Letters, We Get Mail, LXXXV



Date: Thu, May 3, 2007 6:55 pm     (answered 21 May 2007)
From: "James G"
Subject: Busy as you are — I hope you will post this....

I have CCd Ken on this but it is written to Orange.

So Blamedenial has yet another rebirth but with a twist of lemon. Eric F has agreed to run the site, answer the emails, and generally make the posts that feed the appetite of the visitors that still dare to peruse the site many love to hate, and hate to love.

After the events that unfolded towards the end of last year I felt that I was no longer in a position to run such a venture, and have for sometime been looking for an exit strategy. I miss making the boring monologues that were my videos; I miss the creativity, I miss the distraction, I miss all the crashes, but above all I miss the controversy. The latter I add, because I miss it for all the wrong reasons. It bates one like euphoric recall might when we look back on our substance of choice with favour. Controversy online has all the intensity to create a rush, but it also lacks the intimacy that might force one to feel guilty for enjoying the whole fiasco. Call it an English trait, but I recall that someone far wiser than myself wrote that an Englishman is only happy when he has persuaded the world he is in discomfort.

We have what the Romans would have called an amphitheatre. Battles are fought and won, reputations gained and lost, and groups formed as well as disbanded. For a time it is entertaining, or even, edutaining. I add the latter because it is possible to learn something from all this, and not just about the individual, but about all the valid points of contention with regards to AA.

This is for the most part a debate conducted online and I urge people to never forget that loyalty, friendship and the like are most fickle on here, as they are elsewhere. There was a time when I dreamed of making this whole spectacle my life; getting a law degree, qualifying and fighting to prove to the establishment that AA is wrong — all that changed sometime ago when I learned that in order to do this I would have to deny my own thoughts, my own feelings, and silence myself yet again, as I had done in the rooms. AA has little respect for the individual, but they are not alone in that outlook. Trust, decency, an acceptance of error in light of absolute personal turmoil, are lost on many in this debate. The individual, as an entity becomes fair fodder in this 'game', regardless of the points they make, whether they are right or not.

Despite my cowardly retreat from the fray for now, I would encourage more people to speak their views — if you are human, and thus err from time to time, you will be shot down, exposed, humiliated, but if you can stick around, battle on so to speak, you might meet a handful of people willing to learn from you as well as teach you. As always balance is the key. And should anyone else like myself ever arrive with all my faults, please let AA do the deed of revealing those faults — they are in fact irrelevant to this whole debate, and by condoning the actions of those who have done this all we do is persuade others not to take the risk of speaking their thoughts. Any alcoholic or addict is going to have skeletons in the closet; in fact anyone who has lived is. I think we might call it airing our dirty laundry in public. The result in my case is that I still have a passion to question AA but I do not wish to offer any support to the antics employed by either extreme.

And with that I ask that you give Eric a chance to take over from the abysmal job I was doing at Blamedenial and see where he can take it. One thing on Eric's side is that he employs a sense of humour and behind that guise is hidden a humanity that is very much needed, and welcomed by myself, in this whole furore. I shall stick around for the time being on the side lines helping Eric with the maintenance of the site, but he is free to express anything he chooses. I think he is very brave to take on the responsibility of a website that has meant so well but failed to achieve anything of value. In his favour however are the number of visitors to the site, and the opportunity to turn that around. I would hope that the likes of Agent Orange, Ken Ragge, Stanton Peele et al. offer him the support he deserves for having the courage to present something to this intense debate.

And to end a final thought in a very Jerry Springer way — whether the individual who questions lives the perfect existence in terms of our value system means so little — what is of paramount importance is whether their points are valid, and should they prove to be so, then they deserve to be answered. Finding people who have left AA, or are on the fringes, who are perfect and without fault is unlikely to happen. I might even add that those who swear by AA do not exist either. If Blamedenial has failed thus far, so be it, but for all the effort I have made let that be my final lesson to all those who want to expose AA for what it is — stick to the points, stick to the facts, stick to the reality otherwise we have no chance of making any difference whatsoever. I leave this with more regrets than I did when I left AA — let that be food for thought, but that said, I am happy to have been freed from AA. The difference boils down to barriers to exit, and back chat, and character assignations. Had I just left AA and read the Orange Papers, and More Revealed, and shut up, then I suspect I would have been in a better position. Putting my face on line was the biggest mistake I have made since leaving the rooms.

J a m e s G

www.blamedenial.co.uk

And on a personal note I hope you are settling in to your new home. As always, thank you for your effort and all that you have taught me. It looks like I am going to do pretty well in my law exams and that the offers of work will result. I would have liked to have been a part of this but when my relapse was exposed last year, I felt I was unable to despite the fact that I dealt with it without AA. Go figure... any wonder why it feels like we are making so little difference? Being younger than most does not help my credibility, but in truth it should not mean anything. I have been asked to write a biography for someone and for the time being that is what I shall focus on. As much as I respect your mode of academic writing, and the way you adhere to the Harvard method of citation, I am also keen to learn from those who simply have a view. This begs the question; what does one have to do to have a voice in all this? There in lies the answer to why 'policy' will never be changed. As Emerson said, "*S*ociety everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs."

I noticed that you have quoted Emerson on a few occasions. Despite his Christian outlook, I respect his view of the individual, having read all his essays. See, one can support an individual despite his contrary views — that is something I am unable to do with AA.

I trust you are well.

J a m e s G

Hello again, James,

I am well, and I hope you are well too. I seem to remember that you did well on your law exams the last time. Good. Here's to hoping that it goes well again.

I will miss your videos, but life goes on. I'm glad someone will maintain your web site. Thanks for all you have done.

I wouldn't call your "retreat from the fray" cowardly. People need to get on with their lives. You need to do different things at different times. Remember the Byrds' song "Turn Turn Turn" (the lyrics of which were actually extracted from Ecclesiastes): "To everything there is a season..."

          C      F     C      G
To everything, turn, turn, turn
             C      F     C     G
There is a season, turn, turn, turn
       F   Em        Dm    G7      C     F  C
And a time to every purpose under heaven

            G7              C
A time to be born, a time to die
          G7               C
A time to plant, a time to reap
          G7              C
A time to kill, a time to heal
          F  Em    Dm G7    C
A time to laugh, a time to weep...CHORUS

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together ...CHORUS

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing ...CHORUS

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late ...CHORUS

G Dm riff F G   G Dm riff F G


riff (on A string): 0 2 3

Another great song was the Jefferson Airplane, "Crown of Creation" album, "Life is change. How it differs from the rocks."

(And yes, I do seem to love to quote things, don't I? Emerson is in good company.)

And you know, I think we are making a difference. There is just a lot of momentum to overcome. The big system (the world) changes VERY slowly. A.A. has had a 70-year head start in promoting its strange brand of quackery, and a lot of well-meaning but misinformed people honestly think that A.A. is a helpful organization and a good thing. But they are learning otherwise.

Have you been following the flap over the "Midtown Group" of Washington DC, USA? There, Newsweek magazine, which is one of the biggest magazines in the USA, published a devastating article about 'A.A. the cult that sexually exploits little girls', and the local TV station in Washington DC has been hammering away on the issue.

Now that is big. A.A.'s facade is cracking. Major news outlets dare to criticize and expose A.A. misconduct and sexual exploitation of female members, which is something that I haven't ever seen before in my lifetime.

So there is hope. Things are changing.

Have a good day, and have a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "Bush's appeal is, after all, to the stupid. They, too, are
**  inflexible — they also know that maintaining one's stupidity can
**  become a kind of strength, provided you never change your mind."
**   ==  Norman Mailer, New York Review of Books





Date: Wed, May 23, 2007 10:59 am
From "Andrew W-S"
Subject: Re: Fwd: FW: Help find Madelaine McCann

PLEASE READ THIS MESSAGE AND FORWARD IT TO EVERYBODY IN YOUR ADDRESS BOOK...

picture of Madeleine McCann

Please read this message and pass it on!!!!!!!!!

As you are aware my niece, Madeleine, is still missing and I am asking everyone I know to send this as a chain letter i.e. you send it to everyone you know and ask them to do the same, as the story is only being covered in Britain, Eire and Portugal. We don't believe that she is in Portugal anymore and need to get her picture and the story across Europe as quickly as possible. Suggestions are welcome.

Phil McCann

Hi Andrew,

I don't mind printing that story with the picture, if it is real rather than a hoax.

But please, I need more information. Can you get back to the original source and get the details? The guy didn't even give the full name of the girl. His niece, Madeleine,... What is her last name? Who are her parents?

Can we get some contact info? Whom to tell if we see a girl who looks like that?

What police department is handling the case?

When was she kidnapped, stolen, or disappeared? Where?

And so on.

Thanks.

== Orange


Orange,

Madeleine McCann is a little English girl who was abducted while on holiday in Portugal with her parents (her whereabouts are still unknown) and the story has been making waves across Europe. I was in Switzerland on Monday for a job interview and the story was in all the media there. Obviously it hasn't yet made it across the pond.

Here's a tiny link to the BBC's survey of the news about her:

http://tinyurl.com/2acuft

Your site goes from strength to strength. Keep up the good work!

Andrew

Andrew,

Oh, good. Lots of background information. You are right, the story did not make it over here. I never heard a word of this before. But I'll go ahead and put it up on the chance that some European reader might see it.

Such a pretty little girl. I can see why someone would want to steal her. I hope she gets home okay.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Now I know what it's like to be high on life.
** It isn't as good, but my driving has improved."
** == Nina, on "Just Shoot Me", 13 Jan 2006.





Date: Wed, May 23, 2007 4:21 pm
From: "mike b."
Subject: Fwd: midtown scandal ongoing a police officer's wife comes forward

And yet another. That DC station isn't going to let go anytime soon, I'm thinking.

http://www.nbc4.com/news/13340697/detail.html

watch the video: http://video.nbc4.com/player/?id=105282

Mike

Thanks for the tip, Mike.

I'm glad to see a news organization actually doing their job, just for a change.

In that article, when it came time for the token positive remarks about Alcoholics Anonymous, I couldn't help but notice the propaganda techniques used in defense of the Midtown Group:

"I guess because in society each person has their own opinion about certain things, maybe they had an experience that didn't work for them," Linda said. "Who are they to take away from people who it is working for?"

That is classic escape via relativism — as if it's all just a matter of one person's opinion versus another's.
As if this were true, "So what if your daughters got raped there? Mine are still okay. So Midtown is a good group."

And of course the speaker was just assuming facts not in evidence — "it is working".
Just because some girls abstained from drinking for a while does not mean that the Midtown group is working for them.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   "You cannot help people permanently by doing for them
**    what they could and should do for themselves."
**        == Abraham Lincoln
**   So much for the A.A. "Higher Power" quitting
**   drinking for you and keeping you sober.
**   So much for staying in A.A. for the rest of your life and
**   counting on Alcoholics Anonymous to keep you sober.


Also see:

  1. NBC4, the local TV station in Washington DC, has been hammering away on the sexual exploitation of underage girls issue.

  2. Here is another new story, from NBC4, reprinted by ReligionNewsBlog.Com:
    http://www.religionnewsblog.com/18333/midtown-aa-2
    Woman Describes Teen Life As Member Of Midtown AA
    "I would say overall, it was like a seven-year stomachache that I walked around with," she said.
    Michelle told News4 that sexually transmitted diseases are endemic in Midtown: "It was almost your rite of passage. I would say that it would be uncommon to not have something once you've been there a couple months," said Michelle.
    Also, the original NBC4 article is here: http://www.nbc4.com/news/13361410/detail.html

  3. The prevous NBC4 stories here.

  4. Search results for Midtown AA Group on NBC4. This lists all of their stories.

  5. Also see the previous list of stories about the Midtown Group, here.

  6. The Q Group: Young women have been raped by much older men. My old sponsor had sex with a 14 year old girl and he is in his 30's. He acted like it was no big deal. I mentioned to him that such things are wrong. He said "who says so"...

  7. a police officer's wife says that the Midtown Group encouraged her to have sex with group members and to divorce her husband

  8. Midtown group in DC just won the bid for SERCYPAA, South East Region Conference of Young People in AA. So these perverts will be running a Young People's conference sometime this year in DC.

  9. http://freedomfrom12steps.blogspot.com/
    == A blog that covers a whole lot of issues, including Midtown.

  10. A new web site about the Midtown Groups: http://thetruthaboutmidtown.com/

  11. http://www.wheremostneeded.org/2007/05/aa_group_accuse.html
    == Where Most Needed; The Charity Industry Observer Probing the Deeper Links & Linkages; AA Group Accused of Cult-like Practices

  12. http://www.jointogether.org/news/headlines/inthenews/2007/dc-aa-chapter-a-cult.html
    == D.C. AA Chapter a Cult, Critics Say

  13. http://www.consumerelectronicsnet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=133698
    == NEWSWEEK: Recovering Alcoholics Taking Sides in Dispute Against a Washington D.C.-Area 'AA' Group

  14. http://syddv.proboards88.com/index.cgi?board=general&action;=post& thread=1167116573"e;=1178922926&page;=1
    == A very interesting discussion of the Midtown Group. Definitely read this:

    "There are individuals that have formed a organization, which call themselves "Love and Service" (LS). They have every intention of bringing the MG's negative influence, to light, for all of the world to see, as well as help the MG's conditioned members receive psychological help, as they attempt to leave the MTG.
          "The MG, feeling the threat of exposure, that could limit their consumption of Newcomers, decided to fight back by setting up the Public Relations Chair Person of LS with a false charge. The MG not only used a woman to file false "stalking / harassment" charges on this Trusted Servant, they also manipulated (pressured) more than 30 of their impressionable Newcomers, to lie in a Court of Law, to back up said charges.
          "What the MG didn't count on was that what manipulative practices that work in AA meetings and on its broken fellowship, does not work, by any stretch of the imagination, in a Court of Law."

  15. Alcoholics Anonymous sure isn't cleaning its own house, in spite of all of the high-falutin' talk about how A.A. is self-managing and self-governing. The Midtown Group is still listed in the schedules of A.A. meetings. Look at the bottom of this page:
    http://www.aavirginia.org/hp/meetings/waw.asp?day=0&town;=FREDERICKSBURG&b;=-2

  16. http://vicariousrising.typepad.com/vicarious_rising/2007/05/status.html
    == Vicarious Rising — another thread of comments.
    Especially see the last comment, by Eric F., who took over the management of http://www.blamedenial.co.uk

  17. Speaking of which, here is an essay by Eric F. about the A.A. effort to not publicize the behavior of the Midtown Group.

  18. http://community.myfoxdc.com/blogs/WISDOM_MARTIN/2007/05/10/ALCOHOLICS_ANONYMOUS
    == opinions on the Midtown Group, including the usual list of rationalizations.

  19. http://prompt.newsvine.com/_news/2007/05/15/720011-church-calls-alcoholics- anonymous-a-cult-and-bans-it-from-its-premises-for-sexual-misconduct
    == more opinions

  20. http://community.myfoxdc.com/blogs/Roz_Plater/2007/05/14/Renegade_AA_Group
    == MyFox, Washington DC, Renegade AA Group?
    A reporter trying to get the facts can't get anybody inside the Midtown Group to talk.

  21. http://www.topix.net/music/punk/2007/05/controversy-continues-in-midtown-aa-scandal
    == the start of a thread on the Midtown Group

  22. http://www.doitsober.com/?p=99
    == And of course we get the A.A. apologists who, rather than caring about the welfare of the children who are being raped, are crying about how "hateful" the "propaganda" against the "Young People's AA in our area" has been:

    "...we are upset by the amount of hateful propaganda that has swarmed Young People's AA in our area over the past year, specifically via the internet."

  23. http://groups.msn.com/PillsAnonymous/general.msnw?action=get_message&mview;=0&ID;_Message=101996
    == MSN board, more comments. The usual pros and cons.

  24. And finally, how sweet it is. Rick Ross now has a couple of web pages up on his web site that declare that Alcoholics Anonymous (at least the Washington DC Midtown Group branch of it) is in fact a cult after all.
    This is after Ross banned, censored, and erased messages of those people who insisted on his forum that A.A. was a cult.

  25. Oh, and I have one lingering question: One correspondent told me that the Midtown Group "also just won the bid for SERCYPAA, South East Region Conference of Young People in AA. So these perverts will be running a YP conference sometime this year in DC."
    Is that still true? Is the Alcoholics Anonymous organization going to allow a bunch of known and outed sexual predators to run a young people's convention in Washington DC this year?
    Wow. A.A. really doesn't believe in cleaning house, does it?

  26. And one more addition, recommended by the "Recovering From Recovery" blog,
    http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID;=185546838&blogID;=265904083
    This author describes a Midtown-like A.A. group in Minneapolis.
    (Also see the one in Phoenix, Arizona, here.)

  27. And this is curious: Apparently, there is such a fire-storm over this issue that some publishers are scared and can't stand the heat. Newsweek magazine actually blanked the comments to the Newsweek story:
    http://health.talk.newsweek.com/default.asp?item=584518#comments

    This is the URL of the original article:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18368218/site/newsweek/page/0/

    What is it that they call it? Journalistic integrity? or Journalistic courage?
    So is Newsweek no longer in the "freedom of speech" and "free press" business?

    Oh well, at least they published the orginal article. I commend them for that.

    Still, you might want to write a letter to the editor, just for the fun of it, complaining about them stopping the dialogue.
    Try this email address: [email protected]

    And this is strange: at the bottom of that web page, it says "© 2007 MSNBC.com" and "© 2007 Microsoft".
    So is the Newsweek magazine web site now controlled or owned by MSNBC and Microsoft?
    Are they the ones who are deciding that the issue is too controversial for us children to handle?

  28. Later: And this is an interesting post: the MySpace group "The Fall of Midtown" has posted an article on how to keep your group from getting taken over by the Midtown group. It seems that Mike Q. and his gang have taken over 18 A.A. groups by invading them in large numbers and then voting the previous leaders out, and changing the rules to make the Mike Q. clique dominant. It sure sounds like an invasive cancer to me. (Or the Borgs: "Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.")
    The original post is gone. A local copy is here.

  29. And here,
    http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID;=137850505&blogID;=276903523
    a former member of the "Pacific Group" on the West Coast states that the Pacific Group and the Midtown Group share a lot of the same characteristics. Especially notice the missionary attitude, the intention to move to other towns and start Pacific-style groups there.

  30. http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID;=137850505&blogID;=284461657 == Another report on the Midtown Group

  31. A Washington Post article:
    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/2007/07/midtown_group_aa_group_leads_m.html == "Midtown Group: AA Group Leads Members Away from Traditions"
    Includes a good debate between the people posting comments.

  32. 2nd Washington Post article: Mike Quinones, the Midtown Group leader, dies:
    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/2007/08/aa_renegade_dieswhither_midtow.html
    == "AA Renegade Dies — Whither Midtown?"
    Includes a good debate between the people posting comments. What is especially revealing is the Midtown Group members posting using faked and forged identities to post fraudulent messages in other people's names.

  33. ReligionNewsBlog's list of Midtown links:
    http://www.religionnewsblog.com/category/midtown-aa/

  34. And then over in Oregon, the old group leader seduces and marries a 15-year-old girl who came to A.A. meetings seeking help.

  35. Also see this list of links to media coverage of the story.

  36. LATER, 2009.08.05: Most of the stories about the Midtown Group that were posted to MySpace have been deleted, and the FOM (Fall Of Midtown) account has been cancelled. There are archival copies of many of the stories here.

  37. LATER: 2011.09.20: The sexual exploitation of underage girls at Bainbridge Island, Washington State, is also criminal. Look here.

  38. Also see Stories of Clancy I.'s West-Coast cult and its sexual exploitation of women. Clancy Imusland was the grand-sponsor of Mike Quinones, who was the leader of the Midtown Group.





Date: Thu, May 24, 2007 7:10 am
From: "Dennis M."
Subject: McCann girl

Hi Orange:

picture of Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann
Especially notice the "black flash" in her right eye. Notice how a small wedge of the iris is missing at the lower-right part of the iris, and the pupil extends to the rim of the iris there. That is very unusual, and it is an easily-recognized identifying characteristic.
I saw the letter regarding the missing McCann girl. Whenever I get forwards like that, I check the "What's New" section of snopes.com, a web-site about urban legends, and they're usually hoaxes.

This one, however, seems to be real:

http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/missing/mccann.asp

Snopes should do a section on A.A.

Regards,
Dennis M.
Senior Consultant

Hi again, Dennis,

Thanks for the tip. That link is especially good because it gives the phone numbers to call:
Portuguese Police: 00351 282 405 400
Crimestoppers in the UK: 0800 555 111
Or, if calling from Portugal: 44 1883 731 336
The international # for Crimestoppers is +44 1883 731 336.

Yes, I had to ask if the Madeleine story was a hoax, because I seem to recall that a lot of those kinds of alerts were in fact hoaxes. Which is really a sick heartless kind of hoax. It takes some real weirdos to think that kind of stuff is funny.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  The fact that there are many fools who tell lies does
**  not mean that there isn't such a thing as truth.





Date: Wed, May 23, 2007 11:08 am     (answered 23 May 2007)
From: "Peter B."
Subject: Re: Hi there — you pleasant fellow-human-being!

Hello Orange!,

First of all: please do not publish my e-mail-address as I have been on the receiving end many a time in my efforts to inform my fellow Human-beings about various issues (from the truth behind mass-unemployment to the origins of oppression by movements like AA).

As a male, husband and father in his forties I write in a special ink: the one made of a mixture of tears and gall.

Just be naive, trusting and vulnerable for a while and the ink comes naturally.

Would it be just OK if I thanked you for your pleasant reply to JamesG AND your referring to an quoting from The BYRDS — "Turn turn turn"?

Thanks again.

And have a GREAT DAY — EVERYDAY.

Peter B.

Hi Peter,

Yes, it's okay if you just complement me.
And thanks for a pleasant message yourself.
And have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Now I know what it's like to be high on life.
** It isn't as good, but my driving has improved."
** == Nina, on "Just Shoot Me", 13 Jan 2006.





Date: Sun, May 27, 2007 7:06 pm
From: "Dan J." @yahoo.com
Subject: You are nothing but a lieing Trash

You are nothing but a lies are uglier then your person you foolish CUNT


Date: Sun, May 27, 2007 7:09 pm
From: "Dan J." @yahoo.com
Subject: You are nothing but a lies are uglier then your person you foolish CUNT


Date: Sun, May 27, 2007 8:34 pm
From: "Jill w." @yahoo.com
Subject: You are a misinformed gossip, and a pathetic looser, you are nothing & nobody





Date: Sun, May 27, 2007 8:37 am
From: "Eric F."
Subject: Thanks for your work

Hi Orange,

I just wanted to send you a quick note thanking you for the links regarding the Midtown Group scandal. I haven't been feeling very well lately, so I haven't been able to do as much on the Recovering from Recovery blog or BlameDenial as I would like to, just a few post posts late at night when I can't sleep. I had an AAer remark sarcastically to me, " I bet you're loving this stuff about Midtown, more ammunition to bash AA with." What a ludicrous statement. First off, nothing surrounding the Midtown scandal makes me happy; it is a sad tragedy that young people are being abused and taken advantage of in that and other AA groups around the country. Second, I haven't really been "bashing" AA lately, just pointing out how they are bashing themselves and demonstrating the hollowness of their steps and traditions.

As Jimmy and I have talked over the past few weeks, I've decided to take a slightly different tack in my writing, more of an appeal to AA members to look at their fellowship and honestly see what is wrong with it. I think this is paying of, at least a little. I sent this blog post
<http://freedomfrom12steps.blogspot.com/2007/05/open-letter-to-members-of-alcoholics.html>
as an e-mail to about a dozen AA members in the Houston, TX area that I know, and it has seemed to spread around the country quite rapidly. Perhaps all of this will serve as a wake up call to the AA members who view AA as more of a mutual support network rather than a gift from God to stand up and demand some action and change. As I've softened my tone towards AA members a bit, I've had some comment to me that they agree with my positions, and want to try and change things, so hope is not lost for all of those in AA. The more open-minded people that I know can now easily see how the reactions I get from the die-hard religious wing are exactly the things that you and I have written about; predictable, unthinking knee-jerk reactions, very similar to the way a computer responds to a set of commands, but closer to the instinctual reactions of animals defending their young.

I'm going to start a long essay for BlameDenial tonight to get the new direction going over there. I can't tell you how much Jimmy has helped me recently with his simple compassion and understanding. We've discussed meeting up here in Houston sometime this year and making some videos, and I hope we can do that soon. Slowly but surely, we're having an effect on people in AA and the public at large. Hopefully, someday soon, all the cult religion nonsense can be set aside and some real progress finally be made in helping alcoholics and drug addicts.

Take care, and my best wishes to you,

E r i c F
http://freedomfrom12steps.blogspot.com — The Recovering from Recovery blog
http://freefromaa.proboards76.com — The Recovering from Recovery forum
[email protected]
http://blamedenial.co.uk — BlameDenial

Hi Eric,

Thanks for the letter, and good luck on your future work. And thanks for all that you have already done.

I have also tried to soften my stance, to not sound so shrill and strident, but I seem to keep coming back to the conclusion that A.A. still kills more alcoholics than it saves, which is sort of a harsh message.     :-)

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what
**  they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their
**  own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the
**  very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power
**  does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed."
**   == Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-AZ)





Date: Mon, May 28, 2007 6:41 pm
From: "Ron R."
Subject: Re: Paul Diener Reference To A Study Regarding The Effectiveness of One Voice in Decreasing The Effectiveness of Propaganda

Hi Orange:

I've been reading one of your papers devoted to Paul Diener's responses on the Addict-L website throughout the year 2002. Among all the interesting information and arguments that he provided, this one particularly caught my eye and mind. It's from a posting dating 12-7-2002. The relevant line is bolded, italicized, and underlined. The surrounding quoted info adds the correct context in which the emphasized line is written.

"I have never said ALL those who monitor Addict-L are corrupt. (I would not waste time posting here if I thought this to be true.) Especially, NON- professionals monitor this site. I spend a bit of time each week providing a critical voice, so that the kind of bull you guys serve up does not go without refutation. Research shows that even one voice of dissent can greatly decrease the effectiveness of propaganda.

But I do not even claim that all the 'addiction' hacks are CONSCIOUS evil-doers. People have a remarkable ability to do evil deeds, yet see themselves as moral and heroic. (Even Eichmann thought he had offered humanity a difficult, but necessary, medical service, that he had helped eliminate a deadly, inherited brain disorder: 'Jewish materialism')."

Do you know of which study or studies to which Diener was referring? The emphasized line provides, I think, some hope and motivation to continue advocacy for any cause that is just yet contrary to dominant cultural ideologies; in this case the acceptance of 12-Steppism as the best solution to addiction. It would be great to see those studies. Given that Diener may be gone (as you opined elsewhere), this may be difficult to ascertain.

I've been coming to your website for years. Thanks so much for your commitment.

Ron R.

Hi Ron,

Thanks for the complements. Alas, I don't know what Paul was referring to. All I can say is that he was probably right. Every time I have checked out his references, I have found that he was right. He had a PhD that was apparently well-earned — he had a breath-taking sweeping view of history and the world, which is why I like to read him. And I have gotten a lot of leads and hints and references from him.

And unfortunately, I don't think we can ask him. To the best of my knowledge, he died. I heard a rumor that he was in poor health, and then he just stopped posting and disappeared, and his internet account was cancelled. And then I got letters from his admirers in Europe who asked me what happened to him...

So I guess all we can do is try to track down those references ourselves.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Now I know what it's like to be high on life.
** It isn't as good, but my driving has improved."
** == Nina, on "Just Shoot Me", 13 Jan 2006.





Date: Sun, June 3, 2007 5:57 pm
From: "Ken"
Subject: About a question someone asked you.

Orange,

I saw where a Ron R. was asking about the following:

Research shows that even one voice of dissent can greatly decrease the effectiveness of propaganda.

More than likely it was from:
Asch SE, "Studies of Independence and Conformity: I. A Minority of One Against a Unanimous Majority." Psychological Monographs: General and Applied 70(1956):1-70.

Even if it wasn't from there, Asch made the same point and probably first.

Ken Ragge

Hi Ken,

Thanks for the reference, and have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "It was forty years ago today,
**  Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play..."
**  The shocking thing is, it really was 40 years ago. Oops!





Date: Thu, June 7, 2007 2:58 pm
From: "Bloozman"
Subject: music

Orange, How you doin? I'm still reading your site when I have time. This has nothing to do with AA but that line in sgt. pepper is 20 years ago today. And that byrds song was written by Pete Seeger.

Best Wishes, Bloozman

Hiya again, Bloozman,

You are absolutely right. I had that line about "It was 40 years ago today" going through my head so much from all of the newscasters and commentators who were echoing it that my mind slipped a cog. Yeh, the Beatles originally sang "20 years ago today".

And what is both funny and frightening is that, at that time, that seemed like an eternity. Many of us were just 20 years old ourselves, and 20 years into the future sounded as distant as "Will you still need me, Will you still feed me, when I'm 64?"

Well, our new sixties are here, this year, and no, Paul, the little gold-digger won't feed you when you're 64.

I didn't know that Pete Seeger wrote "Turn, Turn, Turn". I'm impressed. It's a very different thing from the usual folk/protest material.

It's amazing how it all just goes on and on and there's so much. Here it is 2007 and I'm still learning stuff about the sixties (and earlier)...

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "The man bent over his guitar,
**  A shearsman of sorts. The day was green.
**  They said, "You have a blue guitar,
**  You do not play things as they are."
**  The man replied, "Things as they are
**  Are changed upon the blue guitar."
**    == Brooks Stevens, The Man with the Blue Guitar (1937).





Date: Sun, May 27, 2007 8:03 am
From: "Carol L."
Subject: Great Paper--Thanks!

WOW! I just chanced upon your 1-100 article this morning while surfing the net and I don't even remember how. In the past, I've helped coordinate a counter-cult group here in S. Florida and YOU ARE RIGHT ON! What a great COMPREHENSIVE article, with facts and documentation to back it up! Who are you? :-)

Carol L.
Cooper City, Florida

...   ______________
 º o`, /__/ _/\_ ____/\
`) ( | | | | | | | || |l±±±±|   ]
,.-° ,.-~~-., `°-. :º° ~~-..,
As for me and our house,
we will serve the Lord.
====================
"If you can read this,
thank a teacher--
and since it's in English,
thank a soldier"
====================

Hi Carol,

Thanks for the compliments, and I'm glad to hear that you like The Cult Test.

Who am I? That's difficult to answer in just a few sentences, so I'll refer you to the places where I answered that before: Look here for the list.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  And the cult said, "If you want what we have,
**  and are willing to go to any length to get it,
**  then, here, drink this koolaid."





Date: Wed, May 30, 2007 9:20 am
From: "Anonymous"
Subject: A few remarks

Dear Orange:

I think that a majority of those with substance abuse problems do it on their own without a group.
And, the 'recovery' industry does not know the whys and wherefores.

People who quit on their own have no reason to tell anyone how it was done.

An interesting sociological study would be to determine the charactreristics of those who remain in AA. It won't be done, I expect.

Midtown group does not surprise me. I am a bit surprised that it became public. You are doing well on this matter.

A flawed idea that AA is built upon: The idea that a deeply flawed person will cure another deeply flawed person. A dynamic fraught with peril.

One day, competent professionals will learn that AA is a deeply flawed organization; which only a small number of people find useful.

One day, the court system will realize that mandating AA is merely a diversion from incarceration. Perhaps, many in that system are aware of that. The cynical nature of that arrangement is manifest.

Regards,
Anonymous

Thanks for the input. I couldn't agree more. I especially like the line about, "The idea that a deeply flawed person will cure another deeply flawed person. A dynamic fraught with peril."

Yes, really. Like when did any medical research ever establish that insane people were the best counselors for other insane people? ...That the lunatics really should run the insane asylum?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "I was born at night, but not last night!"





Date: Thu, May 31, 2007 4:56 am     (answered 7 June 2007)
From: "Matthew B."
Subject: AA

I have been browsing your web-site of late and found it in all honesty rather nauseating.

As an example, you profess that AA kills people, well, not going to AA ALSO kills people, I haven't seen you promote that point as rigorously as you might.

As for your point regarding the nil success rate of AA and asking one e-mailer to provide proof, well, heres proof enough. I have been a regular AA attendee for over 11 years and am now 10 years + sober. Thats success for a drunk/alcoholic of my nature.

When I came to AA I couldnt stop drinking, and I sure as hell couldnt stop your way (by doing it alone).

AA didnt stop me drinking, I stopped because I was afraid of living and afraid of dying, becait was killing me and I was fortunate enoguh to at least be in an organisation where others had also been in the same place in their lives.

Now Ive stopped, and have not taken a drink for over 10 years, so why can't I do it your way? Because Im an alcoholic and I need to be a part of something bigger than me that pursues the same objective as me, which is why its called a fellowship. Its staying stopped thats the trick.

Oh and by the way, AA doesnt suggest/instruct/dictate or tell that their way is the only way, we do not have the monopoly on recovery, although you seem to take some kind of satisfaction from suggesting that we do.

You may choose to publish this or may choose not to, it doesnt matter; however if you do choose to though, please dont try to manipulate my words or what you THINK they mean, theres no hidden meaning, just let others read them and allow them the dignity to make their own minds up.

Actually, I wish you well.

In the mean time, have a good day and a good life.

Matt

Hello Matt,

You claimed that "not going to AA ALSO kills people".

No it doesn't. You are trying to imply that A.A. makes people quit drinking and saves lives. There is no evidence for that. The evidence is just the opposite: that A.A. makes things worse for a lot of people.

We have been over this for so many times that I will just give you the list of medical studies where A.A. harmed alcoholics,

  1. Dr. Brandsma found that A.A. increased the rate of binge drinking, and
  2. Dr. Ditman found that A.A. increased the rate of rearrests for public drunkenness, and
  3. Dr. Walsh found that "free A.A." made later hospitalization more expensive, and
  4. Doctors Orford and Edwards found that having a doctor talk to the patient for just one hour was just as effective as a whole year of A.A.-based treatment.
  5. Dr. George E. Vaillant, the A.A. Trustee, found that A.A. treatment was completely ineffective, and raised the death rate in alcoholics. No other way of treating alcoholics produced such a high death rate as did Alcoholics Anonymous.

In fact, there has never been a single valid medical study that showed that attending A.A. meetings helped alcoholics to get better. No one. Not ever.

And you yourself just wrote that you didn't quit drinking because of Alcoholics Anonymous. You quit drinking because you were going to die if you didn't. So did I, for the same reason, and without Alcoholics Anonymous.

Congratulations on your 10 years of sobriety. That does not in any way show that A.A. helped you. It shows that you decided to quit drinking in order to save your life, and then you did it.

The fact that you didn't do it earlier is irrelevant. You didn't quit until you really wanted to quit, until things got so bad that you just had to quit.

And your statement that you couldn't quit before is also irrelevant. It's like saying that you when you were a child, you could never ride a bicycle — you fell down every time you tried — until the Magic Day when you succeeded in staying up on the bicycle. And what was the cause of that Magic Day? Some organization that says that it has a magical spiritual cure for bicycleism?

Oh, and Bill Wilson did say that "A.A. is the only way". Sure, he started off with some remarks that sounded open-minded, to get people to join his cult, but then he switched to claiming that A.A. was the only way:

Any willing newcomer feels sure A.A. is the only safe harbor for the foundering vessel he has become.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 35.

Unless each A.A. member follows to the best of his ability our suggested [Bill Wilson's required] Twelve Steps to recovery, he almost certainly signs his own death warrant. His drunkenness and dissolution are not penalties inflicted by people in authority; they result from his personal disobedience to spiritual principles [Bill Wilson's cult religion practices].
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 174.

It's just one more bait-and-switch trick. Bill had so many of them.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Jede Form von Süchtigkeit is von übel, gleichgültig,
**  ob es sich um Alkohol oder Morphium oder Idealismus handelt.
**  Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic
**  be alcohol or morphine or idealism.
**    ==  Carl Gustav Jung (1875—1961),
**        Erinnerungen, Träume, Gedanken (1962) ch. 12





More Letters


Previous Letters









Search the Orange Papers







Click Fruit for Menu

Last updated 22 May 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters85.html