Letters, We Get Mail, CCCLI
by Orange



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters351.html#Tom_H ]

Date: Mon, April 8, 2013 3:30 pm       (Answered 25 April 2013)
From: "Tom"
Subject: What's with your Readers ?

Dear Mr. Orange,

You say that you have about 30 million hits per year on your site. Cool. Why do you only get about $150-$200 dollars a year sent to you ?

Are your readers cheapskates or what ? Heck, they have to have enough money to be on a computer, so what's going on ?

Tom

Hello again, Tom,

Well, I would guess that they have their own problems to deal with, like paying the rent and taking care of the kids, and things like that. And donations are increasing. We may hit $300 or $400 this year. Which is good, because I have to get a better (more expensive) host than Hostmonster.com, which has turned out to be a nightmare. (They are an overseller who promises everything to get you to sign up, and then takes it all back in the fine print in the user agreement, and rules imposed later. Then they overload each server with so many users that it slows to a crawl. Then their incompetent technicians break things. Yes, I have to find a new host.)

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*       http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/   *
**     If you make money your god, it will plague you like the devil.
**       ==  Henry Fielding (1707—1754)





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters351.html#RM ]

Date: Tue, April 9, 2013 12:14 pm       (Answered 25 April 2013)
From: "R M"
Subject: RE: AA

I would like to thank you for taking the time for helping to expose AA for what it really is, a cult. I am sure you probably receive a great deal of mail, so I have been debating sending a lengthy detail of my terrible experience with this group.

I agree that this group is a very dangerous and is responsible for many deaths. There is simply no substitute for proper medical treatment for those suffering from mental illness. When I was approached regarding the various inventories, I immediately thought of the auditing process that scientology employs.

It is unfortunate that this group has not been exposed on a larger scale. It would be nice to expose this group to the mass media. I am not certain as to how this could be accomplished. I am hopeful that you continue in your efforts to expose this evil group, as it has devastated the lives of so many.

If you are interested, I will send you a detailed account of my personal experience.

Thank you,

R

Hello R.,

Thanks for the offer. Yes, I would very much like to get your story. I am collecting A.A. Horror Stories so that other people will get some understanding of what might happen to them in Alcoholics Anonymous. There is a list of previous stories here: A.A. Horror Stories.

So yes, I'd be happy to add your story to the list. And length is no problem. One of the nice things about the World Wide Web is that we don't have to pay for blank paper.

Oh, and yes, there is a great deal of similarity between Scientology "auditing" and the A.A. fourth and fifth Steps. Both make the victim obsess with the past and fixate on what he did wrong years ago, and constantly harp on what's wrong with him, which really messes with peoples' minds after a while. And that is also one of the standard cult characteristics:

And the answer for A.A. is 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/   *
*
**     Classic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most
**     undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make
**     what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving
**     better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing.
**     ROLLING IN THE MUCK IS NOT THE BEST WAY OF GETTING CLEAN.
**       ==  Aldous Huxley





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters351.html#Alix_M ]

Date: Mon, April 8, 2013 7:03 am       (Answered 25 April 2013)
From: "Alix M."
Subject: College student finishing up school

Dear Orange,

I'm a college student at a large university on the east coast. I am 22 years old and I have suffered from anxiety/depression issues since the age of 14/15. I started to realize I drank to deal with these emotions I was feeling and I was no longer drinking to meet people or have fun. So, I decided to join AA a little under two months ago.

Let me tell you that this has been one of the worst experiences of my life. I actually just called my sponsor last night to tell her I was calling it quits. Ever since I joined the program, my problems got worst, I fell behind on my school work (I have a 3.5 at a well respected university), I had a poor attitude at work, I began to have severe migraines, and I suffered serious depression than I ever have before in my life.

I have been going to job interviews and I traveled this past weekend to go to an interview and my sponsor just didn't get that I couldn't attend meetings, work on my readings, work on the 4th step while I was gone. I was there TO GET A JOB... that was my priority, not AA. It's like they expect you to drop everything (which I sort of have) and hand your life over to this program... and then they have all these answers as to why you're feeling so miserable because of it. It's a scam and I am relieved that I got out before it really ruined my last 5 weeks of a school that I have loved dearly.

Thank you for making this website. It reinforced everything I was already feeling about the program before. I am usually one to question everything and wondered why I hadn't researched the AA program before entering the room. But, when you're vulnerable/broken/depressed/etc. people (such as myself) will listen to anything anyone tells them. I am glad I got out of it sooner rather than later, completely brainwashed.

Have a great week, Orange!

Hello Alix,

Thanks for the letter. I'm glad to hear that you have escaped from the madhouse.

Don't feel bad about not carefully researching A.A. before going there. Neither did I. All that I had ever heard was that it was a wonderful self-help organization that helped people to get sober and stay sober. Little did I know what the truth was. But I found out. And so did you.

So have a good day now, and a good life.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*       http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/   *
*
**     Many fields of human endeavor are plagued with misinformation,
**     misconceptions, superstitions, and irrational beliefs.
**     Some fields are better than others. Manufacturing, for example,
**     has little use for mythology and superstition and misunderstandings.
**     Either a manufacturing process works correctly and efficiently,
**     or it doesn't, and if it doesn't, then it is soon replaced with
**     something better. Medicine is generally good, and there is now little
**     tolerance for quackery. Medicine is not perfect however, as shown
**     by the proliferation of 12-Step quackery in the field of addiction
**     treatment. By far the worse fields for misinformation and
**     deluded beliefs are politics and religion. There, you have little
**     need for actual facts or logic or reason. There, people just
**     believe whatever sounds good to them, with few or no facts to
**     support such sentiments. And in religion, people actually brag
**     about having giving up their sane, rational minds, and having
**     become mindless true believers. They are so insane that they
**     imagine that mindlessness and blind faith are improvements, and
**     that God will love them more if they are unthinking idiots.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters351.html#Peter_F ]

Date: Wed, April 10, 2013 6:04 am       (Answered 25 April 2013)
From: "Peter Ferentzy"
Subject: new book

Hi All

This book has just been released:

Ferentzy, P., Turner, N. A 2013. History of Problem Gambling: Temperance, Substance Abuse, Medicine, and Metaphors. New York, Springer.

Best Wishes
Peter

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

Okay, Peter, I'll check it out.

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 you're reading it in a book, folks, it ain't self-help. It's help".
**      ==  Comedian George Carlin





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters351.html#Billy G. ]

Date: Thu, April 11, 2013 5:25 pm       (Answered 25 April 2013)
From: Billy G.
Subject: A.A.complaints

Agent Orange,

Thank you for your service, exposing the "cult of A.A." As defined and expressed by NPR's Paul Harvey, one of the most brilliant minds in broadcasting history.

My questions: Why hasn't there been a class action law suit of those adversely affected by A.A. attendance? And, why hasn't there been an investigation into the prospects of RICO Act violations predicated on alleged fraud of treatment, amateurish, at that, constantly perpetrated across state lines under the guise of a Twelve Step Program of recovery? A.A, doesn't maintain statistics of recidivism, because that would further expose their current and ongoing ineptitude. "Principles before personalities" as far as their "servants" are concerned is a ruse.

I was in the program, that began 42 years ago. And, at that time, you would not believe with whom I attended my first A.A. Meeting. In retrospect, I can't believe it.

So, if you'd be so kind, please let me know if you know of any class action law suits pending or ongoing. Thank you.

By the way: _Click here: treatment the 1 cause of death in america — Google Search_
http://www.google.com/#output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=treatment+the+1+
ause+of+death+in+america&oq=Treatment+the+#1+cause+of+death&gs_l=hp.1.1.
33i29i30l4.2094.10422.0.13156.31.27.0.3.3.1.313.6012.0j8j17j2.27.0...0.0...1c.1.
9.psy-ab.c8LuddSNCv0&pbx=1&fp=1&biw=1119&bih=780&bav=on.2,or.
r_qf.&cad=b

Sincerely

Billy G.

Hello Billy,

Thanks for the letter and the question. I don't know of any such lawsuits in progress now. I am also mystified about why more people are not suing. I know that part of the reason is that most down-and-out alcoholics cannot afford to pay a lawyer. Also, A.A. has cleverly structured its organization in a pyramid of irresponsibility. They will always argue that it was your despicable sponsor who did the bad things, not the A.A. corporation in New York City. They will argue that every group is independent, and the headquarters doesn't control the groups way down the pyramid.

Now that isn't entirely true, but it makes for a good legal argument in court.

And then the treatment centers avoid lawsuits by writing contracts that new patients must sign that basically promise nothing except that the patient must pay in full, even if he quits the program after one day.

But I sure would like to see the A.A. leaders held accountable for their actions.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*       http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/   *
*
**     Cy Cheze brilliantly points out the obvious: corporations
**     might be better called "irresponsibilitions."
**     Their sole purpose in existing is to allow people to be
**     able to commit crimes without being able to be held to
**     account.  "Limited liability" = "limited
**     blame-ability" = "limited responsibility"
**     = "irresponsibility"
**        ==  dark goob (Nov 11, 2011)





July 5, 2012, Thursday: The Fernhill Wetlands

Canada Goose goslings
A Family of 3, plus one mongrel duck, snacking on bread

Canada Goose goslings
The Gang of 5 mongrel ducks, with what looks like many female Pintail Ducks

Canada Goose goslings
A Family of 5, coming ashore for snacks

Canada Goose goslings
A Family of 4, coming to me to get some munchies

[More gosling photos below, here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters351.html#WM ]

Date: Thu, April 11, 2013 9:28 pm       (Answered 25 April 2013)
From: wm
Subject: 12 step state coercion massachusetts

See below. As the result of a single blood test for alcohol (phosphatidylethanol) , this physician was asked to be evaluated at one of three 12-step oriented rehab facilities (Talbott, Marworth, Hazelden). He requested an independent facility but the board of medicine denied it. He was evaluated at Hazelden in September 2011 and they found no evidence of alcohol abuse but, because of the positive test results that prompted the evaluation, they could not "rule it out" and recommended going to AA.

Based on these recommendations the medical board mandated three 12-step meetings per week and that he obtain a sponsor and meet with him weekly. Once he found the sponsor he was to provide a telephone number to them so they could call and make sure he was working the program. They also mandated that he obtain names and phone numbers from other attendees at AA and provide them to the regulatory agency so they could call them to verify attendance.

The positive test that started the process was changed from "positive" to "invalid" by the lab in October 2012. The board did not consider that relevant when they suspended him 2 months later for "noncompliance."

-WM

http://www.americanhumanist.org/news/details/2013-04-humanists-object-to-religious-
12-step-program-for-ma

Hello WM,

Thanks for the story. That is appalling. I did not know that the Talbott-Marsh Center was even still in business. I thought that they got sued out of existence for false diagnosis and false imprisonment of a doctor. And they have a terrible track record for driving doctors and nurses (their patients) to suicide. (That story is here and here and here and here.)

The Hazelden Center is of course grand central station for the 12-Step cult religion. Having them pass judgement on anyone is like sending mental patients to Scientology for evalutation.

I wonder how many members of that Massachusetts board are actually hidden Steppers. Can we get the names of the board members and investigate them?

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/   *
**     Out, you imposters; quack-salving, cheating mountebanks;
**     your skill is to make sound men sick, and sick men to kill.
**       ==  Philip Massinger (1583—1640), English dramatist, playwright, poet


[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters350.html#WM ]

Date: Thu, April 25, 2013 5:11 pm       (Answered 27 April 2013)
From: "WM"
Subject: Re: 12 step state coercion massachusetts

The Board members are listed in the attached letter in the address heading- I've also cc'd the physician who remains suspended from practicing medicine. He has been on staff at Harvard and MGH for 15 years, has never had a malpractice suit or complaint, and is well liked by colleagues, nurses, and patients. He also has been working on a patent to help kids dying from fatal food allergies that these bastards have put in jeopardy.

http://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=WO2012058192&recNum=88&docAn=US2011057618&queryString=(IC/a61m)%20&maxRec=31874

life clearly out of control. Everyone is dumbfounded. -WM

List of board members in heading

http://www.americanhumanist.org/system/storage/63/1c/8/4054/BRM_and_PHS_Must_Offer_ Secular_Alternatives_to_AA_NA_in_Disciplinary_Contracts.pdf

Hello again, WM,

Thank you for the information. Now we have some investigating to do. What's the story with those board members? Are they secret Steppers, trying to force people to join their religion? Isn't it a violation of several laws to use an official position to coerce membership in someone's chosen religion? Besides the obvious and glaring Constitutional violation.

What I see is:

Board of Registration in Medicine
Attn: Robert Harvey, Esq.
cc: Kathleen S. Meyer, Candace L. Sloane, Gerald. B. Healy, Marianne E. Felice
200 Harvard Mill Sq., Suite 330
Wakefield, MA 01880

Readers can help by sleuthing and investigating. People who live in those towns in Massachusetts can especially help by seeing who goes to A.A. meetings. And checking to see if any of those board members ever got a DWI and were themselves sentenced to A.A. meetings.

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 less reasonable a cult is, the more men seek to establish it by force.
**         —  Jean Jacques Rousseau





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters351.html#Lin ]

Date: Sun, April 21, 2013 3:30 pm       (Answered 25 April 2013)
From: Lin
Subject: Dude!

My friend, I have said some really negative things about the 12 Steps. I'm not active in any recovery program right now, but if, for some reason that I cannot imagine now but could possibly come to happen, I had to attend a 12-step meeting, I would go in shoving you in ahead of me. That's the only way I could avoid one massive mugging. You rock!

Lin

Hello Lin,

Thanks for the letter and the laugh. And the compliments.

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/   *
**    Deceivers are the most dangerous members of society. —
**    They trifle with the best affections of our nature, and
**    violate the most sacred obligations.
**      ==  George Crabbe (1754—1832)





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters351.html#Salty ]

Date: Tue, April 23, 2013 5:46 am       (Answered 25 April 2013)
From: "Salty"
Subject: Letter

Hi Orange.

Please find my letter for your website below.

Please do not use my real name or contact information as I do not want any steppers coming after me. They can be a toxic and vindictive bunch. Please refer to me only as "Salty". Thanks.

Dear Orange,

Thanks

Thank you Orange for a very thorough and well thought out site that backs up its information with facts.

I have found it informative and helpful on many levels.

My personal experience with the program was very positive in the first five years as I fell in with a solid group of guys who were gainfully employed and led balanced lives. During this time, I was involved and participated at every level, being careful to limit my exposure to the insane business meetings and intergroup.

After that first five years it was time to move on, but I was unaware of that or perhaps I was too afraid to move on after hearing over and over that I would relapse if I stopped going to meetings.

Therefore, I stayed in the rooms and even connected with the program when I moved overseas for work when my career advanced. What I encountered in the following years was downright scary. The end result was that the negative experiences helped me to successfully extricate myself from the rooms and a harmful, false belief system.

Being around people who are not drinking or using was good for me in early sobriety but hurtful in the long run. Perhaps this type of group is helpful in early recovery (although I don't know of any data that actually would support this claim) but repetitive exposure to a community of people who are self obsessed, constantly discussing problems and what they don't want to do (drink/use) is detrimental to healthy living and personal growth.

Stories

My negative experiences in the program could easily fill a novel, but to keep it brief I will mention those that were instrumental in helping me make the final decision to leave. Sadly, these events are just the tip of the iceberg. Here are just some of the experiences during my last year in the program:

  • 1. A member attempted to sabotage my career out of jealousy. This actually happened more than once if we include lack of respect regarding anonymity. On the last occasion it was a factor in me having to leave my job. At the time it was very difficult to find another one as I work overseas in international finance and the global financial crisis was upon us.

  • 2. A member showed up at my apartment uninvited and butted into a family disagreement that was going on at the time of his arrival. I had to ask him to leave my home as his behavior was inappropriate. He then proceeded to share all the events of that night with all the program people he knew. Naturally, this was done from his point of view as a "victim." He complained that he "Just wanted to come over and talk program." The community is very small in some overseas locations and is dominated by cliques. Any negative rumor can see you promptly ostracized. As I was new to this posting, I didn't have a leg to stand on. I was not welcome at the meeting after the meeting from that day forward.

  • 3. A sponsor with 32 years of "sobriety" was stalking an ex-girlfriend of mine who was not in the program. He was unaware that she and I had ended on good terms and were still friends. She called me in a panic and showed me his emails to her about me which stated that I was not a good person. She and I considered getting the police involved. Without getting into details of how I resolved the matter, I was able to make him back off and never contact her again.

  • 4. Numerous breaches of confidentiality: The big one was when an ex-sponsor shared a personal matter that I had trusted him with in a meeting, in front of me, while I was sitting there with my new sponsor. I believe he did this out of anger and jealousy. The behavior was so unhealthy. At the time I was shocked that someone with this much time would act out in such a way. Although in hindsight, I should not have been surprised. Old-timers are among the sickest in the rooms. Time is not a measure of mental health or sobriety.

    After this I started taking a hard look at old-timers and the rooms as a whole. After all, I was over 10 years clean and sober. Was this to be my future? When I looked at the old-timers I would ask myself, "Do I want what these people have? Do I want to be like these old-timers who seem so disgruntled and unhealthy?" The answer was a definite "NO!"

  • 5. Shortly thereafter, I was back in the States visiting my mother. I borrowed her car to go to a meeting. There were about 100 people there. When the meeting started, a guy shared that he hit someone's parked car with his motorcycle on the way in to the parking lot. But.... He felt very good about himself for admitting it in front of 100 people during his share and not doing a hit and run. And he added, if the person with license plate XXX could see him after the meeting all would be OK. Never mind that it was not necessary to ruin the meeting for the other person whose car was hit. The guy could have simply waited until the meeting was over and exchanged details. No, it was more important to confess and feel good about himself. Yes, that was my mom's car and the guy who hit it was quite pleased with himself after the meeting. I really had to hold back from laying into him verbally. At this point I knew it was useless as he would simply reply with some lame slogan. Come to find out this character was in Florida perpetrating the sale of reverse mortgages on the elderly. It is a scheme to defraud them of their homes with the promise of a never ending annuity that terminates at their death. These schemes are filled with hidden fees and can leave the elderly with a pitiful monthly allowance while taking their homes. Nice.

The events all occurred within a short period of a year. The last incident was symbolic for what the program had become for me. It was a car wreck and the next time I may not be so lucky. The program, the behavior it encourages and the miscreants it attracts had infiltrated my personal and professional life in the most negative of ways. I had to leave if I wanted to engage in a healthy, well-rounded life. So that's what I did!

Solution

Since leaving the program, my life has improved tenfold. I am not naive and am fully aware that there are undesirable people in all walks of life. Having lived in several countries and achieved moderate success in the world of international finance, I am mindful of their existence. However, nowhere and I mean nowhere, have I seen them more prevalent than the program.

I decided on a plan to improve my life and I followed it to the letter. I set out to expand my world with healthy activities and healthy people. It was incredibly rewarding and turned out to be the best decision of my life. I joined a meditation center, took an art class, joined a "meet up" group for hiking, went on the Hoffman Process retreat, participated in personal growth seminars, read some excellent spiritual books, etc. I exercised consistently and stayed socially active. During this period I also revisited my GP, saw a counselor for about 6 months and reconnected with a psychiatrist to address nagging depression. These medical professionals were extremely helpful.

It took some time but I managed to assemble a solid group of friends who were loving and kind. Along the way I met some other ex-alcoholics and addicts who got clean and sober without the program. These people were good fun and non-threatening. But mostly, my friends today consist of people who live healthy and balanced lives with no program affiliation. They have purpose as do I and most of them complement my life rather than cause disruption. Life is good. I love myself and I love my friends!

Where do they all go?

Most people drop out of the program. But the secret that people don't talk about is that while members disappear after years, most are not cowering in a corner going through DTs wishing they could come back to the rooms. I have stayed in touch with those whom I first got sober 17 years ago. Among my three closest friends, none of them go to meetings and none of them are drinking or using. We all stopped attending at different times in our lives, but today none of us would claim to be a member. One became a family man with a solid job and is very involved in his community. Another moved to France where he is an avid cyclist with four children and lovely wife. The last guy, and perhaps the most wild to this day, became a minister. Again, none of us go to meetings. None of us drink or use. All of us have healthy, productive lives.

Move on

Leaving the program is liberating and people can do it and stay sober. I hope that some of this is useful to those who are considering moving on with life and pursuing personal growth. Stay busy, embrace life and enjoy every moment.

Love and light to everyone,

Salty

Hello Salty,

Thank you very much for the letter and the story. I'm adding that to my list of A.A. horror stories.

That letter says so much. I don't want to just repeat all of your points, so I won't.

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/   *
**    A flawed idea that AA is built upon:  The idea that a deeply flawed person
**    will cure another deeply flawed person.  A dynamic fraught with peril.
**      == Anonymous





July 7, 2012, Saturday: The Fernhill Wetlands

Canada Goose goslings
Pondscape. The eagle's nest is in the right-hand tall tree.

Canada Goose goslings
Child of Gus in center, and Gus on the right

Canada Goose goslings
Gus and Family
The larger child in the rear is from last year; the smaller child on the right is from this year.

Canada Goose goslings
Gus and Family in the foreground, and in the background, a Family of 5 cruises over to see what's for lunch.

[The story of the goslings continues here.]





[The previous letter from Meatbag is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters351.html#Meatbag ]

Date: Mon, April 22, 2013 3:01 am       (Answered 25 April 2013)
From: Meatbag
Subject: "Wildlife Experts" Strike Again

I found this image floating around on Tumblr:

http://25.media.tumblr.com/242b9eda461f93027ee4ac46c6409fa0/tumblr_mlfo9o7K3O1rleemro1_1280.jpg

poster

I'm sure you'll have a field day with it. I'm personally more willing to trust your opinions on such matters than some random infographic. Incidentally, if you're not familiar with Tumblr, think of it as Portlandia the website.

Also, I hope you're in good health. I'm kind of worried, since you haven't updated the letters in a few weeks.

Hello again, Meatbag,

Thanks for the picture, and the concern. Not to worry. I'm just fine. I've just been busy with several other things, including computer disk problems and getting the tablet working. And then Hostmonster.com — the company that hosts my web site — screwed up their email system, again, for the dozenth time, and for a week, I couldn't get into the email. Hostmonster is terrible and getting worse.

What is even more maddening is that they feign innocence and pretend that there is no problem. "Can you describe the problem in detail? Things look fine here." I learned from another web site that the people working the so-called "help line" are required to read scripts. They just give the standard response, giving me the run-around, always asking for more details, and more description of the problem, and insisting that there is no problem. Yes, I need a new hosting service.

About that image: That is a good example of several logical fallacies and propaganda tricks.

  1. About the botulism: That is grossly unrealistic. The idea that bread will sink to the bottom and rot and grow botulin bacteria is just untrue. Whenever somebody throws bread on the water, there is a free-for-all dash for it. The carp attack from below, while the sea gulls, ducks and geese scramble to get it on the surface. Bread does not last 30 seconds. No way does it sink to the bottom and stay there long enough to rot.

    The carp are actually so aggressive in going after bread that they will even climb up on the shore to get bread. No joke. The first time that I saw it, I almost couldn't believe what I was seeing. A carp crawled up onto the shore and grabbed a piece of bread, and then turned around and crawled back into the water. I felt like I was watching Darwin's evolution in action. "Here they come, up out of the water."

    Carp feeding
    This guy really wants that pastry. He just has to get around that rock that is between him and the pastry.
    (He did.)

    It sounds to me like what the author of that poster is describing is a dead pond — a stagnant body of water where the muck on the bottom is anerobic, and there are no fish, so if a piece of bread sinks to the bottom, it just sits there uneaten, and rots. That is not a natural situation. Who killed the pond?

  2. That leads to the next question: Why aren't the ducks getting sickened and killed by anything that they eat from the bottom of such a dead pond? Botulin bacteria are anerobic bacteria (meaning: can't stand oxygen) that also require an alkaline environment. You can get botulism from a can of string beans that has gotten punctured, but never from a can of tomato sauce. Tomatoes are far too acidic for botulism.

    Well, ducks just love to dabble in the mud and dig around for worms or algae or whatever. They do it all day long, just for entertainment. If there are botulin bacteria growing in the bottom of the pond, it seems like the ducks would be constantly getting poisoned by whatever they find down there. But they aren't.

  3. About the "Angel Wing": The author did not give any relevant facts, like what were the ducklings fed, and were they kept in a cage where they couldn't get any greens? At both downtown Portland and the Fernhill Wetlands, the ducklings and goslings are constantly munching algae and weeds and tender greens of all kinds. And also insects and worms and whatever they can get. Any bread that they get is just a treat, a supplement to their regular diet.

  4. Besides, who said that the ducklings only get white bread? That is a glaring false assumption. What that poster should have been titled is, "Don't feed the ducklings white bread."

    I mostly feed the geese and ducks rolled oats. Then they get whole wheat bread or 14-grain bread as a treat. A couple of loaves of bread divided between 40 or 50 ducks and geese means that nobody is getting a lot of it, just a slice or two each. A usual feeding for them is 10 or 15 pounds of oats and 2 loaves of bread. No way are they living on bread.

  5. RE: "Lack of nutrients impairs their immune system." Again, who says that they lack nutrients? The author is again falsely assuming that the ducklings are eating only white bread. That sure isn't what is happening here. Are the sick ducklings being kept in a cage or pen which has been stripped of all vegetation? What is keeping the ducklings from getting some greens?

    If the author is trying to imply that the ducklings and goslings will not bother to eat greens if somebody gives them white bread, well that doesn't jive with reality. Again, the goslings are very insistent about getting their greens. They eat greens first, and then they might take some whole wheat bread or rice or oatmeal to top things off. When I was raising the family of five little ones, they stopped taking anything like that from me after a couple of weeks. When their mouths got strong enough to shear off the grass, they lived solely on grass. I took them to the park first thing in the morning for breakfast, and we often spent all day there. They just ate grass, morning, noon and night. They didn't want anything else. Ask a goose, and they will tell you, "Grass. It's what's for dinner."

    Here is a picture that I just posted earlier today, that shows their environment:

    Canada Goose goslings
    A Family with 4 children, coming to me to get some munchies

    As you can see, there is greenery all over the place. They munch grass and other greens all day long. Then they come to me to get some staples to supplement their diet. What they are getting from me is essentially just grass seed. Oats, wheat, any grain, it's just big fat grass seeds. They love grass seeds because the seeds are much more nourishing than just blades of grass.

  6. This sentence features really twisted logic and inaccurate facts and crazy conclusions. It's non-sequitur city:

    Attracts Predators and Domestic Ducks

    Domestic Ducks are attracted to feeding lakes or ponds and then breed with our native ducks which contributes to overpopulation and therefore less wild food is available.

    Huh? The author was raving about the evils of white bread, and then suddenly he is saying that "something" — like feeding the ducklings — attracts predators and domestic ducks.

    Attracts domestic ducks? As if domestic ducks are just wandering around out there in the wilderness, looking for a loaf of bread? That is so unrealistic that it is nuts. The only way that domestic ducks show up in the wilderness is if a human dumps them out there.

  7. And what attracts the predators, like the weasel or ermine at the Fernhill Wetlands, is tasty eggs, ducklings and goslings. Or even an adult duck or goose, if it can get one. No way does a loaf of bread make a weasel appear.

  8. Then the author says that this will lead to overpopulation. Oh really? As if wild ducks don't have sex and make babies? Only domestic ducks eating white bread have sex? Crazy. Illogical. Disconnected from reality.

    And predators reduce the population. They do not cause overpopulation. And the ermine (or whatever he is) is gradually eliminating the domestic ducks at the Fernhill Wetlands. Last year there were a dozen, and now they are down to four, all males.

  9. Lastly, the author claims that the offspring of the domestic ducks will eat up all of the food supply of the wild ducks. Again, that is grossly unrealistic. The wild ducks are much better at scrounging food than are the domestic ducks. It's the domestic ducks who run to me for some bread whenever they see me because they are really hungry.

I won't argue with feeding ducks some nice treats like lettuce, carrots, tomato, or watermelon. But I don't see why it has to be in the water. Now it really will sink and ferment, unless the carp eat it. I would put it on the land.

The proof of all of that is the fact that I've been feeding the geese and ducks for 12 years now, and they haven't gotten sick from it yet. Quite the opposite, they thrive. And when the ducklings and goslings grow up, they bring their own babies to me to get fed.

I've had mother geese bring their babies to me the first day that they are out of the eggshell. The mothers actually bring me their unbearably cute little fluff-balls to get fed. The mothers trust me because I was feeding them when they were young. And their mothers in turn brought them to me because they knew me from years of feeding. A generation of geese is three years. So I've fed the great-grandparents, and then the grandparents, and then the parents, and then the babies. Four generations. And I've never seen a gosling or duckling get deformed by what they got to eat.

Canada Goose goslings, begging
Two newborn goslings and their mother, begging for some more oatmeal.

Now if the author of that sign wants to change it to read, "Please don't feed the ducklings white bread", then we can have some agreement. Any of these things are better for them: whole wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice (preferably cooked, so that it is soft for the babies' mouths), any whole grain other than rye. (The only problem with rye is that it can grow ergot fungus, which makes it "black smutty rye". Well, ergot is poisonous to geese. Most rye does not have any ergot fungus on it, and it's perfectly okay for ducks and geese, but it's better to avoid rye on the offhand chance that a little smutty rye may have gotten mixed into the batch.)

Thanks again for the image. There is just so much misinformation out there. It's unreal.

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/   *
*
**     A hundred years from now, it will not matter the sort of house
**     I lived in, what my bank account was, or the car I drove...
**     But the world may be different because I was important in the
**     life of animals and the creatures on this earth.
**       ==  Author Unknown

[The next letter from Meatbag is here.]

[The story of the goslings continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters351.html#Holly_J ]

Date: Fri, April 5, 2013 9:47 am       (Answered 26 April 2013)
From: "Holly J."
Subject:

I just finished reading a segment of The Cult Test Questions 21-30. I'm convinced that a cousin's 22 year old daughter has gotten herself mixed up in a cult. For the last almost-month she has ended a 3 year relationship with someone we believe she still loves deeply, she has distanced herself from her family by moving in with two woman one of which was her recruiter into this cult, she cut her hair similar to the recruiter and she began dressing like and imitating her. After three weeks of this behaviour, she went to the town where the head "church" is located and was re"saved" and baptised. The day after she came home she walked away from her job which one month earlier she told me she loved and wanted to make her permanent career and she also walked away from her educational endeavor. She was 3 weeks from graduation with her bachelors degree with honors on the dean's list. Also that day she decided to permanently move to the location of the head "church" with her new "family" and live with them. When they told her that was not a good idea at this time, she went off the deep end and was picked up by the police walking door to door in the middle of the night claiming to be the woman who recruited her and said she was leaving for a mission trip to Africa and wanted to give the person answering the door something — usually an article of dirty clothing that she had packed in the suitcase she was toting with her. The police took her to a mental facility. That was very late Monday, April 1st early Tuesday morning. Since that time she has had a handful of psychotic breaks that the medical staff call highly religious is nature. The psychiatrist believes she was given a synthetic drug of some sort and was put in a trance-like and something was done to her. We need help. Can you please recommend where we can go for help and tell us if you have ever heard of David Viljoen (the "apostle" of this group), AWC International, and/or IAMS?

Please advise,
Holly J.
850-xxx-xxxx

Hello Holly,

Thank you for the letter. Sorry to take so long to answer. I've been investigating and searching, to see what I could find about David Viljoen and his AWC International organization. I had never heard of him before. Unfortunately, I don't see anything other than the usual publicity fluff web pages that say that it's a good group. But I am very suspicious of them:

  1. www.awcinternational.org/index.php
    "AWC is the ministry led by Apostle David and Prophet Deborah Viljoen."
    Apostle and Prophet? Nothing like delusions of grandeur, and self-appointed messiahs.
    And isn't it neat how David's wife gets to be a prophet? Just like in the Moonies.

  2. www.linkedin.com/pub/dave-viljoen/25/228/a8b
    Daytona Beach, Florida Area - Senior minister and founder of AWC International lecturer at IAMSchool at AWC International & IAMSchool
    Nothing special here.

  3. AWC International | Facebook
    www.facebook.com/pages/AWC-International/242004528019 AWC International — October 5, 2012. Stand with us as Apostle Dave Viljoen is Launched on Kingdom Assignment to the state of Texas! We call in the "Butler" ...
    "Stand with us"? Meaning, "join our church".

  4. Sandra Dixon Ministries - Apostolic & Prophetic Gathering 2011
    sandradixonministries.org/what_is_a_wife_in_your_house_who_comes_first
    He has spoken to presidents and military leaders throughout Africa, and continues to ... David Viljoen is also Founder/President of AWC International Apostolic ...
    Sounds like co-endorsements: "I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine..."

It sounds like your niece (is the daughter of a cousin a niece?) is in the right place, in the hands of doctors. She obviously needs medical treatment, and she is getting it. I don't know what drug they might have given her. I thought I knew all about drugs, because I used to live on a hippie commune and have taken everything under the sun for years. (And I do mean everything.) But I don't know what designer drug a brainwasher would give someone to convert them to belief in a cult religion. That's a new one.

Her story just reeks of "cult". Abandoning her college degree and career and moving in with the church are a couple of classic signs of cult assimilation. And so is cutting herself off from her family and severing her relationship with her significant other. So is "cloning" — cutting her hair and making herself look just like the recruiter.

First off, I would leave her in the hands of the doctors. They sound like they know what they are doing and have a good take on the situation.

After that, you can prepare yourself to help her by learning how to deal with a cult member in ways that actually work, rather than widen the rift between you. A book by Steve Hassan comes to mind: Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves. That is the kind of book you want to have if you discover that a friend or relative has gotten sucked into a cult, and you want to know how to get them back out alive. It is described in the bibliography, which has some links to quotes. So click on the name of the book and go there.

You can also check out Hassan's other book: Combatting Cult Mind Control.

Here are some links to letters where we discussed the anti-cult techniques in Hassan's books. Many of these letters talk about getting someone out of A.A., but the process is the same for any cult. The similarity between cults is large. They all use the same mind-bending techniques, and the same logical fallacies, and recruit the same way, and become brainwashed true believers the same way. I have read about cults that existed hundreds of years ago, and they sound just like the ones that plague us today.

  1. Don't give up

  2. Use indirect criticism of the cult

  3. "I made the mistake of being critical and ever since she rarely talks to me about the group and if the subject comes up she gets really weird..."

  4. ...phobia indoctrination that Steve Hassan mentions in his book "Releasing the Bonds." Do you think this technique can really cause phobia/panic attacks?

  5. My main concern is my girlfriend of two years who waxing and wanning out of the cult (she is addicted to the cult).

  6. Is there any hope of her waking up and realizing that AA has "gone too far" in controlling her thinking and life?

  7. why is it that although different in points of view, every cult has the same agenda and the same M.O.?.

  8. do you have any advice for someone who desires to protect their loved ones from the influence/adverse effects of AA?

  9. I saw a freeminds video on the Watchtower & mind control. I am leaving the JW and wanted to know where I could find literature on this subject?

  10. I have no idea on how to approach her, I tried to talk about this a few times, the conversations did not go well. She's like a different person and I want her back.

  11. We need help and advice on breaking up part of our family that has a cult mentality.

And then, if you wanted more information on cults in general, see the "Top 10" reading list on cults, here.

Good luck, and have a good day now. And please don't hesitate to write back if you have more questions.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.org        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*       http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/   *
*
**     When you want to believe in something you also have to believe
**      in everything that's necessary for believing in it.
**        ==  Ugo Betti, Struggle Till Dawn (1949), 2, tr. G. H. McWilliam
*
**     "For the truth is, that life on the face of it is a chaos in
**     which one finds oneself lost. The individual suspects as much
**     but is terrified to encounter this frightening reality face
**     to face, and so attempts to conceal it by drawing a curtain
**     of fantasy over it, behind which he can make believe that
**     everything is clear."
**       ==  Jose Ortega y Gasset





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