Letters, We Get Mail, XXXIV



Date: Thu, January 12, 2006 0:42
From: "Amy G."
Subject: Re: How to Win an Argument

Hi there,

I was just perusing your site, and came across a bit of humor titled "How to Win an Argument". You have the author listed as unknown. Just thought I'd drop you a line to let you know that particular bit of comedy was penned by Dave Barry.

Cheers!

Amy

Oho! Okay, thank you. Now that I think about it, that sounds just like Dave Barry. :-)

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Gandalf said, "The little orks don't like
** humor. They cringe in pain at the sound of
** laughter. And they really can't stand it when
** you poke fun at them. So they howl and growl
** and scowl and get all bent out of shape."

Later: it turned out that it really was a copyrighted column by Dave Barry, so I erased it, per a request from Dave's assistant.





Date: Thu, January 12, 2006 19:56
From: "Chris R."
Subject: article

/I read your article "The Effectiveness of Twelve Step Treatment". It became clear to me quickly that you just don't get it. You miss the entire point of AA. I only speak for myself, but the program works when nothing else did. To be honest all of the statics in the article just bore me. I don't need statics to know that my life is better. I wonder how many people you killed by printing this. If AA saves one person isn't that enough. I also want to let you know your 4 step program is impossible and quite ignorant. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO WAY TO USE WILLPOWER TO JUST QUIT BEING AN ALCOHOLIC. I'm glad you are not an alcoholic because you would never recover./
//
/Sincerely,/
/Chris R. /

Hello Chris,

I do get it. I am not missing the point.

Alcoholics Anonymous was supposed to make people quit drinking too much alcohol. Alcoholics is a complete and total failure at that job. Period. End of story.

All of the other garbage, about how "spiritual" it makes you feel, is irrelevant and worthless. That only shows that A.A. really is a cult.

This statement is garbled: "THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO WAY TO USE WILLPOWER TO JUST QUIT BEING AN ALCOHOLIC."

Well of course if you are a genetic alcoholic, you cannot stop being an alcoholic by using will power, or by praying, or by joining Alcoholics Anonymous and parrotting Bill's bull. But the usual A.A. party line about that is this: "You cannot stop drinking to excess by using will power alone, and self-knowledge is no help."

I knew from that moment that I had an alcoholic mind. I saw that will power and self-knowledge would not help in those strange mental blank spots. I had never been able to understand people who said that a problem had them hopelessly defeated. I knew then. It was a crushing blow.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 3, More About Alcoholism, pages 41-42.

That's what Bill Wilson wrote. And that is simply untrue. Lots of people quit drinking by using will power, intelligence, and self-knowledge, and I am one of them.

Then you claim that "the program works when nothing else did." That is obviously untrue, because you did not try everything else in the world, or put everything else in the world to a fair, realistic test:

  • Did you hang out at the Veterans' Administration hospital, seeing how many "hopeless" alcoholics quit there?
  • How about the St. Vincent de Paul program? Did you test it, and see what its success rate was?
  • the Salvation Army?
  • SMART?
  • SOS?
  • Calix?
  • Saddleback?
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
  • Really, how many different programs or therapies did you test before jumping to conclusions?

Oh, and the thing that you really didn't test is DO IT YOURSELF. That is undoubtedly the most successful program in the world. The Harvard Medical School reported that 80% of all alcoholics who get and stay sober for a year or more do it alone, on their own, without any so-called "treatment program" or "support group".

Then you launched a little attack with: "I wonder how many people you killed by printing this."

I wonder how many people A.A. has killed with their misinformation and cultish abuse of newcomers, and 13th-Stepping and driving people away from sobriety and recovery.

Then you asked: "If AA saves one person isn't that enough?"

No, not if A.A. kills 6 and only saves 1. That isn't enough.

Remember that Professor Vaillant, a member of the A.A.W.S. Board of Trustees, found that after 8 years of A.A., the score with his first 100 A.A.-treated patients was: 5 sober, 29 dead, and 66 still drinking. That is terrible. Even Vaillant called the A.A. death rate "appalling". Check it out. Finish reading that file on "The Effectiveness of the 12-Step Treatment"

Remember that you have to count the failures, as well as the successes, when calculating the success rate of any program or treatment.

And you have to subtract the normal rate of spontaneous remission from the success rate, so see how many people the treatment made quit drinking.

And finally, you tried to finish off with the "Real Scotsman Fallacy", trying to claim that I'm not "a real alcoholic". A.A. members over-use that phony stunt so much that I just got another letter that tried the very same baloney.

You just can't stand to hear that a real alcoholic quit drinking without the 12-Step nonsense, can you? You don't want to hear that a real alcoholic can quit drinking by using will power and intelligence and self-knowledge, so you go into denial and start chanting your slogans.

"Denial isn't just a river in Egypt." Try chanting that one for a while.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent 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.





Date: Thu, January 12, 2006 20:00
From: "John C."
Subject: Updates to Wikipedia

Hi

Thanks for some inspiration to spread truth. Your writing, as well as others' led to me making changes to the Wikipedia that have stood the test of editing for about 3 weeks. My first (lame) attempts were removed, but I kept looking for the correct words and citings. I wanted the last thing in the reader's mind upon reading the section to be the rational opinion of a credible source, the US Supreme Court, rather that the average American. I thought you may find it rewarding, and may be able to use the citings.

Originally it said this:

The causes for alcohol abuse and dependence cannot be easily explained. However, the prejudice that the roots are from moral or ethical weakness on the part of the sufferer has been largely altered. A recent pull found that 90% of Americans currently believe that "alcoholism" is a _disease._

Now it says this:

The causes for alcohol abuse and dependence cannot be easily explained. However, the prejudice that the roots are from moral or ethical weakness on the part of the sufferer has been largely altered. A 1995 Gallup Poll found that 90% of Americans currently believe that "alcoholism" is a disease.

In contrast, in a 1988 U.S. Supreme Court decision on whether alcoholism is a condition for which the U.S. Veterans Administration should provide benefits, Justice Byron R. White agrees with the U.S. District Court that there exists "a substantial body of medical literature that even contests the proposition that alcoholism is a disease, much less that it is a disease for which the victim bears no responsibility." [4][5]

4. U.S Supreme Court, Traynor v Turnage, 485 U.S 353 (1988) at 535-550
5. 253 U.S Appelate District Court at 132-133

Bye

"Stormy Waters"

Hi Stormy,

Thanks for the note, and thanks for the compliments. Glad to see that somebody is working on the Wikipedia. Looks good. I shied away from it because I figured that it would be another time-consuming battle.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Gandalf said, "The demons of the darkness howl in
** pain when you shine the light of truth on them."





Date: Thu, January 12, 2006 23:19
From: "Red Witche"
Subject: Your Site

Dear Orange,

I have enjoyed reading your essays online, you have done a good job of exposing the nasty cult I have had a brief and unpleasant encounter with. I live in Britain and we have a similiar situation as in the States — 90% of drug and alcohol treatment centres are 12 step based, and are subsidised by the State through individual referall via the national health service.

It amazes me that medical professionals have not cottoned on to the nature of it — or maybe it is simply due to expense — 12 steps is big business, the State doesn't care enough about drunks or drug addicts to invest in proper treatment. I am a former drug user and I feel that exposure to the 12 steps hindered, not helped, my recovery. I did the impossible and got of drugs myself, and I have seen friends from NA relapse (some of them may be dead now for all I know).

I wrote an article that will be appearing next week in a small newspaper on the subject, and I gave your site as a source of reference, along with others I came accross.

Your essays are quite long and take a while to read on the pc, are they available in book format?

Meanwhile I will do what I can to raise awareness, along with lobbying my MPs and health services.

If you have any ideas that would be great. Far too many people who should know better believe the lies of 12 steps — it is unbelievable how health professionals, lawyers etc can accept such a religious cult as being 'medicine'.

Best Regards

Liz

Hi Liz,

Thanks for the letter. It gladdens my heart to hear that people are fighting the good fight over on the other side of the Atlantic, too. Eventually we will get the word out.

Have a good day.

== Orange

P.S.: See the Detailed instructions for burning a CD for getting your own copy of the 'book'.

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** 'After all, facts are facts, and although we may quote one
** to another with a chuckle the words of the Wise Statesman,
** "Lies - damn lies - and statistics," still there are some
** easy figures the simplest must understand, and the astutest
** cannot wriggle out of.'
** Leonard Henry Courtney, the British economist and politician
** (1832-1918), later Lord Courtney, New York, August 1895.





From: "John W."
Subject: DRY DRUNK
Date: Fri, January 13, 2006

DONT YOU THINK UR DISLIKE FOR aa IS A LITTLE OBSESSIVE I AM AN ALCOHOLIC AND I ATTEND aa EVERY DAY AND I DONT SEE WHERE U GET SOME OF UR BABBLE FROM IS IT EXPERIENCE OR ARE U A MEMBER OF A CULT BY THE WAY THE BEHAVIORS U DEMONSTRATE ARE THOSE OF A DRY DRUNK I WOULD LIKE TO TALK TOO U

Hello John,

Obsessive? Don't you think that attending A.A. every day is a little obsessive?
Maybe a lot obsessive?

No, I am not a member of a cult. I quit Alcoholics Anonymous, remember?

You want to talk? Okay, go for it. And turn off the caps lock key, please.

And have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Rev. Jim Jones said, "Drink the red koolaid. It
** has cured millions. RARELY HAVE we seen it fail...
** But then again, the green koolaid is good too.
** Take what you want, and leave the rest."





Date: Fri, January 13, 2006
From: ArthAce
Subject: aa Rx. effectiveness

thanks for the excellent article. i had a lot of fun reading it. many, if not most of the points you made, certainly ring true. once again, thank you.

Hi Ace,

Thanks for the thanks, and you have a good day too.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** 'Treatment centers based on Alcoholics Anonymous concepts
** routinely advised their patients to find a "higher power"
** or take a "moral inventory", untroubled by the contradiction
** between giving such advice and providing insurance-funded
** treatment for medical diseases.'


[2nd letter from Ace:]

Date: Wed, February 1, 2006
From: ArthAce
Subject: your enormous help

Thank you for the hope you have given me. After 5 years of aa attendance, I have been unable to put together any "time". This inability has made me feel quite defective. For this addict."meeting makers make it" has not proven true and the suggestion given that I "up" my meetings, going 2, 3 times a day "if necessary" was also ineffective.

Hi Ace,

Thanks for all of the thanks.

My drug of choice is cannabis and I have not consumed etoh or any other white powdery substance in at least a decade. I find it quite hippocritical of old timers who smoke 20 to 40 cigarettes expressing, their feined superiority towards me, who smoke 2 or 3 joints per day.

Yeh...

Many of these elders are always broke,can hardly afford their smokes as evidenced by their constant begging,often times can not afford their bus fare, do not have a decent apartment,cannot find a woman (even in aa ha ha ), refuse to get a job and certainly not serene as evidenced by their hateful ways. I actually had a member brandish a knife , in a menacing manner to me. I who smoked every day am never broke, have two automobiles, a lovely wife ,apartment and job. in other words, these superior, "spiritual people did little to inspire me. Please forgive, I do not mean to paint everyone with this broad brush but yes, many are just as described!!!!

I resent and refuse having to identify the core of my being as "I'm an alcoholic in every meeting. I was told that even though I do not drink etoh, I still suffer from the "ISM" and for this reason should identify myself as such. In a way, I can understand identifying oneself as such in the aa forum but was told I must always remember during every waking breath that I am am alcoholic!! I refuse, much to the consternation of the elders, to do so.This is the only malady I know of that requires you do so .

When announcing my clean time, giving my name only, the membership do not clap like a bunch of trained seals.

Thanks to your site I now truly have a sense of hope and freedom and no longer feel defective! I read excerpts from your site every day. Despite all of the hogwash I've been fed, I do miss the few good freinds I've made and will probably return on my 30 60 and 90 th day just to gloat that I did it WITHOUT THEM AND THEIR 6 PRACTICES x 2.I learned from you that I put the 23 days together through my own efforts and not through the kindly benevolence of the almighty bed pan or group of drunks.

Congratulations.

I doubt I will be asked to share my experience , strength and hope but will definitely (if given a chance ) refute some of their faulty teachings, using what I've learned from you. Please wish me luck because I am certain that it will fly like a lead balloon.

Okay Ace, I wish you luck.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "A little patience and we shall see the reign of witches
** pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people
** recovering their true sight, restore their government
** to its true principles.  It is true that in the meantime
** we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the
** horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public
** debt.  == Thomas Jefferson


[3rd letter from Ace:]

Date: Wed, February 1, 2006
From: ArthAce
Subject: tarred and feathered

I do not blame you for almost getting "tarred and feathered". The topic of a meeting was rigorous honesty.

All I did was question how aa could be a program of rigorous honesty, when the founder, Big Bill was a pathological lyin, thievin, 13 steppin, scoundrel, who would not recognize the truth if it bit him on his posterior! I attempted to cite some of your findings but was immediately shouted down by some of the old timers. I was asked why I was there if that is the way I feel. I responded by telling them that it was none of their business and that so long as I am in America, I'll go where I please, thank you. Some of the members almost got violent and continued to ask me to leave. I continued to refuse, when a freind defended me by telling me to take it easy and stay. It was then that I thanked him for his support but was leaving because I had enough of a sampling of their unconditional love !

I did not have a resentment because I was just conducting an experement to see the reaction I'd get. I learned that you can share whatever your little old heart desires, so long as you parrot the party line, do not criticize old lecherous Bill nor his dogma. Any way ha! ha!! ha!!! Keep up the good work and as for myself "I'll keep my visions to myself" as the song goes, ha! ha!! ha!!!

Congratulation, Ace. Thanks for an amusing story.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Gandalf said, "The demons of the darkness howl in
** pain when you shine the light of truth on them."





Date: Sun, January 15, 2006 3:31
From: "SARA A"
Subject: AA the only way?

AA the only way? Thats what I put in the search engine. I came up with Cult Test answers.

Every fricking time I hear the Serentity Prayer or those forsaken "readings" at a meeting I feel like I am in a cult. I cant take it. I searched this cause after tonites meeting well actually for awhile now. I can't stand AA; their success rate sucks and I have been sitting in the "rooms" looking around and thinking only 5% of these people are going to quit and the rest will go back. Its a pitifully low number.

I have 18 months clean. I am forced to go to these meeting in order to keep my kids. It's a choice. They say. Yeah if I want to lose my kids or not. so I go. But it has been so hard to listen to the BS. What kept me clean at first was the drug test and not wanting to turn in a dirty. Now its just I enjoy who I am not loaded. And its easier just not going out looking for dope. . When the court ordeal is over I do not plan on getting loaded. I am just glad that your site has proved to me beyond reasonable doubt that, I dont need 12 steps to keep me away from drugs.

Sara A.
Modesto Ca

Hi Sara,

Congratulations. You've got it together. You are absolutely right: You don't need the 12 Steps, or a cult, or a support group, or "treatment" or any of that garbage in order to stay clean and sober. All that you need is a burning desire for a better, higher life.

And I too am at the point where I'm just enjoying not being loaded. And I'm not even smoking. I like to joke that I'm saving my lungs for marriage.

It really feels good to not be chronically sick any more.

I think about relapsing, now and then. (Not very often, but now and then.) I think about the fact that there are possible futures where I could arrange things so that I could drink and dope and smoke. And then I think that I really don't want to go back to suffering like that again. I don't want to be that sick ever again. Been there, done that. Time for the next big thing.

I would suggest that you get some kind of social group of other people in recovery, just for the company and the moral support. It isn't essential, but might be helpful and even fun.

I like SMART meetings for the simple reason that you don't have to listen to the BS at the start of every meeting. That BS drives me nuts too, hearing all that stuff that I know is blatant lies at the start of every meeting: "RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail, who has thoroughly followed our path", and all of that.

The nice thing about SMART meetings is that you can tell the truth, the whole truth, the real truth, without somebody complaining that the official party line says something different.

I also hear good things about Women For Sobriety (WFS). I heard that the meeting in a nearby town was formed by a bunch of women who were refugees from A.A. who were tired of the guys hitting on them. Apparently they were also tired of the 12-Step dogma because they dumped that too and used the WFS format for their meetings.

If there aren't any SMART or WFS meetings in your area, you could check out online meetings of any of the non-cult recovery-oriented groups. There is a list of them, with links, at the very start of my links page.

That's just a suggestion, just the thought that you might enjoy a non-cult group of people who are also recovering.

Well, enjoy your life, and have a good one. And have a good day.

== Orange

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





Date: Mon, January 16, 2006 18:54
From: "Linda K. D."
Subject: AA etc.

I am an alcoholic member of AA and came across your site while surfing through Google for "Bill Wilson", as I have been reading "Pass It On" and wanted to hear a bit more about Bill from other sources. While I am very grateful for the care, concern, and companionship my fellow AAs have given me, I felt a bit as if I were reading a Catholic Church description of a saint. The book just doesn't ever say anything negative about Bill. Again, I believe he did a great deal to help a great number of people (from my perspective, even if AA is a cult, my fellow alcoholics have helped me to stay sober and that's a good thing — as long as one doesn't lose sight of the situation). But I am interested in your point of view; I still squirm at the religious overtones in AA, though I usually replace references to God and "my higher power" with my concept of being a very small cog in the wheel of the universe. But what interests me most is where your sources come from. In particular, can you direct me to where I might get more information about the "Founders Watch"? That seems fascinating and I'd like to hear more about it.

Thanks.

Hi Linda,

Thanks for the compliments.

You should look at the web page called "The Other Women". It contains all of those interesting quotes, along with the citations and references to the sources.

Specifically, this link will take you directly to the Founders Watch Committee.

Enjoy.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Important principles may, and must, be inflexible."
** == Abraham Lincoln





Date: Mon, January 16, 2006
From: "Kathy"
Subject: Thank You

Dear Writer:

Thank you for your extensive research and spot-on analysis of the AA program and Bill Wilson. Your work provides historical and psychological perspectives which are essential to understanding How It Works.

Sincerely,
Kathy F.

Hi Kathy,

Thanks for the compliments.

I'm not sure what you mean by "How It Works", because my position is that "It Doesn't Work".

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Gandalf said, "The demons of the darkness howl in
** pain when you shine the light of truth on them."


[2nd letter from Kathy:]

Date: Wed, February 1, 2006
From: "Kathy"
Subject: Re: Thank You

I used the phrase "How It Works" as a tongue-in-cheek expression.

Kathy

Ha-So! Okay, thanks for the clarification.

And have a good day.

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





Date: Tue, January 17, 2006
From: "Harold S." in the UK
Subject: Moral Re- Arranging

Mr Orange;

Your website is fantastic, as I have told you in the past. Call me slow off the mark, what ever, but I realised the other day a major detail of my cult experience with AA. It goes like this:

When I was deep in, say 2 years in, to AA — having worked the steps, service etc — I was still haunted and confused about actions in my past — actions whilst drinking even — that I /valued/, that I thought were good etc. I tried to show love to my parents; I opposed racism; I stuck up for people who were bullied; I was always polite — ya know, fairly decent most of the time. But I did not hear this stuff acknowledged or appraised in AA. What was good about me soon lost its "validity" in that, those memories of me being a fairly kind young man soon started to loose all weight. I eventually, after deep indoctrination, started to appraise those good actions as "selfishness", or "moral pride", or "martrydom" etc. So nearly every memory of myself doing "good" was not really good anymore, but part of my disease, my /ego/, and was not really good at all, but symptoms of a disease caused by selfishness and self seeking. Being nice is not good enough for those sick fuckers. And this is why...

I read this:

http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/moralife.html

This is by a Christian, and for those who cannot be bothered reading it he basically explains how moral secular people are not moral at all — but just phoney "do-gooders". And I am quite positive, to the core infact, that Bill Wilson saw secular morality as phoney, as evil. This has huge meaning for those in AA expecting self help for a horrible problem. The idea that someone's moral code is completely rewritten is not self help, but religious conversion. Thank God I left, and thank you, thank you, thank you Agent Orange.

(Orange — something on belief system should be drawn up on the anti-AA sites. So people can see how belief systems are slowly replaced by other belief systems (in this case AA). If people realise that their beliefs are under attack they will understand far greater the true nature of AA — and the "process of recovery").

Hi again, Harold,

Thanks for the letter and all of the compliments.

What you are talking about, how all of your previous life gets re-interpreted as evil, sounds just like this cult test item:

75. New Identity — Redefinition of Self — Revision of Personal History

And the answer for A.A. is here:

75. New Identity — Redefinition of Self — Revision of Personal History

I am really reminded of Andrew Meacham's story about how he ended up practicing "reverse denial" where he talked about how bad his previous life (before A.A.) was, to prove that he wasn't in denial.

And I'm also reminded of all of the Oxford Group meetings where people delivered the standard speeches about how sinful and unhappy they were until the Oxford Group "changed" them....

I'll have to think about a web page on how people's beliefs are under attack. That sounds like a good project. I think I've already covered a bit of that subject in the Heresy of the 12 Steps web page: There are huge conflicts between the A.A. dogma and what most people accept as mainstream Christian values — like how it's okay to deceive people to get them to join Alcoholics Anonymous — it's for their own good — "The end justifies the means."

Oh well, have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Rev. Jim Jones said, "Drink the red koolaid. It
** has cured millions. RARELY HAVE we seen it fail...
** But then again, the green koolaid is good too.
** Take what you want, and leave the rest."





Date: Tue, January 17, 2006 21:58
From: "Michael M."
Subject: AA blog

Hey there:

I read your blog and you made some decent points. I persnally have never met anyone for AA that would make anyone come to a meeting or not come to a meeting.

If a person needs help with drinking AA is absolutley the most powerful and successful way to help.

I have found that people don't judge at these meetings.

I would suggest that you go to some meetings and learn what it is that happens in the meetings.

There are also many different types of AA meetings built around members who might have things in common and they sort of form groups which match profiles and beliefs.

AA is wide open and noone brain washes anyone. In fact, it is just the other way around. AA encourages people to stay sober and become better people within a 12 step program which can be interpreted through an individuals own belief.

There is no religion in AA. Go to some meetings and you will quickly learn this.

Your questions are good though, and judges should be careful in giving sentances involving many levels.

AA works best for the person who is really in trouble and can't stop drinking and has hit rock bottom emotionally, spirtually, and physically. From there they can be lifted back up and restored to sanity and removed from the chaos of substance abuse.

AA really works and it's power doesn't come from one central place. It is supported in many ways from millions of people who come from very different backgrounds.

The great part of AA is that you can believe in anything in life, the only requirement is a desire to stop drinking.

Any judge should be careful and lead people to AA who have actually asked for the help to stop drinking.

Check out this stuff and talk with more people about this issue. Find out for yourself at the way this organization works. Meet people who have been in recovery for a long time and you will quickly realize that those folks are living great lives.

Thanks,

Michael

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the letter.

Once again, we have an A.A. member insisting that I don't know anything about A.A., but if I would just go to a few A.A. meetings and read the Big Book, I would learn the truth.

Please read the introduction to this web site, which clearly explains how I went to A.A. meetings and decided that it was a cult and a bunch of bull. I've been to plenty of meetings, and have read most of the "Conference-Approved" literature.

And please remember that I started off thinking that Alcoholics Anonymous was the biggest and best self-help group in the USA. Like most other people, I was fooled and misinformed by the endless river of A.A. self-promotion. It was only by going to A.A. meetings and reading the Big Book, and then learning more about A.A., that I came to the realization that it is a fraud and a cult.

And of course Alcoholics Anonymous is a religion. That is obvious, once you stop playing word games like "It's spiritual, not religious."

Oh, and A.A. doesn't work. It has a terrible failure rate — basically a 100% failure rate coupled with a high death rate. The only people who recover in A.A. are the ones who were going to recover anyway — the cases of spontaneous remission. A.A. just takes undue credit for other people's hard work.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Bill Wilson wrote that you cannot quit drinking by
** using your own intelligence and will power; that you
** must have a "Higher Power" doing the quitting for you.
** When I asked Jesus about that, He said,
** "Screw Bill Wilson.  I'm not gonna quit drinking."





From: "Melody A."
Subject: Cult Characteristics
Date: Wed, January 18, 2006 13:38

This is invaluable and really ought to be required reading. Very well done.

Melody A.

Hi Melody,

Thanks for the compliments.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** It may be difficult to determine where religious
** beliefs end and mental illness begins. — Elaine Cassel





Date: Wed, January 18, 2006 17:01
From: "mary j"
Subject: Sorry this is so long!

Hi. I love this site! It's really amazing how in-depth you go on all the different subjects relating to AA. — Makes for very interesting reading.

I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to share my story with you. I used to have a drinking problem. A bad one. I started drinking when I was fifteen and by the time I was twenty five, I was drinking everyday and had lost my apartment due to spending money on alcohol and not rent. I was in a relationship with a man who was a violent, abusive drunk. I did a lot of stupid things like start fights with people, tried breaking into a house, drove around while so intoxicated that I had to drive with one eye closed, to keep from seeing double. I got into a bad accident after knowingly getting into a car whose driver was drunk and ended up with a broken nose, bruises on my heart and eighty stitches in my head.

All of the people I hung out with at that time were either drunks and/or heroin addicts. I could barely function at work because I'd show up completely hung over. I abused many different drugs, but alcohol was my one, true love. I could do without coke or E or pills, but I could not live without alcohol. After moving around from place to place, I finally settled in north Jersey . I was still drinking, but at this point I was starting to feel that the cons of drinking all the time were outweiging the pros. I tried to stop a bunch of times. I would wake up and say to myself, "Today, I'm not going to drink." And I"d be okay for a couple of hours. But then I would start to get achy, like I was coming down with the flu. I'd start feeling fatigued. Depression and anxiety would wash over me. And I would give in and get a twelve pack. As soon as i took a couple sips of beer, the depression and anxiety would disappear. The fatigue would be replaced with energy and my aches and pains would disappear.

Then one day, after a couple of months of trying to quit I was hanging out drinking with some of my friends. I was buzzing and feeling *really* happy. I had just finished my third beer and was about to open my fourth. I sat there smiling, fourth beer in hand, when it hit me. It really hit me that the */only/* reason I felt good, the /*only*/ reason I felt happy was because I had alcohol in me. And that scared me and I suddenly felt incredibly sad. I thought to myself that I want to try being happy (or just content) on my own. I put the beer down and said to my friends, "I don't want to do this anymore." They were totally supportive.

Since then, I don't get wasted everyday. I'll still have a couple of drinks (no more than three or four) now and then, but no more than once or twice a month. — And that makes me feel really good — that I did it on my own and that I don't have to depend on alcohol to feel good; that I've been able to replace drinking with healthier activities like painting and cooking. It was a struggle, but I did it.

I used to be friends with a girl who was a part of AA, who told me that I wasn't a /real/ alcoholic, because real alcoholics can't quit drinking on their own, that it's a disease. Our friendship didn't last too long. She had given me a copy of Courage to Change, an Al-Anon daily meditation book, with a "meditation" for each day of the year, each written by an Al-Anon member. I just recently sat down to check it out. I have a lot of problems with it. — Like the person who called the verbal abuse she dealt with from her alcoholic spouse a "symptom" of his "disease". Another person referred to denial as a "symptom" of the "family disease" known as alcohol. Ridiculous! It also seems that they're never supposd to complain about things like verbal abuse because they have their own "defects of character". They claim they're not a religious organization, but they use the words "Higher Power", "God", and "prayer" a total of 446 times and they often use the terms "Higher Power" and "God" interchangably.

Also it, makes absolutely no sense *AT ALL* that Al-Anon members are required to work the 12 Steps. Reading through that book, I believe, has substantially lowered my IQ.

Lastly, I'd like to say, all these people who are writing you negative e-mails are complete and total hyprocrites. They try to come off as though they are selfless, altruistic people, but I've seen quite a few bruised egos making ad hominem attacks on you. To me, if an organization (and the people who belong to it) truly care about helping others and nothing else, they would be okay with constructive criticism (which is what you are doing), because it could only help them to better themselves and their cause. But instead they tell you stupid shit like "Have a drink on me!" How infantile and hateful.

Anyway, keep up the good work! You're helping more people than you know! You're site has opened my eyes to a number of things, especially your piece on the base brain. We need more people like you in the world.   :)

Sincerely, M

P.S. Congratulations on your five years of sobriety!

Hi Mary,

Thanks for the letter and all of the compliments.

Your story sounds so much like mine in so many ways.

Alas, there were a few critical differences: I didn't stop at the point where you did. You stopped when you had the realization that you could only feel good when you had alcohol in you. That thought bothered me for a little while, but then I just accepted it and kept on drinking. That realization just meant that I needed a better supply of alcohol.

Then it bothered me — scared and horrified me, actually — when I would wake up after a total black-out and not be able to remember anything that I had done the night before after the 6th beer. I had to count the empties laying around to figure out how much I had drunk, and it was a lot more than 6.

But then I got used to that too, and it just became usual — normal — that I could never remember what I had done the night before. The sheriff wasn't banging on the door to arrest me, so why worry?

Then it got to where I couldn't remember what I did last week, or yesterday, or much of anything, and I still didn't stop.

It took unemployment, eviction, starvation, and a doctor telling me that I was going to die to finally get me to snap out of it and decide to stop the slow suicide routine.

I wish I had quit a little sooner. I'd have a few more brain cells left.

Obviously, I totally agree with your story of how you could just quit drinking without joining a cult religion. And I agree that the 12-Step self-criticism routine is really psychologically unhealthy. I'm sure that it has driven a bunch of people to suicide. I can't say precisely how many, but I'm sure that it's a bunch. (More on that here.)

One note I have to add is that there really are different kinds of alcoholics. Some can just get a grip and taper off into moderate controlled drinking, and some can't. You are obviously one of the people who can. I'm one of those who can't. Just 3 beers is enough to readdict me. I know, because that's what happened to me 14 years ago, and I ended up drinking for another 9 years. But that's my problem, and not yours.

I know that's a real hot topic with A.A. people, who insist that no "real alcoholic" can ever recover and just enjoy moderate drinking. Not true. Some can and some can't. It's up to the individual people to figure out what the truth is for them. (More on that here and here.)

Thanks for the letter, and have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Foisting ineffective quack medicine on sick people is not
** a wonderful noble act of self-sacrifice to help others;
** it is the reprehensible behavior of a damned fool.





Date: Wed, January 18, 2006
From: "spambucket"
Subject: Newspaper article: Wife scammed by AA husband

The sad story that follows is from the Ukiah, CA Daily Journal.

The victim met her husband at an AA meeting; turns out he was a scam artist wanted in New Mexico. After running up massive debts in her name and splitting with more than a hundred grand in the couple's bank account, he took off under the pretext of a "Twelfth Step call."

Sadly, it appears that her only remaining support was from the same outfit that attracted the scoundrel in the first place.

http://tinyurl.com/blk5z     (Article is no longer online at the Ukiah Daily Journal.)

Hi, and thanks for the letter.

What a tragedy. Alas, that is one of the big problems with the whole A.A. structure. Everybody is anonymous, and there is no way to keep out the predators. And there is no certification or testing of the teachers. And there is no performance review for the sponsors. Nobody is accountable for anything.

Anyone can come into an A.A. meeting and claim that he has half a dozen years of sobriety, and start sponsoring people, and give them medical, psychological and spiritual advice, and tell them how to live... No matter what he is, or how stupid, ignorant, or evil he is.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent 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.





Date: Wed, January 18, 2006
From: "Michael S."
Subject: Wonderful ha ha

As a recovering person with ten years sobriety.......and an addiction therapist........let me give you some figures.
I do comprehensive ongoing follow ups with all of my clients (6 Monthly)
Numbers over 8 yrs 327, male & female, all age groups, all Addictions
Underlying support mechanisms, AA & NA
Sustained recovery 311
Death 5
Relapse 11

Until YOU can provide a better method........you should concentrate your efforts on something more productive than criticising what you can never hope to understand --

Hello Michael,

Those are some interesting claims.

You left a lot out of your story.

I can only guess that between the first and second sentences you meant to say that you quit drinking and then, after some sober time, decided to become a certified additions counselor. So you went back to school and took a bunch of classes, and got good grades, and graduated and got a degree, and then got a license to counsel.
Is that what happened?
If so,

  1. What school was that? Where?
  2. When?
  3. What was your major?
  4. What courses did you take?
  5. In which city, state or province of Australia are you licensed to practice?

Then there are all of these things that you didn't say anything about:

  • How do you select who will get your "treatment"?
    1. What are the standards for admission?
    2. What are the standards for staying in the program?
    3. Under what conditions will you kick someone out of the program?
    4. Where are the numbers for the people who failed the program and got kicked out?

  • Did you bother to keep track of all those people who just dropped out of your program and stopped paying your bills? Why not? They count too.

  • How many people started your "therapy" but failed to finish the course of treatment?

  • How many people failed to "graduate"?

  • What were the requirements for "graduation"?

  • How much do you charge? That acts as a filter. The poorest, really down-and-out alcoholics who don't have health insurance won't be able to pay, so they won't even try your treatment. That means that you are probably only treating the "high-bottom" drunks.

  • Where do you have your clinic? There is a big difference between running a clinic in a place like Beverly Hills or Malibu Beach, and running a clinic in South-Central Los Angeles.

  • So what is the class of your clientel? There is a huge difference between "treating" a movie star who partied too much after his last movie and "treating" homeless down-and-out street alcoholics.

  • What is your "treatment"?

    1. If you are giving your clients some more treatment than just telling them to go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, get a sponsor, works the Steps, and read the Big Book, then how do you know that it isn't your treatment that is curing the clients, rather than anything that the Alcoholics Anonymous program is doing?

    2. If you don't give your clients any treatment other than Alcoholics Anonymous, then how do you justify taking their money for telling them to go to free meetings?

  • Why don't you have a "missing" category for former clients?

    1. Do you expect us to believe that you never lost track of any of your former clients? None of them just moved on without bothering to tell you where they were going (if they even knew where they were going)?

    2. Didn't some of them just return to drinking and disappear with bothering to tell you?

    3. Didn't some of your clients drop out and stop paying your bills and not finish your "therapy"? How many of them were there? Did you track them?

  • You grouped all of your former clients together. Apparently, some have 8 years of sobriety, and some only quit last month. You didn't treat all of them in one year, 8 years ago, did you? So what's the break-out by years?

  • How do I know that you didn't just make up those numbers — fabricate them out of thin air?

    1. How do we know that your letter isn't just another pro-A.A. hoax?

    2. Have you published your results in any professional journal?

    3. Have you published any articles that describe your fantastically successful treatment program?

    4. Why not, since you are describing the greatest success rate that anyone has ever gotten in the whole world, in all of recorded history? Not even Bill Wilson, at his bombastic grandiose lying best, ever claimed that high of a success rate in curing alcoholics.

    5. If you have really gotten a success rate like 311 cures out of 327 patients, then you have single-handedly solved the alcoholism problem, and you will soon be rich and famous. Heck, you will even win the Nobel prize in medicine.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Foisting ineffective quack medicine on sick people is not
** a wonderful noble act of self-sacrifice to help others;
** it is the reprehensible behavior of a damned fool.





Date: Thu, January 19, 2006
From: "Mairtin O M."

Hi Orange

Hope you are well. I wrote to you before. I am less than six months free from AA after spending nearly nine years there. I have always kept a diary and was looking threw it. I truely was brainwashed. The language I used in my diary while in the cult shocked even myself in retrospect. 'I must do as my sponsor says' or my 'Higher Power will save me'. But the worst part I wrote, 'I must love my father'! My da was a wicked selfish man and yet AA didn't care about that. I was to blame, they said. I remember you writing a piece stating it was like that in the USA. Same in Ireland.

I said in one of my last letters I had made new friends. The truth is I was putting on a brave front at the time. I am finding it difficult, very difficult. I guess after nine years of brainwashing that's natural. But I feel I am not worthless as AA told me. I just reverse the brainwashing by telling myself that I deserve happiness and love, only unlike AA this is the truth.

Your pages give me great comfort. Oh in case any pro AAs misinterpret my difficulties: I have no difficulty staying sober. Sure why would I? Haven't I been sober nine years?

I am thinking of setting up a blog. May I use some of your information? It will be about my personal opinions but I would like to quote your site for hard facts (?).

I have read through parts of the BB again, actually I'd read it many times. I think it's the first time I read a book and didn't once have to pick up the dictionary. It is a simple book written by a simpleton.

I will not be allowing comments on my blog. Some of the vicious hate mail you get really is appalling. I'm just too sensitive!

Hope you are very well Sir!

regards
Mairtin.

Hi Mairtin,

It's good to hear from you again. I'm glad to hear you are hanging in there and making it. I am well too.

Feel free to quote me and borrow stuff in putting together your blog.

I know what you mean about the hate mail. But sometimes it is so stupid that it is downright entertaining.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

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





Date: Thu, January 19, 2006
From: "Randy HB"
Subject: Orange Papers

I have just spent my night reading a large part of your website and links. I do not know you but it is clear you have been damaged by AA or someone sometime and you can't seem to move on. If AA does not have any good qualities then why do you spend so much time and energy trying to destroy AA? Most rational people make their point and then move on in life, but you seem to be fixed on AA.

I do appreciate your research and I did find some interested things on it. But, as AA talks about, you need to move on from your resentments and hatred of AA or it will destroy your quality of life. Try discussing something in a positive nature. Life is good.

Randy, 6 months sober

Hi Randy,

Congratulations on your 6 months of sobriety. It is probably good that you quit drinking. Nobody quit drinking for you, so you deserve the credit for your sobriety.

What does "move on" actually mean, besides "Please quit telling the truth about Alcoholics Anonymous"?

I am so not "fixed on A.A." that I went out and partied in the sunshine for nearly a year, last year, and left this web site neglected for a while. I just got tired of arguing about Alcoholics Anonymous. Playing the guitar and working on my suntan and feeding the geese down at the river was more fun.

But the fact remains that somebody has to tell the truth about sick people being forced into the meetings of a cult religion where they get indoctrinated with insane quack nonsense. That even occasionally kills one of the victims. So I'll have to maintain this web site for a while longer.

Alcoholics Anonymous has had 70 years now to show that its cult religion and quackery actually work to cure or treat alcoholism, and it has totally failed to do so. In fact, A.A. has carefully avoided any valid testing that would prove the point. Since A.A. is just a dogmatic cult with a failed cure, don't you think it is about time for the A.A. members to just "move on"?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** The A.A. Plan: "Search out another alcoholic and
** try again. You are sure to find someone desperate
** enough to accept with eagerness what you offer."
** (Bill Wilson, The Big Book, page 96.)





Date: Thu, January 19, 2006
From: "Howard W."

Dear Orange:

I am sorry about AOL. Perhaps you should consult an attorney. Their conduct is inadmissable.

I do have some remarks about AA.

1. AA would be moribund without mandated attendance. Coercion — not attraction — is the order of the day [pun intended].

2. Newcomers are not really welcome at AA. Newcomers seem to make it difficult for "old timers" to talk amoung themselves. This is difficult for newcomers to miss.

3. People do not share. They use coded words. Catch phrases or bormides or cliches are used to hide behind; this eliminates the need to actually discuss real human suffering.

4. AA does serve to alleviate isolation. This isolation is real — and crippling.

5. AA cannot deal with the root causes of abuse; it represses them: depression, anxiety, bi polar, etc etc.

6. AA does not really believe in moving on. Solving the problem and getting on with making a life. AA needs people to remain dependent upon AA.

7. AA can serve as a support group. One may find another person who may help you through a difficult period.

8. AA is anonymous. That is useful — if you protect it. People in AA do not really know others in AA, nor do they actually care. Knowing that can be useful.

9. AA can be useful as a "tool in the toolbox" — make certain that it is not your only tool. If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

10. One does not need a sponsor. A sponsor may be a matter of the blind leading the blind. The issue is to heal. Not recovery. Healing. There is a huge difference.

My experience did not resonate with AA. AA did not get it. I healed without AA. I did not recover — I healed. My problem required a scalpel — not a hammer. I am well now. I lost 4 loved ones from April 2002 to Feb 2004. My wife was the last. That is why I drank.

Regards

Howard W

Hello Howard,

Thanks for the letter. Words from the wise.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** 'After all, facts are facts, and although we may quote one
** to another with a chuckle the words of the Wise Statesman,
** "Lies - damn lies - and statistics," still there are some
** easy figures the simplest must understand, and the astutest
** cannot wriggle out of.'
** Leonard Henry Courtney, the British economist and politician
** (1832-1918), later Lord Courtney, New York, August 1895.


[2nd letter from Howard:]

Date: Wed, February 1, 2006
From: "Howard W."

Dear Orange:

Thank you Orange for your kind remark.

My hope, not forlorn I trust, is for two things: that the Courts come to understand that AA is an ignominious failure. 12 step is a mere abstraction; empty words.

Second, that the medical profession comes to understand that AA is useless and worse than useless — AA is iatrogenic. The medical profession did come to understand sepsis; so, all is not hopeless.

Howard W

Hi again, Howard,

Yes, one can hope, can't one? It is downright hard to believe that the medical community and government agencies can be so stupid as to believe the Steppers' propaganda, isn't it?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** The A.A. Plan: "Search out another alcoholic and
** try again. You are sure to find someone desperate
** enough to accept with eagerness what you offer."
** (The Big Book, page 96.)





Date: Thu, January 19, 2006
From: "Melanie Solomon" <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: SIGN UP FOR FUTURE UPDATES

Dear Agent Orange,

Thank you for your interest in, "AA-Not the Only Way". I also wanted to personally thank you for your own website and the work that you have done, and continue to do. You helped me a great deal with my research to write my book, and I was just astonished at what I learned from your site, as well as some others.

I am in the middle of trying to move my website to a host where I can handle everything myself since I am NOT a computer person, so in the near future I am going to be putting up many different resources on my site, as well as doing link exchanges with those who are on the same page as I am with the whole recovery scene. Please let me know if you are interested in working together to help get the message out to as many people as possible.

All the best,

Melanie Solomon
www.aanottheonlyway.com (Dead Link, Domain Name Lost.)
[email protected]

P.S. You can listen to my interview any time today, and it will probably be on all week at www.take12radio.com where Monty interviews me about my book. It's actually pretty cool because even though he has many, many years of sobriety in AA, he was very supportive of getting the info out to people so they know about all of their options. If you want, you can copy and paste the banner at the bottom of this email and post it up on your site. I think your visitors will really want to know about this! Take care.

Okay, Melanie,

Thanks for the thanks, and good luck on your web site.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Gandalf said, "The little orks don't like
** humor. They cringe in pain at the sound of
** laughter. And they really can't stand it when
** you poke fun at them. So they howl and growl
** and scowl and get all bent out of shape."
UPDATE 13 Sept 2006:
The host is gone and the domain name is held by sedoparking.com





Date: Thu, January 19, 2006
From: "Richard O'H."
Subject: Re: Friendship

Are you sick of all those sissy "friendship" poems that always sound like Hallmark cards, and never come close to reality? Well, here is a series of promises that really speak to true friendship:

1. When you are sad — I will help you get drunk and plot revenge against the sorry son-of-a-bitch who made you sad.

2. When you are blue — I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

3. When you smile — I will know you've finally had sex.

4. When you are scared — I will rag on you about it every chance I get.

5. When you are worried — I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be and tell you to quit whining.

6. When you are confused — I will use little words.

7. When you are sick — stay the hell away from me until you are well again. I don't want whatever you have.

8. When you fall — I will point and laugh at your clumsy ass.

This is my oath...I pledge it till the end. Why, you ask? Because you are my friend.

Send this to 10 of your closest friends, then get depressed because you can only think of two, and one of them isn't speaking to you anyway.

Remember: /*A good friend will help you move. A really good friend will help you move a body. Let me know if I ever need to bring a shovel.........And remember your no good , your bad in bed, your friends don't like you, and your better off DEAD.*/

*/HAVE A HAPPY DAY!/*

*/Ric/* --

Hi Ric,

Thanks for the laugh, and you have a good day too.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
* Heisenberg said, "I'm not really sure if *
* that even was Shrödinger's cat. I think he    *
* might have used somebody else's cat..."  *





Date: Thu, January 19, 2006
From: "Barbara W."
Subject: Your Bibliography

I have no idea who you are. I feel sad for you that you would try to negate what has helped millions of people get sober.

God chooses flawed human beings as his best messengers. Witness Moses, Abraham, etc. Only Christ was perfect. The message is much more important than the messenger.

God bless you as you go on. Please stop hurting people who need help with you bigotry.

Hi Barbara,

Sorry, but A.A. has not helped millions. As a cure for alcoholism, A.A. is a total failure with a success rate no better than giving alcoholics no help at all. A.A. is just another cult religion that perpetrates a hoax, just like Scientology.

Read the file The Effectiveness of the Twelve-Step Treatment for more on the A.A. success rate.

You might also want to read The Other Women and The Funny Spirituality of Bill Wilson and Alcoholics Anonymous before concluding that Bill Wilson was some kind of a messenger from God.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Rev. Jim Jones said, "Drink the red koolaid. It
** has cured millions. RARELY HAVE we seen it fail...
** But then again, the green koolaid is good too.
** Take what you want, and leave the rest."


[2nd letter from Barbara W.:]

Date: Wed, February 1, 2006
From: "Barbara W."
Subject: Re: Your Bibliography

AA is not the only way to get and stay sober, of course. No one ever said it was. I am living proof that it works, and I know from over 120 years of sobriety in my own family, that it works. It must just not have worked for you. I will pray for you. By the way, AA is not a religion or a cult.

Hello Barbara,

You are living proof that it is possible to quit drinking. You have offered no evidence that A.A. caused your sobriety.

You are pulling yet another propaganda trick when you say, "It must just not have worked for you."

That is the trick of "assume the major premise".

That is bad logic. MY program is working great. I simply chose not to join a cult, and when I saw how the cult was being foisted on vulnerable people, I chose to speak out.

By the way, Alcoholics Anonymous is both a religion and a cult.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "AA is 'the last house on the block' for a reason:
** it's full of arsonists who've been burning down
** the other houses!" — Madame Senga





Date: Fri, January 20, 2006 2:27
From: "Mary C. Hogan, Ph.D."
Subject: RE: "Wish List" — #25 a word

In your Wish List # 25 you wrote "This question leads into the next one — another word: What do you call this phenomenon that I called "seeing through tinted lenses"? "

Have you considered "meme?" (Rhymes with dream- meem) and is a noun meaning "A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another." http://www.answers.com/topic/meme

It's a fascinating concept and a theory worth exploring , I think. A Goggle search will produce more than anyone ever wants to know on the subject!

Here a just a few links for your quick reference:

http://jom-emit.cfpm.org/1998/vol2/wilkins_js.html

http://www.memecentral.com/

http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/MEMIN.HTML (Dead Link, Domain Name Lost.)

This last link asks, "What if ideas were viruses?"

It certainly would fit your observation and mine that "Once somebody buys into one of those models of reality, a perceptual filter kicks in where they notice more and more "facts" that reinforce their chosen beliefs, and they ignore any conflicting information that comes along, so they become more and more convinced of the correctness of their beliefs." They have a different meme.

I would love to do a paper on it, but given time restraints, doubt that I ever will. Should you use it might I ask for credit?

Thank you for a very interesting site, a wealth of information! The only major point of disagreement I have is with Bill's mental illness. Your meme there is different from mine!

I am more interested in his connection with the Rockefellers. Do you have a chronological list of his meetings with them or his office location in the Rockefeller building, his salary from them, etc. (BTW I am not into conspiracies. Their name, however, is found at the very bottom of several areas of my academic research.)

Sincerely,

Mary C. Hogan, Ph.D.

Hi Mary,

Thanks for the letter.

"Memes" isn't quite the word I'm looking for. It is related, but I'm really looking for a word much more like putting on a set of rose-colored glasses, or Nazi-tinted lenses, or Scientology filters, or whatever. Think about Pollyanna. She saw everything through rose-colored glasses, and I don't think it had anything to do with either cults, religions, or politics, or even memes.

The funny phenomenon I want a word for is the way that someone only sees part of the world once he buys into a particular mental model of the world — like how Nazis see everything as a Jewish plot, while Scientologists see everything as mental handicaps (engrams) caused by past injuries or by ghosts of people from another planet bothering you (no joke). Fundamentalist Christian extremists see everything as the Last Days of the World. And 12-Step nuts see everything wrong in this world as being caused by "spiritual diseases" — alcoholism, drug addictions, or codependency.

I am familiar with the idea of memes, and have it listed in the page about Propaganda Techniques. Repeating commonly-accepted old memes is one way to play mind games on people. I added your links to memes there.

We — correspondents and I — have compared A.A. and other cults to viruses several times. Once infected, you go around trying to infect others. Personally, I prefer the imagery of vampires and werewolves. Once bitten, you turn into one of them and then run around trying to bite others and turn them into copies of your unholy kind.

I am not into conspiracy theories, either, but I am very interested in history and who did what and who caused what. I don't have much information about the links between the Rockefeller crowd and Bill Wilson and Alcoholics Anonymous, although there is no doubt that Rockefeller played a role in the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous.

  1. Everybody knows about the famous dinner that John D. Rockefeller Jr. gave for Alcoholics Anonymous, where they praised the work of these men and then decided not to give them any money "because money would ruin this thing".
  2. And then John D. Rockefeller Jr. gave Bill Wilson a stipend of $120 per month.
  3. Rockefeller loaned the fledgeling A.A. organization money, here.
  4. Paul Diener had some more links and connections, here and here and here.
  5. We know that Bill Wilson was associating with Rockefeller people during the early days. One of Rockefeller's men was on the first board of trustees of "Works Publishing", which was renamed to Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.. Also see this, and this, and this.
  6. John D. Rockefeller Sr. was also a supporter of Frank Buchman and his Oxford Groups long before Alcoholics Anonymous started. Look here and here.

That is a good subject for further investigation.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** When you can't tell the difference between patriotically
** defending America at home, and killing thousands of
** children in a foreign country with "Shock and Awe"
** bombing, you are officially crazy.





Date: Fri, January 20, 2006 9:17
From: "Clint B."
Subject: Science of AA

I have used the twelve steps to change my belief system from that of intolerance and depression to happiness and tolerance. I quit drinking for 6 years before going back to investigate AA and have found out what it does to those who stay.

Hi Clint,

Thanks for the letter.

So you had 6 years of sobriety without A.A., but you just wanted to go join a cult anyway, and see what it would do to your head? Why on earth would you do that?

I have been intrigued as to what is actually happening as someone works the twelve steps. I have found pretty solid explanations of the way that they work and they have nothing to do with religion (or spirituality as it were).

Well, okay, so how do they work? You just suddenly dropped that subject without saying anything.

How about the psychological effects of guilt induction, confession sessions, constant put-downs like "Your mind is defective. You can't trust your own thinking", and Bill Wilson's zillion slurs and insults to "the alcoholic"?

What about the effects of the constant demands that you surrender control of your will and your life to the cult?

What effects have you seen?

I am not sure about the effectiveness of the program on people who are not interested in the program or who drop out. I really am only interested in the people who stay of their own volition (because I wanted to be happy and thought I would investigate). I believe that it is someones choice to join/work the program and that is all.

You are trying to escape with qualifiers.

People have to "really want to quit", and they have to "work a strong program", and then A.A. will steal the credit for their success.

And if they don't succeed in staying sober, A.A. will explain that "they didn't really try".

You might consider the higher death rate could be attributed to the guilt that someone would feel if they took a real hardcore case and did nothing for them so in turn put those cases into the AA program because they believed that it worked. Could you imagine the guilt you would feel if you left someone out of the program if you believed that it worked?

That is nonsense. Who cares whether you "believed that it worked"?

Imagine the guilt that you would feel if you took a sick person whom you really cared about to a 12-Step meeting, and then that person went out and died, and later you learned that the 12-Step programs are just a cultish hoax that rarely ever help anybody. That is what happened to me, but I'm not going to commit suicide over it.

It would be like not operating on an appendix when you knew it would help. I am talking about IF the person actually believed that the program worked, because they would have to have some idea that it worked or else why would they do the study.

That is more nonsense. You keep harping on "believed that the program worked" as if that mattered, or determined success. The A.A. program does not work, no matter whether people come to believe that it works or not.

Actually I was indoctrinated and found the social aspects to be encouraging, but relapsed after only nine months once I had moved away from the support system.

You are just giving me buzz words and slogans. "Support system"?

Fourteen years ago, I relapsed after 3 years of complete sobriety because I thought that I could handle a few beers now.

  • I thought that I was cured enough to be able to control it.
  • I thought that I couldn't be "a real alcoholic" because my second and third years of sobriety had been so easy. I wasn't white-knuckling it at all, like A.A. members are supposed to be doing. And I didn't have to call my sponsor all of the time to keep from relapsing every weekend. (I didn't even have a sponsor, not ever.)
  • So I thought that one beer would be safe.

That mistake had absolutely nothing to do with any "support system", or being close to a support system, or away from a support system, or any such thing.

So why did you relapse?

  1. What was the real reason?
  2. What were you thinking when you decided to take that drink?
  3. How did you explain to yourself that it was okay?
Please be rigorously honest.

(Oh, and you might want to consult this list of excuses.)

If you would like to have a discussion on how the system works on people who have changed because of it, I have some insight on that subject that has some rootedness in science and I do believe that there is something of value to it. It is possible that my rewording could make this make sense to you.

I have serious doubts about that, but I am quite willing to carry on a dialogue.

I don't really need any rewording to make sense of things. I already know how cults work. See the Cult Test for an explanation.

Since this program does make SOME people happy it is worth mentioning to people how it really works.

Scientology, the Moonies, Heaven's Gate, and even Jim Jones' People's Temple cults all make some people happy, or so they imagine. I remain unimpressed by their giddy claims.

I am in no way an advocate of indoctrination against someones will. I WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE THAT SOMEONE WHO IS FORCED TO GO TO AA WILL FAIL AT AN ABOVE AVERAGE RATE. I also agree that it is possible to misinterpret the strange wording and actually become worse, I have seen it a bunch of times.

Excuse me, but the people who are forced into Alcoholics Anonymous ARE THE AVERAGE. The centerfold of the November 2002 issue of the AA Grapevine summarized the results of the most recent triennial survey. It showed that 61% of the current A.A. membership was "introduced to A.A." (cute euphemism, yes?) by the criminal justice system or health care systems. So it is hard for the coerced people to be failing at much more than the "average" A.A. failure rate when they are the clear majority of Alcoholics Anonymous. Their failure rate is the A.A. failure rate. A.A. is a program of underhanded coercion, not a program of attraction.

And you know that. You know all about it. You can see all of those people putting their slips into the basket to get signatures at every meeting. Those people are coerced into that meeting because somebody lied to the judge and fooled him into believing that A.A. was an effective solution to the problem of alcoholism. And people are coerced into that meeting because 12-Step fanatics work at all of the "treatment centers" in the USA, where they recruit more people for their favorite religion.

You will not receive any of the usual AA dribble from me as I just want to explain in plain english what happened to me.

I look forward to speaking with you,
Clint

Okay Clint, I look forward to your next letter.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Humans always do the most intelligent thing after every
** stupid alternative has failed. --- R. Buckminster Fuller


[2nd letter from Clint:]

From: "Clint B."
Subject: RE: Science of AA
Date: Wed, February 1, 2006

Thank you for your reply.

The appendix and belief comments were to point out that the AA studies could have been biased against themselves (dumb asses). You think they would have been smart enough to cherry pick, but they believed that low bottoms responded well. WHAT EVER.

My support system was just a group of friends I hung out with that I met in AA. We did things that did not involve alcohol. When I moved away from them my new friends at work were drinkers.

My exact line of thought on drinking again after 9 months was this. "I am too young to be an alcoholic, drinking is fun, I can control my drinking so therefore I will have a beer."

I wasn't too young, drinking was fun sometimes, I could not control my drinking after I have one, no matter how hard I have tried.

After 12 years of drinking and drugging I finally stopped when this thought came into my head. "We had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholic". I did concede to myself and haven't had a drink since. I had to admit that the sentence was taken out of the big book. So they probably are responsible in part for my quitting drinking.

Orange->So you had 6 years of sobriety without A.A., but you just wanted to go join a cult anyway, and see what it would do to your head? Why on earth would you do that?

Clint-> Short answer: I was already suicidal what are they going to do kill me?

Long answer: I went back to the program because I still wasn't happy after all of these years of not drinking. I took anti-depressants but they just gave me diabetes (zyprexa), or ringing in my ears (welbutrin). If I wanted a real person to be pissed off at it should be the pharmaceutical companies.

But I digress. The pills made me worse.

So I stopped the pills and wanted to go to some kind of behavior therapy or something because I have been studying psychology and success mindsets for about 20 years which also did not fix it. I always had a sneaky suspicion that it was my beliefs that were causing my depression. My doctor is in AA and had been trying to talk me into it for like 3 years. I finally remembered all of the fun I had with those other friends and thought it might be nice to make some new friends outside of work where they did not drink.

I am not too paranoid about what the members can do to my head because I don't care what they think and I know they are just people. If I do begin caring I do a step three below. This is the one mental behavior that TOTALLY changed my life and I must admit my sponsor helped me try it the first time.

The only way to use AA is to find out how other people did it and maybe cheer up someone who is hating life. I set up the chairs and stuff to keep me from being lazy and bored.

Here are the steps that I took which are suggested as a program of recovery.

  • 1. Admitted that I could not have just one drink and my life is worse because of it.
  • 2. Came to believe that I don't have all of the answers and someone else might have some
  • 3. Stopped caring about everything so damn much. ***
  • 4. Wrote down everybody and everything I was mad at or afraid of to find out what my current belief system consisted of. (identified every belief that made me unhappy)
  • 5. Told another alcoholic friend how my belief system worked and asked him how it related to his experience.
  • 6. Waited for my newfound belief system to piss me off and cause problems.
  • 7. Found the falsehood in the belief and visualized not doing the behavior.
  • 8. Made a list of all of the people that I know.
  • 9. Attempted to make friends with them and to be kind, not caring if they still hated me. (Forgiveness ALWAYS stops MY pain their response is varied.)
  • 10. Watched out for old beliefs to screw up my life and fixed them when I could.
  • 11. Meditate to identify new bullshit and develop mental discipline.
  • 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps I tried to carry the message to alcoholics and to practice these behaviors in all of my affairs.

***

http://www.webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?sourceid=Mozilla-search&va=care

Definition 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
A good read here is "One small step can change your life". He explains the effects of the amygdaloid nucleus on your ability to think. Basically fight or flight makes you feel bad and do stupid stuff.

***

It is possible to do all of these things outside of AA but I think we tend to degenerate without social contact and most people do not do the above things due to their conditioning. I use the program as a place to keep in touch with others who are trying to be happy without alcohol.

I really don't care what they do with the stupid dollar, just like I did not care where Jack Daniels spent his money or who owned the bar that I went to.

Famous alcoholic last words:
I could quit anytime I want.
Don't tell me what to do.
I am right.
One more won't hurt me.
I am fine.

Hope this was fun to read,
Clint

Hi again Clint,

So, you used Alcoholics Anonymous as some kind of psychotherapy, huh? That is not was it is supposed to be about, and that is not was A.A. advertises.

It is good that you stopped making yourself miserable by worrying about what other people thought. Still, I have doubts about some of your new steps.

In Step 4, why don't you make a list of everybody whom you love and admire, to find out what you really believe and value?

Then, in Step 5, you can share your joy and love with somebody else.

And in Step 6 you won't have to wait for something to make you unhappy. You can see how they give your greater happiness.

Then in Step 7 you can find the validity of love and admiration.

Making friends in Step 9 sounds good.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Pay your taxes so the rich don't have to. *





More Letters


Previous Letters





Search the Orange Papers







Click Fruit for Menu

Last updated 9 December 2014.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters34.html