Letters, We Get Mail, CCLXII

[The previous letter from Private is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters262.html#Private ]

Date: Mon, September 12, 2011 3:48 pm     (answered 14 September 2011)
From: "Private Party"
Subject: Re: Cults or not?

Fine stats work, hope you sent the effort to AA. I argue the program works if you work it. Aye there's the rub! Higher power? Thus the attrition rate. Alcohol: cunning mischievous wuddever. I still booze. do you?

Hello again, Private Party,

Declaring that "It works if you work it" is like declaring that dancing around in a ballerina's tutu is a working cure for "the disease of alcoholism". It is true that if you always dance in a ballerina's tutu instead of drink alcohol, whenever cravings for a drink strike, then you will quit drinking and not have a problem with alcohol. It works if you work it.

So does my Baskin Robbins cure. If you always eat ice cream instead of drink alcohol, whenever cravings strike, then you will successfully quit drinking. It works if you work it.

And if you always go to an A.A. meeting instead of drink alcohol, then you will quit drinking. It works if you work it.

But that nasty qualifier on the ends of those sentences, "...if you work it" really means that the "program" does not work at all. You must use your own will power and determination to abstain from drinking alcohol, and then you must give the credit for your accomplishments to something else that didn't do the work.

Why not just read The Orange Papers instead of drink alcohol?
It works if you work it, you die if you don't, so work it, you're worth it. RARELY HAVE I seen a person fail, who has thoroughly followed my path...

By the way, no, I don't drink at all any more. I have about 10 3/4 years off of alcohol now. Also the same time off of cigarettes and any other drugs. I am so clean and pure these days that it borders on disgusting.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Those who benefit from any societal mechanism rarely wish to understand
**     that mechanism, especially if it appears to give them power, control or
**     authority over their fellow man and understanding that mechanism would
**     limit, diminish or remove that apparent power, control or authority.
**     They simply do not want to know.
**        —  Robert-Arthur: Menard

July 20, 2011, Wednesday, a side trip to the Fernhill Wetlands this summer:

Pelicans at the Fernhill Wetlands


[More gosling photos below, here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters262.html#Mike_Bl. ]

Date: Wed, September 14, 2011 10:59 am     (answered 15 September 2011)
From: "mike bl."
Subject: Bill W

Clearly, you are not a fan of Bill W or AA. Personally, as an alcoholic in recovery who has done some thorough step work and had many spiritual experiences I find it par for the course for a nobody like yourself to pick apart the sincere contributions of honest people. The way you twist minor details to fit your point of view is amusing to me. May God have mercy on your rotted soul.

Michael, grateful recovering alcoholic

Sent from my iPhone

Hello Mike,

Thanks for the letter. I have to ask, "What sincere contributions?" Bill Wilson lied about everything from the A.A. cure rate to the history of A.A. to his education to his cheating on his wife.

It isn't "picking apart sincere contributions" when I show that A.A. has a failure rate, not a success rate. Foisting ineffective quack medicine and deceptive cult religion on sick people and lying about how well it works — or rather, does not work — is a despicable crime, not a "minor detail".

Perhaps you would like to read the file The 12 Biggest Secrets of A.A. and tell me what I got wrong. Please pick just one and prove me wrong. Of course, you must show your evidence and tell where you got it from. And just parroting the lies of a cult religion is not evidence.

And above all, please answer this simple question:

What is the REAL A.A. success rate?

Out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A., how many will pick up a one-year sobriety medallion a year later?
Or even several years later?
And how many will get their 2-year, and 5-year, and 10-year coins? Ever?
How about 11 years and 21 years?

(HINT: the answers are here.)

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "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 describing early recruiting efforts for Alcoholics Anonymous,
**  at the memorial service for Dr. Bob, Nov. 15, 1952; file available here.

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters262.html#Eric_H ]

Date: Thu, September 15, 2011 10:37 am     (answered 15 September 2011)
From: "Eric H."
Subject: Wow!


I have to commend you for the tireless reasearch you've made into the "character defects" of Bill W. and the AA program. Doing so has probably been cathartic and most likely helped you sober. Your own "program" so to say. Indeed, Bill W. was a pretty complicated guy, and in no way a shining example fo how I'd want to live and act. The good thing is that his sobriety is not mine.

I don't think what you're doing is bad, and in fact, as a sober AA myself have really learned a lot from your reaearch. I will say, however, that I am a strong believer in the efficacy of the 12 step format and have personally experienced every one of the AA promises and more.

You simply never experienced what that message is all about. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and I'm sure you're doing quite well. For me, the way I *felt* was the problem, and alcohol was the solution, albeit a destructive one. AA is not simply about quitting drinking, but rather finding a way to think and live which doesn't require drinking to bear. For that, AA is totally effective. You are obviously happy with what you've got, so nothing more needs to be said.

My motive is not to argue, but simply recognize the impressive effort you've made while missing the entire point of the program af AA.Keep at it, because it seems to be keeping you're life directed.

Eric H.

Hello Eric,

Thanks for the letter.

Here is the sentence that is the whole problem:

You simply never experienced what that message is all about.

There is no "message". The Oxford Group claimed that their cult had a "message", but it was really just "worship Frank Buchman and give him your money."

Bill Wilson learned that trick from Frank Buchman, so he jabbered about "the message" a lot, and he died rich too.

The line in Step 12 about "carrying the message" is just an instruction to recruit more victims into the cult. The Oxford Group used the same line for the same purpose too.

Now this sentence is true:

For me, the way I *felt* was the problem, and alcohol was the solution, albeit a destructive one.

Yes. I also felt terrible when I was drinking, and used alcohol as a painkiller. The problem is that alcohol is very toxic and it's really a very bad painkiller. In the end, it causes more pain than it cures.

Then your next two sentences are untrue:

AA is not simply about quitting drinking, but rather finding a way to think and live which doesn't require drinking to bear. For that, AA is totally effective.

A.A. is not effective at all. A.A. just raises the rate of binge drinking, and raises the death rate in alcoholics. A.A. pretends to be a solution to the problem of alcohol abuse, but it isn't. Doing the 12 Steps and confessing all of your sins is not a cure for alcohol addiction.

Now I agree that if you want to really recover, then you must find a better way to live, where you don't require constant doses of painkillers to make life bearable. You must take better care of your health and develop a positive, balanced, lifestyle. For me, that required quitting alcohol, all drugs, and also tobacco. The pain of cigarettes killing me was a big part of the reason why I drank too much. I also had to quit drinking rotgut black coffee that was giving me an ulcer. (Latté with milk is good. It won't burn a hole in your stomach.)

I hope you find what you need.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Pain (any pain — emotional, physical, mental) has a message.
**     The information it has about our life can be remarkably specific,
**     but it usually falls into one of two categories: "We would be
**     more alive if we did more of this," and, "Life would be more
**     lovely if we did less of that." Once we get the pain's message,
**     and follow its advice, the pain goes away.
**             Peter McWilliams, Life 101

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters262.html#Meatbag ]

Date: Thu, September 15, 2011 11:47 am     (answered 15 September 2011)
From: "Meatbag"
Subject: Random Comments

I've read a good deal of your site, and I'm looking through the letters you published. I just finished reading your exchange with Pitch Black (I must say that emails from AA true believers are interesting, to say the least). Here's a fairly disjointed list of comments on various parts of your site: 1. Here is a story you might find interesting. It's from an autistic woman who started drinking because it helped her socialize with neurotypicals and went to AA. Here's one of my favorite quotes on her AA post:

I never got over my uneasiness with the exhortations to "stop thinking so much" and just do what I was told, just as I never adjusted to social expectations that were entirely outside my understanding and abilities

And this paragraph:

When I think about this now, I understand how easily reason can be set aside in favor of anecdotal evidence. I heard the stories over and over: Beth comes to meetings every day, and she has been sober for 10 years. Marie was sober for 10 years, too, but she stopped going to meetings a year ago and now she is drinking again. Rita did the same thing, and now she is dead. There was a seemingly endless supply of such stories. I was pretty sure that there were people who did not go to AA and still were sober, but eventually, I stopped asking questions because these questions, I was told, were a function of denial. Then there were those people who came around all the time and seemed to do everything recommended, but never seemed able to stay sober. There was an explanation for that. They were doing it wrong.

Actually, these quotes are not really doing her post justice. Still, if you want to publish this letter, I would prefer that you not include the links. This is her story, and not mine, and I would rather not risk having some true believers raid her fairly quiet blog, especially since I don't think she knows about the Orange Papers.

2. The more I read this site, the more I believe that, were I to get in the situation of having to choose between AA and jail, I would pick jail. At least the jail would be more likely to make sure I stay on my meds. I don't think I'm that likely to develop alcoholism or get arrested for alcohol-related offenses, given that I don't even find alcohol palatable, but I still wonder how I should handle that situation.

3. The first page I read was the Snake Oil page. There, I found the grandchildren of alcoholics nonsense. My reaction to that was: "WTF? These clowns expect me to believe I'm somehow damaged because a man I happen to share genes with, and who died long before I was born, drank a lot?" While I do have depression, I would attribute that to having a family history of depression on my mother's side (alcoholic grandfather is my paternal grandfather) and some family drama that actually did happen in my lifetime. I never needed a 12-step program. The combination of CBT, Prozac, and somebody to remind me to take my meds everyday (I'm autistic myself, so I have trouble remembering to take my meds by myself) seems to work just fine. Actually, I haven't needed regular therapy for a while, so it's mostly the meds at the moment.

4. One thing that amused me about Pitch Black is that, apparently, a biography about Abraham Lincoln published in 1939 is obsolete and invalid, but a book published in 1939 proposing a medical cure for alcoholism is perfectly fine. This isn't Time Squad. History itself doesn't magically change, even though how history is interpreted might. In fact, I remember doing a project on populism in high school, and I used a source that was a century old. I showed the source to my teacher. He did point out the age of the source, but he agreed that it was a good source. If anything, the source being old enough for the populism movement to have occurred in the author's lifetime is actually kind of a good thing in some ways.

Medicine, on the other hand, does change, even moreso during the course of the 20th century. Even a very good doctor from the 1930s would be lost in a modern hospital, and Bill Wilson was definitely not a very good doctor. That, and psychiatry was in its infancy back in the 1930s. It does annoy me that while most other areas of psychiatry have found newer, better, less harmful treatments that are science-based, too many doctors still treat alcoholics with what is essentially faith healing. Even before reading your site, I was skeptical of AA since it did not seem to be based on sound science. I realize now that that is a major understatement.

5. It took me a while to figure out that "John Barleycorn" was referring to alcohol. Distinguishing between your normal thoughts and the lizard brain addiction thoughts, like you do, is one thing. I do something similar when distinguishing between my own, healthy thoughts and the distorted, harmful thoughts (you're not good enough, you're a terrible person, you're defective, you're disgusting, you're lazy, you don't deserve good things, you deserve bad things) resulting from the depression. But how is turning something non-sentient into some sapient supervillain helpful with recovery? For that matter, how is encouraging the exact same distorted thoughts I listed through the 4th step helpful with recovery. The answer for both questions is it doesn't.

6. I take it you've been sober for about 9-10 years now, right (haven't reached your recent letters yet)? Congrats! Even better that you did it without cult religion that is just as bad, if not worse, than alcohol.

7. If you read all this, thank you. If you want to publish this for some reason, just refer to me as "Meatbag". It would be good for your readers to know that I am, in fact, human, since I presume humans are the majority of your readers, with a small minority of other organisms. Robots don't tend to become alcoholics or join cult religions, so I doubt many of them are reading. And yes, I do have a strange sense of humor. I rather like that about myself.

Hello Meatbag,

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

I especially relate to your first quote where the blogger said that she was very uncomfortable with all of the appeals to stop thinking. That is what did it for me too. That was the magic moment when the little light bulb went on in my head. I was at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting, and as the speaker exhorted us to stop thinking and just have faith in the program, the little voice in my head said, "This is just a cult."

Yes, "John Barleycorn" is really archaic. Apparently, that was a popular slang term for distilled liquors more than a century ago, especially in Great Britain.

UPDATE: Wikipedia has a good page on "John Barleycorn". It turns out to be an ancient folk song that goes back to the fourteenth or fifteenth century in England. With a macabre sense of humor, the old song makes the story of planting and harvesting barley, and turning it into brew, into a grisley tale of murder and dismemberment. "And they all agreed, John Barleycorn must die."

And yes, FYI, I have been sober for about 10 3/4 years now. I've also been off of cigarettes and other drugs for the same time, too. And without any cult religion nonsense. It's really so simple: I just decided that dying that way was no fun.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     One of the most sublime experiences we can ever have
**     is to wake up feeling healthy after we have been sick.
**          ==  Rabbi Harold Kushner

[The next letter from Meatbag is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters262.html#Brian_R ]

Date: Thu, September 15, 2011 2:01 pm     (answered 15 September 2011)
From: "Brian R."
Subject: excellent writing

I must say you have a well written rant about AA. It's not based on any facts that I can find. But it's entertaining.

I have been around AA for quite a while at this point and some of the "members" are pretty weird.

But you throw the baby out with the bathwater.

There is no religion in AA at all. Hell it's the opposite of a religion.

You seem to have had a very bad experience with some very bad people, that's sucks.

But people like you do a very dangerous thing when you use vitriol to disagree.

I hope you will consider the results of your irresponsibility and give me a call if you like. I'd love to respond to your hyperbole.



Hello Brian,

Thank you for the letter and the compliments. But honestly, "no facts that you can find"? Can you find a copy of the Big Book?

How about

You can see the bibliography for the rest of the list of books.

Of course A.A. is a religion. Half of the 12 Steps talk about God. That is the same ratio as the Ten Commandments, half of which talk about God.

Now I know that Bill Wilson said that A.A. was not a religion. But he was simply lying in order to get more recruits into his new cult. That is a common cult practice. Cult routinely claim, "Not a religion. Just a philosophy of life. Just a fellowship. Just a civic organization." The Moonies pulled the same stunt on Steve Hassan. Look here.

Then Bill Wilson even wrote in the Big Book that he had an ulterior motive, that his real purpose was something other than recovery from alcoholism:

At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not an end in itself. Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Into Action, page 77.

That is a religion.

Then, if you want proof positive that Alcoholics Anonymous is a religion, try reading Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, especially the crazy sermon where Bill Wilson declared that the Seven Deadly Sins lead to alcoholism.

Also see these bait-and-switch tricks:

It is not irresponsible to criticize quack medicine that kills more people than it helps. The claim that my criticism of A.A. is "irresponsible" and might kill alcoholics is a very old line that A.A. members routinely use to try to avoid hearing the truth. Look here for many more of them. But since A.A. does not work at all, and just raises the death rate, telling the truth about A.A. is not hurting people, it is helping them.

Feel free to rebut my criticism of A.A. If you have any actual facts that I don't know, then I'd like to hear them. But please, how about real facts, not A.A. misinformation and nonsensical slogans, like the slogan that says that A.A. is "spiritual, not religious", and junk like that.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "The power of accurate observation is frequently
**      called cynicism by those who don't have it."
**        == George Bernard Shaw (1856—1950)

[The next letter from Brian_R is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters262.html#Mike_M ]

Date: Thu, September 15, 2011 4:57 pm     (answered 19 September 2011)
From: "Mike M."
Subject: Orange Papers

Dear Mr. Orange,

Your "Cult Test" is simply the best attempt to define what constitutes a "cult" that I've ever seen.

Hello Mike,

Thank you for the letter, and thanks for the compliment.

You may be aware of this already, but I'll state it anyway:

One of your points, #25, is "Deceptive Recruiting". Per your fascinating and revealing look at AA's origins in Frank Buchman's teachings, I wondered if Buchman deliberately let his cult be called "The Oxford Group," since it sounds so much like "The Oxford MOVEMENT". The latter was a movement within the 19th Century Church of England to restore the sacraments, liturgy, apostolic heritage and other "Catholic" elements to Anglicanism. By the time Buchman first started his cult in England, the Oxford Movement had become an important part of Anglican history and theology, and had birthed the faction within the Church called "Anglo-Catholicism". Of course, High Mass and "house parties" have little in common, but the similar names may have lent respectability to the Oxford Groups.

Oh, yes. The stealing of the prestige of the "Oxford" name was quite deliberate. Contemporaries complained that Frank Buchman had no claim on the name Oxford, and Buchman just basking in unearned reflected glory. They said that it would be more accurate for Buchman to name his organization "The Penn State Group" or "The Kuling China Group". Look here.

And there was more: the historical Oxford Group, which was formed a hundred years earlier to define the philosophy and practices of the Church of England, had just celebrated its 100-year anniversary, so the "Oxford Group Movement" name was still fresh in people's minds when Buchman appropriated the name. I'm sure that he benefited from the confusion that caused.

(A parallel here would be Scientology's NARCONON, which *sounds* like "Narcotics Anonymous," but is, as we both know, has nothing to do with 12-Stepping, and is just another front for the Rondroids.)

Yes. That is a name rip-off too.

Thanks for time, and for your many insights about cultism.



Thanks again, and you have a good day too.

== Orange

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

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters262.html#Katie_S ]

Date: Fri, September 16, 2011 10:32 am     (answered 19 September 2011)
From: Katie S.
Subject: Is AA a Cult?

Wow, Orange. You've obviously put a lot of time and energy into debunking AA. AA has never claimed to be the "only way" to achieve meaningful sobriety but it has worked for many people, so what's the rub? No one makes a person join; that's a personal choice. No one makes anyone leave (that, too, is a personal choice) and a person is always welcome back if they choose to return. AA doesn't go out and recruit members; they show up on AA's doorstep whether voluntarily or at the urging of family members or the courts.

Hello Katie,

Thanks for the letter. Yes, A.A. claims to be the only way.

Now I know that Bill Wilson made some statements that sounded enlightened and open-minded, about how A.A. has no monopoly, and A.A. isn't "the only way by which faith may be acquired", but that was just P.R. fluff to fool the outsiders into joining. After they joined, the story changed. That is Deceptive Recruiting, and it's a bait-and-switch trick.

Upon therapy for the alcoholic himself, we surely have no monopoly.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Foreword, page xxi.

We have no desire to convince anyone that there is only one way by which faith can be acquired.   ...
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, There Is A Solution, page 28.

(Changing the goal from "quit drinking" to "acquire faith" is another bait-and-switch trick.)

But then the story changed to:

Any willing newcomer feels sure A.A. is the only safe harbor for the foundering vessel he has become.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 35.

... you may be suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer.     ...
At first some of us tried to avoid the issue, hoping against hope we were not true alcoholics. But after a while we had to face the fact that we must find a spiritual basis of life — or else.

The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, page 44.

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

Look here for more:

  1. Bait and Switch: First, Bill Wilson declared that Alcoholics Anonymous was only one of many ways to achieve sobriety, then he declared that it was The Only Way.

  2. The Cult Test: Insistence that the cult is THE ONLY WAY

Speaking of which, if someone is forced to do something they don't really want to do (like attend AA at the judge's request), it seems natural they'd look for any reason to discredit the program. AA meetings today are full of resentful people coerced into attending by the judicial system. Many are drug addicts, not alcoholics, but they're told to attend anyway. The founders of AA were desperate, low-bottom drunks facing insanity or death if they couldn't stay sober. The gift of desperation is what's missing in many of the people in AA today, whether they're attending voluntarily or coerced into attending.

That is a good example of the propaganda and debating trick called Ad Hominem — just attack the critic and call him names and slander him, rather than honestly addressing the issues that he talks about.

FYI: I am not a convict, or a low-life, and I have over 10 years of sobriety without A.A. or any other lying cult religion. I also have over 10 years off of cigarettes and any other drugs. I'm quite happy, and I keep myself sober by using simple common sense, like that dying of alcohol poisoning is really painful and no fun at all.

Then you claimed that "The founders of AA were desperate, low-bottom drunks facing insanity or death if they couldn't stay sober." That does not make them qualified to design an alcohol addiction treatment program. The fact that they were such desperate, mentally-ill nutcases makes them very unqualified. And their answer was sheer insanity: Join a cult religion and become obsessed with it — become a religiomaniac.

I cannot fathom why you would spend so much time and energy discrediting AA unless it's negatively impacted you in some way. If it works for others, let it.

The reason is very simple: A.A. kills more people than it helps. Foisting ineffective quack medicine and cult religion on sick people and lying to them about how well it works — or rather, does not work — is a despicable crime.

For more about the "why?" question, look here:

  1. the introduction, my introduction to A.A.
  2. the "treatment" bait-and-switch trick
  3. another friend goes missing

Katie S, a grateful member of AA

Have a good day, Katie.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*               Agent Orange              *
*          [email protected]       *
*      AA and Recovery Cult Debunking     *
*      https://www.orange-papers.info/      *
**     "...AA certainly functions as a cult and systematically
**     indoctrinates its members in ways common to cults the
**     world over.  ...in the absence of proven scientific
**     efficacy, critics are legitimate in suggesting that
**     mandated AA attendance may be criticized as a failure
**     of proper separation between church and state."
**     == A.A. Trustee Prof. Dr. George E. Vaillant,
**     The Natural History Of Alcoholism Revisited, page 266.

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters262.html#David_P ]

Date: Fri, September 16, 2011 11:02 pm     (answered 19 September 2011)
From: "David P"
Subject: How smart people can believe dumb things,

I've always loved your site. You might be interested in this. I've been baffled about how I keep finding very smart people in AA who have absolutely no desire to think objectively about what is going on there. This post and some of the links might explain it. On different parts of your site you talk about how AA attracts fascistic/authoritarian types. So here it all gets tied together.


Kind Regards,
David P.

Hello David,

Thanks for the link. Yes, that's good. And it just goes to show that even bright people can be foolish and indulge in wishful thinking.

The line about

your views about childrearing, e.g., whether you prefer whether you prefer "respectful, mannerly, and well-behaved children" rather than "independent, curious, and considerate children"
really rings a bell. That is the story of my life. My authoritarian military-sergeant alcoholic father wanted only the former.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Smart people are very good at rationalizing things
**      they came to believe for non-smart reasons."
**        ==  author unknown

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters262.html#Robin_F ]

Date: Sat, September 17, 2011 7:32 am     (answered 19 September 2011)
From: "Robin F."

Just wondering, what exactly is the point of "The other women"?

Hello Robin,

Thanks for the question. And the answer is simple: To tell the truth about "The Founder", and to show that he was a complete fraud in every respect. He was not a prophet or a spiritual man or even a wise man, and he was not "in constant contact with God" when he did Step 11, and he certainly had no business lecturing other people about God. In his monomaniacal pursuit of self-aggrandizement, he didn't even care about hurting sick women who came to A.A. for help.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Bill Wilson on alcoholics:
**     "They are not at fault. They seem to have been born that way.
**     They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a
**     manner of living which demands rigorous honesty."
**       ==  William G. Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous, page 58.

[The next letter from Robin_F is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters262.html#Marcus_C ]

Date: Sat, September 17, 2011 4:08 pm     (answered 19 September 2011)
From: "marcus c."
Subject: Article on brainwashing as teen substance-abuse treatment


Thanks for all you do!

I would appreciate any comments you have on this article.

I'd be honored if you felt it was worthy of a place on your website.



Hello Marcus,

Thanks for the link, and congratulations on a great article. I really like your core point: "What harm is that abusive treatment doing?"

And I think you are quite right when you say that the damage done by abusive or "confrontational" therapy has not been medically studied. I haven't seen any valid tests. Abusing children is obviously something that the abusers do not want studied.

I've also written about that subject some, here: Boot Camps: Children's Gulags.

And of course there is Maia's book: Help at Any Cost, by Maia Szalavitz. And she had an article in TIME magazine a few years ago. We discussed that here.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The mass media become the authority at any given
**     moment for what is true and what is false, what is
**     reality and what is fantasy, what is important and
**     what is trivial. There is no greater force in shaping
**     the public mind; even brute force triumphs only by
**     creating an accepting attitude toward the brutes.
**       —  Ben Bagdikian (The Media Monopoly)

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters262.html#Bob_O ]

Date: Fri, September 16, 2011 2:25 pm     (answered 19 September 2011)
From: Bob O.
Subject: Addiction Treatment Scam

Mister T, I know you have read many articles about addiction treatment but I would like to refer you to another short one if you have not seen it. "Can Addiction Treatment Fix You, or is it a Scam?" in


I can only hope the address is correct.

Thank you for all you do.
Long Island Bob O.

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the link. That is a very good article. And the URL is correct.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Dictators: Do your subjects exhibit Oppositional Defiance Disorder?
**     Do your rabble show disrepect, defiance, or disobedience?
**     You can participate in this new study where your trouble-makers
**     will receive free treatment — a $500 value — in exchange for
**     just a little of your oil.

July 20, 2011, Wednesday, a side trip to the Fernhill Wetlands this summer:

Mama Duck + ducklings
Mama Duck Plus Ducklings


[The story of Carmen continues here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters262.html#David_J ]

Date: Sun, September 18, 2011 5:48 pm     (answered 19 September 2011)
From: "David J."
Subject: Thank you...

Agent Orange,

my name is David (this is on my moms computer and her name is Carol).

I left AA about 4-6 months ago(and I have left about 12 times always dedicated to never returning). I started wanting to go for some reason tonight when I know exactly what the nonsense meeting would be like.

I had a motorcycle accident at the beginning of the week (and I was stone cold sober) and I have been on Vicaden all week (prescribed by the doctor). They would accuse me of being drunk when the accident happened (even though it was verified that I was sober) and they would try to play doctor telling me what I should or shouldn't be doing with my medication-even though I am out of Vicaden and I have no desire to get any more. I got scraped up pretty bad, no broken bones, not paralyzed so I came out alright.

I ended up not going and coming home to read stuff from your anti AA websight. Again, thank you for what you do.


PS: how long does it take to be totally free of all emotional attachment to AA? I am a Nichiren Buddhist so everything in my religious beliefs are in total opposition to what AA teaches (IE:I am my higher power, I keep myself sober by chanting). Yet, once in a blue moon this still comes up, and I was in AA for about 10 years. I don't EVER want to go back and I want to be totally free because I see that cult for what it really is. Also, I'm not an SGI member any more (for the same types of reasons).

Hello David,

Thank you for the letter and the compliments. I suspect that part of what you call "the emotional attachment to A.A." may actually be just the normal human need to socialize. (And you won't ever get over that.) Please check out "the other groups" that teach safe and sane recovery methods. I just made the list into a separate file, here. You may find some sensible and rational companionship there. You can hang out with those people even if you don't need saving. I think you will find some good people there. I did.

Speaking of which, it sounds like you are doing well. You aren't addicted to opiates and you didn't nearly kill yourself by driving drunk. Congratulations, and please keep it up.

You noticed how the A.A. people put you down. That is common. It's another standard A.A. bait-and-switch trick. At A.A., they say that they want to take away the stigma of alcoholism and give you hope. But then they tell you that you have a disease that can't ever be cured and you are just a selfish dishonest disgusting sinner who is in denial, lying about "your disease", and you have a thinking problem, etc...

That drives some people to suicide. No thanks.

I'm glad to hear that you got out of SGI. I was in it for a short while too, and also came to the conclusion that it was a cult. I described it in a few places, like here and here and here and here and here.

Now I still love Buddhism. I just don't belong to any group or organization.

About the chanting: I'd mix some silent Buddhist meditation in with the chanting, for a change of pace and style. Baba Ram Dass taught meditating on a candle flame. You just look at the candle flame, and count your breaths. In, one, then out, then In, two, then out. And so on until you discover that some stray thought has grabbed your attention and dragged it away, into the past or the future or somewhere else. You were at 58, and now it is suddenly 72, and you have been somewhere else. You just note what it was that got your attention — DO NOT condemn yourself or criticize yourself — then turn your attention back to the flame, and go back to breathing and counting. You might do a hundred or a few hundred, morning, or evening, or both.

The reason for not condemning yourself for being a bad meditator is because it is counter-productive. (Never mind the fact that we all have to start where we are.) If you get into criticizing yourself, then instead of looking at the candle flame, you will go off on a tangent about how bad you are and how hopeless this is, and it will take forever to get good at this, and on and on... Don't waste your time and energy doing that.

Just make a note of what grabbed your awareness and go back to the candle flame.

The reason for noting what grabbed your attention is because you are reconnecting the thread of awareness, and you are learning about your desires. You are seeing what has the power to grab your attention. You will eventually map out and learn about all of your desires.

The goal is just to increase your ability to stay here and now. It's an exercise, not much different from doing pushups and pull-ups, except that this one works on the muscle between your ears.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Reason is not automatic.
**     Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it.
**       ==  Ayn Rand

[The next letter from David_J is here.]

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Last updated 23 November 2012.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters262.html