Letters, We Get Mail, CXXVII

Date: Sun, May 17, 2009 4:37 pm     (answered 22 June 2009)
From: "Patrick"
Subject: I found your article interesting


Are you privy to A.A. statistics? Your article is well-supported, but your assumptions are bold. One in particular is describing sobriety as "dry for x months, years" etc.

Hello Patrick,

Thanks for the letter.

I'm not sure what you are referring to there. I cannot find any line in that file where I defined sobriety as "sober for X amount of time". It helps a lot if people use exact quotes so that I know what they are talking about.

Having been a newbie, and seen other newbies...indeed..some self-doers, professionals and cold-turkey types. My father has been dry for 15 years. I can tell you with no reservation that he is not sober. There are heavy drinkers/users who quit cold-turkey without A.A. or N.A. Then there are alcoholics/addicts that at some emotional bottom turn to A.A..

If your father has not drunk any alcohol for 15 years, then he is most assuredly sober. Now his behavior may not meet with your approval. He may not be nice. He may not even be sane. But he is sober, and he has been sober for 15 years.

That is a classic example of how Alcoholics Anonymous twists the definitions of the words and rewrites the English language (as if they had any right to do so). Alcoholics Anonymous does not get to redefine the world "sober".

And that is nothing new — "Loading the language" is standard cult behavior. It's also standard brainwashing technology.

It is the fellowship of understanding, being understood, self assessment, working the steps, addressing emotional and spiritual emptiness, making ammends in good time, and giving back that keeps people sober. And that term is starkley different than being dry. For an alcoholic, remaining dry for the rest of your life could never give you the inner peace that sobriety does. Why not? Because alcoholism is not just about an addiction, it is about bad thinking and an inability to emote effectively.

Again, you are trying to redefine "sober" into something else, like "A.A.-approved behavior and attitudes". No. The word "sober" means that you don't have any alcohol in your body.

And the rap about "inner peace" seems to be just so much self-delusion. I get far too many horror stories from A.A. members and ex-A.A. members to believe the jabber about "spirituality" and "inner peace".

Do you even feel that "inner peace" while the sexual predators are exploiting the young girls who come to Alcoholics Anonymous seeking help? What are you going to do about that while you are feeling so serene and grateful?

And frankly, the testament is the people you meet...in every city or town. People you knew drunk, know sober, do business with, are friends with that show the results of success. Thousands upon thousands of sober, not dry, human beings. I have not once experienced a tone of arrogance or holier than thou attitude from my fellow A.A. members.

Yes, quitting drinking often improves peoples' behavior. But A.A. does not deserve the credit for that.

If I'm an apple, I can be the best apple I can be...but I'll never be an orange. So, the statistics don't apply.


Actually, statistics do apply, just like how they apply to any other medicine or treatment being tested. And A.A. failed all of the tests. A.A. does not make people quit drinking. A.A. does not increase the amount of sobriety in this world. That counts.

Have a good day.

== Orange

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

Date: Sun, May 17, 2009 11:11 pm     (answered 22 June 2009)
From: "RICHARD B."
Subject: Fw: A snapshot of the Oxford Group in 1934

Forgetful me. I can very well remember alerting you to "Susan and God" a few months back but it completely slipped my mind that I'd also mentioned — briefly — the Edmund Wilson essay, whose first appearance was probably in the old New Republic magazine.


----- Original Message -----
To: [email protected]
Sent: Monday, May 18, 2009 1:54 AM
Subject: A snapshot of the Oxford Group in 1934

As I've said before, that's a lively website you have there. Would you like some more fuel for the fire?

Here, in part, is a description of an Oxford Group meeting published in 1934 by the great American man of letters Edmund Wilson.

I came across it in Wilson's "The American Earthquake: A Documentary of the Twenties and Thirties" (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1958).

The title is: "Saving the Right People and Their Butlers."

" ... The whole occasion makes an impression infinitely sad and insipid. I have seen these people before: these people whom their work does not satisfy, these people who are coming to realize that their functions in society are not serious and to seek anxiously for something to hang on to which will give them an anchor outside it all. If they were a little more uncomfortably neurotic, they would be going to psychoanalysts; if they were sillier, they would be nudists; if they were cleverer, Gurdjieff would get them. But the house parties, the butlers and the ballrooms of the First Century Christian Fellowship seem to be just what is needed for these particular cases. It has been the great achievement of Frank Buchman to put patent-leather pumps on the Christ of the missions and get him into a dinner jacket, and to give him for Mary Magdalene a refined Anglo-Saxon lady, chastely but expensively gowned. They have invested Him with the fatuous cheerfulness of the people in American advertisements and of the salesmen who try to sell you what they advertise. One of the characteristic features of the Oxford Group is the continuing chuckling and bubbling, the grinning and twinkling and beaming which goes on among its members, and which makes an outsider feel quite morose ..."

What a hoot!

Richard B.

[Note that "First Century Christian Fellowship" was the original name of Frank Buchman's organization. He later renamed it to "The Oxford Group", and then to "Moral Re-Armament". Now it's called "Initiatives of Change".]

Subject: The American earthquake: a ... — Google Book Search
Date: Sun, May 17, 2009 11:35 pm     (answered 22 June 2009)

There are gaps but it's mostly here. So now you know.



Hi again, Richard,

Thanks for a great reference. I had not ever heard of that one. But now I know. I'll have to check it out.

Have a good day.

== Orange

Later: I did check it out. The local library actually had a copy of that book on the shelves, so I got it, and am gleefully going through that chapter, "Saving the Right People and Their Butlers".

Edmund Wilson, "The American Earthquake: A Documentary of the Twenties and Thirties"
Doubleday Anchor Books, Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, NY, 1958.
Dewey: 917.3 W74a

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Frank Buchman described his "Oxford Group":
**    "Its aim is a new social order under the dictatorship of the spirit of God..."
**       == Inside Buchmanism; an independent inquiry into the
**     Oxford Group Movement and Moral Re-Armament, Geoffrey Williamson,
**     Philosophical Library, New York, c1954, page 147.

May 11, 2009, Monday: Day 11, continued:

When evening came, Carmen's family decided to leave. I snapped a picture of them swimming away, and then noticed that there were only four goslings following the parents. I was afraid that Carmen had somehow gotten separated from her new family, and was getting left behind. But I couldn't find her anywhere.

Canada Goose family
Carmen's family, swimming home.

I couldn't believe that Carmen could somehow just suddenly lose her family, after successfully staying with them for four days. And yet, there were only four goslings following the mother home.

I followed the family around the bend, but then lost them. I saw many other geese and their goslings, and found our friend "Beethoven", the Great Blue Heron, but no Carmen.

Beethoven the Great Blue Heron
Beethoven the Great Blue Heron

This is our resident Great Blue Heron. It is an endangered species, but this one is individually anything but endangered. It's quite tame, and likes to hang out on the docks and mooch fish from the fishermen. It is intelligent enough to know that the fishermen have to throw the small ones back, so he hangs around and gets them. He also gets whatever extras the fishermen don't want. Whenever fishermen are fishing from the docks, Beethoven usually shows up and perches up on one of the tall posts that anchor the docks, peering over the fisherman's shoulder like a vulture, waiting for dinner. The fishermen all know him and like him, so Beethoven makes out like a bandit.

Beethoven the Great Blue Heron with a fish
Beethoven the Great Blue Heron with a fish that a fisherman tossed to him.
Beethoven actually swallowed the fish whole. (2007.11.05)

I call him Beethoven because he looks just like Beethoven when the wind messes up his "hair". With the glaring stare and his wild-haired look, he really does resemble Beethoven. Here is a photo of Beethoven from previous years, up on one of the posts, vulching:

Beethoven the Great Blue Heron
Beethoven the Great Blue Heron, all wild-haired and glaring (2007.11.04)

But there is one big problem with Beethoven: no Mrs. Heron. Year after year, he has no mate. I keep bugging him and telling him, "Go get an old lady. I want to see lots of little cheeping chicklets. You're an endangered species. Go reproduce." Still, no luck yet.

Well anyway, I was talking about Carmen being lost. I couldn't find her or her family anywhere. They swam off somewhere and disappeared. Finally, all I could do was give it up and go home and hope for the best.

May 12, 2009, Tuesday: Day 12:

I came back to the river bright and early the next day to see if I could find Carmen. And I did. The whole family was there, acting as if nothing had happened. There they are, with all five babies:

Canada Goose family
Carmen's family, the next day. (2009.05.12)

I was puzzled by the whole thing, and couldn't figure out how Carmen could get lost and unlost so easily, so I went back and studied the photographs again. I zoomed in on the photograph of them swimming home the previous evening:

Canada Goose family
Carmen's family, swimming home.

And then I saw it. Do you see it?

I'll give you a couple of big hints:

  • The father is in the lead, and the mother is following him, and the four goslings are following her. (Ignore the male Mallard Duck that is in front of them.)
  • The father's wings are laying down flat on his back the way that they should.
    The mother's wings are pushed up in the air, as if she has a lump of something under her wings, keeping them from laying down flush against her body.

Yes, there was a lump under the mother's wings, all right, and that lump is named Carmen. Carmen wasn't lost or separated from the family. She was taking a warm nap under the mother's wings, and pulling her "refusing to leave the mother's warm embrace" stunt again, and getting a free ride home.

Talk about lazy. She doesn't even bother to swim home. She just climbs into bed and lets the mother carry her home.

And then I reminded myself that I really shouldn't worry so much.

[More gosling photos below, here.]

P.S.: It turns out that hitching a ride on Mother's back is not such unusual behavior among our little web-footed friends. Check out this mother swan and her cygnets:


Date: Mon, May 18, 2009 7:02 am     (answered 23 June 2009)
From: "Tovah K."
Subject: Your web site on AA

Dear Sir.

It is quite obvious that you have no idea what it is like to be tormented by an addiction. Or to live with someone who has. Thank G-d. I am a recovered alcoholic and I have the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to thank for that.

Hello Tovah,

Yes, I do know what it is to be tormented by addiction. I also know what it is like to stare into your own grave, and have the doctor say, "Quit drinking or die. Choose one."

Claiming that I don't know anything about alcoholism or addiction is such a lame old A.A. attack. I can't count how many Steppers have tried to use that particular ad hominem. Rather than debating the facts, they just want to claim that I don't know about addiction. "Oh, you don't know how bad it is. You don't understand the suffering that alcoholics go through." Actually, I do know, and I do understand, because I've been through it myself.

Therefore I am very aware of what happens and what is said and what the meanings are of our Big Book and the 12 steps. Unfortunately Sir you are Not.

That's more of the same ad hominem.

Firstly do you know of any other way for an addict or alcoholic to successfully live without his drug of choice. AA is the most successful method and we are only a very fortuante 5% of the world alcoholics to survive.

That is totally wrong. That is exactly backwards — a complete reversal of reality. (Reversal of reality is a common cult characteristic.)

There are several other better ways to recover, and other recovery groups, and A.A. is actually the worst way to recover. Nothing produces a higher death rate.

So you are not "the lucky 5%". Again, that is another standard cult characteristic: "We are special."

In fact i hope that nobody who is in need of help from a 12 step program reads the misinformed drivel that you have written. Most unrecovered alcoholics either end up dead or locked up in a psych ward with wet brain.

And there it is again: the standard A.A. claim that telling the truth about A.A. will harm alcoholics. You are just spouting all of the standard A.A. lines, aren't you? Look here for more of the same parrotting of "You are doing a great disservice to those who are seeking sobriety."

Telling the truth is a good thing, not a bad thing. Alcoholics and other addicts need more true information, not less.

I suggest Sir before you write anymore injurous drivel of this nature that you do your homework and at least get the facts correct even tho you won't understand them.

I've done my homework. Read the bibliography. Read the whole thing. You don't have to read all of the books listed there, like I have. That would take you years. Just read the list of books. And notice that the list starts with the "Big Book" Alcoholics Anonymous, and includes all of the council-approved books that I've been able to get my hands on.

Have you done your homework? How many anti-A.A. books have you read?

In the end you are no different from the person that you are attacking. What qualifications do you have to write such drivel. Obviously none, otherwise you would'n have written what you did.

Qualifications? That is yet another ad hominem attack, just a dodge to avoid talking about the real issues, like the A.A. failure rate, and the A.A. death rate. The truth is that the facts, like the "appalling death rate", speak for themselves. It doesn't matter whether I, or Dr. George E. Vaillant the A.A. Trustee, or Donald Duck reports the facts — the facts are still the facts. Attacking the speaker does not change the facts.

Well, anyway, I do have some qualifications to talk about alcoholism and addictions and recovery. Start with far too many years of experience with alcoholism and addiction to tobacco, and many years of taking or trying out every drug available, and then successfully quitting for three years, and then relapsing and going out for another nine years, and then quitting again and staying quit, and then many years of study of what works and what doesn't, and many years of seeing friends and aquaintances succeed or fail in their attempts to quit their addictions. And include the 8 1/2 years of sobriety that I now have.

Again, what recovery methods besides A.A. have you studied? What is your education on the subject?

Quote: And Ms. Smith is simply parrotting the Steppers' prejudices against medications, once again...

The book of Alcoholics Anonymous strongly reinforces any alcoholic to seek medical advice if neccessary. In the early days of painful recovery anti-depressants are most definately advised for many alcoholics.

Yes, that is a typical A.A. weasle: Bill Wilson said that sick alcoholics should maybe seek a doctor's care (if they wish). But he also said that A.A. was better than doctors.

It's just another standard A.A. bait-and-switch trick. First, they will tell you to see a doctor, and say that "we know only a little", but then it's "We know more than doctors", "We are the experts on addictions", and "Don't take medications."

Ministers and doctors are competent and you can learn much from them if you wish, but it happens that because of your own drinking experience you can be uniquely useful to other alcoholics.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Working With Others, page 89.

And then the Big Book prints a story where a newcomer read the Big Book and concluded:

Here was a book that said that I could do something that all these doctors and priests and ministers and psychiatrists that I'd been going to for years couldn't do!
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, page 473.

See the discussion of the no medications issue in the Cult Test and in the file "The Hazelden Coffee War", and the No-Meds Snake Oil.

And above all, the problem remains that many people who go to A.A. are soon told to stop taking their medications and just trust the 12 Steps to heal them. That is quackery and faith healing at its worst. Check out these stories that I have received:

UPDATE: There is now a whole file of "No Meds" A.A. horror stories: orange-no_meds.html.

This study found that "only" 17% of the A.A. sponsors were against medications, and told their sponsees not to take them.

Alcoholics Anonymous and the Use of Medications to Prevent Relapse: An Anonymous Survey of Member Attitudes. ROBERT G. RYCHTARIK; GERARD J. CONNORS; KURT H. DERMEN; PAUL R. STASIEWICZ. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Jan 2000 v61 i1 p134.

[See the abstract of this paper, and futher discussion, here:

That means that newcomers have a one-in-six chance of getting a sponsor who might kill them with bad medical advice. That really is Russian Roulette.

The official A.A. web site actually acknowledges that A.A. members have pushed newcomers into suicide by telling them not to take their medications. Their conference-approved pamphlet, "The AA Member — Medications & Other Drugs", on page 13 states

      Because of the difficulties that many alcoholics have with drugs, some members have taken the position that no one in A.A. should take any medication. While this position has undoubtedly prevented relapses for some, it has meant disaster for others.

      AA members and many of their physicians have described situations in which depressed patients have been told by AAs to throw away the pills, only to have the depression return with all of its difficulties, sometimes resulting in suicide. We have heard, too, from schizophrenics, manic depressives, epileptics, and others requiring medication that well-meaning A.A. friends often discourage them from taking prescribed medication. Unfortunately, by following a layman's advice, the sufferers find that their conditions can return with all their previous intensity. On top of that, they feel guilty because they are convinced that "A.A. is against pills."


Of course the above wishy-washy back-and-forth apologetic quote begs the question:

So which A.A. members, old-timers, or sponsors are entitled to decide whether
  1. the newcomer should not take medications, in order to "undoubtedly prevent relapse", or
  2. the newcomer should take medications, in order to prevent sickness or death?

So who decides? Who has the knowledge and the power? Which sponsors or old-timers are entitled to play doctor?

Also for many Al-Anon, obsessive compulsives, shopaholics, workaholics, addicts of many varieties, you are down right insulting. The pain of these people is great and their addictions just as deadly at times, and YES addictions are but symptoms of a 3 pronged problem which is mental, spiritual and physical.

What is insulting is telling those sick people that they are immoral and defective and need to get right with God by confessing all of their sins, like the 12-Step program does.

Please do not insult those of us any more by writing your misunderstood, patronizing rubbish.

Tovah K.

Please do not harm any more sick people by foisting 12-Step cult religion and superstitious quack medicine on them.

Otherwise, have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*  If you have to pray for some "Higher Power" or "God" to save you
*  from alcoholism, why is that called a "Self-Help Movement"?

Date: Mon, May 18, 2009 3:36 pm     (answered 24 June 2009)
From: "John W. G."
Subject: Please contact me

Peace be to you. My name is John and I am the founder of www.soberforChrist.com

I am a former member of NA/AA/CA/SA. Please watch my youtube at

I am looking for something specific on Bill Wilson. Was he in fact a freemason?

That all respond to your desire to be our loving mother so that you may form each of us in the Holy Spirit.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph we love you, save souls. May the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of GOD, rest in peace. Amen.

Your Brother in Christ Jesus,

John W. G.

http://www.saintjoe.com http://www.vivacristorey.com





For further information regarding the Authority Teaching of the Church and the Papal Office, please visit the VATICAN website at http://www.vatican.va.

Hello John,

Thanks for the letter.

I haven't seen any evidence that Bill Wilson as a Freemason. It seems to be a recurring idea, though, as I've received that question before, here, and here, and here.

I suspect that Bill Wilson thought that the circle and triangle design on the dollar bill (the pyramid) looked mystical or something, so he just copied it. A few years ago, I was paging through a book of mystical and religious symbols, and there were dozens of old symbols built around the circle and triangle theme. So it wasn't really anything new, or restricted to the Freemasons.

Have a good day.

== Orange

P.S.: You have probably already found the file The Heresy of the Twelve Steps. But if you haven't, check it out.

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon
** devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive
** of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider
** god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do
** less easily move against him, believing that he has
** the gods on his side."
**   ==  Aristotle

UPDATE: Later, I received letters with evidence that Dr. Bob was a Mason, but not Bill Wilson:

Date: Tue, May 19, 2009 6:02 pm     (answered 24 June 2009)
From: Richard N.
Subject: effectiveness on 12 step groups thank you

I went to NA for 3 1/2 years after I overdosed and decided it was time to quit. I relapsed at the 3 1/2 year mark. During my time in NA I suspected all of the things that your paper talks about. Thank you for writing that. For the first time in a while I have some hope that I may be able to get clean again and that I am not the one who is crazy, that NA is, and that I never received proper treatment for my drug addiction.

Richard N.

Hello Richard,

Thanks for the letter. I hope you are doing well. And may I recommend any of the sane alternative groups or methods? You may find both help and companionship there. See the list of better recovery groups, here. Also see Rational Recovery and especially see "the Lizard Brain Addiction Monster".

Have a good day, and a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     A.A. is not a "self-help group", it's an
**     "elf-help group". You are supposed to pray
**     and beg for an invisible "Higher Power",
**     like a leprechaun, or Cinderella's Fairy
**     Godmother, to solve all of your problems
**     for you and grant all of your wishes.

Date: Wed, May 20, 2009 7:48 am     (answered 24 June 2009)
From: Anonymous
Subject: clancy the pacific group

Hi Orange,

I read one of your E-Mails about Clancy and the Pacific Group in Los Angeles. The group started about 40 years ago and Clancy appointed himself the all-knowing guru. It has grown over the years into a very large cult. The women in the group complained about Clancy's sexual exploitation for years. To my knowledge nothing was done about it.

When a speaker speaks at conventions all of their costs are paid for by AA members. I heard that for many years, when Clancy spoke he insisted that they also pay for one of his girlfriends — often a newcomer. Even though Clancy is married and often the women were also. Clancy says this is good for the newcomers' self-esteem.

He often told newcomers to turn their will over to him because anyone would make better decisions than they themselves. When speaking out against this behavior you were told how Clancy has helped so many people.

Please keep my name anonymous because of retribution from cult members. The Pacific Group has taken over many AA groups in the Los Angeles area. Truly a cult and a perfect example of abuse of power and many of the things you mention on your site.

I found AA to be a fear-based male hierarchical cult of control and domination.

Hi Orange,
Clancy the self-appointed guru of the Pacific Group tells women they have to wear dresses and men jackets when they participate at their meetings. Men must not have beards. The idea is that conformity is part of the so-called cure of Alcoholism. Very controlling male chauvinist.

Hi Anon,

Thanks for the information. I especially liked the line about,
"He often told newcomers to turn their will over to him because anyone would make better decisions than they themselves."

Wow. He managed to pack several standard cult characteristics into just one line. Now that's efficiency.

  1. 33. Newcomers can't think right.
  2. 90. Newcomers Need Fixing.
  3. 39. Mentoring.
  4. 19. Surrender To The Cult.
  5. 1. The Guru is always right.
  6. 2. You are always wrong.
  7. 69. The cult takes over the individual's decision-making process.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Self-appointed do-gooders arrogantly imagine that they
**    have some God-given right to tell others what they should
**    or shouldn't think, and how they should or shouldn't live.

Date: Wed, May 20, 2009 2:34 pm     (answered 24 June 2009)
From: al
Subject: keep up the good work!

Hey there Mister Orange.

I've been meaning for some time to commend you for providing the best public service on the net: exposing religious cults that masquerade as a self help group, namely, AA. Exposing cults of any sort is always a good thing in my opinion. But AA really needs to have the sunlight of truth shone upon it. AA is one of those things that's simply taken for granted, it's all pervasive, most laypeople simply assume it must be a good thing if judges make you go to meetings (that's another story), even a lot of AA jargon has become part of the mainstream lexicon ie: sobriety, relapse, sponsor, alcoholism, etc. It never ceases to amaze me how little people know of the true creation of AA. But one only needs to do a bit of research to learn of it's humble religious cult beginnings. You offer many very enlightening albeit disturbing articles on the fascist dictator known as Frank Buchman. And for that I thank you. It further inspired me to read up even more on the guy, and came to the sad realization that there are many buchmans born every minute. We got some real choice scoundrels now, for example: pat robertson, john hagee, benny hinn, hacks like that. Looking back on the 5 or 6 years I was in AA, I'm still irked that all we're ever told of the creation of AA was that it started as 'the oxford group', and then it's dismissed. Like an almost insignificant footnote. When in fact it's a very important fact that 'the oxford group' were a simply a bunch of jimmy swaggert type phony loonies that people assumed knew a lot about Jesus.

I should have followed my own gut instinct that very first meeting. I suppose I should mention that a few years before that first meeting, I was in a cult that was led by a very famous guru. I got sick of his rules and deceptive recruiting techniques and split. So here I am now, in a group that's supposed to be a fellowship of recovering drunks/addicts, but most people want to deify these two clowns bill wilson and dr. bob. AND constantly refer to that infallible holy scripture, the big book. So well written isn't it? I could read if over and over.. Right. And I could put out my eyes with red hot pokers too.

There's a voice in my head telling me to get the fuck out. But I didn't listen. I hate when that happens. You know, when you should have listened but you didn't and you beat yourself up for all eternity. It is safe to say I hated AA from day one. But after a while I would try to work some 'steps', since so many cool people I liked encouraged me right (especially Jennifer)? Too bad I didn't know then how brainwashed they were too. Oh well.

I admire you A.O., because you tolerate all the hate mail from the brainwashed AA faithful. They told me once or a zillion times that AA is a spiritual program. First off, I really don't know what 'spiritual' means, but I'm pretty sure I don't wanna be it, since the 'spiritual' types I always meet in AA are repugnant, intolerable creepy, repressed wankers. In short, your typically boring, dreadful AA meeting. You usually leave wanting to drink more than ever. In fact, you could go in there feeling good and wanting to remain abstinent, but now after all those glorious war stories, you want to drink for the hell of it! Just don't admit that. Just say it's your disease talking!

Love to all you fellow ex AA ninnies, al

Hello Al,

Thanks for the letter and all of the compliments. And of course I couldn't agree more with what you said.

What really rang a bell in my head was the fact that meetings make you want to drink. Other people have written to me saying the same thing, and I've experienced it myself, too. I'd be fine before I went to an A.A. meeting, but I came out of the meeting thinking about getting a big bottle and tying one on. I didn't do it, but I was thinking about it.

Likewise, I'd be fine before going to an N.A. meeting, but I'd come out of those meetings thinking about getting some dope and getting good and high. I really felt like doing it. The desire was strong. I could taste it, and I could smell it. It felt like I would be coming home to the good old days. Ah, it looked so good in my imagination. I'm happy to say that I didn't do it, but those meetings really woke up the old Addiction Monster.

I don't know if it was just the power of suggestion — an hour of people talking about getting high, doing a stroll down old memory lane, planting the idea in my head and awakening the desire — or whether I kind of absorbed the desire by osmosis from the other people around me. Whatever that phenomenon was, it was very real.

Maybe that is part of the explanation for why Dr. Jeffrey Brandsma found that alcoholics who went to A.A. did five times as much binge drinking as other alcoholics who got no such "help" or "treatment" at all.

It would seem like you are better off doing just about anything else besides going to 12-Step meetings and trading drunkalogues.

I joke about my daily meeting being with the geese down at the river, but lately, it isn't a joke. I really do have a daily meeting there. I've been feeding the goslings nearly every day, and seeing how they are doing, and getting photographs of them. And you know, that meeting has never made me want to drink or dope. The idea never even occurs to me. Those meetings with the geese just make me go back to the supermarket and buy some more oatmeal for them, which is what I just did an hour ago. Those children are bottomless pits.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
**    It's about learning to dance in the rain.

Canada Goose family eating oatmeal
Today, 2009.06.24, a goose family with two goslings is having some lunch.
The goslings are voracious eager eaters, rapidly growing children.

I put some oatmeal on a board for them, which works like a plate. The two goslings are in front, and then the mother is behind them, also eating, and the father is behind them, mostly standing guard, and not eating much. The mother needs to eat — she is still recovering from making those big goose eggs. Just like with a pregnant human mother, the babies take a lot out of the mother, and now she is working on replenishing what she lost and building her body back up. The father, on the other hand, isn't so hungry. It doesn't take very many calories or a lot of protein to father children.

Those two goslings are 6 or 7 weeks old, I guess. They grow so fast. They already have feathers now, and they occasionally enthusiastically flap their wings and build up their wing muscles. You can tell that they are already thinking about flying. They don't have the big flying feathers on their wings yet, but they will very soon. You can see the big feathers growing in the blue tubes right now. That is, how they grow those large flying feathers is: they grow blue tubes out of the back edge of their wings, one tube per feather, and then the feathers grow all rolled up inside of the blue tubes. When the feather is fully formed, then the blue tubes kind of dry up and burst and fall away, and the feathers unroll and flatten out and dry hard, and then the gosling has flying feathers that can really push some air.

Canada Goose gosling with blue tubes
2009.06.22, a gosling with the blue tubes showing.
This motley-looking gosling has half baby down and half feathers covering its body. It has allowed a wingtip to droop down, and you can see the blue tubes where the big flying feathers are growing.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

Date: Wed, May 20, 2009 5:51 pm     (answered 25 June 2009)
From: "Linda F.
Subject: a question

Your writing is fascinating. Do you write about any other subject, other than Bill and AA and the nature of addiction? Just curious.

Linda F.

Hi Linda,

Thanks for the compliment. I'm glad you like the writing.

At present, I'm not writing anything other than this web site. But at the rate that I'm going, I may end up writing about goslings.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Barring that natural expression of villainy which
**     we all have, the man looked honest enough.
**        ==  Mark Twain (Samuel Longhorne Clemens, 1835—1910)

More Letters

Previous Letters

Search the Orange Papers

Click Fruit for Menu

Last updated 27 June 2014.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters127.html