professors Reid K. Hester and William R. Miller (UNM, Albuquerque — Center for Alcohol, Substance Abuse and Addictions, Dept. of Psychology, University of New Mexico), rated treatment modalities by success rate. They found that Brief Intervention was the most effective treatment. That is where a doctor talks to the patient for just one hour (or less), telling him that he will die if he doesn't quit drinking.

But you know what? The most successful treatment program in the world is:

Do It Yourself.

That is, no treatment program.

The Harvard Medical School says that 80% of the successful quitters — defined as those who quit drinking for a year or more — did it on their own, without any "treatment" or any "support group".

But if you want a bunch more raps about what works, and what has helped people, here is another bunch of links and discussions: How did you get to be where you are?

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If I knew I was going to live this long,
**     I'd have taken better care of myself.    
**        ==  Mickey Mantle





Date: Wed, January 19, 2011 4:26 pm     (answered 21 January 2011)
From: "Taylor W."
Subject: RE: Thank you

Just wanted to share some AA experiences that struck me as odd at the time, and I feel I understand better now . All of these experiences took place in the first couple/few weeks of my sobriety, before or after meetings (I happen to think "cross talk" is necessary to figure anything out, what can I say).

Not too long after starting to attend meetings, I walked up to the club, and was greeted by an old timer sitting outside. He said it was good to see me back, and I told him I was glad to be back. He informed me I shouldn't be glad, I should be grateful. I said "Yeah, sure, that's what I meant". That was what I meant, which is what confused me, why was this fellow so set on the idea that I should use what boils down to a synonym in modern usage? Later, I understood more what this was about. Like making me believe my thinking was flawed, by correcting me even though I'd managed to get the gist of the AA expression down, and to burn AA-speak into my brain.

Hello again, Taylor,

Yes, I agree. That guy's attitude is really condescending and nit-picking. Who is he to say that you are supposed to feel "grateful", not "glad". I didn't see that in the rule book.

A fellow approached before one meeting and asked me how I had stayed sober today. It was only my second or third day sober, I believe. Not understanding the AA religion, I said "I woke up this morning and made the choice not to drink". That's what I did, and I figured this would be respected in what I thought was a alcoholic support group. He said "You believe that's a choice?". I told him I did, and he encouraged me to pray about that. In the moments after that encounter I was profoundly confused. Of course it was a choice, what else could it be? Wasn't everyone else here making that same choice, or trying to? I mean, wasn't that the whole "one day at a time" thing? You know, just make the decision not to drink on a daily basis, so as not to be overwhelmed by never drinking again? Of course, it turned out that the answer to all of those was N-O.

Right. That is the crazy cult dogma speaking. You are supposedly powerless over alcohol. You cannot "make a choice". Only G.O.D. (Group Of Dunces) can save you. You cannot save yourself.

Two days after my last drink, I headed out to a social gathering hosted by a married couple who are some of my dearest friends. They offered to stay dry for the night, but while I greatly appreciated their offer, booze was MY problem, not theirs. They were not and are not alcoholic drinkers. I expected to spend the evening eyeing peoples drinks like I would a beautiful woman if I were feeling lecherous while hammered. That wasn't how it went at all, I had a great night. I was stunned to find out I could have just as much fun sober as I did while I was drinking. Hell, maybe more fun even. When I shared this with my group, the response as less than positive to say the least. One person said that I wasn't spiritually fit enough to be around alcohol. Another suggested that my being proud of not having given into the temptation was inappropriate. And then several expressed the opinion that I should stop associating with that couple altogether. These were the only friends I had left when I got my head out of my ass with regard to narcotics. I'd chased off all my normal friends, I wouldn't associate with drug buddies, and these people welcomed me back into their lives with open arms and treated me like a member of the family.

Yes, that is the standard cult separatism — "Don't associate with outsiders." And the standard cult put-downs, too: "You aren't spiritual enough." "You shouldn't be proud of your accomplishments." Bullshit.

Another gentlemen asked me what my plans for my life were. Now, being unemployed, having dropped out of college, my training gone to shit, and all of those things in some varying measure a result of my poor decision making, not drinking seemed paramount. So I told him my plan was to get sober and figure the rest out from there. He seemed absolutely delighted by this response. At the time I was just happy that I'd managed to answer an AA-question correctly, which I had come to believe was impossible. Looking back, I think he was just stoked that I seemed like a shoe in for the cult and a WHOLE lot of 12 step message carrying. Also, this is all backward. So far in the tales I've recounted I've given two correct (or one correct and one acceptable) answers that were shot down, then put forth a terrible idea which was applauded. Obviously, you do need to keep your on on the ball. The 8-ball, or the bottle, whatever. But for me, doing things other than dwelling on how I used to behave, helps me not behave that way anymore. I find it hard to believe that weight training, gainful employment, or further schooling would be "destructive to my sobriety". Unless, of course, I wanted them to be destructive to my sobriety. But I don't.

Yes, He was pleased with your statement that you didn't know what to do. That meant that you were suggestible and they had a toe in the door for dominating the rest of your life. If you had said you were going to stay sober and return to college he would have hit the roof. I've gotten letters where that happened. And look at item 11 in this piece of A.A. propaganda, here.

I was standing by my car talking to a cat who was waiting on his ride. Out of all the people I met at AA, I liked this guy the most. He and I seemed to have a lot in common, although it bugged me that he was so down on himself all the time. That kind of negativity is bad for anyone, but this dude didn't even seem to have a basis for it, he had a keen mind, he was a decent looking guy, he seemed kind and giving, by all objective standards available to me he seemed like a good person, and an interesting one, which is somewhat more rare. Later I found out he had been in AA for 8 years. I wonder if that somehow contributed to his self image? So anyhow, I'm speaking with him and this girl from our group pulls up in a van-taxi that shuttles people to and from meetings. The three of us speak for a short while, and she expressed great disappointment (as did the others) that I wouldn't be attending a group members birthday party that night. She asked if I was afraid, if I had something better to do, etc. I explained that I had some thinking to do. As that's what I liked to do after meetings, was go home and think for a good while. She then informed me that no good could come of that, because my "sick, alcoholic" brain couldn't simply think itself out of problems. I excused myself for the four hundreth time that night, and said I'd go with my thinking as usual. After she drove away, the guy I was talking to originally asked me flat out, "You think we're a cult, don't you?". I told him that yes, sometimes I did. The gentlemen furtively expressed similar inklings about the organization being a cult, despite (or maybe because of?) his long term involvement. Especially since a friend he depended on for rides was pushing him to attend different meetings that weren't as soft and fluffy as the ones at the club I attended, these other meetings were somehow more hardcore, I guess. I can't help but wonder now if he wasn't referring to one of the bizarre AA-subcults I've seen on your site. He seemed... worried. I believe I still have his number, and while I'm wary of contacting a stepper, a text message with only the URL to the orange papers couldn't do any harm.

Yes, I'd contact him. I don't think he can be too dangerous to you. It sounds like he wants out. You might be able to help him. And I think he really needs to get out. Eight years of put-downs is enough to mess with anybody's mind. He might actually be suffering from something like chronic depression, and might not be an alcoholic at all.

I was speaking with the same girl from the story above, and she was telling me that prayer was the only way for the program to work. The only way to get, and stay, sober. I wasn't buying that, I'm agnostic, and I managed to stop doing opiates and cocaine without prayer. She'd been an AA member for years to my days, and on that day, had only one more day of sobriety than I did. I absolutely agree with you that a persons worth isn't dependent on how long they've been clean/sober, or even if they are clean/sober. But that said, I also don't want to hear the one and only way to stomp out an addiction from somebody who's been doing it for years, and obviously isn't having much success. Maybe she was trying to work the 12th step, but she probably should have been retaking her inventory or something instead of dispensing advice after the most recent relapse. But I guess that's sort of what the 12th step is all about. This same gal also told me "Nobody comes to AA by accident!". Well.... yeah, no shit, but that doesn't mean The Hand of God pushed me there. And the funny thing is, my first night at the club, I was unaware that AA and Alanon were separate groups (I thought it was just a different shortening of Alcoholics Anonymous), and would have ended up in an alanon meeting had somebody not noticed how wasted I was and brought me to an AA meeting. So maybe people don't got to AA by accident, but I came awful close to attending Alanon for no reason.

Yes, the proof is in the results. She's been working the program for years, and only has one more day of sobriety than you? Pathetic. And she thinks she is qualified to lecture you about "the only thing that works"? Outrageous. That is A.A. mentoring at its worse.

And that "Nobody comes here by accident" slogan is absurd, isn't it? But great for recruiting. As soon as somebody walks in the door, they just have to become a member.

I received a lot of attention at the AA meetings I went to. I can't help but wonder if this might line up with some things you've mentioned in The Papers. Perhaps this lavish attention was to draw me in, give me that feeling of belonging many crave, and make me feel at home. It's also possible that they were cherry picking. Knowing that I'd managed to stay away from drugs for over 3 years (actually, early next month will be 4) would indicate to a self-aware cultist that I could potentially be a good example for their "fellowship". I see it all the time with strength training gurus, they have a friend (or latch onto somebody) who is already quite strong and/or athletic, then take credit for the lifters success and use it as a marketing tool. Of course, rarely is the shining star using the guru's methods, even after buddying up with them, because said methods do not work.

Yes, the attention is "love bombing". They really love you, and lavish attention on you, in the beginning. "Let us love you until you can love yourself." It's just part of the routine to keep the newcomers coming back.

And the advertising trick is typical. The one and only time that I went to the Scientology headquarters in San Francisco, they were advertising a concert by a pianist who gave all of the credit for his great piano playing to Scientology. He claimed that he was such a good pianist because of how Scientology had processed his mind. Now I'd bet money that he actually knew how to play the piano very well before he joined Scientology. What do you want to bet that his mother made him take piano lessons for years and years?

In fact, I was used the same way. When a counselor heard that I had previously, like 12 years earlier, quit drinking all on my own and stayed sober for three years, all on my own, he decided that I was a great candidate for a treatment program that would teach me how to stay sober for 6 months. And they still like to claim me as one of their few success stories.

The creepiest part to me, is that I don't think most of these people realize what's going on. I certainly didn't. They really have themselves convinced it's a great organization, so much so that that I feel many don't even know they're being manipulative with new members. They think they're helping. I honestly believe most of the people I encountered were very well meaning but terribly misguided. I think that's sort of the nature of any cult though, you've got a few twisted fuckers and then a bunch of otherwise normal folks who let themselves get swindled somehow. And do whatever the sickos tell them.

I agree. I think that vast majority of the people in A.A. are well-meaning, nice people, and they are just sick or confused or well-indoctrinated. They honestly believe the slogans that they are jabbering. They think what they are saying is true, and they think they are saving alcoholics. They literally don't know what they are doing. Of course they are offset by the predators who know exactly what they are doing.

I am two days away from 13 weeks sober. Even after I left the group, I kept expecting to hit a wall. Part of me still believed in their grim predictions. In reality, it would seem (thus far, anyhow) that alcoholism functions like any other addiction or compulsion I've dealt with and gets progressively easier to handle the longer you stay away. Which is the opposite of what AA teaches. I also question whether I am a traditional alcoholic at all, actually. My substance abuse has always been a means of trying to subdue a variety of diagnosed mental issues that aren't and haven't been treated properly (and trust me, I've been trying). But you know what? I don't really care to find out. I'm not gonna take that first drink, because it's just not worth the risk to me. I don't rightly know if I'm an alcoholic, but I do know that I'm generally happier not drinking, so I'm just gonna stick with that.

Congratulations on your sobriety. And you are right — it gets easier with time. The cravings fade away. Not to brag, but I've got 10 years sober now, and I can't quite remember the last time I got cravings. I also can't remember the last time I was seriously tempted to have a drink. It was a long time ago. After a while, you just develop a new set of habits, and cruise on auto-pilot.

I also don't know if you are "a traditional alcoholic". I don't even know if I am. Look at the various definitions of "alcoholic", here. Half of them don't apply to me. But my doctor said that I was an alcoholic, so that's good enough for me.

I hope you're well and thank you again for the Orange Papers. I believe (maybe even know your writings saved me from misery, the only question is how much for how long. Would I have wised up in another month or two? Would I have wasted my life becoming an old timer? I reckon it's like not taking the first drink, why take the chance? If I don't hit that first meeting, then there's no risk of me sitting in the same chair, saying the same shit two decades from now.

—Taylor

I am very well, thank you.

Now those last lines are funny: "Just don't take that first meeting, no matter what." Thanks for the laugh.

Have a good day, and a good life now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The building of a perfect body crowned by a perfect brain,
**     is at once the greatest earthly problem and grandest hope of the race.
**       ==  Dio Lewis





Date: Wed, January 19, 2011 10:42 pm     (answered 21 January 2011)
From: "Jeffrey H."
Subject: So Sad...

Einstein,

You are TREMENDOUSLY ignorant.

Just to shoot down but one of your silly assertions: the number of 10 year medallions given out in no way reflects the number of folks who have actually been sober for 10 years. It reflects only the few who are still involved enough with the program to collect the medal. Many more are still sober and free but simply don't feel the need to attend meetings regularly. Manipulate the facts much, do you? Are you really simply counting out the number of each medallion given out? Silly rabbit.

Hello Jeffrey,

Thanks for the opinions. I am well aware of the distinction between someone who is picking up an A.A. 10-year coin and sombody who has been sober for 10 years outside of A.A. You are ignoring the fact that if someone has 10 years sober, but quit going to A.A. more than 9 years ago (like I did), then A.A. is not due the credit for his sobriety. It isn't A.A. that is keeping him sober.

Furthermore, doesn't A.A. itself say that the vast majority of people who drop out of A.A. go back to drinking? Maybe even die? So if somebody drops out of A.A. and goes back to drinking, and then gets himself sober later, A.A. is not due any credit for that victory.

The fact remains that A.A. has a sky-high failure rate and dropout rate. Less than one percent of the newcomers become 10-year oldtimers.

Oh, why stop there... the VAST majority of the AAs I know ARE Christians, with all the beliefs and dogma that entails, and have a MUCH more vibrant faith life than many of the other churchgoing people I also hang out with. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Oh really? If most A.A. members are Christians, why do people complain to me that, if they mention Jesus while "sharing" in an A.A. meeting, they get laughed at and snickered at, like this?

As soon as I divulged that "The God of my understanding" is God Almighty (God The Father, God The Son, God The Holy Spirit) — I noticed a HUGE change. I experienced being ostrasized, I was keenly made aware that I was the "joke in the room".... people laughed when I "shared" anything. I saw people in the room nodding their head, rolling their eyes at the ceiling, snickering, putting their finger up to their nose and looking in my direction.
(letter here)

In closing, I personally see at least a dozen wonderful, well rounded, intelligent, successful, long-term AAs each and every day that, were it not for AA, would either be in jail, on the streets, or dead. Each and every one of them. Besmirch that with your twisted stats. You know not whereof you speak. AA may not generate as many miracles as we would like, but it generates a lot more than we would have without it.

A dozen? That is the poster-child trick. A.A. claims to have 2 million members, and you point at a dozen pretty ones. And then you complain about statistics. You are of course ignoring the hundreds of other A.A. members around you who are not doing so well. That is "Counting the Hits and Ignoring the Misses".

Furthermore, you are assuming facts not in evidence, like that A.A. "saved" or "helped" those 12 or 13 people. If A.A. did not exist, those people would probably have found some other club to hang out with after they quit drinking.

Wise up, you tremendously ignorant orange.


Date: Wed, January 19, 2011 10:52 pm     (answered 21 January 2011)
From: "Jeffrey H."
Subject: One more thing...

I just read on a bit more in your site. WHAT is your PROBLEM?!?! You are truly off your rocker, aren't you?

I think I'll just turn and stroll away from the most utter drivel that's ever assaulted my eyes.

And just to let you know the strictest Christian preacher on the planet would punch my ticket straight to heaven. I'm good with Jesus. I'm all about Christ. I'm also all about AA. You CAN be both and not compromise a single Christian belief. YOU would benefit from such an approach. Not sure if you're alcoholic or not, but you've sure got the insanity part covered.

In closing, you're nuts. Did I mention that? And an unwitting (duh) tool of Satan. That, too.

Yes, YOU are a TOOL of SATAN!!!

I'll pray for your mental health. And your soul.

Oh, that's really good. Alcoholics Anonymous tells people that they can have anything as their "god", their "Higher Power", and you think I'm working for Satan?

Where in the Bible does it say that it is okay to worship a bedpan or a rock or a doorknob or a parakeet or a cat or a Golden Calf as your God?

Gee... ummm... Worshipping Baal? Worshipping a Golden Calf?... Where did I hear about that before?

Didn't they call it something like... "idolatry"?

Then there is the problem of A.A. oldtimers lying to the newcomers, doling out the truth about A.A. by "teaspoons, not buckets". Was it Jesus or Satan who was called "The Great Deceiver"?

If you are good with Jesus, then why don't you read the web page, The Heresy of the Twelve Steps? It will give you a lot of things to think about.


Date: Wed, January 19, 2011 10:56 pm     (answered 21 January 2011)
From: "Jeffrey H."
Subject: One last comment... Really...

I'm sorry for saying you were an unwitting tool of Satan. That was going too far.

You are nothing more than just plain unwitting.

Bye now.

Bye. And have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     You are in the wrong group if you are looking for Jesus.
**      ...  you are one blind fuckwit.
**       ==  Robert, in the Internet newsgroup
**            "alt.recovery.addiction.alcoholism" (August 2003)


Date: Mon, January 24, 2011
From: "Jeffrey H."
Subject: Re: One last comment... Really...

>   Hello Jeffrey,
>   My reply is in the attached web page.
>   Have a good day now.
>   == Orange
>  
>   *          orange@orange-papers.org       *
>   *      AA and Recovery Cult Debunking     *
>   *      http://www.orange-papers.org/      *
>   ** "Now I know what it's like to be high on life.
>   ** It isn't as good, but my driving has improved."
>   ** == Nina, on "Just Shoot Me", 13 Jan 2006.

I don't open word docs from strangers. And they don't come any stranger than you!

Ah, you are obviously running Bill Gates's abortion of an operating system that is designed to collect every virus, Trojan Horse, and worm on the Internet.

I understand your paranoia. (I run Linux, so I don't live in fear of viruses. I just can't get infected by Billy's Bugs.)

Well you can read the answer online:
http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters217.html#Jeffrey_H

Have a good day.
== Orange

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


Date: Wed, January 26, 2011 12:56 am
From: "Jeffrey H."
Subject: Re: One last comment... Really...

No thanks.

ttyl





May 20, 2009, Wednesday: Day 20, continued:

Canada Goose family
The Family of 5, coming ashore
This is the family that refused to adopt Carmen.

Now mind you, they are very nice geese. Just fine. I don't hold it against them that they didn't want to adopt Carmen. That's just the way it goes, sometimes. And Carmen was better off getting into a family with other goslings who were exactly her own size and age.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]





[The previous letter from Rene is here.]

Date: Mon, January 17, 2011 12:20 pm     (answered 22 January 2011)
From: "Rene E."
Subject: Re: Let me ask you this...

Orange

Only the bad Courts? So in your eyes *every court in the state of California is "bad".

besides California 80% of the courts in the USA mandate AA meetings.

*How's your sobriety coming along Orange?* You've been sober for how long? Seriously.

Hello again, Rene,

Seriously, I have 10 years clean and sober now. And also ten years off of cigarettes. The strongest drug that I touch now is good kick-ass espresso coffee.

How is your sobriety coming along?

*Read below

Drivers convicted of DUI face serious consequences, including fines
http://www.californiaduihelp.com/criminal_case/fines.php,
jail
http://www.californiaduihelp.com/criminal_case/jail.php,
and driver's license suspensions
http://www.californiaduihelp.com/criminal_case/driver_license_suspensions.php.

However, courts have begun to acknowledge that it is useless to punish drunk-drivers without addressing underlying problems with alcohol, and sentencing alternatives have become available. An experienced California DUI attorney http://www.californiaduihelp.com/evaluation/case_evaluation.php
will determine whether a particular case meets the requirements for alternative sentencing.

These alternatives are offered with the goal of helping, not punishing, the DUI driver. One such alternative* is mandatory attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous, or more commonly called AA, meetings.*

Attendance at AA meetings is usually required as a condition of probation. The court determines how many meetings a driver must attend during a certain period of time, and the meetings are recorded on a court card that must be signed by the meeting secretary. If the driver fails to attend the prescribed number of meetings, the terms of probation are violated, and the driver likely will go to jail.

AA meetings take place in nearly every community during weekdays, evenings, and on weekends. To locate a meeting, look up the AA Central Office in any phone directory, or log on to www.aa.org. There is no cost to attend meetings, and DUI offenders likely will meet other individuals who understand and relate to the problems they are experiencing.

Alcoholics Anonymous describes itself as a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

Hello Rene,

All that you have done is reprinted some stuff from a lawyer who tries to help people who got busted for DUI. He, in turn, has just reprinted some standard A.A. public relations fluff. That is quite irrelevant to what the law says.

None of the links that you sent said anything about Alcoholics Anonymous. But I looked around that web site, and found A.A. mentioned under "alternative sentencing". What the lawyer is saying is that the defendant can try to stay out of jail by begging the judge to send him to A.A. meetings instead of jail. That is a very different thing than the judge sentencing people to A.A. against their will.

If the judge is misinformed and gullible, he might believe that A.A. meetings will reduce drunk driving.

It is still illegal and unConstitutional to sentence people to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings against their will. If the defendant begs the judge to send him to A.A. instead of jail, that is different.

What many judges do now is demand that the defendant go to some kind of treatment or support group, and let the defendant choose whether it will be religious or secular. The defendant can go to Calix or DePaul or A.A., or SMART, or SOS, or Lifering, or Rational Recovery, or HAMS, or WFS or anything else that is available. The list is here.

You still have not presented any evidence that A.A. actually works, or is good for anything. Or that A.A. is not a religion. Or that A.A. is not a cult. Or that the courts are not still in the habit of sentencing people to religious services.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Alcoholics Anonymous materials and the testimony of the witness established
**     beyond a doubt that religious activities, as defined in constitutional law,
**     were a part of the treatment program.  The distinction between religion and
**     spirituality is meaningless, and serves merely to confuse the issue.
**       — Wisconsin's District Judge John Shabaz,
**        ruling in the case of Grandberg v. Ashland County, a 1984 Federal
**        7th Circuit Court concerning judicially-mandated A.A. attendance.





Date: Thu, January 20, 2011 6:36 pm     (answered 24 January 2011)
From: "Jeff G."
Subject: The Cult

To A. Orange,

My first question is when was your last time you used?

If AA is a cult, then why are you asking for a donation?

Sincerely,
Jeff G.

Hi Jeff,

Used what? I can only guess what you are talking about.
If you are talking about alcohol or pot or tobacco, it is more than 10 years now.
If you are talking about other drugs like smack or speed, it is many, many more years than that.

Your second question is illogical. I ask for donations to help defray the cost of doing the web site, and one of the reasons that I do the web site is because the 12-Step nonsense really is a cult, rather than a cure for something.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Man — a creature made at the end of the week's work
**      when God was tired.
**        ==  Mark Twain





Date: Thu, January 20, 2011 6:50 pm     (answered 24 January 2011)
From: "MICHAEL G."
Subject: WOW YOU DO GET A LOT OF MAIL !!!

I'll make this short:

AA did help me for awhile to get sober.

I wouldn't say AA is a cult but has cult-like properties.

AA certainly is not the only way to get sober or stay sober.

I stopped going to AA 3 years ago and I feel better about myself.

AA does become too controlling over a persons life.

It is a religous program — I don't care what they say.

I have seen AA do a lot of harm to people who need to get out when they can.

Simple socialization with other people has kept me sober plus my inner will to live.

Keep up the good work and thanks !!!

Sincerely,

Michael J. G.
Stockton, California

Hello Michael,

Thanks for the letter. I basically could not agree more, except for A.A. not being a cult. I especially agree about the part that socializing with other people in recovery can be helpful in the early days. My socialization was living in drug-and-alcohol-free rehab housing, where everybody was in recovery. I think it can help to be in a group or crowd where it is just accepted that everybody is getting over something.

People can of course also socialize in things like SMART or SOS or Lifering or WFS.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     My eyes have seen much,
**      but they are not weary.
**     My ears have heard much,
**      but they thirst for more.
**        ==  writer Rabindranath Tagore





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