Letters, We Get Mail, XXIV



Date: Tue, April 26, 2005
Subject: I saw your web page

I just recently had a slip, one of many since my first after nearly five years of sobriety of which AA would call just being dry because I didn't work "A Program"

I have had the toughest time since I first relapsed four years ago. I have felt intuitively that it is not me but the program that is doing me harm. I read some of your web page and am interested in your insights and how you came to be familiar with the program.

I was able to stay sober for five years and I believe they were a good five years. Then I relapsed and thought, "Well, I guess I really am an alcoholic, so I have to go to AA if I am really serious about my sobriety" I had a year, then relapsed, got another year, 3 months, 6 months, the beat goes on. Everyone tells me it works, but it's not working for me.

I have met some great people in the program and I don't want to lose my friends if I leave the program. And be talked about like I am a dry drunk. I hope that I might be able to converse with you. It is hard to find dissenters who are willing to discuss the ins and outs of the program.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Take Care,
Sarah

Hi Sarah,

Sorry to take so long to answer, but I've been offline for a long while and the email really piled up. I am just now (September) getting through the backlog of email.

Sorry to hear about your difficulties. I have to agree that the A.A. program is harmful, as well as being depressing and wrecking your feelings of self-worth.

What helps me to not relapse is watching my thinking, and seeing when the old Lizard Brain starts yammering the lines about "It's been so long since we've had one, we've got it under control now. One will be okay now."

I have learned over the years not to believe him, and not to get suckered into believing his arguments about how good it was, and how good it will be again, and how sad it is that we can't have a good time like other people can, and on and on and on....

I wrote up a whole web page on that. Check it out here. Especially check out the list of excuses at the bottom of the page.

I also just consider the cost. I ask myself, "Is it really worth it, to loose everything I've got (yet again), and end up homeless (again), to get sick, to get re-addicted, to lose more brain cells, and to maybe die, just to have some beers?" The answer is "No."

I'd be happy to correspond with you, any time. And I just got a WiFi connection into the Internet that actually works one or two days a week, so my connectivity is much improved.

Have a good day.

== Orange





Date: Tue, April 26, 2005
Subject: Thank You

I stumbled across your pages and I am enthralled. I have been (and continue to be) subject to the 12 step bullshit. After reading your work, I have actively searched out the work of Jack Trimpey (and ordered his book) and Stanton Peele (his book just arrived in the mail). I have implemented Mr. Trimpey's "instant recovery" idea from his website and it's working wonderfully!!

The problem is, I was a severe alcoholic and NOBODY, not my family or the few associates I have, believe that anything other than AA works! My family does not want to deal with me because they believe I'm just going to go out and drink again. Truth be told, I have not been sober for this long since 1999, and I feel fantastic!! When any sort of alcoholic thought pops into my head, I simply realise that its my addictive voice talking, and BOOM.... the thought loses all power.

Hi Mark,
Congratulations!!!

That is wonderful. That is fantastic. That's the whole ball game.

Once you catch on to how the little lizard brain works, and yammers at you and tries to manipulate you, that is the biggest victory of the war. You still have to stay sober, year after year (which is quite different from quitting), but it is just so much easier when you realize what a lying little moron that voice really is, as it whispers, "Oh, it's been so long since we've had one.... We've got it under control now. One will be okay..."

My father simply wants me to "fake it till I make it" or he will never trust me again.

Bummer. Hopefully, he will eventually become convinced.

You could also point out to him the staggeringly high (pun) failure rate of Alcoholics Anonymous and the people who do "Fake It Till You Make It".

I was in a half way house after treatment, and even before I found your writings, I was questioning the whole AA thing (again.... I've tried it before to no avail). You're not allowed to be in the halfway house unless you practice the 12 steps and have a sponsor. They preach "rigorous honesty" in AA so this is what is being asked of me: Either I lie to the halfway house and myself and "fake it" to please others. Or I am ostracized for not conforming to the will of Bill Wilson.

How would you respond in this situation? I really have been quite happy AND sober as of late.

Thanks for helping to open my eyes.

Sincerely,
Mark V.

Hi Mark,

Wow. Thanks for a flattering letter. Sorry to be so late in answering it; I am still just wading through a mountain of old email and spam and viruses to get caught up. Only 5 megabytes to go. (No joke, it's that bad.)

What to do about that half-way house? Well, what I ended up doing was at first I went to the 12-Step meetings, just like everybody else. It was "a requirement of the program" that you went to three meetings per week. That's where I learned about a lot of the garbage that you find in these web pages.

But then, one day, one nice, more open-minded counselor actually gave out little slips of paper that listed SMART meetings, just for those who didn't like the 12-Step dance. I had never heard of SMART before. I went to a SMART meeting, and it was a revelation. Wow. No incanting of lies and deceptions at the start of the meeting. You can tell the truth without somebody having a hissy fit. You can question any part of the program, including how well it works, and you can talk about why it works, and how it works, if it works. And there is a sensible, logical basis to what is presented.

What a breath of fresh air.

I didn't go to very many more 12-Step meetings after that.

In order to keep my housing, I had to have a "sponsor", and he had to fill out a report on me every quarter. And my (child-molesting) counselor was putting a lot of pressure on me to get a sponsor.

I asked the SMART group facilitator if he would be my sponsor.

Now mind you, that was a bit of a joke. There is no such thing as a "sponsor" in SMART. That is a characteristic of Buchmanism and the 12-Step cult. But the facilitator understood what was going on. He answered, "Okay, but only if you promise not to call me at night."

So he filled out my paperwork that was required from "the sponsor", and said that I was "working a good program".

That was nearly 5 years ago. Now, he has moved on, and I don't really have a sponsor. Another friend and I "sponsor" each other, and fill out each other's paperwork as required. (It's actually legal.)

Now that I have nearly 5 years sober, people are beginning to sincerely ask, "What are you doing? What is working for you?" (Because very, very few people make it that long.)

And I tell them, "SMART and the Lizard-Brain thing, and just deciding that I really didn't want to die of alcoholism. And no, I don't go to meetings." I don't even bother to put on a pretense any more.

So anyway, that's how I got through that trap. Your mileage may vary.

Oh, by the way. Even if they tell you that you have to be in a 12-Step program and have a Stepper sponsor, it is illegal for them to push that point. They can lose their state or federal funding if they do that. It is blatantly illegal to force someone into a religion, even though the Steppers don't want to hear that.

If someone bothers me with 12-Step stuff, I will start quoting the list of judicial decisions that declared that A.A. was a religion, or engaged in blatantly religious activities, and how illegal it is to use government money to promote a cult religion. (And I'm not even an atheist. I just don't like other people forcing weird religions on me.)

Have a good day, and a good life.

== Orange





Date: Wed, April 27, 2005
Subject: Greetings

You have obviously never been an addict or you are one, but you are just making excuses not to have to make changes in your life.

Hello Ben,

Sorry, but you are totally wrong there. Yes I have been an alcoholic and an addict, and I am now (as of October 1) just 3 weeks short of 5 years clean and sober. So I would call that "making changes in my life", wouldn't you?

Why is it that so many people assume that if I criticize a dishonest cult religion, that I am not spiritual or not recovering or not making changes or something? That is just the standard Alcoholics Anonymous ad hominem attack where they say, "Oh, you're just criticizing A.A. because you don't want to quit drinking."

It's also the attack where they say, "You must be an atheist if you dare to criticize our cult religion."

An old Indian elder from my town said that this twelve step program is a sprirtual program and that the Lakota used to live a spiritual program in the old days. My friend do you know what is wrong with religion???? I will tell you.... human beings think they have the best corner on the market and that God can only work through them, we as people really twist and turn the word of God into something it is not. God does his work how he is going to do it..... all of us have lessons to learn here on earth. You have to let people work their program of spirituality the way they need to. Everyone is not where you are in life.... either they have been there before or will be where you are in the future. Maybe they have things to learn that they have not learned yet. It is not your place to criticize Gods plans for people, nor is it mine.

Excuse me, but you are way off base there. Alcoholics Anonymous is most assuredly not "God's plan". Did they tell you that? A.A. is no more God's Plan than the slaughter of the Native American Peoples by the U.S. Cavalry was "God's Plan". Was Wounded Knee "God's Plan"? No way José.

And I don't care how many old Indians told you that the Twelve Steps are "spiritual". There is nothing spiritual about them. They are cult religion practices, and some harmful garbage at that.

You talk about what is bad about religion, but then you buy into one of the worst of the white man's religions, an old cult religion that lies and says that it is "spiritual, not religious".

I am all for "letting people work their program of spirituality the way they need to"... But A.A. isn't. They use the police and judges to force more people into their rooms. That isn't spirituality. That's just like the Christians forcing the Native American people to go into the white man's churches at gunpoint, which they used to do, you know.

A Taos Indian told me about how back in the 1920s, the "Christians" used to stand on top of the pueblo with rifles in their hands on Sunday morning, forcing the Indians into the Catholic church, so that the Indians would start believing in the "right" religion. And A.A. pulls the same damn stunt today when they tell the judge to sentence all of the drunk drivers to A.A. meetings, where they will learn to believe in A.A. "spirituality".

I am a full blood Dakota/Lakota Sioux Indian, I grew up on a reservation and my people's way communicating with God was once called savage and uncivilized, but the people who were saying that had no respect for human life, no respect for their women or children. Lied with no second thought or guilt of conscious and the whole time felt like they were the only ones who could perform Gods job. But they were destroying his children and who are also all the living creatures on this planet. I apologize if I am being disrespectful to you.

No, you are not being disrespectful to me, and I am not offended. I am an old hippie, and I know pretty well just how evil and murderous the white man's treatment of the native American peoples was. Sometimes I get angry just thinking about it.

But why on earth would you want to abandon your people's real spirituality and adopt the cult religion of some lying white men like Frank Buchman and Bill Wilson?

I just wanted you to know this is coming from a recovering addict who has over 15 years of recovery. Everything is a process and it took me years to be able to feel the same feeling I get when I go to church as I eventually started getting in those meetings you criticize.

Congratulations on your 15 years of recovery. That is wonderful.

Be very careful of that talk about feelings; that is often a trap. Spirituality is not a matter of getting nice feelings. The precursor of Alcoholics Anonymous was the Oxford Group. There, they felt that they were having a great spiritual experience if they got warm and fuzzy feelings while marching around singing "Onward Christian Soldiers". Look here.

You have to have been an addict or grown up in an environment with one to understand the utter insanity of the desease of alcoholism.

I did both. My alcoholic father drank himself to death, and I drank too much for about 15 years. You really do not have a monopoly on suffering.

When your denial is so strong that you have cirrhosis and your dying, you have been in prison or maybe you have had numerous DUI's and maybe your family has left you, or your living on the streets and still truly believing you do not have a problem....then you are an addict.

I have suffered too, too much.

If you cannot understand that, you should not be here criticizing a way of life that has changed and influenced so many of us to begin a journey of learning how to live instead of living and learning how to die.

I understand it, all right already. This isn't a game of spiritual one-upmanship on the basis of who has suffered the most, is it?

What's the matter with your tribe's traditional ways and your peoples' old spirituality? Why can't you "learn how to live" without some white men's lies?

Some of us have grown up in environments of extreme poverty and extreme substance abuse, so for many of us it is also a program of discovery and learning what a man is. The disease will never be figured out, because to get our fix we lie to ourselves more than we lie to anyone else.... and most of all we believe our own lies more than anyone else.

I hope you can understand what I am trying to say. Thank you.

Ben D.

Hi Ben,

Well, I don't want to come across as being presumptuous, but I think I do understand very well.

It's wonderful that you are recovering and living a happier life. My criticism is not directed against you or your brothers. It is against some evil white men who have foisted lies and deceptions on vulnerable people for about 80 years now — in particular, Frank Buchman and Bill Wilson.

I know that a bunch of Native American people are organizing their own recovery groups and programs that have nothing to do with the 12-Step cult. In New Mexico and Arizona they sometimes use peyote ceremonies, and I've heard guys talking about how they got their heads and their spirituality straightened out that way, and stopped drinking and got a better life.

A.A. is not the only way. The Stepper recruiter speaks with a forked tongue.

Oh, by the way, have you read the "Join The Tribe" story in the 3rd edition of the Big Book? I think that thing is a fake and a forgery. What do you think of it? Have you ever heard a real native American person talk like that? "Never forgot magic in firewater." (See the discussion here.)

Have a good day, and a good life.

== Orange





Date: Thu, May 5, 2005

Hello and Thank you,

I'm reading and re-reading your thoughts/opinions on 12 step programs... I've been in NA for nearly 6 months, and countless individuals have told me 'I don't get step one...', and that it's the only step I have to get 100%; although I have had more 'clean' time than I ever had in 12 years (I believe mostly due to the fact I'm sick and tired of feeling sick and tired). I have had real difficulty with the idea of being powerless... I agree with you when you say... having a messed-up life from too much drinking/DRUGS, is just that — being sick. It isn't "powerlessness." Having difficulties quitting is not "powerlessness", it's having difficulties quitting.

The downside is now I'm not sure about NA at all... I've met some really good people (and a few friends, more than I had before (when using)) in the program, I don't believe I'm powerless, I believe I have issues with discipline, obsessing/compulsing, etc...

Anyway, I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but I appreciate your article and believe you made many STRONG and valid points.

Sincerely,
Owen R.

Hello Owen,

You have just brought up the big conflict that so many people go through with A.A. and N.A.. They meet some people whom they like there, and they find that they like the social club, and they like the moral support for not drinking and doping, but they don't buy into the A.A. 12-step dogma at all. So they feel conflicted.

What to do?

There is no super-easy answer, but there are several answers:

  • Quit going to 12-Step meetings and go to SMART or something like that instead. You may or may not like that better.

  • Continue going to 12-Step meetings, but let your friends know that you don't believe in the bull, and don't really want to hear it. In fact, you might even tell the truth there, out loud. Your new friends may or may not forgive you for such "blasphemy" (as Bill Wilson called it). It depends on their level of indoctrination.

  • Keep your mouth shut and pretend that you believe in the stuff. "Fake It Until You Make It."

  • Throw your logical mind and 'Reason' into the trashcan, flip out and become a true believer, and discover that Bill Wilson *really was right* about everything after all. That way you won't have to feel any conflicts any more.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange





Mon, May 9, 2005

coo-coo, have a drink pal

== marty.mcq





Subject: YOUR ARTICLE OF FUNNY RECOVERY
Date: Mon, May 9, 2005

YOU ARTICLE "THE FUNNY SPIRITUALITY OF BILL WILSON AND AA" IS EVIDENCE OF YOUR OWN NARCISSISTIC Tendencies. DO YOU REALIZE WHAT A FOOL YOU SOUND LIKE? OBVIOUSLY, YOU ARE ALCOHOLIC AND HAVE NOT HAD THE STRENGTH TO ADMIT THIS MUCH LESS THE INTELLIGENCE. NO DOUBT SMOKING IS DEADLY BUT DOESN'T COME CLOSE TO ALTERING THE MOOD Destructively AS ALCOHOL DOES. AND IN CASE YOU DIDN'T REALIZE, COCAINE, Heroine AND OTHER SUCH DRUGS WEREN'T THAT AVAILABLE AND LITTLE WAS KNOWN OF THEM THAT THE TIME AA STARTED. SO KEEP YOUR IGNORANT AND YES, ALCOHOLIC COMMENTS TO YOURSELF. AT LEAST WRITE AN Article SUCH AS THIS WHILE NOT DRUNK AND OR HIGH. AND IF YOUR GOING TO BASH THE BIG BOOK OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, TRY TAKING A LOOK AT OTHER STATEMENTS FROM THIS BOOK SUCH AS "TAKE WHAT YOU LIKE AND LEAVE THE REST" YOUR AN IDIOT! THIS FELLOWSHIP HAS AND CONTINUES TO GIVE HOPE TO THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF MEN, WOMAN AND YOUNG ADULTS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. BUT ON THE LIGHTER SIDE, THIS WAS SUCH OUTRAGIOUS IT MADE ME LAUGH.

MARY D.

Hi Mary,

Wow, you don't sound like you are laughing.

I have said a zillion times that I am also an alcoholic. Did you miss that? So I don't know where you get the "OBVIOUSLY, YOU ARE ALCOHOLIC AND HAVE NOT HAD THE STRENGTH TO ADMIT THIS MUCH LESS THE INTELLIGENCE."

By the way, cocaine was very popular back when the Big Book was written, and before, too. Ever heard of Coca-Cola? Did you know that Sherlock Holmes was a coke-head? Also popular were morphine, heroin, and quite a variety of other drugs. Did you know that the U.S. Civil War produced hundreds of thousands of morphine addicts? Drugs are nothing new. They are as old as humankind.

I know all about the statements like "TAKE WHAT YOU LIKE AND LEAVE THE REST". I also know about "Work The Steps Or Die!"

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

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange





Date: Tue, May 10, 2005
Subject: Good Job

Nice try. How long you been trying to discredit AA. Looks like a lot of time and energy. Using logic to try to explain or explain away spiritual matters has never worked and will never work. That's why it's called faith. AA is what it is and that's why it works. Your account of the history of AA, the truth about alot of the writings in the book and Bill's narcissistic disorder are true and that's what makes AA so strong. AA members are human beings and therefore not perfect. We are no different than anybody else except we have a disease that needs treated. We have the same choices as everybody else on what we are going to believe and how we are going to live our lives. God enables us and the fellowship supports us. It's just not that big a deal. But your web site does help prove the point that even with all the myths, misinformation, misguided beliefs, and right out lies (that could probably destroy any other organization), AA still exist and is still working for thousands of alcoholics all over the world. Probably a God thing. Just relax and take it one day at a time.

Thanks, Danny F.

Hello Danny,

Thanks for the letter.

You sound like you have it all figured out.

  • 'Don't use logic, it doesn't work.'

    So why does faith work?
    Work to do what?
    Faith in what or whom?
    What about the people who had faith and believed in Jim Jones or David Koresh or Marshall Herff Applewhite or Adolf Hitler? What did their faith do for them?

  • AA is what it is and that's why it works.

    Well it certainly is what it is. That's a truism. It can't very well be what it isn't, now can it?

    But it doesn't work. It has a zero-percent success rate, above normal spontaneous remission. (And a nasty death rate to go with it.)

  • You declare, "We are no different than anybody else except we have a disease that needs treated."

    Oh, really? Precisely how do you define that disease? What are the signs? What are the symptoms?

    Is it a real physical disease or is it one of those imaginary spiritual diseases?

    And what is the treatment for that disease?
    And what is the effectiveness of the "treatment"?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Foisting ineffective quack medicine on sick people is not
** a wonderful noble act of self-sacrifice to help others;
** it is the reprehensible behavior of a damned fool.





Date: Wed, May 11, 2005
Subject: Your Resentment Against A.A.

What up with it? You seem to have an almost pathological axe to grind with the program. Did you try it and find it ineffective for you? Did a relative of Bill Wilson's murder one of your loved ones? Why do you give a shit if recovering alcoholics smoke cigarettes? Are you a fundamentalist? What's wrong with you, seriously?

Also, if Bill Wilson was such a "narcissist" with "delusions of grandeur" (it's actually "illusions of grandeur," BTW), then why did he refuse to be photographed for the cover of TIME? And why did he refuse to be photographed at a congressional hearing on alcohol abuse? That is not the behavior of someone with a "messiah complex"!

You're a very bitter person. Your vitriolic diatribes are kind of amusing, but so poorly informed and illogical as to offend my intellect. Shame on you for reasoning so badly!

Steve C.

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the letter.

Wow, where to start?

Well, I guess we'll start at the beginning.

  • Did you try it and find it ineffective for you?

    No. I saw it for the cult that it was rather quickly, and walked out. Read the introduction. I never did the Twelve Steps, or worshipped Bill Wilson, or had an A.A. sponsor, or any of that stuff. And I still have 5 years clean and sober.

  • Did a relative of Bill Wilson's murder one of your loved ones?

    Funny that you should mention that. Friends of Bill seem to be killing a lot of people by driving them away from recovery.

  • Why do you give a shit if recovering alcoholics smoke cigarettes?

    Because tobacco kills more people than alcohol does. Tobacco even kills more alcoholics than alcohol does. If you really care about recovery, you care about tobacco.

    As Bill said, "Half measures availed us nothing." Remember? Voluntarily staying addicted to a killer drug while bragging about how well your recovery is going is just so much B.S..

  • Are you a fundamentalist?

    No, not even close.

  • What's wrong with you, seriously?

    Well, I just get this funny feeling when people lie to my face and try to shove quack medicine and cult religion on me. Bill Wilson called it a "resentment". Do you think that is wrong?

    What do you do when somebody shoves a bunch of B.S. on you? Do you get down on your knees and say, "Oh thank you Sponsor, thank you"?

  • Then you said,
    Also, if Bill Wilson was such a "narcissist" with "delusions of grandeur" (it's actually "illusions of grandeur," BTW), then why did he refuse to be photographed for the cover of TIME? And why did he refuse to be photographed at a congressional hearing on alcohol abuse? That is not the behavior of someone with a "messiah complex"!

    No, actually it's "delusions of grandeur", BTW.
    Read the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, particularly the section on Delusional Disorders, and pay close attention to disease number 297.10, Delusional Disorder, Grandiose Type. See these quotes.

    And yes, that was the behavior of a narcissist — a very smart narcissist. Bill got lots more mileage out of NOT appearing on the cover of TIME magazine than he could ever have gotten by appearing there. He will always be remembered as the man who refused to allow his face on the cover of TIME. If Bill had appeared on the cover of TIME, he would have been just another guy. (Do you remember that Frank Buchman got his face on the cover of TIME? Nope.)

    Best of all, from then on, Bill had a defense against charges of egotism and narcissism. No matter how outrageous his actions were, and no matter how much others criticized him, he could always claim, "Hey! I didn't allow my face to be printed on TIME's cover, did I? So I'm not a narcissist or an egotist. Aren't I special? The only man who ever refused to have his face on the cover of TIME."

    And his performance at the Senate hearing was classic. It was a real circus. He had those Senators jumping through hoops for him, and everybody obeying his dictates, because he was so special — he was "an anonymous alcoholic in recovery". Nobody could photograph his face, Bill demanded, even though his picture had already been printed in newspapers a zillion times.


    Bill's picture was featured in a newspaper article on alcoholism in the August 9, 1942 issue of the Knoxville Journal.
    Chester E. Kirk Collection of the John Hay Library at Brown University

  • And lastly, "vitriolic", as you called it... Well yeh, I think that it's a despicable crime to lie to sick people about what will cure them. What do you think about such behavior?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Foisting ineffective quack medicine on sick people is not
** a wonderful noble act of self-sacrifice to help others;
** it is the reprehensible behavior of a damned fool.





Date: Wed, May 11, 2005
Subject: direct suggestion.

Hello, Secret Agent Orange. I have noticed that 12 steps groups can use what appears to be similar to Direct suggestion phobia indoctrination that Steve Hassan mentions in his book "Releasing the Bonds." Do you think this technique can really cause phobia/panic attacks?

Drew.

Hi Drew,

Thanks for the question.

My guess is, "Yes, really yes."

Now I haven't personally seen somebody going into a standard anxiety attack, but I have seen them panicking and attacking me. It happens regularly. Challenge their belief system, and they react like you are trying to murder one of their children. It's a panic reaction where they fear that you are doing great harm to them by pulling the rug out from under them.

And yes, I like that book by Steve Hassan too. And "Phobia Induction" is listed as one of the standard characteristics of a cult.

Have a good day.

== Orange





Date: Wed, May 11, 2005
Subject: AA Info

Thank you for the depth of research you are offering.

I have read the Big Book, Dr Bob and the good old timers, AA comes of age, and several other of the "AA" approved literature. I have many times questioned the notion that B.W. is some kind of deity, and how he has been deified my many members in AA.

I did notice many of the contradictions that exist with Bill Wilsons bios. It is most helpful that you have taken the time to colate this information.

I am an AA member, sober for 18 years, and unfortunately recovering for only 5 years. Just like B.W. I stopped drinking, drugging etc. because some of the message from AA meetings is that Alcohol is "bad" the Big Books constantly states that "alcohol is but a symptom".

And the curse of alcoholism is sobriety (that isn't in there written like that) that is in family afterwards, "sessation of drinking is but the first step away from a highly strained abnormal condition".

Too bad that was in one of those chapters that is discounted by most AA members.

Thank you again,

And I'll "keep comming back"

GiltyD

Hi Gilty,

Thanks for the thanks, and have a good day.

== Orange





Date: Wed, May 11, 2005
Subject: Credentials

Dear Mr or Ms. Orange,

I have read your "papers" on Bill Wilson and AA. My one question is who are you A. Orange? Please write back and kindly provide your professional / personal qualifications as they pertain to your demonstrated expertise on the validity of A.A. as a legitimate recovery program for alcoholics.

Sincerely,
Bridget B.

Hi, Bridget,

Thanks for the letter.

We've been over this before, so I'll just point you to the standard answers: look here.

Oh, but I think I forgot to mention that I also have a Ph.D. from the School of Hard Knox.

All kidding aside, I have a lot of years of experience in the "recovery community", and seeing what works and what doesn't.

Above all, I would do anything, and recommend any program, if it would save the lives of a few friends. My whole web site is based on the premise that what we got for "treatment", the "wonderful, never-fails 12-Step miracle", is a load of bull that kills more alcoholics and addicts than it saves.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange





Date: Thu, May 12, 2005
Subject: Thank you

Hello. Did only one person create this entire website?

It is so thorough and detailed. I surf quite a bit and this is a very good work in my opinion.

I wonder to what degree the Agent Orange was addicted to both alcohol and cigarettes, though I guess addiction is addiction — but I am working on it myself and I just wondered how much of a habit was involved to motivate someone so clearly. Though it is not my business but Agent Orange does give a glimpse into a personal addiction. I was particularly interested in the smoking habits effect on dental hygiene.

That got my attention!!

Thank you. Jo

Hi Jo,

Thanks for the letter, and thanks for all of the compliments.

Yes, the whole web site was put together by just one person, which is why it's now October and I'm still just getting around to answering the backlogged email from May.

You ask, "How addicted was I?" As addicted as they come. I smoked for about 33 years, and for 30 of them I was trying to quit.

I had some good times in there. I quit for a whole year one time, when my son was born and I needed all of my energy for that trip. But then I smoked just one cigarette and got readdicted for another 20 years.

And I had other periods of a month to six months where I would quit and be healthy and even athletic (roller hocky was my passion), only to get sucked back in by the seductive whispering of the Lizard Brain Addiction Monster.

And the effect of smoking on me was that it took my teeth. Gum disease is the chief cause of adult tooth loss, and my dentist told me that the unholy trinity of coffee, cigarettes, and anxiety was the chief cause of starting peridontal disease. (I wish they had taught us that in school, instead of just "Don't eat candy; it will give you cavities.")

The other big bad effect of tobacco is that it just robs all of your energy, and makes you old and tired before your time.

About addiction to alcohol, the funny thing is that I never felt addicted to alcohol in the same way as I was addicted to tobacco. But 17 years ago, the first time I quit drinking, I went into D.T.s after 2 days without alcohol. I was shaking and jerking like I was being electrocuted, and hallucinating that the evil demons that were hiding in the dark corners of the room were trying to get into my mind. I guess maybe I was a little bit more addicted than I realized.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange





From: "counsellors"
Subject: Angry, are we?
Date: Thu, May 12, 2005

Hello, I read some of your piece on the 12 steps and noticed that you are quite an angry person, although you must be having been named after a fruit! The 12 steps are helpful to some people and not for others. For me, they have been a life saver and I agree with you that AA has cultish feel about it. However, I am a member of Narcotics Anonymous. A fellowship in its own right, which, in my opinion has a more welcoming feel about it, without being all encompassing. Basically what I wanted to say was don't knock it if you have not tried it, Fruity x

Hello counselors,

Thanks for the letter.

You couldn't just possibly have a slight self-serving bias involved in that viewpoint, could you? — considering that your email address tells me that you are a counselor who works at a treatment center that uses the 12 Steps on its clients?

There is no truth to the statement that "The 12 steps are helpful to some people and not for others."
That is the standard dodge where treatment centers try to take credit for normal spontaneous remission.

Have you bothered to read the file on "The Effectiveness of the 12-Step Treatment"?

Since you are in the United Kingdom, you should especially pay attention to the work of Doctors Orford and Edwards of London, who found that having a doctor talk to the client for just one hour, telling him to quit drinking or he is going to die, was just as effective as a whole year of "treatment" based on Alcoholics Anonymous.

I know all about Narcotics Anonymous. In fact, I have been debating whether to go to a meeting later tonight [October 2005] to pick up my 5-year keytag. (I still haven't bothered to pick up my 4-year one, but 5 years is kind of a milestone.)

(And the number 5 years is kind of special to me for another reason. Five years ago, my doctor said, "If you recover from cancer for 5 years, and then relapse and die, then everybody says that you were a great guy and it's a shame that it happened to you. But if you recover from alcoholism for 5 years and then relapse and die drunk, they say that you are a bum and I'm a doctor who works on bums."

I don't intend to make him into a doctor who works on bums. And now I have to remember to send him a birthday card. Oh, and by the way, do you know what he did? Like in the Orford and Edwards experiment, he gave me one lecture, one time, telling me to quit drinking or die, choose one. That was the best treatment program I ever got.)

The only problem I have with going to a meeting and getting another keytag is that everybody at the meeting then immediately crows, "See! The Steps work!", even though I have never done the 12 Steps, never had a 12-Step sponsor, don't go to meetings, and regard the Big Book as just so much insane cult trash. And if you were there, you just might be saying, "See, the 12 steps work for some people... He proves it."

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Foisting ineffective quack medicine on sick people is not
** a wonderful noble act of self-sacrifice to help others;
** it is the reprehensible behavior of a damned fool.





Date: Wed, May 18, 2005
Subject: Love the site, and thanks!

Hello Secret Agent Orange!

I just wanted to thank you for a very comprehensive site concerning the sordid history of the alcohol cult known as A.A.

I can understand the "kick" one gets when dumping their mind into a project which exposes such an obvious scam within our society. In fact, it's my personal knowledge and experience which has led me to conclude that it isn't just the movement or the industry: It's the entire social services system which has become inundated by these cultists.

It's only recently that I've put my own site online: The ARID Site. I've had the web space for some time but there comes a time when you must DO SOMETHING with all of those accumulated writings. With the recent shutdown of Apple's website (http://www.aadeprogramming.com) and your website's "brownouts" I figured that I'd let you know that I appreciate your work and that you are not alone.

In fact, it's damn easy to place a website online. It's not hard at all yet our social system deems it to be a "magical" process only capable in the hands of "gifted shamans" such as ourselves. Bill$hit! I'm truly oldskool in my sensibilities and have tools which even work on Windows 3.1 for cryin' out loud! A lot of these tools are free now due to their "abandonware" status. AOLPRESS, while not the most stable piece of code, I've found to be a very versatile HTML editor. Likewise one can find a variety of tools for designing graphics and such for free or as little as $5. But the tools are useless if you don't DO SOMETHING within them. Like, for example, getting to know them?

But I'm going off tangent. Anyone can put a site online. Anyone! But they need to overcome their self-defeating fear that they'll fail. They'll need to overcome the Bastard within which says that "it's too hard so don't even bother." In fact this dovetails into how one can quit intoxicating themselves once and for all: The process is identical! Just as quitting for ONE LIFETIME AT A TIME proved to me a very liberating experience the same goes for putting a website online. There's nothing more exhilarating than proving the Bastard wrong and accomplishing something. ;->

Anyhow, I've downloaded your entire site and I refer to it as I would any of the books I often reference. I've even contacted Ken Ragge and Chas Bufe and feel as though I have "arrived." Now I'm anxiously awaiting the full 24-page document, "Comments on Triennial Surveys," which I will immediately scan, convert to .PDF and place online.

I'm tired of the lies because I nearly died because of them. I was lied to about Rational Recovery in July 2003: The people at Clarion Psychiatric Center (Clarion PA) stated that it was just another 12-Step program. They were wrong. It was when I learned AVRT in March 2004 from Rational Recovery that I cashed in a couple of my I.Q. points and took my brain out of hock. Thousands of dollars spent, winding up in debt and "thisclose" to never existing past October 25, 2003. Since then I want to do my part to slay the Bureaucratic Bastard.

I hope that more people step up out of the Buchmanite's "Steppism", grab a computer and place their experiences online, write books and the like. I thank you for your work. You helped me a lot. I guess the best way I can thank you is to keep The ARID Site alive so I'll close with that.

dr.bomb, Ph.D. AVRT(tm) \_____________________________
Editor of The ARID Site: http://thearidsite.tripod.com
The Addiction Recovery Information Distribution Site
PGP keys at http://thearidsite.tripod.com/ARIDPGPK.TXT
** The Twelve Steps are a downward spiral staircase **

Hi Dr. Bomb,

Thanks for all of the compliments, and welcome to the club.

Somehow, we will "carry the message" to the meeting-makers who still suffer.

Have a good day.

== Orange

P.S.: I still have tools that work under MSDOS 3.1... :-)

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Being surrounded by a group of people who keep telling
**  you that you are powerless over alcohol, and that your
**  will power is useless, is not getting "support".
**  It is getting sabotaged.
**  With friends like them, you don't need any enemies.





Date: Thu, 19 May 2005
Subject: Letter to Agent Orange

Link to a waste of Webspace
www.orange-papers.info/ An exhaustive critique of AA.

Hello Agent Orange —
I am a member of AA for 12 yrs come June 1, 2005. Using the openmindedness I acquired in the program I have perused your exhaustive website. My, my, you have spent alot of time living in hate of something that works to save lives.

Hello Gilbert,
Thanks for the letter, and hold on right there. First off, let me congratulate you on your 12 years of sobriety. Twelve years makes you one of the higher-level leaders of A.A., and certainly authorizes you to speak for A.A., which you are now doing.

But when you claim that A.A. saves lives, that is the propaganda trick of Assuming Facts Not In Evidence. It is also parrotting standard A.A. dogma which is totally untrue. There is *NO* evidence that A.A. "works to save lives", or that A.A. has made a zillion alcoholics quit drinking, as A.A. often claims. Just the opposite. Did you bother to actually read the file on The Effectiveness of the 12-Step Treatment while you were "perusing" the web site? It is one of the most important files in the whole web site, so please read it very carefully, twice.

When the Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Trustee Prof. Dr. George E. Vaillant tried to prove that A.A. worked and saved lives, he ended up proving that A.A. kills. Dr. Vaillant's first 100 patients, whom he tracked through 8 years of Alcoholics Anonymous "treatment", scored: 5 sober, 29 dead, and 66 still drinking. That was the highest death rate of any kind of treatment in Vaillant's study.

Not coincidentally, 5% is also the normal rate of spontaneous remission in alcoholics. That is how many alcoholics will quit drinking all on their own, each year, without any help or treatment. Subtract the normal rate of spontaneous remission from the A.A. success rate, and you get zero. That is the real A.A. success rate. A.A. does not increase the amount of sobriety in this world. A.A. doesn't make anybody quit. In A.A., the only people who quit drinking are those who were going to quit anyway — or who have already quit — and then A.A. just fools a few of those people into believing that "A.A. worked", or "the 12 Steps worked" to make them quit.

Likewise, the A.A. headquarters discovered from their own triennial surveys that A.A. has a 95% dropout rate with newcomers in just the first year alone. (And then the attrition continues.)

Doctors who tested A.A. found that A.A. participation increased the rate of binge drinking, and increased re-arrests for public drunkenness, and even made it more expensive to treat the alcoholics in a hospital later.

And a whole year of Alcoholics Anonymous proved to be no more effective than a doctor talking to an alcoholic for one hour, telling him to quit drinking or he will die.

So where on earth are you getting the idea that A.A. saves many lives (besides from A.A.)?

And please don't tell me that you went to an A.A. meeting and a dozen people swore that A.A. or the Twelve Steps made them quit drinking. All that those people prove is that you can convince some people of anything.

And please don't tell me about the convention where you saw thousands of people. All that they prove is that you can sell tickets to conventions, and it is a popular cult.

We who have been sober for a while know that Bill Wilson was one of us. That is too say, used by God with all his faults to bring those like myself on the brink of permanent insanity or death, back to God and Life.

You've got to be kidding. Bill Wilson was a con artist who lied and cheated and took A.A. for everything he could get. He made the Alcoholics Anonymous organization support him in comfort for the rest of his life. Bill Wilson even invented the A.A. 'Tradition' of 13th-stepping (sexually exploiting) sick women who came to A.A. seeking help. How low can you go?

Our program does not post the numbers of successes we would wish nor produce morally perfect beings, or completely illiminate our characters flaws which which differentiate us from so called normal folks. The reason you and medical professionals, some religions, or academia cannot understand AA is that is a gift from God to us. Just as a gift from your father on Christmas is just for you: AA is just for us . The Bible, if you have ever read it, says. "MY mansion has many rooms and I go and prepare a place for you" . Well myself, my family, friends, coworkers , society at large and you should be grateful that Christ did not renig on that promise and did prepared a place for folks like me. I thank Him daily.

That is just some more standard cult characteristics and propaganda tricks:

  1. Minimization and Denial. You say that A.A. does not "post" the numbers of successes that you would wish. No joke. That's a bit of an understatement, sort of like explaining that the Titanic wasn't quite as water-tight as its designer desired. But you are just minimizing and denying the problem that A.A. is a complete failure with a zero-percent success rate, above normal spontaneous remission. As A.A. pundits would say, "You are in denial."

  2. You also rationalize that A.A. does not make people perfect. Well I knew that, but that conflicts with your next grandiose claim —

  3. You assert that The Cult and Its Members are Special "We are so special that you can't even understand how special we are. Neither you nor the doctors can understand us (because you are mentally or spiritually limited and incapable of seeing how special we really are)." (Ego, ego, ego... What a big fat strutting-peacock ego.)

    You also try to claim that A.A. is a special gift from God just for you alcoholics. But I am also an alcoholic, so if A.A. were a gift from God to alcoholics, then A.A. would also be a gift for me, so I am most assuredly qualified to see A.A. for what it is — a hoax.
    Besides, since A.A. does not work to make alcoholics quit drinking, who cares whether we "understand A.A."? It's irrelevant. Who cares how religious and special A.A. makes you feel when it doesn't save alcoholics from death?

  4. You attempt an Escape Via Relativism: "You have your truth and we have ours."

    When you say, "AA is just for us", you are trying to imply that you have your own private reality and your own private truth. Not so. Like Senator Patrick Moynahan said, "Everybody is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts."

    Truth is not a relative thing. Remember Pontius Pilate sneering at Jesus, asking "What is truth?" Well, Jesus wasn't buying that argument. You don't get to have your own private "truth" that is different from other peoples' truth.

    The simple undeniable truth is that Alcoholics Anonymous fails to cure alcoholics, and it fails to make them quit drinking.
    A.A. is just stealing the credit from those few people who actually do quit drinking by their own hard work and their own determined will power.

  5. Then you use Ad Hominem, again, as well as Appeal to Authorities (Argumentum ad Verecundiam): "The Bible, if you have ever read it, says..."

  6. Non Sequitur: Actually, the Bible — specifically John 14:2 — quotes Jesus as saying: "In my Father's house there are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." Jesus was speaking of Heavens and other dimensions of the spiritual world, not an Alcoholics Anonymous clubhouse. Jesus was telling his disciples that he was going to die and go to Heaven and prepare a place for them in Heaven. Jesus Christ was not talking about Alcoholics Anonymous. Jesus did not promise to build an A.A. clubhouse.

    That is just such a classic example of how cults like A.A. twist the Scriptures and try to make them say whatever they wish the Scriptures said.
    Jesus Christ did not create Alcoholics Anonymous. The fascist cult leader Frank Buchman and Bill Wilson did. Go read the history of The Oxford Group, A.A. and the Twelve Steps.

The fact that you enjoy A.A. cult meetings does not mean that they are necessarily good for anybody or "from God". When you think that something is good just because it makes you feel good, you are merely endorsing the philosophy of hedonism. — "If it feels good, it is good." Heck, that is the theology of alcoholism and drug addiction.

Oh, and I must thank you for showing us beyond a shadow of a doubt that Alcoholics Anonymous is a religion. So much for the slogan about it being "Spiritual, Not Religious".

Alcoholics Anonymous is a gift from God? More likely a gift from Satan, with a little help from Bill Wilson. Have you read the file on The Heresy of the 12 Steps yet?

  1. Did Jesus Christ say, "Lie to the babies, and fool them into joining the church, for their own good"? You know, "Dole out the truth to the newcomers by teaspoons, not buckets." And, "...lure the reader in; when he finally arrived among us, there would then be enough time to tip him off about the spiritual character of our society."
    Or did Jesus Christ say, "Learn the truth, and the truth shall set you free"?

  2. Did Jesus Christ lie like a rug about his success rate in healing people, like how Bill Wilson did?

  3. Did Jesus Christ commit securities fraud and steal all of the money, like how Bill Wilson did?

  4. Did Jesus Christ 13th-Step all of the pretty women that He could get His hands on, like how Bill Wilson did?

  5. Did Jesus Christ heal people "Just For Today", and make all of his miracles wear off after 24 hours, so that people had to "Keep Coming Back" for more healings?

  6. Did Jesus Christ say that you should begin each church service by incanting lists of lies like "RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail, who has thoroughly followed our path..."?

  7. Did Jesus Christ say, "Surrender to me, and I'll solve all of your problems for you and grant all of your wishes while you just sit on your fat ass and 'Let Go And Let God'..."?

I don't think so.

Since my job in AA is to stay spiritually fit and carry the message which is ( you never have to choose to drink again ) I will not ubraid you or debate facts or criticize you in any way because I no longer have to fight anyone or anything.

You won't debate the facts? Do you even have any?
By the way, you are fighting right now, just not very well. All of those Ad Hominem attacks clearly show that.

And again, you are just mindlessly parrotting the standard A.A. slogans:

Besides, we have stopped fighting anybody or anything. We have to!
The Big Book, 3rd & 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, page 103.

For it is not me nor the loosely nit organization I belong to that you contend with: But the will of the Living God. Regardless of your relentlessness, I will continue to witness miracles, and be a part of miracles in the caffiene and smoke filled rooms of AA somewhere in God's mansion. As for you, Good Luck boxing with God. But I really do think your arm is too short, your experience too little, and your stategy too slack. I have a feeling you will never reach His front porch let alone get a room.

Again, you assume that you are on God's side. When did God appoint you His Propagandist in Chief? When did God rewrite the Bible just to suit Alcoholics Anonymous dogma? Again, read the file on The Heresy of the 12 Steps.

And you assume that A.A. is a good program, even a holy program, but you offer no evidence for that grandiose assumption.

Curiously, Reverend Sun Myung Moon's "Unification Church" (look here) also claims that it was put here by the Will of God, and Moon is the new Messiah, and they do miracles, etc... Do you have any evidence, other than your own convinced belief, that they are wrong and you are right?

Watch out. That is a trick question. Any arguments that you can produce to show that Rev. Moon is a fraud are equally applicable to Alcoholics Anonymous and Bill Wilson. See the Cult Test.

You are also using the propaganda technique of Divert Attention from the point. A.A. is supposed to be about saving people from death by alcohol abuse, but since A.A. doesn't actually do that, you are changing the subject and bragging about how close A.A. is to God, and what a wonderful religion A.A. really is.

Alcoholics Anonymous does not perform miracles. It is not a miracle when someone quits killing himself with alcohol. Quitting such excessive alcohol consumption is a very good thing, but it is not a miracle. A miracle is when somebody uses supernatural powers to change reality in impossible ways. It isn't impossible for alcoholics to quit drinking — lots of them do it, every day.

And I am not "boxing with God", and my arm isn't "too short to reach Him". That's two more propaganda tricks, Ad Hominem and False Equality. You are trying to assert that criticizing the Alcoholics Anonymous cult religion is "fighting against the Will of the Living God" or "boxing with God". That is not true at all. Quite the opposite.

Alcoholics Anonymous does not equal God.
Criticizing A.A. is not the same thing as criticizing God.
Fighting against A.A. is not the same thing as fighting against God.

That is a really classic example of the kind of tricks and mind games that Alcoholics Anonymous uses on people, and in your 12 years of A.A. membership, you have obviously learned the techniques well. It takes some real world-class arrogance to claim that anyone who criticises the dishonesty of your favorite sobriety club or your favorite cult religion is fighting against God.

My mother told me that God said to always tell the truth, so that is what I am doing. Do you have any TRUE facts to support your rather grandiose claims?

To my friends and family — Anyone want me to quit AA?
You get to vote

Again, you are trying to use the propaganda trick of False Equality. You are trying to imply that all of your family and friends fear that you will inevitably return to drinking if you quit Alcoholics Anonymous — that "Quitting A.A. equals drinking more alcohol" — and your friends and family don't want you to do that. You are also Cherry-picking the voters. How many friends do you have outside of A.A., really?

How would your friends and family react if you announced, "I've grown tired of the goofy cultish heresies of Alcoholics Anonymous and Bill Wilson, so I'm going to join a tea-totalling branch of the Southern Baptist Church now, and really get close to Jesus, and stay sober that way..."?
Would they think that was a terrible choice?
If so, why?

Goodbye, Good Luck and God Bless!
Gilbert Y.

Good luck to you too, and have a good day.

*                 Agent Orange                *
*            [email protected]       *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Being surrounded by a group of people who keep telling
**  you that you are powerless over alcohol, and that your
**  will power is useless, is not getting "support".
**  It is getting sabotaged.
**  With friends like them, you don't need any enemies.





Date: 2005.06.16
From: Stephen

Hi there Orange,

I am 2 months out of NA, and I still read your website nearly every day. Having been addicted to heroin for 3 years, and abstained for 3 (with a 3 month slip in my first year), I was wondering what your opinion on alcohol for me was? I attended NA, and was forced (through fear of ostracism if I didn't) to quit drinking. Since leaving, I have drank many times, and have had no real problems, except a slightly fuzzy head a couple of days. I didn't come off of heroin to sit in crappy churches every evening for the rest of my life, I did it so that I could enjoy life in the same way as I saw other people my age (23) doing. Do you think that moderate drinking is ok for me, or should I abstain from everything? I know the opinions of the 12-steppers, just wanted someone who would actually talk sense...

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for the letter, and glad to hear you are doing well.

Yawn, here it is the first thing in the morning; I'm just starting to get the first cup of espresso into me, and you start off with a killer question before I can even think straight. Oh well...

That's a big important question. The problem is that stereotypes don't work, and there is no simple answer to that question. The best I can do is say, "For some people it's okay, and for some it isn't. And you have to figure out for yourself which it is for you."

We should not over-generalize between alcohol and heroin. Alcohol is a different drug from heroin, and affects different people differently. Even with alcoholics, the Rand Corporation think-tank discovered that about 50% of all of those who recovered from alcoholism did it by total abstinence, and the other 50% recovered by tapering off into controlled, moderate drinking. See this.

One of the worst over-generalizations about drugs — a dangerous over-simplification that has been spread by everybody from the U.S. Government to A.A. — is the idea that drugs are drugs, and they are all the same. That is not true at all. That is just as stupid as declaring that there is no difference between penicillin and heroin. "Drugs is drugs", they say. (It's just like that funny chicken commercial on TV: "Parts is parts.")

The truth is that drugs are all different, and different drugs hit different people in different ways. What is a dangerous drug to one person may not be dangerous to another person. And yet the second person may be vulnerable to something else.

Take me, for example. I took lots and lots of all of the psychedelics that I could get, and smoked a ton of pot, for many years, and yet it was never a problem. I never got "addicted". I just did it because I wanted to, and tapered off and stopped doing it when I wanted to. When I turned my attention to having a wife and a baby, the drugs became history. No big deal. It wasn't even an issue.

I even did heroin and cocaine, back in my stupid wild and crazy youth. I started off by shooting both of them. (By that I mean, there was no mild introductory phase of maybe snorting or smoking a taste to see if I liked it. I went straight for the big time.) I shot heroin for a month, and then said, "You know, I think I want to get out of here and quit doing this."

A friend said, "Great!", and shoved me into his pickup truck and drove me back to our commune in the mountains, and that was the end of my heroin career. That was 34 years ago.

I could just walk away from it.

And yet, I drank too much for 18 years, and was addicted to tobacco for 33 years, and both did great harm to my body, and I couldn't "just stop" so easily. Quitting heroin was easy. Quitting tobacco and alcohol was like World War III. And it took me 33 years to finally defeat tobacco, and 20 to defeat alcohol. Heroin? A month and I saw it for what it was, and decided that it wasn't my cup of tea. It was out of my system and I was done with it, just like that.

Cocaine? Coke was no problem. I just decided that it was a waste of money, and didn't feel like blowing so much money on a little buzz. I didn't even officially quit coke, I just haven't done it in a long time.

So different drugs hit different people in different ways. It sounds insane for me to say that I would probably be much better off if I shot heroin and cocaine than if I smoked a pack of cigarettes and drank a case of beer. And yet that is the truth for me. I could just walk away from the coke and smack, but I would immediately get readdicted to alcohol and tobacco.

Now the truth is that I am abstaining from everything, and I really mean everything. The strongest drugs I touch these days are aspirin and my beloved Café Latté, to which I am addicted. I could probably smoke some pot, but I don't, for two reasons:
1.) I almost got emphysema from tobacco, and I don't have any lung cells left to spare. I'm saving my lungs for marriage now.
2.) Since I haven't smoked any pot in 5 years, I would probably get high as a kite, totally blasted, and there would be a strong temptation to smoke a cigarette and drink a beer just to try to get things on an even keel. And that would be a disaster.

I really just don't need the hassle, or the risk of trouble. Life is just easier if I stick to good coffee.

Now back to you. We still haven't figured it out for you, and I can't do it for you. I can say that some people have no problem with it. One ex-junkie friend tells me that he can have a beer now and then without any problems, but he absolutely cannot touch opiates, not even the pain pills that the doctor legitimately gives him for other ailments. He says that he is okay with alcohol but goes non-linear from a taste of morphine.

On the other hand, transference is a real risk with some people. Some find that alcohol can block out negative feelings and produce mood improvements almost as well as their old drug of choice did. Those people are in great danger of simply switching addictions.

And then there is the problem with the toxic effects of alcohol itself. No matter how sane or saintly you are, alcohol is still basically just a metabolic poison, and it affects your body after a while, if you drink enough of it. It stops being fun and becomes just a required pain killer.

Everything that you say in your website about the cult like aspects of the whole thing, the effectiveness of the program (I personally think you're WAY too generous!!) and all of the lies that are told in and out of meetings rings so true it is scary. I was even told that I couldn't be a "real" addict because I had managed to quit without letting a "higher power" into my life. Well, I guess it's ok for me to use as much smack and crack as I want then, coz y'know, not being a proper addict and all, I'll be able to stop whenever I feel like it..

Now that's funny, and true.

I never did the 12 steps, but I was as brainwashed as any. It was after happening across your site that I made a conscious decision to reject the 12 steps, meetings and everything that Bill W ever said. Thanks for the advice.

You're welcome.

By the way, your site doesn't seem to have been updated for at least a year. Are you still doing stuff? And I also can't get to aa-deprogramming, do you know whats going on with that?

Actually, as of June, when you wrote that, it was only 9 months. Basically, I went on vacation, for a good long time. It was sort of everything at once. Last October or November, the university where I got good Internet access decided to rebuild their computer systems, and barred outsiders access during the reconstruction. There went my method of uploading updates. And then I just got tired of the poisonous negativity of A.A., and the arguing about A.A., and the whole issue of 'recovery'.

I went out and played in the sunshine. Literally. It was an unusually warm, dry, and sunny winter. I took my guitar and huge bags of old bread that I got free from give-away places, and went down to the river and fed the ducks and geese and played the guitar for them and worked on my suntan. They didn't seem to care much about the music, one way or the other, but they loved the bread. We got to be on a first-name basis. In the morning, they would see me coming and let out a honk and come running. Some of their gozzlings ate out of my hands, they were so trusting.

Around the end of February, I thought, "It sure has been a mild, sunny springtime." Then I counted days and realized that it was still winter. We wouldn't even start Spring until March 20. Thank God for Global Warming.

Summer was glorious. I got such a great tan that, in the middle of the summer, a friend looked at me and said, "You know, you aren't Caucasian any more..."

In another letter, I called it "a phase of recovery from recovery." That might be a very accurate description of the process. It had been 4 years of recovery, and I was tired of it, and just wanted to do something else with my life, and focus on something else for a while. — Anything else, even just playing music and enjoying the sun. Which is actually a very positive thing.

(And I can't help but notice that A.A. discourages such a thing. You aren't supposed to "graduate" from the A.A. program. In A.A., "Going out" is synonymous with drinking more alcohol. I'm happy to tell you that they are not synonyms at all.)

But anyway, summer is over, and the weather has turned cold and rainy, and it's no fun to be out there. And I just got a WiFi card, and I have intermittent Internet access through it. So now I'm getting caught up on my backlogged email (in September and October). And I finally got a major update uploaded. Check out the new "Partying with the Nazi Party" web page.

About AAdeprogramming.com. Apparently, she got tired of it too. I don't have any channel of communication to her, since her email address expired, so that is just a guess. A few years ago, she let the site go down because she was tired of maintaining it. But she brought it back up due to popular demand. Now I hear that somebody else is going to revive it, real soon now. ('Soon' means some time after Halloween, which is in a few days as I write this.)

Regards,
Stephen

And last but not least, for your entertainment, a copy of an email exchange between me and a stepper or 2. Well worth a look, just to remind you how extreme and insane these people really are, not to mention lacking in sense of humour!!!

Okay, thanks Stephen.

From: BEC L.
Sent: 15 June 2005 16:30
To: [email protected]; [email protected]; and many others.
Subject:

10 Steps to Loving Yourself

1. Stop all criticism. Criticism never changes a thing. Refuse to criticize yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are. Everybody changes. When you criticize yourself, your changes are negative. When you approve of yourself, your changes are always positive.

2. Don't scare yourself. Stop terrorizing yourself with your thoughts. It's a dreadful way to live. Find a mental image that gives you pleasure (like yellow roses or a waterfall), and immediately switch your scary thought to a pleasure thought.

3. Be gentle and kind and patient. Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself as you learn new ways of thinking. Treat yourself as you would someone you really loved.

4. Be kind to your mind. Self hatred is only hating your own thoughts. Don't hate yourself for having the thoughts. Gently change your thoughts.

5. Praise yourself. Criticism breaks down the inner spirit. Praise builds it up. Praise yourself as much as you can. Tell yourself how well you are doing with every little thing. Remember that recovery is a process; sometimes you will falter, slip into old, unhealthy behaviors, or fall back into self-destructive patterns. Don't give up and don't beat yourself up! Instead, remind yourself that the learning curve is never straight, and then get back on the right track. There is a difference between "slipping up" and being a failure!

6. Support yourself. Find ways to support yourself. Reach out to friends and allow them to help you. It is being strong to ask for help when you need it most.

7. Be loving to your negatives. Acknowledge that you created them to fulfill a need. Now you are finding new positive ways to fulfill those needs. So, lovingly release the old negative patterns.

8. Take care of your body. Learn about nutrition. What kind of fuel does your body need to have optimum energy and vitality? Learn about exercise. What kind of exercise can you enjoy? Cherish and revere the temple you live in.

9. Mirror work. Look into your eyes often. Express this growing sense of love you have for yourself. Forgive yourself while looking into the mirror. At least once a day say, "I love you, I really love you!"

10. DO IT NOW!! Don't wait until you get well, or lose the weight, or get the new job or the new relationship. Begin now — and do the best you can!

From: Stephen
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2005 8:07 PM
To: 'BEC L'; Ruth S.; etc.
Subject: RE: 10 steps to loving yourself

10 Steps to loving yourself

1 Stop attending all 12 step meetings. The 12 steps do not work. Fact! There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor, do I believe, will there ever be, any scientific or statistical proof/reasonable evidence that the 12 steps are the way to get "well". Indeed, there is evidence, strong scientific evidence, to suggest they make you worse (http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-secrets.html) Everything that you have accomplished so far in your recovery (or the thing that you call recovery) has all been due to your own will and spirit. Love yourself by admitting this right now.

2 Don't allow 12 steppers to scare you. People in NA/AA/CODA will assure you that your life will instantly become unbearable the second you stop attending meetings. Why do you believe this? Because they have told you so, or because you have evidence that suggests that this is true? When you stop believing self fulfilling prophecies and they stop fulfilling themselves.

3. Act exactly as you feel is appropriate to the situation. Just like your thinking is supposedly alcoholic and cannot be trusted, your feelings are also alcoholic and cannot be trusted either. You cannot trust your gut instincts — you must be alienated from yourself.

A.A. teaches new members to deny the reality of their own feelings and to distrust their feelings with numerous slogans:

* "Stuff your feelings."

* "Feelings aren't facts!"

* "You should feel Serenity and Gratitude."

No one can or should tell you the best way to feel in any given situation. Anger, pain, hurt and hatred are real emotions. You are free to feel them just as strongly as patience, tolerance, love, care etc. They exist for a reason and should not be denied. Often as not, the first thought is the right one.

4. Allow your mind the freedom to succeed and fail, as is appropriate 12 step fellowship members set their standards extremely high. Do not beat yourself up about thoughts or acts which you have. You are entitled to do as you please. Always keep in mind the consequences, as a Jury will not accept the defence of "powerlessness", whether it be over alcohol, drugs, people, places or things.

5 Praise yourself Remember that your worth as a person extends beyond the parameters set down by Bill W, AA/NA or other recovering addicts. You are unique, special and different. Everything that you have achieved so far in this life is through your own will power and intelligence. This includes freedom from active addiction.

6. Support yourself Remember, when the chips are down, you are the only person that has your back. People will abandon you like a shot the second that you become a danger to them. This is not selfishness on their part, this is how its been since the dawn of time. 12 steppers, despite their good intentions and false beliefs about their own saintliness, conform to this norm.

7. Own your negatives. They are yours as much as the positives and like it or not, they are hear to stay. The only person who can remove them is you. God will not do it for you, no matter how much you pray. They form part of a package, one that is unique, special and different and comes together to make you. Damn them, blast them and wish they didn't exist, but do not ever expect them to go. If they do, they will be replaced by new ones, which may be even more damaging.

8 Do what the fuck you want. If you don't wanna take care of your body, that is your prerogative. Smoking, drugs, alcohol, sitting in front of a TV watching Hollyoaks when you could be out exercising, none of these things guarantee a long life, but they can be satisfying in the extreme. And who says that you wanna live those extra years? The ones where you are incapable of wiping your own arse, or walking up some stairs. It's a choice you have to make, don't give up the only bit of power that you have, the power to make decisions for yourself.

9 Mirror Work: Look yourself in the eyes twice a day and say "what the fucking hell are you doing talking to yourself in the mirror?" Seriously, you never know who is watching. You might find yourself having to explain your actions to an audience of millions on a Reality Humiliation program. It's a load of bollocks and if you do it you are a wanker.

10 Do it when you feel ready. Seriously, people in recovery, despite their saying that you can take and leave what you want, are all to ready to tell you that if you don't do what they did, and do it quick, then you will become sick and unwell and may/will die. Do not buy into it. Question why these people want you to do what they say. Is it to reassure themselves that what they are doing is the only good and proper way forward, or do they really want to selflessly carry a message of recovery? Cults are funny things. There is no one more indoctrinated than the indoctrinator. Do not let these people con you into believing a LIE. Just because they repeat the same phrases over and over again, this does not necessarily make them fucking TRUE.

Powerlessness is a self fulfilling prophecy. The human will is an amazing thing. Do not underestimate the part that it has played in continuing to keep you clean.

Sorry for all this meaningless bile Mr Virgin, as you can see I am having an intellectual awakening and am trying to convert a few brothers and sisters to a more productive way of life. Doubt I'll be any more successful than a 12 step program in evangilising, but what the fuck.

From: Ruth S.
Sent: 16 June 2005 09:24
To: Stephen; BEC L.; etc.
Subject: RE: 10 steps to loving yourself

What the fuck is this? And who the fuck is Stephen? Even if this is irony and I've missed it it is a load of dangerous shit and I don't appreciate being sent it. Speaking as one who has had a few terrible relapses trying to do it this way, and also had husbands and boyfriends die by trying to do it this way.

Good for you and your 'intellectual awakening' but fucking keep it to yourself. Die alone please.

From: Stephen
Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2005 6:13 PM
To: Ruth S.; 'BEC L'; etc.
Subject: RE: 10 steps to loving yourself

Wow, you can really see that the program is working for this one. All that love, gratitude, serenity and message carrying is apparent in spades. I am, however, pleased that you are following my suggested step 3 and not denying a good old bit of anger, resentment and hostility. You may or may not know me, but I know exactly who you are, sweetey. All those years in the fellowship..imagine saying something like that to a newcomer, tut tut tut. I think that most people in the rooms would have to say that it isn't how you share in a meeting, but how you behave in the rest of your life that shows the quality of your "program". . All that swearing , deary me!

Also, I noticed a huge amount of denial in this mail. Instead of responding to the valid points made in my email, I have instead been sent a load of abuse and an instruction (note, not a suggestion) to keep my opinions to myself. So programmed up as to not even be able to consider another viewpoint. Whatever happened to open mindedness?

Still, nice to hear from you. I can only say that having read your email, I am 100% correct in everything that I have said below. And if it keeps me away from NA for that bit longer, then bring it on..

From: Ruth S.

Ah we can use the programme when it suits us to try to control others, nothing new there then. If I have done anything to keep you away from NA, then not only are you not desperate enough to do whatever it takes (but then that was already obvious) but also considering the poisonous crap you sent out, one newcomer will have been sacrificed to save many others.

I make no claims to serenity and have no problem expressing my anger, as if you know me at all you will be aware. My opinions are my own I do not represent NA. You obviously haven't heard me share in many meetings though if you think there is any discrepancy between my email response and my sharing. I didn't realise you were a newcomer, but if that's the case that explains a few things. We all have our own paths I suppose.

Glad to hear I won't be bumping into you at any meetings in the near future, hope you find something that works for you. I have.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Being surrounded by a group of people who keep telling
**  you that you are powerless over alcohol, and that your
**  will power is useless, is not getting "support".
**  It is getting sabotaged.
**  With friends like them, you don't need any enemies.





Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2005
Subject: for awhile i thought i was nuts

coming across your info explains what i'm sure i've known for awhile. i'm under prop36 in california, a methamphetamine addict but what's been driving me crazy is the group McAlister Institute or M.I.T.E. such a hardcore n/a, a/a based organization totally locked into the disease model of addiction. to combat the insanity while doing research to debate them i came across Stanton Peele's site then Charles Bufe, them Jack Trimpey and now you. you do put such a great twist explaining their strange view of things. you've supplied me with plenty of ammo for debating the dogma and doctrine of a/a, n/a. looking at them as a cult does place things in a very, very different light. i'm kind of the leader of the resistance in my class. been admonished quite a few times, but never could quite figure out how to beat them because of their queer logic. so thank you very much for all your research into the bizarre worl d of A.A./N.A. my hat's off to you.

sincerely, Greg H.

Hi. Thanks for the thanks, and take care of yourself, and have a good day.

== Orange





*Date: * Sun, 26 Jun 2005
*Subject: * Help
*From: * Linda M.

I've been reading with fascination your analyses of Bill W's shenanigans regarding monies relating to the writing/printing/selling of the Big Book. I would like to print such articles but have been unable to get a "printable copy." Any suggestions? Do you have your articles in some PDF format, or Word format??

Hi Linda,

Alas, I don't have any easy answers. I stopped maintaining a parallel version in Wordperfect 4 years ago.

I have no idea why you are having problems printing. Back when I actually bothered to print the articles on paper, I just used Netscape, and printed through it. It did all of the formatting for me.

What I recommend these days is don't even bother with paper, just burn CDs of the whole web site. But obviously that doesn't work with people who don't have a computer.

Good luck, and have a good day.

== Orange





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