Letters, We Get Mail, CXXVI

From: "John S."
Subject: Thanx
Date: Tue, May 5, 2009 11:09 pm     (answered 18 June 2009)

Good day Orange...

Thanx for being the voice of reason.

I have an interesting story about AA here in the Eugene/Springfield area of Oregon that you might find interesting. And it's all true.

A few years ago there was a big book study in a small town south of here called Creswell. The leader of the group was a man named Jerry S. This particular group was nicknamed "Jerry's Kids". I know him and he is/was revered in the circles of the fellowship, kind of like the elders at Midtown and the Pacific Group. The people he "helped" talked about holding hands while kneeling and praying and studying the big book vigorously. These guys recruited newcomers by going to the local detox-center and getting sponsees. And the same was expected of the newcomers. Recruit, recruit, recruit. When I got clean and sober six years ago, I hooked up with an ex-sponsee of his because I thought I "wanted what he had". Consequently, the guy I hooked up with relapsed with 20+ years of sobriety.

About four years ago shockwaves erupted in the rooms when Jerry wound up marrying a 15 year old girl who came to meetings seeking recovery. The sick part is he had to get her parents' permission to marry her. How's that for AA at its best? And even though his group disbanded, there are off-shoots of it meeting every week. Anybody who is active in the program here can verify what I've said.

I had enough about a year ago and called it quits. You printed my previous letter regarding that.

Keep up the good work...hopefully the tides of reason will eventually win out.

Sincerely... John S.

Hi John,

Thanks for the story. That's news to me. It just goes on and on and on... doesn't it?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Carl Sagan's rule: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
**    The far-fetched claims of Bill Wilson that Frank Buchman's
**    cult religion could cure alcoholism have not been backed
**    up by even a little ordinary evidence, never mind some
**    extraordinary evidence.

Date: Wed, May 6, 2009 3:35 pm     (answered 18 June 2009)
From: Sherwood E.
Subject: The cleaner

Hi Orange,

Have you seen the series on CBS Paramount TV called "The Cleaner"? It is about an ex-addict; supposedly a true story. This guy claims to have "saved" hundreds of addicts through illegal, extreme interventions. He is not licensed or certified. He claims to have a calling from God. He is of course involved in 12 step meetings. This is a perfect example of the self-ordained gurus one finds in 12 step meetings, really sick.


Hi Sherwood,

Thanks for the tip. No, I haven't seen it. Funny that Paramount feels like glorifying a criminal. And a self-proclaimed "missionary from God" passing himself off as an expert on recovery (without any training or education) is simply surreal. Although that is also exactly what Bill Wilson did. And Mr. Wilson also claimed to have a lot of fantastic successes, based on no valid evidence.

Most of that extreme "intervention" and "deprogramming" stuff stopped back in the eighties when the "deprogrammers" started going to prison for kidnapping and false imprisonment, and also got sued for it, plus for torture and abuse. Look at Rev. Miller Newton and Dr. G. Douglas Talbott for previous examples of "tough-love" torture programs.

There are a few notes on "deprogramming" and "confrontational therapy" in the bibliography, here:

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If alcoholism is really a disease, then A.A. sponsors are
**     guilty of practicing medicine without a license. They are
**     also guilty of treating a life-threatening illness without
**     having any medical education or training.  They have never
**     gone to medical school, and never done an internship or
**     residency, and yet they presume to be qualified to make
**     life-or-death decisions in the patients' treatment. That
**     is what you call quackery.

Date: Thu, May 7, 2009 12:46 pm     (answered 19 June 2009)
From: "Roger T."
Subject: Legal issues

My wife just informed me yesterday that she wants a divorce, within hours after I forwarded to her the information that I found on line from your web site, after almost 5 years of marriage. All of our assets are so comingled, that there is no way for us to sort it out equitably. In addition, I am 69 years old, gave up a job opportunity for $250,000/yr. at her insistence that she would take care of me (one of the main reasons that she was attracted to me was that I was retired, and thus would be free for us to travel, which we had done for 5 years, extensively, in the mid 1990's.) My sole source of income is Social Security.

It seems obvious to me that the A A program and its cult like tactics are a contributing factor, if not the sole factor for reducing the hope for a reconciliation with her. I would like to proceed with a lawsuit against AA, but, alas, I have no funds to hire a law firm who would have the resources to dig out all of the information which you seem to already have.

I knew the head of the printing operations for Oral Roberts and Oral Roberts University while I was in Tulsa, OK back in the late 70's, and he explained how Oral Roberts managed to garner so much wealth, i.e. he owned the printing operations from which the Oral Roberts Foundation paid to have all of their "free" literature printed for the Foundation. This 'poor' printer of a 'charitable' foundation, drove a new Cadillac and lived in a very nice area of Tulsa in a 6,000 sq. ft. house, not including the space for the very large indoor swimming pool. Mr. Roberts, on the other hand, had a nice house.

Dealing with a tax-exempt/charitable organization, whose members are anonmyous, and evidentally have a 'staff' of legal counselers, is, as you know, difficult to obtain information and to proceed with a lawsuit, once one has the information. It is obvious to me that literature royalties are substantial, as Mrs. Wilson, according to your information, received over $900,0000 in 1988 (?). Another source of funds, as I see it, must come from the 'trivial' collections at meetings, when one considers roughly 2,000,000 members, attending a minimum of one meeting per week, translates to a not so trivial $104,000,000/year. That is in addition to donations, bequeaths, and grants.

The only financials that I could find online was an Area 15 Delegates Report which showed a Current Reserve Fund Value at December 31, 2005 of $9,982,857. Link:
interesting the "Liabilities", i.e. mostly pensions and health benefits... that's for an organization who is supposed to have a minimum of hired personnel. That's just for Area 15... I have no idea how many areas they have, and then there is the National offices in New York City. If you read the linked report, you'll note how their concern focuses on increasing receipts.

I have been to enough AA meetings and Al-Anon meetings (And I can't believe that they aren't connected, at least financially) to see the writing on the wall, and I consider the tactics used by AA to be very harmful to people who, by their own admission, "powerless", and therefore vulnerable.

Do you have any ideas as to how I might proceed from this point?


Roger T.

Hello Roger,

I'm sorry to hear about your troubles.

About suing the A.A. organization: My first impression is that the A.A. headquarters will declare that they had nothing to do with it — that they never talked to your wife or counseled her to leave you — so you have no grounds to sue them. They will claim that local people are responsible, if anybody is — the local people who actually talked to your wife. And they will claim that they are not responsible for what local A.A. members do. You know the slogan, "Every group is independent, and the headquarters has no power over them."

Then I would guess that the A.A. headquarters is unlikely to even admit that any A.A. member anywhere ever gave bad advice — they will claim that your problems with your wife have nothing to do with A.A. membership.

And it will be very difficult to prove otherwise. Without local A.A. members hanging themselves by honestly testifying that they told your wife to dump you because you aren't a good member of A.A., or because you criticized A.A., I don't see how you can collect evidence against them and have it stand up in a court of law. Hearsay isn't good enough. All that they have to do is declare that they didn't tell your wife to divorce you, and you can't prove that they did — not unless your wife is going to take the stand and swear that they talked her into divorcing you, which seems highly unlikely.

I hate to say it, but the case seems unwinnable. All that the other side needs to establish is that you and your wife were having disagreements that weren't related to A.A., and your case goes out the window. They will claim that the marriage was on the rocks anyway, that she had stopped loving you, and that she would have divorced you anyway, regardless of what some A.A. members may have said. And you can't prove otherwise.

Indeed, you have to ask how committed she was to the marriage if she divorces you just for criticizing Alcoholics Anonymous.

So the real question is to ask yourself if you wish to be with her any more. If so, see whether reconciliation is even possible. If not, then figure out what to do with the rest of your life.

Nevertheless, if you want to examine the A.A. financials, you can find the financial reports here.

I think that the donations are a lot less than that. First off, the "2 million members" number is exaggerated, because they don't eliminate duplicates, and may well be lying to hide the loss of members in recent years. And that 2 million number is what is supposed to exist worldwide, not in the USA. It's just like Scientology or the Moonies bragging about how many members they have worldwide. You can't believe the numbers.

Then, most of the money put into the donations basket gets spent locally on rent, coffee, give-away literature, and other expenses. I've had many A.A. members telling me that their groups sent no money to the A.A. headquarters at all.

Who knows what they get in bequeaths and grants? It used to be customary for the A.A. headquarters to turn down offers of "outside donations", but I think that they relaxed that "tradition" after they took over $100,000 from the city of San Diego for holding a convention there.

Good luck. And have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "Drunkenness does not create vice; it merely brings it into view"
**       ==  Seneca (Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD)

Date: Sat, May 9, 2009 9:35 am     (answered 19 June 2009)
From: Nicholas

Whatever your name is, I would like to thank you for your website. I have been familiar with A.A. since 2002, it was pushed on me by a classic old-timer, who I now realize is completely NUTS, and has been for almost four decades. I lost my innocence around 5 years old, and pedophiles should get the death penalty. I drank to blackout as soon as I discovered it and still took care of business in every way, until I took the A.A. bait.

I was weak of mind at the time, not to mention too young to know anything, and I could have been on the verge of, as you put it, sick and tired of being sick and tired, and stopping what I was doing, but I tried a meeting. And then another. On and off for three years.

Something wasn't quite right at the meetings, but if I were to say anything about it, they would have cussed me out and told me to leave. I was always the youngest at any meeting, went to eight different groups, and got treated like DIRT, at every single one, because I'm too young, haven't drank enough, never been married, never been divorced, they've drank more liquor than I've pissed, etc. hey never mind that at 23, alcohol was the most important thing in my life, more than anything, even above women. They didn't know that, but they wouldn't care anyway. I thought the only requirement was an honest desire to quit drinking. BULLSHIT

The more I learn about Bill Wilson, the more I want to punch him and the face of the man that introduced me to A.A., because he truly worships him as a deity. Bill Wilson was not a man, he was an overgrown baby fortunate to have good genes and live a long life. Dr. Bob too, he fucked his daughter's life up, all of these people are completely insane.

A.A. tried to brainwash me in my weak state, and as I am from a very small town, you cannot place much trust in anything being very anonymous. It finally ended me up in a treatment center, where they really ram it down your throat, and I was truly wondering if I was insane.

A.A. truly does make things worse for people. A good friend of mine that came from another state, 38, married, good life ahead, changed noticeably after some dickhead gave him the Big Book, he told me about it but I never told him what I knew about A.A., and he killed himself last year. What if he could have been one of the few that spontaneously recovers? I maybe could have done something to prevent his wife and child from a life of torment, but how will I ever know now?

As a footnote to the drastic ineffectiveness of A.A. and the multitude of their recruiters in every single city in the US, and how they all would have told me I was a hopeless loser alcoholic, I made a decision to cast all ties to my old life, make it better, WITHOUT A.A., and currently have over 4 years service in the United States Navy, I work to keep submarines mission-ready every single day and the work I do, my name is legally attached to that work for the life of the sub, if it fails, they put me in military prison for life.

If these idiots and their opinions were right, I should be dead by now, but I MADE A CHOICE, all on my own, believe it or not, to stop destructive behavior.

Google SUBSAFE and you will see what I am talking about. NASA even asked the Navy for advice after the loss of the Columbia Space Shuttle in 2003.

But let me go to an A.A. meeting and say that I'm a small part of the reason the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf is not closed off by Iran, and you can still get as much gasoline as you want, anytime you want, courtesy of the US Navy with no thanks asked for, but I still like to have a few drinks, I'm condemned to alcoholic death. FUCK A.A. I work hard, and I like to drink to relieve the stress of this, but it's with coworkers instead of by myself now, I forget the exact words in the Big Book, but wasn't it something like "If you find another way, our hats are off to you." Yeah, they will be falling at your feet if you tell them you have another way.

I am 29 years old. I HAVE found another way through my own hard work, and I will have a lifetime HATE of A.A. and how they sucker and brainwash people, because not all are able to recognize what they are really getting themselves into, and their lives are unneccessarily ruined by the CULT of A.A.

I only saw your website for the first time the other day, spent hours on it, but I promise you I will read every word on it however many weeks or months it takes. You really have a good site. I wish judges would force drunks to read this entire site when they get in trouble, rather than making the problem worse.


ET3 Nicholas O.

Hi Nicholas,

Thanks for the letter and all of the compliments. And I'm glad to hear that you are doing well. And thanks for the cheap gasoline. All kidding aside, thank you for your service.

Yes, you have just proven one of the forbidden truths of Alcoholics Anonymous — that some alcoholics can and do just get over it and truly recover and become just like normal people, including being able to drink just like normal people. In fact, they *do* become "normal people". I guess it's normal for some normal people to drink too much occasionally.

As you noticed, A.A. members can't stand to hear that.

Back in 1976, the famous think tank called The Rand Corporation did a study of alcoholics that found that half of the alcoholics who quit killing themselves with alcohol — stopped "self-destructive drinking" — did it by absolutely abstaining from drinking any alcohol, but the other half of the successful people did it by tapering off into moderate controlled drinking.

So you turned out to be one of the people who can moderate, and I turned out to be one of the people who has to absolutely abstain from alcohol. There's the 50-50 split. So it goes.

When the Rand Corporation released the report of that study, the A.A. true believers went ballistic and declared that the authors of the study were killing alcoholics by "giving them an excuse to drink." See the story here.

Even Ann Landers got into the act and printed a reader's letter complaining that the statement that some alcoholics can drink again was "tantamount to tossing a firebomb into a crowd at a football stadium." (I really wonder whether Ann Landers was a secret member of Alcoholics Anonymous. She spent a lot of years promoting A.A. in her newspaper column, and declaring that A.A. was the greatest thing for people with a drinking problem, and recommending A.A. for everybody who drank too much, and parrotting the A.A. misinformation. I wonder why she did that.)

But the fact remains that lots of alcoholics do "just get over it". A.A. responds by saying that "They weren't real alcoholics. If they were real alcoholics they wouldn't be able to learn to drink moderately." (That's the The Real Scotsman Logical Fallacy.)

That, of course, immediately leads into a debate about the definition of "alcoholic". What is "an alcoholic", really? How bad does it have to get for someone to qualify as "an alcoholic"?

We've been over this before, but I guess it's time to reprint the definitions again:

A.A. uses at least four different definitions for the word "alcoholic", and gets them all mixed up, which really confuses the issue. The definitions are:

  1. An alcoholic is someone who habitually drinks far too much alcohol.
  2. An alcoholic is someone who is hyper-sensitive to alcohol, almost allergic to alcohol, perhaps a genetic alcoholic; someone who cannot drink even one drink or his drinking will spin out of control and he will become readdicted to alcohol.
  3. An alcoholic is somebody who cannot quit drinking — he is "powerless" over alcohol.
  4. An alcoholic is an insane sinner who is full of disgusting character defects and moral shortcomings and resentments and barely-contained anger, and is a prime example of self-will run riot and instincts run wild and selfishness and self-seeking and the Seven Deadly Sins, although he doesn't think so... etc., etc., ...

When I call myself an alcoholic, I usually mean definition 2, and only occasionally definition 1, but never definitions 3 or 4.

  1. By definition 1, I stopped being an alcoholic more than 8 1/2 years ago.
  2. By definition 2, I will always be an alcoholic.
  3. By definition 3, I wasn't an alcoholic, because I could quit drinking, and I did. I even quit drinking without any help from A.A., because I quit drinking two weeks before I was ever sent to an A.A. meeting.
  4. By definition 4, I was never an alcoholic. I was always a nice drunk. People liked having me at their parties because I was so much fun to have around when I got high. (But, as one friend said, "Even nice drunks die of cirrhosis of the liver...")

So you go to A.A. and say that you've been having a problem with drinking a lot more than you intended, and the next thing you know, they are telling you that you are a sinner who has gotten too far away from God, and you are willful and selfish and manipulative and dishonest and in denial, and not a nice person at all...

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so."
**          == Bertrand Russell (1872—1970)

May 11, 2009, Monday: Day 11, continued:

Canada Goose father + gosling Carmen
Carmen and her new father are eating oatmeal.

This shows the level of acceptance that Carmen has in the family. As far as the parents are concerned, she's just another one of their babies.

Canada Goose gosling
This is one of Carmen's siblings — the light-colored one, I think.
I've really got to come up with a better name for that little turkey than "the light-colored one".

Canada Goose goslings
Carmen on the left, and her lookalike sibling on the right.

Here you can see just how similar these two goslings are. So how can I tell which is which? Carmen's skull cap is darker, her cheek spot is larger and darker, and her eye-shadow streaks are darker and go futher back. And her back is a little darker. But you can see how the parents could have a very hard time telling them apart.

Canada Goose goslings
Carmen on the left, and her lookalike sibling on the right.

Now here you can more easily see the differences between the two goslings. In particular, the gosling on the right has a larger head, and its body is larger too. It is almost certainly a boy. In that case, he will look less and less like Carmen as he matures.

Canada Goose goslings
The beach scene — goslings everywhere.

Many goose families come to this beach to hang out, graze the grassy field, and get goodies from people. On the left you see the "family of 9", and Carmen's family is in the upper right.

The "family of 9" is actually two families. Canada Geese often form alliances where two couples pool their babies in a common nursery, and care for them together. That gives them four adults who can better surround and protect the babies. It gives them strength in numbers. The Family of 9's baby count is either 6+3 or 7+2; I can never figure it out for sure because one of the goslings likes to "switch hit", and alternates between sets of parents.

By the way, you might notice the great difference in the sizes of some of the goslings. There is nothing wrong with the little ones — they are just girls. At this age, the boys are rapidly turning into fat-assed little Sumo wrestlers, so that they can fight for their place in the pecking order. The girls don't fight, so they stay slim and trim.

Look at the three wide-bottomed goslings in the lower center of the picture. They are boys. And the smaller gosling immediately to their left is a girl. As you can see, sometimes the boys get to be half again as large as the girls.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

Date: Sun, May 10, 2009 1:20 am     (answered 19 June 2009)
From: "Scott M."
Subject: Your article

Dear Orange,

You have taken the article on surrender and misprinted it in order to fit YOUR agenda. Now you hide behind anonymity. How ironic. What do you have to say about yourself?

Scott M.

Hello Scott,

That isn't very clear. Which article on surrender? And I didn't "misprint" anything. I quote very carefully.

In general, demands for "surrender of self" are a standard cult feature. Look here for the Cult Test question, and here for the A.A. answer.

And I do not "hide behind anonymity". It's funny that Alcoholics Anonymous praises anonymity, and extolls it as a spiritual virtue, but when someone else does it, you attack that as "hiding". Are all of you A.A. members "hiding" behind anonymity?

Tradition 11: Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.

In January 1946, Bill Wilson wrote:

The word "anonymity" has for us an immense spiritual significance... subtly but powerfully it reminds us ... that we have renounced personal glorification in public; that our movement not only preaches but actually practices a truly humble modesty ...
The Language of the Heart: Bill W.'s Grapevine Writings, p. 13. (New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1988)

But I guess you are against such anonymity and "spirituality", right? — because you call it "hiding".

I broke my anonymity a while back, in response to many A.A. members' requests for many years. My birth name is Terrance Hodgins, and I live in Portland, Oregon.

Now are you going to criticize me for breaking my anonymity? Are you going to accuse me of being a publicity hog like Bill Wilson?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  It is better to be alone than in bad company.

Date: Sun, May 10, 2009 3:28 am     (answered 19 June 2009)
From: "John C. S."
Subject: Greetings from New Zealand

Your website saved me from having to spend my retirement exposing AA. Although I am 65, retirement is a long way off. June 2007 I became reacquainted with a lady (my teen age sweetheart from 43 years ago). We live in different towns but spent two lovely times together and spent much time on phone and exchanging letters.

Very soon her membership of AA for 8 years became an issue (not because I lacked empathy) but because her writings (I obviously had to be converted) and the way she seemed to be controlled by a set of doubtful beliefs about alcohol etc. made me suspicious of AA's modus operandi. I was "bold" enough to state AA seemed to operate like a cult. In the 1980s my interest in reading Theology included studying various cults (notably Romanism and Seventh Day Adventism) as a result of the devastating effects they had respectively had on my marriage and my siblings. I therefore recognize the methodologies of cults. The perversions of Christianity are cultish as they doctrinally or by implication threaten their believers with "eternal death" if they depart the cult. AA threatens its believers with "you will die" if they depart. That threat of death (eternally or in the here and now are extremely controlling).

Noticed that the lady and I had considerable differences in our respective approaches to basic nutrition. My attempts to get her to consider a "nutrient dense diet" as the way to overcome cravings (or the fear thereof) went down like a lead balloon. Apart from being told she would get a local (perhaps her sponsor) to "sort me out", I was challenged to research AA starting with the Big Book. Well that (research) is what I am in the habit of doing anyway — so off to the public library. BB in reference section and could not be borrowed but borrowed a book written by an AA sycophant plus "Alcohol — the world's favorite drug" by Griffith Edwards, Emeritus Professor of Addiction Behavior, University of London. A history of alcohol. The most relevant information to me was the fact of AA having its origins in Buchmanism (hence my hunch re cultish methodologies was being confirmed). Edwards quotes the 12 steps — the first time I had read them. My immediate reaction was they were a theological nonsense. By 14th July I had my own copy of Edwards via Amazon USA

Add to that my attitude on the wisdom of controlling addictions via "nutrient dense nutrition" and the friendship (apart from the occasional exchange of texts, etc.) went on the wane. Until 2006 I just assumed AA was benign. Also had thought of alcoholism as a disease having in 1967 or thereabouts (when a Lion) listened to an address by a so-called expert (Dr. Gerard Wall), then deputy Medical Superintendent of one of NZ's largest psychiatric hospitals (Porirua). He later became an elected Member of the NZ Parliament and later the Speaker.

Probably during 2003 I read on p221 of "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon, a quote from Dr. Roger J Williams, former Director of the Clayton Foundation Biochemical Institute, "I will herewith positively assert that no one who follows good nutritional practices will ever become an alcoholic".

Then in 2006 the following letter appeared in the quarterly journal of the Weston Price Foundation at www.westonaprice.org:

Traditional Diets for Rehabilitation

I have begun a new job as a cook at The Canyon, a high-end drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Malibu California. (The website is www.thecyn.com.) It costs 36,000 dollars a month to stay there and it is owned by Fred Segal, the fashion designer. Fred has been doing the primal diet for several years now and wanted to implement some of it at the center, namely raw dairy products and raw fish (sushi, ceviche, etc.). On our own initiative, we have also begun to implement other healthy Weston Price food practices such as sourdough bread, cooking with stock, all organic produce, whey vinegar, raw ice cream, lard, etc. The results have been phenomenal — everyone loves the food and most of the clients say that they see a definite improvement in their health. Especially with the raw dairy and fat, they say that it cuts drug and food cravings, makes their skin less oily and fills them up quicker. In the past, I have had problems with alcoholism, drug addiction and bulimia. Once I started implementing the Weston Price diet in my life, especially tons of raw fat and raw dairy, I no longer craved alcohol or drugs and no longer engaged in binge eating. I knew that what had worked for me would also work for others and now I am beginning to see the physical proof of that.

Nathan Donahoe
Marina del Rey, California

For many years I was partially led astray by the nutrition misinformation followed in much of the "western world" based on the USDA healthy eating pyramid. I knew from my own experience since 2002 of the undoubted advantages of following the "nutrient dense nutrition" advice of such as the Weston Price Foundation. Until then I had been a "carbohydrate addict" and had paid the price by suffering a detached retina (early sign of diabetes). Since, following a diet high in natural Vitamin A, I have now abandoned glasses and recently had my driving licence renewed deleting the requirement to wear glasses.

From there it was books by Milam and Ketcham and then "Seven Weeks To Sobriety" by Joan Mathews Larson via Amazon again. All dealt with the nutritional approach although I felt the nutrition could be improved. Larson is pretty good however and she deals with the hypoglycemia connection.

In March 08 I obtained second hand from USA Roger Williams books published 1959 and 1981. The former he dedicates to AA but by 1981 he is becoming critical of AA. Also had "Mood Cure" by Julia Ross and have no doubt it also influenced my thinking.

Wondering what to write in October 2007 (in a final effort to reason with the lady) I finally searched "Buchmanism" and up came "Orange". Research already done!! Much information then passed on to said lady (she being without internet) and sad, but to be expected response from a "cultist" — attack the messenger not the message. So over the last 18 months I have read all your site and periodically the letters and replies. Have thought that to complete the picture for those desirous of controlling their alcohol addiction (AA having been thoroughly exposed as a fraud) that your site needed to cover the nutritional approach. I know you offer other sources of help but they also appear to be fellowships and counselling (albeit not of the detrimental nature of AA). If you look into Abram Hoffer (Orthomolecular Psychiatrist) you will see he was the one who introduced Wilson to niacin treatment (there is a clip on Utube plus Hoffer has written about it). It's a while since I read your piece on B3 where you also disparaged (rightly so) experiments with LSD but in the context of the times and Hoffer's training as a psychiatrist and the fact he was the pioneer in trying to get away from "jawboning" and psychotropic drugs it is not surprising that he was involved in LSD experimentation. I was also aware from Sally Fallon's book that Wilson had been attracted to niacin and when I first become interested in AA in 2006 wondered what had happened to that interest and why lady was unaware. Realised in due course that anything to do with nutrition was rubbished by AA as irrelevant to the 12 steps.

A few months ago you received an email from Hypoglycemia Association in Australia which dealt with the fact high proportion of the addicted were hypo. Then just this week I have received book (Amazon again) "Primal Body — Primal Mind" (2009) by Nora Gedgaudas. Only reference to alcoholism is 5 paragraphs at pages 140-141 under the heading THE NEED FOR STEADY FUEL. I quote (selectively, for sake of brevity).

Where "fueling the fire" of our brain and body metabolism is concerned, carbohydrates may best be described as "kindling". Whole grains and legumes are somewhat like "twigs", starch, such as in cereals or potatoes, together with simple sugars are like "paper" on the fire, and alcohol might best be described as "gasoline" on the fire. If you're relying on carbohydrates as your primary source of fuel, you need to fuel that fire often, regularly and consistently. You will be craving that fuel.

Most if not all alcoholics (for instance) have severe issues with dysglycemia and sugar addiction. Alcoholics are utterly dependent upon and regularly seek fast sources of sugar — alcohol being the fastest. This is one reason why they say "once an alcoholic always an alcoholic". This is because the problem in alcoholism, in fact, isn't really alcohol per se — but severe carbohydrate addiction. The typical AA meeting is replete with donuts, coffee and people standing around smoking cigarettes. Even though they may not be drinking alcohol, the damaging, often unconscious, sugar addiction in recovering alcoholics continues.

Dietary fat, in the absence of carbohydrates, however, is like putting a nice big "log" on the fire. Fat's flame burns at a regular even rate and is easily kept going... Blood sugar — when one learns to depend on this steadier source of fuel — becomes a trivial concern.

With both our nations being "fat phobic", binge drinking is no mystery. At first seemingly harmless good fun but as we well know there eventually comes for too many the cross over point where malnutrition sets in and the preferred fuel is alcohol and other stimulants. I am fortunate that my carb addiction never progressed to preferring alcohol as my primary fuel but I now live without any cravings for carbs and my health and physical capabilities are much improved over the last 7 years. Hence no thoughts of retiring from my physical work.

The same week I receive the Gedgaudas book (www.PrimalBody-PrimalMind.com) I read letters on your site and realize you are both domiciled in Portland. I suppose that is what finally prompted me to email you. In a city approaching 600,000 (my city about 10% of that number) you may be unaware of each other. The internet sure shrinks the world.

Kind regards

Hello John,

Thanks for the letter and all of the information about nutrition. I agree that nutrition is very important, and most alcoholics have terrible diets and malnutrition. I know I did. I nearly lost my short-term memory from thiamine deficiency.

You remind me that I need to pay some more attention to my diet myself. It could be better. At least I take a lot of vitamins and minerals. They seem to help — especially the B vitamins. So twice a day, I take

  1. one-a-day super everything, either Centrum Silver or the Safeway copy.
  2. high-potency B complex with C
  3. a large vitamin C
  4. calcium supplement
  5. aspirin, for prevention of headaches, and blood thinning
  6. 50 mg. DHEA. I don't know if this does anything, but I'm giving it a try.

Since I take all of that twice a day, I'm getting double the usual dose.

Still, next I need to remember, "More vegetables and salads... And more fruit, too."

Griffith Edwards is an interesting character. We have discussed his work a couple of times before:

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    As I see it, every day you do one of two things:
**    build health or produce disease in yourself.
**         ==   Adelle Davis

Date: Mon, May 11, 2009 3:09 pm     (answered 20 June 2009)
From: "Koos B."
Subject: Ignorance

You are a very poor individual indeed. There is no sign of spirituality in your writings. There should be an island somewhere for such people.

Hi Koos,

Thank you. You have a good day too.

Oh, and I'll take Tahiti or Hawaii.

== Orange

By the way, it was Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World where all of the troublesome "different" people got sent to an island.

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     One Stepper declared, "My stability came out of trying to
**     give, not out of demanding that I receive."
**     Serving humanity is all fine and well, but what if you are humbly,
**     lovingly, spiritually giving out cups of cyanide koolaid?
**     No matter how generous and loving and unselfish you are
**     while you hand it out, it's still cyanide koolaid.

Date: Mon, May 11, 2009 4:30 pm     (answered 21 June 2009)
From: "Joe L."

AA is a choice. You can choose to be associated with AA or not. For me, it worked. For others, it has not worked. There are other programs with successes and failures also. We are not perfect. We just strive to be better people day by day. I hope whatever path you are on leads you to peace, happiness, and sobriety. It is a mater of choice.

Joe L.

Hello Joe,

Congratulations on your recovery. I would still suggest that what really worked was YOU, not some "program". If YOU had not quit drinking, then "The Program" wouldn't have worked, would it?

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Treatment centers based on Alcoholics Anonymous concepts
** routinely advised their patients to find a "higher power"
** or take a "moral inventory", untroubled by the contradiction
** between giving such advice and providing insurance-funded
** treatment for medical diseases.
**   == Ken Ragge (?)

From: "Bill C."
Subject: thanks
Date: Tue, May 12, 2009 8:52 pm     (answered 21 June 2009)

I have been sober for about 10 years and am a member of AA, I just wanted to thank you for your work. I describe myself as one notch away from being an atheist and have always thought AA was some sort of cult. Still, the spiritual practices I follow and fellowship I find in AA attendance are useful to me in maintaining my sobriety. Are there other groups of recovering drunks other than AA?


Hi Bill,

Thanks for the thanks. And congratulations on your sobriety.

And yes, there are several other sobriety groups. I just reprinted the list a while ago, so I'll point you to the list: recovery forums, here. That list emphasizes the online forums, but several of them also have face-to-face meetings in many cities. Obviously, you can ask in the forums about local meetings if that's what you would like.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "I think I could, if I only knew how to begin." For, you see, so
**     many out-of-the-way things had happened lately that Alice had
**     begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.
**    ==  Lewis Carroll (English Logician, Mathematician, Photographer
**     and Novelist, especially remembered for Alice's Adventures in
**     Wonderland.  1832-1898)

Date: Thu, May 14, 2009 10:23 am     (answered 21 June 2009)
From: "Juanita P."
Subject: I just had to share this... I hope you enjoy the humor!

I regularly write stream-of-consciousness just to clear the crap out of my head so I can move on with a productive day. Well, occasionally the stream takes form, as it did this morning. Perhaps someone else has already made a similar connection and written about it, I don't know. But, this bubbled straight out of my warped and bent mind this morning and I thought I'd share. You are welcome to publish it anywhere on your site, including in your letters. I haven't read over your site enough to know whether you consider anything submitted to be in the public domain, but, if you don't, then consider it copyrighted. And, if you do, well, I guess I'd rather it be in the public domain than have you not publish it on your site, if you so choose. Hope you and all your readers find it enjoyable!

So, for the past few days I've been thinking about all these problems where we were supposed to have "been born that way" and "we just can't help ourselves" without a "religious conversion". Which, in turn, led me to thinking about alcoholism, 12-steps, and AA. A line I had read somewhere else traveled from the deepest realms of my psyche at light-speed to my consciousness, It rang out: "You were born incontinent, too."

And some other voice in my head chimed in: "Yeah, how's that one going for you" Did you need a 12-step program to keep you from shittin' in your pants""

Well, my old habit of keeping a running "personal inventory" has perhaps kept me from sinning too gravely against the "brotherhood". I prayed immediately for knowledge of "His will" and the power to carry that out.

Just as immediately "His will" came to me. It said: "You are to be my chosen one for establishing Ala-Toddler."

It was very clear to me the benefits Ala-Toddler would have. Ala-Toddler would fill the 12-step family indoctrination gap between the time one begins to potty train and the time one becomes eligible for Ala-teen indoctrination. It would impress upon the 12-step family toddler, from the most tender and pliable developmental age, the importance of acknowledging the powerlessness their lives are enveloped in. So, I re-wrote the 12 steps for Ala-Toddler, to-wit:

  1. Admitted we were powerless over shitting in our pants — that our lives had become nothing but one steady succession from one shitty diaper to the next.

  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to properly regulated butt-holes.

  3. Made a decision to turn our out-of-control butt-holes over to the care of God as we understood him.

  4. Made a searching and fearless bowel movement inventory of ourselves.

  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our failure to properly control our butt-holes.

  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these bowel movement defects.

  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our bowel movement shortcomings.

  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, burdened, or inconvenienced with our inability to control our bowels and became willing to make amends to them all.

  9. Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would cause them psychic injury by forcing them to relive all the times they had to wipe our filthy asses.

  10. Continued to take a personal bowel movement inventory and promptly admitted when our butt-holes were either too tight or too loose, at inappropriate times.

  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for the knowledge of His will for when we should hold our butt-holes and when we should release our butt-holes, and the power to carry that out.

  12. Having had a spiritual anal sphincter awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other potty-training infants, and their caregivers, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Hello Juanita,

Thanks for the laugh. And you have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Gandalf said, "The little orks don't like
**    humor. They cringe in pain at the sound of
**    laughter. And they really can't stand it when
**    you poke fun at them. So they howl and growl
**    and scowl and get all bent out of shape."

Date: Thu, May 14, 2009 1:53 pm     (answered 21 June 2009)
From: DON S.
Subject: AA Sober over 18 years

Sorry to hear about your bad experience with AA. I have been sober in AA for over 18 years and my life is wonderful. I pray you may find God in your heart for Jesus loves us all. Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.

Thank you Jesus, Don S.

Hello Don,

Congratulations for your sobriety.

What is at issue is not my experiences, but rather the experiences of the millions of other people who didn't fare so well. I was lucky. I recovered in spite of 12-Step insanity. I have 8 1/2 years clean and sober now, even 8 1/2 years off of cigarettes, in spite of the best efforts of my Stepper "counselor".

But other people died as a result of 12-Step indoctrination. And others suffer unnecessarily for years. And others go through some real horror stories.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done
**     it unto one of the least of these my brethren,
**     ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25:40)

Date: Thu, May 14, 2009 5:46 pm     (answered 21 June 2009)
From: "Cody G."
Subject: why

Why trash something that is working to create a positive change in someones life? I can understand someones unhappiness with 12 step groups, but when some % (even if its a small one) is seeing profound changes in the way they live their lives, why would you want to bash that? I cant figure it out. I See the free tibet tag on the bottom of the page and have to wonder if you have any idea what that stands for and the simple ideas that are put forward there. They relate immensly to 12 step groups. Im just curious.

Hello Cody,

Thanks for the letter.

The big problem with A.A. is that it hurts far more people than it helps. It is inaccurate and downright dishonest to just point to a small percentage of the A.A. newcomers/inductees/recruits/parolees/prisoners/victims who like A.A., and say that they are really happy, and claim that A.A. really helped them, while pointedly ignoring all of the other people who were not helped, or were even hurt, by Alcoholics Anonymous.

You have to look at both sides of Alcoholics Anonymous, not just listen to the happy Pollyannas. Read some of the horror stories of people hurt by the A.A. organization. I just put together a short list of those stories, here.

Also look at the increased rate of binge drinking that A.A. causes, and the elevated death rate that A.A. causes.

And look at the pathetically low success rate in getting people to quit drinking and stay quit. A.A. doesn't really have a "success rate"; it's actually a bad failure rate. Even Bill Wilson said so, in one of his rare moments of candid honesty.

Oh, by the way, Tibetan Buddhist teachings are nothing like Alcoholics Anonymous, and the Dalai Lama does not parrot the 12 Steps of Frank Buchman and Bill Wilson, nor does he chant all of those mind-numbing A.A. slogans.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "You have no conception these days of how much failure we had.
**  You had to cull over hundreds of these drunks to get a handful
**  to take the bait."
**  Bill Wilson describing early recruiting efforts for Alcoholics Anonymous,
**  at the memorial service for Dr. Bob, Nov. 15, 1952. (File available here.)

Date: Sun, May 17, 2009 12:15 am     (answered 21 June 2009)
From: "Neil"
Subject: Freedom From The Cult

Dear Orange,

I hope your internet situation clears up, soon. Reading your website and many of the letters people send to you really confirms to me that I'm not the only one who has observed more harm than good being done in the AA program. I have been AA free for several years and am still completely abstinent. In fact, some very good techniques that I have learned in an alternative program have greatly helped me in not even having the desire to drink alcohol at all any more as well. I have come to realize that I am the one who is in control of whether to drink or not and my abstinence is not at the whim of some outside influence. This also confirms to me that I was (with all kidding aside) addicted to recovery group meetings, which is no longer the case for me. I'm glad to be out of that cult. Unfortunately, the after-effects of the vicious, dangerous and destructive programming that was done to me in that cult still haunt me at times, but they certainly do not at all give me the desire to drink.


Hi Neil,

Thanks for the letter, and I'm glad to hear that you are doing well.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the
**     things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
**     So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.
**     Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
**        == Mark Twain (American Humorist, Writer & Lecturer. 1835—1910)

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Last updated 21 November 2014.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters126.html