Letters, We Get Mail, CCCVI

April 23, 2012, Monday: The Fernhill Wetlands

This day, the goslings were nowhere to be seen. But the rest of the usual cast of characters was around.

These guys are real characters. They are very feisty. I've seen coots get right in the face of seagulls or ducks twice their size, and say, "You don't really want to fight me over this food, now do you?" And they will actually stare down their opponent.

Canada Goose mother nesting Canada Goose mother nesting
This mother is still nesting over at the small pond to the left (Dabblers' Marsh Pond). She won't leave her eggs even to get some bread.

April 25, 2012, Wednesday: The Fernhill Wetlands
It was a dreary day. Not much going on. I found the goslings over on the far side of the biggest pond. They were very wary, and started swimming away when I came near them. They wouldn't even hang around to get some bread.

Canada Goose goslings
Family of 5

Then, further away, I saw a second family with goslings. That is the first sighting of a second family of goslings.

Canada Geese goslings
Family of 3

April 26, 2012, Thursday: The Fernhill Wetlands
The goslings are back to the parking lot. Those guys are funny: They are very timid and standoffish when I approach them on the other side of the pond, but they are happy to come to the parking lot and get handouts from people, including me. Perhaps it is just a matter of who approaches whom. They are okay with coming to the parking lot and approaching people, but when I approach them out in the "boondocks", they are very apprehensive.

Canada Goose goslings
The Family of 5 goslings, at the parking lot

Canada Goose goslings
The Family of 5 goslings, with a parent

[More gosling photos below, here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters306.html#Rob_L ]

Date: Fri, May 11, 2012 6:54 pm     (answered 13 May 2012)
From: "Rob L."
Subject: Introduction

Hi! My name is Rob and I've been sober for 14 months. I just finished reading the Introduction and I have a couple points of discussion.

It's mentioned that: "That unethical behavior is being financed with the public's tax money and health insurance money." All the AA groups in my district here in Canada follow the 7th Tradition. To my knowledge, I havn't heard of or seen any groups in Canada being publicy funded. Isn't this broad statement then false and misleading?

And, "Well, it didn't work. She relapsed repeatedly, and they kicked her out of the program." While very unfortunate if true, no decent AA group would do that to someone who is sick and suffering. Please don't paint all of AA with the same brush. Our group is open to all who have the desire to stop drinking. Your thoughts please? Thanks.

Hello Rob,

Thanks for the letter and congratulations on your sobriety.

What you are doing is trying to separate Alcoholics Anonymous from treatment programs that are based on Alcoholics Anonymous. That is a false distinction. Now I know that legally, they are separate entities, just like how all of the A.A. clubhouses in the USA (and Canada) are legally separate entities from Alcoholics Anonymous The Corporation in New York City. But in reality, they are inseparably entwined. There is no separating them.

Alcoholics Anonymous is like an octopus with many tenacles. The friendly neighborhood A.A. meeting is only one arm of Alcoholics Anonymous the Entity. (Or "The Evil Empire", as I like to call it.) Other branches include two A.A. corporate headquarters in New York City — A.A.W.S. and the G.S.O. — the publishing house, the numerous councils and intergroups around the world, the fake medical authorities, the treatment center racket, and a propaganda unit that would make Joseph Goebbels proud.

Those corrupt treatment programs that do kick people out are all staffed by A.A. true believers. Those treatment programs sell the A.A. philosophy and cult religion and superstitions, just the same as you will find in any A.A. meeting. The treatment centers also provide employment for A.A. members who are otherwise unemployable. It doesn't take a lot of training or intelligence or even sanity to tell people to go to at least three A.A. meetings per week and get a sponsor, and then parrot some slogans at them.

A.A. very much benefits from those 12-Step treatment centers. They are a major source of new recruits for Alcoholics Anonymous. The A.A. headquarters has never objected to those treatment centers selling A.A. for anything from $1700 to $40,000. The A.A. headquarters was quick to sue A.A. members in Mexico and Germany for publishing their own translations of the old out-of-copyright first edition of the Big Book, but the A.A. headquarters does not sue treatment centers for selling A.A. for a big profit.

Alcoholics Anonymous also uses front groups:

  • NCADD, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
  • ASAM, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (aimed at doctors)
  • NAADAC, the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (obviously, for counselors)
Again, they exist to promote A.A., but they are not legally connected.

In fact, that legal structure is deliberate. All of those other legal entities can promote A.A. and commit all kinds of crimes while selling A.A. to the masses, but A.A. in New York cannot be sued for their activities. And when a not-legally-associated allied organization does something that is particularly disgusting or repulsive, the A.A. headquarters can object to the criticism that they receive and claim that they didn't do it, it has nothing to do with them. Cute trick, huh? That is why cults use front groups.

There is more on A.A.'s front groups here: Front groups, masquerading recruiters, hidden promoters, and disguised propagandists

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     'Tis the only comfort of the miserable to have companions in their woes.
**     == Cervantes, Don Quixote, Part 1 [1605], Book III, Chap. 10

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters306.html#Hugh_G ]

Date: Sat, May 12, 2012 10:36 am     (answered 13 May 2012)
From: "HUGH G."

Hi again

I am impressed with the way you respond to abuse from the steppers and the way that you use accredited research to answer what in many cases amounts to nothing more than slogans/one liners and rehashed hearsay. If the spiritual giants who abuse you would just take the time to step ( no pun intended ) back and look at the way they respond/relate to you they would possibly see how very unattractive their spiritual message is. I am not referring to their beliefs and the fact that they disagree with you in many instances: just to the manner in which they behave toward someone with opinions of their own. I suppose 'live and let live' only applies if they agree with someone.

I read an article recently in which the author spoke of her recovery from anorexia and in which she offered some advice to others with the same problem. As soon as I read the following I realised how sensible this part of her advice was and how so different to that which the steppers give. "Don't be a full-time anorexic..... the less you're out in the real world, meeting real people, getting on with life, the more anorexia will come to define you."

Recently I read in one of your letters about A.A.s sitting in meetings pretending to be sick and that hit a note as well as the above.

Too often A.A.s come to believe that they are special and different and meetings are full of talk describing thoughts, actions and feelings as being ALCOHOLIC thoughts, ALCOHOLIC actions and ALCOHOLIC feelings as if alcoholics had a monopoly on these things. I always tried to say that most of what was being described was actually HUMAN thoughts, actions and feelings but too many were happy to be victims. I eventually came to believe that many were scared of going out into the real world where years of clean time counts for nothing and were happy to be full-time (recovering) alcoholics, happy to describe themselves as insane and content to play the victim until eventually becoming an old timer.

If you make A.A. the most important thing in you life .... the most important thing in your life is A.A.

Being sober is great and I would not be alive today if I had not stopped drinking almost 18 years ago but I am not defined by what I was but who I am.

As an A.A. member I was asked to sponsor many people and one of my experiences I used to share with sponsees was about my newspaper reading habits. When I was young I would always read the sports pages first and then move on to the rest of the paper. Later I would read the political pages first. Now I read the obituaries first and have learnt that when someone dies it is not the money in the bank or the number of houses or the number of expensive cars or any number of THINGS that count ... it is the way that we have lived that is important.

Keep up the good work

Hugh G

Hello Hugh,

Thanks for a great letter. That is uplifting, you know. Lots of good stuff in there. And thanks for the compliments.

I can't really think of anything to add, so I won't.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Demagogy enters at the moment when, for want of a common denominator,
**     the principle of equality degenerates into a principle of identity.
**     Antoine de Saint-Éxupéry, (1900—1944), French novelist, essayist, aviator
**     Flight to Arras, (1942), 23, tr. Lewis Galantière

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters306.html#Pete_H ]

Date: Sat, May 12, 2012 12:51 pm     (answered 13 May 2012)
From: "Pete H."
Subject: Hi Orange, I enjoyed your archive about AA.


Thanks for putting all the information together.

Please allow me to offer some advice:

It might be helpful to set up a companion site which is a distillation of the whole archive.

Your site is packed with information and it is kind of overwhelming...no offense to your fine work but I think you repeat yourself and/or overlap information.

Basically your site is an overgrown bush that needs a trimming.


Hi Pete,

Thanks for the advice. I'll have to think about that. Anybody else got any ideas?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Ideas and opinions, like living organisms, have a normal rate of growth
**     which cannot be either checked or forced beyond a certain point.
**     The more unpopular and opinion is, the more necessary it is that the
**     holder should be somewhat punctilious in his observance of
**     conventionalities generally.
**       ==  Samuel Butler [1835—1902], The Art of Propagating Opinion 

April 26, 2012, Thursday: The Fernhill Wetlands

Canada Goose family
Goslings eating bread

Canada Goose broken egg
Goslings munching whole wheat raisin bread

Canada Goose goslings
More munching bread
Hard to believe that these are the same geese as the ones who would not come near me yesterday.

Canada Goose goslings
The Family of 3
The new family with goslings showed up.

Canada Goose goslings
The Family of 3, warily keeping their distance.
Alas, they were still very timid. When I walked towards them to give them some bread, they fled.

Canada Goose goslings
Meanwhile, the Family of 5 is just fearlessly eating everything in sight. Now it's tortillas. (Good whole-wheat tortillas.)

[More gosling photos here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters306.html#David_J ]

Date: Sun, May 13, 2012 9:28 am     (answered 14 May 2012)
From: "David J."
Subject: NAME

Orange or whatever you call yourself, is this your real name? I've been to your website and am quite impressed. You put some work into this and I happen to agree with your reasons for doing so. In fact, I am borrowing a number of things off your web page to add to my new book on why corporate America funds the Religious right. Hope you have no objections. I am BTW David "Doc" Johnson and you can find me on facebook as well as my recently ignored and in need of up dating website


Hello David,

Thanks for the compliments. My birth name was (and still is) Terrance Hodgins, and I live in Forest Grove, Oregon (which is like the furthest-out rural fringe of Portland).

I don't mind that you are helping to spread the message. Care to send a copy of your book when it's done? Thanks.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed
**     corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a
**     trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."
**       ==  Thomas Jefferson in a letter to his friend George

[The next letter from David_J is here.]

[The previous letter from Meatbag is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters306.html#Meatbag ]

Date: Sat, May 12, 2012 2:30 pm     (answered 15 May 2012)
From: "Meatbag"
Subject: Re: More comments

Can't say I'm surprised. People, including professionals, don't even have much respect for disabled humans, let alone disabled animals. It's better to be dead than disabled, especially when you're a wild animal. Reminds me of horses who get put down for having broken legs.

Hi again, Meatbag,

Yes. And there is also a Nazi element to it, too. The Nazis claimed that they were euthanizing people who were living "lives not worth living". You know, "the mental defectives, and the cripples, and the chronically sick." And then the political dissidents and the Jews.

I hear the same philosophy from what I call "Nature Nazis" who recommend euthanizing wild animals for a variety of complaints, including "imprinting". Imprinting is what a baby bird does when it hatches out. It memorizes what its parents look like very soon. It can identify its parents generally within an hour or two, and it has totally memorized what Mama looks like within 24 hours, and it can pick her out of a flock and won't confuse her with some other goose, and it will remember what she looks like for the rest of its life. Then the baby bird does the same thing with Father in the next 24 hours.

The Nature Nazis say that baby birds that have imprinted on humans should be euthanized because they have been contaminated with human contact and "won't survive in the wild so well".

That whole thing about surviving in the wild is an illusion. The Nature Nazis talk like the Indians are still riding horses across the Great Plains, chasing the buffalo, and the skies are darkened with the flocks of Passenger Pigeons, and the huge flocks of Canada Geese live out in the wilderness and never have any contact with humans.

But that dream world ended over a hundred years ago. The Indians got moved onto reservations, and they drive pickup trucks, and if they have any buffalo, they herd them around the reservation. The Passenger Pigeons are extinct. People have covered the geese's feeding grounds with farms and cities, and the Canada Geese have been moved onto reservations, too — things called "wildlife preserves" or "city parks" — where they collect bread tributes from people as payment of rent on their land.

I don't think fixing broken legs in geese would that be much different than fixing them in humans. I would think one of the more difficult parts would be keeping the goose from pecking at the leg.

Agreed. But I think that keeping the goose from pecking its leg would be easy. If it is wrapped in a cast, then the leg is protected.

I feel for that goose. If I had known that a predator was going to kill her that night, I would have made my best attempt to catch her without hurting her, and cared for her as best I could. But getting antibiotics and preventing infection is a big problem. Painkillers and anesthetics would be nice too. Maybe a friendly veterinarian could help.

I just looked up the lake in question (it's a big, well-known lake in the state), and apparently it does have a large Canada goose population. Also, hunting geese is apparently legal there. Bah. Never got the appeal of hunting for sport, rather than for food.

"Sport"? I like the Bloom County take on it. The animals had a hunting season for hunters. When the humans were out hunting geese, the Bloom County animals stalked the humans. One of the little animals looked through binoculars and saw some human hunters, and said, "Hey! That's a Fat-bellied Stogie-Sucker, and them's good eatin'." Then the animal went over to the human hunters and asked if they tasted best roasted, boiled, or fried. And the humans reacted by saying, "Why you animals!"

There was quite a bit of grumbling about the autism-related changes, too. Mostly from the aspie supremacists. "What do you mean we're being lumped in with the defective auties?!" It's a shame when the DSM doesn't correspond with your bigotry, isn't it? Amanda put things pretty well here:

Interesting. And isn't that just so common? Somebody just has to always be superior to somebody else.

As for the dorm issue, I think I probably would have eaten better there if those appliances were allowed. And if the on-campus convenience stores stocked more than junk food. Or if there was actually a grocery store within walking distance.

Yes, really. I shudder when I think of those junk-food diets.

This is the first time I've hear anything about the Book of Mormon being edited, though I'm not surprised that pointing that out is an ex-communicable offense. My friend's still a Mormon, so most of my information about Mormonism comes from her rose-colored lenses. That, and the Internet.

Yes, since the Book of Mormon is allegedly a new revelation from God that was given to Mankind on golden tablets by an angel, editing and changing the word of God is a serious issue. Kind of hard to explain, too.

And about the egg, that's very exciting! My family used to have chickens, but it never occurred to me to smell the eggs.

You might have trouble distinguishing the smell of the eggs from the smell of poultry. They are similar. Again, it's real subtle, and I mostly get it when the egg is warm. I put my nose right down on the warm egg, and its there. Faint and subtle, but there.

The big deal is that I'm not smelling any sulphur dioxide rotten-egg smell.

Anyhow, happy Mother's Day to the expecting Mother Goose.

Thanks. About 6 or 8 days to go. Things are looking good. Like I said in the postscript after the last letter to you, I measured carefully, and found that the egg is about two degrees Fahrenheit warmer than its surroundings. That is a very good sign. That is how it should be. The gosling is a warm-blooded little bird with a hot body, and it is starting to establish its own body temperature. (That takes a while. Even newly-hatched babies have trouble keeping themselves warm. That is why they return to Mother and cuddle with her often when they are very young.)

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The bird of paradise alights only upon the hand that does not grasp.
**       ==  John Berry, Flight of White Crows (1961)

[The next letter from Meatbag is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters306.html#Camille_B ]

Date: Mon, May 14, 2012 1:32 pm     (answered 14 May 2012)
From: "Camille B."
Subject: Criminal Justice Resource Project

Hi There,

I am curious if you are the person responsible for adding content to the following page:

If not, feel free to forward me on to the correct person! I came across your page during my research for a project for which I am contributor. It is a resource that provides a comprehensive overview of the criminal justice system, with a critical look at the impact technology has had on the system. For professionals present and future, it offers articles on a wide range of legal and criminal justice topics ranging from ethics to basic career insights.

I would love to send over more details about this project, and partner with you to have it listed as a resource link on your site. Let me know!

Thanks for your time. I look forward to working with you!

High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation. Charles Kettering

Hello Camille,

That post was done by one of my correspondents. If my memory serves me right, that person was in A.A. for many years before quitting it and criticizing it as a fraud.

Still, I'd be interested in hearing about your project.

Have a good day now.
== Orange

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

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters306.html#Adrian_P ]

On 14 May 2012 23:05, Orange <[email protected]> wrote:

Hello Adrian,

Thank you very much. That helps.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

Date: Mon, May 14, 2012 2:15 pm
From: "Adrian P."
Subject: Re: Donation

No problem. I had been very much hoping there was an alternative to AA, having spent some time on an online chat server for AA people. I really hoped I could quit drinking in the same way I have quit smoking, I hate to think I'm "helpless" — your pages made me realise there is no mystical rubbish I need to go through, it gave me back what I suspected, that it's down to me alone whether I drink or not.

That's worth a few dollars and a big thanks :) Keep up the good work.

April 26, 2012, Thursday: The Fernhill Wetlands

Canada Goose family
Five Goslings

Canada Goose mother + goslings
Mother and goslings

Canada Goose goslings
Mother and goslings

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle
This is a low-contrast, grainy picture because the eagle is so far away. Nevertheless, you can clearly see what it is.

Bald Eagle and fish
Bald Eagle and fish
This eagle has captured a fish, and it is carrying the fish home to its nest, where it has a baby. Unfortunately, none of the nature photographers who like to frequent the Fernhill Wetlands has managed to get a picture of the baby, because it is nestled down in the nest, and the photographers are all shooting up from below. But there is no doubt that the two eagles who have a nest way up in a big tree have a baby. They are feeding it like this all of the time. Something down in that nest has a huge appetite.

Canada Goose family with goslings
Family Portrait

Canada Goose family with goslings

[The story of the geese continues here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters306.html#Darlene ]

Date: Tue, May 15, 2012 10:24 am     (answered 16 May 2012)
From: "Darlene"
Subject: AA and alcoholism

Hi A. Orange,

I found your website when I did a Google search on the efficacy of AA in treating alcoholism. I have had doubts regarding their philosophy and from the very first meeting (I've only been to 2 so far), I felt a cult-like atmosphere although everyone seemed to be very nice and nonjudgmental. I believe you are correct when you say that if a person is truly "sick and tired of feeling sick and tired" they will stop drinking; humans can think and make decisions on their own if they are truly motivated to change (Free Will). I always drank and did drugs as a teenager but straightened out when I had my first child. I had times when I drank too much but it never became an ongoing bad habit until my mother died in April of 2009. I gradually began to drink more and more over the last 3 years, and on Sunday, May 13, 2012, Mother's Day, I out did myself by drinking more in 1 day than I've ever had before.

On Monday, I woke up and just felt that I don't want or "need" to drink anymore. Granted I have 1 bottle of tequila hidden but I'm not getting rid of it just yet because I want to prove that even though it's there, I don't want it. It's no different than passing by the liquor store without going in. I just have a different state of mind that I can't explain but I think it's connected to the sick and tired sentiment. When I woke up yesterday still drunk, followed by a racing heart beat, sweating then feeling cold and then feeling weird (DTs???) and generally "sick and tired" yet I didn't feel my usual sadness and guilt and desire to start drinking again to make everything go away! I haven't hit rock bottom and don't want to.

However, the person who talked me into going to the 1st meeting, (my former boss) is becoming as persistent as the Jehovah Witnesses that I opened the door to back in Feb. when I felt sad, but when I explained that I simply am not interested in their religion in March, they don't bother me anymore but just leave their Watch Tower newspaper at my door. I guess, I'll have to explain the same thing to my old boss. I felt that these AA people were slaves to their dogma, and I will not be sold into this mind control "fellowship." I really think that some of these people have good intentions but they trade one addiction for another and that addiction is AA.

My father was an alcoholic who quit without AA. My aunt said he went to a few meetings but it wasn't for him and I now know why. He was very intelligent and not the type to be told what to do. He ran his own, and very successful, business for 30 years and once he was in his 50's he never had a relapse to return to binge drinking. He quit on his own because he was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired! Well, that's how I feel and I'm confident that I will do it.

Just wanted you to know that I find your website very informative and it also speaks to the way I perceived my brief experience with AA.



Hello Darlene,

Thank you for the letter. I'm sorry to hear about your suffering, but I'm glad that you are rising above it.

And yes, of course I agree that you can and will just quit without a mind-control cult telling you what to do. That is how the vast majority of successful people do it.

So have a good day, and a good life, 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-letters306.html#Rob_B ]

Date: Tue, May 15, 2012 5:21 pm     (answered 18 May 2012)
From: "Roy B."
Subject: aa is a cult

thanks for your article. i have felt this way for many years. rgb

Hello Rob,

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

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Wanting to believe is perhaps the most powerful dynamic
**     initiating and sustaining cult-like behavior."
**     The Wrong Way Home: Uncovering the Patterns of Cult Behavior in
**     American Society, Arthur J. Deikman, M.D., page 137.

[The previous letter from Meatbag is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters306.html#Meatbag2 ]

Date: Tue, May 15, 2012 8:10 pm     (answered 18 May 2012)
From: "Meatbag"
Subject: Re: More comments

"Surviving in the wild" is a farce. There are entire species of animals that have lost the ability to survive in the wild. Should we just kill them all? Besides, what makes a human's backyard less natural than the middle of a forest or the side of a lake? What's wrong with being a pet, as long as the animal is treated well?

Hi again, Meatbag,

Quite right.

And there is also the issue of adaptability. Some species have shown amazing flexibility and versatility in adapting to a changed environment. And some have not. I fear for the Great Spotted Owl. Those things are so fragile that if you stare at one cross-eyed from ten miles away, it falls out of the tree dead. I'm exaggerating, but only a little bit. We have to preserve a lot of old growth forest for them to live in (here in Oregon), and they still might not make it. They don't seem to want to live or nest within 10 miles of a human, and that really restricts their territory.

On the other hand, things like rats, cockroaches, Rock Doves (aka "pigeons"), starlings and sea gulls are indestructable. Nothing will get rid of them. I'm sure that they would all survive World War III.

And Canada Geese have made the transition too. A little-known fact is that they nearly went extinct in the nineteen-fifties from over-hunting. But they seem to have actually changed and adapted, and of all things, found new homes in city parks. It seems like they have actually figured out where hunting is allowed, and where it is not, and of course they prefer to hang out where hunting is illegal. It's as if they know that hunting in city parks is illegal. Maybe they just learn by observation.

Last winter, I made a trip into Portland, and went to visit and feed my geese friends in Waterfront Park. I was amazed to see large numbers of wild Cackling Geese from Alaska all over the park, even calmly grazing a mere six or ten feet away from rushing traffic. And they didn't move when people walked right by them. I was thinking, "Hey, aren't you little guys supposed to be native to the tundra of Northern Alaska? How did you get to be so familiar with people and cars and city parks? Have you been hanging out in downtown Anchorage?"

December 20, 2011: Waterfront Park, Portland:

Cackling Geese
Cackling Geese in Waterfront Park

I don't know how, but they adapted their behavior, and they were using downtown Portland as a safe stop-over during their migrations. No hunting is allowed in downtown Portland. Harrassing the wildlife is also illegal. Now how did they figure all of that out?

Cackling Geese

And that is new behavior. I never saw large flocks of Cackling Geese in downtown Portland before. In previous years, we only had one or two or three Cackling Goose stragglers per year. Suddenly, a hundred of them are wintering here, and they are as tame as can be. They act like they have been living in city parks all of their lives.

It really makes me wonder whether some of the downtown Waterfront Park flock talked to the visiting Cackling Geese and told them about the safety and convenience of the park. I wouldn't put it past them. Geese do talk to each other, you know. I mean, they really talk. They don't just make noises. They say things. All of the time.

Cackling Geese
Cackling Geese in Waterfront Park.
For supposedly wild geese from Northern Alaska, they sure are tame. Neither joggers nor cars frighten them. This sort of casts a new light on "surviving in the wild", doesn't it? Yeh, surviving in the wild in downtown Portland.

[The story of the goslings continues here.]

Also, when I was caring for goslings, I was amazed at how quickly they could adapt to living with a human, and accept a human as their foster parent. Like after only 12 to 18 hours, they were at home with me. Two days, and we were inseparable. I don't know of any other bird species that is so adaptable. The contrast between them and Spotted Owls is unreal.

Yeah, the cast would help, but the goose could still peck through it if it's desperate enough. It definitely would be a good idea to find a sympathetic vet. Maybe you could check out a few vets and mention your egg. I would think a vet who would support your efforts would also be helpful with geese with broken legs.

Yes, I'll have to ask around. I'd even like access to an X-ray machine, just to see whether the bones are aligned right.

The breaks have all levels of severity. I've nursed a couple of geese with broken legs back to health just by feeding them (and leaving them free out in Waterfront Park and just visiting them and feeding them every day). Now they didn't have really serious compound breaks or open wounds. They just had to stay off of the leg for a few weeks or months and it healed. (And they can swim with just one leg.) But the ones with open wounds, and bad breaks where the leg is just flopping around, always died. Those would require capture and a cast and good care, and maybe antibiotics. And painkillers would be kind.

Heh, that sounds amusing. I can understand hunting for food, since a hunted animal will likely have had a higher quality of life than your average, factory-farm-raised livestock. (I don't have a problem with meat-eating in and of itself, but our meat industry could do with some reform.) Hunting just for a trophy, on the other hand, is a little disturbing. As for how a human should be cooked for best taste, I vote fried. Everything tastes better fried.


No kidding. Reminds me a bit of how poor white people used to hate black slaves, which only benefited the rich white people. Hell, racism from poor white people still benefits rich people today. If the plebeians are fighting each other, they won't fight you.

Divide and conquer.

The junk food diet certainly didn't do me any good. I didn't eat enough, I felt sick all of the time, and my blood pressure dropped low enough that I had trouble standing up without going into orthostatic hypotension.


I would very much love to hear an explanation for editing what's supposed to be the word of God. Although even mainstream Christianity's hands are not clean in that regard.

Quite correct.

Do you remember the short-lived TV series called "Dinosaurs"? (About 20 or 22 years ago.) It was a comedy that used dinosaurs as its characters. In one episode, the starring family's child was declared to be the new Holy Messiah by the local religion. The High Priest read the Scriptures, "The mother will be beautiful and pure, and the father will be brave and noble and wise." After hearing the child's father speak, the Priest said, "Get the white-out." Then he wrote in the Scriptures, "And the father will be a blithering idiot."

Ah yes, the fate of many a "holy book".

Yeah, not smelling rotten egg is a very good sign. Rabbits are kind of the same way about body heat. I used to raise rabbits, and it took my does a litter or so to figure out that the kits needed to stay warm to live. Single kits also have trouble staying alive because it doesn't have siblings to huddle with.

Hmm, interesting. Fortunately, single goslings don't have it so bad. Now they may miss having a bunch of siblings to hang out with, but it isn't essential. Then again, they might not miss siblings. Having a loving parent to cuddle with is what is essential.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The animals of the world exist for their own reasons.
**     They were not made for humans any more than black people
**     were made for white, or women created for men.
**       ==  Alice Walker

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters306.html#Brian_G ]

Date: Wed, May 16, 2012 6:43 am     (answered 18 May 2012)
From: "brian g."
Subject: Orange, though your critique of AA was

very well thought and correct for as far as I can tell, you give no alternatives besides a therapist. most people who attend those meetings have neither insurance or 60-100hr for therapy. I have found only one alternative (which I am attending first meeting tonight is an hour away from my house) smartrecovery. I know nothing about it other than what they posted online. you seemed to have done your homework on why AA sucks, have you also done such for available alternatives? if so, please share with me so I can pass on the info as well.


Fellow NON- alcoholic, just behaviorally challenged


Hello Brian,

Thank you for the question, and thanks for the compliments. I don't know what you were reading, but I'm not very enthusiastic about therapists. I sure do not recommend them as the best treatment, or the first choice. More like as a last resort. (Perhaps because my own experiences with therapists and counselors led me to believe that most of them are incompetent.)

Here are my usual recommendations:

  1. How did you get to where you are?

  2. Here is the list of non-cult organizations and methods.

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

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

  5. The Top 10 Reading List.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    The secret of health for both mind and body is
**    not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future,
**    but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.
**     ==  Buddha

[The previous letter from Andrew_S is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters306.html#Andrew_S ]

Date: Wed, May 16, 2012 5:27 am     (answered 18 May 2012)
From: "Andrew S."

Agent Orange,

You have shown your true colors. I called you out on your lack of logic, pervasive bias against AA and paranoid theories about organized medicine. You don't have an adequate reply to those accusations because they are apt.

I could tell that you were a crank from your homepage:

*THE ORANGE PAPERS (Where are the papers? This appears to be a website. Is it like the Pentagon papers? If it says papers a bunch of experts in addiction must have written it...)*

One Man's (redundant — there is one author named) Analysis (analysis implies objectivity) of Alcoholics Anonymous and Substance Misuse Recovery Programs, and Real Recovery (redundant — recovery is recovery).

An Online Book (no such thing — you want the credit of being an author without the process of publishing.)

by "Orange" (Why do you need quotation marks here? Mark Twain's name doesn't appear in quotation marks on the cover of Huckleberry Finn. Why do you need a pseudonym? Most medical research is published under the author's actual name.)

The whole effect you are going for is of that of a brave and virtuous researcher taking on the bad guys at the evil AA headquarters. Aren't you always talking about how cults use language to distort reality? Isn't it dishonest to call your website a book?

You are giving medically unsound advice to people. You are encouraging them to "go it alone" regardless of what treatment they may need. You are telling them that speaking to a therapist about their history is tantamount to a Buchmanite confession.

Please consider what the ramifications are for your readers. AAs are dismissive of psychiatric drugs and other therapies. I am starting to think that you share that same illogical attitude.


Hello again Andrew,

I have thought long and hard about the ramifications of my advice to others, and also about the ramifications of Alcoholics Anonymous pushing an old cult religion from the nineteen-thirties as a cure for alcohol addiction.

While no one has a sure-fire easy never-fails answer, Alcoholics Anonymous has one of the worst track records in the world, with the highest death rate and the highest relapse rate and binge drinking rate. This has been observed, measured, and documented repeatedly, and by real medical doctors, too.

The things that I recommend have much higher success rates. And that is the bottom line, isn't it? Does a method or treatment or therapy cure more people, or kill more people?

And I certainly do not tell people to avoid medications when they need them.

So, do you recommend foisting an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties on sick people, and lying to them, and telling them that it works great when it doesn't? Why don't you think about the ramifications of that for a while?

Have a good day.

== 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 Andrew_S is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters306.html#Steve_E ]

Date: Wed, May 16, 2012 1:59 pm     (answered 18 May 2012)
From: "Steve E."
Subject: AA and such.

Agent Orange,

After reading your out-patient experience, I can only say mine was word-for-word what you went through. What pisses me off the most is the M.D. running the program kicked me out after 90 days sober, two sessions before the end of the whole thing. The reason? I didn't attend enough AA meetings, which is true because I was holding down a full-time job and trying to be a father to two great kids.

Anyway, this Dr. screamed 12-steps from high heaven. He also billed me for consultations that never happened, but that's another story. During one brief meeting I did tell him I thought my issues stemmed from some childhood abuse, and the binging came on during high stress periods. He didn't want to hear my story, basically saying every drunk wants to be unique (terminal uniqueness).

Flash forward a few years and I find the same doctor consulting for a non-12-step rehab called The Exclusive in Hawaii. It seems their model is to try to find the underlying issues for one' self destruction. I did a little research and found this doctor is still with Pacific Coast Recovery, still pushing 12-steps, but on the side working for the high-end rehab in Hawaii. You can find him online. His name is Dr. Daniel Headrick. He, like Dr. Drew, is a general practitioner who chose to work in one area that requires little extra schooling and has hardly no oversight: addiction specialist.

The whole nonsense of it all has created a lot of anger in me, but that anger seems to keep me from going off the deep end. I do find that you seemingly deliver your thoughts and information without much anger. For that I congratulate you.

Keep up the good work. The attacks will obviously continue, but one fact remains: the rehab industry claim addiction is a disease, but the #1 method they prescribe to treat it is a spiritual cure. It's time for more people to scream and shout about these contradictions and M.D.'s like Dr. Headrick who see no problem in the way they're treating people.

Best of luck,

Steve E>

Hello Steve,

Thank you for the letter. And congratulations on your sobriety. I'm sorry to hear about the garbage that you had to go through. There is just so much of that quackery going around, isn't there?

Well, hopefully, when we continue to shine the spotlight of publicity on the fraud that is called 12-Step treatment, we can change the situation. It's certainly worth a try.

And I think we will succeed, and are already succeeding in part. I was just speaking with a candidate for the state legislature here about such quackery and bad treatment wasting precious state money (like pulling dollars out of the Oregon Health Plan), and he commented that one of the highest-ranking state officials (whose name I won't print here for now) is an ex-alcoholic with 18 years sober, and one of his pet causes is better treatment programs for alcoholics. Apparently he has seen the hoax too. So there is hope, and reason to believe that we will make progress. The truth will out.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Heroes have gone out, quacks have come in; the reign of quacks
**    has not ended with the nineteenth century. The sceptre is held
**    with a firmer grasp; the empire has a wider boundary. We are
**    all the slaves of quackery in one shape or another. One portion
**    of our being is always playing the successful quack to the other.
**       ==  Thomas Carlyle (1795—1881), English essayist,
**             historian, biographer, and philosopher

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Last updated 26 December 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters306.html