Letters, We Get Mail, CCCII

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters302.html#Ray_S ]

Date: Mon, April 16, 2012 7:23 pm     (answered 24 April 2012)
From: "Ray S."
Subject: Hetu-Ahin

Hatu-Atu-Topun — Also known as Hetu-Ahin, a female demon from Polynesia who stalks twighlight and dawn.

Thought I recognized the style. It's an atheist stepper I've been arguing with on Facebook: Gabriel M. A. S.

The giveaway is when he named me.

Relatively new to AA, enamored with it, says AA isn't religious in London like it is here.

Hi again, Ray,

Thanks for the tip. I'll have to check out that debate. New to A.A., huh? What is it they say about converts? "There is no Catholic like a recent convert." Meaning, that the recent converts are trying very hard to convince themselves and others about the correctness of their convictions.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     I thank God that He chose to give me a working brain, rather
**     than just a lump of dense, unthinking meat between the ears.

[The previous letter from Hetu-Ahin is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters302.html#Hetu-Ahin ]

Date: Mon, April 16, 2012 11:21 pm     (answered 24 November 2011)
From: "Hetu-Ahin"
Subject: Brandsma


I don't have a copy of the Brandsma study. Can you clarify something for me?

Subjects were tested at 3, 5, 9 and 12 months. Extra bingeing was seen in AAs only at 6. How did this affect the overall binge rate, over the 12 month periond?


Hello again, Hetu-Ahin,

I don't have Dr. Brandsma's book handy, so I can't verify what you are saying. What I xeroxed and quoted was that Dr. Brandsma saw an over-all increase in binge drinking in A.A. members, including after "treatment" ended. He didn't say that they stopped binge drinking after that, or that they were not binge drinking before that. He also noted that the A.A. group got arrested more than the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy groups, during treatment.

Three months after terminating treatment the only variables that revealed differences concerned drinking behavior.   ...   In this analysis AA was five times more likely to binge than the control and nine times more likely than the lay-RBT. The AA group average was 2.4 binges in the last 3 months since outcome.
Outpatient Treatment of Alcoholism, by Jeffrey Brandsma, Maxie Maultsby, and Richard J. Welsh. University Park Press, Baltimore, MD., page 105.

The 3-month follow-up indicated that AA members had increased their binges and more often drank in order to feel superior.
Outpatient Treatment of Alcoholism, by Jeffrey Brandsma, Maxie Maultsby, and Richard J. Welsh. University Park Press, Baltimore, MD., page 105.

Nevertheless, I'll have to put in a special request for an inter-library loan and get that book again. I should just photocopy it and keep it for reference.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Medical researchers in Chicago say binge drinking can decrease
**      bone mass and strength because alcohol affects bone health genes.
**        ==  UPI, Oct. 24, 2008

Saturday, April 21, 2012: The Fernhill Wetlands

Canada Goose gosling
Gosling under Mother's wing

Canada Goose gosling

Canada Goose gosling

Canada Geese father

[More gosling photos below, here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters302.html#Peter_F ]

Date: Tue, April 17, 2012 7:43 am     (answered 24 April 2012)
From: "Peter F."
Subject: FW: Dr. Peter Ferentzy published a new article on The Huffington Post

Dr. Peter Ferentzy wrote a new post: Even Abstinence Based Recovery Would be Healthier if Drugs Were Legal

Dr. Peter Ferentzy

For many years, I did go to 12 Step meetings. While that's not a secret, some are surprised to hear it given my views on addiction. I was never a believer in most of what those fellowships...

To comment on this post, follow the link below:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-peter-ferentzy/even-abstinence-based-rec_b_1430685.html? utm_source=Alert-blogger&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Email%2BNotifications

Hello again Peter,

I have to agree, even if that sounds like a radical position. I think it is a very sensible position.

Radical? You want radical? One friend of mine did three years in San Quentin for possession of three marijuana cigarettes. Now that is radical. And that did no one any good whatsoever. He was so freaked out by the experience that he spent the rest of his life hiding away from "straight society" in a hippie commune in the mountains of Northern New Mexico. He died recently. R.I.P.

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its
**     victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under
**     robber barons than under omnipotent, moral busybodies. The robber
**     baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be
**     satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us
**     without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience....
**     To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not
**     regard as disease is to be put on a level with those who have not yet
**     reached the age of reason."
**       ==  C. S. Lewis,  "The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment",
**           God in the Dock. William B. Berdmans Publishing Company,
**           Grand Rapids, MI, 1994.

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters302.html#James_C ]

Date: Wed, April 18, 2012 9:28 am     (answered 25 April 2012)
From: "James C."
Subject: A.A: What's not good article


I'd like to say that this article written under the name of A. Orange is one of the most offensive I have read in some time. Does this person have any experience with the program of Alcoholics Anonymous? I assume not. It sounds like a rant against a program that he or she has no experience with. The comparisons to Hitler and Nazi Germany and the suggestions that it is brainwashing of some sort are just ludicrous. There is no brainwashing and there is never any condemnation. I can see how it may look that way at times to an outsider, but I assure you that is not the nature of the program. The program works. The reason it does not work for many more is that they are still caught up in their selfish ways and refuse to be honest with themselves and others about the nature of their illness. My sister is still in active addiction and holds a lot of the same sentiments as the writer of this article. She is also completely selfish and self-centered and refuses to even give it a try. For most it takes hitting a bottom. For me it was multiple DUI's and then cancer. I am a recovering alcoholic and Marine veteran. I am also a graduate student in forensic behavior analysis. I tried to get sober every other way including therapy and every other way on my own terms. It just doesn't work. The author of this article seems to be a blatant atheist or agnostic. I'm not a bible thumper but do believe in God. The program only asks that you try something new, put your faith in something greater than your self-centered self. The program is all about being honest and kind and serving others. Does that sound crazy? Not to me. It mirrors the teachings of Christ and gives the recovering alcoholic a social setting with other like-minded individuals to belong to. I hope that the writer of this article can actually attend some meetings sometime and see that the program actually works. Every group is not perfect, nothing is. There are many great groups all over the world however, and I'm sure he or she could find one if they tried. I hope that the author of this article can get a better perspective on the program instead of just compiling all the negative facts and stats out there. Maybe actually reading the Big Book would be a good start.


James C., M.S.
(239) xxx-xxxx

Hello James,

Thank you for the letter and the opinions. Starting at the top,

  1. Yes, I have experience with A.A. — read the introduction — and my experience is nothing compared to that of some of the people who regularly correspond and post articles in the forum. Some of them were in A.A. for 20 or 30 years and they can describe A.A. experiences to you far better than I.

  2. The comparisons of A.A. doctrines to the Nazi philosophy are not "ludicrous". Bill Wilson copied all of the A.A. philosophy, cult religion, and practices (the "Steps") from Dr. Frank Buchman, who regularly attended Nuremberg Nazi Party rallies and Sieg-Heiled! Adolf Hitler. And Bill Wilson even said so. Dr. Frank Buchman's cult religion was called "The Oxford Group", and William Griffith Wilson, Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith, and Clarence Snyder were members of that cult:

    "Early AA got its ideas of self-examination, acknowledgement of character defects, restitution for harm done, and working with others straight from the Oxford Groups and directly from Sam Shoemaker, their former leader in America, and nowhere else."
    == William G. Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, page 39.

    Where did the early AAs find the material for the remaining ten Steps? Where did we learn about moral inventory, amends for harm done, turning our wills and lives over to God? Where did we learn about meditation and prayer and all the rest of it? The spiritual substance of our remaining ten Steps came straight from Dr. Bob's and my own earlier association with the Oxford Groups, as they were then led in America by that Episcopal rector, Dr. Samuel Shoemaker.
    == William G. Wilson, The Language of the Heart, page 298, published posthumously in 1988.

    Bill Wilson was being dishonest there, when he implied that Sam Shoemaker was the leader of the Oxford Group. Frank Buchman was the real leader, and he is the one who copied or made up all of the theology and tenets and practices of the Oxford Group, which Bill rewrote into the Twelve Steps. But Frank Buchman had a very bad reputation for his praise of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi sympathizing, so Bill Wilson listed Sam Shoemaker as the leader of the USA branch of the Oxford Group. Nevertheless, the theology and practices are still all pure Buchmanism.

  3. Likewise, the 12 Steps are obviously brainwashing techniques. Read just one page of condensed cheat-sheet information about brainwashing from the experts: Cult Info. Notice the similarity between Dr. Robert J. Lifton's description of the Chinese brainwashing program and the 12 Steps.

  4. This is contradictory:

    The program works. The reason it does not work for many more is that they are still caught up in their selfish ways and refuse to be honest with themselves and others about the nature of their illness.

    First it works, and then it doesn't work, and you make excuses, and blame the victim.

    Actually, A.A. does not work. It just raises the binge drinking rate and the death rate in alcoholics. You can read about the actual A.A. success rate here: The Effectiveness of the Twelve-Step Treatment.

  5. I am sorry to hear about your sister's troubles. I am also sorry to see that you are so quick to condemn her rather viciously. But that is typical of how A.A. members denounce non-members. That is evidence that A.A. really is a cult. They even have you turning against your own sister.

  6. This is typical A.A. dogma, and a truism:

    For most it takes hitting a bottom.

    Of course people drink until it gets bad, and is no fun any more. While it's still fun, they continue to drink. When it gets bad, people quit. Then A.A. calls that "a bottom", however bad it got. So everybody who ever quits drinking because of unpleasant experiences has "hit bottom", no matter whether they quit inside of A.A. or outside of it, like most successful people do.

    So the jabber about "hitting bottom" is really pretty meaningless. We have all had bad experiences. Some people will choose to quit drinking after some really bad experiences, and some won't.

  7. This is nonsense, and obviously untrue, but it's a common line that A.A. members parrot:

    I tried to get sober every other way including therapy and every other way on my own terms. It just doesn't work.

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

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

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

    Furthermore, no program "works" to make you quit drinking. It is always up to you. Either you quit or you don't. Expecting a program to do the quitting for you is nuts. Nobody holds your hand every Saturday night but you.

    The phrase about "on my own terms" is just standard A.A. cultish self-denigration. The good brainwashed A.A. member must incant at meetings, "I tried it my way and it didn't work, so now I'm doing it God's way."

  8. This is the standard A.A. religious bigotry:

    The author of this article seems to be a blatant atheist or agnostic. I'm not a bible thumper but do believe in God.

    For your information, I am neither an atheist nor an agnostic. I have studied all of the great religions of the world, and incorporated much of their teachings into my personal philosophy. I just do not believe in Santa Claus or Cinderella's Fairy Godmother.

    I find it to be both stupid and arrogant to imagine that you can go to an A.A. meeting and God will save you from your own self-indulgent bad habits while He ignores all of the innocent sick and starving babies on the other side of the world, and lets them die.

    What makes you think you rate God's special attentions and miracles on demand when those babies don't get miracles? Ego, ego, ego...

  9. This is standard cult dogma:

    The program only asks that you try something new, put your faith in something greater than your self-centered self. The program is all about being honest and kind and serving others.

    The program is about declaring that you are powerless over your bad habits, and insane, and making long confessions, and then expecting a God to deliver miracles on demand and change you. The program is about massive dishonesty — Fake It 'Till You Make ItAct As If — "Dole out the truth by teaspoons, not buckets". And never tell the truth about the real history of A.A., especially not about the Oxford Group and its Nazi connections. Also don't tell the truth about the A.A. failure rate. And don't talk about what a lying thieving philandering LSD-gobbling con artist Bill Wilson really was.

    Then the properly-indoctrinated A.A. member imagines that God is guiding him and talking to him in Step 11 séances and telling him what to do and giving him the power to do it.

    The talk about "put your faith in something greater than your self-centered self" is standard cult behavior. Cults are forever demanding that people "give up self". That is one of the common cult characteristics. Look here for the Cult Test question:

    and here for the A.A. answer:

  10. Does that sound crazy? Not to me. It mirrors the teachings of Christ and gives the recovering alcoholic a social setting with other like-minded individuals to belong to.

    No, there is no similarity between the teachings of Jesus Christ and the satanic teachings of Dr. Frank Buchman and Bill Wilson. Jesus Christ never said, "Decieve the newcomers to get them to join our church. Reveal the truth by teaspoons, not buckets. Only reveal the real truth later on, after they have become committed members. 90 church services in 90 days. Jabber thought-stopping slogans all of the time. Keep Coming Back! Parrot crazy religious dogma, and then say that it isn't religious. Surrender to me! Go to meetings and confess all of the time. And never dispense any charity to the poor people. Make them depend of 'God'."

    Umm, no, that isn't the teachings of Jesus.

  11. I hope that the writer of this article can actually attend some meetings sometime and see that the program actually works.

    Again, you should at least read the introduction to the web site, and you will read about some of my experiences in attending meetings. And again, "the program" does not work. If you think it does, please tell me what the A.A. success rate is.

  12. This is just standard minimization and denial. De Nile isn't just a river in Egypt.

    Every group is not perfect, nothing is. There are many great groups all over the world however, and I'm sure he or she could find one if they tried.

    You can say the same thing about the Ku Klux Klan or Scientology or the Moonies, or the Hari Krishnas, or any other cult or extremist group.

    The fact remains that it is not a matter of finding one group that you like. The whole program is wrong and bad and harmful and dishonest and lies about it's success rate.

  13. Then you finished with some standard cultish condescension and spurious denigration of the opponent (two propaganda tricks):

    I hope that the author of this article can get a better perspective on the program instead of just compiling all the negative facts and stats out there. Maybe actually reading the Big Book would be a good start.

    You have not read much of my web site, have you? I own several old copies of the Big Book, ranging from the second through the fourth editions, and have a reproduction of the original multilith edition, and I've read them. The Big Book is actually the most-quoted book on the Orange Papers web site. I feel like I have typed a large fraction of the Big Book.

    You should peruse the bibliography. It starts with all of the regular A.A. council-approved books. Look here. You don't have to actually read all of those books like I have, that would take you years. Just read the list of books.

    And I have a good perspective on the A.A. program. It is a fraud that hurts more people than it helps. It is a hoax that does not work. It is cult religion and quack medicine.

    By the way, in the interests of "a better perspective on the program", how many anti-A.A. books have you read? May I recommend that you start with the "Top 10 reading list"?

Now, I have just one question for you, but it's a big important one:

What is the REAL A.A. success rate?

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

(HINT: the answers are here and here and here.)

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Waiting for God to provide is a good way to become
**     very spiritual and very gone from this worldly scene."
**       ==  John Phipps

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters302.html#Candice_M ]

Date: Wed, April 18, 2012 9:52 am     (answered 25 April 2012)
From: "candice m."
Subject: Pacific Group Article

Hello, I hope this email reaches the originator of an article I just read on the Pacific Group. Normally, I would ignore something to judgemental and clearly inspired by an unhappy spirit. This morning, however, I wanted to respond.

I attend the Pacific Group. Love the respect shown by the members there. Sober almost 17 years, without taking meds that keep me in bondage and render me another statistic, I am grateful that I could go to a place where I am shown what service looks like.

Diagnosed bi-polar, manic-depressive, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder syndrome, the trusted phyisician wanted to place me on medication aet 8-days sober. He said, "I would have to take them for the rest of my life." Having taken pills in addition to drinking, I was reluctant and elected to get a sponsor, take the steps, get commitments, change my behavior and exorcise instead.

Was I depressed? Well yeah! As an adult whose life had gone into the toilet and I was homeless, I was definately depressed! A pill doesn't fix the problem. It medicates the problem. I am so grateful that by the time I found the Pacific Group, years later, I could be surrounded by members who liked to take action and not blame others for their problems.

Turns out the doctor was wrong! I am not in need of medication! So many meetings have members playing doctor, telling newcomers or members who come to a meeting once every 4 months, that they should "get on something." How irresponsible! No one is present any more. I am sure the doctor thought he was doing the right thing, but how awesome it is that I never filled that prescription!! My life is free and the women I work with who want to take the steps and know that if after doing so, if they need anything to save their life, they can get on it. i just think it odd, they haven't ran to the doctor.

It is an honor and a privilage to get my sponsor a cup of coffee! Someone who for fun and for free, takes my calls, day or night, helps me thru the process of all 12-steps, and only wants to see me live in dignity — yes! I think coffee is the very least I can offer.

Find your own path! Uncover your truth. Stop hiding under the veil of hatred and contempt. What a sad sad way to exist.

Maybe you should try to be of service. Volunteer your time at a children's hospital, where babies have been raped and beaten by a drunk stranger or parent (on meds) and drunk! Go feed the homeless. Go places where the devastintg effects of alcohol have ravaged people's lives and homes.

Get into the solution. Point the finger at your own life.


Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. — Golda Meir

Hello Candice,

Thank you for the letter and I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better.

However, it sounds like you really drank the koolaid. The fact that you are enjoying participation in the Pacific Group does not make it a good organization. You have completely glossed over the problems with the Pacific Group, and gone into minimization and denial mode. You didn't say anything about

  1. The sexual exploitation of women in the Pacific Group and its clones like Mike Quinones' Midtown Group. Clancy would not even criticize Mike, his grand-sponsee, for turning A.A. into a sex club that preys on young girls.

  2. Would you care to comment on any or all of the issues listed here: The Pacific Group of Clancy I., like invasive take-overs of neighboring groups, rigid enforcement of dogma, suppression of dissent, and telling sick people who really do need medications not to take their medications?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     One Stepper declared, "My stability came out of trying to
**     give, not out of demanding that I receive."
**     Serving humanity is all fine and well, but what if you are humbly,
**     lovingly, spiritually giving out cups of cyanide koolaid?
**     No matter how generous and loving and unselfish you are
**     while you hand it out, it's still cyanide koolaid.

[The previous letter from Taylor_W is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters302.html#Taylor_W ]

Date: Wed, April 18, 2012 10:08 am     (answered 25 April 2012)
From: "Taylor W."
Subject: Hello again


Hope you don't mind me writing so frequently, work has been slow lately.

For the second time, I found myself in a huge amount of pain due to dental issues (looks like dentures for me here shortly), with my only potential source of relief being doctor prescribed narcotics.

Last time I just about shit a brick when they handed me a bottle of vicodin. I never abused vicodin, because it wasn't strong enough, but just the fact this it was an opiate squicked me out. It wasn't until I'd been home for about an hour and a half, trying to figure out whether or not to take them, that I thought "Wait, you've had drugs for 90 minutes and haven't taken them...in fact you're kind of afraid of taking them...that's not the behavior of an addict". And it wasn't. All was well.

So this time I was less nervous about the issue. However, I did bust Mr. Lizard Brain trying to play his games a couple times. You're right Orange, it really is kinda sad how lame his con games are. First, Lizard Brain thought that we should just take a little bit more than it said on the bottle. Just to get a tiny little buzz. I mean, we hadn't slept in days, didn't we deserve to blow off some steam? Maybe, Lizard Brain, maybe, but not like that, we don't blow steam off that way anymore.

The next time it started whispering, it had realized I wouldn't take more than the recommended dose. So, it pointed out that I would still be taking the recommended dose if I crushed and snorted the pills. It was at that point that I really had to chuckle. Oh come on, Lizard Brain, I know all the plays in your book. I can make up new ones, you can't.

This Saturday will be 1.5 years without a drink for me. I know it "totally doesn't count", as I just admitted to ingesting a narcotic analgesic twice in the past year, but, well, fuck that. I also decided that I don't really give a shit if it means I don't have years and years of clean time anymore. If taking painkillers sporadically as legitimately prescribed by a doctor means my streak has been broken, so be it. I'm happy not abusing the shit out of narcotics and booze, and that's what matters.

I found thinking of that part of myself as a separate entity made aligning against it easier. It wasn't so much an internal struggle as it was me fending off bad ideas from a bad source, plain and simple. And it wasn't real hard to do, because I'm the one that taught it everything it knows. And for that idea, I wanted to thank you.


Hello Taylor,

Thanks for a great letter. That really brightens my morning. Congratulations. You've got it. You've really got it. That is all there is to it. You catch that little monster playing mind games on you, and you don't let him fool you into doing what he wants. Especially not when it's bad for you.

In the back of my head, I can hear The Who singing, "Ain't gonna get fooled again!"

Indeed, we aren't.

So have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     O God, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away
**     their brains!  That we should with joy, pleasance, revel,
**     and applause transform ourselves into beasts!
**       ==  SHAKESPEARE, Othello, (1604-05), 2.3.291
**     These big confused human brains that we have seem to lead to
**     special troubles.  You don't see preacher chimpanzees or gorillas
**     telling their fellows, "Give me all of your bananas so that
**     you can go to heaven."
**     Nope, that kind of insanity is strictly the province of humans.

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters302.html#William_B ]

Date: Wed, April 18, 2012 10:37 am     (answered 25 April 2012)
From: "WILLIAM B."
Subject: Orford and Edwards/Vaillant

Hi Orange

I love your site. It just confirms what I have always found to be the best piece of AA advice I ever recieved. "Just don't XXXXing drink XXXXwit". I try to put it differently myself but the man who said that to me saved my life.

One query — On the Effectiveness of the 12 step Treatment page Orford and Edwards appear to quote Vaillant

Such rates of improvement are not significantly better than those shown in studies of the spontaneous or natural improvement of chronic drinkers not in treatment. Or, as Vaillant once ironically remarked: "The best that can be said for our exciting treatment is that we are certainly not interfering with the normal recovery process."12

However Ordford and Edwards published in 1977 and Vaillant in 1983. This appears to be a mistake in an other wise excellant site. I have no doubts about you conclusions and no arguement the the evidence.

Please can you clear up this minor point.


Hi William,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well, and enjoying the site. Congratulations.

You are quite observant. The confusion there is just that a third person, Dr. Herbert Fingarette, was writing about and commenting on both the Dr. Orford and Edwards clinical test, and also quoting Dr. George Vaillant's remark about A.A. treatment of alcoholism:

"The best that can be said for our exciting treatment is that we are certainly not interfering with the normal recovery process."

Doctors Jim Orford and Griffith Edwards published their report Alcoholism : a comparison of treatment and advice, with a study of the influence of marriage in 1977.

Dr. George Vaillant published his remark in "The Doctor's Dilemma" (page 18) in 1980.

And then Dr. Herbert Fingarette published Heavy Drinking in 1988, quoting both of them. See pages 78-80 and footnotes on page 94.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism,
**    but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling."
**      ==  Dr. George E. Vaillant, formerly a member of the A.A. Board of
**    Trustees, describing the treatment of alcoholism with Alcoholics
**    Anonymous, in "The Natural History of Alcoholism: Causes, Patterns,
**    and Paths to Recovery", Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA,
**    1983, pages 283-286.

[The next letter from William_B is here.]

April 22, 2012, Sunday: Fernhill Wetlands:
This is the next day. On Sunday, it got funny. I rode my bicycle all of the way around the biggest pond at Fernhill Wetlands, looking for the goslings. And then I found them when I got back to the parking lot. Overnight, they seem to have lost their fear of people, and they were hanging out at the parking lot and collecting munchies from people.

I can only wonder whether my hanging out and feeding them and not bothering the goslings on Saturday helped them to get over their apprehension about having people around their babies. They were certainly far less fearful on Sunday, and lounged at the parking lot, and ate the occasional piece of bread, for hours. The only time they became nervous was when some curious people approached too close for their liking. (Some of these photographs look like I'm very close, but I'm not; I'm sitting a good ways back and shooting with that 500mm Panagor telephoto lens. That leaves them with enough empty space around them for them to feel safe.)

Canada Goose goslings
The goslings are munching greens. That is their main diet.

Canada Goose goslings

Canada Goose goslings

Canada Goose goslings
The babies are eating bread.
They didn't eat any bread the previous day, but now they have learned that bread is good to eat. Still, they eat a proper diet, and eat a bunch of grass along with the bread so as to have a balanced diet.

By the way, that is 15-grain bread. I always feed the goslings the good stuff. White bread is no good for them. And moldy bread is out of the question. They can get sick from eating moldy bread just like how we can. So the goslings get good fresh whole grain bread (surplus, a few days old, but still very good).

[The story of the goslings continues here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters302.html#Kevin_B ]

Date: Wed, April 18, 2012 10:59 am     (answered 25 April 2012)
From: "kevin b."

..interesting research!
Not sure how useful AA is in rehabilitating addicts and alcholics is. I suppose it isn't at all.
What's on the plus side of recover programs?

Hello Kevin,

Thanks for the question. And fortunately, there are some answers.

  1. How did you get to where you are?
    This includes both my own experiences, and links to lists of other people's experiences, and also ratings of how well various treatment methods work.
  2. The list of non-cult organizations and methods

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Protect your health. Without it you face a serious handicap
**     for success and happiness.
**       ==  Harry F. Banks
**     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

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters302.html#Brendon_G ]

Date: Thu, April 19, 2012 3:26 am     (answered 26 April 2012)
From: "Brendon G."
Subject: Hi, about the West Wing and AA.


My name is Brendon and I am someone who used drugs and preferred to stop not with the help of the AA or NA programs, and for the individual degrading qualities mentioned on your site. It's just something I feel so against participating in, while I am not necessarily an individualist above a collectivist, especially in my political beliefs. I do think that recovery from addiction does not need the length and degree of conformity and deceptiveness involved in AA.

My question and inquiry is about something that sort of bothered me this past night, and thus kept me up awhile reading about AA's cultishness once again out of the pressure put on me to partake in group support, AA in particular, as part of my life-changes. That is, I am recently a big fan of the West Wing, but I am 21 years old and last time I watched some of the last few seasons I was much younger, less interested, and not concerned with addiction issues. I just started watching the West Wing first season. I sort of saw an episode about Leo going to "meetings" for his past alcoholism and addiction but didn't think much about it. Till I saw an earlier episode where Leo was invited to the AA meetings the Vice President runs in the basement of the EEOB. By the way, to answer your questions the particular AA is not open to public it is a only 5 or so high Government officials and I suppose his sponsor is one of those. But when I saw his involvement in the AA meeting in all its secrecy and such, I was reminded of the cultishness. Like you said The West Wing is a great show, but I am so majorly bummed that this is going to be a major part of the story, or more so in Leo's story. It makes sense that a show about a leftist Administration would espouse beliefs about collectivist ideology, and so therefor also in the story about a persons own issues. Although I would argue with myself collectively aimed policy is not the same level of collective control as cult-like groups like AA.

To me it so unfortunately reminded me of how ingrained the AA message and eventuality of treatment style is in American culture... and I don't know if I will ever be able to like this show again, because of this. Do you particular like or perhaps love the West Wing? If so, how do you see it? Perhaps I will have to grow up a bit and realize it's only a fucking show, one I thought was really good, but that I don't have to take so much of it to heart. I'd really appreciate you sharing your opinion on it with me, above and beyond what you said on your Random Thoughts page. But perhaps you do not use this email or run your site actively anymore so I expect you might not respond.

Thank you,

Hello Brendon,

Thanks for the letter. I have to agree that it is a mixed message. The West Wing's general philosophy is left-wing and liberal. But then the script writer mixed in a bunch of basically fascistic stuff about how your thinking is defective and you need to be supervised by somebody else.

I don't know much about Hollywood personalities, and don't pay a lot of attention to them, so I'm not hip to all of the details of their lives. But someone wrote to me to explain that "Screen writer & playwright Aaron Sorkin, the creator and an original writer of The West Wing, has been a huge advocate for AA."

And before that, we were discussing Charlie Sheen and Martin Sheen and The West Wing here. There I learned that Martin Sheen was also a big Stepper. So Charlie Sheen was not only rebelling against the 12-Step cult, he was also rebelling against his own father and his father's philosophy.

Then, somewhere, I heard that the actor who played Leo was also an alcoholic and a Stepper. So, yes, they had plenty of people who wanted to "carry the message" of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The West Wing was such a mixed bag that some of the teachings about alcoholism or addiction were true, or half true. For example, in one episode, one of the young staffers (whose name I cannot remember) was suffering from PTSD, I think after getting shot. Leo was helping him to get through it, and get therapy. At the end of the episode, Leo explained his actions with this story:

There was a man stuck down in a hole, and he couldn't figure out how to get out. Another man came along, and saw the man down in the hole. The guy in the hole asked for help in getting out. The second man jumped down into the hole.
The first man asked, "Now why did you do that idiot thing? Now we are both stuck down in the hole!"
The second man answered, "Yes, but I've been down in this hole before, and I know how to get out."

Now I can appreciate that sentiment. Leo had been down in that hole, and got out. And I was also down in that hole, and got out. And we are both interested in helping others to get out of that hole. I totally agree with that idea in the story. But the West Wing scripts were also implying that A.A. is good help for getting out of that hole. I strongly disagree with that propaganda because the facts say otherwise.

You asked whether I liked The West Wing. Well, yes, lots of episodes. Unfortunately, I felt like gagging when they started pushing the A.A. cult as salvation for alcoholics. But some other episodes were quite good. So yes, it's a mixed bag. But, like you, I cannot love it without reservations.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     You can write that down in your book in great big letters.
**     The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them."
**       ==  L. Ron Hubbard  (the founder of Scientology)

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters302.html#Ian_M ]

Date: Sat, April 21, 2012 1:24 am     (answered 26 April 2012)
From: "Ian M."
Subject: cameras and lenses etc


Ian here, the Nikon-user at the marina with whom you so graciously shared information about older lenses.

I just spent about four hours reading your very interesting site — not nearly enough time to finish. I admire your passion for truth, your willingness to speak out and your civility toward those who disagree with you. I wish that our country had more people who were willing make rational moral arguments and follow the rules of civil democratic dialogue. It's an increasingly rare ability and I fear for our country because of that fact.

I've discovered that one sometimes pays a personal price for telling the truth. I could tell you about that some time.

I've also discovered that sometimes I myself have been at odds with the truth, i.e., that I am capable of self-deception, and of getting caught up in false ideologies. Sometimes I think I should take a holiday from argumentation. Coincidentally, I was a member of various 12-Step Groups until quite recently. It was only last year that I found I could not bring myself to continue to attend — even though I very much liked some of the members of the groups.

I, too, am something of a writer and essayist. I'll insert an essay that I wrote about ten years ago and recently revised. I think you might enjoy it since it deals with an interesting period of history in the ancient world. (Don't be put off by the title. It is not a fundamentalist screed. In fact, it deals with a period of war in ancient Greece, long before the advent of Chnristianity.)

I hope you got some good pictures of the geese.

I'll send a pic or two of mine. Here's Beethoven, as you called him. Below is a pic of some geese at the Milwaukie waterfront and other gulls at the Milwaukie waterfront on a misty day.

Beethoven the Great Blue Heron

Geese at Milwaukee waterfront

Hello Ian,

Thank you for the letter and the compliments, and your slant on recovery.

And thanks for the pictures. Oh, I especially like that second shot, the Milwaukee waterfront. It just has something about it. The atmosphere is stunning. I can't help but think of Jurassic Park.

We were talking about the legendary old Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm lenses, and I mentioned the Kiron 70 to 210mm F4.0 zoom lens that was made by the same company as made some of the Series 1 lenses — Kino Precision Optical Company of Japan Ltd. And many lens aficionados consider it to be equal to the Vivitar Series 1 lenses. They do resolution tests where they photograph test patterns with finer and finer line pairs, finding the limits of resolution of the lens. They rate that Kiron lens as equal to the legendary Vivitar Series 1 lenses.

Here are three shots of juvenile California Gulls taken with such a Kiron lens on an Olympus E-510 body: (I think this one is Nikon mount, mounted on the Olympus E-510 with an adapter. Happily, I have several, in both Nikon and Pentax mounts.) Unfortunately, these copies were scaled down for uploading to myspace.com. I can't find the originals right now. They show much greater sharpness and resolution.

juvenile California Gulls
Gulls gobbling down some bread. This photo was taken in Waterfront Park near the fountain. The bread and gulls are on one of those concrete fence-posts on the seawall. You might notice how fastidious young gulls are when they eat. (Not!)

juvenile California Gulls
Young gulls playing King of the Hill. The gull who is flapping his wings wants that neat perch on the post, and the other gull refuses to give it up.

juvenile California Gulls
More of the gulls gobbling bread.

You can find such Kiron lenses on eBay for $20 to $30, plus shipping. Ignore the ads where some dealer buys one cheap and then jacks the price up to $80 or $90. And of course they are also available in a variety of mounts, including Pentax PK mount.

Speaking of old lenses, here is a shot with an old Sears 300mm prime lens. (Pentax mount, mounted on the Olympus camera with an adapter). This was taken down at the marina, where the floating restaurant is. The young gull was glaring at me like that because he wanted me to toss him some bread. He saw me feeding the other gulls, so he wanted me to stop taking pictures and give him some bread. After I got this shot, I did.

juvenile California Gull

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters302.html#Laurence_C ]

Date: Sat, April 21, 2012 6:45 am     (answered 26 April 2012)
From: "Laurence C."
Subject: Controlled Drinking Anonymous???????

Hi Orange

I just read one of your replies to Hugh G on the 16th April where you stated......"

But what I really want is "Old Age Anonymous". I mean, if all things are possible with God, then surely 12-Step meetings can be the Fountain of Youth, can't they? I want eternal youth. (Or at least a few million years of it...)

I always wondered why the AA God couldn't just make people be able to drink normally like normies? I did ask an AA old-timer guru that very question years ago and was met with silence.

"But there is One who has all power. That one is God. May you find him now" Big Book Fourth Edition Page 59

Surely for One with all power it should be just as easy to miracle people to be able to drink normally as it is to miracle them into stopping drinking completely? It doesn't actually say anything about stopping drinking in the 12 steps does it? God must like drinking afterall else why would Jesus change the water into wine at the Marriage feast?

And as you quite rightly say God should also be able to make steppers live forever if he has all power. You could go to Controlled Drinking Anonymous one night a week, Old Age Anonymous another night then go to the pub the other five nights a week and be able to drink normally for ever and ever. (or a least for a few million years :-)

I'm just off to have a spiritual experience and start Controlled Drinking Anonymous then I'm off to the pub, do they still do that belladonna treatment that Bill Wilson had?

Seriously though if it wasn't for the messed up lives and deaths and misery this evil cult continues to cause with the blessing of the general public, the whole 12 step concept would be just one big hilarious joke.

Hello again, Laurence,

Thanks for the laugh. That's good. And I couldn't agree more.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Remember that we deal with alcohol — cunning, baffling, powerful!
**     Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all
**     power — that One is God. May you find Him now!
**     The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Into Action, pages 58-59.

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Last updated 5 July 2013.
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