Letters, We Get Mail, CCXLV

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters245.html#Catwalks ]

From: "Catwalks"
Subject: Spam?
Date: Fri, June 17, 2011 5:18 pm     (answered 23 June 2011)

The last post, with the video link, seemed odd due to the "Hi Friends!" opening.


Hello Catwalks,

Yes, that is spam. Thanks for the tip. They are selling video games.

Those spammers will try to sell absolutely anything, not just fake Viagra and porn and Russian girls. I even get spam ads for obscure, off-the-wall things like roofing services in Virginia Beach, Oregon.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Now I know what it's like to be high on life.
**     It isn't as good, but my driving has improved."
**     == Nina, on "Just Shoot Me", 13 Jan 2006.

[The previous letter from ANONYMOUS is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters245.html#ANONYMOUS ]

Date: Sun, June 19, 2011 8:23 am     (answered 23 June 2011)
Subject: Re: Why is Alcoholics is no longer effective?

Dear Friend?

I actually am not able to read attachments with my outdated computer. But my daughter explained it to me and is going to update it for me.

Hello again, Bob,

That really puzzles me. I thought every computer made in the last 15 years was capable of running email programs that can read attachments.

And you can read the letters online, you know, here:


I have been on this obsession for going on four years now to "save AA". I also am beginning to think my chances are zero. To start a new organization would be easier, Maybe called :The REAL way out. If the six million (my estimate) men and women we have pushed away, by the way our meetings are conducted, could be reached, and invited back, maybe this time we could get it right. Eliminate the hierarchy sponsor system, separate from religion, stop the incessant chanting, stop making a spectacle of the newcomer, etc, etc, etc.

You do know that our chairman of the board of trustees is an Episcopal Priest (Non-Alcoholic) dean of some NY seminary. How can we claim to not be allied with any sect, when Ward Ewing is our top leader? I still use "our" since I continue to attend AA.

My next project is to invoke concept seven and try to convince our groups to stop sending contributions. "They" are currently using vast amounts of the Prudent Reserve Fund to improve the AA Grapevine, which 95% of the membership don't even want.

About 60% of the groups already use Concept 7, many without even realizing it. GSO will find some way of raising the money to support themselves. I have tried unsuccessfully to find out what their salaries are, but they total in excess of five million dollars, annually.

Yes "OUR" AA Grapevine is in control of the leadership, and separated from the membership. I sent in at least fifty articles and have 17 acceptance cards and 12 rejections. In four years two were printed.

Again, I appreciate your responses, and hope to be computer updated in the near future. My daughter was able to bring up your attachments and then email them to me. We could be on the same page, or at least in the same book.

Bob H.

Thanks for the news. And I'm glad that you were able to finally read the pages.

Yes, I think that A.A. is structured in a way that makes reform impossible. You need a double majority vote to change anything, and that is as unlikely as getting another amendment to the Constitution of the United States passed.

The A.A. leadership cannot be impeached or recalled or defeated in an election, so they do not have to listen to the membership, and they don't.

I am reminded of this pamphlet by A.A. members, who criticized and censured the leadership. The leadership said that they would consider it and take it under advisement. In other words, "You critical members can go take a long walk off a short pier." Nothing happened.

And of course Bill Wilson's response to criticism from within the ranks of A.A. was to sneer, "Those alcoholics sure do like to squabble."

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  The reality inside a cult is often just the opposite of the
**  grand ideals that they advertise in public.

[The next letter from ANONYMOUS is here.]

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

Canada Goose family with goslings
The goslings of the family that adopted the orphan.
The girl is in front, and her big brother is behind her.

This picture is just so revealing of the character of girls and boys. The girl is fastidious, and her baby down is neatly combed and she looks clean and properly arranged. The boy looks like a motley ragamuffin. His down is all messed up and he looks like he needs a bath and a grooming. These kids just aren't much different from humans.

[More gosling photos below, here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters245.html#Steve_H ]

Date: Mon, June 20, 2011 1:56 pm     (answered 28 June 2011)
From: "Steve H."
Subject: Your website is important to me...

I first found it sometime around 2004 after 18 years of battling drugs, alcohol and 12-step programs and rehabs. I've been sober over half the 24 years since my first meeting (and wtf?! reaction), always with the knowledge that I'd be returned to AA if I drank or used again. as a powerful negative reinforcer I suppose I should even credit the cult a bit for my longterm stretches of sobriety.

what I'm writing you about is the possibility of a schism brewing within the cult:


I'm a member of a certain We Agnostics group here in Los Angeles and I'd just love for my group to be thrown out like that.

On the other hand we do get a lot of people who need some social support in getting sober and we provide that in a dogma-free environment even though we're listed in the damn directory. you see, I believe that AA works (when it does) on the principle of monkey-see-monkey-do. seeing sober people sharing about a past that sounds like the newcomer's current predicament can be a useful tool for them to make the decision to stay sober. and that is the only way anyone ever gets sober — by making a decision and sticking to it. it's possible to do alone but I've found it's easier in a social scene. as long as it's not a dogmatic cult.

anyway, thanks for all the hard work and thinking you've put into your site. it really helped me.

-Steve H.

Hello Steve,

Thanks for the letter, and thanks for the compliments, and thanks for your help to the cause.

Yes, we have been discussing the Toronto story in letters and in the forum too. So much for Tradition Three:

The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.

Look here:

  1. orange-letters241.html#John_McC
  2. orange-letters243.html#Parrish

I have often thought about the possible positive effects that A.A. could have on people, like the "monkey-see, monkey-do" effect that you described. Unfortunately, it seems that in general, the A.A. teachings are so bad, so harmful and unrealistic, that A.A. does more harm than good, just raising the rate of binge drinking, and raising the rate of rearrests, and raising the death rate in alcoholics, and increasing the cost of hospitalization of those who don't die. Those results just seem to be the inevitable consequences of teaching people that they are powerless over alcohol, and worthless sinners, and unable to think for themselves, and unable to resist that first drink, etc.

On the other hand, if you are teaching your own ideas that are realistic and non-dogmatic, rather than Bill Wilson's cult religion balony, then you might be able to do some good.

I wish you luck. Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Every last one of the great philosophers has told us that things are
**     not what they seem. Every last one of the great scientists has assured
**     us that there are worlds within worlds. And every famous metaphysician
**     has insisted that our conditions, our surroundings, and our world are
**     fashioned by the thoughts we think and the way we think them.
**       ==  Marcus Bach

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters245.html#Emma ]

Date: Tue, June 21, 2011 10:50 am     (answered 28 June 2011)
From: "Emma"
Subject: Just escaped AA and found your site

I found your website in an internet search of "AA cult" after 1.5 years of total immersion in the program followed by, thank goodness, an ability to think for myself for 5 minutes and start to question "The Program." I started going to AA after rehab not because of any court order or work mandate, but because that is where I was told to go after rehab — there were no other program alternatives presented to me during my rehab stay (which I now realize is against the Traditions, if not illegal since it is a subsidized rehab. I never felt like I "fit in" at an AA meeting — not once. I was told to "fake it" and "act as if" and not to "leave before the miracle" and I was so scared and desperate, I did as I was told.

I asked a lot of questions about the inconsistencies in the Program and the literature, and was told I thought too much and that "lots of simple people succeed in the Program, and lots of smart people are out there dying on the streets." This would usually be followed by "Which do you want to be?" I have always been inquisitive, and not one to accept things just because someone tells me too, but felt that I was being constantly threatened with death. In retrospect, I can see now how ridiculous that was, but at the time, it felt all too real!

I had a sponsor who would freeze me out for two days if I asked too many questions, and then become angry with me if I dared made a decision about my life without consulting her first. Anytime I displeased her, she told me how difficult I was to work with, and that I was the most frustrating sponsee she had ever had. In retrospect, and knowing about her what I do now, I was more emotionally healthy when I was drinking than she is now. And they just unleash these people on the newcomers because they have not had a drink in a few years? Not much by way of qualification to act as sponsor if you ask me!

I was suicidal when I checked into rehab, and I felt a bit better when I left after three weeks, but as my time in AA dragged on and on, and I was beaten down more and more through the working of the steps, I began to approach "that place" again. I thought of drinking everyday to get the pain to go away — the pain of knowing what a terrible person I was and all the terrible things I had done. And I was working the crap out of this Program! I chaired a meeting each week, was an Intergroup representative for another, and volunteered at the Intergroup office once a week to answer phones and sell literature. I went to way too many meetings. I kept being told that I was not feeling better because I was not working the Program hard enough — so I worked it harder and harder. I worked it so hard it became like a second job.

Then, I saw the light and fired my sponsor, and without one, I had to make some decisions for myself, and started to think for myself and started to realize that my thoughts in doubting the Program were NOT crazy and realizing it is a cult were dead on. In reading your website, I have been ashamed many times, though — still close to the guilt, I guess. I said so many of the things that were said to me to newcomers. It makes me a little sick to think about. I was so indoctrinated that when I thought about leaving, I almost had a panic attack in fear of what God might take away from me if I did. How sick is that?

It has been a month now since my realization. One AA friend still talks to me, but we don't talk about this, and she is having a hard time. I have done a lot of online research into alternative programs and read a few books. I am going to attend my first SMART meeting this Friday. I am a bit wary of attending "a meeting," but am ready to give something new a try, even though I think I could go it on my own at this point. The best part is that I don't feel powerless — I feel strong and happier than I have in 1.5 years. I smile more now that I can remember doing in many years. I am happy to be free and to have my life back. And I don't think of drinking everyday, because I am not beaten down everyday. I am also not going to meetings each day listening to people whine about their powerlessness and how awful their lives are and how they are turning it over to God...

I do want to say I have gotten some good things out of this past 1.5 years in AA. It has not been all bad. But I am really glad that I got out before I drank much more of the kool-aid. Thanks for "listening." ;)

Hello Emma,

Thank you for the letter, and congratulations on your new freedom and sanity. I'm so glad to hear that you escaped from the cult with your mind and your life.

About your nutty sponsor being insane and unqualified for the job: Yes, that is just par for the course. My 12-Step-oriented "counselor" at the "treatment program" was a cocaine-snorting Internet child pornographer and child rapist. How spiritual is that? The very, very low requirements for somebody to be a drug and alcohol counselor or sponsor is a huge problem with the whole racket.

And about your rehab center being subsidized with public money and all that they do is push A.A.: Yes, that is commonplace too. The same thing happened at my rehab center. They took city, state, and Federal tax money to run their program, and they sent everybody to "at least 3 meetings per week", as if that was the cure.

I think you will enjoy SMART. My reaction to it, when I first went, was that it was like a breath of fresh air. I could actually tell the truth, and ask pointed questions, and nobody had a hissy fit over me questioning the program. Nobody tried to shut me down and keep me from thinking. Just the opposite. They teach clear thinking, and how to reject irrational thoughts.

One thing about SMART: Please don't just go to one meeting and think that you have seen it all. Different meetings can have very different personalities, just as different as the people who facilitate the meetings. In my area, there were three different SMART meetings that I went to. One was very staid and formal, run by a university professor. It was just too rigid for me to feel really comfortable and relaxed there. The second was run by college students. They were nice kids, but I couldn't get away from the feeling that, since I was old enough to be their grandfather, maybe I knew more about addictions than they did. They were nice, well-meaning kids, but still... I think their actual experience with drugs and alcohol was close to zero. The third meeting was run by a young guy, who was a former skate-boarder and rock band guitarist, who worked as a counselor for troubled children, and it was the loosest, most free-wheeling meeting of all. One visiting facilitator called it "the wackiest ship in the Navy." That was just right for me.

So please give several different meetings a try before coming to any conclusions. Thanks.

Oh, and one other thing: I noticed your hesitation to go to another "meeting". Yes, understandable. But SMART is really more like going to a high school biology class. You just go and learn what they have to teach, and then, when you have gotten all that you are going to get out of it, you just walk out and get on with your life. You don't "join it", and you don't commit your life to it, or any such thing. It's just a class, not "a program".

Have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Aspire nobly; adventure daringly; serve humbly.
**       ==  Anonymous

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters245.html#Glenn ]

Date: Tue, June 21, 2011 8:51 pm     (answered 28 June 2011)
From: Glenn M.
Subject: AA

Hello A. Orange,

I have been a recovering alcoholic for over twenty-two years without a relapse. Your URL site is loaded with B/S statistics. Recommend that you attend ninety AA meeting in the next Ninety days.

Best wishes,
Glenn M.

Hello Glenn,

Thanks for the letter. You are painting with a very broad brush there. Would you care to get specific about which statistics you doubt? Try reading the file on The Effectiveness of the Twelve-Step Treatment. It is loaded with statistics from doctors who tested A.A. to see whether it really worked to make alcoholics quit drinking. And they found that A.A. did not work.

Then we have quotes from many A.A. "pioneers", including Bill Wilson and his secretary Nell Wing, saying that A.A. didn't work then either.

So which statistics are you disputing?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     An error does not become truth because of multiplied propagation,
**     nor does truth become error because nobody will see it.
**       — Gandhi

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters245.html#Russell_R ]

Date: Wed, June 22, 2011 5:04 am     (answered 28 June 2011)
From: "Russell R."
Subject: Strange

You'll actually helping to spread the message whether you realize it or not.
I just wanted to kindly thank you for your work, also people look at this
And know that you are also obsessed with alcoholics anonymous and
You really don't have much of a life other than make weird web pages
About something you were forced into and blame AA for.


Hello Russell,

My life is just fine, thank you. You are going through some real mental gymnastics there, in trying to explain why someone would spend years telling the truth about A.A.

The answer is actually very simple: "It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it." Somebody has to tell the truth to the sick people and improve their chances of recovering.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how
**     deeply rooted in tradition or surrounded by a halo. We need a
**     boundless ethic which will include the animals also."
**        ==  "Albert Schweitzer, physician/Nobel Laureate.

Date: Wed, June 29, 2011 11:46 am     (answered 29 June 2011)
From: "Robert R."
Subject: RE: Strange

I appreciate your efforts keep up the good work Me I learn in the program by watching others.


Thanks, and you have a good day too.
== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Now I know what it's like to be high on life.
**     It isn't as good, but my driving has improved."
**       ==  Nina, on "Just Shoot Me", 13 Jan 2006.

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters245.html#JPJ ]

Date: Wed, June 22, 2011 3:03 am     (answered 28 June 2011)
From: "Facebook"
Subject: Jp J. commented on your Wall post.

Hi Orange,

I was a full time member of AA for like 5+ years. Then I just kind of dropped out. For me it helped, it was a place to go. Also I never really took the mumbo jumbo that serious in AA (I never take anything too serious)

When I found Orange Papers online (5+ years ago) I was still in denial about the harm that AA could do. I sent a post to Orange Papers. He pointed out that I could have joined any social group and achieved the same result. It took a while to click in.

The problem with AA is like all religions it "Lies", it uses bogus science, and when that does not work scare tactics.

About the only good thing about AA meetings is there was one always kicking around. So if you where bored you could always drop in one.

Then again you could just make a "social group" without all the lies,mumbo jumbo and scare tactics and have better results.

Also despite being diagnosed as an alcoholic 20 years ago. Now that I have my life straightened out, I can have the occasional glass of wine. I have 2 glasses I stop, I don't want any more.

If you keep on telling someone they can't stop, alcoholism runs in the family, if you don't go to these meeting you will die, etc.

Guess what will happen ?

Hello JPJ,

Thanks for the messages. So true. I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better now, and free, and in control.

So have a good life now, and a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Each moment of our life, we either invoke or destroy our dreams.
**     We call upon it to become a fact or we cancel our previous instructions.
**       ==  Stuart Wilde

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters245.html#Rajiv_B ]

Date: Thu, June 23, 2011 5:29 am     (answered 28 June 2011)
From: "Facebook"
Subject: Rajiv B. sent you a message on Facebook...

Re: rowland h

Terry, I read your Letters 67. Do you really want to know what Carl Jung contributed to AA? Well, I believe he gave AA program it's inventory, which is the best psychoanalysis to get rid of resentment and the anger we tend to hold on to. Of course it is not explained in the Big Book. I had to counsel and analyze over a hundred addicts and alcoholics with the inventory before I could understand the details of the psychoanalysis. But you will not understand it unless you read my book, where I have explained the psychoanalysis in details. I would love to send you my book, mainly because I want you to get freedom from the grudges you may be holding about your childhood issues. So if you could send me a postal address where I can post the book to you it would be nice.

Although I'm certain, that Bill got the Rowland's inventory psychoanalysis from Ebby, I cannot be certain that Rowland got it from Jung. He could have got it from some other psychoanalyst. This is why I am so keen on knowing all I can about Rowland Hazard. Because the whole AA movement started with Rowland, not with the Oxford Group as you think. The Oxford Group ideas only killed it.

Take care buddy
Much Love,

Hi Rajiv,

Thanks for the note. That's interesting, but there is no doubt that Bill Wilson got the inventory thing from Dr. Frank Buchman and his Oxford Group cult religion. Carl Jung encouraged some introspection in his patients, but the whole "moral inventory" and confession routine was pure Buchmanism.

There is increasing evidence that Rowland Hazard went to see Carl Jung around 1926 and 1928. But he sure didn't learn Buchmanism from Carl Jung. Both Rowland Hazard and Bill Wilson got it from the Oxford Group, especially from the local New York O.G. leader, Rev. Sam Shoemaker:

"Early AA got its ideas of self-examination, acknowledgement of character defects, restitution for harm done, and working with others straight from the Oxford Groups and directly from Sam Shoemaker, their former leader in America, and nowhere else."
William G. Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, page 39.

Where did the early AAs find the material for the remaining ten Steps? Where did we learn about moral inventory, amends for harm done, turning our wills and lives over to God? Where did we learn about meditation and prayer and all the rest of it? The spiritual substance of our remaining ten Steps came straight from Dr. Bob's and my own earlier association with the Oxford Groups, as they were then led in America by that Episcopal rector, Dr. Samuel Shoemaker.
William G. Wilson, The Language of the Heart, page 298, published posthumously in 1988.

Carl Jung did not teach the kind of self-contempt and self-denunciation and confessions that the Oxford Group taught. Carl Jung had his faults — he was too pro-Nazi for my tastes — but blaming him for spreading Buchmanism is unfair.

The only thing that Bill Wilson claimed that Carl Jung contributed to A.A. was the statement that alcoholics must have a "spiritual experience" or else they will die. But Bill Wilson got that one wrong too. That line came from William James, not Carl Jung:

Bill Wilson liked to opine that "the only radical remedy ... for dipsomania is religiomania." Meaning: the only cure for alcoholism is religious fanaticism — religious mania. And Bill claimed that the saying came from Carl Jung.

But William James wrote in footnote 1 on page 263 of The Varieties of Religious Experience:
'"The only radical remedy I know for dipsomania is religiomania," is a saying I have heard quoted from some medical man.'

William James published Varieties in 1902, but he didn't meet Carl Jung until 1909, so it is unlikely that James got that line from Jung.

I simply cannot find a single thing that Carl Jung contributed to the Alcoholics Anonymous dogma or teachings. It's all Buchmanism, with one little line taken from William James.

You can send me your book, and I'll even check it out. I'm curious.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Jede Form von Süchtigkeit is von übel, gleichgültig,
**    ob es sich um Alkohol oder Morphium oder Idealismus handelt.
**    Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic
**    be alcohol or morphine or idealism.
**       ==  Carl Gustav Jung (1875—1961),
**             Erinnerungen, Träume, Gedanken (1962) ch. 12

The Jung debate continues here: http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters249.html#Andrew_M

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters245.html#Bob_H5 ]

Date: Fri, June 24, 2011 10:46 am     (answered 28 June 2011)
From: Bob H.
Subject: Re: Why is Alcoholics is no longer effective?

A. Orange,

Neither of the http:// addresses work for me. My computer is really obsolete. I usually say my computer is old and slow, like its operator.

In the July AA Grapevine THE PRISON ISSUE an inmate writes "I was surprised at how much some of the inmates knew about AA." I spent a couple hours with an elder who works with the "bottom of the barrel" alcoholics and addicts. He said that most, almost all, of his clients have come through the rooms on their way down to the gutter. AA obviously failed them.

I still attend AA meetings. We have a morning meeting 7-8 Monday through Friday. We have eliminated all chanting, all redundant readings, and the Hold Hands and Pray closing. Our remaining "thorn" is the 24 hour book. We use the 24 hour book and Daily reflections book as the topic. I often remind the group that the 24 hour book is not AA approved literature. I explain why: It simply has too much God in it. The Daily Reflections book is a conference approved version of the 24 hour book, a little lighter on the God Stuff. By 1990 when Daily Reflections was published, religion already had permeated the fellowship. It had already evolved into a Fellowship.

The loss of AA's effectiveness is obvious to everyone except its own members. Is it pride, or part of the alcoholic EGO? AA's numbers from the General Service Office show our failure. Their solution will soon be to do away with the membership numbers, as unimportant.

Just between you and me and anyone who cares to listen, I don't think enough intelligent members remain in the fellowship to turn the tide and reverse the harmful trends taking place in AA over the past three decades. I have had very little success in convincing many in AA that the tide even needs to be turned. We will stumble along, spinning our wheels, failing hundreds of thousands of suffering alcoholics each year, for several more decades. The AA Grapevine and General Service Office will find new and innovative ways to raise money for their salaries.

I really appreciate this way of expressing my concerns. If I talked like this at an AA meeting, I would likely get stoned (with real stones) in the parking lot.

If none of this interest you, you have a delete button. You have my permission to use this letter any way you like. I just ask that my email address and my name not be exposed. Anonymous

Hello again, Bob,

Thanks for the input, and thanks for your genuine concern for the welfare of alcoholics.

The big problem that I see there is that A.A. never worked right. Bill Wilson was just lying when he bragged about the great success rate in the early days of Alcoholics Anonymous. We all know about Bill's claim in the Foreword of the 2nd Edition of the Big Book that

Of alcoholics who came to A.A. and really tried, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with A.A. showed improvement. Other thousands came to a few A.A. meetings and at first decided they didn't want the program. But great numbers of these — about two out of three — began to return as time passed.

Bill Wilson was simply lying there, just like he was lying when he wrote that

RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are those who cannot or will not give themselves completely to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way.
A.A. Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, page 58.

There was never a golden age when the A.A. program worked great to sober up alcoholics. Even Bill Wilson said so. At the memorial service for Doctor Bob, Bill Wilson bragged about how hard he and Dr. Bob had to work to get A.A. started. Then, he said:

You have no conception these days of how much failure we had. You had to cull over hundreds of these drunks to get a handful to take the bait.
Bill Wilson, at the memorial service for Dr. Bob, Nov. 15, 1952; file available here.

Mind you, Bill was not even saying that he got a two percent success rate in sobering up alcoholics — Bill was just bragging that he got a tiny percentage of the alcoholics to be suckers and take the bait and join A.A. Whether they ever got sober was another matter:

At first nearly every alcoholic we approached began to slip, if indeed he sobered up at all. Others would stay dry six months or maybe a year and then take a skid. This was always a genuine catastrophe.
Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, William G. Wilson, (1957), page 97.

Has it occurred to you that you might enjoy greater success in helping alcoholics if you try working with a different kind of group, like maybe SMART or SOS or Lifering or HAMS, or something?

Have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     During my eighty-seven years, I have witnessed
**     a whole succession of technological revolutions;
**     but none of them has done away with the need for
**     character in the individual, or the ability to think.
**       ==  Financier Bernard Baruch

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters245.html#Ryan_M ]

Date: Sat, June 25, 2011 10:28 am     (answered 28 June 2011)
From: "Ryan M."
Subject: You make me sick

I read your paper dismissing the effectiveness of AA. It says rarely have we seen a person fail that has thoroughly followed our path. The people who do not get sober are those who do not follow the program. AA is a program that does not ask for money or membership dues. We are people helping people get better from our hearts. Who are you to try and rip it apart. Have you ever had an addiction in your life or you just revel in tearing good things down. How do you explain the millions of people who have gotten sober through AA?

Hello Ryan,

Thanks for the letter.

What you are describing there is just a word game, Lying With Qualifiers. That propaganda trick works like this:

  1. People who Thorougly Follow Our Path always quit drinking.
  2. One of the big requirements of our path is that people must quit drinking in order to Thorougly Follow Our Path.
  3. Therefore, 100% of the people who do Thorougly Follow Our Path do quit drinking.

That is just a bunch of nonsense, and circular reasoning.

I can do the same thing with the Ballerina's Tutu Cure (which is: Whenever you want a drink, just dress up in a ballerina's tutu and dance around until the urge passes):

  1. People who Dance In A Tutu Properly always quit drinking.
  2. One of the big requirements of The Ballerina Tutu Cure is that people must quit drinking in order to Dance In A Tutu Properly.
  3. Therefore, 100% of the people who do Dance In A Tutu Properly do quit drinking.
  4. RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail, who has thoroughly followed our Ballerina Tutu path.

Yes, I have had terrible problems with addictions. You can read about my history and recovery here: How did you get to where you are?

Lastly, A.A. has not saved millions or sobered up millions. That is just the Big Lie of Alcoholics Anonymous — another standard propaganda trick. They routinely claim to have saved millions when they haven't. The truth is that A.A. does not work at all. It just steals the credit from a few people who were going to quit drinking anyway. You can read about the A.A. failure rate here: The Effectiveness of the Twelve-Step Treatment.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      He is the freeman whom the truth makes free,
**      and all are slaves beside.
**        ==  William Cowper (1731—1800), English poet

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters245.html#Mona_Lisa ]

Date: Sat, June 25, 2011 3:07 pm     (answered 28 June 2011)
From: "Mona Lisa S."
Subject: A quandary

Hi Terry. I notice that you've been quite active lately answering letters. I get a smile on my face every time I see a new page full of letters is up. Have you been receiving less hate mail recently, or is it my imagination?

Anyway, I always crack up when I read the letters you get from people who claim that you can't possibly know what you're talking about because you "don't understand" the program, never really drank the kool-aid.

I have the opposite problem! It's like you can't win with these people! I've been sober for nearly thirteen years and I did drink the kool-aid... at first. I was an AA true believer for several years before waking up to the reality that I'd unwittingly joined a cult. I did not need to read your website in order to figure this out: the program itself provided all the evidence I needed. I'm still a little stunned that it took so many years for me to see it, though: I watched the revolving door, the relapsing, the suicides, the destroyed "outside" relationships, the sponsor-sponsee abuse, the 13th stepping, the preaching against psychiatric medications, for an embarrassingly long time before I finally realized what I was involved in.

Once I did, though, I couldn't stand another minute of it. I quit immediately and began the process of deprogramming, with which your site has been enormously helpful. Deprogramming was painful (frankly, considerably more painful than quitting drinking was), and left me a fairly vocal critic of AA and its hegemony over the US treatment industry.

When debating with steppers, I'm often amazed at how redundant their statements are and how little most of them know about AA history. It is fairly easy to hand their asses to them. But what really freaks them out is the fact that I'm not just a critic: I'm an apostate, who "got sober in AA" and how has the audacity to criticize the program that "saved my life"! How convenient for them.... you're slammed for criticizing what you "don't understand" and I'm scolded for repeating what I personally experienced!

Tell you what: let's keep right on talking. Because we are making a difference, all of us who speak the truth. Thanks for all you do!!!


Hello Mona Lisa,

Thank you for the letter. I like to hear from people who have really been in A.A. for a while, and know it in ways that I cannot. And I'm glad to hear that you are doing well.

About the hate mail: It seems to come and go in waves, like the waves washing ashore at the beach. Some big ones, some little ones, some big ones, some little ones. ...The ebb and flow of it. I just got another wave of negative, critical, letters immediately before yours came in. So it goes.

And yes, let's us continue to tell the truth. We must continue to "Carry The Message" to the "Meeting Maker Who Still Suffers".

And have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     One day Mara, the Buddhist god of ignorance and evil, was
**     traveling through the villages of India with his attendants.
**     He saw a man doing walking meditation whose face was lit up
**     in wonder.  The man had just discovered something on the ground
**     in front of him.  Mara's attendants asked what that was and
**     Mara replied, "A piece of truth."  "Doesn't this bother you
**     when someone finds a piece of the truth, O evil one?" his
**     attendants asked.  "No," Mara replied.  "Right after this they
**     usually make a belief out of it."

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

Canada Goose family with goslings
The Orphan, napping

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters245.html#Donald_L ]

Date: Fri, June 24, 2011
From: "Facebook"
Subject: Donald L. commented on your Wall post.

In the past, was thrown out of f2f 12 stepper groups and quit or was thrown off 12 stepper online user groups, however since I first came to AA in 1976 when it was 'the only game in town' (and is in many suburban and rural areas in US), one pity pot, Mary from Michigan kept sending me lies about Bill wilson stating he would never let Communists and Hippies (like myself) participate in AA and I needed Baptism and the Lord. Now I stay away from 12 step flakes and loons.

17 years, no meetings, no Spansaw, no BB no desire to drink or use, miss a few old pals in AA, some of were sarcastic, sat in the back in 'inventory row' otherwise would have gone nuts

@Donald: Wow. She actually claimed that Bill Wilson said that he wouldn't let Communists and Hippies in A.A.? Wild. That is a new one on me. I'd love to get a verifiable quote. (But of course it is possible that he never said that, and she was just blowing hot air.) Oh well, have a good day anyway.

Hi Orange,

"It was somehing some "Christians' in AA had made up. I remember commenting that sometimes hippies in the late 60s would visit Bill at the 23rd AA Club in NYC and Bill told them 'the Woodstock Generation would someday come into AAs. I was one of them, came in in 1976. This Mary belonged to an organization run by a Dick B. then Christian Roots of AA, after I had enough missives from these people I used foul language and was asked to leave the 12 Step group, forthwith.



Imagine if Christ was a chain smoker and died of emphysema, married and was a womanizer????? harharhar lol"

Donald wrote:

From Christian Roots.........

Understanding God

Shoemaker said you could understand and know God by following Jesus Christ's suggestion in John 7:17, by conducting an "experiment of faith." Once AAs abandoned the Bible, the discussions of the Creator, and their reliance on coming to God through His Son, they began to lose understanding of God. They began talking of a higher power which could be a group, a lightbulb, a door knob, a chair, and nonsense which could not be found in early A.A. nor in the literature early AAs read.

Wilson was an occultist with few 'morals' I believe.

My higher powers lives with me and I need to utilize it several times a day, my DOOR KNOB!!! I should get it gold plated one day!!!!

lol, still abstinent, still clean and no regular meeting attendence in 17 years, so I am sane!!!!!!!"


Most of it is a scam to make money, my last 'relapse' almost 17 years ago, Detoxed myself, no desire to drink and had my true 'spiritual awakening', stop going to AA meetings and get a life!!!!!! lol.

Yes, congratulations, and have a good day too.

Any day without an AA 'meetin and 'spansaw' and listening to brinwashed flakes quoting the Big Book is a good day!!!!!

For me it is SIMPLE, have been told by mental health professionals that I have a brain chemistry that can tolerate no alcohol, not even one 'social drink' so I am abstinent, I am not 'moral leper riddled with defects of character' so no meetings, no big books, no Steps, just my old door knob that was once my temporary 'higher power; lol

Why can't there be a common sense secular fellowship for all??? I would ENJOY going to those types of gatherings.

Yes. I have the same problem with not being able to tolerate one drink. Nevertheless, I can stay sober for 10 years (and still counting) without too much trouble, just as long as I don't take that first drink.

There are several other sane, sensible, realistic groups for sobriety. You might try SMART or SOS or Lifering or something like that. I did enjoy the SMART meetings.

Have another good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon
**     devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive
**     of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider
**     god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do
**     less easily move against him, believing that he has
**     the gods on his side."
**        — Aristotle

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters245.html#James_G ]

Date: Sun, June 26, 2011 2:10 pm     (answered 28 June 2011)
From: "James G"
Subject: Childhood and Addiction — New Film


I will try and sign up again for your new Forum. In the meantime I am finding my enthusiasm for making films again — here is my latest one. It is long at 15 minutes but well worth it I think. I would be most grateful if you would be so kind as to link it. If you would like the Orange Papers to be added at the end just let me know.

I hope this finds you well.

Jimmy (B l A m E)


Production Notes for "Childhood and Addiction (Why Love Matters)" —

I have made countless films on the subject of addiction but this one is one of the more important. I have long been outspoken against the powerless model of recovery for the simple reason that I believe in the empowerment of the individual. In this production I draw on the ideas presented by the film Zeitgeist Moving Forward as well as borrowing from Harlow's somewhat controversial experiments on monkeys regarding our need for touch. I was so moved by Gerhardt's book (Why Love Matters) that I had to express what it meant to me via a medium I am well versed in, namely film. Whether I agree with everything put to us in the film is another question. That said I place a tremendous importance on keeping an open mind when it comes to treating addiction especially when the most used model only has a 5% success rate, the same as spontaneous remission, or doing nothing.

B l A m E

Hi again, James,

Yes, I am well, and I trust that you are too. I'm glad to hear that you are making videos again. I'll check it out.

I've been watching for your registration on the forum, and haven't seen it yet. Unfortunately, the system has no way to look up registrations by email address. It only shows the user name, and only allows sorts and searches by user name. So if I don't recognize the user name, then I may overlook it.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Art is science made clear.
**       ==  Jean Cocteau

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters245.html#Vernon ]

From: "Vernon L."
Subject: AA (what else?)
Date: Sat, June 25, 2011 3:53 pm     (answered 28 June 2011)

Dear "Orange"

While Googling some information regarding a statement by Bill Wilson, I stumbled across your site (again, not the first time). I am quite amazed at how much anti-AA information you have accumulated, and even more amazed at the amount of time and effort must have went into such a collection. I couldn't help but wonder, "Why is this person so mad at AA?".

I tried to find something on your site, but there is just so much there, and I don't want to spend my whole day on this curiosity, so I appeal to you. Again,"Why so mad at AA?". What could have AA as a whole have done to make you so upset?

Just so you know, I have been attending AA for quite a while, but it's never been a panacea for my drinking problem, and I have some pretty serious issues with mainstream AA dogma too, so I guess we're kindred spirits, yet I still attend meetings. My spiritual leanings are Buddhist by nature, but I hesitate to call myself a Buddhist and perhaps there lies my problem. Maybe not.

But my question remains, "Why is this person so mad at AA?".

Help me out here, you may be useful to help me find some help with my issues with AA.


From: "Vernon L."
Subject: AA, what else.............
Date: Sat, June 25, 2011 4:08 pm     (answered 28 June 2011)

I am reading some recent e-mails you have posted. Quite interesting. Perhaps we ARE kindred spirits, and there seem to be plenty of us!

I'll keep reading..........


Hello Vernon,

Thanks for the letters and the questions. I hope that we are kindred spirits.

There is a simple answer to the "why?" question: Back in the year 2000, I went through something that was called "outpatient treatment of alcoholism", which turned out to be total fraud, just some con artists selling Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous as a cure for drug and alcohol problems. I was shocked to discover that cult religion and quack medicine were the usual treatment for addiction problems.

I started writing what I thought would be like a 30-page term paper, explaining why I felt that it was wrong to use the 12-Step nonsense as a "treatment program" for addictions. One thing led to another, and I ended up with a web site. That whole history is described here:

I also like Buddhism, and also hesitate to call myself a Buddhist. I don't feel quite qualified for the role. When I think of Buddhism, I think about the TV program Kung-Fu, and the old master saying, "Little Grasshopper, you must quiet your mind and have one-pointed awareness." Then Kane catches an arrow in flight.

Eee, yeh. Not yet.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**       If a man speaks or acts with pure thought,
**     happiness follows him like a shadow that never leaves him.
**         ==  Buddha

[The next letter from Vernon is here.]

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Last updated 10 December 2014.
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