Letters, We Get Mail, CCCXXIX

[The previous letter from Moritz_G is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters329.html#Moritz_G ]

Date: Sat, October 13, 2012 7:49 am     (answered 14 October 2011)
From: "Moritz G."
Subject: Laffer Curve

> I quite agree with your point about assuming which side of the Laffer Curve we are on.

That is the common cretique. But there is more to it.

The assumption is that the tax lowers the volume of the underlying transfer. But does a tax on food lower the consumption much?

Does a tax on income lower the income? No it does not.

It is not about the curve. The curve does not even exist for general income. It only exists for things like candy.

I was just remembering that Elvis Presley paid a 92% income tax rate, and that still did not stop him from working and making money, and becoming a millionaire. And the Beatles paid a 95% tax rate in Great Britain. So apparently we have to go awfully high up on the Laffer curve before taxes discourage people from working and making money.

> What I wonder about the Laffer Curve is, "What has the real result of reducing taxes on the rich been?"

The result is a lack of consumption and too much liquidity, or too little to invest in. Therefore the investing went into bubbles.

Blaming it on "liquidity" doesn't mention the fact that Allan Greenspan repeatedly turned on the money faucet whenever the economy started to slow down a little, resulting in a lot of money with nowhere to go, except into another bubble. That was the cause of the excess "liquidity". Greenspan set interest rates so low that corporations and investment banks (read "speculation banks") could profit by borrowing money from the Fed almost for free and then gambling with it in the next bubble. We had the Internet/hi-tech bubble, and the real estate bubble, and then the finance/mortgage/credit-default-swap bubbles, all caused by that same oversupply of money looking for somewhere to go.

I seem to recall that the American people were consuming their usual amounts of junk, but they couldn't sanely consume the amounts of cash that Greespan was dumping into the economy.

> Funny how the proponents of even more tax cuts for the rich ignore those facts, and continue to claim that things will be great if the rich pay even less.

And even greater if they pay nothing.


> It looks to me like some greedy pigs just don't want to pay taxes.

And that is pretty much all that there is to it.

Of cause you can stimulate an economy both monetarily and fiscally. Either you raise the deficit or you let others borrow more, by lowering the interest-rate.

After decades of stimulus the government ran out of stimulus and now faces the structural / underlying problems. They kept doping a sick horse and ran out of drugs.


Yes, exactly. The Fed cannot reduce the interest rate below zero. Coincidentally, the Japanese have had their interest rates at zero for a decade and it didn't pull the Japanese economy out of the doldrums.

One possible explanation is the fact that the Japanese outsourced their jobs to China. "Made In Japan" used to be synonymous with "cheap junk", but not any more. Now Japanese labor is expensive, so the Japanese corporations have subcontracted out the work to China. When I bought an expensive Olympus DSLR camera, I thought I was buying a Japanese camera. Nope. It says "Made in China" on the bottom.

Now China's economy is booming, growing at a world-record rate, while the USA and Japan are suffering. It seems obvious that prosperity goes with the jobs. Where the jobs go, so does the money.

The one solution to our current economic problems that nobody has tried yet is the one that I thought President Obama would start the day that he got into office (and should have): works programs. That is what President Roosevelt finally used during the Great Depression: WPA, CCC, and the like. We have a crumbling infrastructure, pot-holey roads, bridges falling down, and decaying cities that are begging for millions of workers to come and fix things, while millions of people sit around unemployed and running out of benefits, and becoming "Ninety-niners". The solution seems obvious to me.

The only complaint against that is that it will raise the deficit some more, at least temporarily. Somehow that doesn't seem as important as families having both parents unemployed for years, and losing their house, which is then stripped of metal and destroyed by vandals when it is unoccupied, so that entire neighborhoods get trashed and Cincinatti has to bulldoze 100,000 trashed-out homes. It would have been better for America to keep those families in those homes.

And even worse, doing nothing is also raising the deficit, because we are still funding the Pentagon and two wars and a zillion pork-barrel projects. And Congressmen who sold their souls to the Devil made it the law that Medicare cannot negotiate drug prices down, and things like that. The government can't just stop doing everything to avoid running up deficits. So might as well do something useful.

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "A little patience and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their
**     spells dissolve, and the people recovering their true sight, restore their
**     government to its true principles.  It is true that in the meantime we are
**     suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long
**     oppressions of enormous public debt.  But if the game runs sometimes
**     against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we
**     shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost,
**     for this is a game where principles are at stake."
**         ==  Thomas Jefferson

[The next letter from Moritz_G is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters329.html#Dion_B ]

Date: Sat, October 13, 2012 9:11 am     (answered 14 October 2011)
From: "Dion b."
Subject: Hey mate is this how to become a cult leader or what

Sent from my iPad

Hello Dion,

Well, you opened with a very interesting line, but the body of the message was missing.

Is what how someone becomes a cult leader?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Calvinism started as an intense cult. Heck, Calvin had a dozen
**     and a half people publicly executed, something the Scientology
**     leadership would drool over, but 300 years later the Methodists
**     are as mellow as you could ask for.
**       ==  Keith Henson

May 31, 2012, Thursday: The Fernhill Wetlands

Canada Goose goslings
The new Family of 3, playing in a mud puddle at the parking lot.
Those kids sure do like mud puddles. They have those enormous ponds to play in, and they prefer a mud puddle. Perhaps it is because, in a mud puddle, giants of the deep cannot come up and bite them.

Canada Goose goslings
The older Family of 3

Canada Goose goslings
The oldest Family of 6
The baby of the family is the gosling in the upper left.

Canada Goose gosling
A motley gosling
This is the baby of the oldest family of 6. It looks like a motley raggamuffin because it is just starting to grow its feathers and it's shedding its baby down, and the coat of baby down is getting to looking old and thin and ragged and worn. You can just see a few new feathers poking out here and there. If you look closely, you can see the coat of new feathers coming in on its belly and part of its side.

[More gosling photos below, here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters329.html#soberlawyer ]

OP ED: 16 October 2012

Laura Tompkins recently wrote an article for the Huffington Post, criticizing A.A. for being too negative:


A "sober lawyer" named "Dick" attacked Laura and defended A.A. in his blog:


Dick's response is just loaded with A.A. slogans and misinformation. I want to respond to a few of his statements (in red):

  1. Ms. Tompkins ... offers some truly frightening advice as well — that some alcoholics may indeed be able to drink in safe moderation under the careful guidance of a — you guessed it — a certified addiction specialist such as herself.

    That is true, whether Dick likes it or not. Many years ago, way back in 1980, the famous government think tank, the Rand Corporation, found that the successful people who had stopped self-destructive drinking 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.

    When that Rand Corporation report was published, the A.A. true believers had a hissy-fit. They screamed that the Rand Corporation was killing alcoholics by saying that. Ann Landers indignantly printed a denunciation and said that it was irresponsible to release such information. As if alcoholics are too stupid to handle the truth. (Remember Jack Nicholson screaming, "The truth? You can't handle the truth!")

    But in my experience, alcoholics are not a separate species of stupid sub-humans. They are as intelligent as the rest of the people, and they need more true information, not less. (What a vicious, insulting stereotype of alcoholics A.A. really spreads.) See:

  2. Ms. Tompkins is not an alcoholic and therefore has no idea what it's like to be one.

    Baloney. That is the typical A.A. arrogance where they think they are the only ones who know anything about alcohol abuse or addiction or recovery.

    Now I am an alcoholic who has 12 years of sobriety — 12 years off of all alcohol, tobacco, and drugs — and I've been to a bunch of A.A. meetings, too, so even by Mr. Dick's standards, I know what I'm talking about. And I agree with Laura Tompkins. She is telling the truth.

  3. And like most critics of AA, she offers zero alternatives or "solutions" to what she perceives as the problem with AA — other than "don't go to AA. It sucks."

    Actually, she did offer alternatives, and Dick just listed them in his complaint: SMART and Rational Recovery. Also, counseling and moderate, controlled, drinking.

    Besides which, when criticizing crimes like fraud, quackery, and medical malpractice, it isn't necessary to offer alternatives to committing the crime. I don't have to offer an alternative to Tom Cruise's crazy idea of Scientology psychotherapy defending us from interplanetary cooties and the nasty Galactic Overlord Xenu, do I? And I don't have to offer an alternative to doing the practices of an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties. The answer is just stop doing it. You don't need a substitute cult to replace the one that you are dumping.

  4. First, there is no requirement in AA that you announce yourself as an alcoholic, although ...

    False. I've seen it with my own eyes, plenty. When a newcomer speaks without saying, "My name is XXX and I'm an alcoholic", someone quickly jumps on his case and instructs him to introduce himself "properly". And the same thing happens at Narcotics Anonymous meetings if people fail to say, "...and I'm an addict."

    Chelsea Carmona, a writer for the Washington Post, also recognized the requirement to identify oneself as an alcoholic or an addict, and she described the harmful effects of such self-labeling this way:

    In my case, labeling myself an alcoholic paved the way for me to take on the "addict" persona, and I got much worse before I got better. After treatment, I traded in my college friends for the criminal ones I met in recovery, and in turn, I gained access to a variety of hard drugs.

    That is perhaps the most disheartening aspect of 12-step recovery and inpatient care: Because most of their AA colleagues are older, the adolescents I met in treatment found more drug connections, party buddies and rehab romances than they did mentors, counselors and long-term sober friends.
    == CHELSEA CARMONA | Special to The Washington Post, Published: July 16, 2012
    Chelsea Carmona is the West Coast regional manager of the Op-Ed Project, which works to bring underrepresented voices into opinion writing

  5. The fact that "Dick" really liked the Hazelden cult religion training (A.A. Steps One through Five) does not make it a good course of treatment for alcohol addiction. The fact that confession makes him feel good and he thinks it's "amazing" is no justification for promoting quackery. I am reminded of the words of William James, on whose philosophy Bill Wilson claimed A.A. is based:

    **     'If merely "feeling good" could decide, drunkenness
    **     would be the supremely valid human experience.'
    **       ==  William James (1842—1910), U.S. psychologist,
    **        philosopher, in "The Varieties Of Religious
    **        Experience", lecture 1, "Religion and Neurology" (1902)

  6. The second paragraph is just pure inflammatory rhetoric. No one in the rooms would ever call anyone a dishonest and unfortunate idiot — unless they deserved it!

    Get real. A.A. sponsors do it to sponsees all of the time. Try reading my list of A.A. horror stories for many descriptions of even worse abuse:

    Just a few examples from that list:

    • I get my first sponsor (what am I thinking) and our first meeting of the minds, I get in her truck with her to run errands and talk. She starts screaming at me because she knew I took medication for some mental illnesses I have. She knows some oldtimer who had what I had was healed with the steps. Well, folks, that was the end of that relationship.
      The rest of the story is here.

    • Well, need I say that it wasn't very long after my first relapse when I started observing strange behavior in members of the group. I noticed that people who once thought I was the coolest thing at any meeting wouldn't even come over and say hi anymore. And those who would acted very awkward in my presence. My sponsor began telling me that I wasn't ready to embrace the program yet because I still wanted to do it on my own. Then he started asking me for money.
      The rest of the story is here.

    • After I gave birth I had severe postpartum depression. I had not healed from the birth and my sponsor told me not to take any medication. ... My sponsor had said that god would heal me and when god wanted me to sleep I would.
      The rest of the story is here.

    • ANYTIME I don't follow a direction, no matter how small, I get yelled at and lectured and told repeatedly that I'm not willing and haven't had a real bottom. There are no choices, it's an illusion. It's really controlling.
      The rest of the story is here.

    • An A.A. sponsor describes her sponsee as a retard who "has a serious spiritual disorder and also one inside his head".
      The rest of the story is here.

    That's the problem with having ignorant, untrained, unprincipled, uncertified sponsors acting as amateur doctors, amateur psychiatrists, and amateur priests.

  7. Ms. Tompkins should know that alcoholism is an incurable, progressive, terminal and ultimately fatal disease that lasts one's lifetime.

    Wrong. That is mythology. There is no such "disease" as "alcoholism". The American Psychiatric Association recognizes alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence as mental illnesses, but the "spiritual disease" of "alcoholism" is just a myth. Addiction is a choice.

    Furthermore, most people recover from alcohol abuse and addictions spontaneously, by themselves, without joining a cult religion.

    The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health, performed the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. For it, they interviewed over 43,000 people. Using the criteria for alcohol dependence found in the DSM-IV, they found:
    "About 75 percent of persons who recover from alcohol dependence do so without seeking any kind of help, including specialty alcohol (rehab) programs and AA. Only 13 percent of people with alcohol dependence ever receive specialty alcohol treatment."

    The Harvard Mental Health Letter, from the Harvard Medical School, reported:

    On their own
    There is a high rate of recovery among alcoholics and addicts, treated and untreated. According to one estimate, heroin addicts break the habit in an average of 11 years. Another estimate is that at least 50% of alcoholics eventually free themselves although only 10% are ever treated. One recent study found that 80% of all alcoholics who recover for a year or more do so on their own, some after being unsuccessfully treated. When a group of these self-treated alcoholics was interviewed, 57% said they simply decided that alcohol was bad for them. Twenty-nine percent said health problems, frightening experiences, accidents, or blackouts persuaded them to quit. Others used such phrases as "Things were building up" or "I was sick and tired of it." Support from a husband or wife was important in sustaining the resolution.
    Treatment of Drug Abuse and Addiction — Part III, The Harvard Mental Health Letter, Volume 12, Number 4, October 1995, page 3.
    (See Aug. (Part I), Sept. (Part II), Oct. 1995 (Part III).)

  8. A true alcoholic can never, EVER, drink in moderation or safety. Those folks Ms. Tompkins refers to were never true alcoholics in the first place. Maybe "problem" drinkers, but not real alcoholics who are powerless over their consumption of the spirits.

    Wrong. We just covered that. Half of the alcoholics who recover do it by tapering off into moderate, controlled, drinking. And yes, they are "real alcoholics". Mr. Dick is trying to use the Real Scotsman Logical Fallacy: "They aren't real alcoholics if they recover without A.A.... They aren't real alcoholics if they can eventually drink moderately."
    See: https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-propaganda.html#real_Scotsman

  9. Ms. Tompkins ends her critique with a self-serving argument about confidentiality and sponsorship. Your sponsor is not a "complete stranger." For most AA's, their sponsor is one of the closest people in their lives and will surely respect the confidentiality.

    That is wishful thinking. I have received many stories of blabbermouth sponsors, even sponsors who vindictively gossiped people's personal secrets all over town in revenge for someone quitting A.A. The list of A.A. horror stories contains many stories of egregious breaches of confidentiality like:

    • I walked away after members of this group went to friends of mine outside of A.A. and spread lies, ruined my reputation and cost me dear friendships.
      Look here for the rest of that story:

      She also had plenty to say about sexual abuse in A.A., which is a subject that Dick carefully avoided talking about.

    • And then there is the story of Sarah and her sponsor:

      ... as soon as I told my sponsor to mind her own business and realize that just because I don't follow all of her advice doesn't mean I am relapsing... she took it upon herself when asked where I was at to tell everyone that I had indeed relapsed and that I'm very ill and that I'm beyond hope and help because I wouldn't do what the program required (demanded) of me... wow... talking trash because I wouldn't jump through your hoops? What sort of bullshit is that? And that follows their "traditions" how?
      Look here for the rest of that story:

    • And then there are stories like:

      I felt ashamed that my son's father had left me and was starting to question aa. I then slowly started going back. I got a new sponsor and after about 6 months found out that she was best friends with my son's father's new girlfriend. I was appalled she was defending him and telling him what was going on with me. I said it was a conflict of interest and fired her. I was pretty disgusted with aa at this point.
      Look here for the rest of that story:

  10. As the literature makes clear, you don't have to believe in God. The suggestion is to find a Higher Power other than yourself.

    A "Higher Power" who isn't "God"? Fat chance. That is just another bait-and-switch trick. First, as a recruiting trick, A.A. says that you don't have to believe anything, but then, later on, you do. Bill Wilson had a lot to say about how you had to "find God" or you would die:

    • Remember that we deal with alcohol — cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power — that One is God. May you find Him now!
      The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Into Action, pages 58-59.

    • When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crisis we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is, or He isn't. What was our choice to be?
      The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, We Agnostics, Page 53.

    • If he is sincerely interested and wants to see you again, ask him to read this book in the interval. After doing that, he must decide for himself whether he wants to go on. He should not be pushed or prodded by you, his wife, or his friends. If he is to find God, the desire must come from within.
      The Big Book, 3rd & 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, Working With Others, page 95.

    • ... we agnostics and atheists chose to believe that our human intelligence was the last word... Rather vain of us, wasn't it?
            We, who have traveled this dubious path, beg you to lay aside prejudice, even against organized religion. ... People of faith have a logical idea of what life is all about.
      The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, We Agnostics, page 49.

    • I had been brought up to believe in God, but I know that until I found this A.A. program, I had never found or known faith in the reality of God, the reality of His power that is now with me in everything I do.
      The Big Book, 3rd Edition, The Housewife Who Drank At Home, page 341.

    • To some people we need not, and probably should not emphasize the spiritual feature on our first approach. We might prejudice them. At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not an end in itself. Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.
      The Big Book, 3rd & 4th editions, William G. Wilson, Into Action, pages 76-77.

      Bait and switch. Don't reveal the truth to the newcomers.

    • Finally, Wilson wrote that the goal of the Big Book was:

      Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem.   ...   [That] means, of course, that we are going to talk about God.
      The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, We Agnostics, page 45.

  11. In my experience, no one is vilified in AA for not completing the steps.

    Baloney. Bill Wilson himself sarcastically sneered at people who didn't do all of his Steps that he copied from Frank Buchman's Oxford Group cult religion:

    We are sober and happy in our A.A. work. Things go well at home and office. We naturally congratulate ourselves on what later proves to be a far too easy and superficial point of view. We temporarily cease to grow because we feel satisfied that there is no need for all of A.A.'s Twelve Steps for us. We are doing fine with just a few of them. Maybe we are doing fine with only two of them, the First Step and that part of the Twelfth where we "carry the message." In A.A. slang, that blissful state is known as "two-stepping." And it can go on for years.
            The best-intentioned of us can fall for the "two-step" illusion. Sooner or later the pink cloud stage wears off and things go disappointingly dull. We begin to think that A.A. doesn't pay off after all. We become puzzled and discouraged.
            Then perhaps life, as it has a way of doing, suddenly hands us a great big lump that we can't begin to swallow, let alone digest. We fail to get a worked-for promotion. We lose that good job. Maybe there are serious domestic or romantic difficulties, or perhaps that boy we thought God was looking after becomes a military casualty.
            What then? Have we alcoholics in A.A. got, or can we get, the resources to meet these calamities which come to so many?     ...     Well, we surely have a chance if we switch from "two-stepping" to "twelve-stepping," if we are willing to receive that grace of God which can sustain and strengthen us in any catastrophe.
    Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, pages 112-113.

    And once again, Bill Wilson declares that you must find God or you will die.

  12. Of course, Alcoholics Anonymous has survived since 1935, and will continue to survive and grow, despite such criticisms from the likes of Ms. Topkins.

    That is the logical fallacy of asserting that something is good because it is old. The Jehovah's Witnesses, the Mormons, and the Ku Klux Klan have all survived even longer. Does that prove them right?

    And A.A. is not growing, it is shrinking. The last several Triennial Surveys have revealed that the A.A. membership is declining. It's over. A.A. is just an old cult religion from the nineteen-thirties that has run its course. It will eventually join the "Shakers" and the "Dukhobors" and "Russellism" and other forgotten oddities of cult religions.

    Look here for much more about the A.A. "growth rate", or rather, lack of it:

  13. The program speaks for itself.

    No, actually, guys like Dick speak for it.

    And you know what Dick did not say? What the A.A. success rate really is. If we send 1,000 randomly-selected alcoholics to A.A., how many of them will be clean and sober a year later? How well does A.A. really work?

    It turns out that A.A. works no better than no treatment or help at all.

    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?

    No qualifiers are allowed, like, "We will only count the people who worked the program right, or we will only count the people who really tried, and kept coming back." Everybody counts. No exceptions.

    No excuses are allowed. When the doctor gives a patient penicillin, and it fails to cure the infection, the doctor doesn't get to say, "But he didn't work the program right. He didn't pray enough. He didn't surrender. He held something back in his Fifth Step." No excuses.

    So what's the actual A.A. cure rate?

    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/      *
**  Alcoholics Anonymous is not a "self-help group", it is
**  an "elf-help group". You pray to a doorknob or a bedpan
**  or a "god" or a "group of drunks" or some other strange
**  "higher power", and it will supposedly keep you sober.

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters329.html#Peter_F ]

Date: Mon, October 15, 2012 8:14 am     (answered 16 October 2012)
From: "Peter F."
Subject: FW: Beyond AA: Special Issue on Emerging Mutual-Support Groups for Addiction

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

Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2012 11:12:29 -0400
Subject: Beyond AA: Special Issue on Emerging Mutual-Support Groups for Addiction

Taylor & Francis

New Research on Addiction Mutual-Support Groups — Free Articles!

Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery

Special Triple Issue
Broadening the Base of Addiction Mutual-Support: Bringing Theory and Science to Contemporary Trends

Editors: Jeffrey D. Roth, MD; William L. White, MA; John F. Kelly, PhD
Volume 7, Issue 2-3-4, 2012
Mutual-help groups have proliferated, diversified, and adapted to emerging substance-related trends over the past 75 years. This special issue reviews the history of mutual-support groups for addiction that have arisen as adjuncts or alternatives to Twelve Step Programs.

Articles examine new recovery groups arising in the form of institutions, ministries, community centers, special interest clubs, arts organizations, family groups, and more.

"All of these mutual support groups, having been developed more recently than Alcoholics Anonymous, have not been studied as systematically; this special issue offers the potential to stimulate research on these groups, which would likely benefit from the experience, strength, and hope of the foundation that has been created by research Twelve Step Programs," the Editors state.

Routledge is currently offering free online access to a selection of articles from the special issue. To view the complete table of contents, go to www.tandfonline.com/wgar.


The Promise of Mutual Support, Jeffrey D. Roth

Broadening the Base of Addiction Mutual Help Organizations, John Kelly and William White

Empowering Your Sober Self: The LifeRing Approach to Addiction Recovery, Martin Nicolaus

Moderation Management: A Mutual Help Organization for Problem Drinkers Who Are Not Alcohol Dependent, Anna Lembke and Keith Humphreys

New Addiction-Recovery Support Institutions: Mobilizing Support Beyond Professional Addiction Treatment and Recovery Mutual Aid, William L. White, John F. Kelly, and Jeffrey D. Roth

The Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery is the first peer-reviewed group therapy journal that attends to both the addiction and the mental health needs of clients, with a special emphasis on the recovery process. This journal offers an important forum for the diverse team of treatment providers, clinicians, educators, and researchers that serve addictions groups. The journal presents up-to-date clinical, research, and training articles involving a broad range of addictions and compulsive behaviors.

Volume 7, 2012, 4 issues
Print ISSN: 1556-035X Online ISSN: 1556-0368

Routledge Mental Health Arena: www.routledgementalhealth.com

Access T&F Online with your mobile device: http://resources.tandfonline.com

Jeffrey, D. Roth, MD

Hi again, Peter,

Thanks for the email. Now that is of interest.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     We've been brainwashed with wrong information,
**     and now we gotta get good information.
**       ==  Dr. Joel Fuhrman

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters329.html#Angie_B ]

Date: Sat, October 13, 2012 10:47 pm     (answered 16 October 2012)
From: "Angie B."
Subject: love your site

Hi Orange,

I came across your site and find the cult section immensely helpful, as I was involved in the new-age movement for years, and prior to that I grew up in Christianity, then switched to Paganism. While in the new-age movement (the most dangerous, in my opinion), I read every author of Hayhouse, am sad to report that my beloved PBS channels now offer Wayne Dyer as programming, and am surprised you did not include Byron Katie's scary cult as one of your examples of psychological tactics.

I had a question, and would very much like to hear your oppinion on rehab programs like Promises (all the celebrities go there) and Origins Recovery Center and La Hacienda (Dr. Phil sends all the addicts there.) It would be interesting to hear your take on those types of places, as they seem to be country-club resorts as well as "top-notch" treatment programs, though I wonder just how top-notch they are.

I read your recovery story and commend you on needing a brief intervention to get the job done, but I also recognize that some people really do need long-term care (or at least think they do) judging by the number of times they've been told "you're gonna die if you don't quit" and they still engage in drugs anyway.

Thanks so much for a wonderful, informative site!


Hello Angie,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments and the questions.

Well, first off, I don't object to PBS running programs of Dr. Wayne Dyer. I like him. He has a high truth-to-noise ratio in his teachings.

I never heard of "Byron Katie's scary cult" before. I shall have to check it out.

About those fashionable, luxurious California rehabs like Promises of Malibu, I have a very low opinion of them. They seem like a good way to waste $40,000. We have all been entertained by the stories of movie stars going there, and coming out 28 days later raving about how they have been helped, and they've seen the light, and it's all so wonderful. Then, a few months later, they are back in court for DWI or some drug bust, same as usual. Then, they tell the judge that they will go back to "rehab" for more "treatment".

I consider Dr. Phil's TV show to be beneath contempt. He is playing vicious games with people's lives just to get ratings.

I wonder how much people need long-term treatment. The classic test of that was the study done in England by Doctors Jim Orford and Griffith Edwards. It was the biggest and longest and most expensive test of A.A.-based treatment in Great Britain. They took a bunch of alcoholics and randomly divided them into two groups. One group got the full hospital-based treatment program with lots of A.A. meetings, and full access to all of the facilities of the hospital. That went on for a year.

The other group got a doctor talking to the alcoholic and his wife for only one hour, only one time, telling him to quit drinking or he would die. That was the entire "treatment program". Just one hour.

Nevertheless, at the end of the year, both groups were equally sober. All of the treatment and A.A. meetings and "moral support" for a year did nothing more than just a one-hour talk with the doctor.

You can read more about the test here: https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-effectiveness.html#Orford

By the way, if people really want an on-going support group for moral support, they can go to things like SMART or SOS where they won't get so much misinformation and quackery and cult religion.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Note that any- and everything that keeps you from appreciating
**     your spiritual source is an impediment. This particularly
**     includes relying on someone else or some organization without
**     examining the truths that they insist you believe.
**       ==  Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Inspiration Perpetual Flip Calendar, 19 December

May 31, 2012, Thursday: The Fernhill Wetlands

Canada Goose goslings
Gus and Family

Canada Goose goslings
Gus and Family

Canada Goose goslings
Gus and Family

Canada Goose goslings
Two Families, Gus' Family, and a Family of 5.

[The story of the goslings continues here.]

BLOG NOTE: 20 October 2012:

Well, here it is another year again. How time flies when you are goofing off. Today it's 12 years off of alcohol and drugs. And in three more weeks, it will be 12 years off of cigarettes and any other form of tobacco, too.

It's also been about 10 1/2 years since I've been to an A.A. meeting, even to just pick up a coin.

Have a good day now.

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters329.html#Terri ]

Date: Wed, August 15, 2012 6:19 pm     (answered 21 October 2012)
From: "Terri
Subject: RE: Hey

Great Terry, Yes, indeed I do know how much money you save by riding a bike and not owning a car. I do detailed budgeting, pay cash out of envelopes for most things. I follow many minimalist, simple living, tiny homes, small homes, debt free blogs. I am evolving that direction. Many things have left my home the past few weeks. The transition has been going on for years though. I am searching for what is right for me in terms of how I can live comfortably and peacefully. I don't want to carry burden, don't want a lot of money to manage, certainly don't want a lot of "things" which only burden me and cause me to be a burden to others and burden the planet. I hope to leave the south. I don't like it here. I was afraid they would start shooting over the Chicken sandwich anti-gay thing, so I stayed close to home that day. For the most part, people here's answer to most everything is (1) get a gun, (2) pray about it or (3) come to our church. I pass two rebel flags everyday when I walk out of my apartment on my way to the parking lot. I too am much happier with less, less of most everything. I shopped at my local Goodwill store on Saturday! Great find, a bike for $10!! Most everything I have was bought used. Fits me just fine. Basic cable comes with my apartment but I surely would not pay for it. My TV gets turned on about 10 hours a year! I'm thinking of selling it! I would love to hear more about your simple lifestyle. Have you always lived with the values you have now? What caused you to make changes? How did you figure it all out? Thank you for sharing,


Hi again, Terri,

Sorry to take so long to answer this. I set it aside for special handling because you were asking some good questions, and it got kind of buried behind the rush of incoming stuff.

Anyway, here we are.

I'm also living pretty minimalistically, even if it isn't entirely by choice. Or maybe it is. If I'm not motivated enough to work and scheme and scam to get more money to support a lavish lifestyle, then that just might be a choice, no matter whether it's conscious or unconscious. If I don't feel like its worth it to sacrifice a big chunk of my life and go through a lot of suffering to get more money to get more things, then that is a choice.

Still, I have a zillion things and some friends call me a packrat or a hoarder. So I'm not a sterling example of minimalistic living at all. Not at all like the guy I just saw on TV who only owned around 50 things, including his hairbrush. It's more like I enjoy frugal living. I think they call it champagne living on a beer budget. For example, I take pictures with a high-class camera that cost $3000 new. Now I didn't pay that much for it, I got it used for $1000. Still, it's a good camera, and it's an example of what I can get if I don't waste my money on a car. Or a telephone. Or unnecessary expenses like that. So I'm really just choosing other priorities. I guess I like cameras more than cars or telephones.

About the rebel flag thing: I thought about what would happen if somebody put up such a flag in Portland, and had a bit of a laugh. It would make a great TV show — a wacky comedy. An angry noisy mob would quickly assemble in front of the house, and the police would have to be called to protect the rebel flag and its owner. And they would argue over his right to free speech versus offending people and hurting their feelings and the veiled endorsement of racism. Then the local TV news teams would show up and make a big deal of it. The flag owner would undoubtedly be shamed into taking the flag down within hours, or two days at most. I can see it as an episode of "Portlandia". A script writer could have fun with that plot line.

Speaking of which, if you leave the South, Portland is another world to consider. I mean, it is literally another world. I've also lived in the South for a while, in Arkansas and North Carolina, and from that I can say for sure that Portland is on another planet compared to the South.

I also shop at Goodwill all of the time, and most of what I have I bought used, or surplus. Actually, I've gotten so spoiled that I mostly buy just new clothes at Goodwill now. High-end stores donate lots of new stuff to Goodwill — stock clearances, and discarding slightly flawed new stuff. I love the kids with the candy fingers. Some kid touches new clothes in an upscale store, and they are ruined instantly. Well, actually not ruined, but they have candy on them, and the store can't sell them in that condition. The store cannot waste the effort and money and employees' time to wash the clothes, because if they do, then the clothes are used, not new, so it's a no-win money-losing proposition, no matter whether they wash them or not. So off to Goodwill the stuff goes, for a tax deduction. One washing, and the candy is gone, and I have brand new clothes at 80% or 90% off. I even wait for the stuff to go to half price before I buy it, so it is really cheap. I have gotten a large wardrobe of beautiful new clothes that way. (So that isn't exactly a minimalistic lifestyle.)

Getting a good bicycle for $10 was a bit of luck. It was priced so low because the seat was missing. Hence it's an incomplete unrideable fixer-upper, and they priced it accordingly. I bought it for parts to fix my current bike, but quickly realized that it was in much better shape than the one I already had, so I reversed the order and took the seat and other parts off of my old bike. That kind of balances out the fact that I paid too much for my first used bike, and too many things broke too soon. So it goes. Still, it balances out, and I'm getting around incredibly cheaply.

Speaking of which, I'm also getting good exercise. At my annual checkups, the doctor raves about what good shape I'm in, for my age. Part of that is due to the fact that I ride a bicycle everywhere, for miles almost every day, rather than sitting in a car pushing down a gas pedal. Guys my age getting no exercise is a killer. It's really the great American killer — no exercise — and it causes everything from obesity to heart attacks. So when I ride my bike around, I'm saving both money and my life. Funny how that works.

No, I haven't always had all of the values that I have now. Some yes, some no. My thinking was undoubtedly heavily influenced by living on a hippie commune for years. Out there, we had land and trees, and that's it. I mean literally that's it. We had to dig a well for water. Then we had to build our houses. I scrounged old nails and spikes out of an abandoned and rotted out building that had collapsed into a pile of sawdust 30 years earlier, and used the spikes to tack together the logs for my house. It's an incredible experience for absolutely everything that is manmade to come from an outside world. It just gives you a different perspective. It makes you very conscious of what things are and where they come from.

Now that doesn't mean that we were totally primitive and totally without technology. What did the guys do as soon as they could? Get electric guitars and form a band. Use a generator for electricity.

Still, such an experience leaves you with a different set of values. Like what is really important, when you come right down to it? Better have a good ax and a bowsaw. You can live without a gun, but you need that ax and saw.

Now of course living in a city or town presents a different set of problems, and you can survive without the ax or saw, but I still find that I have a primitive sort of set of values where I'm always thinking about simple survival, like food and firewood, and how to survive if the system breaks down. And I have also gotten an ax and saw from Goodwill, too, and I keep them stashed in a closet, just in case.

And I'd like to live even further out in the boondocks, and will, if the opportunity presents itself.

About how I got it all figured out, I don't know that I have. I have just arrived at a place where I'm pretty happy with how things are. But I'm still working on the big things, like enlightenment and spirituality and perfection, or as close as I can get to it.

Have a good day now.

== Terry

*             [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.

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Last updated 7 March 2013.
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