Letters, We Get Mail, CDXXVI

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters426.html#Bob_H ]

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2015 10:15:12 -0500     (answered 26 January 2015.)
From: bob h.
To: [email protected]
Subject: criticism of AA

Are you still "alive and well"? I just want you to know how much I appreciate the work you have done in exposing AA. I don't pretend to have read all of it, but what I have read is "right on the money".

Your advice to me a couple of years ago was to check out other resources such as SMART RECOVERY. As of yet, I am still holding on to AA. I have built a home group of a dozen or so members. We conduct the meeting in the "format of the 1970's. We do not read HIW; there is NO chanting; we do not push the steps or sponsorship on anyone; we do not "hold hands and pray". We do close with The Lords Prayer, but only for those who "wish to join". And we do not share by "show of hands"; we simply go around the room allowing everyone to share in a timely manner.

This was the basic format of all meetings I attended in the Northeast in my first decade of sobriety. Meetings were reverent. I loved AA. Our membership doubled in that decade and doubled each decade until the early 1990's.

20% of our membership left AA when our Trustees moved us into a Rockefeller subsidized building in New York, in violation of our Tradition Seven. 1992-1993. Our world wide membership stands today at the same total as two decades ago; about two and a half million members.

It is icy and I can't get out and I was just reading messages from our AA critics. Sadly they are mostly true about today's Program/Fellowship 12 step program. We were never meant to be a TWELVE STEP PROGRAM. AA of the 1970's was a fellowship of men and women.

Just to say thanks seems inadequate. Future generations of sufferers will benefit greatly from your work. It may take another 80 years, (I hope not),

Bob H.

Hello Bob,

Thanks for the letter and the lavish compliments, and I'm glad to hear that you are doing well. The group that you have created sounds much more helpful than the usual A.A. meeting these days. A.A. is not a 12-Step Program? Now that is liberal.

Stressing the fellowship sounds good. I've been saying for years that having some moral support can be a very good thing, and it can help to have friends who understand what you are going through.

Such "support groups" are fraught with dangers, of course, and can easily degenerate into unhealthy groups — that is why Jack Trimpey shut down Rational Recovery support groups — but it sounds like you are keeping it together. Good luck with that one. I mean it, really.

You sound like a good candidate for the NRL — the Newcomers' Rescue League. That is an honorary society of good-hearted people who go to A.A. meetings and rescue the newcomers from the bad, dogmatic sponsors. You know, just somebody who tells the truth and isn't a fundamentalist religious fanatic.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The challenge of life consists not of just staying
**     alive, but in finding a reason to live.
**       ==  Fyodor Dostoevsky

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters426.html#Walt ]

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 22:36:35 +0000     (answered 28 January 2015.)
From: <Walt>
To: [email protected]
Subject: All of your postings and web sites....

Hi, my name is Walt and I am a person who has "recovered" from the addiction of alcohol and Bad Behavior.

Your informative site is exactly what I was looking for in my journey of sobriety. after 40 yrs of drinking, with the last 20 yrs being really hard drinking, I quit totally on MY OWN immediately after I received a DWI. Due to the DWI, I was forced to go to AA to "recover" for my poor behavior. I accepted that my behavior was not healthy for me and I endangered others while driving. Guilty as charged. After six months of my own self-induced sobriety and then an additional six months in AA I was about to go "bat shit crazy" as they commonly say in AA due to all of the AA dogma BS. Before attending AA, I read the Rational Recovery book and found that AA totally conflicts with all rational thoughts. While attending AA, I found that I am totally out-numbered and surrounded by AA cultists. There is little I can do to change my circumstances (court ordered). I am now 59 yrs of age and I have decided that I no longer have a desire for alcohol to be a part of life, period.

I am truly "grateful" for your thoroughness in your writings, investigations, and position that AA is a cult and that they are full of crap. I thought, for awhile, that it was just me and that maybe I was "wrong" and should drink the Koolaid, as instructed. Now, I know that I am not alone and I can leave both the Koolaid and alcohol right where I found them. I shall continue my life without the indulgence of either alcohol or AA.

Hello Walt,

Thank you for the letter, and thanks for the thanks, and congratulations for both your recovery and for keeping your mind alive.

Yes, the pressure and temptation to give up and drink the koolaid is strong, isn't it? That's what cults do to people. Fortunately, neither of us chose mental suicide that way.

And neither of us chose death by ethanol, either. Yay! :-)

So have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Being surrounded by a group of people who keep
**     telling you that you are powerless over alcohol,
**     and that your will power is useless, is not
**     getting "support". It is getting sabotaged.
**     With friends like them, you don't need any enemies.
**     It is better to be alone than in bad company.

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters426.html#Patricia_P ]

Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2015 11:24:05 -0500     (answered 28 January 2015.)
From: Patricia P.
To: [email protected]
Subject: You have strong opinions just who are you?

Are you a christian and have you recovered from any form of addiction using the power of the one creator of the universe?

You come across so very judgmental, and prideful.

! corinthians 13 is my meditation each day. What is yours...self?

The many colors of God's rainbow; not just orange.

Hello Patricia,

Thanks for the question. And I guess that I would have to answer it with a "No, I was not praying to Jesus to save me from alcohol. I just decided to quit drinking and not die that way, and that's what I did."

Now I have nothing against Jesus, mind you. I especially like the Sermon on the Mount. I just wasn't raving about Jesus when I quit drinking. In fact, I don't recall any line of the Gospels where Jesus told us not to drink alcohol. And wasn't Jesus' first miracle turning water into wine at a wedding party?

I hope I'm judgemental and prideful. It beats the heck out of being a groveling loser, or a brainwashed believer. Yes, I judge evil, and am proud to be better than a lot of the evils that I see. And I resist such evil. I don't feel like I have a lot of choice in the matter.

First Corinthians 13 is not the words of Jesus Christ. That is Saul of Tarsus the Christian-killer jabbering about how bad we all are. More guilt induction and self-flagellation. No thanks.

Now I know that 1 Corithians 13 is the famous paragraphs about "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not charity, I am only a resounding gong, or a clanging cymbal." "Charity is patient, charity is kind." (And some translations use the word "love" instead of "charity".) Still, what it really says between the lines is that you are worthless: not patient, not loving, not kind. Yes, that is Saul of Tarsus, constantly going on and on about how bad we all are.

I definitely do not want that sicko in my life. I like Jesus just fine, but Saul/Paul has caused more harm to this world than even creeps like Hitler and Stalin. Priests cannot marry because Paul declared in First Corinthians that women distracted men from spiritual things, so you were better off if you had nothing to do with them, so the horny priests burned millions of women and girls as witches because the unlaid priests got all hot and bothered every time a pretty girl walked by, and they thought that the Devil was tempting them to become impure.

Then the frustrated bigotted priests and their fellow soldier conquistadores murdered 20 million Indians in the Americas because they were the wrong religion... And more missionaries who followed the teachings of Saul/Paul killed more Africans and India Indians, and Chinese, and Polynesians. And on and on. No thanks. That is not my kind of religion.

  • 1 Corinthians: 007:006 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.
    007:007 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
    007:008 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
    007:009 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

  • 1 Corinthians 007:032 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:
    007:033 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.
    007:034 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
    007:035 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.
    007:036 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.

  • Romans 007:014 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
    007:015 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
    007:016 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
    007:017 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
    007:018 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
    007:019 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
    007:020 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
    007:021 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
    007:022 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
    007:023 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
    007:024 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

    That really says it all: Paul believed that he was evil and lived in a body of death. He saw himself as evil and sinful because he was tempted to have sex. His "members", his "flesh", wanted to do things that were less than spiritual. He complained that he did not do the good that he wished to do, but he did do the evil that he didn't want to do. What a tragic, pathetic sicko. He really was a mental case.

  • "I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then receive me as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting. In this self-confident boasting, I am not speaking as the Lord would, but as a fool. Since many are boasting as the world does, I too will boast." — 2 Corinthians 11.16-18

  • "I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it." — 2 Corinthians 12.11

  • "I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have engaged." — 2 Corinthians 12.19

Oh horrors! People indulging in sex. The world will end soon. The Lord is coming to kill them all.

That nut-case has given billions of people inferiority complexes and very unhealthy attitudes about their bodies and sex, and Life, the Universe, and Everything. His twisted mind has literally made millions of peoples' lives into Hell on Earth. Saul/Paul dominated ethical thinking for two thousand years, and really messed up Western Civilization.

It just occurred to me that we could play a game of "Who would you kill?" Suppose you had a time machine that allowed you to go back in time and kill one person. Not just kill him, but kill him when he was an infant or an unborn fetus, so that it is like he never existed, and never had any influence on the world. Suppose you had a choice of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Ghengis Khan, or Saul of Tarsus. Who would you kill?

I'd have to kill Saul of Tarsus. Ghengis Khan killed maybe a few million people. Stalin got 30 or 40 million, and Hitler got 50 million people killed, but Saul of Tarsus killed many more than that, and tortured billions for 2000 years. That is satanic, not holy.

About the question, who am I? — I have answered that question in a variety of ways over the years. People often want a label, which is actually meaningless, but they want a label anyway, so here it is: My birth name was Terrance Hodgins, and I live in Forest Grove, Oregon, out in the boondocks west of Portland. I've answered the "who are you?" question many times before, here:

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*     "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."
**       ==  Napoleon
**     "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast,
**     for I intend to go in harm's way."
**       ==  John Paul Jones

BLOG NOTE: 2015.01.28:

Okay, this will be my last post and update for a while. I have to dismantle the computers today and pack them up, and move somewhere.

Have a good day.

BLOG NOTE: 2015.02.06:

I posted this on Facebook, and am echoing it here:

Hello friends,

I'm doing okay. Highly inconvenienced, but okay. I'm sleeping on a friend's floor right now. That cannot last long because he lives in SRO housing and is only allowed 10 visitor nights a quarter. But I'm out of the rain tonight.

I'm recovering from the move. My aching back. I hired a crew of teenagers who did a great job of packing up and moving all of my stuff to a storage locker. It was all horribly expensive. It finally cost over $1100 to move everthing, pay for locker for a month, and even pay the dump $200 to dump all of the stuff that I could not keep and the storage locker would not allow, like food. But it's done. And, alas, it will cost a whole lot more to pay another crew to move the stuff from the locker to a new home.

Now I have to find another place to live, or at least to sleep temporarily. I have several possibilities going, several irons in the fire. My long-term hope is to use this move as an opportunity to get into my own place that I buy on the GI bill. If I can find some small run-down farm way out in the boondocks with a duckpond in back, with payments about the same as what I was paying in rent, that would be great. I don't know if it is possible, but I'll see. I'm feeling like this is my last move. I'm getting too old to be getting shoved around by property management companies and landlords again and again. I need to get settled somewhere where I can stay, rather than be at the mercy of someone else's whims.

In the mean time, I'm in Portland, typing on my friend's Windoze computer. Fortunately, I brought my laptop computer with me. When I get that thing online I'll be able to answer email.

Thank you all for the donations. That really helps. I can't thank you all individually at the moment because this Windoze machine doesn't have SSH or any email program that would let me email you as me (rather than my friend). But soon.

The donations really help and are a live-saver. This move has shown me that inflation is alive and well. The last time I rented a storage locker in Portland (4 1/2 years ago), it was $60 per month. Now it's $225. Yikes! I didn't see that one coming. Or $221 for the dump? Who would have thought? (Well I didn't.) So it goes.

Have a good day now.
== Orange

BLOG NOTE: 2015.02.17:

Phase 2 of moving is completed: Happily, I got into a Veterans' Administration program that gives temporary housing to homeless Vets, so I'm not sleeping in the rain.

Now Phase 3 begins: finding a home with a garden and duck pond way out in the boondocks that I can buy on the GI Bill.

BLOG NOTE: 2015.02.17:

I just ran across this in a funny chain of links. Alexander Miguel Fuentes posted something on my Facebook page, so I looked at his page, and I found this:

PowerofPositivity.com, So I changed.

So I went to powerofpositivity.com, and found a very interesting and positive site with many techniques for improving your mind and straightening out your thinking. You might want to check it out.

Note: Some people might be put off by statements like, "I believe in the power of prayer." I can take that with a grain of salt. I think that a lot of people answer their own prayers and then imagine that someone else did it. First they meditate on what they want, and then they go get it, and then they imagine that someone else, some "Higher Power" did it for them.

That's like praying for a new raincoat, and then going to Goodwill and finding a new raincoat at a bargain price, and declaring, "God sure is looking out for me today."

Anyway, I do believe in the power of positive thinking to improve your life.

Have a good day now.

Read this:
== An excellent Atlantic Monthly article about the irrationality of A.A. treatment of "alcoholism". By Gabrielle Glaser, who seems to be on a roll. She has recently published several such articles and appeared on several programs, stating the facts about A.A. and its lack of a success rate.

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Last updated 20 October 2015.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters426.html