Letters, We Get Mail, CCCLXVII
by Orange



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters367.html#Page164 ]

Date: Mon, September 2, 2013 5:00 pm       (answered 6 September 2013)
From: "Page one-sixty-four"
Subject: AA

Just read part of your work on the failure of AA.

Just curious: what is your ax to grind with AA? Did you go there to try to get sober and it didn't work for you, so you decided to call it a cult? A loved one, perhaps?

Hello Page164,

Thanks for the letter. Alas, you seem to be suffering from a number of misimpressions.

I have 12, almost 13 years of sobriety now, and A.A. has nothing to do with it. I quit drinking before I was sent to A.A. by an "outpatient treatment program". You can read about it here: My Stepper counselor turns out to be a child-molesting rapist.

(Actually, any group that follows the ideas of an leader is, by definition, a cult. That would make Christianity one, too. So, "cult" does not necessarily connote a negative affiliation.)

Wrong. Please read The Cult Test, and Alcoholics Anonymous as a Cult. A cult has many very specific negative characteristics. It isn't just a matter of following a leader.

Really, I'm just baffled when someone goes out of their way to bash a movement, rather than investing their time in one they believe in. What was your motivation?

I invest plenty of time in what I believe in, like living healthy and sober and having fun in the fresh air and feeding and photographing goslings. And I also invest time in telling the truth to sick people who need some true answers.

Motivation? Read these:

  1. the introduction, my introduction to A.A.
  2. the "treatment" bait-and-switch trick
  3. another friend goes missing
  4. creation of the web site
  5. How did you get to where you are?
  6. A biography written for SOS

Finally, many of the quotes you use (like the Harvard professor who is also on the AA Board of Trustees), you don't use citations in context or give full references. And many of your "conclusions" do not seem to be based on simple logic. You seem to start with an end in mind, and then skew the facts to reach your intended goal. Not good logic, certainly not good scholarship.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. I always give full references for citations. Like look at the quotes from Dr. Vaillant the Harvard professor, here:
http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-effectiveness.html#Vaillant

And then look at all of the other citations in that file. They ALL have full documentation.

Then look at the bibliography, here:
http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-bibliography.html

And I do not skew or distort the facts in order to reach a desired conclusion. That is the writing style of Bill Wilson and A.A., not mine, like when they twist the numbers to get a desired average sobriety rate for A.A. members. I challenge you to come up with even one specific example where I distorted the facts.

Regards,

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*       http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/   *
**     Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, declared that A.A.
**     was a "bridge" to unquestioning faith.
**     (The Big Book, 3rd & 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, Page 53.)
**     Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, sold Scientology
**     procedures as a "bridge to total freedom".
**     Gee, in cults, everybody wants to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters367.html#Sherry_M ]

Date: Sun, September 1, 2013 9:25 pm       (answered 8 September 2013)
From: "sherry m."
Subject: Nuts

What are you, fucking nuts? Spreading trash like this. I shouldn't even be responding to your insanity because I cant rise to fight every asshole I meet.
Sincerely,
Sherry

Hello Sherry,

Well, you haven't offered a single fact to support your objections to my writings. Would you care to tell us what the actual A.A. cure rate is?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*       http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/   *
**        The individual who clings tenaciously to unverified beliefs
**     confuses his beliefs with fact, and often inflicts this confusion
**     on others in his struggle to resolve it in his favor.  When many
**     people are persuaded to subscribe to the same pretense, of course,
**     it can gain the aura of objectivity; as British psychoanalyst
**     Ron Britton has observed, "we can substitute concurrence for
**     reality testing, and so shared phantasy can gain the same or even
**     greater status than knowledge." The belief doesn't become a fact,
**     but the fact of shared belief lends it the valuable appearance
**     of credibility. The belief is codified, takes hold, and rises
**     above the level where it might be questioned.
**       ==  Bush on the Couch, Justin A. Frank, M.D., page 61.


[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters367.html#Sherry_M2 ]

Date: Mon, September 9, 2013 1:57 pm       (answered 16 September 2013)
From: "sherry m."
Subject: Re: Nuts

It's better than anything you could give me statistics on.

You are probably an unhappy practicing alcoholic who thinks that he knows everything.

Self knowledge avails us nothing.

You don't have to answer this, in Fact don't. I think you are a crackpot who wants someone to argue with.

S

Hello again, Sherry,

You refused to say what the A.A. sobriety rate is. Don't you know? You are defending A.A. and you don't even know what the success rate of the A.A. newcomers is?

About, "You are probably an unhappy practicing alcoholic who thinks that he knows everything."
That is a typical cultish Ad Hominem attack, which is just a common way of avoiding discussing the real facts. Just call the critic a name and claim that he knows nothing. You are really proving that A.A. is a cult. That standard cult behavior is described in the Cult Test, here:
10. Personal attacks on critics.
And the answer for A.A. is here:
10. Personal attacks on critics.

FYI: I am not a "practicing alcoholic". I have 12, almost 13 years of perfect unbroken sobriety now. And I haven't been to an A.A. meeting in 11 1/2 years.

The statement that "self-knowledge avails us nothing" is just Bill Wilson's nonsense. No truth to it. Bill Wilson wrote a couple of stories of failure to stay sober on pages 41 and 42 of the Big Book, and then concluded that everybody had to join his cult religion or else they would die. (That is the Proof by Anecdote propaganda trick.)

As soon as I regained my ability to think, I went carefully over that evening in Washington.   ...   I now remembered what my alcoholic friends [Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob] had told me, how they had prophesied that if I had an alcoholic mind, the time and place would come — I would drink again. They had said that though I did raise a defense, it would one day give way before some trivial reason for having a drink. Well, just that did happen and more, for what I had learned of alcoholism did not occur to me at all. I knew from that moment that I had an alcoholic mind. I saw that will power and self-knowledge would not help in those strange mental blank spots. I had never been able to understand people who said that a problem had them hopelessly defeated. I knew then. It was a crushing blow.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 3, More About Alcoholism, pages 41-42.

So, because a couple of confused illogical men drank alcohol, Bill Wilson says that you are powerless to avoid taking the first drink, so you have to join Alcoholics Anonymous and "surrender to God".

And again, as is so typical of Stepper's letters, you finished your letter with another Ad Hominem put-down: "I think you are a crackpot who wants someone to argue with."
No, actually, what I want is for people to know how well the various treatments for drug and alcohol problems really work. And A.A. does not work. (And you won't even say what the success or failure rate for A.A. is, so we know that it's bad.)

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*       http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/   *
*
**      ...the spectacle of a celebrity entering a drug and alcohol
**      treatment center, relapsing, then heading to rehab again
**      — and again and again — has become depressingly familiar.
**         ==  Bankole A. Johnson, The Washington Post,
**               Sunday, August 8, 2010; B03
**           Also see this information about Prof. Bankole A. Johnson of the
**            University of Virginia, here.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters367.html#Kenneth_A ]

Date: Tue, September 3, 2013 12:39 pm       (answered 12 September 2013)
From: "Kenneth A."
Subject: [Orange Papers] Attention Opioid Addicts: Studies In Progress Could Save You From Fatal Overdose

Kenneth A. posted in Orange Papers

Attention Opioid Addicts: Studies In Progress Could Save You From Fatal Overdose

http://www.forbes.com/sites/genemarcial/2013/09/03/attention-opioid-addicts-studies-in-progress-could-save-you-from-fatal-overdose/

An injectable medicine, naloxodone, can rapidly reverse the overdose of prescription and illicit opioids, but is only used in emergency rooms and ambulances. Efforts are under way on a new nasal drug-delivery system for naloxodone that would widely expand its availability and use to prevent deaths fr...

http://www.facebook.com/n/?groups%2Faorange%2Fpermalink%2F583570551706117%2F&aref=223279995&medium=email&mid=8903835G25f2680eGd4efb7bG96&bcode=1.1378237191.AbkWjpT8hCbWPuga&n_m=orange%40orange-papers.org

Hello Kenneth,

That is indeed good news. Anything to reduce overdose deaths. Overdose deaths strike me as being some of the most pointless deaths around. I hope they give away those naloxodone dispensers to junkies for free, along with clean syringes. At least that will reduce the harm done.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*       http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/   *
*
**     The number of drug overdose deaths has more than tripled in the US
**     since 1990. More than 100 people die of a drug overdose in the US
**     every day.  This increase was not caused by illegal street drugs
**     — the number of deaths from heroin overdose remains relatively
**     constant. The majority of drug overdose deaths in America today are
**     cause by prescription painkillers.  Sales of prescription painkillers
**     in the US have tripled since 1999 — paralleling the tripling
**     of drug overdose deaths.
**     == Project Lazarus, by Kenneth Anderson,
**        blogtalkradio.com, Thu, Jan 5, 2012





June 16, 2013, Sunday, Fernhill Wetlands::

Mongel Ducks
Mongel Ducks. They are always eager to get some munchies.

Mongel Ducks

Blackie the Mongrel Duck
Blackie the Mongrel Duck

[More gosling photos below, here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters367.html#Meaghan_F ]

Date: Wed, September 4, 2013 8:32 pm       (answered 12 September 2013)
From: "Meaghan F."
Subject: What's not good about A.A.

I have been in and out of the rooms of AA for a few years now. It is obvious to me, from reading your articlen that you are A. Not an alcoholic or B. Went to a few meetings and left not understanding anything abiut it and deciding that were better tben the program and people in the rooms. Almost everything you wrote was taken completely out of context. I know many people, including myself that don't believe in God...it has nothing to do with a Christian God. This is just one example of what you got wrong.

Alcohol is a disease, a powerful disease. I know no one that says AA has great numbers of poeple staying sober. We know people go back out all the time. It took me a long time to understand the program and what the slogans actually meant. People leave before they get that understanding...they think like you. I know I tried everything, and the only think that has helped me not drink for longer then 5 days is the people in AA. So, instead of bashing a program you obviously know nothing about. Give someone who is looking for hope a chance and burn this article.

Hello Meaghan,

Thanks for the letter.

  1. Yes, I am, or was, an alcoholic. Everybody from family and friends to my doctor all agreed that I was an alcoholic. I went so far down that I was homeless and eating out a Dempsey Dumpster.

    Then I came all of the way back by deciding that I was not going to die that way.

    Of course, Bill Wilson insisted that you cannot do that, that Will Power is useless. I sure am glad that I didn't believe in Bill Wilson. I would be dead if Bill Wilson was right.

    While we are talking about whether I'm a "real alcoholic", we should look at the various definitions of "alcoholic". A.A. uses at least four different definitions of alcoholic, and freely mixes them up, which confuses the issue.

    The definitions are:

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

    When I call myself an alcoholic, I usually mean definition 2, and only occasionally definition 1, but never definitions 3 or 4.

    1. By definition 1, I stopped being an alcoholic more than 12 years ago.
    2. By definition 2, I will always be an alcoholic.
    3. By definition 3, I wasn't an alcoholic, because I could quit drinking, and I did. I was not "powerless over alcohol". I even quit drinking without any help from A.A., because I quit drinking two weeks before I was ever sent to an A.A. meeting.
    4. By definition 4, I was never an alcoholic. I was always a nice drunk. People liked having me at their parties because I was so much fun to have around when I got high. (But, as one friend said, "Even nice drunks die of cirrhosis of the liver...")

  2. I do understand A.A., and no, I do not take things out of context. Do you even understand what it is to take something out of context?

    Taking something out of context is taking only part of a sentence or paragraph and leaving out the rest, so that it changes the meanings of the words. Not every quote is a quote taken out of context.

    It's like this:
    Suppose that the police are questioning a guy about a bank robbery. He says, "What? Are you trying to claim that I shot the bank teller?"

    If you lift just the five words "I shot the bank teller" out of that sentence, it turns the question into a confession of guilt. It completely reverses the meaning of the words. That is quoting out of context.

    I don't do that. I am very careful not to confuse or change the meaning when I quote things. I challenge you to show me even one quote where I did such a thing. Often, I quote entire paragraphs, or even entire pages, just so that there will be no confusion about what is being said.

  3. There is no wonderful "understanding" to get from A.A. That is cult talk. "Don't leave 5 minutes before the Miracle." "Only our group has the New Message from The Master."

  4. The fact that you choose to not believe in God does not change the fact that A.A. is a cult religion. Most A.A. members do believe in God, and half of the 12 Steps talk about God, and the so-called "Traditions" are even worse:

    Tradition 2: For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority — a loving God as he may express Himself in our group conscience.

    Haven't you listened to the Steps and Traditions as they read them out loud at the start of every meeting? Don't you understand what kind of an organization you are in?

    When they tell you that you can believe whatever you wish, they are lying to you. Why don't you go to an A.A. meeting some time and "share" the idea that A.A. should remove all references to God from the Steps and Traditions, because A.A. is supposed to be a sobriety program, not a religion? See what happens. You will quickly learn how much Freedom of Religion there really is in A.A.

  5. Alcohol is not a disease. Alcohol is a hydrocarbon solvent, similar to gasoline or natural gas, specifically ethane with an oxygen atom added. Drinking too much alcohol too often is a bad habit, a very unhealthy lifestyle, not a disease.

  6. You did not "try everything" before A.A. That is another standard A.A. slogan that is untrue.

    Did you try SMART? How about SOS or Lifering or Moderation Management or HAMS? Or the Catholic programs like Calix or St. Vincent de Paul? Or the Protestant Evangelist Rick Warren's Christianity-based Saddleback program? The Salvation Army program? The Veterans Administration program? Brief Intervention? Rational Recovery? Naltrexone? Disulfiram?

    For a list of 48 different programs or treatments or methods, and their effectiveness, look here.

    You did not try every other way. So how many different ways did you really try, and for how long?

  7. Congratulations for abstaining from drinking alcohol for longer than 5 days. So you finally learned that you should not drink alcohol. Good. You finally decided to get a grip and not drink any more alcohol. Congratulations. Please keep it up.

  8. Now, for the single most important point: A.A. does not work. It does not sober up alcoholics.

    If you think it does, would you like to tell us what the A.A. success rate is?

    What is the REAL A.A. success rate?

    Out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A., how many will pick up a one-year sobriety medallion a year later?
    Or even several years later?
    And how many will get their 2-year, and 5-year, and 10-year coins? Ever?
    How about 11 years and 21 years?

    No qualifiers are allowed, like, "We will only count the people who worked the program right, or we will only count the people who really tried, and kept coming back." Everybody counts. No exceptions.

    No excuses are allowed. When the doctor gives a patient penicillin, and it fails to cure the infection, the doctor doesn't get to say, "But he didn't work the program right. He didn't pray enough. He didn't surrender. He held something back in his Fifth Step." No excuses.

    So what's the actual A.A. cure rate?

    HINT: the answers are here and here and here.

  9. Lastly, about giving people "hope": I do give people hope. I tell them that they can quit drinking and save their lives and improve their lifestyle without joining a cult religion or throwing their brains into the trash can and "Coming To Believe". I tell people that they are not powerless over alcohol, and that they do not have an incurable disease, and that they can use their will power to save their lives. I tell people that they can be happy without being a member of a cult religion.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*       http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/   *
**     If some fool practices medicine without a license and kills a
**     coronary disease patient by giving him a poisonous witch's brew
**     of toxic herbs and chemicals, that fool will most assuredly be
**     prosecuted for manslaughter and practicing medicine without a
**     license.
**     But if some fool practices medicine without a license and kills an
**     alcoholic or a drug addict by giving him a poisonous witch's brew
**     of old cult religion and faith healing, nobody gets prosecuted.
**     Now why is that?





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters367.html#Antonio_A ]

Date: Wed, September 4, 2013 8:27 pm       (answered 12 September 2013)
From: "Antonio A."
Subject: [Orange Papers] In may of 2010, one of the most damaging articles...

Antonio A. posted in Orange Papers

In May of 2010, one of the most damaging articles about AA ever written came about. Alcoholics Anonymous emphatically states resentment is the number one offender for relapse. This study shows that out of 1,706 Alcoholics Anonymous members, the average level of anger ranged anywhere from 89th to 98th percentile of the normal population. This was regardless of time in the program. AA had no effect of reducing anger in 1706 members of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Negative Affect, Relapse, and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): Does AA Work by Reducing Anger?
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2859791/

Anger and other indices of negative affect have been implicated in a stress-induced pathway to relapse. The Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) literature states that reduction of anger is critical to recovery, yet this proposed mechanism has rarely been investigated. Using lagged, controlled hierarchical lin...

http://www.facebook.com/n/?groups%2Faorange%2Fpermalink%2F584143014982204%2F&aref=223279995&medium=email&mid=891f734G25f2680eGd4efb7bG96&bcode=1.1378351622.AbkutA5tGIoHeCR6&n_m=orange%40orange-papers.org

Hello Antonio,

Thank you for the information. I had not heard of that study. And it's outrageous. So A.A. will not relieve you of "having a resentment", huh? After all of the jabber about resentments, and all of the Steppers who have accused me of "having a resentment", A.A. doesn't really work to relieve anger or resentments? Doesn't that beat all?

But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.
== The Alcoholics Anonymous "Big Book", page 66, How it Works

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*       http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/   *
*
**     "now let's ponder the need for a list of the more glaring personality
**     defects all of us have in varying degrees... to avoid falling into
**     confusion over the names these defects should be called, let's take
**     a universally recognized list of major human failings — the seven
**     deadly sins of pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, sloth."
**      ==  Bill Wilson, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 48.
**
**     "That is the measure of our character defects, or, if you wish, of our sins."
**      ==  Bill Wilson, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 65.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters367.html#Frank_M ]

Date: Fri, September 6, 2013 5:42 pm       (answered 12 September 2013)
From: "Frank M."
Subject: Simply Incredible

Hi-

I found your site while looking for some artwork for my own AA article about the positive treatment of AA in Ken Burns: Prohibition
(http://franklycurious.com/index.php?itemid=6172).
For roughly 15 years, I've been writing about opioids and those who use them and so I've come upon AA a lot. I have many problems with it, but I would forgive everything if it worked. In fact, I would forgive most things if it weren't actually worse than nothing.

Hello Frank,

Thank you for the letter and all of the compliments. You make a bunch of good points. I quite agree. (But of course.)

Yes, I could also forgive a lot if it worked. Heck, I could get enthusiastic about Voodoo as a recovery program if it actually worked to save people's lives. But it doesn't.

Anyway, all I've read is your article "Not Good" and I had a few thoughts. With regard to the idea that the 12-step program is never wrong, the problem goes further than just blaming the addict for not "working the program." ("It works if you work it" really means "It works if it works.") When a drug user stops using without the program, they are labeled a "dry drunk." The idea is that sure, they are sober, but they must be unhappy because they aren't working the steps. Again: the hubris of the movement is amazing! But the whole idea that one could stop doing drugs in the wrong way shows that AA is not about drugs at all. As I recall, in the Rational Recovery book, the author talks about a bank robber who is a drunk. By AA standards, if the bank robber stops drinking but continues to rob banks, he's not cured. It's shocking and this is the main form of "treatment" that addicts get. No wonder we are so screwed up!

Yes indeed. Great point. And the A.A. complaint that some people quit drinking in the wrong way is also the propaganda and debating trick of Moving the Goalposts. That also makes it a bait-and-switch trick:

  1. First, the goal is to quit drinking and save your life.
  2. But then, the goal is to "find God" and "acquire faith" and "work the Steps" and "surrender to God".

And Bill Wilson even wrote in the Big Book:

At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not an end in itself. Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.
The A.A. Big Book, 3rd & 4th editions, William G. Wilson, Into Action, page 77.

On issue number 39: the meetings are a joke, you mention the standard witnessing, "I lived a life of crime and misery..." This is standard for born again Christians. There is a strong tendency to portray their old lives as especially terrible. The best recent example of this was Christine O'Donnell who told Bill Maher that before she found God she was a witch, as though she were sacrificing goats to Satan. It is all a form of theater. People delude themselves into thinking that they were especially horrible in the past to witness for the power of their conversion.

Yes. And the Oxford Group cult religion did the same thing before A.A.:

Bill Wilson learned that spiritual vaudeville act from them. And A.A. is still doing it.

One problem that especially bugs me is how in any movie (e.g. Traffic) when an addict quits, they *always* do it with a 12-step program. You mentioned conspiracy. Well, I think it is kind of like that. AA's association with the justice system has been huge, but its association with Hollywood has been arguably as bad. Everybody "knows" that the way out of addiction is AA. And that's really bad given that we know the truth is exactly the opposite.

Yes. I was just watching a rerun of Criminal Minds the night before last, and the Behavioral Analysis Unit's boss lady Ms. Strauss, who had a chronic drinking problem, was murdered by someone forcing poisoned drink on her. After her death, one of the crew members picked up a coin, and said that it was her one-year sobriety token, and she was a sponsor now, implying that she was doing so well in A.A. I wonder if the script writers are simply too dim-witted to think of any other cliché to indicate that someone has been successfully conquering her drinking problem.

Finally, I'm glad that you take the movement to task for its ridiculous theology. I'm not a religious person, but I find theology fascinating and think and write about it often. It is very clear that AA is just a vague Evangelical religion that has tried to cover up that fact over the years. The thinking in the Big Book is not going to lead anyone to Buddhism. It leads to a particular kind of God — the God it was based on in the first place.

Yes. And that "God" sure isn't your standard Protestant or Catholic God either.

But now I must stop reading. It was great to see someone taking the movement to task. You make a much stronger case than, for example, AA: Cult or Cure. (For one thing because you admit that it IS a cult.)

-F

Okay, Frank. Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*       http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/   *
**     "Of course we speak little of conversion nowadays because so
**     many people really dread being God-bitten. But conversion, as
**     broadly described by [William] James, does seem to be our basic
**     process; all other devices are but the foundation."
**       ==  Bill Wilson's statements to the American Psychiatric
**          Association 105th Annual Meeting, Montreal, Quebec, May 1949





June 18, 2013, Tuesday, Fernhill Wetlands::

Flowers in my front yard
Flowers in my front yard

Canada Goose goslings
Flowers in my front yard

A branch of the pine tree beside my house
A branch of the pine tree beside my house

[The story of the goslings continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters367.html#Richard_M ]

Date: Sun, September 8, 2013 6:39 am       (answered 13 September 2013)
From: "Richard M."
Subject: "Denial Thief" / "The Narcotic Made Me Do It"

In 2001 I was sentenced to 4 to 8 years at SCI Waymart, Pa for possession with intent to deliver narcotics.

During intake I was informed I could get out in 3 years which is 1 year before my minimum "if" I "DO THE PROGRAM".....That was exciting news! ... I wondered "what the program was"?.... They (lawyers, consolers, the judge, program director, prison staff sergeant, the prisoner sitting next to me in line who was back 3 times) told me "its" a "DRUG PROGRAM" (oh and besides the guy next to me, those other guys do get paid by the way, and not just to lock me up but to "sell the program" as well... with the money we could be giving bulletproof vest to our Vets with... That's another issue).... I asked "How could it be possible I can get out a whole year early? ... I understood about getting released on my minimum as long as I didn't have a violent crime and I was even happy about that but had no idea about "THE PROGRAM"..

They (prison counseler, program director) TOLD ME "I HAD A DISEASE SO I QUALIFY TO GET OUT EARLY " ..I...I THEN SAID "YES!... I CAN DO IT!.... ... THEY TOLD ME THE DRUG MADE ME DO IT! .. I WAS A SICK PERSON AND SOME PEOPLE ARE GOOD PEOPLE THEY JUST NEED HELP..... The TRUTH is .... I got busted with some narcotics and had a shit load and had a fucking ball for years with the narcotics and knew dam well what I was doing was TOTALLY ILLEGAL!.... (That's why I had a hiding spot for them so the fuzz wouldn't find them in the first place by the way!)

.......I already "knew" I could go to prison and even did a "risk assessment" as far as the amount I would carry so I could keep "my charge" under 5 years in the state of Pa ...I also felt the other benefits of "handling the illegal drug" outweighed the "the risk" or "chance of getting caught" (at that time in my life) .AND ...Made dam well sure my vehicle was clean at all times ....inspected...insured to reduce "getting pulled over!.. (they said said i was"in denial" lol..by the way!)....

To get out of prison in 3 years instead of 4 is an attractive offer and I was getting very worried that somehow I "wouldn't get to do the program" because they would certainly find out "the real truth". (i wanted to fucking get high to feel good or better and liked it).......

After "waiting in line for a year".... The "main guy"... called me down to the office .... I walked in and said "I think im here about the program?... Is that why you called me down?"..... he replied... Yes!... We will have a spot for you in 2 weeks on J block TC (therapeutic community) D/A.... I replied .."thank you".. (as I wiped the sweat off my forehead)..... and then mentioned something like "Thank god!..

I was getting worried"... he said... whats the problem?... why are you worried?... I said "well...I did "get caught"...uh...with...a lot of...well....narcotics sir?"... (notice how I kind of "caught myself" as I almost was ready to "be real and be honest" with the director but then realized I better shut my mouth)... but then he said it doesn't matter because my piss was hot for drugs when I came in and I "got caught" with drugs and I "have a disease" so I qualify for "the 6 month program"..... (like it didn't matter even if I had a fucking blast getting high for 5 years. which is what I was worried he would find out..like ....maybe I got high cus I fucking "choose too!..like anyone i ever know n did for that reason as well!....That's what we did...We all got high growing up because we "wanted to get high"...

Note.. I was checked by doctors and had psychology evaluation during intake and was told "my health is in good condition besides a vitamin B deficiency " )....... I thought ... Wow!... is this guy serious?... All i got to do is "cop to having a disease"... and I can get out a year early ?... fuck yea buddy!... i agree with what ever the hell you say... sounds good to me!....

HOWEVER...He did say..."IF YOU DONT COMPLETE "THE PROGRAM"...AND GET "KICKED OUT"...THEN WE WONT GIVE "OUR RECOMENDATION" ..FOR PA STATE PAROLE..AND YOU WILL STAY HERE UNTILL YOUR MINIMUM DATE AND YOU WILL NOT GET OUT A YEAR EARLY ON PRE REALEASE!"

....I SAID:...Omg!?... Really Sir?... But... even if I have a Medical problem?... How can you possibly get "kicked out"? That would be like getting kicked out of the hospital wouldn't it?'... Then ..as he chuckled... " HE TOLD ME NOT TO WORRY BECAUSE I SEEM LIKE A GOOD GUY AND WILL BE ABLE TO "DO IT"... AND.. THAT MOST PEOPLE GET "KICKED OUT"... BECAUSE OF "NON COMPLIANCE"....

I said "Wow?.. Uh.. Non-Compliance?... Whats that Sir?".....

He said...WELL...YOU HAVE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM AND "SHARE IN THE MEETINGS"..... "YOU HAVE TO GO TO ALL OF THEM WHICH IS AT LEAST 4 A DAY PLUS HOME GROUP,ETC,ETC"...... HE SAID DONT WORRY YOU WILL LEARN ALL ABOUT IT AND WILL BE FINE AND "99% OF THE PEOPLE "GET THEIR COMPLETION AND CERTIFICATE"... AND "PASS"....

I asked him why do i get? "a certificate"?........ He said it shows that you "worked the program" and that is what parole is going to want so you can "get out of here"........

He got angry with me next because I said ..."Sir I'm "looking forward to the program and as long as parole gets "the certificate" that's fine with me.. Im not personally interested in "the certificate"...

...He yelled..."DO YOU WANT RECOVERY OR NOT ?!! ...MAKE UP YOUR MIND BECAUSE A LOT OF PEOPLE WANT "THIS PROGRAM"!!!...."....

I replied...Omg!..sir im sorry ..yes!..I want your recovery"... yes sir!".....

So.. I stayed there for 6 months and then they offered me 35 cents an hour to be "A PEER ASSISTANT".... (basically I had to shove na/aa 12 step bullshit down the new imates throats for another 6 months but I couldn't really tell them I didn't want the job because in PA State Prison you have to "except an inmate assigned job" ...or you don't get the recommendation) ........ I received my big fat certificate and was paroled 1 year before my minimum .......

Then or course there was "prison aftercare recommended by parole while being on parole"... which means I had to attend MANDATORY NA MEETINGS 3 TIMES A WEEK!... AND... EVEN HAD TO PAY THE AFTERCARE PLACE 6 DOLLARS FOR "GROUP NA ".... AND 9 DOLLARS FOR THE "ONE ON ONE"... MEETING WHICH IS JUST 12 STEP BULLSHIT TOO.... SO REALLY>>>????... I HAD TO PAY.. $21.. A WEEK.. (OR ELSE!.. ITS BACK TO THE "TWIST"!).. TO GET BEAT IN THE HEAD WITH NA BULLSHIT FOR 3 MORE AFTERCARE MONTHS......

I TELL YOU WHAT!... I COULDNT WAIT TO GET THAT OUT OF THE WAY BECAUSE ..."I REALLY HONESTLY WANTED TO GET HIGH ".... AND THE CRAZY THING IS... BEING THAT "RELAPSE" ... IS A PART OF "THIER PROGRAM".. I KNEW DAM WELL IF I GOT A HOT PISS TEST THEY WOULD GIVE ME AT LEAST ONE "FREE PASS" AND "BLAME IT ON THE RELAPSE"... AND "PLAY THE RELAPSE CARD".... AND WOULD NOT GET SENT BACK TO PRISON IF I "WAS GETTING HIGH"... OR COURSE THEY WOULD SEND PEOPLE BACK WHO DID NOT SHOW UP FOR MEETING THOUGH!...

AFTER MANY OF MEETINGS I WOULD BE GETTING BUGGED BY CRACK WHORES FOR A RIDE HOME AND PROPOSITIONED WHICH THANK GOD I HAD ENOUGH SENSE TO REFUSE OR GOD KNOWS WHAT I COULD OF CATCHED ... ON TOP OF THAT... SOME OF THE "PROGRAM DIRECTORS".. WOULD EVEN PUT ME ON THE SPOT AND "ASK ME IF I WOULD BE SO NICE TO GIVE SALLY A RIDE HOME".. BECAUSE "IM DRIVING".... DAM!... OF COURSE IM DRIVING AND HAVE TO GET BACK TO WORK AFTER SITTING IN THIS DUMP FOR AN HOUR OR 2.. AND NOW "HE THINKS "...THE BEST THING FOR ME TO BE DOING IS GIVE SALLY THE CRACK HEAD A RIDE HOME!....SOME FUCKING PROGRAM HU?........

Hello Richard,

Thank you for the story. That says a lot. I'm adding it to the list of A.A. horror stories.

It really is amazing and appalling, the crazy nonsense and quackery that gets passed off as drug and alcohol treatment in the USA. Heck, my "treatment program" was a cocaine-snorting child-raping Internet child pornographer reciting 12-Step slogans at us and telling us that we needed a "Higher Power" in our "recovery programs".

Oh well have a good day now, and a good life. Good luck.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*       http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/   *
*
**     When I "graduated" from the so-called "treatment program" at the local
**     "treament center" (because the health insurance funding ran out), they
**     congratulated me for my continuous sobriety and for "achieving the goals"
**     of the treatment program. That starkly contrasts with the A.A. dogma
**     that says that you are powerless over alcohol. If I were really powerless,
**     then I couldn't have chosen sobriety, and I couldn't have accomplished
**     anything. The so-called treatment is contradictory: They demand that you
**     go to 12-Step meetings and get a sponsor and join the 12-Step cult
**     religion, but they also demand that you act like you have the situation
**     totally under your own control, and abstain from drinking or drugging
**     as a matter of choice.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters367.html#Michael_B ]

Date: Fri, September 13, 2013 4:46 pm       (answered 17 September 2013)
From: "Michael B."
Subject: I will be be ten years sober soon a

anything that even gets one single person sober is priceless. AA never mentions its success rates or promotes itself using success rates. remember just one single person then its worth, it could even end up being someone close to you.

Hello Michael,

Thanks for the letter. Congratulations on your quitting drinking, and choosing to stay sober for 10 years. It really improves your health, doesn't it? Likewise, I'm looking forwards to my 13th birthday real soon now. Just another month. And that is 13 years without a drink or hit of drugs, or even a cigarette. And also without A.A. or any other cult religion.

Alas, you managed to repeat three standard A.A. lies and pieces of misinformation in just three sentences.

  1. Just getting one person sober is not enough, not nearly enough. What if A.A. kills five people while getting that one person sober? That is what Dr. George E. Vaillant, future member of the A.A. Board of Trustees found. More than five people died for every one that got and stayed sober. Dr. Vaillant spent the better part of 20 years treating alcoholics with A.A., and he tracked his first 100 A.A.-treated patients for eight years. At the end of that 8 years, the score was: 5 sober, 29 dead, and 66 still drinking. That is nearly a 6-to-1 kill ratio. A.A. kills more people than it saves.

    Of course, that leaves the question of whether A.A. really caused anybody to quit drinking. Dr. Vaillant noted that the recovery rate inside A.A. was just the same as the recovery rate in untreated alcoholics outside of A.A. Approximately five percent of the alcoholics just decided that they didn't want to die, so they quit drinking, regardless of treatment or religion or social club or cult membership.

    But there is little doubt that A.A. contributes to the death rate. Dr. Vaillant found that A.A. had the highest death rate of any way of treating alcoholism.

  2. About A.A. not promoting itself using success rates: totally untrue. A.A. constantly brags about saving millions. Just read what Bill Wilson wrote in the foreword to the second edition of the Big Book:

    Of alcoholics who came to A.A. and really tried, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with A.A. showed improvement. Other thousands came to a few A.A. meetings and at first decided they didn't want the program. But great numbers of these — about two out of three — began to return as time passed.
    == William G. Wilson, in the Foreword to the Second Edition of the Big Book, page XX, in 1955.

    And before that, Bill Wilson was bragging about "100 Men", claiming that A.A. had sobered up 100 men. Remember that the original name for the Big Book was "One Hundred Men", supposedly the story of how 100 men got sober:

    We, of ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, know one hundred men who were once just as hopeless as Bill. All have recovered. They have solved the drink problem.
    The A.A. "Big Book"Alcoholics Anonymous, William G. Wilson, first edition multilith page 8 and the 1st edition hardback on page 27.

    But there were only about 40 sober members of Alcoholics Anonymous altogether — whom Bill Wilson grandly called the "First 100" — including all of the members of the groups in New York, Akron, and Cleveland, when Bill started writing the Big Book in late 1938; and there were only 70 sober members of A.A. worldwide when Bill Wilson finished writing his chapters in early 1939. (And most of them eventually relapsed and returned to a life of drinking.) The "hundred" number is a shameless self-promoting barefaced lie.12

  3. Then you went back to jabbering about saving one single person:
    remember just one single person then its worth, it could even end up being someone close to you.

    But what if it's one single person close to you who gets killed with A.A. quack medicine and cult religion? (Please read some of the A.A. Horror Stories, here.)

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*       http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/   *
**     Like computer viruses, successful mind viruses will be hard
**     for their victims to detect. If you are the victim of one,
**     the chances are that you won't know it, and may even
**     vigorously deny it.
**       ==  Richard Dawkins





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters367.html#Michael_M ]

Date: Fri, September 13, 2013 9:20 pm       (answered 17 September 2013)
From: "Michael M."
Subject: AA Writings

Do you know of anyone close to you being an alcoholic?

Sincerely,

Michael M.

Hello Michael,

Well, you have a choice of my father, or me. Is that close enough?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*       http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/   *
**     One must live the way one thinks, or end up
**     thinking the way one has lived.
**       ==  Paul Bourget, "Conclusions,"
**           Le Démon de midi (1914).





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