Letters, We Get Mail, CCCXXXVII

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters337.html#Marcus_M ]

Date: Sun, December 30, 2012 5:25 pm     (Answered 1 January 2013)
From: "Marcus M."
Subject: Re: [Orange Papers] Reading this awesome book AA:cult or cure? just...

Marcus M. commented on William R. E.'s post in Orange Papers.

I have heard many times if you are taking meds from anti depressants to suboxone that you are not really sober. I believe the dry drunk concept is behind much of that. For some anyone that finds another way to quit is a dry drunk. Which is utterly ridiculous. I find the dry drunk concept rather narcissistic along with some of the other things going on.

Date: Sat, December 29, 2012 5:21 pm     (Answered 1 January 2013)
From: "Marcus M."
Subject: [Orange Papers] What is AA?

Marcus M. posted in Orange Papers

What is AA?

This question was posted not long ago by someone who had a whole lot of friends that were AA members.

I find it a rather telling point that someone would join a group that is about a piece of work that is some would say critical of AA. I could understand someone who knows what AA is coming here and trying to defend AA or debate any of the information included in the orange papers. But why would someone that knows what AA is and I have yet to meet anyone that does not know what AA come here and ask a question that I believe he already had the answer to?

But regardless of that, what is AA (alcoholics anonymous)?

AA claims it is a fellowship dedicated to helping people stop drinking. Many of its members would claim this also. Some claim it is a religion. Some claim it is a cult. The Orange Papers points out that AA practices many cult practices. One such practice is to assign a sponsor to the new member and there are groups that do assign sponsors but I believe most do not assign sponsors and merely suggest them.

AA is many different things to many different people.

I believe or view AA as a religion that has a goal of converting people to god or superstitious beliefs. One of the suggestions is no drinking although they will accept someone who slips and drinks. I also believe that within the institution of AA there is an air of cultness to many. Within any religion you will find fundamentalist thinkers and in my opinion these are the people with the greatest degree of cult like thinking and practices. Then there are people who go only for the social aspect. I know a lot of people that would come only on saturday to a rather large meeting that was popular with people that had been around AA for a long time. Some of which were around for better than 30 years. They went there to see their friends and make a social contact with others.

As I said AA is many different things to many different people including the people who go to AA meetings.

Hello Marcus,

I can only agree.

Have a good day now, and a happy 2013.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**           Indeed the worst thing about a religion which undertakes to be
**     purely individualistic and to concern itself not at all as to the way
**     in which the corporate life of society is organized is that it cannot
**     succeed in that undertaking — it is forced to take a political
**     position, and its utter lack of understanding of political realities
**     predetermines what that position shall be.
**           Such a religion enters the social arena inevitably on the side of
**     reaction.  ...  Individualism in religion thus leads by the straightest
**     of roads to fascism in politics.
**       ==  A God-Guided Dictator, The Christian Century,
**             53:1182-3, Sept. 9, 1936, pages 1182-1183.

June 10, 2012, Sunday: The Fernhill Wetlands

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle, perching himself on the very top of a dead tree

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron, fishing

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

[More gosling photos below, here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters337.html#Carlos_G ]

Date: Sat, December 29, 2012 2:23 pm     (Answered 1 January 2013)
From: "Carlos G."
Subject: chuck huckaby


Carlos G.
Brownsville, TX 78520

[local mirror here: Huckaby_AA_and_Celebrate_Recovery.mp4]

Hello Carlos,

Thanks for the link. Now that is very interesting.

Alas, that interview is loaded with mistakes. The very first sentence said that A.A. was based on "a Christian movement" of Rev. Frank Buchman, "the Oxford Groups". That is wrong. The Oxford Groups were not Christian or Biblical. Oh sure, they gave plenty of lip service to Christianity, and yammered the words "Christ" and "Christianity" a lot for the sake of appearances, but Dr. Frank Buchman's cult religion was heretical and occult, and pro-Nazi, and contemporary ministers and priests said so. Dr. Buchman insisted that when his followers conducted séances and heard the Voice of God, that their revelations were just as authoritive as any stories in the Bible. So how is that "Biblical"? (Hint: It isn't — it's occult practices that are condemned in the Bible.)

The Oxford Group was just another obnoxious cult religion, not a wonderful "Christian movement".

Unfortunately, both Rev. Huckaby and the TV host "Matt" made the standard mistakes of Alcoholics Anonymous, including

  1. assuming that the Twelve Steps are somehow Christian and Biblical, which they are not,
  2. and assuming that the 12 Steps work, which they don't,
  3. and assuming that the few people whom Matt has seen quit drinking did it because of A.A.,
  4. and also assuming that excessive alcohol consumption is a moral problem, rather than a medical problem. Both Huckaby and Matt just assumed that drinking alcohol is a sin, and that the cure is to "accept responsibility for your sins".

Two previous letters that just came in are from a woman who was sexually molested for years when she was a little girl. (Look here and here) Now, she has a lot of mental problems. She also got into trouble with alcohol, trying to use it to self-medicate and fix herself. Does anyone seriously want to tell her that she has sinned, and that confessing her sins, and "accepting responsibility for her sins" will cure all of her problems? That would really be some vicious guilt-inducing superstition and quackery. Obviously, a guilt-inducing religious routine is totally inappropriate for cases like hers. In fact, I'm hard-pressed to think of any cases where it would be appropriate. Need I say that if someone is really a Christian, he won't torture suffering people like that?

Again, we see Steppers trying to practice medicine without a license. Neither A.A. sponsors, nor Rev. Huckaby, nor Matt, is a licensed psychiatrist, trained and qualified to treat mental problems like childhood sexual abuse and PTSD. To claim that "taking responsibility for your sins" is a cure-all for substance-abuse problems is so barbaric and simple-minded and primitive that it is positively Medieval.

Also, the Twelve Steps are grossly heretical and unChristian. See The Heresy of the Twelve Steps. The 12 Steps resemble selling your soul to Devil in trade for sobriety, much more than they resemble Christianity. The 12 Steps are really just Dr. Frank Buchman's cult recruiting and indoctrination practices, not any spiritual principles. Read Jesus Christ's Sermon on the Mount, and then read the Twelve Steps, and you will see that there is not a speck of similarity between the two teachings.

I've been joking for some time now about a mythical 12-Step recovery group called "Satanists For Sobriety" (SFS), where there is no doubt about who "Higher Power" really is, but it isn't entirely a joke. Rev. Huckaby should really think long and hard about how easy it is to substitute Satan into the Steps where they say "any Higher Power of our understanding." And if the A.A. "G.O.D." can be a "Group Of Drunks", and the Narcotics Anonymous "G.O.D." can be a "Group Of Dopers", why can't "G.O.D." be a "Group Of Devils"? Perhaps Rev. Huckaby and Matt should think about that while they bemoan the fact that Jesus Christ isn't mentioned anywhere in the Steps, or anywhere in the Alcoholics Anonymous "Big Book", either.

The whole idea that "Celebrate Recovery" can adapt the 12-Step program and make it into "Christian Recovery" is a giant mistake, like trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. If the A.A. 12-Step program is really so "Biblical" and "Christian" to start with, why is it necessary to change it to make it compatible with Christianity?

Again, Rev. Huckaby started off by declaring that A.A. began as a Christian movement, but a minute into the show, the announcer Matt declared: "There's a number of programs out there right now that are trying to get the Jesus back into it."

Oh really? What is this double-talk nonsense? It's "thoroughly Christian, but we need to get the Jesus back into it"?

Thanks again for the link. Have a good day now, and a happy 2013.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today...
**     is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out
**     the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is simply what an
**     unbelieving world finds unbelievable."
**       ==  Brennan Manning

Date: Fri, January 4, 2013 6:11 am
From: "Carlos G."
Subject: thanks

thanks for your imput

very illuminating

Carlos G.
Brownsville, TX 78520

Somebody sent this to me:


[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters337.html#Dave_K ]

Date: Thu, January 3, 2013 10:04 am     (Answered 5 January 2013)
From: "Dave K"
Subject: Not sure why.....

I'm writing this except that I wanted to share because sometimes I feel like a voice in the desert. The AA police are always after me. LOL

I have been sober for 7 years now and I don't drink because my self honesty tells me what will happen if I do. Been there too many times.

AA is, to me, somewhat of a double edge sword. Did it point me toward a path to sobriety? Yes, but I had to walk the path. Does it's religious members and god talk drive people out the door? I know it does. Is there something to be learned there? Yes, for sure.

I'm an atheist and find that while AA has some very good ideas, just as the bible does, there is a lot of chaff to separate. For myself, personality change was the real key to sobriety and by working the steps of the program (at least my own interpretation of them) personality change did take place.

In the Appendices of the book Alcoholics Anonymous the reading "Spiritual Experience" uses the terms "Religious Experience" and "Personality Changes" interchangeably. I think this is key.

I have long held the belief that AA is not about God or religion but rather personality changes that come through practicingAA principals. This leads to the ability to accept life the way it is; coping comfortably with reality; becoming wise. Once this occurs, alcohol is no longer need to cope with daily life. Of course I remain an alcoholic but the temptations to pick up a drink are few and weak.

The "power greater than ones self" spoken about in AA is simply reality, over which we have little control and thus is more powerful than we are. We can control our own thoughts, words and deeds and this is what the AA principals can teach us ho to do in constructive ways.

Do I attend AA meetings? Yes, once a week usually. But have gone much longer between them. I do find a sense of comaraderie there. Is AA a way of life for me? Practicing some of the AA principals is but my social life is not one of AA functions and my closest friends are not in AA. I beleive the goal is to learn to live in reality, not to hide form the world.

Dave K.

Hello Dave,

Thanks for the letter.

You are assuming that the "personality changes" that are caused by the A.A. program and the 12 Steps are good. All of the evidence says that those practices are very harmful and drive people to relapse, binge drinking, and death.

The Twelve Steps are Dr. Frank Buchman's cult religion recruiting and indoctrination practices, not anything good. Bill Wilson simply copied them from Frank Buchman's Oxford Groups. Note that the Twelve Steps are actually almost identical to the Chinese Communist brainwashing practices. Compare the 12 Steps to Dr. Robert Jay Lifton's description of Chinese Communist brainwashing, here.

It's wonderful that you managed to rewrite the Steps and change them and turn them into a program of reflection and self-examination, and then you changed your own behavior for the better. Congratulations on your sobriety. But that isn't what happens with most people when they do the A.A. program.

In fact, the Steps didn't even work on Bill Wilson. He found that hallucinogenic drugs like belladonna and LSD and leuco-adrenochrome were much better at inducing personality changes in him. He spent years in A.A. taking drugs, not doing the 12 Steps.

If you want some mental practices that can induce personality changes without the guilt and trauma and psychological damage of the 12 Steps, may I recommend SMART or SOS? (Click on that link.)

By the way, I also don't drink alcohol — I have 12 years of sobriety now — and my "self-honesty" also tells me what will happen if I drink more alcohol. Please note that such a realistic attitude comes from years of experience with repeatedly getting sick from alcohol, not from doing Frank and Bill's "Steps".

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

[The next letter from Dave_K is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters337.html#Julian_S ]

Date: Wed, January 2, 2013 3:00 pm     (Answered 5 January 2013)
From: "Julian S."
Subject: Authority ?

The Catholic Church has not condemned the participation of a Roman Catholic lay in the AA program, as long as one doesnt deny Christ or the any teachings of the Church.

The sick sat among the God man, Our Lord as you know. Did they recognize Him immediately or totally understand how they would be led unto The Holy Cross and realize completely at one time during discipleship they would be eating His Eucharisted Flesh and Blood (John 6 36 -59). Many left him , but did that mean one or more did not return to be disciples later ? Ofcourse not.

The sick need the Divine Physician, Jesus Christ. Many members of AA and even Christians, like non Catholics can be deceived by Satan. Such as those who deny the the Holy Eucharist only receivable as a Roman Catholic. Or in so called 'speaking in tounges ' without having one present in the midst of the Community who can interperate them.... This all may sound familiar if your non Catholic.

Please pray to The Holy Spirit for your own discernment on considering the Catholic Church's Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Come seek the fullness of Truth. Many things you said can be true if one denys Christ in AA. So glad you began to protest. But only the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church in communion with Rome, or the Holy See (Pope Benedict 16th and the Cardinals ,Bishops in Communion with him ) has the Authority to make accusations of heretical doctrine. Masonry has been condemned as gravely sinful, but not AA practiced in True Faith Hope, and Love. You , Mr. Orange , do not.

Receive this in charity, my mystical Brother in Christ.

Julian S.

Pax Christi !

Hello Julian,

Thanks for the letter. I am painfully aware of the fact that the Catholic Church has not banned Alcoholics Anonymous. They should have, but they have not. The Church banned the predecessor of A.A., Dr. Frank Buchman's Oxford Group — a.k.a. "Moral Re-Armament" — twice (look here and here).

Bishop Noa of Marquette condemned the Oxford Group/MRA for syncretism and indifferentism. And he should have also mentioned the banned practice of public confessions.

And Alcoholics Anonymous is still guilty of all three. A.A. is also guilty of a whole lot more than that. You should read the file The Heresy of the Twelve Steps.

Bill Wilson learned from the Church banning the Oxford Group, so he did a better job of disguising A.A., and claiming that it isn't a competing religion, engaging in public confessions. Bill renamed confession to "sharing", and renamed sins to "defects of character" and "moral shortcomings" and "wrongs". And Bill claimed that A.A. wasn't religious, it was merely "spiritual".

Still, the Church can't be that blind and stupid. "Anything as your God?" Any "Higher Power"? Doorknob Almighty? Really now.

I can only conclude the the Church's reluctance to ban Alcoholics Anonymous is a political and economic decision, because the higher-up Church authorities realize that if the Catholic A.A. members are forced to choose between the Church or A.A., they will go with A.A., because that is their true faith.

By the way, we were coincidentally just discussing how Christian the 12 Steps are in a previous letter, here:

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     This is a common A.A. joke: that a strict upbringing in the American
**     Catholic Church, especially in the hellfire and guilt-trip atmospherics
**     of the "bad old days" before Vatican II, is another "disease" that
**     requires a Twelve-Step recovery program.
**       Bill W. and Mr. Wilson, Matthew J. Raphael, p.198, footnote 19.

[Note: these letters crossed in the mail. I received this letter as I was posting the previous one.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters337.html#Julian_S2 ]

Date: Thu, January 3, 2013 3:45 pm     (Answered 7 January 2013)
From: "Julian S."
Subject: Thank you

Mr. 'Orange',

I continued reading you site to observe and read all the evidence you present, and was shocked. I was too quick to dismiss your info. I apoligize if my email came off abrupt. I thank you gratefully for this Catholic weaponry against some heretical ideology written into the core of AA documents and poor applications to live spiritual and glad some were at least protestant. I was horrified by the info on the seances and did not go inside the home where the ' spook room ' was when I visited Akron. I have been a Grateful Catholic since applying 12 steps to my life. But not without my trials. I have been sober for nine years, thanks to the Holy Eucharist and frequent Confession. The Rosary was huge also. I pray 5 decades a day most of the time. Some odd occasions of sin have plagued my walk which I have given into certain ones and yes, many regarding lust / bad relationships have mostly been associated with meeting culture. There are striking areas of my recent past that have had me running to frequent Sacraments of The Roman Catholic Church, and repentance and conversion has always been there for me to fend off attacks by the enemy of Faith, Satan. There have been awesome times of peace too and I have made many friends in AA. I also have been able to openly evangelize and convince fallen away Catholics and Christians to get back to Church during sobriety. Ive have great conversations with many an Agnostic and Atheist in meetings and afterward in parking lots and restaurants.

I will take this info to my spiritual director in the Church, a priest and a have a good Permanent Deacon friend to go through these issues with. I have made plans to leave aa recently due to much Atheism, Agnostic, and anti Christian attitudes i keep running into. But finding this info has really made me glad to be Roman Catholic and find refuge in my Faith community. I will Spread this Orange Papers site around. Keep me in prayer. Happy New year... God bless you.

Julian S.

(313) xxx xxxx

Hello again, Julian,

That sounds good. I hope those elders take those issues seriously.

And congratulations on your sobriety.

Something that I didn't even mention in the "heresy" file is sexual abuse — because, technically, that isn't heresy. It's just a very common human failing. The Midtown Group in Washington DC became notorious for being a sexual exploitation society where teenage girls were immediately assigned a middle-aged male sponsor as soon as they walked in the door. And he told her that he would "teach her how to have sober sex". (Look here.) And then I received a bunch of letters telling me that it was also going on all over the country, from Seattle to Miami, and from Los Angeles to New York. Imagine having such a group meeting in the basement of your church.

Oh well, have a good day now. And a good year.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The preservation of health is a duty. Few seem conscious
**     that there is such a thing as physical morality.
**         ==  Herbert Spencer, Education

Also see another reply to this question: orange-letters338.html#Noel

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters337.html#Brian_McG ]

Date: Wed, January 2, 2013 5:36 pm     (Answered 5 January 2013)
From: "Brian McG."
Subject: Thank you-


Thanks for the work you put into creating the Orange Papers.

I can say that I experienced 99% of what you described in your writings.

I've been trying since 18 to quit and stay off drugs. I'm 23 now and haven't had a drink or a drug in 6 months and I haven't been to a meeting in that long either. For a long time I wondered why I "didn't get it" in NA/AA. I thought there was something wrong with me and I was one of those who were "constitutionally incapable".

Reading your work was an eye opening experience and explained a lot of what I went through. I appreciate all the time and attention you expended on your website. It reached me in a profound way.

I also really enjoyed your pictures of the Geese :D

I hope the Orange Papers reach others too.

Much love —


Hello Brian,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well, and have figured out which way is up. That brightens my morning cup of coffee. And congratulations on your sobriety.

So have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      The first wealth is health. Sickness is poor-spirited,
**      and cannot serve any one; it must husband its resources to
**      live. But health answers its own ends, and has to spare;
**      runs over, and inundates the neighborhoods and creeks of
**      other men's necessities.
**        ==  Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803—1882), American Poet and Essayist

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters337.html#Richard_G ]

Date: Wed, January 2, 2013 11:49 pm     (Answered 5 January 2013)
From: "Richard G."
Subject: AA Cult

Thought your report was interesting, and I was wondering how organized religion would rank on the scale of cult activity? Just curious? Cant say i would consider AA a cult, but Very interesting none the less.

Ricky G.

Hello Ricky,

That is a complicated question, and there isn't any simple answer because there is no such church as "Organized Religion". There are many different churches — very different churches — and they all score differently on The Cult Test.

Obviously, the existing churches cover the entire range from very mellow, peaceful, easy-going, and tolerant churches, to the angry, hateful, dogmatic ones, to the crazy suicide cults.

So if you have one particular church in mind that you know well, I'd recommend that you rate it with The Cult Test, and you will have your answer.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human
**     stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and
**     justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism
**     and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or
**     political idols.
**        ==  Aldous Huxley

June 10, 2012, Sunday: The Fernhill Wetlands

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

[The story of the goslings continues here.]

[The previous letter from Dave_K is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters337.html#Dave_K2 ]

Date: Thu, January 3, 2013 8:34 pm     (Answered 7 January 2013)
From: "Dave K."
Subject: New to your site and...

noticed that in "The 12 Biggest Secrets of AA" you state "Drug and alcohol addictions are not incurable, progressive diseases that usually end in death."

The AMA definition of alcoholism: "a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations."

Webster defines "chronic" as :

a : marked by long duration, by frequent recurrence over a long time, and often by slowly progressing seriousness : not acute <chronic indigestion><her hallucinations became chronic>
b : suffering from a disease or ailment of long duration or frequent recurrence <a chronic arthritic><chronic sufferers from asthma>
a : having a slow progressive course of indefinite duration — used especially of degenerative invasive diseases, some infections, psychoses, and inflammations <chronic heart disease><chronic arthritis><chronic tuberculosis>

I also notice you used the words "alcohol addictions" and not the word "alcoholism", so perhaps there is some difference here? I would appreciate your comments on this.

I must say that as an alcoholic I find your writings very interesting and somewhat refreshing. I quit on my own and stayed sober for 20 years. Then one day I believed the addiction monster and drank a beer. It took me 5 long years to stop again and during that time almost lost my life. I have now been sober for 7. I do believe that I will always be alcoholic and the only way to avoid tragedy is to never pick up a drink again. So for me, my alcoholism is incurable and i will always be alcoholic. Its just reality.

I found AA to be helpful in many ways but never did drink the cool-aid. And much of the help there had nothing to do with quitting drinking.

Dave K.

Hello Dave,

Thanks for the letter, and congratulations for your sobriety.

Well, starting at the top, the AMA did not even bother to write a definition of "alcoholism". What they did was let a joint committee of two A.A. front groups write a warped, weird, definition. "The Joint Committee of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and the American Society of Addiction Medicine" — both old, well-known A.A. front groups — wrote a definition of "alcoholism" that is so goofy that it does not even say that alcoholism is caused by drinking alcohol. No, they wanted to leave the door open for declaring that alcoholism is a spiritual disease that requires a spiritual cure. Look here for a discussion of the two A.A. front groups writing the absurd definition of alcoholism for the AMA.

The AMA jabber about alcoholism is no different from their declarations in the nineteen-fifties that cigarette smoking is okay, and even good for you. The AMA was just bowing to political and economic interests, making statements that were not based on any medical research. Remember that the AMA is merely a private club for doctors, and its main goal is more money and power for itself and its doctors.

The AMA has a long sordid history of putting money before medicine. Morris Fishbein, the schemer who built the AMA up into the rich organization that it is, was busted for racketeering, because he blackmailed pharmaceutical companies into buying expensive full-page advertisements in his JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) or else the AMA wouldn't approve of their medicines.

The Webster's definition of "chronic" does not say that drinking alcohol is a progressive disease that ends in death.

And it doesn't. More than half of all alcoholics and drug addicts just "snap out of it" one day, and get their lives together:

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health, performed the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. For it, they interviewed over 43,000 people. Using the criteria for alcohol dependence found in the DSM-IV, they found:
"About 75 percent of persons who recover from alcohol dependence do so without seeking any kind of help, including specialty alcohol (rehab) programs and AA. Only 13 percent of people with alcohol dependence ever receive specialty alcohol treatment."

Likewise, American Health Magazine reported:

...people are about ten times as likely to change on their own as with the help of doctors, therapists, or self-help groups.
J. Gurion, American Health Magazine, March 1990.

The Harvard Mental Health Letter, from The Harvard Medical School, stated quite plainly:

On their own
There is a high rate of recovery among alcoholics and addicts, treated and untreated. According to one estimate, heroin addicts break the habit in an average of 11 years. Another estimate is that at least 50% of alcoholics eventually free themselves although only 10% are ever treated. One recent study found that 80% of all alcoholics who recover for a year or more do so on their own, some after being unsuccessfully treated. When a group of these self-treated alcoholics was interviewed, 57% said they simply decided that alcohol was bad for them. Twenty-nine percent said health problems, frightening experiences, accidents, or blackouts persuaded them to quit. Others used such phrases as "Things were building up" or "I was sick and tired of it." Support from a husband or wife was important in sustaining the resolution.
Treatment of Drug Abuse and Addiction — Part III, The Harvard Mental Health Letter, Volume 12, Number 4, October 1995, page 3.
(See Aug. (Part I), Sept. (Part II), Oct. 1995 (Part III).)

I try to avoid using the word "alcoholism" because it is so poorly defined. It's the same thing as the American Psychiatric Association refusing to use the word, for the same reasons. They define two alcohol-use mental illnesses: Alcohol Abuse, and Alcohol Dependency, which is the same thing as addiction, but no "alcoholism".

Here is a picture of the relevant page of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association):

DSM-IV page 195

The word "alcoholism" has just as many contradictory definitions as the world "alcoholic". A.A. uses at least four different definitions of "alcoholic", and mixes them up, which confuses the issue.

The definitions are:

  1. An alcoholic is someone who habitually drinks far too much alcohol.
  2. An alcoholic is someone who is hyper-sensitive to alcohol, almost allergic to alcohol, perhaps a genetic alcoholic; someone who cannot drink even one drink or his drinking will spin out of control and he will become readdicted to alcohol.
  3. An alcoholic is somebody who cannot quit drinking — he is "powerless" over alcohol.
  4. An alcoholic is an insane sinner who is full of disgusting character defects and moral shortcomings and resentments and barely-contained anger, and is a prime example of self-will run riot and instincts run wild and selfishness and self-seeking and the Seven Deadly Sins, although he doesn't think so... etc., etc., ...

When I call myself an alcoholic, I usually mean definition 2, and only occasionally definition 1, but never definitions 3 or 4.

  1. By definition 1, I stopped being an alcoholic more than 12 years ago.
  2. By definition 2, I will always be an alcoholic.
  3. By definition 3, I wasn't an alcoholic, because I could quit drinking, and I did. I was not "powerless over alcohol". I even quit drinking without any help from A.A., because I quit drinking two weeks before I was ever sent to an A.A. meeting.
  4. By definition 4, I was never an alcoholic. I was always a nice drunk. People liked having me at their parties because I was so much fun to have around when I got high. (But, as one friend said, "Even nice drunks die of cirrhosis of the liver...")

Likewise, the word "alcoholism" has multiple definitions:

  1. Is "alcoholism" the habit of drinking too much alcohol?
  2. Is "alcoholism" a physical condition where someone reacts strongly to alcohol and gets ecstatically high from it?
  3. Is "alcoholism" a mental condition where someone reacts strongly to alcohol and experiences strong personality changes from drinking alcohol?
  4. Is "alcoholism" a psychological condition where someone falls in love with the feeling of being intoxicated?
  5. Is "alcoholism" a medical condition where someone is addicted to alcohol, and will go through extremely strong, life-threatening withdrawal reactions if he suddenly stops drinking?
  6. Is "alcoholism" a mental condition where someone is convinced that excessive drinking is okay, and even normal?
  7. Is "alcoholism" bad behavior like getting drunk and beating up your wife and kids, and spending the entire paycheck on booze?
  8. Is "alcoholism" a deadly progressive disease for which there is no medical cure?
  9. Is "alcoholism" a spiritual disease that can only be cured by God?

Before we can have a good debate about "alcoholism", we need to at least correctly define the word.

Lastly, I also went through the big relapse routine, many years ago. I quit drinking in 1987, and stayed sober for three years. Three years of perfect sobriety, not one drink, not even one sip. Then I made the mistake of having a few beers at a friend's birthday party, and that was it. I drank for another nine years, until I was so sick that a doctor told me to quit drinking or die, choose one.

That is really a very common phenomenon, and does not prove anything about "alcoholism" being progressive or incurable. It's simple: After you have been addicted to any drug, you tend to be very sensitive to it, and it's easy to get readdicted. The brain has learned those old behavior patterns well, and you won't ever forget them. Likewise, the body has learned how to react to massive onslaughts of alcohol and compensate and adapt, and your body can easily drop back into the same old routines again. That doesn't mean that "alcoholism" is an incurable disease.

I have the same problem with tobacco. I quit smoking and then backslid and got readdicted again for 30 years. I learned the hard way from many relapses that all it takes is one cigarette and I'm readdicted again. Fortunately, I finally learned my lesson, and I haven't smoked a cigarette in 12 years. And I haven't had a drink, or a hit of any other drugs, in 12 years, either. So you see, "alcoholism" and drug addiction just aren't incurable progressive diseases.

But I will always be hyper-sensitive to alcohol and tobacco, which is why I don't consume any of those things. I live by these two simple slogans:

Just don't take that first drink, not ever, no matter what.

Just don't smoke that first cigarette, not ever, no matter what.

It works for me.

Have a good day now, and a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Recognition of your own addictions requires inner work.
**     It requires that you look clearly at the places where
**     you lose power in your life, where you are controlled
**     by external circumstances. It requires going through
**     your defenses.
**        ==  Gary Zukav, Seat of the Soul

June 10, 2012, Sunday: The Fernhill Wetlands

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

Mallard Drake
Mallard Drake

[The story of the goslings continues here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters337.html#Tina_C ]

Date: Fri, January 4, 2013 8:07 am
From: "tino c."
Subject: Herbert Spenser quote

Hello i was wondering if you knew any more about the history of the Herbert Spenser quote or misquote as it were. I have heard it stated several times that it is a misquote and am wondering in this case exactly what that means?

Full disclosure i am a member of alcoholics anonymous and have no interest debating you. I have come to your site many times for information and greatly respect and appreciate the work you have done. I like to find the truth as ugly as it is sometimes.

Tino C.

Date: Fri, January 4, 2013 8:09 am
From: "tino c."
Subject: Herbert Spenser quote

never mind i found the foot note. again thank you for all the hard work you have done researching the history

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters337.html#Teodoro_L ]

Date: Sat, January 5, 2013 11:23 am     (Answered 7 January 2013)
From: "teodoro l."
Subject: Your vile distortions...

You are insane promoting your distortions through selective and subjective sentences. You are one nasty sociopath if not a psychopath. AA secrets? Choose your own conception of God is a lie and distortion?You obviously redefined and adulterated the word "conception".Pg12 "...to make my beginning.Growth could start from that point." "HIM". But you already knew this snake. Why do I write you? To put you on notice that my Father is aware of your evil and the suffering you impose and that your time has come to cease and desist.Enough! But your spiral downfall started long ago. And you always knew why. This is just a confirmation.

Hello Teodoro,

Thanks for the letter. I can only conclude that Step Two really restored you to sanity.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Here's an object more of dread
**     Than aught the grave contains —
**     A human form with reason fled,
**     While wretched life remains.
**       ==  Abraham Lincoln, letter to Andrew Johnson, Sept. 6, 1846.

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters337.html#Monica_R ]

Date: Sun, January 6, 2013 12:07 pm     (Answered 8 January 2013)
From: "Monica R."
Subject: Omg please look at the recent signer of signon.org petition for Karla Brada


Kristine Cass's (who was murdered by AA member Clayborn Conely in Hawaii in Aug 2010) ex husband and Saundra Cass's DAD wrote a whole page about hating AA and understanding AA is responsible.

Im going to find him and call him ....

If we can send this around one more time that would be great. I will be taking it down in a few weeks and sending it to President Obama and First Lady. For starters. It will eventually be sent to all senators and to our governor as we have a serious infiltration of Steppers in our government and mental health community.


Happy New YEAR! Its gonna be good year.

also please forward, tweet, facebook or email to anyone or anywhere you feel is appropriate. Thanks again.

this is also a new poster on stop13step in AA site that is outrageous.

Hello again, Monica,

Yes, I signed it, and put it on my Facebook page, and I'll pass the message around.

You know, something that was not even mentioned in that petition is that innocent kids also get sentenced to the same A.A. meetings as the vicious criminals get sent to. Some teenagers get busted driving home from a party buzzed, and they get sentenced to A.A. meetings where the oldtimer predators have an easy time with the fresh meat.

So we need another petition to stop sending innocent kids to A.A. meetings.

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     In my case, labeling myself an alcoholic paved the way for me to
**     take on the "addict" persona, and I got much worse before I got
**     better. After treatment, I traded in my college friends for the
**     criminal ones I met in recovery, and in turn, I gained access to
**     a variety of hard drugs.
**     That is perhaps the most disheartening aspect of 12-step recovery
**     and inpatient care: Because most of their AA colleagues are older,
**     the adolescents I met in treatment found more drug connections,
**     party buddies and rehab romances than they did mentors, counselors
**     and long-term sober friends.
**       ==  CHELSEA CARMONA — Special to The Washington Post,
**           Published: July 16, 2012
**           Chelsea Carmona is the West Coast regional manager of the
**           Op-Ed Project, which works to bring underrepresented voices
**           into opinion writing.

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters337.html#Oleh_D ]

Date: Sat, January 5, 2013 7:17 pm     (Answered 8 January 2013)
From: "Oleh D."
Subject: God Bless you

You don't mention if you are alcoholic or simply have a drinking problem. Sounds like you have a grudge thing going, did you lose someone in aa or do Simply hate any reference to GOD?

Hello Oleh,

Thanks for the questions. Your first sentence assumes things that aren't true any more. That is, I used to be an alcoholic, but since I haven't had a drink in 12 years, I don't think it's accurate to call myself an alcoholic any more. Likewise, I obviously don't have a drinking problem any more either. We were just discussing the various definitions of the word "alcoholic" in a previous letter, here, and the problem is that A.A. uses many different meanings of the word "alcoholic" and mixes them up, which clouds and confuses the issues.

The distinction between "alcoholic" and "problem drinker" is also a false dichotomy.

I most assuredly have talked about my alcoholism on the web site, many, many times. Check out these links:

  1. the introduction, my introduction to A.A.
  2. the "treatment" bait-and-switch trick
  3. another friend goes missing
  4. who are you
  5. who are you, again
  6. really an alcoholic...
  7. A biography written for SOS

Then you asked,

Sounds like you have a grudge thing going, did you lose someone in aa or do Simply hate any reference to GOD?

My goal is simply to get the truth out there. Yes, I've lost friends (see items 1 and 3 above), and A.A. was no help to them at all.

And no, I don't hate references to God. What a lame Ad Hominem attack. Steppers really should get an education and learn some better propaganda tricks. Constantly reusing the same few tired, hackneyed, Ad Hominem attacks is just getting old.

You want talk about God? Good! See the file on The Heresy of the Twelve Steps for lots of talk about God.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     I thank God that He chose to give me a working brain, rather
**     than just a lump of dense, unthinking meat between the ears.

[The next letter from Oleh_D is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters337.html#Brian_M ]

Date: Mon, December 31, 2012 9:09 pm     (Answered 8 January 2013)
From: "Brian M."
Subject: AA site

We're you ever a member of AA?
Thanks Brian

Sent from my iPhone

Hello Brian,

Not to quibble over definitions of words, that question really depends on what you mean by "member". I've been to a lot of A.A. meetings, and have seen the whole routine, and sat in The Roomz and listened to lots of insanity in hour-long doses, but personally, I never considered myself a member. (Not insane, just visiting.)

That is, I never sold my soul to the cult. I never had a sponsor, I never "Worked The Steps", and I never believed in "The Big Book".

Because the A.A. tradition says that someone is a member when he says he is a member, I guess I was never a member.

These links will give you the rest of the story:

  1. the introduction, my introduction to A.A.
  2. the "treatment" bait-and-switch trick
  3. another friend goes missing
  4. who are you
  5. who are you, again
  6. really an alcoholic...
  7. A biography written for SOS

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    The instinctive need to be the member of a closely knit group
**    fighting for common ideals may grow so strong that it becomes
**    inessential what these ideals are.
**       ==  Konrad Lorenz

[The next letter from Brian_M is here.]

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Last updated 9 March 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters337.html