Letters, We Get Mail, CCCLXXXIX

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters389.html#Tom_H ]

Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2014 20:14:00 -0700     (answered 3 February 2014)
From: Tom H.
Subject: It's_Impossible_to_Explain

As someone who has read every word on this site, from it's beginning, and has a personal library of data concerning alcoholism, that exceeds agent orange's library collection here on the internet, I am still amazed about the gift of sobriety. Good ole' agent orange, performing intellectual backflips, trying to scientifically map out the pathway to sobriety, has admitted, in his own words, that he too is confused of why he is sober today.

Raving lunatic wanna-be agent orange, has no more clue as to why he made the "decision" to quit drinking than the man in the moon. It takes not a genius in understanding the pain versus pleasure concepts of sobriety. Except for the fact, that our secret agent orange also does not have a clue of why 100,000 plus humanoids drink themselves to death each year, he admits that too in his own words.

I have not the slightest idea of what brings on sobriety, or what brought sobriety to me 14 years ago. Something clicked, somehow, something clicked, that allowed alcoholics like me, to have the ability to even contemplate a serious decision. And we are sober today. It blew my mind then because I remember the moment. I remember it well. And it continues to blow my mind today.

And our agent orange has said the same thing in his own words.

Hello again Tom,

Apparently, you aren't feeling so good today. I notice that you regularly cycle between rationality and irrational anger. I hope you feel better soon.

You seem to be misunderstanding some of the things that I wrote. I am not at all puzzled by my sobriety. It's very simple: I am sober because I don't drink alcohol. Period. None whatsoever. And that makes you get sober within a few days. (Then recovering from the damage that alcohol caused takes longer.)

I'm also not puzzled by why 100,000 people drink themselves to death. There are many causes, ranging from damage inflicted upon them in childhood to mental illness (especially depression, bipolar disorder and narcissistic personality disorder) to bad environments (like wars and slums) driving people to drink. Then there are the veterans with PTSD who drink to forget. Then there are people who have genetic disorders. There are people who are in physical pain, and they are trying to blank it out. There are people who are in existential crises who don't think that life is worth living. There are even people who drink to kill the pain from too much drinking and too much smoking. There are a zillion causes, and they are actually pretty easy to understand.

I did write that I was puzzled by how I changed my mind. That is something else. Before I quit, in the last year of drinking, I had been very depressed and feeling like there was no sense in trying to quit drinking and smoking, even though it was killing me, and improve my health, beause I would just fail and relapse again. Why bother when it isn't going to work? Essentially, I really believed the A.A. and N.A. stuff about being powerless over alcohol, or powerless over our addictions (tobacco). I thought I was just doomed to that fate. So might as well just stay stoned and kill the pain until the bitter end comes.

Then, one day, I just suddenly snapped and decided that I wasn't going to die that way. I became totally determined to get sober and stay sober. Somehow, I just knew that I could do it. And I did. And that was 13 years ago and I still haven't had a drink or a cigarette since.

Now I understand some of the causes for the change: I became terribly sick and couldn't work and had the utilities turned off and then got evicted. And out on the streets I had time to see that the drinking lifestyle wasn't working.

Then, I went to a free clinic and the doctor immediately recognized me as an alcoholic, even though I was not drunk or stinking of alcohol. (I had just bathed.) The doctor saw Spider Angiomas in my skin. Those are discolorations caused by blood vessels breaking down and leaking blood into the skin. The doctor also did a simple test: pinch a fold of skin on my arm, and watch how long it takes for the white fingerprint to disappear. The skin was like thin, wet leather, and it took a full minute for the fingerprint to slowly fade out. And the skin flattened back out very slowly. The doctor tried to show me that my blood circulation was really bad. I didn't understand how bad it was, or what healthy skin was supposed to act like. It was a few years later, after quitting, that I remembered that test while I was answering another letter to the Orange Papers. I repeated the test. I almost couldn't do it: The skin was thick and rubbery and didn't even want to get folded into a flat pinch. I had to really grab a thick fold of the skin and pinch hard, and the skin popped back to normal instantly. There wasn't even a white fingerprint. I couldn't believe it, so I tried the test again and again. I discovered that if I pinched really hard and then pulled my fingers away really fast, I could just see the fingerprint fading out. It disappeared in like a quarter of a second. Now that is blood circulation.

The implications of that are staggering. When I was sick, that poor blood circulation was not just in the skin — it was everywhere — in the heart and lungs and liver and brain and kidneys and muscles and intestines, and everywhere. The skin is just revealing what is going on inside, where you can't see it. No wonder the doctor was telling me that it was very close to the end.

After the doctor examined me and questioned me in another appointment, he announced, "Quit drinking or die. Choose one. Now I'm not going to waste my time repeating myself. I've told you how things are. You are a big boy now. Go do whatever you are going to do."

I went and got another case of beer and thought about it. And drank and thought some more. And some more. Then, a month later, I quit forever.

Still, it is a bit of puzzle that I just changed my mind about dying so suddenly and completely. And I changed my mind about my abilities so completely. I suddenly knew that I had the power to quit, and I had the determination to do it, and there wasn't any question about it.

If I could figure out what that mental technique or mindpower is, I could package it and sell it and make a million. But I don't know what the magic is exactly, so I can't.

But that doesn't mean that I don't have some good ideas about how to quit. Once again, there is this letter: How did you get to where you are?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Remember what we've said, and done and felt about each other,
**     oh babe, have mercy.
**     Don't let the past, remind us of what we are not now,
**     I am not dreaming.
**       ==  Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes"

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters389.html#Patrick_D ]

Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 22:16:08 -0500     (answered 3 February 2014)
From: Patrick D.
Subject: What's Not Good About A.A

Your paper on AA I am sorry to say is very sad. You are obviously a very smart person so I am confused how you can view a program that has saved millions of lives so poorly. All of the numbers and stats you used are valid one main point you left out if the people you say that came to aa and died because of it what would have happened to them anyway. No one knows but based on the dozens of people I know that never have found AA never will because I watched them die. Use your stats and smarts to help and or give back if AA is not the way then what is it?

You are obviously not and alcoholic if you were you might see your stats a bit differently. Your study of the program you did was done to prove AA wrong. I will not be able to fight your arguments you are a sound writer and very very well spoken. All I know for sure is AA and the people there saved my life. I guess I am just one of the lucky ones well that is me and everyone I know that works it! Could'nt help it either...

Adolf Hitler Really!

Hello Patrick,

Thanks for the letter. Wow. What a stream of untrue A.A. slogans.

  1. A.A. has not saved millions. We have discussed this again and again. The often-repeated A.A. claim that they have saved millions is a lie. Period. A deliberate bare-faced lie. A.A. does not even have 2 million members in the whole world, and most of the members are not sober for very long.

    Bill Wilson started lying about the A.A. success rate back in the nineteen-thirties and they never stopped. You can start by reading about that here: The historical A.A. failure rate.

  2. The success rate of people who quit on their own is the same as the success rate of people who go to A.A., so we can easily figure out what would have happened if people had not gone to A.A.

  3. You imply that there must be "a way": "...if AA is not the way then what is it?"
    The idea that there must be "a way" or "a program" to quit drinking is another of the false ideas that A.A. spreads. The vast majority of people who successfully quit drinking do it on their own without any A.A. or "support group" or "program".

    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."

    Nevertheless, if you must have a group or method, here is a list of the non-cult groups and methods:

  4. Claiming that I am not an alcoholic is another standard A.A. dodge to avoid hearing the truth. As if I don't know what I'm talking about because I'm not a "real alcoholic". Yes, I am, or was, depending on your definition of "alcoholic". You can read much more about all of that here:

    1. definitions of "an alcoholic"
    2. really an alcoholic...
    3. A biography written for SOS
    4. How did you get to where you are?
    5. the introduction, my introduction to A.A.
    6. the "treatment" bait-and-switch trick
    7. another friend goes missing
    8. who are you
    9. who are you, again
    10. the story about "Rat Park"
    11. There are some recent pictures of me and my little friends here and here and here.

  5. A.A. did not save your life. If you quit drinking, then you saved your own life. Nobody holds your hand every Friday and Saturday night but you. All that A.A. does is steal the credit from the people who get it together and quit drinking, while disavowing any responsibility for the ones who don't quit.

  6. Adolf Hitler? Oh yes. That is the real history of A.A. While the Oxford Group cult leader Dr. Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman was going to Nuremberg Nazi Party rallies and Sieg-Heil!-ing Adolf Hitler, Bill Wilson, Doctor Bob and Clarence Snyder didn't have a word of complaint against the Nazi connection. They just kept on recruiting more alcoholics for Frank's Oxford Group. And when Buchman came back from the 1936 Berlin Olympics where he had been the personal guest of the Gestapo leader Heinrich Himmler, and thanked Heaven for giving us Adolf Hitler, neither Bill Wilson nor Dr. Bob nor Clarence Snyder quit the Oxford Group in protest. They all just kept on recruiting and telling alcoholics that Frank's religion was the cure for alcoholism.

    You can read much more about that here: Partying with the Nazi Party.

    In addition, you should notice the similarity between the Nazi philosophy and the A.A. philosophy. Both claim that the average man cannot think for himself and he should just follow the orders of his superior, no matter whether the superior is an S.S. Captain or an A.A. sponsor. And the average person is really a disgusting Untermenschen. Some relevant A.A. slogans are:

    • "Your best thinking got you here."
    • "Stop your stinkin' thinkin'."
    • "Stinkin' thinkin' leads to stinkin' drinkin'!"
    • "Your thinking is alcoholic."
    • "Don't drink, don't think, and go to meetings.
    • "When we think we are in control of our own lives we are living in denial."
    • "I know I'm in trouble when I start thinking I can run my own life."
    • "Call Your Sponsor Before, Not After, You Take The First Drink."
    • "When all else fails, listen to your sponsor."
    • "When all else fails, follow directions."
    • "My sponsor says I'm trying. Very trying."
    • "Unless each AA member follows to the best of his ability our suggested Twelve Steps of recovery, he almost certainly signs his own death warrant. We must obey certain principles or we die." (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 174.)
    • "You are not required to like it, you're only required to DO it."

    Most all fascisms are health and purity movements. Hitler was really big on getting the youths outdoors and getting them exercise and getting them into shape (into shape for the Army, that is). Hitler was the first major world leader to campaign against tobacco. And the Nazi leaders frowned on heavy drinking. Heinrich Himmler sent soldiers to the Dachau concentration camp for alcohol abuse.

    For more on the Nazi health and purity movement aspect, look here and especially here and here.

    And A.A. is obviously a health and purity movement, and A.A. even defines spiritual rank by how long a person has refrained from drinking alcohol. (Not by whether the oldtimer has abused a newcomer or thirteenth-stepped a newcomer girl recently. Nope. Only sober time counts for spiritual rank.)

    Also read: Paul Diener, the Ph.D. historian, wrote:

    The origins of AA lie in the Oxford Group. And, at Oxford in the 1930s, the Oxford Groupers were all mixed up in the fascist movement.

    And Paul Diener also wrote that fascism always had a purity element to it, espousing something like "Clean Minds and Clean Bodies". Specifically, he said:

    All protofascisms and fascisms shared, it seems, two characteristics: 1) they were all quasireligious, 'spiritual' movements, and, 2) they were all 'health and medicine' movements, which blended ideas of bodily purity with radical-reactionary politics.

    And he might have mentioned that fascisms seem to always flaunt an angry, arrogant, brutish attitude, too. And they seem to always complain that "their enemies" attacked them, so they have the right to fight back. (Bill Wilson routinely cried in his beer about how badly those poor alcoholics got treated by people who didn't understand alcoholism.) And fascisms are strongly anti-intellectual, just like A.A. is.

    Yes, A.A. learned a lot from the fascist Oxford Group.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If some fool practices medicine without a license and kills a
**     coronary disease patient by giving him a poisonous witch's brew
**     of toxic herbs and chemicals, that fool will most assuredly be
**     prosecuted for manslaughter and practicing medicine without a
**     license.
**     But if some fool practices medicine without a license and kills an
**     alcoholic or a drug addict by giving him a poisonous witch's brew
**     of old cult religion and faith healing, nobody gets prosecuted.
**     Now why is that?

[The next letter from Patrick_D is here.]

February 06, 2014, Thursday, my yard in Forest Grove:

Snowy Front Yard
Snowy Front Yard
Most of the country is getting hit with a winter storm, and we weren't spared. It seldom snows here, but we are really getting it today.

Dark-Eyed Junkos
Dark-Eyed Junkos eating birdseed
Everything that the birds could eat is buried under snow, so they are really hungry today. They sat in the trees and twittered with joy when I came outside and sprinkled birdseed around. They knew exactly what I was doing, and they immediately jumped on the seed. I mean, it wasn't even two minutes from the time that I turned my back on the seed and walked away that they flew down and started hungrily gobbling up the seeds. And they were reluctant to leave the food. Ordinarily, if I come near with a camera, they are quick to fly up into the trees. Not now. They hung on and gobbled more seed as long as they could. And they were quick to return as soon as they felt it was reasonably safe. They are really hungry.

Dark-Eyed Junkos
A pie tin keeps the seed from sinking into the snow.
The first bunch of seed that I put out sank quickly, and also got covered by more snow. It snowed all day long, and within two hours, the first bunch of seed that I put out was hopelessly buried. So I got some disposable aluminum pie pans and put the seed in them so that the seeds will stay on top of the snow.

[More bird photos below, here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters389.html#Walter_S ]

Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2014 23:33:03 -0500     (answered 3 February 2014)
From: Walter S.
Subject: AA — don't shoot the messenger

"AA is brainwashing", I said. "Well, your brain needs washing", they said. It is a very difficult thing to do, to replace one habit with another for any considerable period of time. When the baby cries, because you took away his plaything (that cute little copperhead snake), you have to replace it with a rattle ( a play rattle — not another snake) or some other distraction or the kid will scream and scream. AA is a replacement therapy, based on behavioral modification. It may seem like a witch doctor's remedy to you, but "it does work — it really does!" All people need something to believe in and a purpose in life, if they are to be convinced that all is well. I can dig it, along with you, your data seems impeccable — but your presentation my be upsetting for some of the most sick and vulnerable people on the planet. Is it really your purpose to perhaps harm others for the sake of an entertaining expose' of one of the world's largest organizations (an organization at the root of modern recovery)?

Hello Walter,

You are basing your argument on several false assumptions:

  1. A.A. is not a messenger. It is a fraud that passes off an old cult religion as a cure for alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction.

  2. Brainwashing is not a joking matter. And yes, A.A. really does brainwashing. Look at Dr. Robert Jay Lifton's Eight Conditions of Thought Reform (brainwashing). He wrote those up after studying how Communist Chinese brainwashing worked on American prisoners of war in Korea. Notice how the 12 Steps and A.A. meetings incorporate all eight of Dr. Lifton's criteria.

    That is much more than a coincidence. Dr. Frank Buchman was the founder of the Oxford Group cult religion, which is where Bill Wilson, Dr. Robert Smith, and Clarence Snyder got their religious training and learned how to use Buchman's conversion techniques on people. Well, Dr. Buchman also went to China as a missionary in the late nineteen-teens and early nineteen-twenties and taught the Chinese his mind-bending methods of conversion. The local Communists learned from Dr. Buchman how to change people's minds and convert them to the Communist religion. So both the Chinese Communists and Alcoholics Anonymous got their mind-bending conversion techniques from the same man.

  3. You don't need brainwashing, and your brain doesn't need "a good washing." That is a standard cultish put-down. It's in the Cult Test several times:

  4. People do not need a pacifier or a toy or a substitute addiction to replace a bad consumption habit. You just quit drinking alcohol and that is that. Or you just quit smoking and that is that. Or you quit both and go play in the sunshine because you feel so good.

  5. A.A. does not work. We've gone over this again and again. Nearly every A.A. defender and promoter parrots the lines about "millions saved." There is no truth to it, and never has been. Look here: The historical A.A. failure rate.

    For more evidence about the A.A. failure rate, also look at A.A. sobriety medallions given out and a spreadsheet from the Foxhall Group in Omaha, NB.

  6. You think that "All people need something to believe in and a purpose in life"?
    Well then, by all means, give them something true. Feeding people a pack of lies to believe in hurts them a lot. Just ask any cult survivor.

    • How wonderful was it for Marshall Herff Applewhite to give people something to believe in? He was the leader of the Heaven's Gate cult where they all committed suicide, believing that they were going to hitch a ride on an invisible flying saucer that was hiding behind the Hale-Bopp Comet, and go to Heaven. Oh yeh, something to believe in.

    • How wonderful was it for Rev. Jim Jones to give people something to believe in? They all committed suicide too. (914 of them.) Just for him. They believed in him. They believed that he was a Messiah with magical healing powers.

    • And then Vernon Howell (aka "David Koresh", the Wacko from Waco) gave his followers something to believe in, and they all died for him. They believed that he was the Son of God.

    • And Luc Jouret and Di Mambro founded the "Solar Temple" and gave people something to believe in. They believed that they should all commit suicide for the Summer Solstice.

    • And how wonderful is it for Alcoholics Anonymous to tell people that the practices of an old cult religion from the nineteen-thirties are the best cure for alcohol addiction? How good is it to tell sick people that they are powerless over alcohol and cannot quit on their own and they are insane and they must attend A.A. meetings for the rest of their lives? And you are just a digusting sinner who is full of defects of character and moral shortcomings? And you are selfish and self-seeking and always want your own way. And you must spend the rest of your life confessing how bad you are. Wonderful, yes? NOT! It actually drives people to suicide.

  7. You complained: "your presentation my be upsetting for some of the most sick and vulnerable people on the planet."
    Nonsense. I get lots of letters from people who tell me that they felt a huge relief when they read my papers and found that I was voicing their own doubts. They realized that they weren't crazy, that they had been right all along. Many people have written and told me that I saved their lives by telling them the truth. I explain to them that they saved their own lives, but if I was able to help in some way, then good.

    Since those people are so sick and vulnerable, why not tell them the truth about everything? You would be doing them a favor.

    By the way, your complaint is just a variation on the old A.A. accusation that "you are doing a great disservice to alcoholics who are seeking sobriety." I have a long list of such repetitions of the standard party line, here: Accusations that telling the truth about A.A. is killing alcoholics.

  8. Then you accused,

    Is it really your purpose to perhaps harm others for the sake of an entertaining expose' of one of the world's largest organizations (an organization at the root of modern recovery)?
    Telling people the truth is not harming them. It is doing them a favor. A.A. should be ashamed of itself for telling so many lies for so many years. Lying to sick people about what will heal them is a despicable crime, not a wonderful spiritual act of generosity. A.A. is a toxic witches' brew of old cult religion, not a cure for a disease.

    And again, A.A. is not a big successful recovery organization. It is a failure. And it isn't big either. It is shrinking every year now. People are wising up and learning what A.A. really is, and leaving it. Or they just never join it in the first place now.

    The real A.A. membership is so small now that there are maybe a few hundred thousand permanent members in the USA, and the rest is just churn — another hundred thousand forced in by coercive recruiting, and then another hundred thousand leave. You can read all about the A.A. churn rate and dropout rate here:

    1. The_Mathematics_of_Alcoholics_Anonymous_-_Part_1.pdf — Analysis of the mathematics of Alcoholics Anonymous, using A.A.'s own published documents
    2. The_Mathematics_of_Alcoholics_Anonymous_-_Part_2.pdf — Analysis of the mathematics of Alcoholics Anonymous, using A.A.'s own published documents
    3. Look here for much more about the A.A. churn rate.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

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

BLOG NOTE: 2014.02.06:

I stumbled across this image while sorting old pictures. Somebody sent it to me way back when, but I don't remember when or who. I find it highly relevant to Alcoholics Anonymous:

Red Flags of Quackery

A.A. hits on three quarters of them:

  1. Testimonials. Oh yes, the Big Book reprints dozens of old-timers' stories and they all swear that A.A is great.

  2. "Helps Your Body": Yes, the 12 Steps help your body to get rid of alcoholism and addictions and resentments and old unconfessed sins and moral shortcomings, and all kinds of defects of character. (But they don't help your body to quit smoking. Funny about that.)

  3. Celebrity Doctor: Yes, Dr. William D. Silkworth, and Dr. Harry Tiebout, and Dr. George E. Vaillant, and various newer incompetent fools and madmen.

  4. Ancient Wisdom: Oh yes, A.A. is merely the "Perennial Wisdom", common to most denominations, recycled one more time. A.A. dogma is just traditional old religion, handed down to us through a chain of transmission that included Dr. Frank Buchman, Rev. Sam Shoemaker, and Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, At least, that is what Bill Wilson wrote in the Big Book. The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, page 17.

  5. "Buy My Book". Yes, really. Go buy the Big Book, and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, and PASS IT ON, and As Bill Sees It, and Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, and Daily Reflections, and many more.

  6. Miracle Cure-All. Oh yes. The 12 Steps will supposedly heal anything from alcohol abuse to drug addiction to compulsive gambling to nicotine addiction to over-eating to sexual addiction to being the child of an alcoholic to having just rubbed against an alcoholic a few times too many. Or at least, that's what they say. Funny how many 12-Step group members still smoke themselves to death. And drink themselves to death. And die from drug overdoses.

    And A.A. just loves to use the word "Miracle". Every recovery is a "miracle". A.A. members meet at the "Miracles Club". Bill Wilson bragged,

    We are convinced that a spiritual mode of living is a most powerful health restorative. We, who have recovered from serious drinking, are miracles of mental health.
    The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, The Family Afterward, page 133.

    (Actually, Bill Wilson was a raving lunatic, not a miracle of mental health.)

    And A.A. promoters love to brag that A.A. is "holistic", too:

    • Dr. Whitfield says... "Most physicians are limited by all-or-none thinking. They say that it's either the spiritual, holistic approach [of AA] or the scientific approach, and not both."
      Doctors in A.A.; the profession's skepticism persists, but MDs in Alcoholics Anonymous say the 12-step program could benefit all physicians, C. Thomas Anderson, American Medical News, Jan 12, 1990 v33 n2 p33(2)

    • Basically The Arbor is a high dollar "resort/spa" rehab chain here in Texas that brags about offering all sorts "holistic" scientific sounding services like:

      But they combine all that "science" with 12-Step! Real scientific huh?
      == Report in a letter, here: https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters221.html#Mark_B


    • Alcoholism is best understood and treated holistically (Wegscheider, 1981). It affects every aspect of the human condition. Abuse of alcohol damages a person physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.
      Title: Spirituality: The key to recovery from alcoholism.
      Source: Counseling & Values, April 1996, Volume 40, Issue 3, Page 196.
      Authors: Warfield, Robert D.; Goldstein, Marc B.

  7. "Doctor": Actually, in A.A. they are called "Sponsor" or "Licensed Additions Counselor". They are supposedly qualified to prescribe or proscribe medications and treatments, and they basically know how to save your life. They know much more than doctors, even though they never went to medical school.

  8. "Natural": A.A. also claims that it harnesses "natural healing principles." The A.A. Trustee and famous A.A. promoter Dr. George E. Vaillant bragged:

    The success of Alcoholics Anonymous — and its reasonable facsimiles which are continuously being rediscovered — probably results from the fact that it conforms so well to the natural healing principles that Frank outlines and with Frank's general prescription for therapeutic group processes.
    The Natural History of Alcoholism: Causes, Patterns, and Paths to Recovery, George E. Vaillant, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1983, pages 288-291.
    The same text was reprinted in Vaillant's later book, The Natural History of Alcoholism Revisited, George E. Vaillant, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1995, pages 354-357.
    You can read a much longer version of that quote here:

  9. "Toxins": In A.A., the "toxins" are resentments and doubts and bad thoughts and anger and stinkin' thinkin' and lack of faith. And medications are also toxins. But cigarettes aren't.

  10. "Energy": Same thing. Lack of faith is lack of energy. Lack of sobriety is lack of energy. Lack of spirituality is lack of energy. Lack of enthusiasm for "working a strong program" is a lack of energy. Lack of energy comes from not doing the 12 Steps right.

  11. Hostility to Criticism: BINGO!!! This is the 1st Prize winner. Oh are they hostile to criticism. A.A. has zero tolerance for criticism or logical analysis of what the Steps really do, or what A.A. really does to people. A.A. will not talk honestly about sexual predators in A.A., or crazies acting as abusive sponsors and counselors. A.A. won't tell the truth about its real history or explain how the practices of an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties could heal alcohol addiction or mental illness. A.A. will not even discuss how "the program" could be updated and improved. And A.A. will not consider protecting teenagers from the hard-core criminals and sexual perverts and rapists who are sentenced to A.A. by misguided judges.

  12. Western Medicine: A.A. supposedly knows more about alcoholism than all of the doctors and psychiatrists and ministers and priests in the world. They say that A.A. has magic that is much better than stupid Western Medicine.

    By the way, the "Minchin Declaration" refers to the beautiful poem/video called "Storm" by Tim Minchin. If you haven't seen it, you must see it: Tim Minchin's Storm video.

February 07, 2014, Friday, my yard in Forest Grove:

The next morning, everything is buried under snow again.

Snowy Back Yard

Snow-Covered Dish
The birds' food is buried under snow again. You can see from the tiny footprints that one bird was trying to find some seeds under the snow.
So of course I scraped the snow off and poured a bunch more seed into the dish and filled it up good.

Birds Feeding
And they didn't waste any time getting on it. The small birds are Dark-Eyed Junkos, and the large bird is a Mourning Dove.

Birds Feeding

Birds Feeding
I also sprinkled some seeds on the snow where they usually feed. Some of the birds really want to find the seeds in the same place every day.
Those two dead sunflowers have long since been stripped of seeds.

[The story of the birds continues here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters389.html#Cindy_R ]

Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2014 18:06:10 -0500     (answered 11 February 2014)
From: "Cindy R."
Subject: 12 things

I am sorry you are so obsessed. People are responsible for their own fates. The Big Book may have been written a long time ago but so have several books on philosophy etc. There are at least 50 meetings a day in my small area, all with different flavors. There are crazy people in every organization including our government. Just don't go to crazy meetings. Seems simple. Take what you want and leave the rest is what I've always heard. There is a lot I leave. I'm not sure the point of all the AA bashing lately. There are many ways people come to sobriety. Everyone has to find their own way. No one has ever solicited me or told me I would be damned if I did not go to AA meetings. This anger always seems to come from people who have not been there or had a problem with someone telling them something they did not like. Walk away and do something positive for goodness sakes. Just don't get all this crazy. No problems without alcohol for me. Way cheaper and wonderful women at the women's meetings.


Hello Cindy,

Thanks for the letter. I'm not obsessed. The people who are obsessed are the ones who go to one, two, or three A.A. meetings a day for many years. Now that's obsessed.

You say, "Just don't go to the crazy meetings."
How is a cloudy-headed newly-detoxed confused newcomer supposed to know which meetings are crazy? When you see a newcomer woman, do you immediately go to her and give her the brochure that is the secret guide to A.A. meetings that tells her which meetings are frequented by the sexual predators and perverts and pedophiles and rapists? And which meetings get the criminals who were sentenced to A.A. meetings by a judge or parole officer? And which oldtimers are terrible sponsors? And which will steal your money?

If you don't tell her that, how is she supposed to know?

And you DO publish such a guide, don't you? If not, why not? Don't you believe in helping the newcomers?

And saying that the young women should just go to the women-only meetings is not any answer for young men who will be the target of homosexual predators and dope dealers and slave collectors and fundamentalist Big Book thumpers.

The rest of your letter is minimization and denial, something that Bill Wilson said alcoholics were very good at. And you are using the escape via relativism trick: "There are many ways people come to sobriety. Everyone has to find their own way."
That is of course just so much nonsense when the A.A. fundamentalists insist that the 12 Steps are "the way", and the only way. They do not say that you should find your own way. They say that you must do it "the one and only way that works."

And the big important fact that you are ignoring is that A.A. just does not work. Period. The A.A. recovery rate is no better than going it alone and quitting on your own. Old cult religion does not cure addiction problems.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Rev. Jim Jones said, "Drink the red koolaid. It
**     has cured millions. RARELY have we seen it fail...
**     But then again, the green koolaid is good too.
**     Take what you want, and leave the rest."

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters389.html#Tom_M ]

Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2014 08:52:59 +0000 (GMT)     (answered 11 February 2014)
From: Tom M.
Subject: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman dies from an overdose. He had been sober in AA for 23 years, and relapsed in 2012. I think a relapse after long-term membership in AA is especially dangerous for two main reasons.

1) Being a long-term member usually confers "guru" status on people. Long term members are the elite members of AA, the all-wise, all-seeing, infallible priest class. When one of these members relapses, it can be very difficult to stop using drugs, because not only is all that clean-time gone in a puff of smoke, but the member may want to keep using rather than start all over again, eat a dose of humble pie, and have to face up to being viewed as a failure. The member is always to blame for a relapse, never AA or its infallible program. AA's program never fails anyone, people only fail the AA program, don't you know.

2) After 23 years of being brainwashed by AA's dogma of powerlessness and addiction as a disease, the addict is in a state of learned helplessness. They believe wholeheartedly that one drink or one dose of drugs will lead to a full-blown relapse over which they have no control, which will inevitably lead to their death. This all-or-nothing approach to addiction is a self-fulfilling prophesy and does far more harm than good. It is self-defeating.

I now believe that the teachings and beliefs of AA kill far more addicts than they save.

Hello Tom,

Thanks for the letter. I can only agree. Like totally agree. Yes, I can see how some relapsed people just would not return to the A.A. meeting and admit that they had lost all of their Time and accept a beginner's coin, and start all over again as a "baby". The humiliation is too much.

Teaching people that they are powerless over their addictions is a formula for disaster. If I were really powerless over alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs, I would be dead. And if I believed that I was powerless, I would not have succeeded in quitting.

I also believe that A.A. kills more people than it saves. Remember that Dr. George E. Vaillant studied and tested A.A., and after 8 years of A.A.-based treatment, the score with his first 100 A.A.-treated patients was: 5 continuously sober, 29 dead, and 66 still drinking. Dr. Vaillant accurately called the A.A. death rate "appalling".

I also notice that the publicity about Philip Seymour Hoffman focusses on "how terrible this disease is." None of the A.A. promoters or defenders asked why all those years of A.A. participation didn't save Hoffman's life.

Well why didn't it? What good is A.A. if you are still going to die like that?

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
**        == Mark Twain

February 08, 2014, Saturday, my yard in Forest Grove:

The view from my front porch: the snow-covered house across the street.
Ah yes, another day of being snowed in.

The birds are pecking at the few remaining seeds left over from yesterday.

This is more like it. I put out more plates of seeds.
I'm not sure what species of little bird this is.

A Hungry Jay
This is either a Western Scrub Jay or a Stellar's Jay. All kinds of birds are showing up for something to eat.

My street
You can ride a bicycle on that if you stay on the hard-packed snow.

I went to the library to check my email, but the library was closed because of the weather. So I went over to the feed store to get more birdseed. The guy there asked if I was on my bike. When I told him "yes", he said, "You're crazy." I said, "You do what you have to do. I have a whole lot of hungry little birds and they are hoping that I will give them something to eat. They twitter so happily when I sprinkle out some more birdseed for them."

I managed to get a 40-pound bag of birdseed home by balancing it on the handlebars. I had to push the bike up one hill for a block because I couldn't downshift because the shifter was frozen. I think it got some water in it, which became solid ice. The bag of birdseed and I made it home anyway, in spite of the hassles. (It's good exercise. Saves on gym fees.)

The bird feeders and a hungry bird
See the bird in the tree right above the left-hand feeder? He is just waiting for me to go away so that he feels safe eating from the feeder. He and his friends watched as I took the feeders down and refilled them, and hung them back up. They clearly understood what I was doing. Then he flew down onto that branch just above the feeder. He just wants me to be a little further away and stop staring at him and stop pointing a camera at him before he starts eating. He isn't terribly afraid of me, but he isn't tame either. He is just exercising a healthy amount of caution.

Well, not everybody is complaining about the snow.

February 10, 2014, Monday, my yard in Forest Grove:

Two more days of being snowed in. Nothing exciting happened on Sunday.

The view from my front porch. Everything is still covered with snow.

But this amazing little thing happened this morning: I looked out my kitchen window, and saw a hummingbird sitting in the tree in my front yard. I almost couldn't believe it, and had to keep on looking to make sure it was real, and I used my camera's telephoto lens as a telescope to get a better look:

Hummingbird in Winter
A Hummingbird in Winter
It's a male Annas Hummingbird. You can just make out the red top of his head.

The Hummingbird seemed to be half asleep, like in a torpor. It rarely moved. I frightened it by opening the window, and it took fright and flew around the tree, but it came right back to the same place again. It occurred to me to put together a fresh Hummingbird feeder, because the others are all frozen. I wanted the Hummingbird to come into my kitchen and get warm and have some warm sugar-water and eat some fruitflies (which are wintering in my kitchen). I was talking on the phone while mixing the sugar-water, and a friend suggested putting the new, warm (not burning hot!) feeder out on the front porch so that the Hummingbird could get used to it. I did that. The Hummingbird wasn't as sleepy as I thought. When I went out to feed the other birds, the Hummingbird came right to the feeder, and stayed there for a while, sitting and feeding and enjoying a warm cup of sugar-water. It was like a cup of hot cocoa on a cold winter day. Yummy. He really liked that.

Hummingbird at Feeder
Male Annas Hummingbird at Feeder
You can just see the tip of the Hummingbird's tongue sticking out. (What, you've never seen a Hummingbird's tongue before? Well now you have.)

Hummingbird at Feeder
Male Annas Hummingbird at Feeder

Three hours later, the Hummingbird was still in the tree in my front yard. Apparently he has decided to just stay here. He can get food here, and nowhere else in this frozen snowscape, so why go someplace else?

I still open the window for him now and then. I removed the screen from the window so it is wide-open, and he can come in and take a break if he wishes. But I suspect that he is just too timid to come inside. Too bad. There is a warm roost and a warm drink and a meal of fruitflies just waiting for him.

I'm also thinking about making some roosting boxes. The idea is that you make a box that the birds can sleep in. It will protect them from the wind and contain their body heat, so it will be warmer than the outside air. Put some horizontal bars in it for them to roost on and they will rest happily. You can make different-sized boxes for different-sized birds, and adjust the front door size accordingly. You make the box big enough for the whole flock to get in there. This isn't like a nesting box which is occupied by just one female and babies. This is a group shelter. And you hang the roosting boxes in the trees or from the porch, or whereever it is convenient.

And if I added even a small low-wattage electric heater, it would make a big difference. I actually saw birds sitting on manhole covers when I was out getting the bag of birdseed. The warm air coming up from the fermenting sewer is warmer than the winter air, so the manhole covers are free of snow. So the birds sit there and get a little warmer. I think they might enjoy a heated roosting box even more. I don't have wood and wood-working tools handy right now, but even a cardboard box will make a world of difference.

[The story of the birds continues here.]

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Last updated 11 October 2014.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters389.html