Letters 390

Letters, We Get Mail, CCCXC

[The previous letter from Tom_H is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters390.html#Tom_H ]

Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2014 12:24:02 -0700     (answered 11 February 2014)
From: Tom H.
Subject: Thank you for your e-mail..

Dearest Agent Orange

This morning while I was in the kitchen, I heard my wife and her friend ( who is a medical doctor) calling me to come into the computer room and read my e-mail response from my buddy...Agent Orange....They were literally wiping coffee off of my computer desk because they were laughing so hard. We all had a huge laugh at observing which one of Agent Orange's fantasies he was in when he received my e-mail. Obviously, you were in one of your fantasies where, you imagined yourself as a psychologist.....That fantasy is called the Dr. Orange syndrome, which goes along with the Pastor Orange fantasy, and then there is the Healer Guru Orange fantasy, and of course, the Professor Orange fantasy and then finally the addiction expert fantasy.....I apologize, but my eyes are still tearing up laughing. ( I'll be right back*L*)

Your response was just as I had expected. Once again, you just change word's to make it look like you are superior to other people and are really a true intellectual.....I won't even waste my time discussing how you simply used the wording changes saying, "it is a bit of a puzzle", and/or "one day I suddenly snapped out of it," etc. etc.....*yawn*.......Next subject please.......Now you supposedly went through DT's at home and knew exactly what was happening, right ?..... if in fact it happened at all.....Let's move forward to the doctor office scene okay ?.....Do you really think that a alcoholic that has gone through DT's would need a M.D. to tell him that he needs to stop drinking ?.... Aren't you leaving out something Secret AgentOrange ?

Did you not need this medical doctors evaluation for alcoholism with your paperwork so you could collect disability for life from the government ? Let's not forget that you told the room for years that you were a disabled veteran......Remember ?

During this time I was sending you cash. Remember ? I kept asking you if you had been kicked out of the military...and you would not answer. Four years later it came out that the air force had kicked you out... But I still felt sorry for you when you got kicked out of your government assisted apartment in Oregon... I sent you more money once again, but you told me you never saw it ? Then I find out that you have moved into another homeless shelter ? Wait a minute.....this was at over 5 years sobriety....what the hell's going on ? You write about your friends and your son and step children etc... Would not any of them want to help out dear old dad ? I mean dad has been sober for over 5 years right ? Something is wrong here....

Agent orange/dad has been in a dream world...making believe he is a therapist and a religious healer and addiction clinician. He is doing this on the internet. What's going on ? Orange thinks he is saving alcoholics lives....Make believe Guru Orange goes into absolute rages on a regular basis if anyone dare have opinions different that his. He is insulting and dominating and simply a bully and a coward. And this is the guy who says he was bullied by his father. Agent Orange is the same as his father. Except his father supported him and even sent him to college. Then he flunked out because of drugs and depression. This is the guy who was going to jump to his death as a teenager from a tall college building.. And this is what is important to me and would be to all Orange's readers. Very important....

Agent Orange wants more than anything else in the world for his readers to think he is intelligent. Probably a hip college professor type of guy would be one of his many fantasies. My message to Orange has been for him to try and work on his anger and live in reality. But that has been to no avail. Orange's fantasy world is more important to him than anything, including his children. Secret Agent Orange is capable of working and can repair computers for money....Even 10 hours per month @ $50.00 per hour could add up to $500.00 per month. That $500.00 could be sent to his grandchildren for their college education or clothes or whatever. Or possibly to his children directly. Now we are only talking about 10 hours per month. But I am afraid that will never happen. I invested money and trust and hope with Agent Orange since the very start of this site. I had hopes that Orange would be man enough to take responsibility for his past. I was warned against sending money to Orange or putting faith in his actual intentions. But, we shall see. You never know. I have seen people change in sobriety!

One last important thing for any readers to understand is this: Terry and I are not enemies. We both have similar dislikes for the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. Our backgrounds and ages are so similar that it is borderline spooky. I don't like Terry's sassy girly acid tongue mouth. I have begged him to stop being an asshole, hiding behind a computer, but he can't help himself. The hit numbers on the site have gone up but the amount of money that comes in through pay pal is like less $.75 cents per day. Maybe Hippy Terry thinks money is bad and he enjoys living on the edge...I don't know...But I do know this...Money is needed for attorneys that continue to fight making it illegal to force people into A.A. through our court systems. Once that victory takes place, I don't care if A.A. goes broke or not. I think Terry tries to score chicks with this site. And I wish he would. Maybe it would stop him from being a little bully prick. But putting out messages like, "Buy a Hallmark card and help a girl in AA get raped" is why the professionals out there don't take Terry seriously.

Oh well have a nice day.

Hello again, Tom,

Yes, you really are in a hostile mood this week, aren't you? Like I said, you seem to cycle.

[ Readers: this is the same Tom H. as the one who gloated that I had lost my apartment, way back here:

We have also had an on-again, off-again, discussion and debate going back more than 10 years that alternates between civil discussion of the facts and angry ad-hominems:


Now, I did not engage in word games. I answered your question directly. I am not mystified by my sobriety. I know why I am sober. It's because I don't drink alcohol. I know why I do not drink alcohol. It's because I don't want to be that sick again.

The only thing that mystifies me is how I could change my mind so suddenly and completely and know that it was in my power to both quit smoking and quit drinking. That cool steel determination and confidence is a wonder.

About your other accusations: No, I never got any certification of alcoholism from the Veterans Administration for a disability pension. In fact, the Multnomah County Veterans' Outreach advisor who was helping me with the paperwork told me to never mention it. The VA won't give pensions for alcoholism or drug addiction because they consider that self-inflicted damage. (Their policy is the exact opposite of the A.A. dogma that says that "we are powerless over alcohol".)

It isn't the responsibility of family or friends to support me, and I never asked them to. In fact, my family didn't even know what was going on. I didn't tell them.

About the money that you say you have donated to the Orange Papers:
seems to have happened.
In this letter, you claimed that you sent a letter with two $20 bills in it, but it never arrived.

About working as a computer repairman, alas, those days are gone forever. (You sure are eager to get me out of retirement. Why is that?) I am so crippled by sciatica (a crushed disk in my spine) that I cannot stand for more than a few minutes and cannot walk more than about 2 city blocks before the pain is just too much. It's an endurance test just to stand at the sink and wash the dishes. I have to do it in pieces. Wash a few things, then sit down to rest and let the pain pass, and then do a little more, and then rest, then do a little more. Working a straight job all day is out of the question.

My powers of concentration aren't as good as they used to be either, so computer programming is out. Hi tech is very much like athletics: a young man's game. You don't see 67-year-old athletes competing with the young dudes in football or basketball or baseball, or any other major sport. Or in computer programming. Those arrogant young whipper-snappers dominate the field.

Worse yet, most of what I know is now actually obsolete. I'm constantly playing catch-up just to keep abreast of the new stuff. In just the last two weeks, I had to learn (the hard way, of course) about GPT partition tables to format a 4 terabyte drive, and a new program to write the partition tables (parted and gparted). Fdisk is dead. Trusty old Fdisk, which I've been using for almost 30 years, is history, as are all of the old partition table formats. Too small. They ran out of numbers for sectors.

It's going that way with everything. It's hard to believe how much stuff is obsolete and even positively ancient.

And I'm struggling to learn MySQL and PHP because that is what the Drupal forum is written with. It's a very steep learning curve.

I'm expert in Assembly Language on half a dozen different micros, and also expert at C. I can still program a Motorola M6800 8-bit microprocessor in assembly language in my sleep, but what the world wants now is Android 4.0 apps for smart phones. So it goes.

"Life is change, how it differs from the rocks." Gracie Slick sang that. Crown of Creation album.

Besides, I already have a job: doing the Orange Papers. You don't want me to abandon that, now do you? Or do you?

Back to the physical plane: Just getting to and from the public library is getting to be an ordeal. I fought my way through the snow to ride my bike to the library yesterday, and fell once when my front wheel got out of the groove in the snow made by car tires. Fortunately, I wasn't injured. (I used to play roller hockey, so I know how to fall.) Still, it's getting to be an ordeal.

On a different subject: So you think that professionals don't take me seriously because I criticize Hallmark for promoting A.A. while A.A. refuses to do anything to stop the sexual exploitation of young women in A.A.? I disagree. Do you have any evidence, besides perhaps your wife's opinion?

Oh well, have a good day now, and I hope you get to feeling happier soon.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     When Bill Wilson made up the 12 Steps as instructions for people
**     to get a spiritual experience and stop drinking, why didn't Bill
**     include instructions for the alcoholics to go to Dr. William D.
**     Silkworth to get dosed with belladonna and see God? That's how
**     Bill Wilson did it.  Why isn't that also how other alcoholics
**     should do it? Why are the 12 Steps nothing like how Bill Wilson
**     actually quit drinking?

February 11, 2014, Tuesday, my yard in Forest Grove:

I saw my little friend at the Hummingbird feeder again today — and snapped a couple of pictures before I frightened him away by moving in too close, trying to get better shots. You don't see any red on his head because of the bad lighting. The sky is filled with dense cloud cover and no direct sunlight filters through. Under those conditions, his head appears to be either black or very dark green. And his throat appears to be black. Under good sunlight, his whole head will appear to be bright red.

Male Annas Hummingbird
The male Annas Hummingbird
Again, you can see the little white tongue sticking out. They are like other birds in that they have to raise their heads to swallow liquids. And apparently working their tongue in and out helps them to swallow.

Those white vertical lines in the background are raindrops. The weather has warmed up a lot, and it's like 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so the snow is melting. The storm is over. My feeders are still the only "flowers" with nectar for the Hummingbirds to eat.

I am amazed that Annas Hummingbirds can survive the winter without much in the way of flowers or insects to eat. How do they scrounge up enough food to avoid starvation? Under normal summer conditions, they eat continuously all day long. They eat a meal every five minutes. Literally. The appetite on those things is superhuman. They have extremely high energy needs because they are fast little buzz-balls that are almost constantly in motion, and their wings beat something like 600 times per minute. They have to essentially hibernate at night to keep from starving during the night. They go into a "torpor", which means that their hearts slow way down, their breathing slows way down, and their body temperature drops way down. That is pretty much the same as hibernation, and they do it every night to conserve energy.

And yet they somehow survive the winter without flowers or insects to eat, and they are out flying around when the ground is covered with snow. Unbelievable. They are tough little creatures.

Male Annas Hummingbird
The male Annas Hummingbird

[More bird photos below, here.]

[The previous letter from Mac is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters390.html#Mac ]

Date: Mon, 27 Jan 2014 18:31:46 -0500     (answered 11 February 2014)
Subject: Re: AA
From: Mac

As if...
Because the program of recovery that has been instrumental in turning my life and the lives of hundreds of others around doesn't appeal to you, suit you, make sense to you, you condemn it and its basis that a spiritual experience can do what science, psychiatry, medicine and sheer force of will cannot.

Perhaps the energy spent in punching the air could be turned to other, more edifying pursuits.

Further, I believe Buchman was very wrong-headed. I do not hold with the mental contortions he used to cobble up the 4 Absolutes. Personally I see them as a formula for self defeat, self-deception and a form of pride-baited arrogance.

I sincerely doubt, from what I've read of your commentaries, that you are an alcoholic of the hopeless variety; there IS something wrong, but possibly nothing that could be changed by the program of recovery outlined in the book "Alcoholics Anonymous". Be very careful with the "facts" and "statistics" you claim; the analyses have been and continue to be manipulated to suit the users, which cuts both ways.

For you, and undoubtedly many others, AA didn't or couldn't work. Does that mean the program of recovery doesn't work at all? Hardly. But where there's success, there are those who will say it's a sham.

Our experiences are different. Does that mean one or the other is wrong? No.
Good luck.

Hello again, Mac,

Thanks for the response. Unfortunately, you are repeating a lot of standard A.A. slogans.

  1. A.A. is not a "program of recovery". A.A. is Dr. Frank Buchman's old cult religion, passed off as a cure for alcohol addiction.

  2. A.A. has not "been instrumental in turning my life and the lives of hundreds of others..." A.A. is just another cult religion that steals the credit from people who get themselves sober.

  3. A.A. most assuredly does not have any magical "spiritual experience" that "can do what science, psychiatry, medicine and sheer force of will cannot." That is just more cult religion baloney.

  4. Then you said,

    Further, I believe Buchman was very wrong-headed. I do not hold with the mental contortions he used to cobble up the 4 Absolutes. Personally I see them as a formula for self defeat, self-deception and a form of pride-baited arrogance.

    YES!!! That is the heart of the matter. That is the most important paragraph that you have written. Alcoholics Anonymous is merely Frank Buchman's cult religion, dressed up as a cure for alcohol abuse.

    The 12 Steps are just Dr. Frank Buchman's practices for indoctrinating and converting newcomers into true believers in his cult religion. They have nothing to do with drinking, and never did. They are Frank Buchman's brainwashing techniques. Bill Wilson just copied them.

    Alcoholics Anonymous is Buchmanism. That's what is wrong with it. That is why A.A. does not work to free people from alcohol addiction.

    "Early AA got its ideas of self-examination, acknowledgement of character defects, restitution for harm done, and working with others straight from the Oxford Groups and directly from Sam Shoemaker, their former leader in America, and nowhere else."
    == William G. Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, page 39.

    (Bill Wilson was of course being deceptive there. Bill listed Rev. Sam Shoemaker as the leader of the Oxford Groups. Actually, Sam Shoemaker was the number two man. Frank Buchman was the leader, and he is the man who created and promoted all of that perverted religious dogma. But Frank Buchman had a terrible reputation for his praise of Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler and the Nazis, so Bill thought it best to avoid mentioning the Buchman name.)

    Where did the early AAs find the material for the remaining ten Steps? Where did we learn about moral inventory, amends for harm done, turning our wills and lives over to God? Where did we learn about meditation and prayer and all the rest of it? The spiritual substance of our remaining ten Steps came straight from Dr. Bob's and my own earlier association with the Oxford Groups, as they were then led in America by that Episcopal rector, Dr. Samuel Shoemaker.
    == William G. Wilson, The Language of the Heart, page 298, published posthumously in 1988.

  5. This is more baloney:

    I sincerely doubt, from what I've read of your commentaries, that you are an alcoholic of the hopeless variety...

    It does not matter whether you think I am an alcoholic of any particular type. That is yet another standard A.A. trick: claim that somebody isn't a "real alcoholic", or a "hopeless alcoholic", so what he says doesn't count. That is invalid logic. (And A.A. members try to pull that trick so often. Look here: really an alcoholic...)

    A.A. will still be the same failure no matter whether I am a hopeless alcoholic or a virgin tea-totaller, or an old alcoholic with 13 years of sobriety (which is what I really am).

  6. Then you continued:

    ...there IS something wrong, but possibly nothing that could be changed by the program of recovery outlined in the book "Alcoholics Anonymous".

    Well please don't hold out on us. What do you think is wrong with someone who tells the truth about an old cult religion like Buchmanism? Or its child cult like A.A.?

    What kind of mental illness makes someone care about the welfare of sick people? Please tell us. Maybe we can infect some Republican politicians with the disease.

  7. Then you wrote:

    Be very careful with the "facts" and "statistics" you claim; the analyses have been and continue to be manipulated to suit the users, which cuts both ways.

    Actually, it is A.A. that twists the numbers to create the illusion of a successful program. We were just talking about that. Here are the links:

    Speaking of success rate, I see that you dodged the question that I asked in the last letter about the A.A. success rate. That is typical. A.A. true believers NEVER honestly answer that question.

    So once again, what is the A.A. success rate? If we send 100 alcoholics to A.A., how many will be sober a year later? 5 years later? 10 years later? 20 years later?

    That question is super-important. If A.A. does not sober them up, then it is worthless and a cruel hoax.

    Actually, A.A. is worse than worthless, because it wastes people's time and keeps them from doing something that might really help them.

    A.A. defenders routinely try to dismiss all statistics as worthless because the true numbers reveal what a failure A.A. really is. The funny thing is, even Bill Wilson used statistics (which he simply made up):

    RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.
    A.A. Big Book, 3rd & 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, page 58.

    What does "rarely" mean? What number is that?

    Of alcoholics who came to A.A. and really tried, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with A.A. showed improvement. Other thousands came to a few A.A. meetings and at first decided they didn't want the program. But great numbers of these — about two out of three — began to return as time passed.
    Bill Wilson, in the Foreword to the Second Edition of the Big Book, page XX, 1955.

    The problem is, Bill Wilson was just lying when he made up those numbers. You can see all of the information about that here: https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-effectiveness.html#Bob_memorial

  8. Then you wrote:

    For you, and undoubtedly many others, AA didn't or couldn't work.

    Wrong. I soon recognized that A.A. was a brainwashing program and a cult religion, so I quit drinking my own way. I never did the 12 Steps, I never got a sponsor, I don't go to A.A. meetings, I don't believe in the Big Book or Bill Wilson, and yet I still have 13 years of sobriety now. MY program works great.

  9. You continued:

    Does that mean the program of recovery doesn't work at all? Hardly. But where there's success, there are those who will say it's a sham.

    Again, A.A. is not a program of recovery. A.A. is Dr. Frank Buchman's program to convert newcomers into brainwashed cult members.

    Yes, A.A. is a sham and a fraud.

    • When some people quit drinking in or near an A.A. meeting, A.A. is quick to claim the credit and say that the Steps work great. (Even if the person didn't do the Steps.)
    • When someone does not quit drinking, A.A. claims that it has no responsibility for him, and the Steps had nothing to do with it.
    That is just "cherry picking". The proper name for that is Observational Selection — counting the hits and forgetting the misses.

    The fact that a few people quit drinking while attending A.A. meetings does not mean that A.A. made them quit drinking. People decide to quit drinking for a variety of reasons, like to save their lives or their jobs or marriages, and then they go to a few A.A. meetings to see what A.A. has to offer, and the A.A. true believers set to work trying to convince the newcomers that they quit drinking because of A.A., which is simply false.

  10. Then you said,

    Our experiences are different. Does that mean one or the other is wrong? No.

    That is the debating trick called escape via relativism: just claim that "your mileage may vary; we had different experiences, nobody is right and nobody is wrong, it's just your opinion versus my opinion..." Baloney. A.A. is a hoax and a fraud that fails to sober up the alcoholics. And those are the facts.

    Again, if you think that I am wrong, then please tell us: What is the A.A. success rate? You claim that A.A. works, so prove it. Show us the numbers. What percentage of the newcomers to A.A. get and stay sober for 1, 5, 10, and 20 years? And how does that compare to people who quit drinking without A.A.? Please verify your information.

    The answer to that question is a matter of life or death for a lot of people.

    Speaking of which, I'm sure that you have heard some of the publicity about the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. He was in A.A. for many, many years, more than 13 years, and yet, he still died of a heroin overdose. So what is A.A. really worth if that is the final result of "working the Steps"?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his
**     own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for
**     his nation, his religion, his race, or his holy cause.
**     A man is likely to mind his business when it is worth
**     minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own
**     meaningless affairs by minding other people's business.
**       ==  Eric Hoffer, The True Believer

[The next letter from Mac is here.]

February 13, 2014, Thursday, my yard in Forest Grove:

While I was feeding the birds in the back yard, I heard the whirr of Hummingbird wings. I looked around to find where the bird was, and discovered that she was right beside me. I mean, so close that I could have reached out and touched her. I was standing right beside a Hummingbird feeder, and she wanted to eat from it, so she did. I couldn't get a photo of her because she was too close — the telephoto lens can't focus that close. I just stood still and watched breathlessly while she slurped up some sugar-water. She was amazingly tame. She knew that I was there, but as long as I didn't move, it didn't bother her.

But a few minutes later, when I was about 8 feet away from the feeder, she came back, and I got this shot:

Female Annas Hummingbird
Female Annas Hummingbird

Alas, she didn't like the sound of the mirror and shutter of the camera snapping, so she zoomed away after one shot. Then I found her in the front yard, at the front porch feeder. And she zoomed away as I approached. She is still very cautious, and interprets me moving towards her as stalking.

All three of the Hummingbird feeders that are currently hanging in my yard are thawed out and working now, so she can run me in circles going from one feeder to the next. But something that is obvious is that she is staying around my yard. But of course, that's where the food is. I think she will adopt my yard as her home. Maybe she already has.

So I have a breeding pair of Annas Hummingbirds visiting my yard. That's great. Remember that line in the movie Field of Dreams? "If you build it, they will come." Well, the Hummingbirds have come. If you have the only working bird cafeteria in the neighborhood, you will have a very popular yard. Especially during the winter when everything is buried under snow.

I can already see baby Hummingbirds come springtime. (By the way, baby Hummingbirds are really, really tiny.)

[The story of the birds continues here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters390.html#Tim_D ]

Date: Mon, 3 Feb 2014 19:50:59 -0800 (PST)     (answered 12 February 2014)
From: Tim D.
Subject: Statistical source

Hello, I'm writing a paper arguing that addiction is a choice, not a disease. I would really like to use your claims as proof for my paper but i not allowed to if I can't show who produced the statistic, with what data, at what time and place.

Hello Tim,

Thank you for a very interesting question. Unfortunately, I think you have chosen a very knotty problem.

The first problem is that there is no statistical evidence that shows that addiction is a disease. I mean none, zilch, zippo. It's really a question of semantics, not statistics. Ask people what they mean by "disease". You will get a lot of vague answers and fancy tap-dancing.

The dictionaries list a lot of different definitions of disease. Look here:

Some definitions of "disease" are so generalized that they call any condition that causes pain or discomfort a "disease". (Disease == "dis - ease") By that definition, playing football is a disease.

Then you will get the deliberate misinformation and clouding of the issue, like the A.M.A. has done. They had a committee composed of two A.A. front groups write the definition of "alcoholism the disease" that is so garbled that it does not even say that drinking alcohol causes alcoholism. See the story here:

By the way, not even the A.M.A. could provide a good definition of "disease". Nor could they explain the etiology of the "disease". I mean, come on, "the disease of alcoholism" must have a cause.

The kind of information that you are looking for is in the file The Effectiveness of the Twelve-Step Treatment. There you will find clinical studies and randomized longitudinal controlled studies and doctors' reports about tests of A.A., and also the natural spontaneous recovery rate without treatment. It's all fully documented and referenced, and your teacher will be happy with such references.

I also just found this quote in my notes. I don't know where it came from. The file name hints that it came from Australia. Perhaps a Google search can establish the source. Anyway, it gives a bunch of interesting references:

By 1956 the American Medical Association voted to define alcoholism as a medically treatable disease, a decision based not on analysis of scientific evidence, but on economic grounds, to enable treating physicians to become eligible for payment from third parties, i.e. insurance companies (AMA) (Hanson). The AMA's move stirred controversy, but Jellinek justified it by saying that a disease is anything that doctors choose to call a disease. (Jellinek.) Dr. Jeffrey Schaler famously argued that "simply calling alcoholism a disease does not make it one." (Schaler, 1989.)

Confirming this more complex picture, in 2010 America's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism released findings based on the most sophisticated study yet conducted of drinking histories (NIAAA.) It surveyed more than 43,000 individuals representative of the adult population using questions based on criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV). Published in 1994, DSM-IV recognises alcohol dependence by preoccupation with drinking, impaired control over drinking, compulsive drinking, drinking despite physical or psychological problems caused or made worse by drinking, and tolerance and/or withdrawal symptoms.

Among NIAAA's findings were:

  • Most persons who develop alcohol dependence have mild to moderate disorder, in which they primarily experience impaired control. For example, they set limits and go over them or find it difficult to quit or cut down. In general, these people do not have severe alcohol-related relationship, health, vocational or legal problems.
  • About 70 percent of affected persons have a single episode of less than 4 years. The remainder experience an average of five episodes. Thus, it appears that there are two forms of alcohol dependence: time-limited, and recurrent or chronic.
  • Twenty years after onset of alcohol dependence, about three-fourths of individuals are in full recovery; more than half of those who have fully recovered drink at low-risk levels without symptoms of alcohol dependence.
  • 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 1% of those surveyed fit the stereotypical image of someone with severe, recurring alcohol addiction. NIAAA's Mark Willenbring, director of treatment and recovery research, commented, "These and other recent findings turn on its head much of what we thought we knew about alcoholism." (NIAAA.) Willenbring told the media, "It can be a chronic, relapsing disease, but it isn't usually that. We're on the cusp of some major advances in how we conceptualise alcoholism. The focus now is on the large group of people who are not yet dependent. But they are at risk for developing dependence. From what we know from scientific studies, there are some very clear things that can be done. But people don't ordinarily think of looking to science for how to improve drinking problems." (Roan.)

I know the source of the NIAAA quote:

By the way, "Dr." Jellinek, the modern proponent of the "alcoholism is a disease" theory, was not a doctor. He was a fraud and a quack. He faked all of his degrees and credentials. He didn't even earn a B.A. degree. He never graduated from college. His transcript at the University of Leizig, where he supposedly got his B.A., says that Jellinek was dropped from the University's rolls in both 1913 and 1914, for failure to attend lectures or take classes. And yet he lied his way into the Yale faculty and passed himself off as a doctor and a scientific researcher, the world's expert on alcoholism. Check out what Stanton Peele and Ron Roizen have to say about Jellinek:

Three good sources of information on the question of addiction as a disease are:

  1. Addiction is a Choice     Jeffrey A. Schaler.
    Open Court Publishing Company, 2000. phone: 1-800-815-2280
    ISBN: 0-8126-9403-1 hardcover, 0-8126-9404-1 paperback.
    Dewey: 362.29 S297a 2000
    Quite good. This book makes a good case for the standard ideas of addiction and the A.A. idea of "powerlessness over alcohol" being myths. Must reading for anyone wishing to be well-informed in the alcoholism or addiction fields.
    Also see Schaler's web site: http://www.schaler.net/fifth/cultbusting.html

  2. Diseasing of America     Stanton Peele, Ph.D.
    Lexington Books, D.C. Heath and Company, Lexington, Massachusetts & Toronto, 1989.
    ISBN: 0-669-20015-8
    LC: RC564.P43 1989
    LCCN: 89-31904
    Dewey: 362.29—dc20
    Very good. Puts forward the idea that addiction is not a disease, and neither are many of the other things that are being called mental illnesses these days. The "treatment industry" is essentially a racket that practices quack medicine.
    Stanton Peele lists some experiments and controlled studies that show that alcoholics have control over their drinking. They are not "powerless".

  3. Addiction, Change & Choice; The New View of Alcoholism     Vince Fox, M.Ed. CRREd.
    See Sharp Press, PO Box 1731, Tucson AZ 85702-1731, 1993.
    ISBN: 0-9613289-7-5
    Dewey: 362.29286i FOX
    And yet another great book from the See Sharp Press. Fox covers:
    1. Heavy Drinking: Its Historical Context
    2. Alcoholism: Definitions & Opinions
    3. Polarization: Us vs. Them
    4. The Objective: Personal Autonomy
    5. Alcoholics Anonymous: Essence & Functions
    6. Alcoholics Anonymous: Effectiveness
    7. The Forces & Directions of Change
    8. The Independent Self-Help Programs
    9. Rational Recovery Systems Network
    10. Traditional Recovery Management
    11. Nontraditional Recovery Management
    12. Nontraditional Recovery Management
    13. Noninstitutional Recovery
    14. ...and more...
    One of the things I like best is how Fox stresses just how damaging and dangerous it is for A.A. and N.A. to teach addicts that they are powerless over alcohol or their addiction, and have no choice in the matter. That is a ready-made rationalization for a drunkard to have another drink, and for a doper to shoot up again. And that is what the steppers do. Fox also does a good job of criticizing the arrogant "My way or the highway" attitude of self-righteous A.A. and N.A. sponsors.

Another factor to consider is that there is not any one stereotypical alcoholic or drug addict. Note that in the above quote, the NIAAA said, "Only 1% of those surveyed fit the stereotypical image of someone with severe, recurring alcohol addiction." The causes of people excessively using drugs or alcohol until they get addicted are numerous: mental illness (especially depression, bipolar disorder and narcissistic personality disorder), damage inflicted upon them in childhood, bad environments (like wars and slums) driving people to drink, and then there are the veterans with PTSD who drink to forget, and there are people who have genetic disorders. There are people who are sick and 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 different causes for "alcoholism" or addiction.

Oh, and lastly, my own personal experience is that addiction is a choice. I was addicted to tobacco for 30 years, and drank too much for almost 20, and then, when my health collapsed and I was facing death, I just quit all of my bad habits all at once. (And that was 13 years ago, and I'm still sober and healthy.) It was a choice. It was a tough choice, and it took being really sick for me to get the motivation to quit, but I did. And that story is so common. That is how most successful quitters finally do it. "I just got sick and tired of being sick and tired."

Have a good day now, and good luck with your project, and don't hesitate to write back if you have more questions.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision
**     to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a
**     disease but an error in judgment. When a bunch of people begin to
**     do it, it is a social error, a life-style. In this particular
**     life-style the motto is "Be happy now because tomorrow you are
**     dying," but the dying begins almost at once, and the happiness is
**     a memory. It is, then, only a speeding up, an intensifying, of the
**     ordinary human existence. It is not different from your life-style,
**     it is only faster. It all takes place in days or weeks or months
**     instead of years. "Take the cash and let the credit go," as Villon
**     said in 1460. But that is a mistake if the cash is a penny and the
**     credit a whole lifetime.
**       ==  Philip K Dick
**     If alcoholism is really a disease, then A.A. sponsors are
**     guilty of practicing medicine without a license. They are
**     also guilty of treating a life-threatening illness without
**     having any medical education or training.  They have never
**     gone to medical school, and never done an internship or
**     residency, and yet they presume to be qualified to make
**     life-or-death decisions in the patients' treatment. That
**     is what you call quackery.
**       ==  Orange

P.S.: I was just rereading another page of debate about whether alcoholism is a disease, "Is Alcoholism a Disease?", by David J. Hanson, Ph.D., here:

Dr. Hanson quoted Dr. Stanton Peele:

Negative Results of the Disease Theory

The disease concept of alcoholism removes the responsibility of alcoholics for their own behaviors.14 Dr. Peele asserts that "Perhaps the most dire consequence of the disease model of addiction is that it has encouraged the abdication of individual responsibility for outrageous conduct" and he suggests that "Creating a world of addictive diseases may mean creating a world in which anything is excusable."15

Ah yes. I was reminded of Ariel Castro, the creep in Cleveland, Ohio, who kidnapped, imprisoned, and raped three women for 10 years, including beating one of them into a miscarriage because he didn't want the baby. At his sentencing, he whined,

      "I'm not a monster. I'm a decent guy. I'm sick. I have an addiction. Just like alcoholics have an addiction. I need therapy."

Oh yeh. "I kidnap, imprison, and rape women and kill their baby because I have a disease just like alcoholism." NOT!

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters390.html#Bob_O ]

Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2014 20:13:19 -0500 (EST)     (answered 12 February 2014)
Subject: Fwd: AA hot-line troubles
From: Bob O.

Mister T,
The latest aa bulletin says the hot-line in our Long Island county is reducing the 24-hour coverage. You can read many months of bulletins at


I am not sure I have done this correctly but I know you like to read about other aa activity so I am trying.

Thank you for all you do.
Long Island Bob O.

Hello again, Bob,

Thanks for the tip. What that tells me is that they are having shrinkage problems. Membership, staffing, and money all shrinking. Now they don't have the resources to staff a hotline 24-7? That used to be a point of pride in a lot of intergroups. "Always available, always ready to help. Available 24 hours a day." So you know they wouldn't be cutting back if they could avoid it.

Not coincidentally, another correspondent just reported that the list of scheduled major A.A. events has recently shrunk enormously:

It's about time. How many decades can a dishonest quack cure keep on fooling people?

I recall President Lincoln's line about, "You can fool all of the people some of the time. You can fool some of the people all of the time. But you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The "spiritual, not religious" thing is just an ego game of
**     spiritual one-upmanship that says, "I may be a superstitious
**     fool, but I'm not as crazy as the ones who go to church."

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters390.html#Peter_F ]

Date: Fri, 7 Feb 2014 18:51:41 -0500     (answered 11 February 2014)
From: Peter F.
Subject: Stanton Peele and Ilse Thompson, Recover! Stop Thinking Like an Addict with The PERFECT Program available: http://amzn.com/0738216755

Stanton Peele and Ilse Thompson: Recover! Stop Thinking Like an Addict with The PERFECT Program
available: http://amzn.com/0738216755

Peter Ferentzy, PhD
Scientist 1, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Author of Dealing With Addiction — why the 20th century was wrong
Co-Author: The History of Problem Gambling: Temperance, substance abuse, medicine, and metaphors

Hi again, Peter,

Yes, I definitely have to get my hands on a copy of that. Stanton and Ilse are two of my favorite people, so I know that book will be good.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     True wisdom is knowledge and humor combined.  

UPDATE: 2014.02.13:

At 3:34 AM, I heard National Public Radio News say that the TIME — AOL merger was considered the worst corporate merger in history.

No joke. AOL just destroyed the value of TIME stock. TIME Inc. was actually worth less after the merger than before, which means that AOL had negative value. TIME paid billions of dollars for something that turned out to be worth less than zero.

I could have told them that just from my own experiences with AOL. Back in 2005, AOL was censoring my web site and blocking my email, claiming that I had something to do with spamming, and AOL blacklisted me because some account on my ISP's ISP in another state was sending out spam.

Well anyway, AOL is history now, and the verdict of history is that AOL was a disaster.

Have a good day now.

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Last updated 17 December 2014.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters390.html