Letters, We Get Mail, CCXCV

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters295.html#Kevin_B ]

Date: Sun, March 11, 2012 7:59 pm     (answered 16 March 2012)
From: "Kevin B."
Subject: Orange Papers?

It is truly mindblowing that you devote SO much time, energy and internet space to railing against a program that is helping millions of people. Seriously. Think about that....

Sounds like you have WAYYY too much time on your hands and/or need to get a life or a hobby. It's hilarious, really! Wow...

Hello Kevin,

I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying the web site so much.

But you are misinformed on one point: A.A. does not even have two million members, never mind "helping millions", and the evidence is that A.A. harms more people than it helps. A.A. does not raise the sobriety rate in alcoholics at all, but it does raise the death rate. We talked about this before. You can read about the doctors' reports 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.

[The next letter from Kevin_B is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters295.html#Yolanda_G ]

Date: Tue, March 13, 2012 4:44 pm     (answered 16 March 2012)
From: "yolanda g."
Subject: AA What's not good

Hi Orange,

I read your paper about AA: What's Not Good, wow it's incredible what you say is true. I wanted to read a little bit about AA and what else it involved, my husband joined AA about a year ago, he started attending 2 hours everyday in the evenings, and they started giving him stuff to do, like cleaning, making food, picking up people to join, going to other AA centers to talk about the program, (he has a sponsor now), he now has to ask his sponsor for everything he wants to do, believe it or not he even said once he had to ask his sponsor if it was ok to have sex with me. Later he said it was a joke but I started thinking what if it is true? he now leaves right from work at 5:30 pm and sometimes doesn't return until 11pm, he's hardly at home when I get home from work he's gone, he eats dinner at his group because they take turns at taking dinner for eveyone, he said they told him it's ok if he doesn't eat with his family, that there is food there at the group for him. I don't know what to do, at least when he drank he only did it on weekends now I hardly see him, I am really worried do you know what I can do or what other place he can go?

Hello Yolanda,

Thank you for the letter, and I'm sorry to hear about your troubles.

Yes, you are right to be concerned. He is obsessed with his A.A. group, and it has become his new life. They are taking up far too much of his time. Two hours per day is way, way too much. Moderate A.A. members recommend one meeting per week. And he even eats at the group? Now that is a new extreme that I had not heard before.

The line about not having sex with you is not a joke. A.A. sponsors routinely tell new A.A. members that they cannot have sex for the first year. Then they tell the sponsee to have sex with a woman in A.A., and they denigrate the wife and tell him to dump her because she is a drag on his sobriety. They try to make A.A. his entire life. A.A. is good at breaking up marriages.

I have lots of A.A. horror stories that talk about things like that. Here are a few:

  1. ...he's not only stopped drinking, he's stopped living.

  2. ...we are getting divorced, and I think it all comes down to her sponsor and AA indoctrination...

  3. ...a married lady who is being pressured to essentially cheat on her husband by members of her NA group.

  4. The Q Group: Young women have been raped by much older men. My old sponsor had sex with a 14 year old girl and he is in his 30's. He acted like it was no big deal. I mentioned to him that such things are wrong. He said "who says so"...

  5. her sponsor forbid her from seeing me for thirty days... and at the end of the 30 days I was told by my now ex that I could never talk to her again

  6. For years I watched my beautiful gentle husband turn into someone I don't know or like.

There are more here: the list of A.A. horror stories.

Fortunately, there are other, much better, non-cultish recovery groups. Here is the list:
You will not find meetings of every group in every city, but you can check their web sites to see where they have meetings. And many of them have online forums and chat groups.

Now whether you can get him to give up A.A. and go to another group is a big question. It sounds like they have their claws into him pretty good. It's an open question whether he will choose you or the cult.

Have a good day now, I hope.

== Orange

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

[The next letter from Yolanda_G is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters295.html#Ray_S ]

Date: Tue, March 13, 2012 5:48 pm     (answered 16 March 2012)
From: "Ray S."
Subject: meds

I was just reading Susan's letter where she states she has never heard an AA member telling another not to take medications. She most likely never heard it because she hasn't told AA members she is taking medications.

I've had people swear up and down that the people in THEIR homegroup would welcome me as an atheist with open arms. I got tired of proving them wrong.

Alcoholics Anonymous and the Use of Medications to Prevent Relapse: An Anonymous Survey of Member Attitudes

Robert G. Rychtarik, Gerard J. Connors, Kurt H. Dermen, Paul R. Stasiewicz

Objective: The purpose of this study was to systematically assess the attitudes of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) members toward the newer medications used to prevent relapse (e.g., naltrexone) and to assess their experiences with medication use, of any type, in AA.

Method: Using media solicitations and snowball sampling techniques, 277 AA members were surveyed anonymously about their attitudes toward use of medication for preventing relapse and their experiences with medication use of any type in AA.

Results: Over half the sample believed the use of relapse-preventing medication either was a good idea or might be a good idea.

Only 17% believed an individual should not take it and only 12% would tell another member to stop taking it. Members attending relatively more meetings in the past 3 months had less favorable attitudes toward the medication. Almost a third (29%) reported personally experiencing some pressure to stop a medication (of any type).

However, 69% of these continued taking the medication.

Conclusions: The study did not find strong, widespread negative attitudes toward medication for preventing relapse among AA members. Nevertheless, some discouragement of medication use does occur in AA. Though most AA members apparently resist pressure to stop a medication, when medication is prescribed a need exists to integrate it within the philosophy of 12-step treatment programs.

(J. Stud. Alcohol 61: 134-138, 2000)
http://www.jsad.com/jsad/article/Alcoholics_Anonymous_and_the_Use_of_Medications _to_Prevent_Relapse_An_Anon/730.html

Hello Ray,

Thanks for the document. That is very interesting. The authors are apparently trying to downplay the A.A. "no-medications" problem. They are pretty good at the minimization-and-denial tapdance. "Only 17%" are opposed to medications, and "only 12%" will tell another member not to take medications? But 34% of the people in A.A. got pressured to quit taking their medications? Apparently the 12% of hardcore nutcases talk to many other people and pressure them to quit taking medications. But of course. And it only takes one bad sponsor to kill a newcomer. Or two or three newcomers.

The question for me is why it is an issue at all. If an A.A. sponsor was to walk into a modern hospital and start lecturing the doctors and patients about how they should not use medications because "Meds quiet the still small voice of God!", he just might get carried away by the guys in white coats and given some medications himself.

Honestly, how in this day and age can we have courts sentencing people to a cult that preaches faith healing and rejects modern medicine?

Another problem I have with this study is the generalization of medications. The authors hinted that Naltrexone was being debated by the A.A. members, but I've heard of people being told not to take all kinds of medications, including anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, heart medications, and blood pressure medications. And there have been many medical disasters when people quit taking those medications. The way that some fundamentalist A.A. members try to generalize all medications as "just drugs that silence the voice of God" is an insanely dangerous attitude. And it's also a moronically stupid attitude that could only be promoted by an ignorant fool. Again, we have illiterate boozers trying to play doctor.

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

P.S.: An earlier, much longer discussion of this issue was here:

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The miserable have no other medicine,
**     But only hope.
**       ==  William Shakespeare (1564—1616),
**           Measure For Measure, Act III, Sc. I, line 2

UPDATE: There is now a whole file of "no meds" A.A. horror stories, here:
https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-no_meds.html == A.A. "No Meds" Stories.

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters295.html#Charles_H ]

Date: Wed, March 14, 2012 3:35 am     (answered 16 March 2012)
From: charles h.
Subject: Message

I've read and analyzed all of the opinions.
There are counter experiences.
I will not defend AA or the unpleasant experiences,point of fact I agree.

My experience with AA was as still is a process... I'm a better person prior to attending AA, a kind of B.F. Skinner approach to behavior modification.
Instead of going to a bar for fellowship.
I went to an AA meeting.
For 1 hour people read and talked.
In a bar people read,talk, eat, & drink ETOH ... And some people can't stop drinking or when drinking get in to trouble.
To day I go to bars and just don't consume ETOH ... However it's very interesting how people act while under the influence of ETOH... For what ever reason I just don't consume ETOH and life has improved 100% and if I work the 12 steps as written word for word in the first 164 pages of the Big Book I'll have 200% or better of a life.

With regard to your characterization of AA as a CULT that's not my experience.
And frankly it saved my life and many others,I'm a retied professional Fire Fighter and we have seen what happens to people who consume ETOH and then something happens,lots of things,some good but mostly tragic... Now try just for moment to Ask yourself where an alternative readily available cost free place to go to arrest the compulsion to stop consuming ETOH and we will gladly attend.If you do not have an alternative exactly said above,then your complaints about AA offer no alternative. The fact is you don't have a cost free alternative .... Do you ?

As I said previously I will not defend AA or the negative experiences you and your readers have had, I agree with you.

How here's the problem people are suffering a slow death and adversely effecting all whom they come in contact with... Sometimes even Death,Prison or Homicide, not to mention the effects on children... So just may be you may want to reevaluate your views... Counting the costs vs the benefits,always coupled with sound competent comprehensive medical treatment from your private physician.

I believe this is all clearly written in The Big Book, if all else fails .. Read the directions

Hello Charles,

Thank you for the letter. I'm glad to hear that you got a grip and quit drinking. Congratulations.

That is quite an apology for A.A. This line stands out:

Counting the costs vs the benefits, always coupled with sound competent comprehensive medical treatment from your private physician.

So what are the benefits of A.A.-based treatment? What the doctors found is, A.A. totally failed to get the alcoholics to quit drinking, and just raised the death rate in alcoholics. And raised the rate of binge drinking, and raised the rate of rearrests, and raised the cost of hospitalization. But of course. How could a cult religion possibly cure a "deadly disease"?

Thus, the Big Book does not contain any directions for living the good life. It is just Bill Wilson's rewrite of Dr. Frank Buchman's old Oxford Group cult religion.

We talked about this before. You can read about the doctors' reports here.

Of course I have a cost-free alternative to A.A., many of them in fact. And they are not just "alternatives" to A.A., they are much better methods that are based on facts and rational thinking and medicine and science, not on the teachings of an old Nazi sympathizer. Here is the list of names and addresses:

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     We've been brainwashed with wrong information,
**     and now we gotta get good information.
**       ==  Dr. Joel Fuhrman

May 27, 2009, Wednesday:

Portland Navy The Portland Navy: Dragon Boats, Pleasure Boats, and One Submarine

Canada Goose family
The Family of 9, browsing

Canada Goose family
The Family of 9, browsing

[More gosling photos below, here.]

[The previous letter from Meatbag is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters295.html#Meatbag ]

Date: Wed, March 14, 2012 6:46 pm     (answered 16 March 2012)
From: "Meatbag"
Subject: Re: Holy Motherfucking Shit

Interesting. I've never had psychotherapy before, just meds and different variations on CBT. Still, even in non-abusive situations, therapists and psychiatrists have power over their patients, and the good ones are aware of this. It's way too easy for patients to become dependent on the therapists, instead of gradually needing less therapy.

Hi again, Meatbag,

Yes, addiction to treatment is always a potential problem. Not just addiction to painkillers, but habitutation to all kinds of medications and fixes. Like somebody eats a terrible diet until he gets diabetes, and then he is hooked on treatment for diabetes for the rest of his life.

In the back of my mind, I'm always asking, "Why not just fix the problem so that you don't need the treatment?"

Anyhow, the letters are interesting as usual. Andrew is starting to annoy me, mostly because of this bit:

2) Many of the major components of good mental health are subjective. If a person feels subjectively fulfilled, is full of hope and feel as if they meet life's challenges, they have met many substantial criteria of being mentally healthy. In my opinion, people who may be diagnosed as sick by the powers-that-be can transcend that. In other words, if a person with Down's Syndrome (incurable physical condition that affects the intellect) can effectively cope with the existential dilemma that life has given them, they may be mentally healthy despite their objective medical condition.

Where to begin? Look, I've actually met someone with Down's Syndrome. She was an average teenage girl, with interests typical of many in our age group. She got angry or sad occasionally, like any other human being. It's not an existential dilemma. Children with Down's may be more difficult to raise than most children, but there's nothing tragic about their existence, their lives. To believe otherwise is dangerously close to dehumanizing them.

Oh, and that is an oversimplification of mental health. Sure, plenty of mentally healthy people feel that way. So do many bipolar people when they're in a manic state. So do some schizophrenic people. And mentally healthy people do not feel that way all of the time. Everybody occasionally feels like life is taking a massive shit on them, regardless of mental health. That alone does not indicate depression (now if it's more than "occasionally", we can talk).

Right. As if mental health equals supreme happiness.

It's interesting to note that Sigmund Freud thought that people could not be all that happy. Freud thought that happiness came from getting what you want. Well, it just isn't possible to be getting everything you want all of the time, and getting big wishes granted constantly, so Freud thought that our ability to be happy was limited to just infrequent occasions. And Freud considered that normal.

Now personally, I am more optimistic than that. I think we can be happy just from contemplating the sky, or a flower, or a cute little gosling. A lot of happiness has to do with your mindset.

Grass Fire's letters are more amusing. You counter his points and demonstrate that AA is bullshit, and he accuses you of worshiping Harvard. Classic. And quite the red herring, too. He does realize that you dropped out of Berkeley, right? Although you would probably do great at Harvard if you went now.

Yes, they do come up with some incredible lines, don't they? Worshipping Harvard? Really.

And "Grass Fire" apparently forgot that Prof. George E. Vaillant is also at Harvard, and I strongly criticize his goofy pro-A.A. scribblings. I sure don't worship at Vaillant's temple.

Anyhow, hope you've had a happy March so far.

Yes, so far so good. The weather is slowly getting better, and the geese have returned from the South, so things are looking up.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Washington politicians have declared that Iran would pose
**     a serious threat to world security, if there was any.

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters295.html#William_N ]

Date: Fri, March 9, 2012 1:15 pm     (answered 15 March 2012)
From: "william N."
Subject: LSD Therapy

Hi Terry,

Hope all is well. I have a bit of an update on the halfway house I was taking to ask, Freedom House, in Glen Gardner, NJ. They're the ones that tried to destroy my brain. Last we spoke, I told you a local reporter was looking into all the claims I've made in these pages — no time to rehash them now. Well, he poked around, got half a story and then bailed out it. I think it got too complicated for him, and wasn't "sexy enough" you know? He kept asking me to provide more and more info — I said to him, "Hey, aren't YOU the reporter? That's your job..."

More recently I read that Freedom House was going to close because it was part of the property of a state-run mental hospital, and the hospital is now slated to be shuttered. The main reason they will have to close is because they were getting their electrical power from the mental hospital's generators — so when the hospital goes, so do they.

However — and you will find this interesting — they state has decided use one of the vacated hospital buildings as a domicle for veterans. So, since power will still be generated, Freedom House will still be in business. Talk about mixed emotions! I think it's great we're recycling the building, but it's not so great that Freedom House still gets to do its 12-step thing. Too bad.

Supposedly Freedom House has a year with this new arrangement to find a new home — and they will.


I forgot to include this link in my previous email — got off track ragging about Freedom House.

Anyway, I couldn't belive this article. This was my original topic — Here it is:


Hello Bill,

Thanks for the update. You know, it occurs to me that you could have some influence on Freedom House's occupation of the property by writing about your experiences at the so-called "treatment center" and sending the letters to various people in positions of power and influence. You could also write a letter to the editor, or even better, write your own article for the newspaper. If that other reporter won't do his job, replace him. Don't overlook the Veterans' Administration. General Shinseki (sp?) runs it now.

About the LSD thereapy: This is an old question, one that dates back to the 'sixties. I think that Timothy Leary was involved in some of the earliest experiments to see if LSD could help alcoholics to break out of the habit.

Personally, I have very mixed feelings on the subject. Now I've taken LSD a couple of hundred times, and also most all of the other psychedelic drugs too, and I don't see LSD as a panacea. I think that LSD could help some people to snap out of addicted lives, under the right circumstances, but only under the right conditions. I've also seen people take a lot of LSD and go on to worse drugs. Heck, I went from LSD and pot to alcohol and tobacco. (Bad move.)

The first thing that I would stress is that it is not just a matter of dosing people with a chemical and expecting good results. There are three components to every LSD trip:

  1. the chemical itself — LSD.
  2. the person's mindset.
  3. the environment — the setting.

In some properly-done studies, the mindset was established by counseling the alcoholics for the day before the trip, preparing them.

The setting is really important. If someone gets LSD and has a profound vision of a better life, all gains can be quickly undone by his returning to his former home and environment and habits, and slipping back into his old behavior and his old addictions and his previous life. The pull of old habits is really strong.

If someone has a profound experience, he can get lifted into a state where he is a new personality, and he doesn't quite know who he is now. And he is very vulnerable. He is wide-open to suggestion, and his new personality is weak and shakey and not firmly established yet. If he returns to his old world, his surroundings and old friends will tell him who he is, and that will be his old personality. So he just gets shoved back into his old life, and his old behavior.

I think that the best setting would be a remote farm or mountain camp where the alcoholic is separated from his former life forever. He just doesn't go back. The LSD experience would merely be the doorway into a new life.

And the new life should be beautiful. Lots of trees and fields and nature and wood and stone, or old brick, things that are very sensuous and visually appealing, because in the hypersensitive LSD state, he's going to be seeing everything, and he will either fall in love with the world around him, or be repulsed by it. He will tend to see his new world as either heaven or hell. Better for him to see Heaven, and want to live in this new world.

That means that the counselors must be specially trained. They must be positive and understanding and cheerful, and never condemning. The last thing you want are A.A.-style counselors who start harping on how bad he is, and how he must list and confess his sins and defects of character, and how he is are powerless over alcohol. That would again just shove somebody back into his old personality again, as well as killing the joy of his breakthrough.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Turn on, tune in, drop out."
**       ==  Dr. Timothy Leary

May 27, 2009, Wednesday, Downtown Portland, Waterfront Park:

Canada Goose gosling
A Baby of the Family of 9.

Canada Goose family
The Family of 9, browsing.

Canada Goose family browsing
The Family of 9, browsing on the slope by the marina

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters295.html#Hetu-Ahin ]

Date: Thu, March 8, 2012 2:58 am     (answered 15 March 2012)
From: "Hetu-Ahin"
Subject: secular AA

Hi, Orange,

It does look as though the Roadies are running quite a number of cult groups in London now. Scary stuff. Now they — unlike AA — really are a cult.

Hello again, Hetu-Ahin,

All of A.A. is a cult. Some groups are simply more militant and obnoxious than others.

There is a lot of secular activity in AA.

Have a look at Ed and Jan in here.


Official AA literature that.

Hello again, Hetu-Ahin,

Thanks for the letter.

Let's see, Ed says he was an atheist. Was that your point? It sounds like a rehash of the story of Ed, the village atheist whose story Bill Wilson refused to put in the first edition of the Big Book because Ed didn't parrot Bill's religion. Bill Wilson didn't put Ed's story in the Big Book until he had a mental breakdown and flipped out and became a true believer in Buchmanism. That is the same story here. A.A. fundamentalists love this kind of stuff: Bad boy atheist finally sees the light and come to belief just like us.

[CLARIFICATION HERE: The name "Ed" was false; the story is apparently really the story of Jim Burwell, the resident atheist of A.A., whose story is The Vicious Cycle, which is on pages 238 to 250 of the third edition of the Big Book.]

Then the story of Jan the self-proclaimed agnostic is the same darned story. Doubtful agnostic finally gets converted and comes to believe in a big "Something", and prays to it.

The self-proclaimed atheist is not an atheist, and the self-proclaimed agnostic is not an agnostic. They both begin their stories by describing themselves as atheists and agnostics, but then they explain how A.A. changed their thinking and converted them to the right beliefs.

Those two stories are typical hypocritical A.A. tokenism. Of course they will allow "different" people to have second-class membership in A.A. And of course they love to have poster children to show off: former atheists and agnostics who got converted to the A.A. religion.

The only stories from atheists and agnostics that the A.A. headquarters staff will print in official literature are conversion stories where those stupid atheists and agnostics see the error of their ways and get converted to the A.A. religion. Just like how Ed did. Such stories do not prove how open-minded and tolerant A.A. really is — they show how narrow-minded, bigoted, and hypocritical A.A. really is.

This whole "belief in God" argument shows that A.A. is a cult religion, not a cure for alcoholism. I have never, ever, had a doctor ask me whether I believe in God as he prescribed medications to treat my ailments. Not once, ever. Only cult religions do that.

Dr. Frank Buchman pushed the philosophy that everybody could be one of his slaves, regardless of race, creed, color, religion, culture, sex, or country of national origin. He didn't discriminate. He wanted everybody in the world to grovel before him. Bill Wilson just copied that lesson.

Many of us nonbelievers feel very AA. If you take the 'God' talk out, there is a great deal left for the recovering alcoholic. There is no reason why we should leave. It's good for us, we're good for it.

I have heard that nonbelieves are the fastest growing group within AA.

It's pretty strange to take a cult religion, take the "God" out, and then claim that it's a wonderful organization. Well it is not a cure for alcohol abuse. Everything else is irrelevant.

I notice that you think that tradition three has a downside in that it allows in everyone including pervets, murderers etc.. I am deeply proud of my membership of such an organization. These people are people, and they deserve help, just as they have a right to health care. I haven't met any perverts or whatever myself. I have met a few criminals — dealers in particular — in the drug fellowships. All reformed, partly thanks to AA, I believe.

There is a real problem with letting any pervert or criminal act as a sponsor or counselor and advise sick people who are trying to recover. (Look at my so-called counselor.)

Deeply proud of your membership? That is also typical cult fare. You have no reason to be proud. It isn't like you had to work hard and train hard and pass lots of tests to qualify for membership. It isn't like membership is an honor reserved for the good people. No, it's just a club where absolutely anybody — any criminal or pervert or wierdo or dangerous psychopath — can walk in and sit down and say that he is a member.

The reason that you are proud of your A.A. membership is because the cult tells you that you are special, and the cult is special, and the teachings of the guru ("Founder") are special, and you have a special ticket to Heaven (or to "spirituality", or whatever you want to call it.)

I agree that everybody, even the criminals, deserve good medical care and help with their addictions. That's why they should not go to Alcoholics Anonymous. A.A. is not medical treatment, nor is it psychiatric treatment, and A.A. does not work as a treatment for alcohol abuse or drug addiction.

Your belief that some criminals rehabilitated themselves because of A.A. is without any foundation. When Dr. Keith Ditman tested A.A., he found that it increased the rate of rearrests.

Why do you hate AA so much? You think people like me are brainwahsed. I wonder what it is about you that makes you see nothing but bad in such a large a complex phenomenon as AA. Did you have bad experiences with them?



The reason that I dislike A.A. is because A.A. is a fraud that hurts and deceives sick people. A.A. foists quackery on sick people and lies to them about what it is and how well it works. And that is an especially despicable crime.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but
**     the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not.
**        ==  Eric Hoffer (1902 — 1983)

[The next letter from Hetu-Ahin is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters295.html#iamnotastatistic ]

Date: Tue, March 13, 2012 1:50 pm     (answered 16 March 2012)
From: "iamnotastatistic"
Subject: NIAAA studies on treatment and recovery

Hi Orange,

Some good papers on treatment and recovery:


Recovery From DSM—IV Alcohol Dependence.

Analysis of 2002 NESARC data in this report shows the following:

  • 1. Recovery involving low risk drinking accounts for approximately half of all cases of full (5+yrs) recovery. So much for AA's "once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic" theory.
  • 2. The rate of natural, untreated (professional and AA) recovery was 24.4% per year! Can AA claim a success rate as impressive as that?



The past and future of research on treatment of alcohol dependence.

Quite a critical report by Mark Willenbring on current treatment systems based on AA/12 Steps/Minnesota model. Among other things it has the following to say:

  • 1. "About three-quarters of people with alcohol dependence reduce or stop drinking without any kind of professional treatment or even interaction with a community support group such as AA."
  • 2. "Alcohol dependence is not inevitably progressive..."
  • 3. "It appears that for most study participants the change process began before entering treatment, often by weeks (Penberthy et al. 2007), and often includes stopping or nearly stopping drinking prior to study entry. Thus, treatment entry may be a result of change rather than an instigator of it."
  • 4. "More than 90 percent of U.S. treatment programs currently offer group counseling and referral to AA, without access to medications or evidence-based behavioral treatment (McLellan and Meyers 2004)."
  • 5. "For alcohol dependence, however, patients often undergo multiple courses of rehabilitation even when it is completely ineffective for a particular person simply because no alternatives are available."
  • 6. "...there is a disconnect between what has been discovered through research and what is actually implemented in everyday practice, or, for that matter, what can be implemented given the state of the treatment system."


    Hello again, Iamnotastatistic,

    Thanks for the documents. Yes, that is good stuff. Very impressive.

    The first one is the famous Deborah A. Dawson study. I discussed that some time back, here. She actually found that the statistics showed that treatment (mostly A.A., of course,) lowered the success rate of alcoholics trying to quit drinking. But there was one big confounding factor: The people who got treatment were sicker to start with — that is why they got shoved into treatment. Still, when you are done crunching the numbers, A.A. shows no success rate.

    I love Mark Wellenbring. He just has his head screwed on straight, and he sees what is going on.

    Have a good day now.

    == Orange

    *             [email protected]        *
    *         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
    *          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
    **     Said a clever quack to an educated physician: "How many of the passing multitude,
    **     do you suppose, appreciate the value of science, or understand the impositions
    **     of quackery?"
    **        Not more than one in ten," was the answer.
    **        Well," said the quack, "you may have that one, and I'll have the other nine."
    **            ==  author unknown

    [ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters295.html#Banana ]

    Date: Tue, March 13, 2012 2:16 pm     (answered 18 March 2012)
    From: "Banana"
    Subject: lsd for alcoholism- new article

    Just in case you haven't seen this...



    Hello Banana,

    Thanks for the link. We were just discussing this issue, because another article popped up about the same thing, here:


    Have a good day now.

    == Orange

    *             [email protected]        *
    *         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
    *          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
    **     "One of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous [Bill Wilson]
    **     described to me the transcendental experience he credits
    **     with giving him control over his compulsive drinking.
    **     Years later he took LSD five or six times. This, he
    **     said, reinstated his original ecstasy, and consequently
    **     he wishes that LSD were more available to alcoholics."
    **     == Walter Houston Clark. Chemical Ecstasy: Psychedelic
    **     Drugs and Religion, p 101. Sheed & Ward, New York, 1969.
    **     Note: Bill took LSD for two years, not just 5 or 6 times.

    [ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters295.html#Kathy_D ]

    Date: 2012-03-17     (answered 18 March 2012)
    From: Kathy D.

    Just for starters are you an atheist?
    What motivated your work?
    Do you have a history in AA?
    How long did it take you to compile this information?

    I'm on the cutting edge of something. You may or may not see the value, but I was curious about you and how your work came to be.


    Kathy D.

    Hi Kathy,

    Pardon me for answering in HTML format, but that makes the links work.

    The answers are:

    1. No, I'm not an atheist. I just don't believe in Santa Claus. I don't believe that you can get whatever you want just by begging a ghost to give it to you. I believe that the Lord helps those who help themselves.

    2. What motivated my work? I went to an outpatient "treatment program for alcoholism" and was shocked to find that having raving nutcases foisting their favorite cult religion on sick people was being passed off as "treatment" for a "disease" over which I was "powerless", and it was being paid for by the financially-strapped Oregon Health Plan.

      In my case, I got a dogmatic fool for a counselor who gave us a xeroxed section of a Narcotics Anonymous workbook, that he called a "First Step", that probed into our lives so intrusively that it even included a whole page of questions about our masturbation habits. There was no explanation of what that had to do with drinking alcohol. (I still have those pages, and can send you a copy, if you wish.)

      Fortunately, this counselor got sick and needed an operation, so he was replaced by a temporary counselor who had other ideas of a program. So I never did my "First Step". (Nevertheless, I have 11 years clean and sober now, and without any 12-Step cult.)

      Later, I learned that this "counselor" went home each evening after a hard day of indoctrinating us, and snorted cocaine, looked at child pornography on his computer, and then raped his stepchildren.

      He was convicted and sent to prison for two counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor, possession of child pornography, and possession of cocaine in his home, his car, and in his office at the so-called "treatment center". But the Oregon Health Plan didn't get their money back. They paid $1700 per person for that "treatment", and they are broke now. And that same "treatment center" is still in business, still selling quackery as treatment for drug and alcohol problems.

      You can read more about the story here:

      1. the introduction, my introduction to A.A.
      2. the "treatment" bait-and-switch trick
      3. another friend goes missing
      4. history of the Orange Papers, and
      5. creation of the web site

    3. Yes, I have a history in A.A. It is not a long history, about 3 months of intensive A.A. and N.A. meetings. I switched away from A.A. to SMART as soon as I learned that SMART existed.

    4. "How long did it take you to compile this information?"
      Eleven years.

    For some more background information, I recommend these two links:

    1. How did you get to where you are?
    2. Who are you?

    Good luck with your project. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

    Have a good day now.

    == Orange

    *             [email protected]        *
    *         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
    *          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
    **     "People say I give 'em hell. I don't give 'em hell.
    **      I just tell the truth on them and they think it is hell."
    **         ==  Harry Truman

    [ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters295.html#John_McC ]

    Date: 2012.03.17     (answered 19 March 2012)
    From: John McC.

    Dear Mr. McCann,

    I am a certified AOD Counselor that is being FORCED to use your "Matrix" curriculum (in a DUI program, where there are VERY FEW "stimulant-abuse offenders"!). I notice that more then one unit in this "Matrix" curriculum involves teaching the "12 Step Philosophy", which:

    1.) HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RECOVERY FROM ABUSE/DEPENDENCE OF ANY SUBSTANCE (NONE of the 12 Steps even MENTION "recovery" or "sobriety" in them!)

    2.) Promotes the "spiritual-orientation" of said 12 Steps, which, again, have NOTHING TO DO WITH ACQUIRING NOR RECOVERING FROM a "stimulant-use" addiction!

    I would like to know how such BIASED, and NON-SCIENTIFIC BASED learning units are justified in this SAMHSA endorsed curriculum, and WHY there is NO REFERENCE AT ALL to ANY of the NON-12-Step self-help groups (e.g. Secular Organizations for Sobriety, SMART Recovery, Women/Men For Sobrierty, or Moderation Management).

    I look forward to your response to this inquiry.


    John McC., M-RAS, CSC, NCAC-I
    South El Monte, CA

    Hello again, John,

    Thanks for the copy, and good for you. Keep it up.

    And have a good day now.

    == Orange

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

    [The next letter from John_McC includes a response, and it is here.]

    [ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters295.html#Laine_S ]

    Date: 2012.03.17     (answered 19 March 2012)
    From: Laine S.

    Hi Orange,

    I appreciate your posts, and wanted to connect with you about some AA questions.

    I'm in my second round of going on 4 months and I just still don't really get the connection between the steps and not drinking.

    I'm a very practical and logical thinker, so I'm having a hard time just letting it happen. Mind you, I'm not closed to spiritually at all, honestly, so it's not that.

    The sense I get however is that the steps can be great for everyone — like really good therapy for life issues — but I'm not sure how it's supposed to curb us from drinking.

    For my situation personally, last year I had some bouts of heavy drinking, mostly at professional networking mixers, or after work at happy hour. Instead of 1-2 glasses of wine, I'd end up having a lot more. The really bad thing is that I'd drive home like that. This happened maybe once a month. I was also really depressed about my job situation. I told a counselor I had back in L.A. and she recommended that I try AA. Important for you to know too that my older sister passed away 10 years ago from alcoholism, and my mom was a heavy drinker, so it's in the family.

    Here's the deal: I know that I was getting into an unhealthy pattern when I'd over-drink at those functions, and especially drive.

    But now I'm onto step 8 in the program and I still feel like I'm just going through the motions. I go to about 2 meetings a week, and I really like the people there, but the majority of them really hit bottom and lost a lot. I don't relate to that though. My life wasn't a disaster due to drinking. Yes, it was starting to be a bad habit, but that's where it stopped.

    In the meetings, people talk about the program and how they live it every day. Again, I think the principles are excellent for coping much better with life — but it still hasn't clicked how the steps can curb my wanting a glass of wine when I'm at a networking mixer. I still feel like an outsider and that there's something wrong with me that I don't 'get' it.

    What are your thoughts? Thanks.

    Laine S.

    Hello Laine,

    Thank you for the letter, and I trust that you are doing well.

    The reason that you don't "get it" is because there is nothing to get. A.A. is a fraud and a hoax. The 12 Steps are not about quitting drinking. The 12 Steps are just Bill Wilson's rewrite of the recruiting and indoctrination practices of the "Oxford Group" cult religion. (Look here.)

    When you hear people bragging about "Working The Program" every day, what they are saying is that they are practicing an old cult religion from the nineteen-thirties. Of course you cannot really "Work The Steps" in "all of your affairs".

    Are we supposed to practice the Twelve Steps while shopping for groceries at the supermarket? Maybe I should list all of my sins while in the bread aisle? Confess all of my sins to whomever is in the meat section? Make amends to the vegetables? Do my Twelfth Step work by recruiting the check-out girl and the bag boy as new pigeons and babies for Alcoholics Anonymous or Al-Anon?

    Heaven forbid, I'd better not do my First Step and Admit That I'm Powerless Over Alcohol while I'm in the beer and wine aisle or I might start grabbing bottles and 6-packs.

    No, the 12 Steps are not a formula for living the good life.

    Now that isn't to say that alcohol isn't a problem. I am also one of those people who drinks far too much, once I get started. For me, it's either zero or way too much. I was never able to maintain a moderate middle ground, and I tried for many years. But I can stay 100% sober without too much trouble.

    And it is genetic for me, too. My father had it before me, and his mother before him. Dr. Kenneth Blum, who discovered the first gene for alcoholism, remarked that he thought that genetic alcoholics must totally abstain from drinking, that moderation doesn't work for them. That matches my experiences.

    There are several good non-cultish recovery groups that you might like. Here is the list:

    Have a good day and a good life now.

    == Orange

    *             [email protected]        *
    *         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
    *          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
    **     If God had intended us to fly, he would have given us wings.
    **     Well, didn't He?
    **        ==  Peter, Paul, and Mary
    **     If God had intended us to think, he would have given us brains.
    **     Well, didn't He?

    [The next letter from Laine is here.]

    [ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters295.html#Matt ]

    Date: 2012.03.17     (answered 19 March 2012)
    From: Matt


    I saw your site and I think we share some goals. Here's an article I just posted:

    How to construct a great addiction story:


    Also I was dismayed to read your article on Rat Park. I wrote a similar article a few months ago (http://addictionmyth.com/?p=120). I was dismayed because, I thought mine was original, and yours was written much earlier, not to mention better, than mine. :-(

    Anyway, I like your site and I linked to it from my links page. Feel free to link back to mine!


    Hello Matt,

    Thanks for the link. That's a great article. You really nail it. You've even got the confessional flavor of the standard A.A. testimonial down pat.

    Yes, I'll gladly link to you. And thanks for the compliments.

    Have a good day now.

    == Orange

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

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    Last updated 19 January 2014.
    The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters295.html