Letters, We Get Mail, CCCXCIII



[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters393.html#Matthew_M ]

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2014 18:56:54 +0000 (02/27/2014 01:56:54 PM)     (answered 5 March 2014)
From: Matthew M.
Subject: Pre-Re: To a Gentleman and a Scholar

Hello again Mr. Orange,

I recognize that I haven't given you enough time to respond to my previous piece of mail, but I have a question for you that has sort of been itching at me.

Your theory that people who claim the 12 steps saved their lives would have quit drinking (and stayed quit) anyway and are under the spell of a logical fallacy known as correlation as causation could possibly be (to use a phrase pulled from the Big Book) "of paramount importance" to me, as this may liberate me in a certain sense from the many Big Book related practices I engage in on a regular basis partly out of fear for my own life (evening reviews, sponsoring guys, going to meetings, etc).

So, my question, I suppose, since you postulate that people quit simply when they have had enough — when they are sick and tired of being sick and tired — is, why do some people go on "to the bitter end" drinking and drugging? Obviously everyone has varying pain thresholds, but I would argue that NO ONE wants to drink themselves into homeless or severely ill health. So, in your view, why do some continue to go on drinking and drugging until they have truly lost everything and die? Are they simply too dumb to understand what is causing their troubles? Are they simply too weak willed to ever muster up a strong enough determination to stop?

Mr. Orange, again, I am a fan of your website, and I am truly interested in what you have to say on this matter.

Thank you,

Matt

P.S. Additionally, you may be interested in hearing about some of my experiences in an intensive aftercare facility that engaged in "12 Step Immersion." In particular the practices of an "accountability group" and "steel on steel" as they pertain to brainwashing and the like. Have you heard of these practices?

Hello Matt,

I'm glad to hear that you are doing well. Thank you for the question. Alas, I cannot find your previous letter. It may have been lost during the transition from one host system to another. Please resend it.

Now, about these questions:

Quitting isn't as simple as just deciding to do it. Or as simple as deciding to die. There is often a long slow death spiral of slowly circling the drain.

I, for example, became too sick to work and just resigned myself to death. I guessed that the situation was hopeless. I thought that I was "powerless over alcohol and tobacco", and would just relapse again if I quit. So no sense in trying. Might as well just stay stoned and kill the pain until the bitter end comes.

It wasn't a matter of wanting to die, or choosing to die, or weak will. It was a matter of being really sick and in pain, and wanting to kill the pain.

But some people do really consciously choose to drink themselves to death. I am reminded of the story that a friend told me, about the death of his sister. As her death approached, she turned yellow (jaundiced) and still wouldn't quit drinking. She did not want to live sober. She didn't think that a sober lifestyle was worth living. She decided to party until the end, and as she died, she laughed and said what a grand party it had been.

There are such people, and I don't know of any magical fix to get them to change their minds and choose to live. They do what they want to do, rather than what we want them to do.

Now I did choose to live. At the last minute, I just decided that I wasn't going to die that way. Some people make one choice, some make the other. It seems to be a coin toss which way they will go.

Then we need to consider mental illness. Much of what is called "alcoholism" is really mental illness, particularly chronic depression (which Bill Wilson had), bipolar disorder (old name: "manic-depressive disorder"), borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder (which Bill Wilson also had), and various anxiety disorders. And then there are the veterans with PTSD and now-grown abused children with shriveled-up Cerebellar Vermises. Many people with such disorders try to self-medicate with alcohol, and the results are bad. Also note that the 12 Steps and the A.A. program do not cure mental illness. In fact, they are terrible treatment, and make depressed people worse by inducing guilt complexes and inferiority complexes, and occasionally driving people to suicide. People with such mental illnesses have a very difficult time quitting drinking because nothing is curing the underlying mental disorder. Telling them to just quit drinking is like telling them to get better without any medication or treatment.

About the people who quit drinking in A.A. being the ones who were going to quit drinking anyway — oh yes, that has been shown repeatedly. Even a Trustee of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., said that. Dr. George E. Vaillant tracked his first 100 A.A.-treated alcoholic patients, and at the end of 8 years, the score was 5 continuously sober, 29 dead, and 66 still drinking. Dr. Vaillant clearly recognized that 5 per hundred was the same recovery rate as alcoholics get when they quit on their own — what he called "natural remission", or the "natural history of the disease". Vaillant said,

After initial discharge, only five patients in the [A.A.-treated] Clinic sample never relapsed to alcoholic drinking, and there is compelling evidence that the results of our treatment were no better than the natural history of the disease.
...
Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism, but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling.
The Natural History of Alcoholism: Causes, Patterns, and Paths to Recovery, George E. Vaillant, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1983, pages 283-286.
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 349-352.

So the people who went to A.A. did not recover any better than people who quit alone, without any such help. But they died more. Nothing had a higher death rate than the A.A. program. Teaching people that they are powerless over alcohol seems to be a very deadly self-fulfilling prophesy. (Dr. Jeffrey Brandsma found that A.A. increased binge drinking.)

And as I just mentioned in the previous letter, the NIAAA found that the vast majority of successful quitters did it alone.

Lastly, I'd very much like to hear your stories.

Have a good day now, and enjoy your new freedom.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Low-IQ people make better followers. Smarter people will question
**     authorities, and ask what they really know, and ask whether their
**     ideas are valid and ask whether their orders are wise. The lower-I.Q.
**     people will imagine that they should just obey orders because that's
**     what the leader says.





February 28, Tuesday, my yard in Forest Grove:

Annas Hummingbird
The male Annas Hummingbird is still sitting in the tree in the front yard, and surveying his domain.

In these shots, his head appears to be either black or green. These are poor lighting conditions, with dim March sunlight filtering down through dense cloud cover. If he got some direct sunlight on his head, it would flash bright red.

But if you look very closely, you can see just two tiny spots of red on his head in the upper picture. Only a few small feathers are catching the light just right.

Annas Hummingbird

[More bird photos below, here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters393.html#Elaine_G ]

Date: Tue, 04 Mar 2014 19:35:30 -0500     (answered 9 March 2014)
From: Elaine G.
Subject: What AA doesn't want you to know

So I'm just wondering — what inspired you to research and write this article? Of all topics to choose from, why this one?

Just curious.

Hello Elaine,

Thanks for the question. What happened is, more than 13 years ago, I signed up for a course of "outpatient treatment for alcoholism" at the Portland Alternative Addiction Center (PAAC). I was shocked to learn that what that really meant was Introduction to Cult Religion 101. All of the so-called "counselors" at the "treatment center" were members of the cult, and swore that it worked great when it was obviously a failure with nearly a 100% failure/drop-out rate. Even worse, it was illogical and dishonest. The staff there just parrotted slogans all day long and treated the "clients" (not "patients", "clients") in an arrogant, condescending manner, as if we were all criminals who were trying to put something over on them.

My own "counselor" was some kind of a nutcase who insisted that we must have a "Higher Power" in our recovery program. Only later did I learn that he was actually going home after a day of telling us how to live, and snorting cocaine, and then viewing child porn on his computer, and then raping his step-children. The police busted him for it and he did several years in the state penitentiary, and he is now a registered sex offender.

All of that was paid for by the Oregon taxpayers. The so-called "treatment center" got $1700 per person for putting us through that racket.

I decided that somebody had to do something about such a hoax that was not helping my friends, so I started writing.

You can get the rest of the story here:

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Of course we speak little of conversion nowadays because so
**     many people really dread being God-bitten. But conversion, as
**     broadly described by [William] James, does seem to be our basic
**     process; all other devices are but the foundation."
**       ==  Bill Wilson's statements to the American Psychiatric
**          Association 105th Annual Meeting, Montreal, Quebec, May 1949





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters393.html#Samual_S ]

Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2014 19:08:20 -0600 (03/01/2014 08:08:20 PM)     (answered 9 March 2014)
From: samual s.
Subject:

what i would like sir, is an aa graduate emeritus meeting. online or in person with other like minded recoverED and adjusted individuals........know of any?? thank you very much for your help

Hello Samual,

Thanks for an interesting question. Alas, I don't have an answer to that one. One of the cardinal rules of A.A. is that there are no graduates. You never recover. You never finish your recovery. See The Cult Test: No Graduates for much more about that.

So someone who says that he has recovered is probably someone who no longer believes in A.A., and he is no longer an A.A. member, and he probably doesn't go to any meetings.

Now there are a few old graduates in the Orange Papers forum — people who did 10 or 20 or 30 years in A.A. before quitting it. But they are a rarity. But you could try there. Just register, and email me and I'll approve you.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             oran[email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     It will be gone by June.
**       ==  Variety magazine, passing judgement on rock 'n roll, 1955.
**
**     We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.
**       ==  Decca Records, after rejecting The Beatles, 1962.
**
**     Television won't last because people will soon get tired of
**      staring at a plywood box every night.
**       ==  Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox, 1946.
**
**     Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil?
**       You're crazy.
**       ==  Associates of Edwin L. Drake on his idea to drill for oil, 1859.
**
**     You need a support group. Nobody can recover alone.
**     You may be suffering from an illness which only a
**     spiritual experience will conquer.
**       ==  Alcoholics Anonymous





[The previous letter from Patrick_D is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters393.html#Patrick_D ]

Date: Mar 4, 2014, 6:46 AM     (answered 17 March 2014)
From: Patrick D.
Re: reply from Orange Papers

Your response was very solid. I did not know many of the affiliations you referred to. But you still seem misguided on many of your statements. Here are just a few.

Hello again, Patrick,

Thanks for the reponses. Now let's see...

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.

This is what I know to be true. I travel the United States for my work 130 night a year. I have been doing so since 2002. I have seen 1000's of people in many states seemly happy and sober for many years. How many I do not know. I do not care. What I see with my own two eyes tells me it works. Especially for me. I would agree many people in AA never achieve long term sobriety but many do I have met them in person. Are they actually sober how many are there no one knows except God. The program is first being sober and second just leading a good life from there. Many people may not stay sober but that does not change the fact that their lives have become better because of it.

That is bad logic. You are assuming a cause-and-effect relationship where none exists. That is a common logical fallacy, described here: Confusion of Correlation and Causation. Just because a bunch of people gather in a meeting that is supposed to be for non-drinking people does not mean that the meeting made them quit drinking. It didn't. And in fact, the majority of them are not even sober. The vast majority of A.A. members drop out and return to drinking. (Look here.)

Your assumptions lead to several logical failings, like:

  • Assuming that A.A. meetings make the sober people not drink, while not concluding that A.A. meetings make the drinkers continue to drink.
  • Assuming that A.A. meetings make people quit drinking, but that the meetings and the 12 Steps have no effect on their smoking habits, or drug consumption, or sexual exploitation of newcomer women, or eating unhealthy diets.
  • Assuming that A.A. improves peoples' lives and spirituality in many ways, but when those people commit suicide, A.A. suddenly had no effect on their lives.

Also, when you go to those meetings, you are not seeing all of the people who quit A.A. because it wasn't helping them, or because it was making them feel worse. You don't see the suicides or the mental breakdowns or the chronic relapsers. You only see the people who brag that they have years of sobriety. The propaganda trick that you are using there is called "counting the hits, and ignoring the misses — Observational Selection".

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.

If people can quit on their own more power to them. I am not advocating AA is the only way. It is a way.

No, A.A. is not a way to quit drinking. We just covered that. A.A. is a way to waste time on an old cult religion that pretends to have a cure for a disease.

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".

Your facts are solid but again not drinking is only part of the issue. Since you know AA so well can you deny the 12 steps is just a good way to live your life? Is there something wrong with:

  • Step 1 — We admitted we were powerless over our addiction — that our lives had become unmanageable (I cannot drink anymore I get into trouble)
  • Step 2 — Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity (Believe in God)
  • Step 3 — Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God (Do your best take good action but realize you are not the center of the universe)
  • Step 4 — Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves (Where have I fallen short, where have I sucked)
  • Step 5 — Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs (own your issues get humble.)
  • Step 6 — Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character (Ask for help)
  • Step 7 — Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings (Ask for help)
  • Step 8 — Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all (Where have I screwed people)
  • Step 9 — Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others (Make things right)
  • Step 10 — Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. (Stay on the beam do right and own issues.)
  • Step 11 — Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out (Think of others)
  • Step 12 — Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs (Help others)

No, the 12 Steps are not a good way to live. They are a terrible way to live, or more likely, to die. After all, the 12 Steps are just Dr. Frank Buchman's brainwashing program.

  1. Step 1 teaches that you are powerless over your problem and you cannot manage your own life (so Somebody Else must do it for you).
  2. Step 2 teaches that you are insane, but you should believe that a ghost or spirit or "god" will restore you to sanity. (And that is really insane.) Didn't you notice the bait-and-switch trick there? Step 1 was about quitting drinking, but Step 2 is about making you believe in God. Why the switcheroo? When was it established that belief in God makes people stop drinking? By that illogic, there should not be any Catholic priests who drink too much sacramental wine.
  3. Step 3 says that you decide to turn your will and your life over to the care and control of some home-made "God" who can be anything. That is surrender to the cult, pure and simple.
  4. Step 4 tells people to confess what horrible selfish people they are. This is part of the process of destroying people's independent thinking.
  5. Step 5 says that you must confess everything to "God" and some human. This is just another part of the humiliation process.
  6. Step 6 is a do-nothing step that Bill Wilson put in there so that there would be 12 steps, instead of 11. You know, 12 Desciples, 12 months in a year, 12 hours on a clock, 12 inches in a foot. Eleven is just such an odd number.
  7. Step 7 demands a miracle from God, as if God is a copy of Aladdin's Genie: Just rub His lamp and He has to grant you three wishes. You know, like making you quit drinking, and managing your unmanageable life for you, and removing all of your defects.
  8. Step 8 is more confession: Make a list of everyone whom you ever annoyed, hurt, offended, or pissed off.
  9. Step 9 tells us to go annoy them again by "making amends", which Steppers rarely actually do. Just saying "I'm sorry" is not making amends.
  10. Step 10 sets up an infinite loop where you have to repeat the previous steps forever. And again, this step says that you will be wrong.
  11. Step 11 says that you can conduct a séance and channel God, and hear the Voice of God telling you what to do, and giving you the power to do it. Break out the crystal ball and the Ouija board. Bill Wilson never explained how you could tell the difference between God and Satan whispering things in your ear while you do this step.
  12. Step 12 says that you will get a "spiritual experience", or "spiritual awakening" from doing the previous 11 steps. And then you are supposed to go recruiting and get new members for the cult. And the line about "practice these principles in all our affairs" is nuts. Those cult religion practices are not spiritual principles.

That is not a good way of life. You can read much more about the 12 Steps here: The Twelve Steps Interpreted.

The steps are just a simple way to live. Is that the only way surly not but not a bad way to go.

Again, the 12 Steps are not a way to live. They are Dr. Frank Buchman's brainwashing techniques.

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:

If you are not an alcoholic I am simply stating it is hard to understand where we are coming from. Nothing more nothing less. If you cannot understand one drink is too many and 1000 is not enough and say yea I get that then it is hard to believe you understand. Not impossible but hard to understand.

You are still doing it — trying to claim that I'm not an alcoholic so I don't understand. Yes, I do understand. I've been to Hell and back too. I simply reject old cult religions. And I reject bad logic, and I reject pseudo-science, and I reject quack medicine.

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.

AA did save my life. I tired on my own to "get it together" will power and all that jazz. Ended up right back drinking again. No one in AA I know disavows anyone that cannot or will not quit. Acceptance is the mainstay of the program. Again there might be 1 Million other ways of getting sober I do not care. AA and the groups saved me coupled with God.

So you tried to quit a few times but decided that you would rather drink some more. So you did. Then A.A. taught you to declare that you are "powerless over alcohol", which is obviously not true.

Then you finally learned that you had to really abstain from drinking, so you did. Then you erroneously gave the credit to A.A.

Adolf Hitler? Oh yes. That is the real history of A.A.

That is some scary shit I did not know that. But all the parallels you draw are twisted attempts to discredit what TODAY is actually working. I was a history major at Ohio State and I am very impressed with your knowledge I plan on reading more on your points. All statements can be twisted. I defer to my previous statement of the 12 steps above is this a bad way to live.

What is really scary about all of that is the wide acceptance of many of Dr. Frank Buchman's teachings. Most people do not notice the similarity between the philosophy of Frank Buchman and the philosophy of the Nazis, like that the average man is unfit to think for himself, so democracy will never work, and he should just obey the orders that come down from on high. Good citizens will unquestioningly follow the orders of their leaders. The highest patriotism requires that you never criticize the elected leaders, never dissent, never disobey. Remember the Nazi Nuremberg defense? "I was just following orders."

Bill Wilson wrote similar things in the Big Book too. And a lot of Americans go around repeating those things without even being aware of where they really came from.

AA is not perfect nothing is. But what I have seen over the years is the people who stay around are happy and free of their addictions. Are there bad people in AA do people take advantage of the new comers of course some do. Look at Churches all over the world are there people in there taking advantage of people sure there are. But does that make all churches bad an all religions bad? I think not. Does that make all AA bad I think not. Today I saw a man get his 38 year sobriety coin, your comment of time is the ranking of AA is incorrect...all old timers will tell you Today is all they have. There is no ranking. YES it is true there are people in AA that hold their sobriety time as a sort of honor or rank but the people that truly get it you would never even know how much time they have except by their actions they seem calm and at peace. I am by no means an AA scholar. I know AA has some dark corners in its past. I do not really care TODAY I am sober and can live my life with out the chains of drinking from sun up to sun down. I tired many ways to stop. Until AA none worked. So for me I will just have to "Keep Coming Back". (Couldn't help it)

The first line is standard Minimization and Denial.

The next line is more Observational Selection, and it's backed up by zero evidence. Did you actually ever do a big survey and find out what percentages of the old-timers are sober and happy, and how many are depressed, and how many get divorced and commit suicide? Just casually looking around at a meeting and assuming that people are sober and happy because they joined a particular group proves nothing.

Then your third sentence is yet more Minimization and Denial. Sure other churches have problems too. But the Catholic Church's problems with pedophile priests don't make it okay for A.A. sponsors to be sexual predators. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Then you jumped to an illogical conclusion: "Does that make all AA bad I think not." I think so.

Then you used the propaganda technique called Proof by Anecdote:

Today I saw a man get his 38 year sobriety coin, your comment of time is the ranking of AA is incorrect...all old timers will tell you Today is all they have. There is no ranking.

What nonsense. Of course there is ranking. Some guy repeating a slogan about "All that I have is today" does not change the ranking.

You can easily figure out the ranking by how people introduce themselves: "Hi. My name is Joe, and I'm a gratefully sober alcoholic who by the grace of God and A.A. has not had a drink in 30 years..." and everybody oohs and aahs and listens to the mini-guru's words of wisdom with respect and reverence.

And again, you assumed a cause-and-effect relationship where none exists:

I tired many ways to stop. Until AA none worked.

Translation: You made several half-hearted attempts to quit, but didn't try very hard. Then you finally got sick and tired of being so sick and tired, enough to get serious about quitting, and you did. Quitting is a learning process, and you finally learned. Then you falsely assumed that the practices of an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties made you quit drinking.

You did not check out any other methods of quitting addictions after you quit drinking, did you? Did you go to Rational Recovery or SMART after you quit drinking? People always quit looking, and quit testing, once they have quit their addiction. Then A.A. members illogically conclude, "Nothing else worked."

No, nothing worked until they got serious about quitting. Then most anything would have worked, or appeared to have worked, after they quit drinking. Playing tiddly-winks works great as a sobriety program after you have quit drinking and stayed quit.

Or you can do what I do: feed the ducks and geese and photograph the cute little goslings and ducklings. And feed and photograph the other birds in the winter, which is what I'm doing now. I go to a meeting with them every day. The birds love my program.

As I look out my window now, I have a whole flock of Dark-Eyed Junkos and Mourning Doves sitting in the tree in my back yard, and occasionally swooping down to feed on the birdseed and sunflower seeds. And I also have a pair of Annas Hummingbirds resident in my back yard now, and even more hummingbirds are visiting and getting a meal from my hummingbird feeders. I just saw my first Rufous Hummingbird a few days ago. That routine beats the hell out of drinking myself to death. I don't need anything more than that.

Professors Reid K. Hester and William R. Miller run the Center for Alcohol, Substance Abuse and Addictions, Dept. of Psychology, University of New Mexico at Albuquerque. They rated treatment modalities by success rate. Here are the results:
http://www.behaviortherapy.com/ResearchDiv/whatworks.aspx

The most successful treatment is "Brief Intervention".

Notice how "Twelve-step facilitation" is so far down the list that you have to look for it. It's number 37 out of 48. And A.A. is just below that. Also notice how 12-Step treatment has a negative success rating — the "Cumulative Evidence Score" is a minus 82, while the best treatments are rated positive 390 and 189.

"Brief Intervention" consists of a real doctor talking to the patient for usually less than one hour, questioning him about all of the ugly details of his drinking and telling him that he will die if he doesn't quit drinking. One time. That's it. No long counseling sessions, no great guidance, no on-going advice, no shoulder to cry on. And no 28-day treatment program. Just one "Dutch Uncle" session and it's over. And that's the most effective thing going.

That kind of puts the whole expensive "drug-and-alcohol treatment industry" to shame, doesn't it?

So how many of those 48 different methods did you really try? You can't declare that "nothing else worked" unless you tried most all of them.

You can read more about those 48 methods here:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters289.html#iamnotastatistic

Good Day.

You have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If you have the power to "surrender" to the A.A. "Higher Power",
**     then you also have the power to seize control of your own
**     life and recover.

[The next letter from Patrick_D is here.]





March 2, 2014, Sunday, my back yard in Forest Grove:

Squirrels
These two are a regular pair now. They live in the biggest tree in my back yard. There are also other visitors who come to the front yard from across the street.

Squirrels
As you can see, it's "Scraggly-Tail" and "Fat-Tail".

Later, out in the Wetlands: I finally got out to the Fernhill Wetlands. Between the pain of Sciatica and the bad weather, I've been having troubles getting out there.

Canada Geese
A pair of Canada Geese who like the munchies

Gang of Ducks
The Gang of 4 Ducks is down to 3, and that includes a Mallard Drake who joined the gang. Two of the last four domesticated ducks are gone. Those domesticated breeds don't seem to survive in the wild very well.

Gus the Greylag Goose
Gus the Greylag Goose
While I was feeding the other geese and ducks, I heard honking behind me complaining, "Hey! What about me? Don't I get any? Are you going to ignore me?" It was Gus. I was happy to see that he had survived the snow storm and big freeze. I was worried about him because I had not seen him in like a month and a half. But he is still with us. No Mrs. Gus though.

[The story of the birds continues here.]





[The previous letter from Veauamil is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters393.html#Veauamil ]

Date: Mar 7, 2014, 12:43 PM     (answered 18 March 2014)
From: Veauamil illè P.
Subject: Just an idea...

Something about your series of latest 'comments' regarding my letter(s); It occurs to me that you slander every thing that the world ascribes any value to. Galileo and that category of genius are apparently part of some huge historic conspiracy (Are you a fan of Rothschild, by the way?). The great philosophers are disrespected by you because they all purport joining [some] establishment (ever tried to learn about Anarchy, by the way? It's my chose political point of view). And all religion are...well...they are [some]establishment. Any twelve step concept...on and on... Speaking of which — I suspect that, since Bill Wilson (Founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, the first Twelve Step anything) was cited as being one of the top 50 most influential people to benefit the 20th century — I imagine that simply supports your idea of some vast, eons long conspiracy.

Hello again, Veauamil,

Thanks for the response. Alas, you are doing a big reversal of reality there. And maybe some psychological projection. I do not "slander every thing that the world ascribes any value to." I do not slander Galileo. I have praised him and quoted him repeatedly, like:

**     "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God
**     who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect
**     has intended us to forgo their use."
**       ==  Galileo Galilei

No, I'm not a fan of the Rothschild family. Are you hinting at a Jewish conspiracy thing?

I do not disrespect the great philosophers. In fact, I also quote them repeatedly:

**     Voltaire (1694-1778) on his deathbed, in response to a priest
**     asking that he renounce Satan:
**     "Now, now my good man, this is no time for making enemies."

**   "There are only two ways to live your life.
**   One is as though nothing is a miracle.
**   The other is as though everything is a miracle."
**       - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

**  Drunkenness is nothing but voluntary madness.
**  ATTRIBUTION: Seneca (c. 5-65), Roman writer, philosopher,
**  statesman. Epistulae ad Lucilium, epistle 83, sct. 18.

**     "A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon
**     devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive
**     of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider
**     god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do
**     less easily move against him, believing that he has
**     the gods on his side."
**        — Aristotle

Those accusations that you write just don't seem to have any connection to reality.

But there is some truth to this line:

Speaking of which — I suspect that, since Bill Wilson (Founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, the first Twelve Step anything) was cited as being one of the top 50 most influential people to benefit the 20th century — I imagine that simply supports your idea of some vast, eons long conspiracy.

Actually, TIME Magazine included Bill Wilson in their list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th Century, right along with Adolf Hitler. (But Dr. Bob and Joseph Stalin didn't make the list.) And the flattering biography that TIME printed was the product of a conspiracy: Susan Cheever, the fawning gushing A.A.-booster authoress of "My Name Is Bill; Bill Wilson — His Life And The Creation Of Alcoholics Anonymous" wrote the grossly untrue article. You can read more about that here:

Well, anyway...it occurred to me that you...are...all about YOU! And suddenly it dawned on me. Anton LaVey! He founded an organization that not only supports, but openly promotes that life "should be about you" (of course, "you" is the generic, ubiquitous 'each of you' concept...I hope I'm not using words that confuse you... So, you can learn a little bit about Anton LaVey here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_LaVey

Now you have left reality. I know who Anton LaVey is: the Satanic Church. That has nothing to do with my objecting to someone foisting an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties on sick people and lying to them and saying that it is a great cure that rarely fails.

His organization actually is called a church, but don't let that throw you off. Pretty much any "philosophy" for living ultimately finds itself headquartered in some kind of Temple or Church, where the rubber meets the road right? Anyway, you can learn some about the Church here: http://www.churchofsatan.com/

Anton LaVey wrote and published several books to promote and provide direction for his Church. The most well know and the most popular is The Satanic Bible, which you can find here: http://books.google.com/books/about/Satanic_Bible.html?id=6GouSabpvDIC

On the surface, that whole philosophy seems right up your alley...the world revolves around you!

Wrong again. There is no connection between the Satanic Church and objecting to people getting hurt by quack medicine. In fact, Bill Wilson would fit into the Satanic Church much better than I would.

I should point out though — just as a caveat (that blow your mind or what? Look it up)...the typical follower of the Church of Satan is generally an accomplished and successful 'something or other' ... you know...whatever his or her chosen profession is...as a rule, following LaVey's philosophy either appeals to successful people, or else it creates successful people. *shrug* That remains to be determined by an individual's personal experience. The reason for the 'caveat' is...well...by your own admission, you aren't successful or accomplished. You aren't anyone. You're a pour (pun on words — you get those?) self piteous slob who puts a lifetime worth of energy into maintaining a website, and several different e-mail addresses, all used explicitly for the purpose of trying to prove that everything and everyone except you is a loser and a failure. Truth is, what's really going on is...you're jealous and hateful to people who have been successful (pretty much at anything) and somehow you have the idea that success is handed to people like passing out flyers at a carnival. You haven't the faintest clue about how dedicated a person must be toward a goal and how much time, physical and emotional energy are required to follow through with commitments and strive toward, and reach that goal.

Now you have managed to write a whole paragraph of hateful diatribe that has no truth in it. What a waste of an innocent paragraph. And again, you seem like you would fit into Anton's Satanic Church far better than I would.

The real irony is — all the energy you burn up running that web page and blaming the rest of the world for your troubles and failure...if you use HALF, or even 25% of that energy to do something good and constructive, something aimed at improving yourself; your attitude, you willingness to take personal responsibility...if you use only 20% of the energy you waste hating and blaming, and applied that toward creating and repairing, you'd probably be a raving success.

And you'd also find that — the world isn't out to get you...or me...or anyone else. The whole world, just like you, is simply trying to get by as best they can. But the blamers and the finger pointers and the haters...they...well...what can ya say? They are just simply losers! Anyway...check out the links, they might flip your point(s) of view a little.

And again, that has nothing to do with what helps people to quit drinking or to quit their addictions.

:)

ViP

P.S. Feel free to post me on your public website (as if you had ever any qualms about that to begin with)...even if you're too much of a loser to benefit from this information, one or more of your readers might get some enlightenment. By the way...did it ever occur to you — most of the people who do read your garbage are not there as supporters and agreeable compatriots (another big word?)...most of your readers are people who ARE successful, who ARE somebody. They read your garbage they way they read the Sunday Comics...entertainment and amusement. And then, they scrape you off the bottom of their shoes like so much dog shit, and move on with their lives — the way Successful; people have ALWAYS reacted to the losers of the world.

Rock On Dude!

"Too much of a loser" to benefit from information about the Church of Satan? You are something else.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     What if someone said to you, "My Satan is real. I feel him with
**     me in everything that I do. I can feel his presence right now."?
**     Would you take that person's statements as valid information,
**     and consider that person a reliable source of wisdom about God,
**     religion, life, the universe, and everything?
**     Or would you conclude that he is a raving lunatic?
**     Now what if somebody says, "My Jesus is real. I feel him with me
**     in everything that I do..."?
*
**      Give fools their gold, and knaves their power;
**      Let fortune's bubbles rise and fall;
**      Who sows a field, or trains a flower,
**      Or plants a tree, is more than all.
**         == Whittier, A Song of Harvest

[The next letter from Veauamil is here.]





March 4, 2014, Tuesday, my yard in Forest Grove:

A flack of birds
A flock of birds, probably Dark-Eyed Junkos, vulching.
There are at least 10 birds in this photograph, maybe as many as 14. (Now you can play "Where's Waldo" and try to find all of them.) I was spreading out some birdseed for the birds when this flock of birds swooped in and landed in the tree in the front yard and watched and waited. I mean, I wasn't even spreading out the birdseed for 5 seconds before they swooped down. Talk about fast. Talk about being aware of what is going on. Then they all just watched me and waited, and as soon as I walked away from the seed, they jumped on it and started feasting.

Squirrel
Fat-Tail is coming to get her share of munchies too.
At least, I think Fat-Tail is the female of the pair. I haven't figured that out for sure, so I'm guessing.

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

Bee
A Bee on a Hummingbird Feeder
All kinds of things are attracted to the food supply. A free lunch is just too good to pass up.

March 15, 2014, Saturday, my yard in Forest Grove:

Rufous Hummingbird
Male Rufous Hummingbird
This is a blurry shot because it was long distance. I was in the front yard, and looked down the driveway, and saw a hummingbird hovering at a feeder in the back yard. I did a desperation shot to see what I could get before the bird flew away. I got a blurry photograph, but it showed the color. I was very surprised by the orange hummingbird. I thought that it must be a trick of the light bouncing off of its feathers. Nope, it's really an orange hummingbird. I looked in the bird books, and found one that showed the Rufous, and it said that the Rufous is a common breeder in western Oregon. So here we go. Now I have two species of hummingbirds hanging around.

It would be nice if they learned to co-exist, but that is very uncertain, considering how territorial they are. Maybe if I put enough feeders out there, one male might be happy with the backyard, and another with the front yard.

Female Rufous Hummingbird
Female Rufous Hummingbird
I was looking back through my photographs, and realized that this bird is a female Rufous Hummingbird. Look at all of the orange on her side. That is a Rufous, not a female Annas Hummingbird, which is all green. Wow. So now we have breeding pairs of both Annas Hummingbirds and Rufous Hummingbirds in our yard. Yes, if you build it, they will come.

Male Annas Hummingbird
Male Annas Hummingbird

[The story of the birds continues here.]





NEWS NOTE: 20 March 2014:

Fred Phelps, the hate-mongering preacher who was the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, has died at the age of 81. Phelps' church was famous for picketing the funerals of AIDS victims and dead soldiers, and screaming, "God hates fags!" Phelps won a major free speech decision in the Supreme Court when the court ruled that families of the dead whose funerals were disrupted by Phelp's followers could not sue for damages.

Now please: Somebody — a whole crowd of somebodies — please picket Fred Phelps' funeral and scream, "God hates Phelps!" It's only fitting and proper.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters393.html#Robert_Q ]

Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2014 09:39:43 -0700 (03/10/2014 12:39:43 PM)     (answered 24 February 2014)
From: Robert Q.
Subject: Re: registration

Thank you. BTW today on NPR , Press play with Medeleine Brand will be discussing what's wrong with AA.
http://www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/pp

Thanks for the tip, Rob, I'll have to check that out. I hope they archive past programs.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     You just got out of detox, and you are all cloudy-headed and
**     confused and spun-out from alcohol wrecking your brain, and
**     you just want to save your life and live, and along comes
**     this grinning con artist who says,
**          "You tried it your way, and it didn't work, so now
**     you have to try it God's way. You join our religion that
**     isn't a religion, and believe in a God who can be anything,
**     and He will save your life and keep you from drinking.
**     It works, it really does! And remember, you are not God."
**          That is raving insanity, worse than anything that you
**     thought while you were drinking.





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters393.html#Bob_O ]

Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2014 07:09:21 -0400 (EDT)     (answered 24 February 2014)
From: Bob O.
Subject: Primative beliefs

Mister T,

Alcoholics Anonymous is what you get from people who believe the Flintstones is a documentary. Flip Wilson's character, Geraldine? "The Devil made me do it."

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

Hello again Bob,

Those are some good points. People whose knowledge and understanding of reality is small seem to try to fill the void with all kinds of goofy non-facts and simple myths.

And people who fear this world, and fear death, try to create a comforting myth of some big ghost who will take care of them, and solve all of their problems, and save their lives, and make them win wars and have lots of sons, etc.

Then, it is convenient to have a scape-goat to blame all of your failings on. "The Devil made me do it." Oh yes.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     The Devil doesn't do Daylight Savings Time. If you want to sell
**     your soul to the Devil, you must go to a crossroads at midnight
**     to meet the Devil and make the deal. But make sure that it's
**     midnight by true solar time, not by Daylight Savings Time.





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Last updated 15 July 2014.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters393.html