Letters, We Get Mail, CCLV

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters255.html#Taylor_W ]

Date: Wed, August 10, 2011 4:48 am     (answered 12 August 2011)
From: "Taylor W."
Subject: HA, too kind


It was extremely generous of you not to mention that Rodney R. is either moronic, insane or was drunk when he wrote that e-mail in letters 254. I am poking fun at Rodney, of course, but in all seriousness, your patience with the letters you get continues to amaze me. But Rodney's had me wondering about something yet again.

If I recall correctly, while your general rule is no censorship, there are certain e-mails that don't end up being put on the website. The impression I'd gotten is this was because they were depraved or unreadable. My first question is: Do I remember that correctly? The second question is: How much e-mail do you get that is from people who are obviously intoxicated or who's minds are wildly out of control? Is it a lot?

Hello Taylor,

You remember correctly. There are very few emails that I just trash-can. There are surprisingly few drunks who write in like this one, and only a sprinkling of really mentally-ill people. Most true-believer Steppers are simply angry about what I have written, and "have a resentment".

The most obnoxious correspondent was Stuart Hyderman, a chiropractor from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada who habitually went on the Internet and posted to newsgroups, putting on airs of being a real medical doctor, claiming to have been trained at the most prestigious medical school in Canada, and having done research on an MRI machine that the university never had. He and I locked horns when he declared — as a doctor — that Alcoholics Anonymous was the best way for alcoholics to recover. That is practicing medicine without a license, as well as giving out quack medical advice.

The only letters of his that I posted were the first bunch, here. In the fourth letter, he used an alter-ego to praise himself. (Hyderman used aliases a lot, but you could trace them all back to "Stuart" at his ISP Telus.net or Telusplanet.net in Edmonton.)

He repeatedly threatened me with lawsuits, demanding that I delete his letters, and threatening to fly his airplane down here and do me bodily harm. I refused to do so. I figure that outing a quack doctor is fair. (He is the only person whose anonymity I ever broke.) It's one thing for a sponsor to claim to be wise and knowledgeable, but it's quite another thing for a man to pretend to be a real M.D. and give out medical advice.

He made more threats. Nothing came of it. Finally, he settled for posting here and there on the Internet that I was a pedophile who had gotten busted in a sting operation. I'd sue for defamation of character, but international lawsuits are very expensive, and besides, he probably doesn't have any money. I seriously doubt if he has the airplane that he claims to own and fly.

I'm reminded of a book called the Great and Secret Show. The story kicks off with a postal worker being marooned in the "dead mail" room at the post office in Omaha, Nebraska. He starts opening the letters before incinerating them, looking for money or items, and eventually starts to catch onto a far reaching, extra-dimensional other-reality that people are interacting with in some way. He sees the preview for the Great and Secret Show, you could say.

Wow. What a perfect delusion for a paranoid schizophrenic.

Did you see "A Beautiful Mind"? The Nobel-prize-winning mathematician John Nash had a big problem with seeing conspiracies like that everywhere.

I wonder how much of our art is due to mental aberations. Van Gogh, for instance, was nutty as a fruitcake.

Not that I think you're about to connect the dots and go to another dimension anytime soon, but damn, man, some strange stuff must fall in your lap.


Actually, the email isn't as strange as you might expect. But I'll keep my antenna up for any cosmic plots appearing. As they say in the X-Files, the truth is out there.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     An A.A. true believer (Craig S.) babbled:
**       > How many times to I have to explain it to you. Alcohol
**       > is but a symptom, our bottles are but a symbol.
**     No, alcohol is a poisonous clear hydrocarbon solvent
**     that produces intoxication if swallowed in quantity.
**     Drinking alcohol is the cause of alcoholism.
**     There is no other "primary cause" of alcoholism.

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters255.html#MariaTeresa ]

Date: Thu, August 11, 2011 2:27 am     (answered 12 August 2011)
From: "MariaTeresa N."
Subject: Thanks

Dear Mr. Orange,

the information on your site are really helpful. I had been involved in a new age movement for about 8 years and one year ago decided to quit the affiliation. Since then I have been searching for an explanation about my experience and the truth behind it. So far I think that the guru of the organization was probably a mind controlled person who received the proper training to control people through spiritual movement. Perhaps the aim of the A.A. founder and counsellor are similar and they are just gears of a bigger engine. At the bottom line both cult affiliates and A.A. or narcotic group participants are all addicted people, the difference is just what they are addicted to.

Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.

Maria Teresa


Hello Maria Teresa,

Thank you for the compliments. I'm glad to hear that you are free of a cult now.

About the commonality of cults, yes, I am reminded of a phrase, "the banality of evil", that was used to describe both the Nazi regime and the War in Vietnam. The surprising thing was that the immense evil deeds were not performed by super-human monsters, they were done by very boringly ordinary people who declared that they were just following orders, and it was just policy.

I doubt that there is a "bigger engine" in the sense that there is some higher grand-master wizard who controls all of the cult leaders. I think the forces behind the cult leaders are very ordinary things like vanity, narcissism, and an overwhelming desire to be loved, admired and worshipped as a really special person. And of course greed for money and lust for the pretty women. And lust for power. And obviously, some cult leaders are genuinely insane, with delusions of grandeur.

I agree that many cult leaders get their education and training from a previous cult. Bill Wilson got his training from another cult religion — the Oxford Group. They showed Bill how to run a cult. Then he just copied their entire religion. Frank Buchman, the founder and leader of the Oxford Group, got his cult religion training from Henry B. Wright of Yale University.

And then Chuck Dederich got his training from Alcoholics Anonymous, and he went on to found Synanon, another failed recovery cult. Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, who founded Scientology, was involved with several occult organizations and people, like Aleister Crowley, before starting his own cult. Rev. Jim Jones, who founded the People's Temple, where 914 people died from drinking cyanide koolaid, got his instruction in how to run a cult from another cult leader.

Still, I think that you will find that the forces that set cults into motion are the commonplace human failings like vanity, lust, and greed. Have you ever heard the old saying, "Do not attribute to conspiracy what can be explained by ordinary human stupidity"?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Only two things are infinite, the universe and
**     human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
**         == Albert Einstein (1879—1955)

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters255.html#Larry ]

Date: Thu, August 11, 2011 6:35 am     (answered 12 August 2011)
From: "Larry"
Subject: This is way over the top

I get what you are saying but nobody makes you do any of that stuff. I am many years sober and I go to meetings as a support group but I don't do most of what you are alleging and nobody there makes me.

I guess my question is are you sober? You have certainly put a lot of time and energy into this rather scholarly work but are you sober?


Hello Larry,

Thanks for the letter.

Starting at the top, I'm glad to hear that you are not personally guilty of all kinds of crimes against sick people. Alas, your failure to see anything wrong with A.A. does not mean that A.A. is a good organization that saves lives. Just because you don't see flaws in the A.A. dogma doesn't mean that there are no flaws. Just because you don't see people 13th-Stepping the girls and women in your group doesn't mean that it isn't happening in many other groups. The same goes for telling sponsees not to take their medications. Just because you don't see people getting bad advice in A.A. doesn't mean that it isn't happening. As Carl Sagan said, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

Then you tried a veiled ad hominem attack. That is, "Criticize the speaker, rather than his argument." You tried to imply that my writings would be false if I weren't sober.

Well, happily, I now have 10 years off of alcohol, and also off of any other drugs, and also off of cigarettes.

Do you actually believe that if I were to take a drink, that would suddenly change Bill Wilson from a lying thieving fraud into a holy man? Would my drinking improve the A.A. failure rate? I don't think so.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Yogi's teacher: You don't know anything, do you Berra?
**     Yogi Berra: I don't even suspect anything, sir.

Date: Fri, August 12, 2011 4:49 pm     (answered 14 August 2011)
From: "Larry"
Subject: Re: This is way over the top

You could not be more mistaken. I see all sorts of things "wrong with AA" or at least with the way many people within it behave. There was no thinly veiled ad hominem attack but rather a genuine question. Are you suggesting that that everyone who rejects AA gets sober? I use it as a support group and my question was a genuine one. I see many things right with AA too and I just think you went to some great lengths to demonstrate your contempt. I rarely see this among sober people.

I do however appreciate your response.


Hello again, Larry,

Thank you for the clarification. Sorry if I over-reacted to some of your remarks. I guess I "get triggered" on certain A.A. buzz-words.

For example, the question of sobriety. Steppers often try to dismiss my writings and evidence as just the complaints of someone who couldn't get sober in A.A. The question about my sobriety is almost always an attempt to discredit my evidence of the failure of A.A. to help alcoholics (as if there was any logical connection between the two). While we were corresponding, I had another fellow doing just that, here:

Even after I told him that I had 10 years of sobriety, he basically just called me a liar and repeated his demand that I quit drinking. Of course, he is in denial. Some A.A. members are incapable of understanding why anyone would criticize quack medicine and fraud unless he was drunk. — Or, they refuse to admit that people could have good reasons for criticizing A.A.

About this:

I just think you went to some great lengths to demonstrate your contempt. I rarely see this among sober people.

My reaction is: "Observational Selection". That is, what sober people are you looking at?

  • The sober people inside of A.A. won't criticize it because they think that it actually works and saved their lives.
  • Sober people outside of A.A. have often never had anything to do with A.A., and they don't know anything about it.
    • They may be sober because it's their religion — Mormon, 7th-Day Adventist, Southern Baptist...
    • Or maybe it was a personal choice because they saw a relative drink himself to death when they were a child.
    • Or it was a personal choice based on simple logic: It is less expensive, and less painful, and far healthier, to not become an alcoholic.
    • Or they may be part of the vast majority of recovered people who did it without A.A.

Then the rest of the population just doesn't care. The guys on Wall Street are busy stealing hundreds of billions of dollars, and taking Grandma's house. They don't care about A.A. or alcoholics. The guys in Washington are busy taking away the people's benefits and rights, and taking bribes in the form of campaign contributions. The other people — the regular American people — are just trying to survive and pay the rent or mortgage. Or just get a job.

You are right that you rarely see such outspoken contempt for A.A. quackery among the other people. Very, very few people both know all about the 12-Step treatment racket, and have the time, skills, and inclination to do something about it. (And there is no profit to be made in not selling 12-Step quackery to the suckers.) I can count most of the outspoken critics of A.A. on my fingers and toes.

About this:

Are you suggesting that that everyone who rejects AA gets sober?

Of course not. That would be ridiculous. You and I both know what the truth is. Roughly half of all alcoholics eventually quit drinking and save their lives, and the other half don't. Dropping out of A.A. will save people from a lot of emotional grief and other harm, but it won't necessarily make them quit drinking.

Now, the one thing that you have not said is what you see wrong with Alcoholics Anonymous. You wrote:

I see all sorts of things "wrong with AA" or at least with the way many people within it behave.

Well, please don't hold out on us. I wrote a web page called What's Good About A.A.?, so, in the interests of fairness, why don't you write a bit about what you see that is not good about A.A.?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men".
**        ==  Ella Wheeler Wilcox

UPDATE: 2014.12.23: Well, here it is 3 years later, and he still hasn't submitted his page about what isn't good about A.A. He says that he sees all kinds of things wrong with A.A., but he won't say what they are.

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters255.html#James_O ]

Date: Thu, August 11, 2011 11:07 am     (answered 12 August 2011)
From: "James O."
Subject: AA

You make a strong argument that AA IS a cult. However you failed in your assessment regarding AA. If you don't like it you can get up and LEAVE. Unlike most cults, like Scientology, the charge you! AA doesn't charge anyone. It only asks for a dollar to cover the cost of the coffee you drink, etc.

It sounds like you failed to keep yourself sober one day at a time.
AA has worked for many years for me. I love AA!
I hope you get clean and sober one day.
I keep a chair for you![?]

Hello James,

Thank you for the letter, and the standard cult slogans. Your letter is actually pretty good evidence that A.A. is a cult.

First off, not all cults are money-grubbing. Most are, but not all. I checked out Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism for a while, and they never asked me for a penny. Not one penny, ever. They didn't even pass a basket for donations. There is a lot more to a cult than just wanting your money. Some cults want your mind, your soul, and your life, not your money.

The item of money-grubbing is only one of a hundred standard cult characteristics in the Cult Test.

Being physically free to leave is no big deal. Keeping people prisoners in an armed compound out in the boondocks was only practiced by a very few of the most extreme cults, like Jim Jones' Jonestown in Guyana. Scientology, the Moonies, the Hari Krishnas, and various Christian cults all allow you to get up and walk out.

Ah, but are those people mentally free to leave? That is another matter.

Then you did the standard Alcoholics Anonymous ad hominem attack on critics — claiming that they are not sober or something. Why is it that A.A. members seem to be so mentally challenged that they cannot think of any other reason, besides someone drinking, for him to criticize fraud and quack medicine?

By the way, I have 10 years of sobriety now. Also 10 years off of all drugs, and cigarettes, too. How sweet it is.

Your claim that A.A. has worked for you is groundless. You might as well tell me that praying to the Easter Bunny is keeping you sober. Your fervent belief is not evidence of the effectiveness of the A.A. "solution", as Bill Wilson called it. When A.A. was properly tested, it was found to be a complete failure.

Then of course you had to finish with some tired old A.A. condescension, saying that you hoped that I would get sober one day and you will save a seat for me. That is really standard A.A. sloganeering.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     A recent review by the Cochrane Library, a health-care research group,
**     of studies on alcohol treatment conducted between 1966 and 2005 states
**     its results plainly: "No experimental studies unequivocally
**     demonstrated the effectiveness of AA or TSF [12-step facilitation]
**     approaches for reducing alcohol dependence or problems."
**     We're addicted to rehab. It doesn't even work., By Bankole A. Johnson,
**     Sunday, August 8, 2010
**     http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/06/AR2010080602660.html

Date: Sat, August 13, 2011 11:44 am     (answered 13 August 2011)
From: "James O."
Subject: Re: AA

Just stop the bullshit and get clean and sober OK?

hello again, James,

I am clean and sober, and have been for the last ten years.

Now why don't you stop the bullshit and quit defending an old pro-fascist cult religion from the nineteen-thirties that hurts far more people than it helps?

Have a good day.

== 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 next letter from James_O is here.]

[The previous letter from Vicki_W is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters255.html#Vicki_W ]

Date: Fri, August 12, 2011 12:09 am     (answered 13 August 2011)
From: "vicki w."
Subject: aa bullshit you cant bull shit a bullshitter

i went to a treatment center. they required that i go to so many meeting a week. this was in 1994. then i went to a halfway house house... this halfway house was supported by federal funds. the United Way. I had been told in aa that i had to give up old friends, people and places. i had a home. but my husband was still drinking. he was very emotionally abusive. so i know what u are saying about being abused by your dad. his tactic was to put down. i do think it a social issue. what we teach our children. now my computer is acting up. i think the steppers have fear that has turned to anger. i think they may have realized that something is just not right with aa. but they just dont know what. somewhere in the big book they talk about an upper room. i think people that are in aa are are really smart people, but are very vunerable. mentally ill are always said to be very intelligent, i think aa preys on vunerability. but so did my x husband. so aa fits in that catagory. it is just a bunch of bullshit.

Hello again, Vicki,

Thanks for the letter. I hope you are doing well. And yes, I have to agree that A.A. is a bunch of bullshit. And yes, they are angry. I am reminded of one of the first letters that I got from an A.A. old-timer, many years ago:

I have also noted how angry so many of the "old timers" are. I have observed that closely and concluded for myself that the problem is that most people have a lot of grief in their lives and in a way, AA is always focusing on losses. At the same time there is nowhere to go with grief as it isn't allowed. So the sadness gets stuffed leaving only the anger to be dumped out in the meeting, usually aimed at someone who isn't getting the program or was foolish enough to tell the truth about their selfish life. Notice that sometime. Old timers in AA are often an angry lot: a mask of serenity with a seething cauldron underneath.
== Bernie
And yes, A.A. preys on the weak and vulnerable. The A.A. recruiters get people at their lowest point, all shattered by their lives crashing, and sick and cloudy-headed and confused and desperate, and the recruiters demand that the new people surrender to the cult, and believe whatever they are told. And yes, A.A. puts people down a lot. See The "Us Stupid Drunks" Conspiracy for more on that.

The "upper room" is a phrase that came from the Oxford Group cult religion. They were such extreme religious nutcases that they would keep a special room upstairs for people to "surrender to God" in. There is more about that here.

By the way, you didn't say what you are doing now. If you want some people to talk to who won't foist an old cult religion on you, and won't put you down, and won't give you a bunch of bullshit, you could try SMART or WFS or SOS, or something like that. Here is the list of addresses.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Of course we speak little of conversion nowadays because so many people
**     really dread being God-bitten. But conversion, as broadly described by
**     James, does seem to be our basic process; all other devices are but the
**     foundation."
**       ==  Bill Wilson's statements to the American Psychiatric Association
**           105th Annual Meeting, Montreal, Quebec, May 1949

[The next letter from Vicki_W is here.]

May 23, 2009, Saturday: Day 23, continued:

ride in Waterfront Park
Carnival ride in Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon
Walking towards the geese in South Waterfront Park, there was a carnival going on too. This is one shot of a ride.
[More gosling photos below, here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters255.html#Stephanie_L ]

Date: Fri, August 12, 2011 2:30 pm     (answered 13 August 2011)
From: "Stephanie L."
Subject: AA

This is a copy of a letter I sent to J at the "BlameDenial" website a few days ago. I continue to work through my feelings about alcoholism, AA, recovery, and the fact that the only true peace I've come to experience over my AA involvement has occurred after realizing over the past few weeks just how wrong it is for me. Thank you so much for all of the work you've done, Agent Orange.

It's often said in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous that it's very difficult to have a belly full of beer when you already have a head full of AA. In other words, there' no way to go back and enjoy drinking the same way you used to after you've achieved some sobriety and involvement in "the program". By the same token, I'm finding that it's very difficult to have a belly full of AA after spending some time thinking about it critically and realizing that a lot about what's taught in AA just doesn't ring true.

I've been in and out of AA for about the last three years, after a period of heavy drinking in which my life truly did become "unmanageable." I have no problem accepting the concept of alcoholism and accepting the fact that I'm better off as a nondrinker... alcohol causes me problems and for me the best decision is to never drink again. While participating in AA, I have enjoyed periods of sobriety lasting from a few days to almost a year. But the longer I spend time in this program, the more it just doesn't feel right to me. I consider myself an agnostic, and my search for resources for agnostic and atheist alcoholics on the internet led me to The Orange Papers, the More Revealed website, and your site. Would that I could simply pretend I'd never found all of this information that confirmed and reinforced my doubts and hesitation about AA. But there's no un-knowing what I've come to know about the flaws, lies, inconsistencies, and insanity of the 12-step movement. So much makes sense now.

So where does that leave me? During my drinking years I became isolated and cut off from former friends, so AA supplies me with the vast majority of my social life these days. I've met some really lovely people and made several good friends in the rooms (of course I've met some totally fucked up freaks, as well) and my attendance at meetings has provided a sorely needed source of structure for my days. Fortunately I don't think I was ever badly brainwashed and robbed of my ability to reason and think intelligently during my time in AA; I do feel that I made every possible effort to believe in the program and "work it" to the best of my ability, while maintaining some degree of skepticism or objectivity the whole time. I intend to start enjoying my own journey towards self-actualization and away from the harmful behaviors and attitudes from my past.

I probably won't leave AA immediately, though. Like I said, I let the people and the program of AA fill up my life and it will take some time and effort to replace them. I expect life in the meantime to be quite interesting. I've started to bring up my questions about AA with some of my friends in the program; it's probably no surprise that none of these friends were even remotely interested in such a discussion. I hate the idea of totally cutting myself off from them — I'd like to think that their attachment to AA, while certainly not ideal, doesn't make all of them complete idiots who are unworthy of my time and friendship. I guess we shall see.

Thank you for your site, it and the other anti-AA sites on the web are invaluable sources of support for those of us who struggle with alcoholism and addiction but who won't settle for less than the truth in our recovery.

Stephanie L.

Hi Stephanie,

Thank you for the letter. I hope you are doing well.

So have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Know that I love you; stay as free as you can.
**       ==  Lowell Ponte

[The previous letter from Bob_O is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters255.html#Bob_O ]

From: Bob O.
Date: Sun, August 7, 2011 11:38 am

Mister T,

Thank you for your extensive reply to my email about "The Natural History of Alcoholism Revisited" 3 August 2011.

Hello again, Bob,

You are welcome. Dr. Vaillant's double-talk about the failure/success of A.A. is one of the more curious pieces of illogic that A.A. has to offer.

I forgot to use my usual signature of "Long Island Bob O". I have wondered if you had a system to identify emails from a prior sender. I thought you must have a way to store prior mail by email address which you can review or you have an amazeing memory.

Memory impresses me because mine has been betraying me due to alcohol and other drug abuse or traumatic brain injury due to a motorcycle crash. I would say advancing age (65) but it has been bad since a 1967 coma from a motorcycle crash. I once used the word accident but I now realize a crash while stoned and drunk is not an accident, it was foolishness.

No worries. You have my sympathy there. I suffered from terrible memory problems around the time that I finally quit drinking. In fact, my memory problems were a big part of the reason why I quit. I was horrified when I discovered that I was literally losing my mind — that my memory was blinking on and off like a defective light bulb. I was suffering from walking black-outs during the day. I would behave perfectly normally, and was awake and aware of what was going on around me and what I was doing, but afterwards wouldn't be able to remember any of it.

And I could meet people and talk to them for half an hour or more, and hours or days later, thought that I had never seen them before in my life.

It took me 9 months to get to where I could remember faces, and five years before I got my memory for details back. I described that process here and here.

Notice the mention of growing new brain cells in the second link there. That is something pretty new to medicine, only discovered about ten years ago. It is described more here. This is really important because it means that there is hope for us yet. The healing process is very, very slow, but we really do grow new neurons to replace the ones that were lost, so we can recover, slowly, from a lot of stuff.

I know I certainly have, and for that, I do feel grateful. (By the way, remember to take your B vitamins.)

Also, in your memory rehabilitation class, are they teaching you about association tricks? A fellow named Jeff told me about making funny mental links to remember things. When I remarked that I had troubles remembering people's names, he said that I should associate Jeff with Jiff the peanut butter. When I thought of him, I should think of peanut butter, and the rest would come to me. That wacky thing is, it works, and now I remember his name.

I have noticed your response time has quickened. I wrote several years ago, and your reply was months later. Do you receive less mail now?

The mail is about the same, but I'm just not backlogged now, and I try to stay on it more, and not get backlogged. And right now I'm not distracted by the hassle of moving, or anything like that.

You have a picture of a drum circle. I had never heard of that until recently when, for a recreation activity, we did that at New Beginnings Community Center for Brain Injury Rehabilitation and I enjoyed it. I never thought it would happen but I now know I will never go to another AA/NA meeting or activity.


I do not believe my 30+ years in the cult were wasted. They provided socialization and I did not care what they said about religion. I did not sponsor people and only acknowledged the first step which says we were powerless, not we are powerless. I understand the "Wilson Shift" from were to are but I did not do the shift. I told them I was powerless when drinking but not when I stopped.

Ditto. I also concluded that I'm pretty powerless over alcohol after I get 6 or 8 drinks in me, but I'm not powerless now.

I think what helped me most was six weeks in a rehab, not because they told me not to drink, I knew that, but counting days gave me a start.

Yes. One thing that I disagree with SMART on, a little bit, is not counting days when you start. In SMART, they just don't count time. I think that giving newly-sober people a feeling of accomplishment for 30, 60, and 90 days is a good thing, and it can help.

Now I understand the trap of getting into ego games of one-upmanship based on who has the longest time sober, but that's another matter.

And then of course there is the problem of telling people that they have lost all of their sober time if they take one drink. That makes them think that they might as well keep on drinking, because they lost all of their time now.

But the truth is that one drink does not erase all of the physical recovery and healing that comes from months or years of not drinking.

I also noticed the silence about Amy Winehouse's death. I would not doubt they have a distorted answer no matter what the outcome is.

Thank you again.

Long Island Bob O.

Yes, I have not heard any more news about Amy Winehouse since the tox screen came back negative, showing that she did not die from drugs and alcohol. That really spoiled the fun of the Steppers who were pontificating about the terrible "disease of addiction", and how you need 12-Step treatment to fight it. They suddenly dropped her like a hot potato. They had nothing more to say.

The only news relative to her that I've heard is that some creep burglarized her house after she died. And that is the end of that story.

But I guess sooner or later, some other celebrity will O.D., and the media circus will start up again.

Date: Fri, August 12, 2011 6:02 am     (answered 14 August 2011)
From: Bob O.
Subject: Prior emails and AA in decline

Mister T,

I often feel I should repeat my prior message. I thought you might not know what I was referring to in my emails when I wrote to you and talked about a prior email. I have memory problems and I thought I could help identify myself to you by allways useing the same name as a signature.

No problem. Happily, I actually can remember your name now, including your email address. Isn't recovery wonderful?

There was a time I thought life without the cults would be empty. I believe I was fortunate to find friends in the handicapped world. It may be I had not found friends outside the cults because I did not look. The cults on Long Island are in almost every town, most of the day and evening. There are midnight meetings, 6 AM meetings and "Marathon" meetings. There are meetings on the beach and in bars and under the stars. I know meetings are in decline because the AA meeting list now contains the message "IMPORTANT NOTICE For the meeting list to remain factual, groups must submit current mailing & contact info in writing to the Suffolk Intergroup Association Correspondence Secretary each year, no later than October 1st" When AA was expanding the problem was getting on the meeting list. Now the problem is getting off the meeting list. More than once I went to a meeting to find it gone. I think you are correct that eventually XA will dry up and fall off. Do you think the XA decline will be faster than its rise?

Hmmm... That is a tough question. Like Yogi Berra said, "Making predictions is really hard. Especially about the future." I really don't know how fast the decline of A.A. will be. I can only hope.

I am able to accumulate $100 We, your supporters, have so little and AA has an office building in New York City, called the Inter-Faith Building. Penn and Teller on PBS made a video, and use the phrase "Bullshit", that tried to question AA in their offices in NYC about the success rate of their program but could find no one there. Do you follow their work? Thank you again for all you do.

Peace and Love. Long Island Bob O.

PS. Emailing you makes me feel better. I now feel the strength to go and visit my friends at New Beginnings Community Center for Brain Injury Rehabilitation and bring my lunch.

Thank you for the support. Yes, I love that Penn & Teller episode. I downloaded it to disk, and watch it again every so often, for giggles and grins. You can also see it on Youtube, you know:

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tPNgHrIkgo == Penn & Teller, Bullshit, 12-Step Programs, part 1
  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uwx2P5LJgk == Penn & Teller, Bullshit, 12-Step Programs, part 2
  3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PjpOsE3xoY == Penn & Teller, Bullshit, 12-Step Programs, part 3

Have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Oh the nerves, the nerves; the mysteries of this machine called man!
**      Oh the little that unhinges it, poor creatures that we are!"
**        ==  Charles Dickens (1812 — 70)

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters255.html#Steve_S ]

Date: Thu, August 11, 2011 1:38 pm     (answered 12 August 2011)
From: "Steve S."
Subject: Orange as a 12-Stepper?


** **

I admire your courage for taking on AA. Keep up the good work. Whatever keeps you sober, man! And after reading some of the people who have been hurt and wronged by members of AA (what did you expect from a group of recovering drunks and addicts?) I see that your work, at first glance hyperintellectualization to the extreme and a work of obsession that only a true drunk could achieve, is actually helping people to heal!****

Hello Steve,

Thank you for the letter and the compliments. But I must disagree with your stereotype of "a true drunk". One of the things that I really dislike about alcohol is that it takes away will power and determination and the ability to accomplish goals. So alcoholics are not great examples of those qualities. And alcoholics are not generally "hyperintellectual". And the only thing that most alcoholics are obsessive about is getting more alcohol.

It is unfortunate that A.A. teaches such terrible stereotypes of alcoholics. A.A. claims that they want to remove the stigma of alcoholism, and then they declare that alcoholics are really bad people.

Look at The "Us Stupid Drunks" Conspiracy for more on that.

** **

So, even though I'm an AA with over a decade of sobriety, happy, successful, with a wife also in AA with a decade of sobriety, 2 kids, decent career into 6 figures (not bad for a convicted drug dealer who did hard time), I'm actually OK with the Orange Papers because it's helping you, and others, stay sober. And as you know, it's all about helping others in order to help yourself stay sober!****

Congratulations on your decade of sobriety. Me too.

Thanks for the compliments, but I really don't do the Orange Papers to keep myself sober.

Again, A.A. teaches those buzz-words and phrases like "a program to keep yourself sober", or doing something to stay sober. That is nonsense, and it's just plain wrong. I do not do any program or project to "keep myself sober". I just don't drink alcohol because I don't want to get sick again.

I also do not "help others in order to help myself stay sober". That is Wilson cult-speak for "go recruit more victims for our little fellowship if you want to stay sober."

** **

But being the deep thinker that you are (and I mean that sincerely as I too am a deep thinker), you must know that after fighting an enemy for so long you run the risk of becoming just like your enemy. You're inadvertently practicing the principles of the AA program without even knowing it. Please let me explain:****

  1. — In how you sobered up, you say you have practiced the philosophy of "don't take the first drink, no matter what," and "remember the end of the story." That is the 1st step. And from there you claim to part ways with anything AA.

    I have reported many times that I got that slogan about "Just don't take that first drink, no matter what," from a movie about early A.A., and in fact I think that it is the best A.A. slogan ever. And it is the only A.A. slogan that I use. The other slogan came from a guy at a SMART meeting: "Play the tape to the end."

    By the way, that is not Step One at all. Step One says that

    "[We] Admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable."

    It does not say one word about "don't take the first drink".

    In fact, the 12 Steps never tell you to quit drinking. Nowhere do they say anything about sobriety, or health, or recovery, or quitting drinking. That is because the 12 Steps are really all about Frank Buchman's cult religion practices like confession and admitting that you are powerless, and surrender to a "higher power", and getting "guided by God" like a little radio-controlled model car.

  2. — When you found your inner will power I would argue you found a higher power, and thus passed the 2nd and 3rd step.

    No, I used my inner powers, things like determination, will power, intelligence, and self-reliance, and the desire to live and have a better life. I did not "find a higher power". That is something that A.A. strongly discourages. A.A. always wants to make the "Higher Power" Somebody Else out there somewhere — an external being — Who will soon get morphed into the tyranical meddling A.A. God Who will deliver Miracles On Demand. (Maybe, if you confess and grovel and pray enough.)

    Remember Ernest Kurtz's whole thing about "Not God", where he goes on and on about how alcoholics must admit that they are not God?

    And Bill Wilson lectured endlessly about how self-reliance is a Bad Thing. Look here. In Bill Wilson's crazy A.A. theology, self-reliance is the same thing as self-will, which is the same thing as opposing the Will Of God.

    A.A. may claim that you can use any vague old "higher power" in Step Two, but it quickly changes to "God" in Step Three. Then, in Step 5, it's just plain old "God" without any of those "as we understood Him" qualifiers. It's a bait-and-switch trick: First, a loosely-defined "Higher Power", and then an explicitly-defined "God".

    The 12 Steps simply cannot work without a "God" delivering miracles on demand. Without Santa Claus delivering the goodies,

    • you won't have anybody to manage your unmanageable life in Step 1,
    • and nobody will "restore you to sanity" in Step 2,
    • and nobody will take care of your will and your life for you in Step 3,
    • and nobody will remove your defects in Step 7,
    • and nobody will talk to you in Step 11 séances and give you secret work orders and the power to carry them out,
    • and nobody will give you a "spiritual experience" in Step 12.

    It is really quite a stretch, and a very twisty word game, for someone to claim that those things will come from worshipping "Good Orderly Direction" or some vague "inner power" as "God". Need we even mention using a Group Of Drunks as your "G.O.D."?

    And if people really can reach within themselves and find the power to create all of those "miracles" by themselves, then we don't need the 12 Steps, do we? We can just use self-reliance to save ourselves, and dump the Buchmanism into the trash can of history.

  3. — This whole website is your 4th and 5th step.

    Wrong. I am not doing a confession session here. In fact, I try to keep the autobiographical information to a minimum, and I have no desire to do a public Fifth Step.

    The A.A. Fourth Step is a guilt-inducing moral inventory. Moral, as if getting depressed and drinking too much alcohol is a sin. Then in Step Five, you "admit your wrongs". Then in Step 6 you talk about your "defects of character". And then in Step 7 you "Humbly ask Him to remove your shortcomings." That is Frank Buchman's mind-bending, weakening and guilt-inducing cult religion routine, not any kind of sane self-examination. Those four steps are a big part of the reason why A.A. has an elevated suicide rate.

  4. — There's evidence throughout your writing over the years that you've moved on and grown into a man of decent character and no longer just a self-seeking drunk looking for his next drink — overcoming your character defects and shortcomings — steps 6 and 7.

    Thanks for the compliment. However, I did not beg a ghost or spirit of take away my "defects" and "moral shortcomings". I used that forbidden self-will and self-reliance to repair myself.

  5. — Steps 8 and 9, I'm assuming you've made some sort of amends, at least to yourself, because you now treat yourself with enough respect not to get drunk.

    Now here we agree. I have cleaned up the past as much as I could. But that was not because of A.A. And I did not go around apologizing to everybody.

  6. — Step 10 — you're not going back to the same old Orange, and you check yourself everyday that your motives are not at all like an AAer's motives for staying sober. The ultimate irony!

    Whoa! Hold on right there. A.A. does not own introspection or doing a reality check. I learned that kind of stuff from Buddhism back in the sixties. And from LSD.

    A.A. cannot claim to be all of the good things in the world. And A.A. does not own everything that is good or virtuous. Just because somebody does something good does not mean that he is "doing the 12 Steps". Especially not when the 12 Steps are really just Dr. Frank Buchman's cult practices.

    And Step 10 is not really about introspection, either. Step 10 is really:

    Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

    So you have to repeat Steps 4 and 5 forever — you are trapped in an endless loop — and you have to find yourself to be wrong, and confess it, again and again. That is good for destroying people's self-respect and self-esteem and driving them to suicide.

    Why doesn't Step 10 talk about when you are right? And what to do when you are right?

    Furthermore, Step 4 is a moral inventory, not a reality check. It is a guilt-inducing cult religion routine. I don't do that.

  7. — Step 11 — this whole website, again, is a meditative exercise.

    Not! Geez Louise. Typing on a computer is not meditation. And doing historical research is not meditation. And again, just because somebody does meditation, does not mean that he is doing the 12 Steps.

    Furthermore, A.A. does not do meditation in Step 11. Constantly yammmering, "Higher Power, tell me what to do. Give me some work orders and the power to carry them out," is self-delusion, not meditation. As you know, Bill Wilson and his friends even took it so far as to practice necromancy and talk to the spirits of the dead. The goal of real meditation is to attain uninterrupted awareness and inner silence, not to talk to the ghost of Saint Boniface.

    If anything is a meditative exercise, it is caring for baby goslings. They will keep you here and now and pure like nothing else that I know.

  8. — Step 12 — this whole website is helping others to find alternative ways to stay sober, people who can't find a way within AA because they were burned by other people within AA. And That Is Awesome! Hat tip to you. Truly.

    Thanks, but... I do the web site in hopes that it will help others and improve the treatment of alcoholics and drug addicts. But A.A. members who are doing their 12th Step are recruiting new victims for the cult. There is a big difference there.

    And since A.A. does not work, and kills more alcoholics than it saves, recruiting alcoholics into A.A. is not "helping them".

That last step you're practicing is why if anyone in any of the groups I go to ever say, "That Orange is a real MFer," I will say, "No, he's not. He's helping himself and others stay sober. Not everyone finds a way in AA, and if a drunk or addict can pick himself up off the streets and avoid a certain alcoholic — junkie death, then it's something worthwhile and nothing I, on a personal level, need to be threatened by.'

Well thanks, but they call me an MFer anyway.

All us drunks work the steps in our own way. Even you, Orange.

No, I am not "working the Steps". And the 12 Steps are not a program for sobriety. They are a program for indoctrinating and brainwashing new cult recruits. The 12 Steps are just Frank Buchman's practices for messing with the minds of his new victims. And I certainly don't do them.

Every Ying needs a Yang, and you are the Yang of AA, Orange. (Yang not to be confused with Tang)

I am learning a lot from your pages, and for that I'm thankful. No AAer should ever put Bill W., Dr. Bob, or any other AAer up on a pedestal. They are not gods, and they will eventually disappoint us. Flesh and blood was never meant to be a Deity, Higher Power or God (you could argue except one, but I'm not going to go there). Thank you for the reminder.

Nothing is sacred made by humans hands, not even AA. And I'm reminded of the old philosophy "Kill your Buddha."


Your pages might help me to do that. Again, Thank you.****

Please remember the real meaning of that old saying about, "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him." That is, the real Buddha is within you. The Buddha-nature is spiritual, and it is within you. Anything outside of you that pretends to be the Buddha is a fraud.

Again, this is just the opposite of the A.A. teaching that "You are not God."

** **

One last note: You decry Bill W. as being a hypocrite, abusive and hateful of other alcoholics. Is it really so hard to believe that a drunk would have self-loathing and take it out on other drunks' Please don't do the same as he did. I quote:****

** **

"This whole "recovery movement" is just such a bizarre parade of crazies, lunatics, and losers. When will it ever end?"



** **

Crazy, lunatic, I'll take. I'm working on it. Loser? I hope not. Not today. I'm working in a positive way on providing for a family I love and who loves me, and my two boys don't think I'm a loser (at least not yet). Guess my wife and I were able to propagate and add to the gene pool!


There's one theory blown... ;)**

I was talking about the so-called "recovery movement" and the fraudulent treatment center that I went to, where a coke-snorting child-raping Internet child pornographer lectured us about how we had to have a "higher power" in our recovery program. I was not slurring all alcoholics in general. In the next sentences, I said,

(And a little voice in my head says, "What else could you expect? They hire from within. The staff are all former patients. The crazies recruit the crazies. The inmates really are running the insane asylum.")

That makes it clear that I was talking about the staff of the treatment center, not all alcoholics, or even all A.A. members.

When I said "the whole recovery movement", I was referring to the corporation that ran the entire racket. They owned the treatment center, and slum housing where the clients lived, and businesses that employed the clients doing painting and carpentry and things like that. And they sucked millions of dollars out of the city budget, and state health plan, and federal programs each year with tricks like double-billing and triple-billing.

It's pretty incredible for such a band of criminals to call themselves "the recovery movement". But they did.

** **

Have a great day!**

Steve S.****

** **

P.S. I reveal a bit of my story here, so I ask that you please keep my name as Steve S. and anonymous if you add this email to your site, even though you could probably figure it out from my email address. Thanks!

Okay, Steve. You have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Know who you are. Love who you are. Live who you are.

May 23, 2009, Saturday: Day 23, continued:

fountain at Waterfront Park
The Salmon Street Fountain at South Waterfront Park

Still trudging towards the geese, and yes, it's summer.

The blond-haired woman who is ducking down is funny. She was worried about ruining my picture, so she tried to get out of the way. Heck, I wanted her in the picture. You cannot do crowd shots in public places without getting a lot of people in the pictures.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

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Last updated 23 December 2014.
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