by A. Orange
Well, sick and confused alcoholics are available cult-food, so Alcoholics Anonymous evolved to feed on them.
Ms. Mann did not say whether her anger was justified; she just gave it up.
Are all AA members to just give up all anger? Apparently so. Hitler shoved the Jews into the ghettos, and then into the concentration camps, and then into the gas chambers, and then into the ovens, and the Bill and Bob team had absolutely nothing to say about it, all through World War II. They didn't get angry about it at all.
They also had nothing to say about anything else that Hitler or Stalin or Tojo did. They didn't even have an opinion about World War II at all. None of it made them angry.
Nothing has changed in the following 55 years. A.A. still has no opinions about racism, poverty, sexism, religious bigotry, genocide, oppression, or ethnic cleansing.
The official A.A. policy is that A.A. will not get involved in "outside controversy." Such cowardly hiding inside of A.A. from all of the problems and strife of the real world is inexcusable.
Real people have opinions on issues.
It is hardly something to brag about like Bill Wilson does, claiming that "... we are sure that our way of living has its advantages for all." (The Big Book, the Forward.)
Bill Wilson also said:
It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also. But are there no exceptions to this rule? What about "justifiable" anger? If somebody cheats us, aren't we entitled to be mad? Can't we be properly angry with self-righteous folk? For us in A.A. these are dangerous exceptions. We have found that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it.
What pathetic nonsense. We can't be angry? We must always be passive doormats, and not get angry, no matter what anyone else does to us? Only "normal" people can handle righteous anger, and we cannot, because we are just stupid pathetic alcoholics?
And we shall have no opinions on "outside controversies", because we are just too feeble-minded to handle such issues?
The real world isn't an outside controversy.
Life isn't an outside issue.
When I really believed that I was powerless over my addictions — when I believed that I wouldn't ever be able to quit smoking and drinking, and stay quit forever, I despaired of my life, and resigned myself to my fate, and worked on drinking and smoking myself to death. I didn't stop drinking and stay quit until I came to believe that I was not powerless over alcohol or tobacco — until I came to believe that I could fight and win the war for my own good health, for my own survival.
I think that the "powerless" doctrine of A.A. has a reverse effect for a lot of people. It did for me.
— Or maybe I should call it a "straight-forward" effect. The straight-forward, logical thing to do is to go from declaring that you are powerless over alcohol to declaring that there is no point in even trying to quit drinking, because you won't succeed, because you are powerless over alcohol. You are doomed to a horrible death, and the best you can do is just stay stoned and kill the pain as much as possible until the bitter end.
It is the strange backwards logic of A.A. that says,
Oh no it doesn't, and oh no it isn't.
The Enlightened Counselors' Deception
"Enlightened" counselors will say, "Of course we know that this nutty raving about God, and this religious or spiritual or superstitious stuff that is the heart of the A.A. and N.A. programs doesn't really work, but if the patients think that it works, and it helps to keep the patients off of drugs and alcohol, then the delusion is a good thing. It has some kind of a helpful "placebo effect". It might save their lives. So let's encourage it."
— And that is how the counselors who are hidden members of A.A. or N.A. succeed in getting the government to financially support and promote their cult religion.
The "one day at a time" thing came into existence because so many members of A.A. were having trouble facing the prospect of never drinking again. So the leaders invented the idea of, "Well, just quit for one day, you can do that, can't you?"
It may sound like a good idea, but isn't, because it leaves the door wide open to relapse: "Well, I'll quit one day at a time for the next five days, and then relapse for the weekend, and then quit one day at a time for five more days..."
It allows the Addiction Monster (really, the Base Brain Limbic System) to keep its hopes up, expecting more drink tomorrow or next week. The Addiction Monster weakens, and quiets down, when it loses hope. But if you quit one day at a time, then it never loses hope.
Don't quit one day at a time; quit forever, all at once.
Then, you go to a bunch of A.A. meetings and do the Twelve Steps, and suddenly, God loves you and takes care of you and keeps you from drinking any more alcohol.
But what part of the program is the magic stuff? What really gets God off of his ass and gets Him to help you? What makes God like you?
Oh, and a thought — if it's Step Eleven that does the trick, or all twelve of them, why do you stop drinking at Step One, or even before you do any of the Steps? For that matter, how can you quit drinking and then go to A.A. and do Step One, declaring that you are powerless over alcohol? You can't possibly be powerless over alcohol if you already quit it. And Nan Robertson wrote in her promotional book, Getting Better Inside Alcoholics Anonymous, that the majority of newcomers to Alcoholics Anonymous had already quit drinking.
We are now seeing the results of ten years of allowing business criminals to write the rules about how executives will conduct business. Enron, WorldCom, Waste Management, Sunbeam, stock "analysts" and brokerage houses touting worthless stocks, and the entire Dot-Com Dot-Con high-tech bust, are glaring examples of that. For 10 years now, corrupt politicians have allowed corrupt business executives to write or rewrite the laws pertaining to the expensing of options, tort reform, stock market manipulation, accounting standards, and the accounting firms mixing auditing and consulting practices.
We have had the same kind of corruption going on in the "recovery" industry, where Alcoholics Anonymous and its clones, and organizations like the Hazelden Foundation, have been allowed to rewrite the rules, to define alcoholism and addiction, and to declare that their recipe for recovery is the only acceptable remedy, that the Buchmanite cult religion is the only effective cure for alcoholism or drug addiction.
It shouldn't then come as any great surprise that Alcoholics Anonymous has been no better at curing alcoholics than Enron was at managing the nation's energy supply (particularly California's electricity).
It shouldn't come as any surprise that the "tough-love" clones of Synanon, which was itself a deformed clone of A.A., have proven themselves to be more effective at killing children than at getting them off of drugs.
When the criminals are allowed to write the laws, trouble follows.
[Not to brag too much, but I wrote that more than 5 years ago, back around 2004.
We fear that those people will never quit, that they will just die first. That may be right. Still, there isn't a lot we can do about it.
When I speak to people about why they should quit drinking, smoking, or doing drugs, I try to not be a nag. If you are a nag, all that you will succeed in doing is making people dislike you. I try to just keep quietly saying my little piece, so that I will keep planting the suggestion that life might feel better without harmful substances. Perhaps it will eventually get a few people to quit a little sooner.
It is funny that when people pay Hazelden $26,000 for a 28-day stay, they are actually paying Hazelden to make them want to quit drinking. That they will go without drink or drugs for the 28 days that they are in the treatment center is a given, but if they start drinking or drugging again after they leave, then they say, "It didn't work. The program didn't work." But what that really means is, "My resolve to stay quit wasn't clear and strong enough. I didn't want sobriety enough to resist temptation."
Anyone who would pay $26,000 dollars to a treatment center must already want to quit. They must pretty intensely want to quit, unless they are so rich that $26,000 is nothing to them. So they already want to quit, but they are still paying someone else to make them want to quit, anyway. What's wrong with this picture?
Speaking of mind control, Bill Wilson wrote that the A.A. Twelve-Step program really was a mind-control program. Unfortunately, the goal of the mind control is something other than making people quit drinking.
In Appendix II, Spiritual Experience, which he inserted into the second and third editions, Bill wrote:
Most of our experiences are what the psychologist William James [in his book The Varieties of Religious Experience] calls the "educational variety" because they develop slowly over a period of time. Quite often friends of the newcomer are aware of the difference long before he is himself. He finally realizes that he has undergone a profound alteration in his reaction to life; that such a change could hardly have been brought about by himself alone.
So the beginners cannot see what the program is doing to their heads, how all of the guilt-inducing Steps are affecting their minds, but the other people can.
Likewise, Bill wrote:
So, practicing these Steps, we had a spiritual awakening about which finally there was no question. Looking at those who were only beginning and still doubting themselves, the rest of us were able to see the change setting in. From great numbers of such experiences, we could predict that the doubter who still claimed that he hadn't got the "spiritual angle," and who still considered his well-loved A.A. group the higher power, would presently love God and call Him by name.
So that's how Bill Wilsons says the Twelve Steps and the rest of the A.A. program will affect your mind.
Who knows whether accompanying a nun really makes him stay sober — whether there is a genuine cause-and-effect relationship there. He says that it works for him.
More power to him. Who cares whether it really works, or whether it really is the cause of his sobriety?... As Alan Leshner, the former head of NIDA said, "Look, if swinging a dead cat over your head helps, then I'm all for it."
Ditto, and megadittos.
But watch out. That does not mean that the cat swingers get to set up a clinic and suck lots of money out of the government and health insurance industry because they make grandiose false claims that the Cult of the Dead Cat has a very high success rate and is very spiritual too...
This year, 430,000 Americans will die of tobacco-caused diseases like emphysema and lung cancer. They won't need to worry about their S.A.T. scores.
If the little subatomic particles can go where-ever they feel like going, and their future paths cannot be predicted, do they have free will?
Does their freedom cascade down through Chaos Theory to us, leaving us free, or at least randomized?
The answer is, "No."
"Free Will" implies control over your actions, and that you
have the ability to act out your will.
Being free to perform random senseless acts is not the definition of free will; it is the
definition of insanity.
"Free Will" implies control over your actions, and that you have the ability to act out your will.
Being free to perform random senseless acts is not the definition of free will; it is the definition of insanity.
You want to quit drinking?
Putting a loaded gun in your mouth and pulling the trigger is a sure-fire way to quit drinking. It never fails.
What? You don't want to do that?
Then why is it okay with you to blow your brains out with cult religion?
Why is mental and ethical suicide so much more attractive than physical suicide?
'Mental suicide' means:
and human intelligence into the trash can, and "just believe"
and "just have faith" in Bill Wilson's crazy grandiose proclamations.
'Ethical suicide' means: throw away your morals and ethics, and start telling lies
to desperately sick people, telling them that the A.A. cure works great,
when it obviously doesn't.
'Ethical suicide' means: throw away your morals and ethics, and start telling lies to desperately sick people, telling them that the A.A. cure works great, when it obviously doesn't.
The authors of the script probably thought that they were being very clever or funny or hip there, but it wasn't funny. They were far too dense to see the implications of what they were really saying.
It would be nice if the hidden Steppers who plant such nonsense in the West Wing scripts would knock it off and quit degrading a good show.
What about George W. Bush? Who is his sponsor? Who supervises his whiskey and cocaine consumption?
Where are the White House leakers now that we need them?
Bill Wilson made the same choice.
The Four Models Of Addiction:
And still, alcoholics are sent to counseling just like how they are sent to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings — more out of habit or desperation than because of any good medical thinking.
** "It is difficult to get a man to understand something ** when his salary depends on his not understanding it." ** == Upton Sinclair
Obviously, God does not actually have any "Great Plan" for Life, the Universe, and Everything — not if the plan can be constantly changed by the nagging requests of some A.A. members who get on their knees and pray.
I regard that as a bogus question. It is fraught with faulty assumptions. I always answer, "No, it doesn't work. You work. Or you don't work." I shove the responsibility for success back onto the questioner.
The truth is, A.A. does the same thing, but simultaneously denies it. They say that you are powerless over alcohol, so you can't quit by yourself, but then they say that you must must work a strong program, and make the program work. "It works if you work it."
Whenever people talk about "the program working", they are actually making some very odd statements. It's like somebody pays $15,000 or $30,000 to stay at some treatment center for 28 days, where they will dry people out, or detox them, and get them off of whatever their problem drug is. Then the "clients" get out — they "graduate" — and then a few weeks or months later, they relapse and go back to their old bad habits. Then they say, "It didn't work."
What didn't work? It didn't do what, exactly?
"Well, it didn't brainwash me into not wanting drugs and alcohol any more. It didn't make me not take drugs or drink alcohol. I paid them $15,000 or $30,000 to brainwash me and make me not want to get high any more, but the brainwashing didn't work at all. I still want to get high, and I still do, just like I did before. So it was a total waste of money."
Well, the problem is that there really isn't any such brainwashing program where you can buy instant sobriety. The "treatment programs" and "treatment centers" can't make you want sobriety. They can't change your mind around and give you a new mindset. They will hint that they can, and they take your money, but they don't actually deliver the goods.
No. The only thing it proves is that he believes that A.A. is great.
Can we just dismiss his declarations as just so much "proof by anecdote"?
Yes. Not only can we, but we have to, because A.A. is just a cult that brainwashes its followers into believing that A.A. works great.
The only thing his enthusiastic declarations prove is that A.A. is very effective at making a few people believe that A.A. is very effective at making people quit drinking. (And that A.A. is also very effective at making some people cast a blind eye at the glaring evidence of failure that is always right in front of them.)
We won't go to Mars, and we won't go to the stars. When the oil runs out, the eternal night will close in and the human race will be trapped on Earth forever.
Once upon a time, we had a narrow window of opportunity to go somewhere. The powers that be — those pompous posturing politicians — have squandered that priceless chance.
It was pretty much a one-time deal. We won't get that chance again for 60 million years, and I can't guarantee that we will still exist in 60 million years.
The first thing that the 12 Steps teach you is that you are powerless over your problem, and your life is unmanageable. That's Step One.
Then Step Two tells you that you are insane, and only a "Higher Power" can restore you to sanity.
Then Step Three instructs you to surrender your will and your life to "God as we understood Him", which could be anything from a "Group Of Drunks" to Santa Claus to one of his elves.
Then in Step Seven you beg "God as we understood Him" to remove all of your "defects of character".
So the 12-Step groups really are "elf-help" groups. You don't repair yourself, you wait for a spirit or elf or something to do it for you.
But if I say, "You know, Alcoholics Anonymous isn't really very good
for treating alcoholism," the A.A. true believers scream,
That alone is proof that Alcoholics Anonymous is a cult religion, not a cure for alcoholism.
I suspect that the A.A. approach of assuming that God will fix your alcoholism for you will get about the same success rate as praying for football victories.
Starting off by declaring that you are powerless over alcohol is giving the demons an unfair advantage.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Christ often spoke about taking care of the poor — feed the hungry, clothe the naked, take care of the little children, and heal the sick. A.A. does not do that.
Ask an A.A. member when the last time was that his A.A. group got involved in any kind of a charity project. The answer will be "never". A.A. has an official policy of never, ever, dispensing charity, or getting involved in any kind of charitable activities. (That is another policy that Alcoholics Anonymous inherited from the fascistic Oxford Group.) Bill Wilson even instructed A.A. members not to help alcoholics:
The minute we put our work on a service plane, the alcoholic commences to rely upon our assistance rather than upon God.
So don't help the alcoholics, and don't perform any services for them. Bill says that they must learn to rely on God.
The A.A. answer to everything is, "Join A.A., go to meetings, and sit on your duff talking."
That isn't Christianity, or "compatible with Christianity".
A narcissist who believes that he is speaking for God.
There are many different flavors of "Christianity" now, and most of them do not adhere to what Jesus Christ actually taught.
It seems like every Devil that comes around is Christian.
Some of that belief in magic tricks comes from the Old Testament story where Moses performed magic tricks to prove that he was a genuine messenger from God. The Pharoah's "wise men" threw their staffs down on the floor, and they turned into snakes. So Moses threw his staff down, and it turned into a snake too, but then Moses's snake ate all of the Pharoah's snakes, supposedly proving that Moses had superior magic. But that was all just a wizard's duel. It makes for entertaining fairy tales, but proves nothing. (The Walt Disney cartoon movie about King Arthur as a boy with Merlin as his teacher also featured a wizard's duel where Merlin got into a fight with a bad witch.)
Note that Jesus Christ never engaged in wizard's duels to prove that he was a prophet or a messenger from God or the Son of God. In fact, Jesus refused to even put on magic shows. He condemned the Pharisees for demanding to see a miracle, and called them evil.
People of faith have a logical idea of what life is all about.
No they don't. There is nothing "logical" about faith. Bill Wilson was misusing the word "logical". There is nothing "logical" about blind faith in a cult religion.
Faith is belief in spite of a total lack of evidence,
Logic is a thought process where one examines the facts and the evidence and then draws conclusions from them, using inductive or deductive reasoning.
Now I'm not knocking all faith. I think that some faith can be a good thing. It can certainly brighten your day sometimes, and get you through hard times. But let's be honest about what the words mean. "Faith" is not "logical".
Faith says, "I believe anyway, in spite of a lack of evidence, and in spite of evidence to the contrary."
Such faith can be a big problem. For example, consider the puzzle of rays of light traveling to us from distant stars. Some of those stars are so far away that it takes the light from them millions or even billions of years to get here, in spite of the fact that light travels very, very fast, at 186,000 miles per second (or 300 million meters per second).
Now some people believe that the world was created only 10,000 years ago. They read the Old Testament, and interpret some lines of text as meaning that the world was created rather recently, in the big scheme of things.
But they have a problem with the light that has been traveling towards us from distant stars for millions or billions of years. How could that light be on a path to us from stars millions and billions of years away if the world was created only 10,000 years ago?
So they believe that God created the Universe complete with the light already on the way, in mid-journey, and some of the rays of light appeared to have already completed 99% of their journey towards us at the moment of Creation.
Thus, they believe that God created the world in a way that would deceive us, and fool us into believing something that isn't true. They believe that God deliberately created the illusion that the world and the Universe were already billions of years old at the moment of creation.
I have a problem with that. It is Satan who is called "The Great Deceiver", not God. To believe that God would deliberately create the world in a way that would deceive us and lead us away from "God's Truth" is a very strange kind of faith, not logical at all, and it says that their idea of God is that God not a benevolent Being Who has our best interests at heart. No, their God is the Great Deceiver, and He wants to fool us into believing untrue things. In essence, they are saying that Satan, not God, designed this world.
That is not my kind of faith. Whatever the Spirit of the Universe is, I don't think It is that kind of a dishonest, malevolent Being.
Is it possible to build a computer that suffers?
No joke. This is a deep question. It reaches for the question of, "How can we suffer?" Never mind, "Why do we suffer?" or "How do we end suffering?" The question is, how could you possibly build a silicon computer, or bio-chemical computing machine, that feels pain and suffers?
We somehow assume that feeling pain is natural for us, and that there is nothing remarkable about it. It is actually very remarkable.
Imagine that you want to build a human, in the best style of Dr. Frankenstein. Take a few buckets of coal for carbon, and water, and air for oxygen and nitrogen, and a few shovels-full of dirt and rocks for minerals and sodium and phosphorus and calcium, and dump it all into a 55-gallon drum. Mix well, and suddenly the dirty mess is saying, "Ouch! That hurts?"
You think that is likely? So how can it happen? And yet, it has already happened. Here we are. Isn't that rather unbelievable?
So we are back to the question of, "How is it possible for a complex arrangement of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, to feel pain?" A lump of coal doesn't feel pain, does it? But bundle it with some water and air and dirt, and suddenly it feels pain? Really?
Never mind feeling love or lust or sadnesss or fear or grief or longing or anything else. Sometimes, I think that awareness is the most remarkable thing in the Universe.
Last updated 22 July 2018.
Copyright © 2019, A. Orange