Letters, We Get Mail, CCLXX
by A. Orange



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters270.html#Miguel_V ]

Date: Sun, October 23, 2011 10:40 am     (answered 25 October 2011)
From: "miguel v."
Subject: Bait and switch

Do you know of a better way for those who suffer from alcoholism? If so, please share.

Hello Miguel,

Yes. I already wrote it all down, and so did a bunch of other people. Look here: How did you get to where you are?

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/   *
**
**     During my eighty-seven years, I have witnessed
**     a whole succession of technological revolutions;
**     but none of them has done away with the need for
**     character in the individual, or the ability to think.
**       ==  Financier Bernard Baruch





[The previous letter from David_J is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters270.html#David_J ]

Date: Sat, October 22, 2011 2:48 am     (answered 25 October 2011)
From: "David J."
Subject: Re: Sorry to take so long getting back.

Orange,

just out of curiosity, do you think it is a good idea to memorize all of the data that blows these religions and organizations wide open? I am thinking about doing that (more dealing with the Bible, memorizing all of the contradictions, historical inaccuracies, etc etc) out of compassion for the people who are enslaved to these things. I would love nothing more than to wipe AA from the face of the earth in favor of something real, same with Christianity and Islam and the Soka Gakkai (of course not talking about the people, they are human beings and despite the things they say or do I feel that just by the virtue of them being born as a human being they are deserving of observance of at least basic human rights). Aside from how I feel about AA, I don't know how useful memorizing every little detail would be (you have compiled TONS of info and all I would have to do is tell people to check out your web site). For that matter, I almost never see AA members I knew in the past out and about so I don't know how much debating I would ever do with them. Same with SGI members. I have some friends who are still SGI, but most of them don't like the Ikeda worship anyway. But Christianity, there is a church it seems ever several miles, tons of oppurtunity to debunk Christianity and free people from the church.

David

Hello again, David,

I guess whether you want to memorize a long list of debating points about what is wrong with religions is strictly up to you.

Personally, I haven't memorized a very long list of what's wrong with other religions, because I would rather think about the good stuff, and learn more good stuff.

Now I know that seems at odds with so much stuff on my web site, but I don't think it is. My web site isn't really about what is wrong with religions; rather, it's about what is wrong with cults (especially one particular cult that passes itself off as an infallible cure for alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction). There is a huge difference there. I have actually criticized Christianity or Islam very little, and Buddhism and "Hinduism" (really, Vedantic teachings) not at all. It's just that I cannot stay out of the religious debate entirely when A.A. is a religion in disguise.


Date: Sat, October 22, 2011 4:00 am     (answered 25 October 2011)
From: "David J."
Subject: Actual reply(sorry, didn't see the attached file:)...

Orange,

you have brought up a VERY good point. The biggest difference between the Zen masters and Nichiren. But bear in mind that the difference in view points lies in definition of enlightenment, specific goals, and sutras that are believed to be ultimate truth. Before I became devoted to Nichiren's teachings, I was reading selections from the Pali cannon (In the Buddha's Words), the Dhammapada, the Heart Sutra, and the Diamond Sutra. Of course the Diamond Sutra is a Zen sutra. A lot of the Diamond Sutra revolved around overcoming dualistic thinking. There is no high, or low, good or bad, they are all ideas, conceptions, so on and so forth. I started reading the Lotus Sutra again and there is one part that really caught my attention. The Buddha was teaching Shariputra about how people who adhere to the Lotus Sutra won't need a teacher, from what I remember this was talking about Bhodisatvas (because those are the ones that are that far along in their progression towards Buddhahood). If you have ever read "Siddhartha" by Herman Hesse, that is what Siddhartha sought in the story. He wanted to attain Buddhahood, but not with a teacher. In Zen, the definition (from my understanding) is that the practitioner of Zen must stay in the moment. I remember reading a story where there was a Zen patriarch who was building or helping to build a Buddhist temple for this king. When asked years later what virtue he had obtained by this most noble deed (helping the Buddhist order, the monks) he said none. He hadn't stayed in the moment the whole time. Nichiren on the other hand would have said that it is irrelevant because of 3000 realms in a single moment of life, mutual possession of the 10 worlds, and that this is the Latter day of the Law (all teachings prior to the Lotus Sutra are to in this time period-according to the Lotus Sutra, not just Nichiren's opinoin, but the words of Shakyamuni, discarded as expedients). If the person was in the 10th world (Buddhahood) he had no need to stay in the moment-what virtue would he still have to work towards? I guess it could translate into a person fighting the desire to drink VS. making the desire to drink go away eliminating the need to fight it. What does all of that actually translate into? (people could just as easily throw those terms around and not really have a clue what they are talking about as most SGI members do). Nichiren pulled a lot of theoretical teachings in his interpretation of the Lotus Sutra based off of the Tendai school (or T'ien-t'ai I believe was another way of spelling his name), and he was the one that came up with the 3000 realms in a single moment of life. Basically this is dealing with volition (the act of doing something or what causes us to take an action). Even though the Buddha did say in the Lotus Sutra to honestly discard expedient means as there is only one vehicle, not three (Theravada, Mahayana, and perhaps Vajrayana but that is controversial at best as far as the third), what I believe is that what this is referring to IS volition. If you have ever read the "Nirvana Sutra's" which is quantum psychology (fascinating stuff that will give you a headache), and even for that matter in provisional Buddhism, self will is an illusion. If a person wanted to change a behavior, simply modify the parameters that dictate they keep making that decision right? Kind of like knocking out walls in a room. Don't worry about the empty space in the room, worry about the location of the walls which dictates where the empty space will be. Anyway, they got the number 3000 by a math equation. What we have is a single moment of life which cold be translated as one mind, one though, or one thought moment. The three thousand realms or the entire phenomenal world, exist in a single moment of life (think of the arguments that David Hume put forth-similar in some respects, I could at one moment be sitting in this chair, and at another moment be miles above the earth in freefall accept that the Law of cause and effect dictates that things progress in a seemingly logical order from moment to moment-IE Karma). The number three thousand comes from the the following calculation: 10 (Ten Worlds) X 10 (Ten Worlds) X 10 (ten factors) X 3 (three realms of existence). Each of the ten worlds contains the other ten in itself (to varying degrees). Life at any moment manifests one of the Ten Worlds. Each of these worlds possesses the potential for all ten within itself and this "mutual possession", or mutual inclusion, of the Ten Worlds. But what does all of that REALLY mean? How would we connect one point to the other? This is in one respect a chicken or the egg question. The Zen patriarch was trying to generate virtue which would in the end result in Buddhahood. I don't know what year that was, actually, T'ien-t'ai would have been around 500-600 AD. My point about this is similar to the example I used before, using "self will" or denying "self will". If a person was trying to generate virtue doing the difficult austere practices (as they still do in India today, self mortification which wasn't the "middle path" but just using it as an example), are they in one respect using "self will" trying to overcome "self will"? Being that there are conceptually the 10 worlds, a person could fight and struggle against their "self will" and accomplish much, only to find themselves in the right set of circumstances which would trigger themselves on the inside causing them to take actions which would put them in the Lower six worlds (oh yeah almost forgot, oneness of self and the environment-you enter the room, see the TV, you don't WANT to watch TV but want to work on the computer, desire springs forth, and you CHOOSE to watch the TV anyway). So if I was the Zen patriarch building the temple, fighting my "self will" as opposed to altering my "self will", how long would it take for me to attain Buddhahood (bearing in mind conceptually the 10 worlds, 3000 realms, oneness of self and the environment, etc etc)? Which is more efficient? Think about reprogramming or reconditioning oneself to meet circumstances as opposed to using "self will" and forgetting about doing the internal work (just as an example). I believe that that was really the point that Nichiren was making. Also, one thing SGI leaves out (and Nichiren talked time and time and time again about Shakyamuni making the vow to save all mankind). If theoretically (I don't think Nichiren taught this, but it is the easiest way for me to understand these concepts) there is no self will, there is only Myoho-renge-kyo (which IS our self will, the Law of cause and effect, Karma), then we are truly living in a deterministic world. If I don't have the ability to "choose" one thing over the other (due to it being dictated by the Law), wouldn't there need to be a balancing factor? But this is the difference between the Kempon's teachings (veneration of Shakyamuni) and SGI's teachings (veneration of Buddha nature). In one respect (even though across the board this is a non-theistic form of Buddhism), we do venerate Shakyamuni. In fact there is one prayer in our Gongyo book at the end where it is Shakyamuni who gives the benefits of chanting (enlightenment) as he isn't "god" persay, but more like a super conciousness that is generated by the environments response to human suffering. I think of it being similar to how Shiva came down as Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita. A lot of that is way over my head (I have only begun to REALLY study, and I think most Nichiren Buddhist's (that are SGI members) who are interested in really studying, inevitably they can't rationalize sticking with SGI). You did make a good point about even if a person has the desire to attain enlightenment, it is still a desire. Again, this is another difference in perspective because Nichiren had made the statement that desire is enlightenment, the sufferings of birth and death are Nirvana. He was referring to Samsara (hell) being the land of tranquil light because it is here we are motivated to transform ourselves using the very desire that ensnares us (if it wasn't for our desire, we would never seek the Buddha way-changing poison into medicine). The other thing is that this is about how long does a person want to take working at attaining enlightenment. Does a person want to do it in one lifetime, or many? If there was a way for me to simply change my Karma to where I (without even trying) attain Buddhahood (being that Karma is self will), why take the long approach and adhere to tons of precepts, as opposed to changing my Karma and I live without any (but as though I had them). This is similar to the idea in Christianity where a follower of Christ being dead to the law, lives without the law but ACTS as though they have the law.

I could go on and on. But anyway, there are tons of Nichiren schools. I have even seen online some Buddhist schools that ignore Nichiren but they venerate the Lotus Sutra. I did think about getting a hold of Thich Nhat Hanh's interpretation of the Lotus Sutra, it would be interesting to see how a Zen monk would interpret the Lotus Sutra VS. how Nichiren interpreted it.

David

Hello again, David,

A lot of that is way over my head, too. You make me feel like I need to go back to the library and check out a lot more books.

But right now, my practice is ultra-simple: Just working on staying in the here and now, all day long, minute by minute. That is of course nearly impossible, but I keep trying.

I seem to recall that Buddha said something like, "The yoga of action is superior to the yoga of inaction." So I keep on trying to stay aware and here and now through all of the experiences of the day.

I think all schools and practices are just tools to help the student to develop unbroken awareness.

One of the things I like about photography is that it encourages me to stay aware of my surroundings. If I don't stay aware and here and now, then I won't see the good shots.

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/   *
**     ZEN STUDENT: "What happens after death?"
**     ZEN MASTER: "I do not know."
**     ZEN STUDENT: "How can that be? You are a Zen Master!"
**     ZEN MASTER: "But I am not a dead Zen Master."





July 24, 2011, Sunday, a side trip to the Fernhill Wetlands this summer:

Northern Pintail Duck
Female Northern Pintail Duck


Blackbird
Blackbird
They come to get the bread too. They know what is going on when people feed the ducks and geese. When they feel that it's safe, they swoop in to get the crumbs and small pieces of bread that nobody else got.


Ducklings
Ducklings
Those two ducklings are siblings, but they obviously have different fathers. The one closest to the camera had a domestic black-and-white drake for a father, while the other one looks like it had a mostly-Mallard drake as a father. Their mother is a black-and-gray-and-white domestic duck of indeterminate breed (that is, probably a mongrel). Those ducks sure do enjoy mixing up the genes.

[More gosling photos below, here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters270.html#Peter_F ]

Date: Tue, October 25, 2011 2:56 am     (answered 27 October 2011)
From: "Peter F."
Subject: Don't Incarcerate Opponents of Drug Legalization and Harm Reduction — they need compassion and therapy

Don't Incarcerate Opponents of Drug Legalization and Harm Reduction — they need compassion and therapy

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-peter-ferentzy/dont-incarcerate-opponent_b_1026230.html

Peter Ferentzy, PhD
Author of Dealing With Addiction — why the 20th century was wrong
http://www.peterferentzy.com


Date: Tue, October 25, 2011 3:50 pm
From: "Peter F."
Subject: something different

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chlH66H4Ol0

Peter Ferentzy, PhD
Author of Dealing With Addiction — why the 20th century was wrong
http://www.peterferentzy.com

Thanks again for all of your articles, Peter, and of course I'll post the links.

I just love this line about proponents of the "War On Drugs":

"I am convinced that there is hope for these lost souls. They simply need to be weaned off their addiction to self-righteous tripe."

Brilliant satire.

Good video too.

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/   *
**
**     "As you may have gathered by now, I rather enjoy telling tales
**     and ruffling feathers. I also enjoy rocking boats, especially
**     when they are in need of sinking."
**       ==  Irving Kirsch, Ph.D., The Emperor's New Drugs, p 181.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters270.html#ANONYMOUS_BROTHER ]

Date: Wed, October 26, 2011 8:10 am     (answered 27 October 2011)
From: "ANONYMOUS BROTHER IN CHRIST"
Subject: The Heresy of the Twelve Steps

Orange,

Hello I just read your article The Heresy of the Twelve Steps. Although I did skip through some of it. very long article. You did open my eyes up to a few things that I did not know and for that I thank you. I started in AA at the age of 20 and went twice a week for many of years during this time I was also seeking GOD through JESUS CHRIST. Although I had a lot to learn I was applying these new ways of living in my life. The only credit I can truly give AA members today is the ability to show a unconditional LOVE that I was not seeing in the CHURCH'S that I had attended. I do give credit to AA as opening a door that led me to search deeper for GOD. I am very grateful today for the cleansing power of the Blood of Jesus Christ. Without I would still be lost and walking around in a stuper. Today I still attend a few AA meetings not to stay sober, but to show the Love of Christ through me.

My claim of God is Jesus Christ and I am not ashamed to say it claim it declare it in any circumstane or situation.

It took years for me to understand who I truly was in Christ why it took so long you would probably say that I was stupid or find some reason why i just couldn't comprehend the Bible as it is written. I do know this though from what I do understand about the Bible is that I was Called and chosen by God to be His disciple and to walk just as HE did. That if I claim that I have no sin that I make Him a liar.

I could downgrade and find things wrong with just about anything that does not line up with the TRUTH of God's word. People,places,things,situations,churches,entities, but instead of looking in that direction living out the TRUTH in my daily walk and showing the LOVE of Christ to all of HIS children is what drives me today.

I hope that you keep on informing others of how bad and wrong AA is I am just glad that it was there when I walked through the door as it was what led me to CHRIST it was not the members of Church. There are things about it that I truly disagree with and do not conform with or teach others to do, but it was a turning point in my life. We all have opions and views on everything in this world.

The only thing that matters is the TRUTH of the LIVING WORD of GOD JESUS CHRIST. I choose to LIVE the TRUTH instead of speak it. Maybe just maybe if you would live it out in your life you may be able to bring a drunk or addict to repentance through your actions of GODS LOVE.

May GOD BLESS YOU IN ALL YOU DO

ANONYMOUS BROTHER IN CHRIST.

Hello ANONYMOUS BROTHER IN CHRIST,

Thank you for the letter, and thanks for the thanks. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well.

So have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*       http://www.Orange-Papers.org/forum/   *
**     Learn the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
**       == Jesus
**     There is no god higher than truth.
**       == Gandhi





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters270.html#Bob_O ]

Date: Wed, October 26, 2011 10:04 am     (answered 27 October 2011)
From: Bob O.
Subject: Amy Weinhouse

Mister T,

FYI Amy Weinhouse cause of death has now been determined as extreme alcohol poisoning.

Long Island Bob O.


I hope this correct

http://www.eonline.com/news/amy_weinhouse_cause_of_death/271626

Long Island Bob O.


This worked for me

http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1673223/amy_weinhouse_death_alcohol.jhtml


By now you have the information and my efforts to get it to you are poor, but if not please try

http//www.eonline.com/news/amy_weinehouse_cause_of_death_accidental_alcohol_poisoning_ blood_level_five_times_the_legal_limit/271628

I believe you are more able to search for this information than I am so I will stop trying to send it.

Hi again, Bob,

Thanks for the tip. In the following day after I got your letter, I heard more about the final coroner's report on TV, saying the same thing.

Here we go again. The treatment centers will crank out a whole new batch of propaganda that says, "If you don't give us all of your money for our treatment, you will die like Amy Weinhouse."

Strange that the initial tox screen said that she had little or no drugs or alcohol in her, and now the final report says that she had like six or seven times the legal limit of alcohol in her. Odd how they could screw up a test so badly.

Oh well, may she rest in peace.

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/   *
**  An A.A. true believer (Craig S.) babbled:
**  > How many times to I have to explain it to you. Alcohol
**  > is but a symptom, our bottles are but a symbol.
**  No, alcohol is a poisonous clear hydrocarbon solvent
**  that produces intoxication if swallowed in quantity.
**  Drinking alcohol is the cause of alcoholism.
**  There is no other "primary cause" of alcoholism.





[The previous letter from Taylor_W is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters270.html#Taylor_W ]

Date: Wed, October 26, 2011 10:57 am     (answered 27 October 2011)
From: "Taylor W."
Subject:

Orange,

I reckon if it gets easier from here, what I'll need to watch out for is complacency that allows for Lizard Brain tricks. Right now I feel like it's well in hand, but I could see becoming TOO comfortable being an issue. But really, I just don't want to drink alcohol. That's one of the very few things I've recanted about AA. I thought it was bullshit when old timers said they "No longer felt the desire to drink". Not only do I not feel that desire, the idea of drinking is mildly scary to me, and I dig the sober gig.

Was the 20th 11 years for you? 12? Assuming you stay healthy enough to clock in, say, 20 years of sobriety, would that mean the AA folks would HAVE to listen to you? Hell, you're already in old-timer territory.

Hello again, Taylor,

Yes, 11 years. And no, they won't listen to reason, no matter whether someone has 11 or 20 years of sobriety. They only respect 20 years of sobriety when it is accumulated in A.A. meeting rooms. They still call the other sober people, the non-members, "dry drunks", or argue that "He wasn't a real alcoholic at all." (It is The Real Scotsman Logical Fallacy.)

My initially reaction to the idea of a "birthday" was negative. Because I'd only heard that term used in AA. My "belly button birthday" is Nov 1st, so they're not too far apart. However, as the date drew near, I started to feel like it was something worth noting. In fact, it seemed more important than my real birthday. Without my knowledge or consent (but bless their hearts all the same) my family had already decided it was a big deal. I don't like the "one day at a time" idea. However, one year at a time I could handle. Same thing with drugs, that was Feb 2 2007. I day-counted for a year (despite lack of involvement with 12 step programs) and have just taken time to realize another year has passed since the last. I thought about stopping by the Alano Club, but decided that what I had planned was not worth my time.

Yes, for a while there, I was doing it three years at a time. The reason for that was, I had been sober for three years before, so I knew that I could do that again. And only having to "make a decision" once every three years is much less work than having to decide every day to not drink for one day.

It's funny how little things can make all the difference isn't it? For example, I take great pleasure in always knowing how and why I went to bed, as opposed to just passing out after several hours spent blacked out. And boy, did you say it on the hangovers. I've mentioned mental illness before, and among my problems is some rather severe, non-reality based anxiety. Drinking was part of how I dealt with this. However, at some point it stopped being an effective means of self-medication. All the panic I'd held at bay for days and days would hit me all at once the minute I couldn't stay drunk. So I'd get to deal with that as well as the physical effects.

Alcohol has funny effects on that anxiety. First, it relieves it and makes you feel okay. But the next morning, it's twice as bad. Or worse. Eventually, alcohol had me feeling anxious all of the time. Among other things, alcohol strips all of the B vitamins out of your body, which makes you paranoid.

And of course you had to mention tobacco. At this point, I'm mostly frustrated with myself for not wanting to quit. I know better than to say I can't, I can quit doing drugs, I can quite drinking, I can quit smoking just the same. And yet, I don't. And that is most certainly a matter of not wanting to, rather than being unable. And now, I haven't got the excuse of "one at a time", as it's the last one standing.

Yes. In SMART, someone was talking about the real key to quitting anything — like alcohol or tobacco — was wanting to. She said that people start off just wanting to want to quit, rather than really wanting to quit. They just wish that they could really want it enough to do it. The work is to progress to really wanting to quit.

A trick that helps is to dwell on all of the negative aspects: the bad taste, the pain in your throat and chest, the expense, the inconvenience, the stink, the fact that a stupid addiction has its claws sunk into you, and the discomfort of going into withdrawal several times a day.

And to also think about the positive aspects of not smoking: the clear lungs, the increased energy, the better health, the lack of a chronic headache, $5 per day of free money... And nobody sanctimoniously reminding you of things like lung cancer. And hence the pride of having beaten that monster.

And it is a monster.

-Taylor

Have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*       http://www.Orange-Papers.org/forum/   *
**    "I tried to stop smoking cigarettes by telling myself
**     I just didn't want to smoke, but I didn't believe myself."
**       ==   Barbara Kelly





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters270.html#Jules_W ]

Date: Sat, October 29, 2011 4:44 am     (answered 30 October 2011)
From: "Jules W."
Subject: Why?

Why are you going through SO MUCH time, trouble and work to attempt to prove AA wrong? It saves millions of lives. Doesn't that matter to you? It saved mine. When someone goes to so much trouble, as you have done, and is trying to prove something wrong so badly, like you are, the real problem lies within them. In other words you. Ask yourself why you're doing this? What good is it going to do for people? Notta, zilch, nothing. You are offering nothing, when you should look within. There is where the real problem lies.

I wish you the best in life,

Jules

Hello Jules,

Thank you for the letter and the good wishes. I also wish you the best in life.

Alas, you are grossly misinformed about A.A.

  1. A.A. has not saved millions. That is just a standard A.A. lie. Zero truth to it. All that A.A. does is steal the credit for a few people who were going to quit drinking anyway. Often, they really quit before they came to A.A., and then A.A. fooled them into believing that A.A. made them quit, or "keeps them sober".

    Even Bill Wilson himself documented the fact that A.A. was merely recruiting those people who were going to quit real soon now, and failing with all of the others. In a letter to a discouraged A.A. recruiter, he wrote:

    As a matter of fact, the successful worker [A.A. recruiter] differs from the unsuccessful one only in being lucky about his prospects. He simply hits cases who are ready and able to stop at once. Given the same prospects, the seemingly unsuccessful person would have produced almost the same results. In other words, you have to work on a lot of cases before the law of averages commences to assert itself.
          So cheerio, Jennie — it ain't your fault.
    == 'PASS IT ON', The story of Bill Wilson and how the A.A. message reached the world, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. staff, 1984, pages 251-252.

    A.A. has not "saved millions". A.A. does not even have 2 million members in the whole world, and most A.A. members do not ever get much sober time. The vast majority of A.A. members will drop out, and half of them will die drunk, and the other half will save their own lives without A.A. Ninety-five percent of the A.A. newcomers leave in the first year, and then the attrition continues. Only one percent of the A.A. newcomers pick up the 10-year coin. Less than 1 in a thousand get the 20-year coin.

    Read these two items for more on that:

    And it's been that way since the very beginning of A.A. Bill Wilson started the A.A. tradition of lying about the A.A. success rate, and it's never stopped. Look here for much more on that.

    And even today, the official A.A. web site lies about the sobriety time of A.A. members. They claim that the average sobriety time of A.A. members is 8 years. That is mathematically impossible unless A.A. has very few newcomers. But if you actually go to A.A. meetings, and look around, and find out how much sober time people have, you will find that most people have under three years, and many have none. No way do they all average out to 8 years. A.A. lies. Period.

  2. A.A. does not work at all. A.A. does not sober up alcoholics. All that A.A. has to offer is a rehashed old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties.

  3. A.A. does more harm than good. A.A. just raises the death rate in alcoholics, and raises the rates of binge drinking, and arrests, and divorce, and suicide, while producing a zero-percent improvement in the sobriety rate of alcoholics. That is not good.

  4. I know why I am doing the Orange Papers web site. It's to tell the truth to the sick people who need to know what works, and what doesn't, to save the lives of alcoholics and addicts. Sick people deserve to be told the truth, not get some fraudulent quackery. Lying to sick people about what might cure them, and how well the suggested cure works, is a despicable crime.

    I also do this web site to counteract the constant stream of lies and deceptions and propaganda and promotion that comes out of A.A. A.A. hypocritically claims to be a program of "attraction, not promotion", but they constantly promote and publicize A.A. in movies, TV shows, magazine articles, and anywhere else that they can, and what they say about A.A., like the "millions saved" myth, is just untrue.

    Even worse, A.A. promoters sell A.A. as a cure for alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. So-called "treatment centers" rake in many billions of dollars per year by selling 12-Step quackery to sick people. They should be put in prison for that.

  5. The fact that A.A. fooled you into believing that A.A. saved your life is not evidence that A.A. works great. It is just evidence that A.A. is good at indoctrinating and fooling a few people. Read this forum thread for more on that:
    http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/node/403

  6. Lastly, you complain that I offer nothing. Wrong, totally wrong. I offer life — a free life without either addictions or slavery to a cult. Look here for the details: How did you get to where you are?

Now please do your homework, and learn the facts. Thank you.

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/   *
**  "You have no conception these days of how much failure we had.
**  You had to cull over hundreds of these drunks to get a handful
**  to take the bait."
**  Bill Wilson describing early recruiting efforts for Alcoholics Anonymous,
**  at the memorial service for Dr. Bob, Nov. 15, 1952; file available here.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters270.html#Charles_F ]

From: "Charles F."
Subject: Re:
Date: Thu, October 27, 2011 12:24 pm

Hi again Terrance,

No need to bother sending me links. I am too impatient; if I'd just taken the time to keep looking for them on your site before emailing you I would have found them, which I since have. You had plenty of them, and accompanying research, already available on the site.

Okay, Charles. Hello again.

Your site is just a goldmine of information, I keep coming back to it even when I feel like, enough already, Orange has said *more* than I needed to hear to restore me to true sanity. But you've posted so much to your site, and have been so exhaustive in your research, I find myself continuing to want to return for more. The letters section has proved particularly entertaining and enlightening.

It's been nearly a week since my last email to you. At that point, a week ago, I was thinking, alright, I will keep going to just one meeting a week because I made a commitment to be a door greeter and I'm a man of my word and I don't want to just back out on that. (This despite the fact that the six or so other people who had made the same commitment — it's a big Friday meeting — stopped joining me as a greeter quite some time ago.) In just that short length of time since last week, however, I've become thoroughly disgusted with myself for having been so easily duped, and I just don't see how I can go to a single additional meeting. I want to be respectful to the people who were kind and supportive to me. But I clearly can't keep going to these meetings. I feel no need to try to convince anyone else who does go that they are "wrong." I'm not angry at them, or the organization, or even myself, for having gone. If other people get what they need from it, G-d bless. Not my business. Although I am disappointed with myself for having allowed myself to be fairly easily taken in. I'm a highly educated man, a successful lawyer, and pride myself on my powers of critical analysis. I pretty much chucked all of that overboard in the early going. It feels good to be getting that back.

Congratulations, and welcome to freedom.

Part of me also believes that I should give myself a huge pass for having acted in the way that I did in early sobriety. Before my first AA meeting, I was in pretty bad shape, drinking every day, and I had been in bad shape for quite some time. I know you know just how not fun that is. I needed help to get started down the path. In all likelihood, any number of things might have provided that initial shove that I needed, but AA was the only thing that I was aware of at the time. And there's no question that I stumbled upon a really great group of well meaning people in the group that I've been attending. (I've since been to many other AA meetings, and there are some that would have had me headed straight for the nearest bar had they provided the only exposure I'd had to AA.) I needed and wanted help to get started. They were very encouraging and supportive. I am very grateful *to those individuals* for that kindness and support. But the nagging inconsistencies and growing concern that a lot of what I was reading and hearing was horse shit — which I consciously allowed myself to turn a blind eye to early on, because I really just only wanted to NOT drink — would not be denied. And as I've regained my strength and my head has cleared and my thinking becomes quite rational and very much something that I can trust, thank you very much (except for the never ending and annoying heckling from my Lizard Brain, which is truly full of shit), it's just not enough for me that this particular group of people is well meaning and supportive. They all also believe in an agenda that I am simply not on board with and now know that I will *never* be on board with for all of the myriad reasons that you have so painstakingly outlined on your web site. So, bottom line, I will miss some of the acquaintances that I made in this group. But that's not enough to cause me to want to keep attending and supporting an organization that I do not believe in.

Right. Don't be down on yourself for having believed their bull for a while. Everybody does, including me.

The real question is, "Will you be blind for life, or will the light bulb go on in your head?"

Alright, I'm just rambling at this point. I guess I needed to get all of that off my chest.

In any event, I found the Oxford Group materials on your site on my own, so I'm all good there. I also found another book that I don't know if you've referenced or not (although in light of how exhaustive you are, you probably have), called The Oxford Group and Alcoholics Anonymous by Dick B. He's a true believer who *wants* to show the ties between AA and the Oxford Group, so it's a very detailed — if not particularly artfully written — accounting of that.

Oh yes. As a matter of fact, Dick B. sent me a bunch of his books several years ago, to better educate me. Thanks, Dick.

I like Dick's historical research. But I have to disagree with his assumption that the Oxford Group was a gift from God.

And again, I thank you for all of the time and effort you've expended on creating and maintaining this site. And apologies for accusing you of being "a bit over the top" in my initial email. A little zealousness in the pursuit of truth is no vice. Thank you in particular for two bits of advice from your site that I am working on remaining very focused on: First, don't pick up a drink, genius. Second, don't listen to your lizard brain when it tells you that you can ignore rule #1 (no, you can't screw every pretty girl you pass on the street even though your brain tells you that would be "fun" to do, and no, you can't have a drink either. You did have one. You had a good many more than just one. And that didn't work out so well. So stop doing that.). If I can remember those two things, and also remember that my thinking is actually pretty good when I don't hand it over to someone else or to some other group, I think I have a chance. The fact that you now have ten plus years of sobriety is very encouraging to me.

Rock on.

Yes, you've got it. And you would be surprised at how easy it is to rack up 10 — now 11 — years of sobriety when you just always follow Rule Number 1. It's impossible to drink too much or get into trouble with alcohol when you don't take that first drink.

Another thing that you were hinting at was the realization that it's always a package deal. That is, drinking comes with a lot of baggage, both positive and negative, and when you drink, you get all of it. You can't pick and choose which things you will get. You get both the fun and the unhappiness, the highs and the lows, both the pleasure and the pain. Old Lizard Brain tries to convince us that we can get the pleasure without the pain, the high without the crash, the intoxication without the damage, the party without the expense.

But like you said, that didn't work out too good.

Thanks for the thanks, and you have a good day too.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*       http://www.Orange-Papers.org/forum/   *
**         Common sense is not so common.
**          ==  Voltaire (1694—1778)





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters270.html#Peter_F2 ]

Date: Wed, October 26, 2011 3:46 pm     (answered 30 October 2011)
From: "Peter F."
Subject: The War on Drugs is Failing, so Let's Ban More Stuff!

HuffPo UK asked me to comment on a drug policy issue currently being debated in Britain. The Brits are learning all that they can from US policy. So I invoke an American figure, Curly of the Three Stooges, to shed light on the matter.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-peter-ferentzy/banning-legal-highs_b_1032842.html

Best as Always

Peter

Peter Ferentzy, PhD
Author of Dealing With Addiction — why the 20th century was wrong
http://www.peterferentzy.com

Wow. Thanks for the article. I really hope that the Brits do learn from us, rather than just copy our worst mistakes.

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 inferior man does not learn from his mistakes.
**     The average man does learn from his mistakes.
**     The superior man learns from other people's mistakes.
**        ==  Old Zen saying





July 24, 2011: Sunday, another side trip to the Fernhill Wetlands:

Ducklings
Ducklings
Yes, these little guys have me figured out. They want the munchies that I bring.

These two ducklings are siblings, same mother, but different fathers. The duckling in front was fathered by a drake that was mostly a domesticated black-and-white breed. The brown duckling in the rear was fathered by a drake who was mostly Mallard. The domesticated ducks have orange bills and feet, and the Mallards have dark brown or olive bills and feet. You can see how the duckling in back is half-and-half on his feet, and the gosling in front has orange feet and touches of orange on his beak. The mother was a gray-and-white duck of indeterminate domestic breed. Almost all of the domestic ducks at the Fernhill Wetlands — that is, all ducks except for the purely wild species like the Mallards and Pintails and Wood Ducks — are mongrels, some crazy mixture of domesticated breeds and Mallards.

Ducklings
Duckling siblings, appealing for more goodies

Ducklings
Duckling siblings

[The story of Carmen continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters270.html#James_G ]

Date: Thu, October 27, 2011 4:20 pm     (answered 30 October 2011)
From: "James G."
Subject: A post on Stinkin Thinkin

Terrance,

It's been a while since I have heard from you but I thought I would forward this post I made on the blog Stinkin Thinkin regarding its closure (http://goodbye.stinkin-thinkin.com/). I would be interested to hear your views on what I have to say regardless of whether you decide to publish it on the Orange Papers or not.

That aside, how are things? I am doing pretty well — I feel like I want to get involved in this again having made genuine progress recently. I felt, rightly or wrongly, that when I first challenged AA I might appear a bit of a fraud as I had not been clean for any significant period of time. That is not the case anymore.

Anyway it would be wonderful to hear your news.

Take care,

Jimmy

I see what you are saying about money, and how AA has used it to its benefit. I think it is horses for courses — I have no issue with people making money; hell without money we can't eat. I do, however, take offense when people try to make money covertly. I believe in being transparent. It is not for the sake of "rigorous honesty" but rather because a failure to be so can come back to bite you further down the line. Personally I have chosen not to make money from my anti AA work for the simple reason I do not need the motivation of dollars to propel me — I have a very simple, and at times, raw passion to expose AA for what it is. In terms of time and resources, I am well out of pocket for the work I have done. That said, I have donated to many sites online that challenge AA including Stinkin-Thinkin and the Orange Papers. I did so because I wanted to support something I believe in. If I had only been left with the choice to "purchase" something, I am not sure I would have done so.

I think what needs to happen in order for this "movement", or whatever we call it, to be successful does not lie with the creation of wealth. AA is so deep routed in society, including billion dollar industries, for example treatment centres and even, to some extent, Hollywood, that fighting fire with fire, if you like, is unlikely to be the answer. In many respects AA is not the only reason for this; where people see a problem, they look for a solution and, for many, doing nothing is simply not an option. I think this is where AA capitalises the most, at a time when people and their families are most vulnerable. It offers a course of action, albeit an ineffective, if not dangerous, one. Both AA members, and their families, feel that participation in AA provides some sign of remorse and, crucially, the hope that change is not too far away. Perhaps that is why I often do my utmost to separate AA from society there by trying to show that it is not only AA, and its members, that endorse its program, but also the wider public. Sometimes I wonder whether we are attempting to persuade the wrong people of our very genuine concerns. Again, a good example of this is going after an AA member that is guilty of a heinous crime — all it proves is that person is guilty of a crime and that they have been to AA. For those in AA, and the public at large, this is not going to be shocking, yet to us, including me, it is a grave concern. (Why were they sent to AA in the first place? Who sent them? And who continues to advise AA to people when criminals are sent there too?)

On the other hand, if we could prove beyond reasonable doubt that exposure to Step One, ie powerlessness, leads to say, binge drinking, I think we'd be onto a winner.
(*"The first step leads to low self-esteem, learned helplessness, personal irresponsibility, and binge drinking. The first step is a step toward disaster; it has no redeeming features." (Bufe, 1998)
Available here — http://blamedenial.co.uk/thesteps.html )

Even a small victory like getting AA to advise newcomers that AA is not the only way, or of more urgency, warning the newcomer of sexual predators, would be a huge step in the right direction. I don't think we will destroy AA by making its destruction our *modus operandi* . However, we can, slowly but surely, strive to educate people on what is wrong with the program. To make money from this, someone would have to offer an alternative, yet many of us do not even regard addiction per se as an illness, or a problem in and of itself. Addiction is a secondary condition that masks primary issues, in my eyes, which I add for the sake of clarity.

The most powerful thing we can do is unite in our actions. That is why I make a point of linking other sites wherever I can, in my videos, on my website, etc. I have felt of late that we, and in particular Mike (we are separate people by the way ;) ), are not that popular on Stinkin Thinkin. Of course this saddens me somewhat, but I suspect this is because we challenge people on both sides of the fence. (I only got involved in this 6 years ago because I set out to prove Orange wrong and ended up proving him right!) I know how to maximise hits et al., but, ultimately, how does that help our cause, especially if all those hits come from the already converted? Further, and perhaps of more importance, if we are to succeed we need to engage anyone that is willing to challenge the program, regardless of their intensity and anger, or lack thereof, towards it.

Some might argue that this is contrived, but I do not see it that way. I'll agree with points that I agree with, regardless of anything. If an AA member contacts me on Youtube and says they are appalled by the manner in which AA subtly claims to be the only way, I'll engage with them. Similarly, if a member writes to me expressing concern for a vulnerable newcomer, of course I am going to reply. Not all members of AA are terrible people, just as we are not all dry drunks, whatever the hell that means.

Finally, many of us, if not the majority, were once in AA. This is a critical point for me [us] to remember because having been members, somehow we reached the decision to leave. If we can tap into those reasons, we'd not only reach people like us, but also many of the people on the periphery around them. First and foremost, it is important to speak our individual truths; don't get me wrong, but as so many on this blog have expressed a desire for us to become more effective, I felt driven to offer my views on how we might achieve that.

Again, just my thoughts.

Fond regards,

Jimmy

Hi Jimmy,

Thanks for all you do.

I see three prongs of attack on A.A.:

  1. Inform the public about the true nature of A.A.
  2. Stop the inflow of money. This means discrediting the treatment centers, and invalidating the copyrights that AAWS holds over foreign countries. This also includes cutting off the funding that comes from government programs (city, state, and Federal) that fund treatment of alcoholics and addicts.
  3. Stop sentencing people to A.A. This includes judges, parole officers, and "treatment counselors" and "therapists" sending people to A.A.

Here we are in election season again. Politicians are more prone to listening to people now that their seats are at stake. This is a good time to be informing the politicians about A.A. and how it is a fraud.

And personally, I think the treatment centers should be prosecuted for fraud and practicing medicine without a license. They take anything from $7000 to $40,000 from sick, desperate people, and all that they give is 28 days of indoctrination in an old cult religion? And they call that treatment?

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 alcoholism is really a disease, then A.A. sponsors are
**     guilty of practicing medicine without a license. They are
**     also guilty of treating a life-threatening illness without
**     having any medical education or training.  They have never
**     gone to medical school, and never done an internship or
**     residency, and yet they presume to be qualified to make
**     life-or-death decisions in the patients' treatment. That
**     is what you call quackery.





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