Letters, We Get Mail, CCCV

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters305.html#Mike_C ]

Date: Wed, May 2, 2012 12:29 am     (answered 4 May 2012)
From: "Mike C."
Subject: AA

I'm an AA guy. 26 years old. Couple years clean heroin addict. I tried every possible way of stopping dude. Workin the steps was the only way for me to get clear of that shit. Anyway. If you want to hash some of this info out with a pretty well informed member. I'd be more than happy to clear some stuff up for you. Later

Hello Mike,

Thanks for the letter. Congratulations on your years clean.

Obviously, you did not really try "every possible way of stopping dude." I keep hearing that line so often. We were just talking about the same thing a couple of letters back, here.

So, 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 or drugging. It is always up to you. Either you quit or you don't. Either you abstain or you don't. Expecting a program to do the quitting for you is nuts. Nobody holds your hand every Saturday night but you.

So, you decided to quit drugging and save your own life. Good. You half-heartedly tried a few things, and backslid and got sucked back into the habit. Not good. Then you became more desperate and more determined, and you quit again, and succeeded. Good. Unfortunately, you also got sucked into a cult religion where you do some old practices that Bill Wilson copied from a pro-Nazi cult religion that was popular during the nineteen-thirties. Doing the 12 Steps did not save you. Deciding to quit heroin, and then really doing it, is what saved you.

Imagining that the 12 Steps saved you is assuming a cause-and-effect relationship where none exists. It's just like imagining that going to church makes girls get pregnant. Well, they go to church for years, and then they get pregnant. So going to church must have made them get pregnant. Look here for more on that.

I'd be happy to "hash out some things." But please note that I've pretty much heard it all before. Check out the bibliography if you want to get an idea of how "well-informed" I already am on the subject.

By the way, not to play a game of one-upmanship, I have 11 years clean and sober now, so I've had plenty of time to see what works and what doesn't. And the 12-Step program does not work. I lived in the "recovery community" for many years, and the number of people who really recovered while doing the 12-Step routine was very small.

Now I'm glad that you are keeping yourself clean and sober. Please keep it up. But declaring to the world that an old cult religion saves addicts is not so good.

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Jede Form von Süchtigkeit is von übel, gleichgültig,
**    ob es sich um Alkohol oder Morphium oder Idealismus handelt.
**    Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic
**    be alcohol or morphine or idealism.
**       ==  Carl Gustav Jung (1875—1961),
**            Erinnerungen, Träume, Gedanken (1962) ch. 12

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters305.html#Mark ]

Date: Thu, May 3, 2012 3:49 pm     (answered 4 May 2012)
From: "Mark S."
Subject: James K. Galbraith on economists

James K. Galbraith on economists:

Leading active members of today's economics profession, the generation presently in their 40s and 50s, have joined together into a kind of politburo for correct economic thinking. As a general rule — as one might expect from a gentleman's club — this has placed them on the wrong side of every important policy issue, and not just recently but for decades. They predict disaster where none occurs. They deny the possibility of events that then happen. They offer a "rape is like the weather" fatalism about an "inevitable" problem (pay inequality) that then starts to recede. They oppose the most basic, decent, and sensible reforms, while offering placebos instead. They are always surprised when something untoward (like a recession) actually occurs. And when finally they sense that some position cannot be sustained, they do not re-examine their ideas. Instead, they simply change the subject.

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the quote. Gee, why do economists sound just like 12-Step counselors?

Perhaps the whole bunch of them are just clinging to their favorite dogma.

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Common sense is not so common.
**       ==  Voltaire (1694 — 1778)

April 22, 2012, Sunday: The Fernhill Wetlands

Canada Goose goslings
The Goslings are resting.

Canada Goose goslings The goslings are munching bread again.

Canada Goose goslings
The family is swimming away. Some curious people got too close to them, and the parents started feeling nervous, so they left.

Canada Geese goslings

[More gosling photos below, here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters305.html#Peter_F ]

Date: Thu, May 3, 2012 5:28 am     (answered 5 May 2012)
From: "Peter F."
Subject: Addiction Beat — We Need Truth, Not Points of View and Personal Anecdotes
To: "ADDICT-L Academic and scholarly discussion of addiction" <addict-l AT listserv.kent.edu>


Peter Ferentzy, PhD
Author of Dealing With Addiction — why the 20th century was wrong

Hello again, Peter,

Thanks for the article. And thanks for hitting the nail on the head there. That line, "I might not know much, but I know what worked for me" is the kiss of death. It hides an attitude that is both a propaganda trick and a philosophy of life: Anti-rationalism, the belief that there are no solid verifiable facts, no real rational knowledge.

(See Tim Minchin's Storm video. The girl "Storm" was the personification of anti-rationalism.)

That philosophy is often summed up in the lines, "We don't really know anything for sure. It's all a big mystery. It's just one person's opinion versus somebody else's opinion."

The speaker who called your book "a perspective" was trying to use anti-rationalism, and reduce the book to "just somebody's opinion".

That line, "I might not know much, but I know what worked for me" also tries to imply a cause-and-effect relationship where none exists. The speaker might as well be declaring, "I might not know much, but I know that eating pizza worked for me. I ate a bunch of pizza, and then I quit drinking and doping, so eating pizza really works great as a cure for addictions."

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side?
**     And hain't that a big enough majority in any town?
**        ==  Mark Twain (Samuel Longhorne Clemens, 1835—1910),
**             Huckleberry Finn

[The previous letter from Meatbag is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters305.html#Meatbag ]

Date: Fri, May 4, 2012 9:25 pm     (answered 8 May 2012)
From: "Meatbag"
Subject: Re: More comments

Interesting comparison. I do wonder whether alcoholism in and of itself is a disability. It can certainly cause disability, but does that make it more of a disability than birth or car wrecks? And nobody even agrees what alcoholism even is. Is a 21-year-old who binge drinks every Saturday an alcoholic? How about my maternal grandfather, who had a beer every day after work? The latter died at 55, but that has a lot more to do with the smokes than the beer.

Hi again, Meatbag,

Thanks for the letter. Because there is no such "disease" as "alcoholism", then it's hard to see how "alcoholism" can be a "disability". Now there are lots of real diseases that alcoholism can cause, including cirrhosis of the liver, Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, peripheral nerve damage, memory loss, renal failure, and on and on. Those are crippling, and often fatal, diseases.

And the DSM-IV, the manual of the American Psychiatric Institute, lists a dozen mental illnesses that are caused by excessive alcohol consumption:

DSM-IV page 195

But to claim that "I just like getting drunk too much, so I'm disabled," seems like a stretch of logic.

And yes, defining the level of drinking that makes someone an alcoholic is really an exercise in splitting hairs. How many beers per night defines an alcoholic? 1? 2? 4? 6? 8? 10? 12?

Still, I'm not the identity police, and it is a valid comparison. AA doesn't even work for drunkards, never mind cannibals. Protip to the court that let that woman go: the justice system does not work that way. Successful insanity pleas result in an indefinite period of hospitalization, not getting off scot-free. That's why lawyers always ask their clients if they want to attempt to plea insanity, if it's a valid option at all. The justice system has not changed much since One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Neither has the medical system with regards to mental illness, for that matter. And that's leaving out that the woman in question might just be evil rather than sick.


That story about the guy who got forced into AA by the university is also very creepy, for many reasons. I wouldn't like the story if the administration was forcing the guy into SMART. Forcing students to be test subjects just strikes me as unethical, even if SMART is clearly more successful than AA. But then, I never understood how alcohol abuse is the university's business if it's not either occurring on-campus (including DUIs or showing up to class drunk) or with underaged students. Maybe I'm just a petulant undergrad (well, ex-undergrad, but that's beside the point). Still, the fact that it was AA rather than SMART just adds an extra layer of creepiness.

Yes, that has been an issue for a while. I read one piece of A.A. propaganda (that I can't find at this moment) that bragged about how they were getting university administrators to force young drinkers to go to A.A. meetings. The A.A. recruiters were joyous about the unwilling new recruits that A.A. was getting.

Obviously, no university has any business doing that. A.A. is just voodoo medicine, and no university has the right to force such religious quackery on their students. (Even if it did work, which it doesn't.)

Universities have long had a dual attitude towards their students: they are adults, no they are children. Girls may not have boyfriends visit them in their dorm rooms unless the door is kept open at all times. Curfew at 10 PM.

A lot of that has ended as social attitudes change.

Anyhow, I'm tired. Time for bed. Have fun with the goslings.

You have a good night.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If someone has cancer or diabetes or coronary disease,
**     we don't use a quack doctor to treat those sick people —
**     a quack whose only qualification is that he used to drink
**     too much alcohol or take too many drugs, and who is now
**     a member of a cult religion. But with the so-called
**     "disease" of addiction, the standard treatment is
**     to have former alcoholics or dopers dispensing their
**     platitudes and slogans, and insisting that "spirituality"
**     is the cure.

[The next letter from Meatbag is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters305.html#Dean_B ]

Date: Fri, May 4, 2012 10:50 pm     (answered 8 May 2012)
Subject: Hey mr. Orange
From: "Dean B."

A.A. Saved my life.

Date: Sat, May 5, 2012 12:03 am     (answered 8 May 2012)
Subject: Hey mr. Orange
From: "Dean B."

Dear Mr Orange,

I'm not an expert on AA but it has worked really well for several people I know, and seems to have given them fulfilling, happy lives. For sure it doesn't work for everyone, but I've met several people who are successful and happy in AA. Some of these people include acquaintances and personal friends of mine. Perhaps the Social nature of the meeting places gives them enough relief and support to begin the process of healing in a safe, non judgmental environment. It must be somewhat comforting to know there are others with the same problems.

As for the spiritual aspect of AA, I think they get to choose their own personal version, whatever that may be, which seems reasonable to me.

As for the dogma and lies of what I've read on your site, I think every spiritual / religious organization is somewhat guilty of stretching, or bending the truth in their favor, it's human nature. Lol

Hello Dean,

Thanks for the letter. When you claim that A.A. "saved your life", can you explain how it worked?

  • Did they hold your hand every Friday and Saturday night?
  • Did they hold a gun to your head and threaten to kill you if you took a drink?
  • Did they put handcuffs on you and make it impossible to lift a drink to your mouth?
  • Did they take away all of your money and imprison you so that you couldn't go buy any alcohol?
  • Did they brainwash you and make you into an obedient robot?
  • Are you really claiming that practicing an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties saved your life? How?

Now I know that, while your "several" people were getting sober, you also had a hundred or two hundred or more people who came to A.A., and did not get any help out of A.A., and just "went back out."

When you point at "several" success stories, while ignoring or minimizing the failures, that behavior is called "Cherry Picking", and it's a common trick that propagandists use to fool people.

These arguments are just Minimization and Denial. "Denial isn't just a river in Egypt":

  • For sure it doesn't work for everyone
  • think every spiritual / religious organization is somewhat guilty of stretching, or bending the truth in their favor

The fact remains that A.A. does not work, and A.A. lies about that fact. A few people — "several", as you said — will sober themselves up no matter what the treatment program is. That is the normal rate of spontaneous remission at work. That is self-healing. Lots of people just do recover, all by themselves, without any "program" or "support group". Heck, I sobered myself up while a crazy cocaine-snorting Internet child pornographer and child raper parrotted 12-Step slogans at me. I do not give him any of the credit for my sobriety.

So the real question is, "What is the A.A. cure rate?" The A.A. cure rate must be better than the normal rate of spontaneous remission — the natural self-healing rate — for A.A. to be doing anything good. So:

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/      *
**     Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.
**        == Francis Bacon (1561—1626)

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters305.html#Danteris ]

Date: Sat, May 5, 2012 10:00 am     (answered 8 May 2012)
From: danteris
Subject: faith

dear Mr. orange, I have to agree with you and I thank you for pointing out things about aa that ive never seen before. but I have to ask you cause I believe it is important for me to know. do you believe in god and his son the lord jesus christ. or what might you believe in as far as faith in anything. we have talked before on on matters concerning aa I was a little dogmatic myself on all of it. for that im sorry. I also want to thank you for your sacrifice in serving our country. im no longer attending them meetings anymore. it feeels pretty good.

Hello Danteris,

Thanks for the letter. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well. Welcome to freedom.

Of course I believe in God. I've said that many times. I believe that Jesus was the son of God in the same sense that you and I are children of God. Jesus never said that he was the only one. Rather, he often said things like, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be known as the Children of God."

You can read the Sermon on the Mount, and that pretty much sums up my philosophy.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one
**     of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
**        ==  Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:40)
**     I say to mankind, Be not curious about God. For I, who am curious
**     about each, am not curious about God — I hear and behold God
**     in every object, yet understand God not in the least.
**        ==  Walt Whitman (1819 — 1892)

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters305.html#Jeff_P ]

Sent: Saturday, 5 May 2012 7:38 AM
From: Jeff P.
Subject: Re:

Mr Orange,

I wish to share some of my AA experiences (mostly bad ones) with you but I am not sure if I have the right e-mail address. So before I launch into a rather long-winded story, could you, at your leisure, simply confirm if I have the correct address.

I have spent many hours on your site and I am a great admirer.

Jeff from Australia

Hello Jeff,
Yes, you got the correct address.
I'd like to hear about your experiences.
Have a good day now.
== Orange

*          [email protected]       *
*      AA and Recovery Cult Debunking     *
*      https://www.orange-papers.info/      *
*    https://www.orange-papers.info/forum   *
** "Now I know what it's like to be high on life.
** It isn't as good, but my driving has improved."
** == Nina, on "Just Shoot Me", 13 Jan 2006.

Date: Sun, May 6, 2012 6:12 pm     (answered 8 May 2012)
Subject: RE:
From: "Jeff P."

Hello to you from Australia.

Thank you for getting back to me so quickly — you must be very busy, judging by the content of your web site.

I am currently swiftly, tactically withdrawing from AA, predominantly due to an instinctive feeling that it "wasn't right," some of my experiences at meetings, and the content of your web site which I found, thank goodness, a few weeks ago by chance.

I was a social drinker for some time. It never really caused me any problems. I was never booked for drink driving or arrested, although I did injure myself a few times when drunk. Some years ago I was badly injured at work and began drinking in earnest. I drank periodically, sometimes going weeks without a drink at all then exploding into a binge. To cut a long story short, my drinking escalated to the point where I was politely asked to leave home about 18 months ago, which I did, amicably but with great sadness and distress. I was never a violent or aggressive drunk, tending to become morose and melancholy and unfortunately somewhat suicidal after a big drink. My family, however, had had enough.

Of course, this was an excuse to go on another binge, which landed me in hospital. From there I ended up in a Rehab facility. Well, I thought it was great! You could smoke and drink coffee day and night and there were vending machines and the food was o.k. The staff were kind and sympathetic, the other clients seemed o.k. and I could see this was how I was going to turn my life around. I went to my first ever AA meeting on day one of the Rehab. I recall thinking it was a bit strange, especially the "God" business and the prayer at the end, as I am not remotely religious in any way. But I toughed it out because I thought that was what I had to do. I was desperate, vulnerable and extremely exhausted mentally and physically, after days of continuous drinking and feeling sorry for myself.

So I did my 28 days (sounds like a jail sentence!) and returned home thanks to the grace and understanding of my long-suffering partner. I returned to work and started going to local meetings, about three or four a week. I didn't really like going to them, as they were mostly in the evenings and that meant leaving my family at home alone. But this was what the people at Rehab had told me I had to do. I tried to do my "90 in 90," but due to the fact I had to work full time I think I managed about 50 or so. After a few months of this, my partner and I were effectively leading separate lives, and I hardly saw my family at all. My entire thinking was being taken over by AA. A couple of alleged "old-timers" got my number and were phoning me every day. They seemed well meaning and to their credit were not overly intrusive or intimidating. At that point, anyway.

After a couple of really horrible meetings, I got talking to an old-timer who said he had over 30 years of sobriety. He was very proud of this, and mentioned it every single time he "shared" in meetings. He appeared to be a nice guy, and we got on quite well. He subsequently appointed himself as my sponsor, and all went well for a while. I was doing everything I had been told to do — go to meetings, read the big book, and now I had my sponsor. I was saved! But I was still not happy with life in general. I began to smoke more and eat lots of chocolate. Hey, the big book said it was o.k. so there you go. My sponsor also advised me NOT to give up smoking. (I still smoke, but I will give up one of these days; when I decide, not my sponsor or any "higher power.") And there was just an underlying discontentment that I could not decipher. I talked to my sponsor about it and he said that "this was normal" but offered no further advice or guidance other than to keep going to meetings and keep in touch. This confused me greatly and significantly increased my feelings of anxiety and unease.

Ultimately I drank again, and instead of having one or two or three, I convinced myself I was powerless over alcohol, it turned into another binge. Once I started, I began to feel guilty of what my sponsor would think, and how I was going to explain a "bust," so things went from being bad to worse very rapidly. I did call my sponsor who advised me to go to a meeting and read the big book. Nothing about stopping drinking at all. My sponsor ended up coming to my house (big mistake), chatting with my partner and between them it was decided that I was to go back into Rehab. So, off I went again, away from my family, more time off work etc.

This time I lasted 12 days before my gut feeling said something was not right. I was playing their game, jumping through their hoops, going to their meetings, listening to their lectures and doing all what I believed were the right things. On impulse, I discharged myself abruptly and left. The demeanour of the staff changed so quickly it was breathtaking. I went from being a valued client who was treated with respect, empathy and compassion, to a no-life drunk loser who was obviously going to drink himself to death once he left the Rehab and could not be helped in any way. One of the parting comments from someone on the staff was words to the effect that "you'll be back." Good thanks.

I got home and resumed contact with my sponsor and threw myself into meetings. After a week the repetition of hearing the same people say the same things really started to mess with my head. I left several meetings either early or half way through, and at times seriously thought about going and getting a drink. Then my sponsor started getting on my case about dropping off meetings. I tried to explain I had a full time job and a family to look after. I was told that without my sobriety I would have none of this, so start getting back to meetings. Another AA guru with all of 2 years of alleged sobriety then admonished me after a meeting about not going to enough and that was it. The concept of attending meetings for the rest of my life ad infinitum led me to once again feel positively suicidal.

So I stopped going to meetings about 2 months ago. I calculate I went to roughly 200 meetings, so I consider I gave it a fair go. Some meetings were o.k., others were downright terrible. I have erased all AA numbers from my phone, thrown out all my AA literature, including that delusional big book, and have never felt better. My partner and I are spending more time together, and I have reconnected with life. I even went on a road trip with a friend a few weeks ago. In the past, this would have been basically an excuse to drink excessively, especially being away from the family and the clutches of the AA people. We had a great trip, and yes, I had a few drinks, by my choice. But, as you suggested, I played the tape to the end and decided after a few it was time to stop. I might drink again, I might not. It is my decision, my choice. I am in control of my life, not some fabricated higher power.

I don't have a "sobriety date" per se. This is another major annoyance of mine with AA. Long term sobriety is seen as such a badge of honour. I do respect people who have not consumed alcohol for a long length of time, by whatever method, however I cannot see how this can be regarded as a status symbol or some sort of point of reverence that newcomers should bow down to. Honestly, some of them were treated like celebrities, and at times responded and acted accordingly. I am also aware of one member who states he had been sober for a year yet frequently has "big book" meetings at his house where he and some newcomers smoke marijuana and listen to AA tapes. That, for me, is not sobriety. And those sayings and slogans — don't let me start on those, honestly.

So here I am, almost 50 years of age, and about as content as I think I will get. I really have nothing against AA. It's simply not for me. I do, however, agree with your concerns that it can actually be counter-productive to some people and downright dangerous and /or lethal to others. I have the support of a wonderful partner and family, my employer is aware of most of what has happened and is also very supportive, and more importantly I am at peace with myself. Not surprisingly, I have not had contact from the Rehab (I am obviously no longer a financially viable prospect), nor do I wish to hear from them.

I have found writing this very cathartic. Thank you for your insight and sharing your own experiences, and for having the courage to challenge this insidious yet superficially benevolent organisation.

I am not religious but I believe everything happens for a reason. I found your website for a reason, and at the risk of sounding melodramatic, you have helped me save my own life, or at the very least you have helped me escape from a life of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Thanks again,


P.S. I once mentioned the "C" word (cult) whilst "sharing" at a meeting, and some of the looks on the older members were priceless. And yet at another meeting, a male member thought nothing of using profanity after profanity during a "share," including a different, shall I say less socially acceptable "C" word, in front of a mixed audience, and this was accepted and tolerated. Go figure.....

P.S.: I forgot to mention how much I enjoy the photos interspersed throughout your letters. Our family have a couple of local spots where we frequently go and feed the resident ducks and geese. I find it very therapeutic.

Hello Jeff,

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

And of course I didn't really save your life. You did. Congratulations.

That story says so much. I won't just repeat it all. No need. You said it well.

I have just one commment:
Many years ago, way back in 1978, the famous government think tank, the Rand Corporation, found that the successful people who had stopped drinking self-destructively were evenly split between total abstinence and tapering off into moderate, controlled, drinking. So total abstinence is not the only way. It all depends on the individual person. Of course, the A.A. true believers flipped out when the Rand Corporation released that report. (More on that here.)

So even our definitions of "alcoholic" are questionable. If somebody drinks too much for a while, and then gets a grip and changes his lifestyle and only drinks moderately, is he an alcoholic? Was he ever? Lots of A.A. members will insist that he was never "a real alcoholic", because "a real alcoholic" can never recover, or drink normally.

So apparently there are a lot of "real hopeless alcoholics" who are getting sent to 90 meetings in 90 days, who turn out to be "not real alcoholics" at all. Funny how that works. But the treatment center gets its money anyway.

Oh well, have a good day now. And a good life.

And oh yeh, I love the little goslings, of course. Feeding and photographing them is lots more fun than killing myself with alcohol.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Treatment centers based on Alcoholics Anonymous concepts
**     routinely advised their patients to find a "higher power"
**     or take a "moral inventory", untroubled by the contradiction
**     between giving such advice and providing insurance-funded
**     treatment for medical diseases.
**       ==  Ken Ragge?

April 22, 2012, Sunday: Fernhill Wetlands:

Canada Goose family
The Family swimming away.

Canada Goose broken egg
Another Broken Egg. A predator got it. Something was eating ALL of the eggs in this area. The one that I found and rescued is the only one that the predator did not get.

Canada Goose goslings
Another broken egg.

Canada Goose goslings
Another broken egg.

Canada Goose
A few days earlier, this is a goose on the mud flats
When I first saw this goose, I thought she was nesting. But when she stood up, I saw that she had a broken leg.

Canada Goose with broken leg
Goose with broken leg.
Her right leg was just dangling and flopping around, and obviously hurting her. She pecked at it, and tried to straighten it out, to no avail. I wished that I was a vetrinarian who could set her leg and put it in a cast. But I don't have the tools and equipment, or the anesthetics and antibiotics, or the training.

Later, it occured to me that she might be the goose who is just dropping eggs around the mud flat. With a broken leg, she couldn't build a nest and get to it to deposit the eggs in the nest. She was forced to drop the eggs whereever she was when the egg came out. I'm glad that I found one before the predator did. Now if it will just hatch...

Canada Goose feathers
The next day, a bunch of feathers was all that was left of the goose with the broken leg. Either a racoon or an ermine got her.

I saw that ermine one time, running across a dirt road from one row of bushes to another, but it was too quick for me to get a picture of it. I thought at first that it was a weasel, because it had that classic slinky arched-back body shape, but a friend, Douglas, who looked it up on the Internet, informed me that there are no weasels in Oregon — that it was either a ferret or an ermine. Well, it was much too large for a ferret, so it must be an ermine. Douglas commented that, even though rich people like to wear their fur, ermines are really very nasty creatures that will attack you. And anything big enough to reduce a goose to a pile of feathers overnight has to be bigger than a ferret.

The home-made incubator
Inside of that pot with all of the holes in it, at the bottom, is a coffee warmer. You know, those round things that you put on your desk and set the coffee cup on, and it keeps the coffee hot. On top of the warmer is a Corningware "Corelle" saucer, and on that, three upside-down lightweight disposable aluminum pie pans. The creates an air space between the heater and the stainless steel bowl. Inside of the bowl are a bunch of folded-up towels, and on top of that, the egg. The purpose of all of that is to reduce the heat, and to diffuse the heat. We want a gentle warmth, not a hot cup of coffee. Finally, the towels on top of the egg regulate the temperature. More towels keep more heat in. I'm always tweaking and adjust the layers of towels to get the temperature right.
In the lower-right, you can see three wires. The black cord is power to the heater. The two white wires are for thermometers. I have a couple of digital indoor/outdoor thermometers. The outdoor measurement is taken with thermistors that you hang out of the window on the end of a long wire. Well, right now, the outdoor thermistors are in the bowl with the egg, rather than outside.

The thermometers
I'm using two thermometers because I don't trust just one. The right-hand thermometer displays both the inside (middle display) and outside temperature (lower display) simultaneously.
As you can see, the readings between the two thermometers are slightly different. That's okay. The higher reading (99.7) is from a thermistor that is more under the egg, sensing the heat coming up. The other one (98.8) is more beside the egg, and gives a better indication of the actual temperature of the egg.
The ideal temperature is 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit, although it can go a couple of degrees higher, or much lower, with no problem. As you can see here, the current readings are pretty close to perfect. Some variation is unavoidable without an automatic thermometer-controlled incubator. It's also okay. A mother goose out in the wild does not have a precise temperature-controlled unit. She just sits on the eggs and keeps them warm as best she can, no matter what the weather is. And sometimes, like when she gets up to get some food, the eggs cool off. So as long as I can keep the temperature in the right range, this might work. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, and worrying and fretting like a mother hen.

[The story of the goslings continues here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters305.html#Peter_C ]

Date: Sun, May 6, 2012 6:07 pm     (answered 9 May 2012)
Subject: pete's haiku
From: "Peter C."

Things change
not because they have to but because we have to
fish will only swim as the salmon until the snow melts
and exhausted they will give up their rights to the sea
to purchase worn pebbles on the river floor.

Hi again, Pete,

The first two lines are very interesting. They kind of flip the usual attitude about change on its head.

The take on salmon sounds so depressing. If you ask the salmon, I'd guess that they say that they just work themselves to death trying to raise some children. Now that is an attitude that a lot of parents will understand and agree with.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is
**     to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.
**     ...
**     Give me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling.
**       ==  Walt Whitman (1819 — 1892)

BLOG NOTE: 2012.05.10:

J. P. Morgan Chase, the largest bank in the USA, announced that they lost $2 billion during the last six weeks, from stupid gambling. Have they learned nothing? Nope. We gave Wall Street several hundred billion dollars of our money to bail them out and pay off their gambling markers — maybe as much as $2 trillion when you include what the Fed gave to foreign banks like UBS — the United Bank of Switzerland — and covering all of the bad bets of AIG, and now they are right back to gambling and losing. They have learned nothing. They just want the quick thrill and easy income from gambling.

Apparently, the American taxpayers are enabling a bunch of gambling addicts.

Worse yet, because bribe-taking Senators and Congressmen — both Republicans and Democrats — eliminated the Glass-Steagall Act, those banks are gambling with our money. They can do that. That used to be very illegal, but it isn't now. The Wall Street "investment banks" gamble with our money. When you put money in the bank, they go to the casino with it. If they win, they keep the winnings for themselves. If they lose, they come to us for a bailout.

That seems to be what the Republicans call "Free Enterprise", and the magic of the "Free Market".

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters305.html#Gary_M ]

Date: Wed, May 9, 2012 3:16 pm     (answered 11 May 2012)
From: "Gary M."
Subject: AA

Can you tell me where is there a better treatment program please? That is absent from your message.

Hello Gary,

Thanks for the question. Actually, I've said that over and over. I guess I should list it more prominently on the front page.

There are several things that you can look at:

  1. How did you get to where you are?

  2. A comparisom of 48 different treatment methods, rating them by success

  3. Many people's discussions of what has worked for them.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable
**     ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor.
**       ==  Henry David Thoreau

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters305.html#Moritz_G ]

Date: Wed, May 9, 2012 12:50 am     (answered 11 May 2012)
From: moritz g.
Subject: other method of propaganda

I wanted to send you something on this technique for some time:


Now I found that strip and thought it said it well.

I see this method used often in the "class warfare" argument, where no one belongs to "them" the poor and needy and every one belongs to the righteous middle class.


Hello Moritz,

Thanks for the link. Calvin and Hobbes is one of my all-time favorite cartoons, and this one lives up to the reputation. It's both funny and very true.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Television in the early 1950s ceased to be a novelty and became
**     the principle agent for the simultaneous marketing of consumer
**     goods and of national security state opinion."
**       ==  Gore Vidal, The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

[The next letter from Moritz_G is here.]

[The previous letter from Meatbag is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters305.html#Meatbag2 ]

Date: Thu, May 10, 2012 8:22 pm     (answered 11 May 2012)
From: "Meatbag"
Subject: Re: More comments

I'm loving the details about the egg. Mother Goose strikes again. I'm sorry about what happened to the goose with the broken leg, though. I guess it would have been nearly impossible to transport her to a vet without injuring her further, and that's assuming you end up with a vet with any experience with geese who wouldn't just put her down.

Hello again, Meatbag,

Yes, that's the problem. The "professional" attitude is "Let nature take its course", which really means, "Let it die."

Still, I'm starting to think about what would be required to fix broken legs. I see a goose with a broken leg every few years. Their legs are lightweight and fragile. (Like aircraft landing gear and all that.)

My mother's thinking of moving to a lake. I hope there are lots of ducks and geese there.

There is a good chance. I read on the Internet that Canada Geese are actually expanding their range. That doesn't surprise me. Canada Geese are very adaptable and versatile creatures.

And if there aren't any ducks, they are easy to introduce.

It seems like the closest thing to alcoholism in the DSM-IV are the alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse diagnoses. I checked the DSM-5 (yes, they changed the numbering), and apparently those two disorders are being merged into Alcohol Use Disorder:


Amazingly enough, every part of the diagnostic criteria has something to do with alcohol. And it's actually possible to be in remission. Let me know if there's something AA-related I missed.

Yes, I've heard about that. And heard a lot of grumbling too. Like lumping all alcohol use disorders and drug use disorders into just a few categories makes many more things treatable by health insurance. (Gee, they couldn't really be after more money, now could they?)

As a side note, the DSM-5 also merges autism, Asperger's, and PDD-NOS into Autism Spectrum Disorder, so hopefully I'll be done with the "name that disorder" silliness in a year when this is published. Guess you'll have a new book to buy then, too. Probably a very expensive one.


As for universities, treating people my age with that dual attitude is not restricted to colleges. It seems like society as a whole hasn't decided whether we're children or adults. Or maybe that's just my parents. Still, I've definitely noticed that attitude when I used to live on campus as a freshman. Certain kitchen appliances were banned, and we couldn't have guests of the opposite sex after a certain time. This was in a smaller, two-year public college in the south.

Oh does that sound familiar. Like you can't have a hotplate because you will supposely burn the dorm down. (The problem is, some fools will. But why should all of the sensible people have to suffer because some other people are fools?)

I have a friend at Brigham Young University, and that's at least as restrictive as you mention, if not more. No substance use at all (not even tea!), no sex outside marriage, men and women (I doubt any genderqueer individuals attend BYU) must dress a certain way, etc. Then again, that has more to do with Mormon culture than anything else, and I don't know much of anything about Mormon culture, despite having a Mormon friend. Only thing I know is that it is really resistant to change. That's the one college I can think of that can legally send students to AA, and odds are, they have their own alternative.

One of my best friends describes himself as "ex-Mormon", and he entertains me with tales of that stuff. Did you know that you can get excommunicated for revealing how they are editing the Book of Mormon, and changing things from one edition to the next?

Anyhow, good day, and good luck with the egg.

Thanks. Things are looking good. I have not been able to candle the egg because I don't have a spotlight intense enough to shine a beam of light through a goose egg. I tried with a flashlight and could not see anything. It was just all dark.

I am relying on the sniff test. Well, you know how bad rotten eggs smell. If this egg were dead, and I've been keeping it at 99 degrees Fahrenheit for 26 days (which is what the count is now), you would think that the egg would smell pretty bad. It doesn't. I sniff it every day, and it has just a very faint smell that is sort of like half egg and half gosling. It isn't strong at all, just very subtle, but there. That is a good sign. At least I'm not smelling any of the sulphurous rotten egg smell. So I'm hoping.

Live eggs actually have a smell, very faint, very subtle, but there, and it's different from the smell of an egg that you get out of the refrigerator. I don't how to describe it other than to say that they smell alive. Cold eggs from the 'fridge don't.

So anyway, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Now the wait is just 9 more days. Or maybe 11. The Internet articles say that if the egg is cooler than 99.5 degrees, that the egg may take a day or two longer to hatch.

So I'm just waiting, very impatiently.

Oh, and I just noticed something else. I've been having trouble establishing the temperature of the egg today. It seems like the egg is a little hot, even when I reduce the heat. I just realized that the egg seems to be radiating its own heat, and the thermistors are picking that up. The timing is about right. The egg transitions from being just an egg to being a gosling, and its own body creates heat. So I had to move the thermistors a little away from the surface of the egg to measure the temperature of the chamber that the egg is in. Again, that is a good sign.

I feel like the famous line in the Frankenstein movie: "It's alive!"

Now if I had a tiny stethescope, or a tiny ultra-sensitive microphone, I could listen to its heartbeat.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg.
**       ==  Samuel Butler (1835 — 1902), Life and Habit [1877], Chap. 8

2012.05.13: P.S.: Yes, no doubt about it. I measured again, and the egg is running a temperature two degrees higher than its surroundings. When the temperature in the incubator is 99.0 degrees, the egg is 101.1 degrees on its surface. That is just fine. Birds have high body temperatures, something like 102. Much higher than us at 98.6 degrees. The fact that the egg is hotter than its surroundings is a very strong indication that it is alive and burning fuel and creating heat.

[The next letter from Meatbag is here.]

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Last updated 8 March 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters305.html