Letters, We Get Mail, CDXIII

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters413.html#Dave_M ]

Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2014 12:31:44 -0600     (answered 14 September 2014)
From: Dave M.
To: "[email protected]"
Subject: AA as a Lifestyle

Is there any benefit to pointing out to an AA member that their life in AA is seriously impairing their relationships with friends and family?

Sent from my iPhone

Hello Dave,

Thanks for the question. Whether pointing it out will do any good is a big question. Many A.A. members just don't want to hear it, and will ignore it. (Besides, that's an "outside issue".)

When people join a cult, it's a marriage, and they are committed. They really want to believe the fairy tale, and it becomes their life, and they don't want to lose the feeling of being special. And they don't want to lose their guaranteed ticket to Heaven. And they are afraid that horrible things will happen to them if they quit the cult. So they really don't want to hear that their cult membership is having a negative effect on other people.

On the other hand, people who are wavering and doubting A.A. can hear what you say, and it might do some good.

It really depends on the person and the circumstances.

By the way, one technique that Steve Hassan teaches is to criticize a different cult. When the A.A. member will not tolerate criticism of A.A., he or she is still often receptive to hearing bad things about other cults. You can talk about how Jehovah's Witnesses devalue outsiders and disregard people who aren't in their church, or something like that. A.A. members will flatter themselves and say, "I'm glad we aren't like that." Yes, they indulge in an ego game, spiritual one-upmanship.

Still, sometimes, the A.A. member will connect the dots and notice that A.A. has the same problem as that other cult.

Again, it depends on circumstances and personalities.

Good luck now, and have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Because cults are so clever at manipulating certain emotions and events
**     —  in particular, wonder, awe, transcendence, and mystery (this is
**     sometimes called "mystical manipulation") and because of the human
**     desire to believe, a former cult member may grasp at some way to go on
**     believing even after leaving the group. For this reason, many people
**     today go from one cult to another, or go in and out of the same
**     cultic group or relationship (known as "cult hopping").
**       ==  Janja Lalich

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters413.html#Carrie_T ]

Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2014 18:03:14 -0400     (answered 13 September 2014)
From: carrie t.
To: "[email protected]" <[email protected]>
Subject: Thank you so much for your page! G

I just left AA. I was a Christian who fell back into addiction to alcohol after 15 years. In the cloud of confusion I was in I sought help through AA. As the cloud of the devils lies cleared from my mind, I started to feel differently- remember Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life- no matter how far I'd fallen. I knew He forgave me when I repented. I made the "mistake" of quoting the bible, including the word Christ. I was immediately pulled aside and lectured on the use of that word. I realized then that the "god" of AA IS A FALSE GOD, and that I had to leave immediately to retain my eternal life through Jesus. It was hard to leave with only 58 days sober, fearing that their claims that I would fall back to alcohol without them were true... But I KNOW THE TRUTH. Your page is really helping me see that I truly did do what JESUS CHRIST told have me do. Thanks!

Sent from my iPad

Hello Carrie,

Thanks for the letter. I trust that you are doing well.

All that I can do is agree with you. It is highly revealing how they have a hissy-fit when you mention Jesus Christ. They brag that they have complete freedom of religion, and your "higher power" can be anything you like, but don't you dare mention Jesus or they go non-linear.

It really reminds me of how in horror movies, vampires recoil hissing and cowering when the hero holds up a cross.

In A.A., they say that "G.O.D." can be a Group Of Drunks. "God" is reduced to being an acronym. I like to point out that, by that logic, G.O.D. can also be a Group Of Devils. And A.A. often does resemble selling your soul to the Devil in trade for sobriety. (More on that here.)

You will probably like the file, The Heresy of the Twelve Steps. There, I discuss a whole bunch of issues where A.A. grossly contradicts Christian teachings.

Finally, I am reminded of this quote by William Playfair:

In fact, the most striking evidence of the non-Christian nature of AA is in the testimonials of its members. In Came to Believe, which we are told is a record of "the spiritual adventure of AA as experienced by individual members," not one single testimonial out of the several hundreds could clearly and unquestionably be considered Christian. Not one single reference to the God and Father of Jesus Christ or Jesus Christ, as the one and only Savior, can be found. This is especially interesting when one realizes that every other kind of testimony is recorded. Out of the millions of AA members, surely AA could have included one Christian testimony in a book filled with testimonies! If anything, this book shows an anti-Christian bias.
      Members acknowledge Allah, the Life Force, any power greater than a drunk, the AA group as a whole, etc., but never the Lord God of the Scriptures. Either the number of Christians in AA is so small as to be negligible, or AA editors have chosen to exclude Christian testimonies. I will leave it to the reader to decide for himself which explanation is the correct one.
The Useful Lie, William L. Playfair, M.D. with George Bryson, page 95.

By the way, let me point you to this web page of helpful hints and techniques for sobriety:

  • What works?

    Yes, you can make it without A.A.

    Have a good day now, and good luck with your sobriety.

    == Orange

    *             [email protected]        *
    *         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
    *          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
    **     What is the difference between surrendering your Will
    **     and your life to "Higher Power" in Step Three, and
    **     selling your soul to the Devil in trade for sobriety?  

    [ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters413.html#Ed_F ]

    Date: Sun, 7 Sep 2014 19:01:54 -0400     (answered 14 September 2014)
    From: ed f.
    To: [email protected]
    Subject: I love your website, but some of the people here confuse me.

    I introduced myself and was very courteous and explained how much I like your website and agree with most everything here. And then within minutes 15 people jumped on the band wagon putting me down for going to AA even though I love your website.. I am not sure why they are so lethal.. I now prevents me for the moment from posting more on your wonderful website.

    Hello Ed,

    Thanks for the letter, and I'm sorry to hear about the trouble that you had on the forum. Yes, some people have had very bad experiences with A.A., and they react with extreme hostility to any praise of A.A., suspecting that they are dealing with another troll, or another A.A. promoter. There is of course room for people who still go to A.A. meetings but who maintain a level head and tell the truth.

    In fact, we need such people. I have an honorary society for sane, good-hearted people who go to A.A. meetings, the Newcomers Rescue League. It's good people who go to A.A. meetings and save the newcomers from the bad sponsors.

    You really have your facts right, and I studied much of what you have here before I saw your website. Your website is a Wealth of information that is great for people to know.


    Most people in AA DON'T want to hear it, but I am a regular attendee of of AA, and a free thinking person who does NOT push 12 steps and God on people.

    Yes, sounds like NRL.

    In my area we even have a few meetings for people that are sick of listening to AA cult talk and they are called Free Thinkers AA meetings... it's catching on .

    Ah, that sounds good.

    but I go to many different types of meetings and have friend there and have stayed sober 17 years.. I never had guilt when I use to relapse cuz I hated AA .. But after moving many times.. reading all the alternative books you mention including Smart Recovery which is good..... In fact I recommend it to some folks who will listen. haha. I tried shrinks, new girlfriends. haha.. music, pot, church, which I do not like.. Just quitting alone, etc, etc. Health clubs, and on and on.. I ened up back in AA because it was convenient and social.

    Yes, alas, in many towns, A.A. is all that there is. Things like SMART, SOS, Lifering, and WFS are growing, but they still have a long way to go before they are readily available everywhere.

    But anyway.. even thought there's much to AA I don't like, you have it right in your section, "What's good about AA?" It has overall been good for me.


    But it can be a Cult for the person that is not in control of their life. I believe I am the master of my destiny, but AA helps me stay sober to have a destiny.

    Unfortunately, people who are drinking themselves to death are almost always not in control of their life. So they are very vulnerable to the cultish aspects of A.A.

    I do walk out of many meetings and do not make friends with all the people there, but I have met some friends, and have a great sober life.

    Thank you for all the work you put into this website and I wish you all the very best.

    Ed F.

    Thanks again.

    P.S.. I am Goodheartman on this site which I have been reading for years, and just posted my introduction which got very negative response. I also post.. "12 steps and God don't always work"

    Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2014 01:46:29 -0400     (answered 14 September 2014)
    From: ed f.
    To: [email protected]
    Subject: is this the place to send letters

    I love your website with concise and real information about the history of AA, Bill W. and the book that so many people seem to worship.

    Hi again, Ed,

    Yes, this is the place to send letters. And thanks for the compliment.

    Have a good day now.

    == Orange

    *             [email protected]        *
    *         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
    *          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
    **     "After all, the truth must be told."
    **       ==  Nova A.

    [A new letter from Ed_F is here.]

    August 27, 2014, Monday, my yard in Forest Grove:

    Female Annas Hummingbird
    Female Annas Hummingbird

    Female Annas Hummingbird
    Female Annas Hummingbird

    Female Annas Hummingbird
    Female Annas Hummingbird
    After filling up at the feeder, she sits down for a few seconds to digest the meal.

    Female Annas Hummingbird
    Female Annas Hummingbird, eating again.

    [More bird photos below, here.]

    [ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters413.html#Rebecca_T ]

    Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2014 10:48:28 +0100     (answered 14 September 2014)
    From: Rebecca T.
    To: [email protected]
    Subject: Fwd: New paper and alcohol

    Hello again Orange

    A friend I know through thyroid disease recovery circles has just sent me the following link.

    It's regarding a gene defect called MTHFR which affects the body's ability to methylate certain vitamins etc. This defect is common in people who have thyroid disease. See here:

    I have a double copy of this defect.

    People with this defect, as the study shows, can have problems metabolising alcohol. Most of this paper below, goes over my head but I thought you might be interested. MTHFR also affects the levels of Vitamin B12 and folate which I know is also important for people who drink.

    Also, people with an over or underactive thyroid have difficulty metabolising alcohol due to the way that the liver is implicated in thyroid disease (most first pass hormone conversion happens in the liver). For myself, I realise now that my undiagnosed Graves disease had a great deal to do with my alcohol intolerance (and bizarre reactions to it, sometimes OK, sometimes drunk on one glass, sometimes could drink a lot with no effect). Most people with thyroid illness find that when their liver is no longer hypO or hyPERthyroid, they can metabolise alcohol normally again.

    Alcohol also slows down thyroid hormone conversion (the inactive T4 to the very potent T3 hormone) so perhaps some people with hyPERthyroidism who are drinking heavily are actually trying to medicate an out of control thyroid? Doctors prescribe betablockers and Anti Thyroid Drugs to do this once a patient is diagnosed. My own experience and that of several people I know seems to support this idea. Also if you read the emotional symptoms of low or high thyroid, you'd basically have a run down of what AA calls a 'spiritual disease' — worry, depression, anxiety, lethargy, irritation, and on and on and on.

    Having too much or too little thyroid hormone can affect the adrenal glands and disregulate levels of cortisol. Adrenal fatigue is implicated in alcohol abuse, I've been reading, either because alcohol abuse weakens the adrenals, or because people with weak adrenals turn to substances (sugar, coffee, stimulants, alcohol) to kick start their flagging energy levels. Here are the symptoms:

    Further, given the thyroid's role in regulating levels of SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) too much or too little thyroid hormone has a massive impact on the levels of sex hormones — it's like an orchestra playing a symphony — it all needs to work together. Most thyroid patients, particularly women, have real issues with sex hormones. Usually too much oestrogen and not enough testosterone. Men can have this problem also. The symptoms of these are also very interesting. For e.g. low testosterone is linked with a lack of assertiveness, poor boundaries, lack of drive and passion (not just sexual) — you could sit in Al Anon and Coda for years talking about those problems and not getting anywhere! I should know, because I did!

    Essentially my point is this, I think there are lots of people sitting in AA meetings with undiagnosed hormone problems. I also think the manifestations of these problems are labelled as their 'spiritual disease' or 'lack of emotional' sobriety. I for one, wrote endless inventories when in fact I needed a doctor. I also think we don't yet understand enough about the interplay between hormones and alcohol and other drugs. I am on my way to health now, and I find all my symptoms — particularly anxiety — are entirely resolved now my thyroid disease, sex hormone and MTHFR issues are under control. The histology report on my thyroid (I also had thyroid cancer) showed that it was incredibly inflamed and very shrivelled and from taking my history my endocrine surgeon was adamant that I'd been sick for a long, long time, predating my entry into AA by well over a decade. I surely can't be the only one?

    Perhaps there are others out there who have a health problem that they had not yet connected to their drinking?

    Best wishes


    Here's a summary of the research (which I don't really understand but you will :-):

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a brain region responsible for executive functions including working memory, impulse control and decision making. The loss of these functions may ultimately lead to addiction. Using histological analysis combined with stereological technique, we demonstrated that the PFC is more vulnerable to chronic alcohol-induced oxidative stress and neuronal cell death than the hippocampus. This increased vulnerability is evidenced by elevated oxidative stress-induced DNA damage and enhanced expression of apoptotic markers in PFC neurons. We also found that one-carbon metabolism (OCM) impairment plays a significant role in alcohol toxicity to the PFC seen from the difference in the effects of acute and chronic alcohol exposure on DNA repair and from exaggeration of the damaging effects upon additional OCM impairment in mice deficient in a key OCM enzyme, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). Given that damage to the PFC leads to loss of executive function and addiction, our study may shed light on the mechanism of alcohol addiction.

    Hello Rebecca,

    Thank you very much for the information. That is very interesting.

    Many years ago, some people in a forum were discussing whether alcoholics metabolized alcohol differently from "normal" people. A doctor shut the discussion down by declaring that everybody metabolizes alcohol into acetaldehyde in exactly the same way. Apparently, he was wrong. I feel like we have come full circle now, back to some alcoholics really do process alcohol differently.

    I find the idea of people suffering from undiagnosed thyroid problems for years appalling, while A.A. sponsors tell them that they shouldn't go to a doctor. Those suffering people sit in A.A. meetings and hear the pundits proclaim that "we know more about addictions than doctors". Obviously, they don't.

    Thanks again for this information. I hope this gets spread widely and becomes common knowledge. I know that it can help some people to get better.

    So have a good day now.

    == Orange

    *             [email protected]        *
    *         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
    *          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
    **     Here was a book that said that I could do something that all these
    **     doctors and priests and ministers and psychiatrists that I'd been
    **     going to for years couldn't do!
    **     The Big Book, 3rd Edition, page 473.

    [A new letter from Rebecca_T is here.]

    August 31, 2014, Sunday, my yard in Forest Grove:

    Child Annas Hummingbird
    Child Annas Hummingbird
    I think this is the child of the female Annas Hummingbird above. I've seen the two of them feeding together, which never happens with hummingbirds, unless they are mother and child. Ordinarily, hummingbirds are extremely territorial and possessive of their food sources, and will drive another hummingbird away. The one exception is of course, a mother, who won't starve her baby.

    This thing has the drab plumage of a child hummingbird. No irridescent green, no flashy red, just dull gray feathers. This bird will get all of the pretty flashy colors when it matures.

    And notice how this little one has a large head, like all children do. Compare the size of this one's head to its body with the mother above. Relatively speaking, her head is smaller. (Actually, the head is the same size but the body of the mother is larger.) Yes, this is a child.

    August 31, 2014, Sunday, The Fernhill Wetlands

    Gus the Greylag Goose
    Gus the Greylag Goose


    Canada Goose family
    A Canada Goose family, approaching to get some bread.

    [The story of the birds continues here.]

    [ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters413.html#Jeremy ]

    Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2014 11:39:31 -0700     (answered 14 September 2014)
    From: Jeremy
    To: "[email protected]" <[email protected]>
    Subject: My story with the twelve steps, and my thanks to you.

    Hello, my name is Jeremy. I am 18-years-old and have just discovered your site after looking up facts about twelve step programs, specifically AA. I have a sort of interesting story to tell, but also a rather sterotypical one it would seem. I am going to write out my entire story with drugs as to give the full insight into my situation but for the sake of keeping this on topic to AA in particular, feel free to skip all the way to the sixth paragraph if you just want to hear my experience with the twelve steps and rehabilitation and how sad this program is to me. Thank you!

    I was raised by two drug addict parents. My father was and is addicted to mostly opiates and various pills from an early age and my mother was a functioning, but intense user of alcohol and up until her thirties shortly after I was born. I grew up in a strange household split between a court decision to see both my mother and father while my mother attended her job as a flight attendant. So right off the bat I was exposed to some very strange things as a child that I only realized were the result of senseless drug addiction later on in life. As a child I endured many drug filled stunts by my father of all sorts, ranging from him hallucinating people were in our home and drawing a gun on them to him riding around with his friends shooting up dope and running over stuff like he was 17-years-old. Through this all it's worth noting I was never really physically abused, not by my father at least. He loved me dearly and did try his best, but having fun and doing drugs was apparently more and important than buckling down and coming to grips with his responsibilities as a father.

    So skip ahead quite a few years, I started experimenting with drugs at 15-years-old. I had two best friends who I had known since I was 10 and they started using at this age even though I begged them not to because my mom had instilled 100% anti-drug attitude in me since she had been sober in AA for ten years plus at this point. They tried to get me to use marijuana with them and failed for months as I said, "I am genetically predisposed to addiction, it is just not smart." Eventually though, being a dumb teenager got the best of me and I gave in. When I first tried pot the high was amazing, it was like everything I ever wanted. AA would tell me I was trying to suppress negative feelings or was just powerless over my inherent "disease" but in truth, I started using at the happiest time of my life and it only became happier from there.. for awhile at least.

    I was and still am very big into music and was an extremely talented guitar player and music lover at this point, ESPECIALLY of The Beatles and other 60s groups. Not long after I got into marijuana I was introduced to the dissociative drug that can be found on the shelves of every wal mart, CVS, or Rite Aid: dextromethorphan or DXM, or better known (to me) as, "swallow this bottle of medicine and enjoy a 8 hour continuous musical guided trip of unheard amounts of extasy and wonder. What could be better at fifteen?

    So now we reach two years into my drug use, my AA mother is completely appalled by what she sees. Though I NEVER got into any trouble with anyone but my parents (no cops, no school trouble with drug, no parents or people catching me smoking, nothing) she was absolutely convinced I was in a cycle of never ending drug addiction and was going to turn out just like my father. So, here I am, two years into using and I have just started to try alcohol which was admittedly the second greatest thing i'd ever felt besides the DXM which was now not working anymore due to a limited amount of magic you can get from the substance. I truly drank like an alcoholic, downing mass amounts of the stuff as quickly as I could to get as high as I could without blacking out. This worked great until one day my friend ordered a large amount of pure DXM off the internet that he gave me for a very low price. I thought, "great I can try this again and since it's pure stuff and not cough medicine I might be able to have a great experience off this stuff,"

    Sadly, now that I was using alcohol on the weekends this was the worst thing that could have happened. Conveniently I got the stuff on a weekend that I decided to really push my drinking at a party with friends and binge a cup of rum in a few minutes. Of course, I blacked out, and with enough DXM to not kill me but to put me in a state that looks like the equivalent of the worst drug overdose possible. So of course it happened, and since I was so blacked out I thought it be a great time to take this large dose that would surely render me completely incapable of speech or comprehension of reality for 15 hours while my mom was in the next room. So she comes in, sees me staring blankly at the ceiling, seemingly incapacitated, and having NO experience with DXM assumes I am overdosed and calls the ambulance (I can't say I blame her, of course)

    At the hospital I was subjected to absolutely MEANINGLESS stuff that did nothing to sober me up or help me, such as, sticking a catheter up my @#!(* to drug test me, and, uh what else? Nothing.. just hold me there and laugh at me and look at how hopelessly "addicted to drugs" I was. Now here is the real kicker, it turns out that large doses of DXM test as false positive for an abundance of things. (on top of the alcohol and marijuana that I already was legit positive for) So, it ticked off a positive for opiates, methamphetamine, PCP, benzos, and something else I can't even recall. Of course the doctors reaction all though he had NO idea who I was or if this was even the first time i'd ever used drugs before was, "Send him to rehab, or he will die." My mom instantly jumped on this and no matter what I told her about my life she just spouted AA slogans at me and said, 'You are in denial" Denial from what? I was telling her, "I messed up, I know I have addictive tendencies." "I will stay sober for you, I am so sorry for what I put you through." "Rehab is NOT going to change my ideas on drugs." This did not cut it at all, so she dropped me out of highschool, effectively ruining my chances of graduating to send me to rehabilitation.. and THIS is where it gets "fun."

    Start reading here if you want to skip all the prelude stuff, admittedly, it's still long but it's a decent story I think.

    I arrive at a rehab for adolescents. in the middle of the Delta (that's right, rehab in the Mississippi delta, good thing I was a good blues fingerpicking guitarist and liked Robert Johnson) and was greeted by seemingly nice people. Then they told me that this program was not a 2 month program as my mom had lied to me to get me there and was actually a 12-month-program. I thought that was absolutely fucked up but just went for it out of guilt for what I put my mom through. So I meet the kids there and as I expected they were all court ordered, absolutely brainless punks besides 1 or 2 of them who I befriended. These guys tried to mentally torture me for the first few weeks I was there because I was different and had long hair by pretending they were going to rape me in the night. My first night there I almost suffered a panic attack due to sheer overwelming fear of what I was being put into. I overcame the situation through being a funny guy and eventually as people were being kicked out I befriended the whole place with my musical skills and personality and soon things were alright.

    The staff however, was never alright. They pushed this twelve step dogmatic bullshit on me from day one and even though I gladly admitted the consequences on my mind that my drug use must have done and the fact that I was most definitely, inherently, an "addict" they told me I was in "serious denial" because I didn't believe my life had become unmanageable because of drugs. I refused to believe that someone with goals in life who wakes up happy everyday and isn't physically addicted to drugs has an "unmanageable life." Keep in mind I had straight As in school and could go long periods being completely sober at anytime with no negative side effects and DID do this quite a few times. So I worked the steps honestly and felt NO gratification, no spiritual reward, no enlightened sense of how to stay sober... nothing. It just didn't make sense to me and I was tired of the elitist attitude of the staff who were all legitimately more addicted to drugs than I was... nicotine. I'll never get over the fact that they can look me in the eye and tell me i'm addicted to drugs and in denial when they were shaking during the meetings to get out and smoke a quick cigarette before they start withdrawing. HAHAHAH!

    Alright so fast forward a bit, what happened to my twelve months there? It became 4 months.. why? THE ENTIRE CLIENT LIST WAS DOING DRUGS THAT WERE BROUGHT IN BY A MEMBER OF THE STAFF. I was the ONLY kid in there who didn't relapse while there and I had to put up with this fact that the kids who the staff said to "look up to for having more sobriety time" were doing drugs. I refused to tattle on them because I had befriended them. So once the shit hit the fan and the staff found out from a member of the girls hall who tattled, I completely rebelled and lived and breathed how ignorant and hypocritical the staff was. They couldn't stand me at that point so of course, since I wasn't court ordered, they kicked me out.

    So I move back home and it's just my dad there (he had just left prison and my mom decided to let him live in our house with me while she moved to LA since he was apparently sober.) As is turns out, he was lying, again and hadn't been sober. Two months after I was back from rehab, 6 months sober, I found out he was shooting up on a day to day basis. I decided, well fuck, time to smoke weed again! So fast forward a year later, i'm smoking weed and using minor doses of DXM for nostalgia purposes every few weeks when one day I come to my sister who had just moved in after my dad got kicked out and she asks me what drug I was on. (we had a very honest relationship but i usually didn't tell her about DXM) I told her that I was on the drug and she flips out and insults me and calls my mom and tells her to send me to rehab again, to which my whole family agrees. I was absolutely crushed at this news but I actually talked them out of it and instead got them to send me to LA to live with my mom instead, agreeing to be 100% sober.

    So here I am now, 100% sober from EVERYTHING, caffeine, benadryll, marijuana, alcohol, dxm, no chemicals besides an aspirin here and there and I feel EXACTLY the same as I did when I was using. My mom and her boyfriend have forced me to go to AA meetings at least two times a week even though I express absolute distaste for it. Whenever I bring up the fact that I don't agree with a program that uses God as a solution to a human problem they flip the fuck out and throw all the slogans at me. It infuriates me.. my mom especially is RIDICULOUSLY immature. Here is a great example of AA's spiritual growth and progress effects. My mom says to me while discussing my drug use that she stopped using all drugs at my age and I said, "what about alcohol? That is the worst drug." and she FLIPS out and says, "ALCOHOL IS NOT A DRUG, WHEN I SAY DRUGS I MEAN EXTASY, COCAINE, MARIJUANA" Her reaction to me respectfully questioning anything about her is to flip out and act like she is 15 years old. And her boyfriend, when I express that I don't like the AA program and even after four months of sobriety have no feelings of changing my position on that he completely disgregards what I say and treats me with this disgusting attitude of, "AA is the only way, you'll figure it out one day kid." Well fuck that man, i've seen the supposed "spiritual growth of AA." Let me tell you how much this stuff helps addicts, and by helps I mean makes them less mature and intelligent than an 18-year-old boy.

    To be frank, I don't even think i'm done using drugs. I have had no terrible eye opening experiences with drugs that make me think they destroy my quality of life except when I "overdosed" but that was purely because of my stupid decision to drink at 16. Guess what I did? I stopped drinking then and there, and have never and will never drink again. How is that for powerless over my addiction? Anytime I am suddenly taken off my "wild and out of control addiction to drugs" there is NO detox.. I feel 100% the same whether it's one day after I stopped using or four months after. Of course, to my parents i'm just in serious denial and will never learn? How about when it's three years later and i'm still sober with no help from twelve steps? Then what? Who the hell is really in denial here?

    Anyway, sorry for the undoubtedly huge post but this is a subject that absolutely pisses me off. Finding your site was a great cathartic experience for me as I thought I was somewhat alone in this. The thing that sucks is that I am forced to go these meetings still and have NO opinion on the matter because if I say anything about how it doesn't work for me i'm just, "in denial and on the road to relapse." Yeah, fuck that man. I'd rather relapse and enjoy the psychedelic experience than to be deluded into a cult that trains people to be so immature they can't even respectively refute any points given to them without blowing up or resorting to some one liners written by an insane, womanizing cult leader.

    Hello Jeremy,

    Thank you for the letter and the story. And don't apologize for the length. It's great.

    It also pisses me off that quacks and frauds and criminals are allowed to foist their insanity on other people — especially young people — in the name of helping them. I do not know of any other field of medicine that is so rife with fraud and quackery. That has to change.

    By the way, I'm adding your story to the list of A.A. Horror Stories.

    Have a good day and a good life now.

    == Orange

    *             [email protected]        *
    *         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
    *          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
    **     He who attempts to make others believe in means which he himself
    **     despises, is a puffer; he who makes use of more means that he
    **     knows to be necessary, is a quack; and he who ascribes to those
    **     means a greater efficacy than his own experience warrants, is an imposter.
    **         ==  John Caspar Lavater (1741—1801), Swiss theologian

    [ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters413.html#Marc_C ]

    Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:54:57 +1000     (answered 19 September 2014)
    From: Marc C.
    To: [email protected]
    Subject: Quit drugs naturally

    Hi there,

    I recently came across this website.it claims to have 70% success rate, if course I'm sceptical. It is based on the narcanon program and provides many alleged studies. Just interested on your thoughts if you have the time. All the best!

    Hello Marc,

    Thanks for the question. Alas, the URL of the web site in question did not come through, so I can't see what you are talking about. Please send me the URL so I can check those guys out. I am very curious.

    In general terms, ALL rehabs that claim to get a 70% success rate are lying. They cherry-pick and only count the winners. That is, they only count their "graduates". But to be a "graduate", the client (not "patient", but "client") must be clean and sober. So with that qualifier, they should claim a 100% success rate. (Obviously, by definition, 100% of their "graduates" are clean and sober.) But if they claimed a 100% success rate and you saw just one of their clients relapse, then you would know that the number is not true. Besides, 100% would really be unbelievable. So they claim only a 70% or 80% success rate. (And when the treatment doesn't work for you, you were just part of the unlucky 20 or 30%.)

    And they never do follow-ups to see how long their success stories stay clean and sober. At least half of the "winners" relapse in the months following "graduation". At the end of a year, the treatment center success rate is the same as the success rate of people who got no treatment or help — about 5% per year.

    I really don't know why people don't sue the rehabs for fraud and false advertising.

    Even worse, "Narconon" is the Scientology racket that uses the teachings of the paranoid schizophrenic Lafayette Ronald Hubbard ("L. Ron Hubbard") to supposedly fix people's minds and bodies. Watch the spelling very carefully. "Narcanon", with an 'a', is the wives' auxiliary of Narcotics Anonymous. (Like "Al-Anon" is to A.A.) "Narconon", with an 'o', as in "con", is the Scientology detox racket. Scientologists deliberately copied the N.A. name like that to create confusion in the minds of consumers, and to steal the reputation of the A.A./N.A. mythology. (Synanon did the same thing too.)

    Narconon is based on the Scientology "Purity Rundown", which says that you have all kinds of nasty toxins left in your body from the drugs that you took, and you have to be detoxed. That applies even if you only smoked pot back in the 'Sixties. They subject their victims to endless steam baths and vitamin megadoses, while indoctrinating people with Scientology beliefs. They have killed people with that treatment. The Surgeon General C. Everett Koop denounced the Purity Rundown as very dangerous and potentially fatal. He was right. People died.

    Scientology advertisements for their racket often list a bunch of phony "studies" that say that the Purity Rundown is very scientific and works great. But all of the so-called "studies" are just lying propaganda. The Scientologists have even had the gall to quote Alcoholics Anonymous propaganda and claim that it proves that Scientology works great. No, the articles never said that. The A.A. propaganda says that A.A. works great, and that isn't true either.

    See this article about Narconon:

    Scientology-linked rehab Narconon under fire from two former executives
    In the wake of a Rock Center with Brian Williams report on three deaths at a Scientology-linked drug treatment center in Oklahoma, the former president of the facility, and a former executive at a Narconon facility in Michigan have come forward to expose ...

    Also see,
    https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters64.html#Narconon — Narconon Exposed: Does Narconon work? — Studies

    The way that Narconon presents its claimed success rates is, on the whole, very peculiar. As well as not making available source data from studies, it often claims that its success rates are universally applicable — that is, that a particular success figure is obtained everywhere. In a great many cases, figures are quoted without any reference to their sources; basic information such as where they come from, when they were determined and how many people were evaluated are often wholly absent. Even when some kind of citation is included, it is often extremely vague — for instance, "a study conducted by an independent organisation" (who, where, when, how?). Detailed citations are vanishingly rare in Narconon's literature.

    There is much more. Check out that link.

    Also see,

    "...is quite clear from a perusal of the site, including its very pretty color brochure, that the Narconon program incorporates a wide range of Hubbard's ideas, ranging from his behavioural notions to his ideas on what might be termed "social hygiene"."

    TIME magazine denounced Scientology as The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power. They were right. See:

    And this web site specifically criticizes Narconon:

    And there are many, many more links to anti-Scientology information here:

    So please send me the URL of that web site. I want to check them out. TIA.

    Have a good day now.

    == Orange

    *             [email protected]        *
    *         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
    *          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
    **     You can write that down in your book in great big letters.
    **     The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them."
    **       ==  L. Ron Hubbard  (the founder of Scientology)
    **     "The best way to get rich is to start a religion."
    **       ==  Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, the founder of Scientology
    **     MAKE MORE MONEY."
    **       ==  L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL of 9 March 1972
    **     "... the solution is to charge whatever the traffic will bear ..."
    **       ==  L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL of 11 November 1969, "PROMOTION AND MOTIVATION"
    **     "It will be found that those who will pay more were the most able
    **     to begin with and have the greatest value to others. Their worth
    **     as persons is greater."
    **       ==  L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL of 9 May 1965 "Auditing Fees"
    **     The Scientology founder and leader, L. Ron Hubbard, instructed his
    **     followers to attack critics any way that they could — to
    **     investigate them and discover any crimes or dirty secrets that
    **     could be used against the critics, and, "If you can't dig up
    **     any dirt, make something up."
    **     "If attacked on some vulnerable point by anyone or anything
    **     or any organization, always find or manufacture enough threat
    **     against them to cause them to sue for peace."
    **       ==  L. Ron Hubbard
    **     "So BANISH all ideas that any fair hearing is intended
    **     and start our attack with their first breath. Never wait.
    **     Never talk about us — only them. Use their blood, sex,
    **     crime to get headlines. Don't use us."
    **       ==  Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, the founder of Scientology
    **     What I found is that the definitions of truth and lies are different in
    **     Scientology than how we dimwitted non-Scientologists would interpret
    **     them. What is good for Scientology is considered truth and any
    **     criticisms equal lies.
    **     MELISSA TUOMI, "Scientology is whack", Fourth Estate, Volume 37, Issue 28 | April 27th, 2006
    **     http://www.uwgb.edu/4e/2006/04/27/042706opinionThrowDown.asp
    **     The problem with Scientologists is not that they
    **     are malignant; it's that Scientology is malignant
    **     Scientology — saving us all from the suppressive nasty Galactic
    **     Overlord Xenu.
    **     What that means is, in Scientology mythology, the Milky Way Galaxy
    **     is ruled by the evil Overlord Xenu. Well, 60 million years ago,
    **     the story says, Xenu had a problem with overpopulation on three of
    **     his planets, so he froze the excess population into ice cubes. But
    **     then he had a big storage problem, so he loaded the ice cubes into
    **     space ships that looked just like DC7 jets, and flew them to the
    **     planet Earth, where he dropped them into a volcano and burned them
    **     up. Then he set up a soul trap around the planet Earth so that the
    **     unhappy souls could not escape. So now we have millions of unhappy
    **     souls flying around the Earth, wanting bodies, so they try to get
    **     into ours and take control of us. Clusters of dozens of those
    **     desperate souls cling to our skin and bother us night and day,
    **     and that is why humans have so many mental problems.
    **     As you might have guessed, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard was a paranoid
    **     schizophrenic.  
    **     "Imagine a church so dangerous, you must sign a release
    **     form before you can receive its "spiritual assistance."
    **     This assistance might involve holding you against your
    **     will for an indefinite period, isolating you from
    **     friends and family, and denying you access to 
    **     appropriate medical care. You will of course be billed
    **     for this treatment — assuming you survive it. If not,
    **     the release form absolves your caretakers of all
    **     responsibility for your suffering and death.
    **     Welcome to the Church of Scientology."
    **                 —  Dr. Dave Touretzky

    August 31, 2014, Sunday, Fernhill Wetlands:

    Drying Pondscape
    Drying Pondscape
    Ordinarily, most of that land is underwater. The lump in the middle of the picture is an island, and the water level is often half-ways up the far bank. In the wet season, it goes all the way up.

    I don't know if the "Tualatin Valley Clean Water Association" is going to dig up this pond too. If so, I wonder where the wildlife is supposed to go. And what are they supposed to eat? Drying out the ponds is killing all of the fish. And frogs. And everything else that lives in the water. The big dig has already driven away most of the fish-eating birds. I haven't seen the eagles in two years.

    Drying Pond
    Drying Pond

    Canada Geese in drying pond
    Canada Geese in drying pond

    Rising Island
    Rising Island
    All but the left-hand end of that island used to be underwater.

    [The story of the birds continues here.]

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    Last updated 21 April 2015.
    The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters413.html