Letters, We Get Mail, CCIII

Date: Wed, October 20, 2010 2:43 pm     (answered 8 November 2010)
From: "Facebook"
Subject: Eileen P. posted on your Wall.

Eileen wrote:
"thank you for the information you have made available for people to see the facts. i really appreciate that alot & have a wonderful day :)"

Hi Eileen,

Thanks for the thanks, and you have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If your beliefs fit on a sign, think harder.
**     == A sign at John Stewart's  "Rally for Sanity",
**          Washingon DC October 31, 2010

Date: Wed, October 20, 2010 6:03 pm     (answered 8 November 2010)
From: "iamnotastatistic"
Subject: Honorable mention

Hi Terrance,

A few things..

1. I've just read a great book called "SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless" by Steve Salerno. It's a great book, another real eye opener.

Also, orange-papers.info gets an honorable mention in the book as one of the dissenting voices to the "Recovery Movement".

Hi again, "iamnotastatistic",

Oh really? In the book? I'll have to check it out.

2. I was just thinking that if you want to use my previous email (9/21) on your website you can, just delete my real name.


3. I have a friend of mine, who's a PhD, analyzing the AA survey data right now and within the next few weeks we should have a really clear picture of the AA membership: membership growth curves, retention curves, total numbers in their 1st year, median sobriety, short and long term efficacy, the effects of the aging population in AA, etc., etc. All based on AA's own data — it's going to be interesting!

Oh, now that sounds really interesting.

4. I've just read that our Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske, is a big fan of *"evidence based"* treatment for addiction! Is there a major change on the way? Apparently his son has been through the system so he may understand more than most. It seems that the guy at the very, very top is not a fan of 12 Step!

Now that is a hopeful sign.

Keep up the good work,

Okay, you have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     A little patience and we shall see the reign of witches
**     pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people
**     recovering their true sight, restore their government
**     to its true principles.  It is true that in the meantime
**     we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the
**     horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public
**     debt.
**         ==  Thomas Jefferson

May 20, 2009, Wednesday: Day 20, continued:

Canada Goose goslings The Family of 9 Goslings

[More gosling photos below, here.]

[The previous letter from Jeff is here.]

Date: Wed, October 20, 2010 2:30 pm     (answered 7 November 2010)
From: "Jeff Hull"
Subject: Re: Your web page (Chapter 24: The Last Hurrah: Up With People)

Hello Orange,

Thank you for the considered reply. You're quite right; I only met Frank Buchman once when I was very young and very impressionable. I was struck by the fact that he talked to me as someone who could understand what he was saying. And I noticed that he did so in the presence of my father, grandfather and uncle and that they were also impressed by that and did not exhibit any signs or reserve or suspicion. I met Peter Howard many times when I was in my late teens and looking for something better than what "generic American society" was offering me; not only personal role models, which Peter never was, but societal and systemic role models, for which his "Design for Dedication" provided a possible alternative. Out of that, I spent the summer of 1964 at Mackinac Island doing sets and electrics with the Up with People show. So my knowledge and opinions are founded on that, not on what Frank Buchman was like as a person or his personal actions. Nor, actually, what Peter Howard was like as a person. I never cared to investigate his past, choosing rather to evaluate how consistently his actions matched his rhetoric which was much higher than most adults of my experience and infinitely higher than any politician or publicly elected official of my experience.

Hello again, Jeff,

I'm sure that the summer of 1964 was an interesting time for you.

I think most of my disagreement with you is over your repeated use of the words "cult" and "cult leader". These terms carry so much negative baggage and have been so misused and abused that I object to their use at all except in carefully defined " and controlled " circumstances, which your website does not meet. While I acknowledge the use of the words from a theological perspective, I restrict myself to using them only in the sociological context and, for our conversation, request you do the same. In my experience, Peter Howard's behavior did not encompass all of the required elements for designation as a "cult leader".

The use of the word "cult" is quite deliberate, and is intended to have all of the negative connotations. Frank Buchman and his Oxford Group/Moral Re-Armament are a classic textbook example of a cult. You should read The Cult Test. You can go right down the list, and Buchman's organization had most all of them, starting with The Guru is Always Right, You are Always Wrong, No Graduates, No Exit, Cult-Speak, Irrational Dogma, Denigration of Competing Churches, Lying and Deceiving, Grandiose Claims, Rewriting History, and on and on.

My second disagreement with you is, I think, best characterized by the quote, "The evil men do lives on, while the good is oft interred with their bones." I never cared enough about either Frank Buchman or Peter Howard to research everything they ever did or said. I was (and still am) only concerned with the ideas and philosophies they promoted. And even there, not with all the variations they had explored but with the specific ideas that were being promoted in the 1960s and 1970s.

Well, the ideas that they promoted were things like praise of Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler, and claiming that all our problems would be solved if the world were ruled by Christian fascist dictators. Then, when that didn't work out very well, they switched to promoting a generic rabid "patriotism", that included hatred of "The Communists", and attacking labor unions. They were all for the War in Vietnam. 59,000 Americans killed. 2,000,000 Vietnamese dead. Which led to the Cambodian War, and another 2,000,000 dead.

In those days, the American presence on the world stage was dominated by the violent expression of very un-American ideas. In 1956, after public urging from the US government via VOA & USIA, the Hungarian people rebelled against the illegal Soviet takeover and control of their country, gained a dominant position over the Soviet forces in their country and invited, no, begged, the US government to honor its promises and send diplomatic and military support to help them maintain their freedom. To no avail. At the same time and throughout the latter half of the 1950s and all of the 1960s, Robert McNamara (& others) was illegally sending mercenary and American military and intelligence personnel into Southeast Asia in direct contravention of formal and informal diplomatic accords with various people (e.g., Ho Chi Minh) and countries (e.g., China, Laos, Viet Nam) in the area. While my examples here are of foreign policy, there are similar examples of un-American domestic policies. MRA and Design for Dedication offered a foundation for a return to an official American foreign and domestic policy that effectively expressed and supported American values and ideals both at home and abroad. This was tremendously exciting to many people in those days, myself included.

Buchman's right-wing politics did not improve the world scene at all. Buchman was always screaming anti-Communist stuff, but he accomplished nothing. His promotion of Hitler and the Nazis didn't accomplish anything either.

After Frank Buchman's praise of Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler didn't work out very well during World War II, Buchman switched to being "very patriotic", and "opposing Communism". That is an easy scam. It doesn't take anything like spirituality or morals to be "against Communism". Lots of rabble-rousers have done it. Buchman didn't accomplish anything good, and he probably had some influence in shoving us into the distastrous War in Vietnam, and keeping us in it for 10 years.

Being in a cult is always "terribly exciting", until you see through the façade. That is how cults work. While ordinary people are "just paying the rent", and "living pointless lives of mere existence", the cult members are supposedly doing grand things, achieving, accomplishing, building, saving the world. Or so they say. Yes, it's very exciting, as long as you believe in the story. It's like a fun movie, and you are in it. Too bad reality has to intrude, and you have to leave the theater after a while.

I have no quarrel you or others who call attention to the feet of clay we all have. To do so is your right and I wouldn't take it from you if I could. But I do wish that you would give just a little space on your website, just a few words in your lecture, to those of us who found something good and inspiring and chose to follow it. Even when our leaders had feet of clay. It is a cold, cheerless world that requires a person to lead a perfect life before we will allow him (or her) to make a positive difference in the world. My God is not so repressive. My God is willing to take the good wherever it may be found.

Excuse me, but the fact that you liked Frank Buchman's cult goes not make it "something good". You chose to follow a dishonest heretical cult religion. Sorry, but I am not going to praise that.

I don't know the hearts of my fellows in the Up With People cast at Mackinac Island. Sometimes I'm not sure I know my own. But I do know I was not there from any desire or intent to control or enslave or diminish any other human being; to do "what is right, as god gives us to see the right". I do ask that you acknowledge that on your website.

I did not attack the cast of Up With People. I'm sure that they were some well-meaning, hoodwinked kids, even if a little gullible and superstitious. I can't blame those kids too much; they didn't know any better. The cult managers are another matter, however. They had an agenda, and they used the kids in their nefarious schemes.

You will find below a few specific redirections or rebuttals embedded in your text below, also in purple. They are intended to explain my thoughts and positions, not to criticize yours. If you would like to continue the conversation, please feel free. I have no desire to change your opinions. It is, of course, more likely that you have already considered any points I might happen to make. But on the chance that further conversation might expand your perspective, I should be happy to continue.

Unfortunately, the purple color didn't come through the email at all. At the receiving end, everything in the email is black. So I will have to reconstruct the colors as best I can.

Thank you again for your reply. Be well.

Jeff H.

You have a good day too.

== Orange

Thank you for the letter. So, you met Frank Buchman and Peter Howard for what, several fifteen-minute or one-hour conversations? And because they were nice to you then, you have decided that they were not dogmatic cult leaders? Do you really think that Frank Buchman would reveal all of his worst characteristics to you in a short period of time? He was a very skilled cult leader. He was good at fooling people.

Cult leaders are usually clever and intelligent, and know how to deceive and manipulate people. That is how they become successful cult leaders, while less-skilled con artists fail to attract and hold a following and build up a big cult. Being charismatic is also a big plus for any cult leader.

Does this mean that you think that anyone who is charismatic and clever and intelligent is a cult leader? I don't think that is what you meant. Sociologists have a specific set of criteria, all of which must be satisfied, for someone to be "diagnosed" as a cult leader. You have not shown nor asserted that either Frank Buchman or Peter Howard has displayed all of these criteria. This is my disagreement with what you have posted on your website.

RE: "Does this mean that you think that anyone who is charismatic and clever and intelligent is a cult leader?"

Nope, the logic is not reversible:

  1. Most cult leaders are charismatic.
  2. But most charismatic people are not cult leaders.

The reason that I mentioned "charismatic" is because you were fooled by a charismatic cult leader.

Please point me to "these sociologists" who rate cult leaders. I have read a lot of books about cults — see the bibliography of this web site for a long list of books about cults — and I have assembled a test to check whether any given group is a cult. Frank Buchman and his Oxford Group passes the test easily. In fact, it is almost the gold standard. The only things they didn't do is drink cyanide koolaid and shoot defectors.

"Displaying humility" does not prove that someone is good, or a virtuous Christian. See the signature below.

No, it does not. But it does violate one of the criteria sociologists use in diagnosing cult leader.

No, it does not. DISPLAYING humility is a phony act. In truth, Frank Buchman was so arrogant that he claimed to have a hotline straight to God, and claimed that he heard The Voice Of God much better than people like you or me. That is not humility. That is arrogance. Extreme arrogance.

That signature said it all:

**     And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin,
**     is pride that apes humility.
**        ==  Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Devil's Thoughts

Both Frank Buchman and Peter Howard most assuredly did make many declarations like "I have the one and only true way" and "you must do what I tell you to". Have you actually bothered to read their books and speeches, and see what they really said, and taught and promoted?

I have read more than a little of Frank Buchman's writings and more of Peter Howard's; one difference that I did find (more in FB's than PH's perhaps because FB's covered most of his life while PH's spanned only a few years) was that the message evolved. Possibly they were learning as they went along? And I certainly believe that any set of such principles may need to be revised and enhanced over time. E.g. the original Constitution of the United States allowed for slavery of human beings. I think you and I have very different interpretations of what we have read.

Message evolved? Or they were just making it up as they went along? "The Message" was that Frank Buchman listened to God, and God said that Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler were great fellows. But when that backfired, he just pretended that it never happened. He changed the subject and became a rabid anti-Communist. That is not "a spiritual Message evolving". That is someone being an opportunist, and tailoring his con to the mood of the times.

One of the problems with a con where someone claims that he is receiving infallible messages from God is that he cannot admit that he was wrong. That would mean either than 1) God was wrong, or 2) Frank Buchman did not hear God correctly. No, no, no. Frank couldn't say that.

One key difference between Ghandi and Jim Jones or David Koresh is that Ghandi never tried to force or coerce people to obey him. I think it is different to say "I have found some principles which, when practiced, provide, e.g., "a sure foundation for world peace" and any effective foundation for world peace must be based on these principles." and "I have the one and only true way."

It is true that Ghandi was non-violent, but what does that have to do with Frank Buchman?

Frank Buchman most assuredly DID NOT "find some principles". Doing occult practices like conducting séances and "listening to God", and then praising Hitler and the Nazis is not "spiritual principles".

You keep ignoring what actually happened, and reverting to repeating the same lines about "spiritual principles", of which Frank Buchman had none.

Lest we be distracted into non-productive discussion, please let me tell you that I am not an adherent of the Church of Rome (a.k.a. the Roman Catholic Church) nor any of its derivatives (e.g., Lutheran, Anglican, etc). Let me also tell you that there are many issues, e.g., homosexuality, where I have radically different opinions and positions that FB or PH.

Okay. Actually, I never thought that you were a Catholic. And Lutheran or Anglican never occurred to me either. What I saw was "Buchmanite". Buchmanism is a peculiar non-Christian religion. In the last letter, I gave you a list of ways in which Frank Buchman was opposed to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

God-controlled supernationalism is the only sure foundation for world peace.
Frank Buchman, speaking at Zürich, Switzerland, 6 October 1935,
Remaking the World, the speeches of Frank Buchman, Frank N. D. Buchman, page 50.

Only Moral Re-Armament can bind the nations together.
Frank Buchman, speaking at Interlaken, Switzerland, 10 September 1938,
Remaking the World, the speeches of Frank Buchman, Frank N. D. Buchman, page 108.

      It is one thing to say that God-control is the only true policy. It is another thing to make it a reality in the life of a nation.   ...
      It is the super-statesmen who make God-control their program, who will solve the ills of mankind and usher in lasting peace.   ...
      Statesmen everywhere are becoming convinced that this is the only lasting program...
Frank Buchman, speaking at Geneva, Switzerland, 15 September 1935, quoted in
Remaking the World, the speeches of Frank Buchman, Frank N. D. Buchman, page 112.

"God alone can change human nature."
Frank Buchman, quoted in Britain and the Beast, Peter Howard, 1963, page 108.

Only a great spiritual experience on the part of national leaders of every party, class and creed will ever make any world conference or any League of Nations a workable basis for bringing peace. Such efforts must be God-controlled. Mark you, there is no alternative.
Frank Buchman, speaking in a BBC radio broadcast, 27 November 1938,
Remaking the World, the speeches of Frank Buchman, Frank N. D. Buchman, pages 121.

The only possible alternatives today are collapse or God-control. And collapse is simply the selfishness of all of us together. Collapse or God-control.
Frank Buchman, speaking in a transatlantic radio broadcast from London, 9 August 1936, quoted in
Remaking the World, the speeches of Frank Buchman, Frank N. D. Buchman, page 77.
(Notice Buchman's repeated use of the Either/Or propaganda technique: Give the audience only two extreme choices, and pressure them to choose between something very objectionable, or what Buchman wishes them to choose: "Mark you, there is no alternative. Collapse or God-control. War or Moral Re-Armament. Guidance or Guns.")

Well, gee, didn't JFK say those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable? This is classic rhetoric! You may have even engaged in it once or twice yourself. 8^)

Huh? That is an irrelevant response. Your question was whether either Frank Buchman or Peter Howard ever claimed to have "the one and only way". And the answer is, "Yes, they did."

And JFK's rhetoric has nothing to do with Frank Buchman's cult religion. When Buchman said "Guidance or Guns", what he was saying was, "Everybody has to join my cult and do my occult practices, or there will be war."

One year ago we met at Interlaken, Switzerland, under the threat of war. The thought that riveted the attention of the world at that time was "Guidance or Guns." The intervening months have only served to emphasize the truth of that alternative. It is clearer now than ever before that Moral Re-Armament is the essential foundation for any world settlement.
      The next step is for men and women in every nation to enlist in MRA for the duration.
Frank Buchman, speaking at the Second World Assembly for Moral Re-Armament, 22 July 1939,
Remaking the World, the speeches of Frank Buchman, Frank N. D. Buchman, page 144.

We will find our national security only in Moral Re-Armament.
Frank Buchman, speaking at the Second World Assembly for Moral Re-Armament, 22 July 1939,
Remaking the World, the speeches of Frank Buchman, Frank N. D. Buchman, page 145.

Oh, come on. Many people were conned by Hitler (like maybe Neville Chamberlain). Show me quotes of FB praising Hitler after the war and my opinion will change. (Maybe there are some; I don't know.) My point is that anything said about Hitler, Fascism and/or Communism before WW2 has to be considered very differently from things said after the war, after the Holocaust and the Gulag became public knowledge. (Oops, there are still some who deny the Holocaust ever happened. Hmmm. P.S. Not me.) Likewise, any statements of support for Communism must be evaluated depending on whether they were made before or after the operating practices of the various regimes became public knowledge. (Of course, Communism, to my knowledge, has never been tried by any country. What the Russians/Soviets tried should be called Leninism; what the Chinese are still trying should be called Maoism. Both should be approached with the highest degree of skepticism because both spring from fascist roots {i.e., the Great Man theory of history / governance; since both were started by one man ruling as autocrat} while claiming to incorporate incompatible {with fascism} philosophies, financial policies, economic models, social models, legal models, etc.) In my opinion, it is reasonable to give "the benefit of the doubt" to those who gave such support prior to public disclosure, perhaps they actually believed Nazi / Communist protestations of good faith. It appears to me that you give no weight to the context in which a statement is made by those whose opinions you dislike.

That is classic Minimization and Denial. To claim that Frank Buchman was okay because he didn't publicly praise Adolf Hitler AFTER the war? Really now.

Frank Buchman did not criticize Hitler and the Nazis during the war, either. While Hitler was getting 50 million people killed, and Heinrich Himmler was shoving the Jewish children into the gas chambers at Auschwitz, Frank Buchman did not have one word of criticism for Adolf Hitler or Heinrich Himmler. In fact, Frank Buchman was helping Europeans and U.S. citizens to hide from the draft so that they wouldn't have to join the Army and fight against Hitler.

Then, I never heard Frank Buchman criticize Adolf Hitler after the war, either. I have not found one speech where Frank Buchman publicly declared that Adolf Hitler was a monster, and that he or God was wrong to have praised Adolf Hitler. Have you?

And yes, Neville Chamberlain was foolish to allow himself to be deceived by Hitler. And guess what? Neville Chamberlain was listening to Frank Buchman's advice. Yes, Neville Chamberlain was a member of Frank Buchman's Oxford Group/Moral Re-Armament organization, and he was listening to Frank Buchman raving about how "I thank Heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler...".

Again, Buchman claimed to be listening to God. How could he get it so wrong if he was really listening to God? Or were his spiritual teachings just a big fraud?

Other people can explain that they have changed their minds about things after a big war, but not someone who claims that he is getting his doctrines straight from God. What, did God not know what Hitler was really like?

And again, your argument about "the context" is irrelevant. God is allegedly not fooled by "contexts". Frank Buchman claimed to be listening to God, not to the ill-informed people on the street. Buchman claimed to be repeating messages from God, not just giving his own private, error-prone opinions.

Furthermore, "the context" was that the average American hated Adolf Hitler. It wasn't like Frank Buchman had to praise Adolf Hitler in order to please the public, or to conform to the spirit of the times. It wasn't like the mob in the streets was screaming the praises of Adolf Hitler. The few people who loved Hitler in the USA and Great Britain were mostly just the millionaires and nobility, who feared that a rising tide of socialism would take away their wealth and status.

And on, and on, and on. See this web page for more: Religious Roots: The Cult Characteristics of the Oxford Groups.

Also see Henry P. Van Dusen's description of Buchmanism:

Indeed, just as the only way of entrance into the new life is through complete surrender, so there is one way and one way only by which that new life may be maintained vivid and growing.
"The Oxford Groups Movement", Henry P. Van Dusen, The Atlantic Monthly, August 1934, vol 154, issue 2, pages 243-244.

Lastly, you said of Frank Buchman and Peter Howard,

...both also displayed the fire and determination of, let's say, a Martin Luther in challenging what they say as "the establishment's" failures to be guided by God's will.

Those fools did not know God's will. Frank Buchman went around praising Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler, for Heaven's sake.

See above regarding support pre- and post-public disclosure.

Again, when a man claims to be listening to God, this "pre- or post-public disclosure" nonsense is irrelevant.

Peter Howard was a fascist in Sir Oswald Mosley's gang. Frank Buchman helped British Oxford Group members to dodge the draft and hide from the British authorities so that they would not have to fight against Hitler and the Nazis. Peter Howard sat out the war and did nothing to help Britain in her fight for survival. The arrogance of those two creeps to even hint that they knew God's will better than other men. Outrageous. They did not really display humility at all. "Failures to be guided by God's will", indeed.

Whoa! Now, you're just being silly and insulting. Everyone who believes there is a God believes they know something about what God's Will is. Whether they live by it or not. Whether they are correct in their beliefs or not. Whether you agree they are correct in their beliefs or not. It is part of being human.

No, I'm not being silly and insulting. "Listening to God" was the heart of Frank Buchman's religion. Furthermore, Buchman claimed that his "Guidance from God" was infallible. That is arrogance.

Regular people who have religious beliefs do not usually claim to be getting infallible messages straight from God, and carrying on a conversation with God all day long. Those who do are usually referred to a psychiatrist.

Whether or not you, Orange, believe there is a God, you obviously believe you know something about what is the right way for people to live. Should I chastise you for arrogance? Furthermore, since you were not present on any of the occasions when I spoke with FB or PH, how would you know whether they did or did not "display humility at all""

Oh Jeez Louise. Can you read? Frank Buchman claimed to have a hotline straight to God, and claimed that he could hear the Voice of God, and that other people could not hear God as well as he could. And now you cannot figure out whether the man was "displaying humility" or arrogance? You claim that somebody has to be present and see Buchman speak to be able to figure it out? Really now. That borders on intentional obtuseness.

As far as me knowing "what is the right way for people to live" being arrogant, I can confidently tell you that lying in the name of God is not the right way for people to live. Yes, that is a religious belief that I hold. If you want to call that arrogant, go ahead. But then please explain to me how it really is okay to lie to people in the name of God.

And the Nazi thing was just the tip of the iceberg. Frank Buchman and Peter Howard spent their lives promoting a heretical unChristian cult religion while pretending that they were talking to God and practicing Christianity.

And it just goes on and on. Frank Buchman was not guided by God. I will leave it to others to decide whether Buchman was Guided by Satan, or just guided by his own evil impulses.

You know, Jeff, the day that you met Frank Buchman might be the day that you came as close to the Devil as you are ever going to come in this lifetime.

No response to any of that?

Oh well, have a good day now, Jeff.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      "I thank Heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler, who built a
**      front line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism."
**      == Dr. Frank Buchman, founder and leader of the
**         Oxford Group and Moral Re-Armament, August 26, 1936.

Date: Wed, October 20, 2010 10:26 pm     (answered 9 November 2010)
From: "Paul M."
Subject: cults

I am wondering who you are that you know so much on this subject, more so than anyone I have come across.

Hello Paul,

Thanks for the compliment. "Who I am" is a complicated question. I am many things, ranging from an old hippie from the commune, to an ex-computer programmer, to an ex-alcoholic.

I just got interested in cults from exposure to them. I met and hung out with a bunch of cults back in the 'sixties and 'seventies, and did not know that they were cults at the time. I learned that many years later, when they failed and blew up. Fortunately, I never really joined one and gave it my brain. I would get the feeling that something was a little bit off, not quite right, and walk on down the street. Then years later I would learn the whole story about them.

When I began going to Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, I quickly saw that they were just like the goofy cults that I had been visiting back in the 'sixties and 'seventies.

When I was writing up the web pages for the Orange Papers, I decided that I needed a decent cult test to back up the statement that A.A. and N.A. are cults. So I started reading a heck of a lot of books about cults, and doing other research too. One thing led to another, and I've been at it for ten years now.

I have answered the question of "who are you" many times before, so I'll point you to some of the lists of answers.

  1. Who are you? This includes personal history, and starts with going to a quack "treatment center" for "outpatient treatment for alcoholism".
  2. How did you get to where you are?

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     There are only two ways to live your life.
**     One is as though nothing is a miracle.
**     The other is as though everything is a miracle.
**         ==  Albert Einstein (1879—1955)

[The next letter from Paul M. is here.]

Date: Wed, October 20, 2010 3:06 pm
From: "Tom H."
Subject: Your Never Ending Fantasy

Oh shit I am here with a group of friends and we are laughing so hard we have tears running down our cheeks *LOL*
Suddenly you now have a girlfriend *LMAO*
And we liked your mosque story you attended with your *son*
Oh Jesus you are one piece of work *LOL*
You change your lame rap faster than Bill Wilson and Joesph Smith but at least Bill and Joe got rich !
But you sure fooled me Agent Orange. Heck, I thought you were a crazy fucking shut-in with anger problems and a messiah complex..... but now I KNOW you are actually a happy hip guy with a real life.
You are a HOOT !

Date: October 21, 2010     (answered 21 October 2010)
From: Diane
Subject: Re: Can you send me to a meeting that supports your ideas — I agree with you

Dear Orange,

I am in total agreement with you. I need a support group that is not AA, can you send me a listing of groups, I remember reading once that there were groups in my area, I am located in Burlington Massachusetts.

I look forward to hearing from you, I want help but not through AA.

Thank you for your assistance with this request.



Hi Diane,
The list is in the attached web page.
Have a good day.
== Orange

*              [email protected]       *
*          AA and Recovery Cult Debunking     *
*          http://www.orange-papers.info/      *
**     "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: Thu, October 21, 2010 12:29 pm     (answered 9 November 2010)
From: "Diane F."
Subject: RE: Can you send me to a meeting that supports your ideas — I agree with you

Agent Orange,

I found the page. I spoke to a person and I intend on attending a meeting. I read your pages a year or so ago and I remembered "how true" everything you said was.

I need support but REFUSE to go to the AA Nazi's (and I thought I made up term, before I read your pages).

Thank you so much for pointing me in the right direction. I agree with the lizard brain mentality and I look forward to my first meeting at Smart Recovery.

Thanks for taking the time out of YOUR life to enlighten and inform people about the TRUTH. I knew something smelled rotten at AA, eventually I dropped out after 4 months of being in the CULT and went back to drinking in my own life to get out.

Thanks again.

Hi again, Diane,

Thanks for the thanks, and you are welcome. I hope things work out for you.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
**         ==  Sun Tzu

May 20, 2009, Wednesday: Day 20, continued:

Canada Goose family with goslings
Carmen's Family

That white patch is oatmeal. They have been eating it, and are stuffed now. Only the mother has an appetite remaining.

The mother is the adult on the left; the father is on the right. The father is standing guard.

It is really hard to see which little one is Carmen in this photograph, but I would guess that she is the gosling that is closest to the camera, with her back to me.

The gosling that is sitting between the two parents looks like the youngster that I call "the light-colored one". The light-colored one was always looking at me like that. He would recognize me and say "hi" to me and talk to me more than any other gosling.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

Date: Thu, October 21, 2010 6:13 pm     (answered 10 November 2010)
From: "Sandi K"
Subject: Thanks

I just now found your site. Whew. What a relief.



Hi Sandi,

Thanks for the thanks, and you have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      George Orwell said,
**     "In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

Date: Thu, October 21, 2010 6:48 pm     (answered 10 November 2010)
From: "jessica L."
Subject: I totally agree with your anti AA statements

Alcoholics anonymous is straight B.S. and I have a problem my boyfriend is obsessed with going to retarded AA and he uses it as an alternative to being bored even. I cant stand this A.A. shit and I want him to quit, he even blew me off a couple times. Im not meaning to tell you my life story but all I wanna know is how can I get some one to quit? cause this is ridiculous. Im gonna print your article out though and give it to him, thank you so much for writing it I love it and completely agree

Hello Jessica,

Thank you for the letter, and I'm sorry to hear about your problems. You are asking one of the toughest questions: "How to get somebody to quit a cult?"

My first reaction is, "You can't." But maybe that is a little too pessimistic.

The truth is, a cult member has to decide for himself or herself to quit the cult. We can try to tell them the truth, and try to convince them that they are being hoodwinked, but as long as a cult member believes that the cult is making them happy and doing good things for them, it is extremely difficult to get them to quit the cult. They will just reject all negative information about the cult, and keep on insisting that the cult is wonderful.

I am reminded of a book by Steve Hassan, called Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves. It is about how to get a loved one out of a cult. In it, Hassan describes a number of techniques for working on a cult member, like criticize some other cult that resembles your friend's cult, and let him "connect the dots" himself.

We discussed some things from Hassan's book at length in earlier letters, and also the question of how to get somebody out of a cult:

Good luck, and have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     A liar begins with making falsehood appear like truth,
**     and ends with making truth itself appear like falsehood.
**        ==  William Shenstone (1714—1763), English poet

Date: Fri, October 22, 2010 1:08 pm     (answered 10 November 2010)
From: "Michele"
Subject: AA

Dear Orange

I came accross your website tonight and I feel a huge sense of relief because for many years (14 Years) to be exact I have struggled with AA. i feel extremely emotional but yet relieved that I have found your site.

I read quite a lot of the letters and the problems that occured with your AOL account and I am pleased to know now I am not on my own.

When I go to AA I feel like my skin is crawling, and because I dont share in AA I get judged and then I am told I am not working my program. I ended up going to see a counsellor and she said maybe your time is up in AA. I feel like crying as I am so lost and in some way have made AA my life in many ways.... I attract people in AA who I know deep down feel the same way I do but are not honest enought to express themseves. Orange is there anything you can recommend for me to get the hell out of AA... i feel like I have been in a Cult and I know and want to leave.. I have a commitment on a Saturday and really dont want to go back... I need help.. do you have an online forum where I can talk to and hopefully get help to get the hell out this hell hole that I am in....

I hope you can reply, I know you are busy but I would etrenally grateful if you can sugest to me what to do.

Kind Regards

Hello Michele,

Thanks for the letter, and congratulations on your awakening. I am reminded of that old line, "You have just learned something my dear, although right now it feels like you have just lost something."

You want out of the cult, but the phobias that they induced in you make you afraid to leave. That is normal.

I don't have an online forum going yet, but plenty of other good people do. Here is the list:

  1. SMART: Self Management And Recovery Training.
    Rational, sane, common-sense recovery techniques. Based on Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, the brainchild of Dr. Albert Ellis.

  2. WFS (Women For Sobriety) also has online chat groups: (guys ignore this one)
    For local group meetings in your area you can also call 1-800-333-1606.

  3. SOS, Secular Organizations for Sobriety, a.k.a. "Save Our Selves".
    SOS is an alternative recovery method for those alcoholics or drug addicts who are uncomfortable with the spiritual or superstitious content of widely available 12-Step programs.

  4. LifeRing Secular Recovery (LSR)
    LifeRing provides live, online meetings on the Internet, and they are also starting meeting groups in various cities.

  5. Harm reduction, Abstinence, and Moderation Support (HAMS)
    HAMS is peer-led and free of charge. HAMS offers information and support via a chat room, an email group, and live meetings — as well is the articles on this web site.

  6. Moderation Management

  7. Rational Recovery
    Rational Recovery is no longer "a recovery group", it's a book, and a technique — basically the same idea as the Lizard Brain Addiction Monster.

  8. And then there are these forums and message groups:

  9. You can also get some more links from the start of the links page.

Good luck, and have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Some think it's holding on that makes one strong;
**        sometimes it's letting go."
**            ==  Sylvia Robinson

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Last updated 8 March 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters203.html