Letters, We Get Mail, CCXXXII



Date: Sun, April 10, 2011 6:39 pm     (answered 14 April 2011)
From: "Taylor W."
Subject: You did it!

Orange,

Finally, a message board! You know, in reading through the back letters and realizing how long you'd intended for such a thing to exist, I kind of figured it'd never happen. I don't mean that critically, it's just that unlike some folks, I am not under the impression that the orange-papers represent the sum of your life.

I stopped by today to see if there where any new letters, and was amazed to find a freakin' forum! A very nice surprise.

I believe this has the potential to add a whole new element to your website, and for some fool reason I actually have a lot of hope that things will stay positive on there and not devolve into poo flinging.

Look forward to seeing you on your new forum,
Taylor (posting under the handle Carnal)

Hello Taylor,

Thanks for the letter. Yes, I've been working on the forum and fighting with the software all of this time. The big gotcha was no manuals. That is, the system I'm using, Drupal, is very good free software that is being developed by some bright young whiz kids, and maybe a few old gurus too, all over the world. They are all having fun creating great new stuff, and are very enthusiastic about what is being developed. It's quite a large collaborative project. Alas, writing manuals is kind of boring, in comparison, so the few manual pages that exist are mostly years out of date and describe old obsolete versions of the software. Worst yet, some of the manual pages are correct and describe some part of how to do it, while other manual pages are all wrong and way obsolete, and you have to figure out which is which — the hard way.

So learning how to make it all work is left as a user exercise. They say, "Drupal has a steep learning curve."

And there are all kinds of pitfalls, like a forum package that can be downloaded and installed. No! That screws things up royally. It turns out that the new version of the software has the forum built in and you don't download anything additional. Trying to install the old forum on top of the new forum makes the system crash all over the place. The trick is in just turning on the right modules and configuring things the right way and then creating a new blank page to start with.

So I spent a lot of time proceeding by trial and error, and screwing it up, and erasing it all and reinstalling it again and again, and trying again, until I learned how to do it. Once I finally got it all figured out, it took less than one day to erase it all again, reinstall and configure it, and bring it up. Isn't that typical? More than three months to figure out how to do it, and one day to actually do it.

So anyway, it's done. And functional.

And there is even more stuff that can be enabled. Right now, I have just the forum and blog systems turned on. It is possible to also enable articles and books that anybody can write. And RSS feeds can be enabled too. I left those features turned off for now because they seemed superfluous and would just confuse things and make the system overly complex. But I can turn them on if somebody has an irresistable urge to write a book. As it is, people can post articles on their own blogs.

So enjoy. And have a good day now.

== Orange

Forum:

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    April 15 is coming: Pay your taxes so the rich don't have to.





Date: Sun, April 10, 2011 11:29 am     (answered 15 April 2011)
From: S & M
Subject: Thank You!

For writing this paper. For the first time in over 13 years I've read the thoughts in my head.

I cannot even begin to express how AA/it's 'members' made me feel flawed because I WASN'T a lier. I was honest. Flawed because I didn't relate to the women. Took a really great therapist, the last 3 years to learn I'm a freakin' TomBoy! When the guys talked in meetings, I understood their stories, or whatever. I never got along w/the women. Don't get them. My husband & I like to hunt and fish.

I laughed, I cried. And I realized that I'm not a fraken alcoholic. I drank back then, because someone kidnapped my children for 11 years. 8 of those 11 I was sober, stayed sober, whatever. I decided to have a beer a few weeks ago, because I wanted to feel better. My husband & I are going thru the murder trial of his sister. And it's been Hell. We went out that night, I had a couple beers, laughed w/ the guys, my hubby, was glad we did it. He's our driver :)

But he got clean & sober w/out any 12 step programs. He just decided after a year of daily heroin use & too much drinking that he was done. That was over 8 years ago. Not that he hasn't been to meetings. I think enough to decide it wasn't for him. He says, because he didn't want to use anymore, and being there, listening to the stories, he knew what it was like. Just made him want to use. So he hung out w/his "normal" friends, how supported him thru the first few months of "OMG, what do I do now?"

You know what? He just Quit Using. No big.

So, Thanks! Big Thanks! I Knew, Knew there was something off, from the moment I walked into those meetings all those years ago. But, they are...so sneaky! Got me to thinking I was a lot more messed up than I was. Than I am, for crappin' sake!

Thank you, really.

S & M
Washington

Hello, S & M,

Thank you for the letter. That is very encouraging. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well, in spite of your suffering.

So have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Preserving health by too severe a rule is a worrisome malady.
**       ==  François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613 — 1680)





May 22, 2009, Friday: Day 22, continued:

Canada Geese goslings
Carmen (left) and the light-colored one (right)

[More gosling photos below, here.]





Date: Sun, April 10, 2011 3:29 pm     (answered 15 April 2011)
From: "Anonymous"
Subject: NOT going to aa has saved my life and my family!!!

This is best piece of work I have read in a long time! I was in the program myself for about 5 years. I was always told to go to meetings or more meetings and that 'it' would get better but I got nothing but worse. I was miserable. I felt like using often after meetings and would come home depressed.

...

Taking control of my own life has saved my marriage and my life!

BTW I was wondering where all that money was going. I went to one meeting a lot in the past. The Regina meeting on Saturdays. It was a speaker meeting in Northern IL. 150-300 people easy every week. They ask you to contribute at least $2 and sell tons of books.

Great read. Thanks!

Hello Anonymous,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments, and congratulations on your newfound health and sanity.

About the money: we were just discussing that. Check out these links:

  1. The President of A.A. gets $250,000 per year, and his "Senior Advisor" gets $467,000.

  2. A.A. finances for 2004

  3. Response to above letter from former A.A. EDP manager Lillianna Murphy: the A.A. headquarters is filing false financial reports with the IRS

  4. more discussion of finances

  5. need info about corporate AA

  6. links to A.A. financial reports, here.

Have a good day, and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    It's the American Work Ethic — work real hard for a long time,
**    and you'll get screwed (when the company offloads your pension
**    plan to the Federal government and some CEO takes the big money
**    home in bonuses, stock options, and a golden parachute).





Date: Mon, April 11, 2011 1:02 pm     (answered 15 April 2011)
From: "Foggy"
Subject: Re: Hi Terrance

SO SORRY for my incompetence, but I just tried to sign in using my user name and it's not working. Don't trouble yourself, I'll just keep reading your letters section as you post them. What I wanted to expound upon was that I tried to tell one of the women about ANOTHER stalking incident which happened last year while I was gardening in my own front yard. I haven't been to A.A. since before the incident, but since she always begins her shares with "It's a BIG DEAL if you haven't taken a drink today," followed by the regular reciting of slogans.

Anyway, I perceived her as someone I could talk to because I am still mad about the guy on the Harley that stopped by my house because he noticed me gardening in my yard. So we started talking in my front yard and he said, "hey, I'll be right back," and I went back to my gardening. Well, he came back alright with some cookies he had baked. (This guy is so proud because he's been 20 plus years sober). Well, while I was pulling weeds, he somehow found it necessary to inform me that when he was 17 (he's 60 something now), that in a rage he had beaten his father to a pulp which set off a heart attack and his death. I did not want to hear this, I never invited him to my house, and now I was scared of him.

Well, the next morning I didn't have anything in the kitchen for breakfast, but there on my coffee table were the cookies. I wolfed 2 down with a glass of milk, and the next thing I remember is waking up the next day after collapsing between my living room and bedroom, a day gone past with no memory of nothing. Well, then started the text calls on my cell phone. Saying things like, I'll pick you up on the back of my Harley and take you to the noon meeting; Even though I had told him I was THROUGH with A.A., he still wanted to be my friend; anyway at least 6 messages a day! After 4 days of this I went straight to the cell phone company, asked them to text a message that said: I have no interest in keeping in touch with you or ever seeing you again. Then I immediately changed by cell phone number. I haven't heard from him since, but I somehow thought this lady would back me up. Her answer to me was that I was playing the victim.

Hello Foggy,

Isn't that so classic? Her claiming that you are playing the victim. That is standard cultish "You are always wrong." No matter what happens, it's your fault and you are always wrong. That is standard Cult Characteristic Number Two. (Number One being: The Guru Is Always Right.)

It's really a shame how cults mess with people's minds until they can't even feel any sympathy or empathy for other people who are having troubles, and have to just respond with a stupid slogan.

About not being able to log in, I'm not sure what the problem is. Please check the obvious things like having the caps lock on while typing the password. The usual routine is that the system emails your first password to your email address, and then you can log in with that, and then change the password to something that you like. It is working for other people, so I'd just try again.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     She will be more fresh MEAT for the 12-Step MEATing room.





Date: Mon, April 11, 2011 2:23 pm     (answered 15 April 2011)
From: "Isabel T. M."
Subject: I liked to...

Hi,

I belong to AA since 1988. I have many reasons to be grateful for the fellowship, but I also agree with some of the comments you do on your web page, however, I would like to understand in a nutshell what are the purposes of your pages, and where are your reasoning heading? what is the point? I see you are aimed at deconstructing some of the AA myths, and ... I would like to learn about more options, and whether you feel that you can offer one. Help me guide my search on this matter. Thanks!

This is the page I visited

http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-funny_spirituality.html

Isabel T. M-A., Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor, SRI-CSW

Hello Isabel,

Thanks for the letter and the questions.

I am opposed to Alcoholics Anonymous and its sister 12-Step cults because it does more harm than good. A.A. just

The complete failure of A.A. to help alcoholics, while raising the death rate, was actually proven by Dr. George E. Vaillant, who went on to be a Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous.

So why bother? Why not just shut A.A. down and replace it with something that does less harm?

We do talk about what works better and what does less harm. See this letter, which contains links to many discussions of what works: How did you get to where you are?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism,
**  but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling."
**  == Dr. George E. Vaillant, formerly a member of the A.A. Board of
**  Trustees, describing the treatment of alcoholism with Alcoholics
**  Anonymous, in "The Natural History of Alcoholism: Causes, Patterns,
**  and Paths to Recovery", Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA,
**  1983, pages 283-286.





Date: Tue, April 12, 2011 8:32 am     (answered 15 April 2011)
From: "Billy k."
Subject: orange-papers.com?

Hello Orange,

It's good work you do. It's helped me de-program myself and take back my life. So when given the opportunity to help another recently, and after telling them to check out the orange papers I was very surprised when my friend came back to me with a strange look on his face saying "is this some kind of joke". Long story short there's a pro AA site called orange-papers.com. You seem pretty "on to it' so you probably already know, but just in case I thought it better to say than not. Don' even know if anything could be done about it anywho. K. Peace

sincerely

jc

Hello JC,

Thanks for the note and the compliments. Yes, I know about the name thief "orange-papers.com". A few years ago, one of those domain-name hijackers-merchants got ahold of that name and wanted to sell it to me for $100. I refused, so it went to somebody who thought it funny to do a pro-A.A. web site with that name. Fortunately, Google still routes all of the traffic to my web site.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue.
**       == François, Duc de la Rochefoucauld [1613—1680], Maxim 218

UPDATE: July 2013: I just waited a few years, and the owner of the domain name got tired of it and didn't update the web site, and then eventually just forgot about it, and abandoned the site and the name. I waited until the registration expired, then I got it for $10 by just registering the name. I also got orange-papers.net and orangepapers.net for good measure. That just prevents spoofers from doing copy-cat web sites.

UPDATE: 2014.08.03: I also registered all of the other similar domain names that I could get, to prevent another copycat. So now these all go to the orange-papers.info web site:

  • orange-papers.info
  • orange-papers.com
  • orange-papers.net
  • orangepapers.net
  • orange-paper.com
  • orange-paper.net
  • orange-paper.org
  • orangepaper.net
  • orangepaper.org





Date: Tue, April 12, 2011 8:40 am     (answered 15 April 2011)
From: "dave f."
Subject: aa as a cult

Are you a former member of AA?

Hello Dave,

That depends on your definition of "member". The common saying is that somebody is a member when he says that he is a member. In that case, I was never a member, because I never bought into the nonsense. I went to a zillion meetings and listened to a bunch of insane stuff, but I never had a sponsor, and I never worked the Steps, and I never drank the koolaid.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

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





Date: Tue, April 12, 2011 7:13 pm     (answered 15 April 2011)
From: "Ted B."
Subject: cognitive dissonance

hi orange.

i've recently moved into a "clean and sober" house that mandates AA. I do feel cognitive dissonance but i fight it. the way i look at it since Aa is not being honest with me turnabout is fair play. i really just did not want to live in the homeless shelter i was in before... disgusting living conditions... it's not all that sanitary here either but i have a bed instead of a mat on the floor and the bathroom isnt as disgusting. i notice in meetings just about all the speakers say something like "i hated this AA stuff at first, i didnt want to hear anything 'u people' had to say... but then something changed i dont know why, and i decided to do what was suggested." I think all these speakers (true believers) were solving their cognitive dissonance by eventually believing what they were told.

As always thank you for the truth.

Hello Ted,

Thanks for the letter, and I hope you are doing well. I remember my days in a homeless shelter. Not fun, but it got me out of the rain and provided a path to something better.

Yes, they can be solving their cognitive dissonance conflicts by conforming to the group. I think a lot of them do that. Just surrender and conform to the cult and pretend that everything is okay.

But I also wonder whether it is also just a standard A.A. sales pitch. That "I hated A.A. at first but then I saw the light" rap is just such common approved A.A.-jabber, okay for any meeting. Even if somebody actually loved A.A. at first sight, he can still gather brownie points by delivering the standard sales pitches at meetings, and bragging about how he got converted into a true believer. Some people will even claim that they had a "spiritual awakening".

And I am reminded of what Andrew Meacham called "reverse denial". He found himself making huge sweeping generalizations like "before I got into the program all I did was drink." He delivered the standard approved-of rap, just as everybody else at the meeting expected him to, but then he realized that it was not true at all. He had a full life besides drinking, and had a job and a career, and did many things besides drink. But by confessing to every imaginable alcoholic sin and fault, and exaggerating how bad it was before A.A., he was proving that he was not "in denial". Hence, "reverse denial".

Have a good day now, and good luck.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Get a sponsor and have a crazy loser running your life for you.





Date: Wed, April 13, 2011 11:13 am     (answered 15 April 2011)
From: "B B"
Subjec: Thank you

Mr. Orange,

I just read your It's Spiritual, Not Religious article. I've been attending AA/NA for 5 years now and have always known something was amiss with AA/NA. I've always wondered why the AA/NA old-timers and fanatics seemed so angry — always ready to critique someone else's sobriety. You've done a lot here to explain it. Your website is a great resource for those of us who refuse to drink the kool-aid.

Thanks,

Bill B.

P.S. I've been clean and sober for 5 years now in spite of AA/NA.

Hello Bill,

Thanks for the note and the compliments. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well. Congratulations on your sobriety.

About the anger thing, I am reminded of one of the earliest letters that I got, about 10 years ago, where an old veteran A.A. member wrote:

I have also noted how angry so many of the "old timers" are. I have observed that closely and concluded for myself that the problem is that most people have a lot of grief in their lives and in a way, AA is always focusing on losses. At the same time there is nowhere to go with grief as it isn't allowed. So the sadness gets stuffed leaving only the anger to be dumped out in the meeting, usually aimed at someone who isn't getting the program or was foolish enough to tell the truth about their selfish life. Notice that sometime. Old timers in AA are often an angry lot: a mask of serenity with a seething cauldron underneath.
== Bernie

So have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Any fool can make a rule,
**     And every fool will mind it.
**       ==  Henry David Thoreau, Journal, Feb. 3, 1860





Date: Wed, April 13, 2011 4:44 pm     (answered 15 April 2011)
From: "Rajiv B."
Subject: Peace

In your letters-231 I read:

Mike's recent letter to you caught my eye....
http://orange-papers.info/orange-letters227.html#cut_off

"I am still struggling to deprogram myself and would love some tips. The fear that is planted that I will die if I leave AA or drink again is very strong. Also should I cut off all ties with even people I liked?"

Please tell him that the Big Book clearly states that while helping a newcomer or a suffering alcoholic, "Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone." (Chap. 'Working With Others' pg.98). And as far as cutting off all ties, I still go and meet my NA/AA friends at the coffee-shop hangouts, off and on.

Also you had said that NY Times had reported that the addiction is a $20 billion industry. But by not allowing addicts and alcoholics to recover — by promoting AA/NA — the US Government is seeing to it that the addiction problem remains, so that it can justify its spending half a trillion dollars each year on fighting addiction. Here's a CASA Report on it:
http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/addiction/new-casa-report-finds

This means that the US citizens, mainly the addiction treatment, pharmaceuticals and addiction fighting industry, are making half a trillion each year because addicts remain addicts. If addicts start recovering, the government would not spend that much. This shows that the US Government is giving, and its citizens are getting, a hugs incentive to see to it that we addicts do not recover. It is no wonder that people are down-playing your site, and all the research findings that will help addicts recover.

But they can't fool the people for long. The time has come that soon AA and its 12 Step God crap will definitely be exposed. The time for the revival of the counterculture, the New Left movement of our sixties is here. This is the dawing of the age of Aquarius.

Peace,

Rajiv E. B.
Former Regional Delegate, RD (representative) India NA Region

"To Awaken is to see and understand. (period)" — Anthony de Mello S.J.

Hello Rajiv,

Thanks for the letter. I quite agree, except for one tiny thing: You talk about how U.S. "citizens" are getting billions of dollars from treating addicts. I'd change that word to "corporations". The flow of money is actually from the citizens (like addicts and their families, and taxpayers) and to the corporations that sell quack treatment and then bribe Congressmen and Senators to keep the system the same. The corporations have even gotten another law passed recently, to get more money for the quacks — the Paul Wellstone Act — which dictates that mentally-ill people will get more money for "treatment". I'm all for giving more good medical treatment to mentally-ill people, but somehow that is getting twisted into supporting con artists who sell an old pro-Nazi cult religion as a cure for addictions.

And yes, the taxpayers — the citizens — pay for a lot of it. The treatment center that I went to got money from city, state, and Federal funds. That's three different ways of getting money from the citizens. And it was a total waste of money. A cocaine-snorting child pornographer and child molester lectured us with 12-Step slogans and told us to go to at least three A.A. or N.A. meetings per week and get a sponsor. It's hard to believe that the Oregon Health Plan paid $1700 per person for that "treatment", but they did.

In addition, the treatment centers get a lot of money from health insurance too. But that is just another channel through which money flows from the citizens to the corporations. Some people's monthly payments end up going to a treatment center to pay for somebody else's "treatment". I really don't know why the health insurance companies continue to pay for 12-Step "treatment". They are so quick to deny people coverage for other things, and their death panels decide which children won't be getting their life-saving operations, and yet they continue to pay for 12-Step quackery. Strange, very strange.

Thanks for the link to that article. That is really impressive. So the $20 billion that is spent on treatment centers and rehab centers is only the tip of the iceberg, huh? I can believe it.

I am reminded of a doctor in upper New York State who, more than 40 years ago, did some research on causes of deaths. It started when he noticed that a death certificate said something like, "Death due to complications from renal failure." The doctor knew that the patient actually drank himself to death. This doctor asked the attending physician about it. The other doctor replied, "Yes, I know that he really died from alcohol abuse, but the newspaper prints the cause of death in the obituaries, and the family has suffered enough already, and we don't want to increase their anguish by publishing that. So we put down something innocent-sounding."

The first doctor responded, "But that messes up the statistics that go to the Department of Health. Their count of deaths caused by alcohol abuse will be inaccurate." The other doctor just shrugged it off.

This doctor went on to discover that most of the deaths from alcohol abuse, drug addiction, and even cigarette smoking were masked by writing such euphemisms on the death certificates. So he spend about 20 years studying a huge number of deaths in a 3-county area, comparing what was written on the death certificate to what the real cause of death was, and he discovered that deaths from alcohol, tobacco, and drugs was the leading cause of death. Not heart attacks or cancer or obesity or any of the popular diseases. Drugs and alcohol, including tobacco.

Again, it's a "tip of the iceberg" thing. The real damage done is immense.

By the way, I'm not opposed to religious programs — "the God stuff" — if that is what people want. I can see situations in which some people might derive some comfort from a good religious program — as long as it is really voluntary and does not conflict with the beliefs that the sick people already hold.

But what is being dispensed now is way over the edge — getting people to do the practices of an old cult religion whose leader declared, "I thank heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler..." I like your phrase, "12 Step God crap". That sounds fitting.

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Heroes have gone out, quacks have come in; the reign of quacks
**    has not ended with the nineteenth century. The sceptre is held
**    with a firmer grasp; the empire has a wider boundary. We are
**    all the slaves of quackery in one shape or another. One portion
**    of our being is always playing the successful quack to the other.
**       ==  Thomas Carlyle (1795—1881), English essayist,
**              historian, biographer, and philosopher





May 22, 2009, Friday: Day 22, continued:

Canada Goose gosling, the light-colored one
Carmen's brother, the light-colored one

[The story of Carmen continues here.]





Date: Sat, April 16, 2011 7:08 am     (answered 20 April 2011)
From: "Gordon B."
Subject: The effectivness of AA.

Hello again Terrance, greetings from your friends in Scotland. We were chatting the other night and we are struggling with the assertion that AA doesn't work. We all agree that since reading the Orange Papers we have had a 'psychic shift' for the better, ie freedom from cultish thinking (and still staying sober!). We also agree that when we first went to AA we had quite a profound 'psychic shift' freeing us from booze. We were pretty well at death's door and sobriety brought a huge benefit to all those around us as well.

What did we get at AA? Well basically group therapy, which applies to all x anonymous groups.

  • 1. 'You are no longer alone' — revealing and comforting, as we really believed we were the only person in the world with this hellish experience.

  • 2. 'The power of example' — Hearing people who were worse than we were giving the motivation — 'I can do it, so can you'; also meeting an old drinking buddy or the well known town certre drunk.

  • 3. Time motivation — 'a day at a time'; 'give it 90 days' and then go for the accolade of a ' 1st birthday'. (we don't have coins over here, just a big fuss and great status depending on how many years sobriety)

  • 4. Deterrence — We had all tried to stay sober on our own but, after we squared up physically, the thoughts, 'I wasn't that bad really', 'this time will be different', etc had blown it. Regularly attending AA kept reminding us just how bad it was.

  • 5. Practically — having a place to go 7 nights a week that wasn't a pub, club or a wet place.

  • 6. A chance to stay in sober company — most of us had never known sober company for years, sometimes not since school.

  • 7. A chance to make a good friend or two in that sober company — we had had a few good friends but they were usually drinkers.

  • 8. Hope — This is the strongest memory from our first days and weeks in AA, changing from utter hopelessness to seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

These 8 items have little to do with AA, */just plain group therapy/*, but then along came the cultish stuff. Now I have to tell you that some of us have attended AA in the USA and there is qute a difference in cultishness from here; on a scale of 1 to 10, the USA would be 9 and Scotland would be 4; yes, we do have slogans, steps, zealots, sponsors, big book and hazelden but they are background. The 'program' of recovery is still very much the 12 suggestions I sent you in letters 20. Also nobody here is 'sentenced' to AA by any State agency or court.

Anyway — statistics — darn difficult to get and interpret. Ideally we would look at a population *without AA* and note the alcohol-related death rate over say a decade. Then we would *introduce AA* to that population and repeat. /Our hunch is that the death rate would drop/ — let me explain.

The spontaneous remission rate for alcoholics is 5%; the 'success' rate for AA is 5%, no better than doing nothing at all. This is only true */if the spontaneous remission people disappear/* and that is our problem, /*they are still around*/. We all know family, friends, colleagues and aquaintances who had a drink problem and quit on their own when things got tough; I know a dozen. Now these people seem to be different from most AA members in that they quit when things got tough, but /at an earlier stage in the progression of alcoholism/, the implication is that a lot AA members were not about to quit but would have gone on to die.

AA has these conventions over here where hundreds of members meet, looks impressive. Now, our hunch is that, if it were possible to organise a convention for alcoholics who quit on their own, hundreds would also meet. Here's the big one — If we could organise a convention for people who came to AA, quit booze and stayed sober /but don't go to meetings/, */thousands/* would meet. These are the people whose lives were transformed by *the group therapy *but after a short time thought the meetings and the cultishness were crap. I attended meetings here for 25 years before discovering agent orange. In that time hundreds joined AA, were group members for months, even a year or two, and then disappeared. But I still meet many of them regularly in the town. They are still sober and well and think AA was great but not the meetings. /So these people are the difficult statistic when analysing AA's effectiveness./

Now, does AA kill anybody, you bet it does, nearly killed me. Anyone of a religious bent might favour the 12 steps and take 'God' into their lives; 'I can do it, so can you' and the 'status' of sober time are *appeals to ego * — */all very dangerous if you drink again/*. Lift a drink — leads to another — and another — wake up with a hangover. But after AA you now also have a crushing loss of self esteem, 'he could do it, I can't'; a horrific sense of failure, 'I have thrown away x time sober, I have lost all prestige, I would have to start again'; and an utter feeling of hopelessness now that even 'God' has deserted you. These thoughts lead to 'in for a penny, in for a pound', 'may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb' and off you go on a binge bender or suicide. If you get back to AA it is with great cringe, shame and inferiority and you are treated as a newcomer. I have been to 11 funerals in the last 32 years where AA was certainly the killer.

So AA is effective but don't drink again — let me know your thoughts, we're on your side.

_Footnote_
The AA Preamble:-

"Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety"

All AA members in Scotland know that off by heart because it is the mandatory opening reading — not the chapter 5 'how it works' tosh and lies. It is rather a good constitution; I would add 3 amendments to that:- Scrap the 'status' for time sober, 'one day at a time' for all; Don't say, "I can do it, so can you"; Stress that some members do drink again, it's not the end of the world, and are welcome back as equals. This would be an effective fellowship that wouldn't kill anybody. AA has been taken over by a minority, the 'sponsors', the zealots with their pseudo-religious trash — the majority of the members don't want that but are too timid to do anything. As I said, we minimize it here in Scotland, but AA needs a fundamentalist revolution from within, junk the cult, the money, the hierarchy and get back to basics!

Very best regards, Gordon

Hi again, Gordon,

Thanks for the letter. You make a bunch of interesting points.

I don't understand what you mean by this statement:

The spontaneous remission rate for alcoholics is 5%; the 'success' rate for AA is 5%, no better than doing nothing at all. This is only true */if the spontaneous remission people disappear/* and that is our problem, /*they are still around*/.

The way I see it, the A.A. success rate above spontaneous remission is still zero, no matter whether the spontaneous remission people stay around or leave. The ones who hang around for a few years create the optical illusion that A.A. works, but it's just an illusion. And most of them do leave, eventually. The declining coin rates show that almost nobody, only one in a thousand, stays around for 20 years to become a revered old-timer.

About A.A. lowering the death rate: The one time that somebody did a controlled study that counted the deaths, A.A. produced the highest death rate of any of the alcoholism treatments that he studied. That was, of course, Dr. George E. Vaillant, who was so in love with A.A. that he went on to become a member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous. He wasn't too happy with the A.A. death rate, but he somehow managed to shrug it off and recommend A.A. anyway.

Yes, you would think that having an A.A. group of supportive people around an alcoholic, encouraging him to stay sober, would have a big beneficial effect, but it doesn't. Like you, I guess that the negative effects of the crazy cult dogma outweigh any positive effects. Too many condescending put-downs, and too much irrational nonsense and wrong information, and too much self-flaggelation result in increased binge drinking and increased suicides.

I have often thought about some kind of beneficial sobriety cult, something that would use the mindless enthusiasm and esprit de corps of A.A., but without the really bad stuff, to encourage people to get sober. But cults just seem to be poisonous by nature. Most of them go bad, sooner or later (while a rare few mature into "mainstream religions"). My hopes are that groups like SMART, SOS, Lifering, Moderation Management, and HAMS will fill the void and do some good. I have received other letters from people who are establishing such groups in London, but that's a little far from Scotland.

Oh, and just as a by-the-way, considering the moderate, sensible sound of your groups, I guess the missionaries for Clancy's Clones haven't reached Scotland yet. They will, eventually, and then you will see some real crazy fundamentalism and exploitative cult behavior. They have already established groups in London and Plymouth.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     A.A. says that alcoholism is a disease, not a
**     moral shortcoming. That's why you must list
**     and confess all of your sins and moral
**     shortcomings and wrongs in Steps 4 through 7.





Date: Wed, April 13, 2011 6:11 pm     (answered 20 April 2011)
From: "Taylor W."
Subject: Suggestion

Hello again,

Orange, I may have missed a banner or logo or something, but I think it would be a good idea to make the forum more visible in somewhere. Near as I can tell, the only link is down in the updates section. Which makes me think only a tiny portion of your readers are aware that it exists.

If I missed a more prominent "advertisement" or if I'm jumping the gun and this is something you'd already planned to remedy, I apologize for butting in.

All the best,
Taylor

Hello Taylor,

Actually, the forum is also listed at the top of the home page, and in the letters section. But here it is again, just for good measure:

I think the home page needs a redesign. At that point, I'll give the forum a more prominent link.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**
**     TRUMP PLEDGES GLOBAL RESPONSE TO CREDIT CRISIS.
**     Donald Trump announced today that when he is President,
**     we will invade Switzerland and seize all of the money in
**     their banks — the "Weapons of Mass Finance" — and
**     use it to fix our big deficits. "We will just go and take
**     the money, the same way as we will just go and take the
**     oil from Libya."  Trump also says that we can use
**     Switzerland's own money to rebuild their country after we
**     blow it up.





Date: Sun, April 17, 2011 12:46 pm     (answered 20 April 2011)
From: Greg
Subject: Jim Burwell

In your essay on "A.A. and Religious Faith" you discuss the fellow called "Ed" in the chapter on Tradition Three in the 12&12, and then Jim Burwell, whose story is in the Big Book as "The Vicious Cycle," as if they were different people. They are well known to have been one and the same. Jim eventually resettled here in San Diego, where he remained an active member of A.A. until he passed away in 1974.

A few years ago I met an old timer who knew him personally, who assured me that in fact Jim remained either an "atheist" or "agnostic" (depending on the mood he was in when you asked him) right up to the end. Bill Wilson's implication in the 12&12 that "Ed" experienced some kind of religious conversion is totally misleading. (Can you imagine that? Bill Wilson deliberately lieing to promote his own religious agenda!)

In fact, Jim continued for the rest of his life to promote a thoroughly secular "alternative brand" of A.A. That may be at least part of the reason why I have often heard the prevailing San Diego A.A. culture disparaged by out-of-town visitors as "A.A. Lite."

—"Greg the Atheist"

Hello Greg,

Thanks for the letter. That is very interesting. It's doubly interesting because the story of "Ed" was sort of the story of Jim Burwell, but then again, it wasn't, because the story was partly fabrication. Apparently, Bill Wilson supplied the ending that he wished had happened, rather than what reality supplied. (Isn't reality just such a bitch that way?)

What remains from those two stories is Bill Wilson's lesson that alcoholics should either convert to his religion or die.

It never ceases to amaze me how much of the core dogma and history of A.A. turns out to be fiction. Every time you investigate and look closely, you find another fraud and deception. Even the story of Bill Wilson's own spiritual experience seems to have been plagiarized from his own grandfather.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
**        == Mark Twain (American Humorist, Writer & Lecturer. 1835—1910)





Date: Sun, April 17, 2011 2:17 pm     (answered 21 April 2011)
From: "Anonymous"
Subject: From 1941 and 1942 ....Interesting News Articles About AA

To Orange,

Man Saved from Prison Cell by Alcoholics Anonymous

Judge Gives Bad Check Writer Another Chance By Sentencing Him to Two Years To Toledo Member Of Group

Toledo Blade — October 21, 1941

AA newspaper article

AA newspaper article

[Click on the images for the full-size display.]

AA Co Founder Tells of Breaking 35 Year Drunk

Youngstown Vindicator October 5, 1942

AA newspaper article

AA newspaper article

(Actually an Advertisement)

Local Alcoholics Anonymous Chapter Will Hear Founder

Dr X of Akron to Address City Wide Meeting in Green Auditorium Tomorrow Night; Sincerely Interested Persons Urged to Attend

Toledo Blade — November, 28 1941

AA newspaper article

AA newspaper article

Lots of other articles and ads about AA in the news archives

From Anonymous

Hello Anonymous,

Thank you very much for the history. That is very revealing. I still have A.A. members complaining that they never work to get alcoholics sentenced to A.A., but here are articles that prove that they have been scheming to get the judge to sentence the alcoholics to their meetings since the very beginning, in 1941 and 1942. (Just the same as the Oxford Group did before them. Bill Wilson's "sponsor" Ebby Thacher was sentenced to the "religious cure" of the Oxford Group by Judge Graves, as an alternative to 6 months in jail for habitual drunkenness.)

What is the URL of that newspaper archive?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know."
**     ==  from MERLE MILLER, Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography
**           of Harry S. Truman [1974], ch. 23





Date: Mon, April 18, 2011 11:34 am     (answered 21 April 2011)
From: "Cliff C."
Subject: INFORMation

While I appreciate the depth of research I am curious about why. It appears very slanted and determined to undermind a program that has helped millions.....Question, no matter what the source of teaching or from whom, if it has saved millions, can it be so bad?

Clifford C.

Hello Clifford,

The A.A. story that A.A. has helped millions of people to get sober is a complete lie. What A.A. has actually done is deceive millions, and cause more people to die drunk or commit suicide, and to suffer from years of mental anguish. A.A. does more harm than good. We have discussed this A.A. myth many times before, even just recently, so I'll point you to a few of the answers:

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people
**      will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained
**      only for such time as the State can shield the people from
**      the political, economic and/or military consequences of the
**      lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use
**      all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the
**      mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is
**      the greatest enemy of the State."
**         ==  Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda





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