Letters, We Get Mail, CCCXXI

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters321.html#Dustin_W ]

Date: Sat, August 4, 2012 10:12 pm     (answered 12 August 2012)
From: "Dustin W."
Subject: AA lies

Response to this article:

Before I went into AA I was an anarchist,a philosopher, and I played music all the time.

Today I'm an anarchist, a philosopher, I play music a little less, I remember that I'm a father, and I go to meetings. The primary difference between before and now is inside. I have internalized tools which allow me to live up to my ideals, whereas before I was entirely incapable. Don't know why really. That's just the truth.

AA has incongruencies, in fact the big book does lie ("we are over 100 alcoholics..." I'm told it was actually 87 sober alcoholics at the first writing). Most people in AA know that. It's ok, the Big Book is not a bible, it's written and edited by alcoholics, it's a living document, subject to alcoholics being awesome, and alcoholics being shitty.

AA is anarchistic, the groups are run from within, their are no rules, no hierarchy, absolutely no mechanisms for control. In fact, AA is arguably the most democratic system to ever exist on its scale. And I like it.

The thing is that when I first got there, I occasionally shared your concerns. I had these rage moments "fuck you I won't do what you tell me! Mother fucker!! Danananan dadanananna" (hope you get that) but I had a good sponsor, who reminded me that no one ever told me what to do, not even him. If you want to talk about it, email or call me.

Thank you,
Dustin W.

Hello Dustin,

Thanks for the letter. Unfortunately, it's just a collection of A.A. myths:

  1. A.A. does not give you "tools" for sobriety, it gives you mind-bending cult recruiting and indoctrination and conversion techniques.

    One wag said, "When A.A. says that they are going to give you the tools you will need to maintain sobriety, what they mean is: 'Here is a pocket knife, toenail clippers, and a lighter. Now you have all of the tools you need to change a flat tire.'"

  2. There were not even 87 A.A. members, drunk or sober, when Bill Wilson wrote in the Big Book that there were 100 sobered up alcoholics in Alcoholics Anonymous. There were only about 40 sober members of Alcoholics Anonymous altogether — whom Bill Wilson grandly called the "First 100" — including all of the members of the groups in New York, Akron, and Cleveland, when Bill started writing the Big Book in late 1938; and there were only 70 sober members of A.A. worldwide when Bill Wilson finished writing his chapters in early 1939. (And most of them eventually relapsed and returned to a life of drinking.) The "hundred" number is a shameless self-promoting barefaced lie.8

    Look here for much more on that: https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-effectiveness.html#Bob_memorial

  3. By the way, the A.A. Big Book is not a "living document". That is a complete reversal of reality. (Reversal of Reality is a standard cult characteristic.) The sacred "first 164 pages" cannot be changed one tiny little bit because they were written by Saint Bill Wilson. We all know of many inaccuracies, distortions, and outright lies in the first 164 pages, but those things cannot and will not ever be corrected because the Big Book is frozen, cast in stone forever. (And that is one of the reasons for the decline of Alcoholics Anonymous. A.A. cannot learn or be improved.) They did not fix one inaccuracy or mistake when they brought out the fourth edition of the B.B. — they just purged Clarence Snyder's story because he dared to criticize Saint Bill Wilson's financial dishonesty. Clarence Snyder is now an A.A. "non-person". Shades of Stalin erasing people from history.

  4. AA is anarchistic, the groups are run from within, their are no rules, no hierarchy, absolutely no mechanisms for control. In fact, AA is arguably the most democratic system to ever exist on its scale.

    A.A. is not democratic at all. That is another reversal of reality. A.A. is fake democracy. You can vote, but your vote does not count, and will change nothing. The fact that you can decide how to decorate your little local sandbox playground of a meeting room is irrelevant — you cannot change the A.A. leadership or the A.A. rules.

    • No leaders and no rules? Think again. Try printing your own translation of the out-of-copyright first edition of the Big Book in a foreign country, and the criminals in the A.A. headquarters in the Interchurch Center in New York City will sue you and send representatives to foreign courts to commit perjury against you and ruin you for "carrying the message".

    • There are plenty of rules, like, "Don't call the police on the resident sexual predator who rapes newcomer underage girls." And: "Don't enforce any moral standards. Don't point a finger at someone else. Don't break someone's anonymity. Let sponsors tell sponsees not to take their doctor-prescribed medications. NEVER criticize 'The Program'. Never discuss other, better, recovery techniques than A.A.'s old cult-religion 12 Steps. Never read out loud at A.A. meetings any "outside literature" that isn't "Conference-approved". Never ask why you are even reciting the recruiting and indoctrination practices of Dr. Frank Buchman's pro-Nazi Oxford Group cult religion from the nineteen-thirties." There are lots of rules.

      By the way, the so-called "12 Traditions" — that are not traditions — are also 12 more rules.

    • There is an insurmountable hierarchy, and it isn't democratic at all. The criminal leaders at the top do whatever they want to do, and the membership cannot vote them out or fire them, because a double super-majority is required to accomplish anything. That effectively eliminates any chance of democratic actions coming up from below. A.A. is even more deadlocked and paralyzed than Congress.

      When the A.A. membership censured the leaders for illegal activities that also go against the spirit of the "12 Traditions" and "12 Concepts", the leaders told them that they would "take it under advisement." Meaning: "Fuck off. Take a long walk off a short pier." Nothing happened, nothing changed, and nobody was fired or replaced or demoted. Nothing. In fact, Greg Muth took home $250,000 per year, and gave his lawyer friend Thomas Jasper $469,000 of A.A. funds as a going-away present.

      The story of the membership censuring the leadership is in this pamphlet by A.A. members, criticizing the leadership.

      Also see this information about the finances:

    • The A.A. leaders change the rules without permission of the membership. Check out: Changing the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, One Conference At A Time — a document complaining about how the A.A. headquarters has made unauthorized changes to A.A.

  5. Lastly, so you felt rebellious when you had a sponsor who told you what to do? So what? And then your new Master made you obey by playing mind games on you: "No one is telling you what to do — it's all just suggestions — so that's why you should do what we say."

    Also, please review the Cult Test item, Surrender To The Cult.

And have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "The people can vote for whatever they wish,
**     as long as I get to count the votes."
**       ==  Joseph Stalin

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters321.html#Vicky ]

Date: Sun, August 5, 2012 6:26 am     (answered 12 August 2012)
From: "Vicky"
Subject: You saved my life

Hi Agent Orange

I came across you site by pure accident while I was entrenched in the cult. I know it seems dramatic when I say you have saved my life but really have. I was in AA for 11 years and that's when I started to feel depressed. I have had 3 suicide attempts while not drinking in AA. I was told to work the bloody programme and quit the self pity. I did everything form service to even cleaning ashtrays. When I read everything about AA on your site that's when I cried my eyes out and felt that it wasn't just me who felt this way.

I left in 2007 and never looked backed. I got a job, passed my driving test, got a diploma in teaching, got married, and I have a good balanced life now. You are a wonderful human being...

Vicky hugs hugs hugs

Wow, Vicky,

You really made my day. Thanks for the letter and all of the compliments. And I'm really glad to hear that the information in my web site helped you to get your head together and get your life free.

Now in all modesty, I must say that you still did the work yourself. You wanted to make things better, so you did. Still, I'm glad that a little part of me was able to come along for the ride.

So have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Cease to look to the manifested world for your happiness
**     and you will remove from it the power to make you unhappy.
**       ==  Frank Whitney

May 15, 2012, Tuesday: The Fernhill Wetlands

Canada Goose father
The Dabbler's Marsh father, coming to get some munchies from me.
The mother is on her nest, in the bushes in the background. She didn't feel like leaving her nest today.

One of the zillions of delightful little flowers adorning the Fernhill Wetlands

Fernhill Wetlands
View of the eastern pond at the Fernhill Wetlands, looking south

Fernhill Wetlands
View of the eastern pond at the Fernhill Wetlands, looking south

[More gosling photos below, here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters321.html#Becky_A ]

Date: Sun, August 5, 2012 9:02 pm     (answered 12 August 2012)
From: "Becky A."
Subject: AA Works

My name is Becky A. and I have been sober in the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous for 28 1/2 years. It works and I have a wonderful blessed life.

Hello Becky,

Thanks for the letter. (And brother does it contrast with the previous letter.)

Congratulations on your years of sobriety. I'm glad that you were able to get a grip and quit drinking. You deserve the credit, because Santa Claus didn't do it for you, and "Higher Power" didn't do it for you either. You did it.

Actually, A.A. does not "work". The proof of that is simple: Groups of people who go to A.A. do no better in getting sober than people who quit on their own, alone. (Look here for much more on that.)

Have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     A recent review by the Cochrane Library, a health-care research group,
**     of studies on alcohol treatment conducted between 1966 and 2005 states
**     its results plainly: "No experimental studies unequivocally
**     demonstrated the effectiveness of AA or TSF [12-step facilitation]
**     approaches for reducing alcohol dependence or problems."
**     We're addicted to rehab. It doesn't even work., By Bankole A. Johnson,
**     Sunday, August 8, 2010
**     http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/06/AR2010080602660.html

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters321.html#Gordon ]

From: "Gordon"
Subject: Another 35 year guy
Date: Sun, August 5, 2012 10:12 pm     (answered 12 August 2012)

Hi Orange.... I just wanted to let you know that my story is just about the same as [ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters247.html#Doug_A ]

I am also sober in AA for 35 years. I am also an atheist and still attending meetings. Like Doug_A, my sole reason for going to meetings is to work as a member of the Newcomer Rescue Squad. I try to get to newcomers with intelligent information about getting sober in a rational way and of some of the pitfalls of A.A's program. Not all new people are receptive. But some are. Of course a lot of them never come back so it is very hard to know what if any good I am doing. I do like to think that I am doing some good.

I can tell that I am pissing off a lot of true believers by the way they treat me. I have been doing this for a few years. Hatred would be a mild description of how much some people in the program dislike me. I do have some friends but not many. Fortunately as a 76 year old man I have reached a level of maturity where I know what I am doing is the right thing to do and their hatred really doesn't bother me. I just look at them and smile.

If enough of us stick around A.A. and carry the Orange-Papers message we may help to bring about a change. I may not see that change in my lifetime but it makes me feel good to know that at least I am trying to help out.

Smart Recovery and SOS are very weak out here in the east. I tried very hard to start a SOS group to no avail,and Smart meetings are very poorly attended.So this is my only solution. It is a good thing I am old and walk with a cane as no one has tried to beat me up yet. Maybe they are afraid of the cane. :-)

Thank you for what you do. You are one of a kind.

Your friend,

Hello again, Gordon,

I'm glad to hear that you are still at it. Thanks for being a member in good standing of the Newcomer Rescue League. You might be saving a few lives, you know.

Oh and of course congratulations on your years of sobriety, and sanity, too.

I can certainly feel for you, the frustration of not having anything around but A.A. That is the downside of the fact that organizations like SOS and SMART are not cults. Cults reproduce and grow like a cancer. They metastasize and pretty soon they are everywhere. Also, cults brainwash people and produce true believers who are ready to devote their lives to growing the cult. Sane, easy-going organizations don't usually do that. So the competition between good organizations and cults seems to always be unfair and biased.

But the truth will out, anyway.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    To have freedom is only to have what is absolutely necessary to enable
**    us to be what we ought to be, and to possess what we ought to possess.
**      ==  Rahel

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters321.html#Jalowe ]

Date: Wed, August 8, 2012 7:09 pm     (answered 12 August 2012)
From: Jalowe
Subject: Mental Illness

In my entire life I have seen very few cases of such intense delusional rabid obsessive mental illness put to print. It amazes me how people with such obviously intense mental disease can exist outside the confines of an impatient observational facility. Please maintain whatever regimen of medications being utilized to keep you tethered to whatever levels of reality it is that you are encountering.

Best wishes always,


Hello Jalowe,

Thanks for the letter. Now that is a good demonstration of the standard cultish propaganda trick called Ad Hominem — launch personal attacks on the speaker. Don't discuss the issues, don't try to debate rationally, don't mention any facts, just launch personal attacks on the speaker.

For example, absolutely do not mention the actual A.A. cure rate. That would be a big embarrassment. Also, do not talk about the history of A.A. That would also be an embarrassment. And don't talk about how many sponsors tell their new sponsees not to take their medications. And there are many other issues that you don't want to mention, like:

Now, speaking of insanity, isn't there an A.A. slogan like, "Insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting to get different results"?

So what do you call it when some fanatics persistently shove an old cult religion from the nineteen-thirties on sick people and insist that it's the only cure for alcohol addiction, when it hasn't worked for 75 years so far?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Oh Great All-Powerful Winnie-the-Pooh,
**     There's no Higher Power quite like you.
**     Upon my knees I humbly pray
**     that you keep me sober just for today.
**     And now the whole wide world can see,
**     that I've been restored to sanity!
**     Amen.
**        ==  John

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters321.html#Wendy ]

Date: Thu, August 9, 2012 10:58 pm     (answered 12 August 2012)
From: "Wendy"

Good evening Sir Orange!

I seriously do not know where to begin. First of all I would like to thank you for all of the important information you have provided.

Secondly I am typing on a tablet so it may look a little weird ( paragraphs, etc...)

Down to brass tacks now friend. I have been sober/clean for over 2 1/2 years. The last three months with no program ; )

I have always felt there are different levels of addiction. Not that it matters, but it was nice to acknowledge an opinion I had before being indoctrinated. That is truly what I feel occurred. I have mixed feelings about what the program/people did for me when I first came in. On one hand I am grateful. On the other hand, REALLY pissed! Lol! Conundrum? The more I think for myself the more I am convinced I would have done just as well or better in SOS/Smart etc... I did not even know they existed.

I was pretty out of it when I decided to sober up. Detoxed at home and it was HELL! I was in terrible shape physically and emotionally. I knew I needed help. So off I go to my first meeting still tapering off my dope. When you are in that state you are very vulnerable as I'm sure you know. Anyhoo, a girl there passed around a directory ( I still have it) and had some ladies put their numbers on it. Most of them never called me back BTW. I did the 90 in 90, had just the right amount of commitments, and was a good little addict ; )

When people would come in and out I just couldn't understand why they didn't stay clean or should I say brainwashed? Did you know some of them actually say that their brain needed washing? Craziness.

So I go along and get two years, but things just don't feel right. Something is amiss, could it be I'm on my fourth step? Am I in relapse mode? Wtf is going on? Not being encouraged to think for oneself I would pray to my HP who I didn't have a clear concept of. Nothing, nada, zip.

By chance I stumbled on your site, and boy was that a fun ride! A weight had been lifted for real. At that point I knew I wasn't crazy or stupid as some had encouraged me to believe. All of the info and letters have helped me get my life back. I actually have friends in and out of the rooms, but mostly non 12 step friends and that is fine with me! I have made it clear that there are alternatives and if the steps aren't working for you its ok, you are not alone.

My ex-boyfriend of two years (his 12 years to my 90 days!) Said he could not be with me if I wasn't in the fellowship. Although I was heartbroken at the time, I think he did me a huge favor as anyone who would care more about the fellowship than a real person is probably not very healthy.

So here I am. I go to SOS and Smart, lifering once. They're are all better than AA/NA. Of course that's just my opinion ; )

I am looking forward to staying as active as possible spreading the word and starting alternative meetings. Lets give em a run for their money eh? Once again Terrance, I thank you.

Best, Wendy.D ( please hide my email addy)

PS. I am so happy I finally wrote to you! Today I went and fed the ducks... I brought oatmeal. They were confused because everyone brings bread lol! They finally figured it out though, so I think they would say thanks to you as well! Peace and love...

Hello Wendy,

Thank you for the letter. That's a really bright and cheery happy letter. And congratulations on your sobriety, and for your escape from the cult. And thanks for the compliments.

Coincidentally, it's the second such happy story of escape from the madness, and recovery that I got today. Two happier lives in one day. As Craig Ferguson likes to say, "It's a good day for America."

So have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Health is worth more than learning.
**       ==  Thomas Jefferson (1743 — 1826),
**           letter to his cousin John Garland Jefferson, June 11, 1790

May 15, 2012, Tuesday: The Fernhill Wetlands

Fernhill Wetlands
View of the eastern pond at the Fernhill Wetlands, looking south

Fernhill Wetlands
View of the eastern pond at the Fernhill Wetlands, looking east

Fernhill Wetlands
View of the far corner of the Southern Pond, looking south
Those geese have seen me and are starting to swim towards me, to see what kind of munchies they can get.

Cedar Street
Cedar Street
This is the view from my house. I'm standing in the middle of the street in front of my house and looking north. That tall "Christmas tree" is one of the three baby Giant Sequoias. As you saw in a previous photograph, there are two more Giant Sequoias hidden behind that one.

[The story of the goslings continues here.]

[The previous letter from Meatbag is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters321.html#Meatbag ]

Date: Fri, August 10, 2012 10:38 am     (answered 13 August 2012)
From: "Meatbag"
Subject: Re: My Adventures in Slackware

I don't know if my last emails got filtered out, or you just haven't gotten to them yet. It seems like I can't successfully send any email that contains detailed instructions about how to install the Sims 1. Maybe I better write that stuff on my tumblr and send the link to you.

Hi again, Meatbag,

I hope I have gotten them all. I've been kind of bogged down in answering email for the last couple of weeks. Lots of different things happening at once. But good things.

As for the 64-bit business, yeah, I know. It's 2012, and the vast majority of modern PC games are still 32-bit only. What gives? My gaming PC has 8 GB RAM, but the games I have only use half of that. And that system is two years old.

Yeh, it's really frustrating. I don't know who decided that 64-bit wasn't worth supporting, but somebody made that decision.

But never mind that. Sims 2 aside, I've been more interested in handhelds than PCs lately. Yeah, I can be quite fickle. Maybe it's just because I've been spending my week at the beach with a laptop and a few handhelds. Anyhow, my handhelds are a Kindle Touch, which we've discussed before (I really should check up more on the hacking scene there), two aesthetically different models of the Nintendo DS, and a Nintendo 3DS. The DSes and the 3DS aren't modified in any way, but I do have a DS flashcart. The flashcart boots like any other game and allows me to run any number of things from a microSD card, from commercial ROMs, to homebrew games and apps, even emulators. When I take the flashcart out, the system is just like any other system.

Now just because the DS can run emulators doesn't mean it's a particularly good machine for emulation. GB/GBC is just about perfect. NES is good. GBA is kind of iffy, since most games require frameskip. SNES is pretty bad, given that the DS's resolution is too small, and it can't handle any games with special chips very well.

So, I've been looking at other handhelds, even though I can't really afford anything at the moment. I've looked into the Sony PSP, which is supposed to be pretty good for 2D emulation when hacked. They're pretty cheap now that Sony has released a new system. I can get the oldest model for slightly more than the price of a new game off of Gamestop's website. Trouble is it uses Memory Sticks, which are really expensive. A 32GB is nearly $90, while the microSD card of the same capacity I've been eyeing and will buy once I'm home is under $30 for a class 10. A 32GB class 10 full-size SD card is about $20. And I probably am going to need a 32GB, considering I quickly filled up the 8GB microSD card I use with my flashcart.

Oh, I hate Sony "Memory Sticks". I have a bunch of old Sony cameras from Goodwill, and they require Sony MemorySticks, and can only use small ones, like 128MB at that. I'm also having terrible problems with Sony "Infolithium" batteries. I have a Sony DSC-F707 camera that originally was a thousand-dollar dream, with a science-fiction shape and a Zeiss lens. Now it only works with an AC adapter, because if you try to run it off of the battery, it just says, "Sony Infolithium required" and turns off. Well, it has a genuine Sony Infolithium battery in it, and it's a good battery that runs other things. And I have a spare battery, and get the same result. An internet search reveals that it's a common problem that can only be fixed by returning the camera to the factory for an expensive repair.

Also, Sony burned me on their promised free repair of cameras that contain the bad Sony sensors. Sony goofed up a few years back, and made a disastrously bad batch of sensors. They had cheap epoxy packaging, rather than the usual ceramic packaging. Well, the cheap epoxy allowed water vapor to get into the sensor and ruin it. The defect was not immediately obvious. It took a few years to happen. By then, the bad sensors had been put in Sony, Canon, and Nikon cameras. I had some of all of them. All of those manufacturers promised free sensor replacements. Canon and Nikon were great, and gave free repairs of the cameras with no hassles. Canon even paid shipping both ways, on three cameras. And the Canon guy on the other end of the phone looked into his computer and saw that I was getting three free repairs. He laughed. No problem.

Sony promised a free repair. I checked their web site, and two pages said that they were still doing the free replacement of the bad sensors. But when I sent the camera in, they tried to charge me $100 for the free repair, and refused to fix the camera as promised. They had actually fixed the camera, but when I refused to pay the $100, they took the good sensor out and put another bad sensor back in, and sent the camera back to me. I know that because the old sensor produced flat all-black pictures, and the new bad sensor produces massively streaked pictures.

So I'm not buying any more Sony stuff.

The latest news I get is that Sony is losing money badly and they may be doomed. Their stock is dropping. The public opinion of Sony now is that you get the least bang for your buck with Sony. Sony used to be the most innovative and high-quality company around, 30 or 40 years ago, sort of like the Apple of their day, but that is ancient history now. Now they just offer over-priced stuff, and don't honor their warranties.

I've also looked into open-source handhelds, namely the Caanoo
and the Pandora

The Pandora is pretty much my dream system. It has a long battery life, an actual keyboard, it can run most things Linux can run, and Android can be installed on it. But it's so expensive, and if I bought it now, it would wipe out most of my savings. The Caanoo is somewhat of a lesser version of the Pandora, and it's roughly on-par with the PSP, from what I read. But the only place I found it for sale was the site I just linked, and I think the company that made it recently went out of business.

I'll have to check that out. Things are changing by the week. Now the friend who recommended Pandigital is raving about the Samsung Galaxy. At four times the price.

I'm considering buying a PSP in the short-term, then get a Pandora when I actually have some form of income, whether it's from a job, SSI, or both. I guess ~$160 isn't too bad for a handheld + storage. And I don't have to buy everything at once.

Incidentally, you might find the Pandora useful. It's lightweight, and it can do most things Linux can do.

Yeh, I'll definitely have to check it out.

Electronics talk aside, I'm going on a tour of that Warm Springs place at some point after vacation is over. I have a list of questions tucked into my DS games case. We'll see how it checks out.

But enough of that. It's vacation. I'm going out to the beach. Talk to ya later!

Have a good day now, and have fun at the beach.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Isn't it strange that roosters crow, but crows don't crow?
**      Sony-BMG rootkit Trojan Horse installation HOWTO:
**      1. Open CD drive
**      2. Insert Sony-BMG music CD
**      3. Close CD drive
**      All done — Windows: Insecure by design.

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters321.html#Lily ]

Date: Fri, August 10, 2012 3:07 pm     (answered 13 August 2012)
From: "Lily"
Subject: TV shows that show AA

Hi Orange,

Law and Order SVU — The boss is in AA. ugh.

I was sober for 22 years before I decided to try drinking again. The first 7 were in or around AA and the rest I did on my own. My time in AA was a complete horror story. I can't even bring myself to type it out right now. So very painful and sick. No wonder after I got out I stayed sober 15 more years on my own.

I was going to get a tatoo of the 'om' sign, but now decided since I found your site I'm gonna have this: 'Damn it, get me whiskey' lol.

I love your site keep up the good work.


Hello Lily,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments. Congratulations on your sobriety. I trust that you are doing well.

Coincidentally, yours is the third letter in a day that described getting out of A.A. and living better for years because of it. (The previous ones are here and here.)

About that occasional drink thing: Some people can do it okay, and some can't. It all depends on the individual person. 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.)

Now I'm not recommending that anybody drink alcohol. I'm just saying that one drink does not necessarily end all recovery and instantly readdict all alcoholics. Some yes, some no.

Personally, I'm one of those people who has to 100% avoid alcohol, or I slide back down that slippery slope very quickly. But that's okay, because I'm tired of being sick from alcohol anyway. No big loss. I already got my lifetime quota of that kind of suffering. I don't need any more of that.

So have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Life is not living, but living in health.
**        ==  Martial, (Full name, Marcus Valarius Martialis, A.D. 42?—?102),
**            Latin epigramist born in Spain, Epigrams tr. Walter C. A. Ker

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters321.html#Lily2 ]

Date: Fri, August 10, 2012 6:55 pm     (answered 14 August 2012)
From: "Lily"
Subject: Bill Wilson

Hi Orange,

I noticed Bill Wilson died on the date of his wedding anniversary. Talk about a resentment! I whistle the tune "Lying in bed just like Bill Wilson did" (instead of Brian Wilson) lol


Hi again, Lily,

Thanks for the laugh. What an interesting coincidence.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob never got their thinking out of the
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[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters321.html#Andrew_M ]

Date: Sat, August 11, 2012 3:46 pm     (answered 16 August 2012)
From: "Andrew M."
Subject: Off topic (or is it?)

Hi Orange,

I have taken a long break from the AA/12 steppism controversy to concentrate on other things and feel better for it, though I do occasionally check in to your site. The following is off topic, but I'd be interested in your take on it if you don't mind my bringing up an off-topic subject.

What concerns me most of all at the moment as a UK citizen is the wholly unprecedented presence in our capital city during the Olymics of a huge "peacetime" military presence including vast numbers of ground troops in London (I believe I am right in saying more than twice the British military presence in Afghanistan), the siting of ground to air missiles at various locations around GreaterLondon, the mooring of fully armed warships on the south coast, reports of deployment of drones etc. The most worrying thing about this, to my mind, is not the spectre of a spectacular terrorist attack (whether real or contrived), but the fact that we have had this outrageous situation imposed on us without any consultation or open discussion, let alone consent. There has not been a murmur of dissent expressed in the public media. My fear is that the Olympics are being used as an excuse to get the public used to the routine presence of the apparatus of a police state.

I must make yet another attempt to read a book I always found painful to read, Orwell's 1984!

Best wishes to you and yours and the geese,

Andy M

Hello Andrew,

Thanks for the letter. Yes, it's an off-topic question, but it's an interesting one.

I think you have a situation where you just can't win. And they just can't win either. That is, the people implementing all of those security things can't win. They can't please everybody.

There are people who are paid to worry about what might go wrong at the Olympics, and brother, were they worried.

  • First off, there is a genuine terrorist threat. Didn't you have a terrorist attack in a subway in London? If I remember correctly, that wasn't as spectacular as the World Trade Center falling down, but it was deadly enough to kill a bunch of people.
  • Then the security subcontractor screwed up badly and didn't hire and train enough people, so the Army had to come in and fill the gap.
  • Then those anti-aircraft batteries are in case somebody hijacks an airplane and tries to crash it into a crowded stadium. Imagine a huge Boeing 777 or something full of fuel crashing into the stadium during the opening ceremony while the Queen and Prince William and Princess Kate were there. The guys whose job it is to protect the Olympics don't want to shoot down an airliner over London, but what if the absolutely worse possible event is really happening, and terrorists have hijacked an airplane, and it is flying towards the stadium? What do they do?

That kind of nightmare keeps the responsible people awake at night, thinking about what could go wrong.

So they basically prepare for the entire Taliban and Al Queda attacking London during the Olympics, and hope that it doesn't happen.

I know that it looks like the military is invading and taking over London, but what is the alternative? There would be hell to pay if something went wrong and they had not made preparations to prevent an attack. In this situation, they really don't have any choice.

And that is the reason why the majority of the citizenry aren't complaining about the situation. They recognize security precautions as a necessary evil.

I also find the increased security measures to be a real bother. The routine at airports in the USA these days is ridiculous. Take off your shoes in case your shoes are a bomb; and maybe submit to a strip search, just in case. And the security guards can't tell the difference between a twenty-something member of Al Queda and an 80-year-old grandmother. You can't have more than a few ounces of any liquid (drink, shampoo, hair conditioner, cologne) because you might be putting together a bomb, but you and three friends can have 2 ounces of strange liquid each, and that's okay, and there are no security measures that will prevent you and your friends mixing your stuff together on the plane after it takes off.

(There is a video on YouTube that spoofs that, but I can't find it at the moment.)

Yep, in the USA they use deranged monkeys to design security precautions. Welcome to reality.

I just heard on the evening news that people are switching from airplanes to passenger trains just because the security hassles in airports are so bad. I don't blame them.

About the 1984 angle: I hear you. In the USA, we have a lot of draconian invasions of privacy in the name of security. Four years ago, the NSA — the "National Security Agency" — was bugging all of the telephones in the USA. Presidential candidate Senator Obama promised to prosecute those people who were responsible for such criminal spying on American citizens, but he reneged on that promise even before he was elected President, and now the buggers work for him. He is sure that he can responsibly handle that much power, even if a Republican can't. We have had a tendency among our recent politicians that they are very opposed to unbridled Presidential power when they are the out-of-office party, but when they get into office they find that such powers are quite appropriate for the President and even necessary for getting the job done. Thus we have erosion of the Constitutional limitations on power.

Similarly, the Constitution is quite specific about how citizens may be searched and arrested and imprisoned. But these days, the President can declare that he thinks that maybe somebody is a terrorist, and the guy can be disappeared in the middle of the night, in the style of the Gestapo or KGB, to be "renditioned" to a secret prison in a foreign country to be tortured. That is blatantly illegal, but nobody is going to jail for it. Thus the United States Constitution is no longer the law of the land.

And when it comes to war, the Constitution specifically states that only Congress can declare war. But the USA has not actually declared war on anybody since World War Two. Everything since was not a "war", it was a "police action", or some such thing. Now Presidents get vague "authorizations" for some "action", and then they go to war as they wish. Congress was bamboozled into authorizing action in Afghanistan to go kill Osama Bin Laden after 9/11, and Bush II turned it into a war against Iraq on the basis of a few lies like that some tanker trucks were supposedly mobile germ warfare laboratories, which they weren't.

The American Empire will not end well.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
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**     "I was feeling very depressed, and thinking about suicide. So I
**     called the local Suicide Hotline. My telephone call was rerouted to an
**     answering service in Pakistan. The people there were very excited when
**     they heard my story. They asked if I could fly an airplane."

May 16, 2012, Wednesday: Portland, Oregon

This day, I got into Portland for the first time in many months.

Yamhill Max Stop
Yamhill Max Stop, downtown scene

Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon
Waterfront Park sidewalk scene
They are building a stage in the right-hand background. Portland is just a city looking for an excuse to party.

Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon
Waterfront Park entrance
This "City Fair" is part of the "Rose Festival", which is the biggest Waterfront Park party of the year. And this comes right after the big "Cinco de Mayo" (5th of May, the Mexican Indepence Day) party, and just before the Gay Pride Festival. Like I said, Portland is a city looking for an excuse to party.

Canada Geese following
Canada Geese following the munchies
This fellow tossed some of his goodies to some geese in passing, and now he discovers that he has a following.

Canada Geese following
Canada Geese getting some munchies
A few of the geese got their wish granted. But he needs about 100 pounds of that stuff to satisfy all of them.

[The story of the goslings continues here.]

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Last updated 7 September 2013.
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