Letters, We Get Mail, XXXV



Date: Fri, January 20, 2006 17:35
From: "Ben S."
Subject: Kudos bro!!!!!

Congrats on a well researched, fine piece of work. I have only read a small part of it but this is the truth as it needed to be told.The first cult I was suckered into was Jehovah's Witnesses.My Grandmother took me to my forst meeting as a teenager and when I finally broke away a few years later it took a lot of research on my part to discredit them and this is one of the reasons I was never comfortable in AA because I instinctively recognized efforts to influence my thinking and destroy my personal autonomy. Do you mind if I download or print parts of your Orange papers to show others?

Hi Ben,

Thanks for the letter and all of the compliments.

Go for it. Help to spread the word, and all that.

I am quite certain Alcoholics has caused a great deal of damage and will continue to do so. And the fact that AA has become so thoroughly entrenched in the legal system in this appalling. Forcing people to attend meetings is a violation of civil and human rights. Let me know if I can have your permission to show this work to others.

Yeh, you do.

Of course I will continue to read more. Bill Wilson was a nut. All cult leaders were, including J.C. himself. I hope to live long enough to help undo some of the damage people seem so ready to inflict on each other. Live long and prosper!!!

Actually, I think I'd have to exclude J.C. from that nutcase category, when I read his sermon on the mount. Undoubtedly, many of His predecessors and followers were.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

*                  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: Sun, January 22, 2006
From: "Andrew B."

Dear Orange,

Thanks for your brilliant web-site! I thought it was ironic that you happened to mention Renascent. Many of my "recovery" friends have been through there, and I have walked by the building on many occasions because it is in my neighbourhood in Toronto. Outside the building, in addition to the many sullen, coffee drinking, chain-smoking "grateful" alcoholics, you will notice a brand new yellow Camaro. The owner? The Director, of course. Only in the recovery industry could a man with little training (outside AA) and no credentials procure such a career.

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the letter, and thanks for all of the thanks.

Can you collect more information on Renascent? Just whatever you run across. Anything and everything would be interesting, and maybe helpful. Exactly what "credentials" does the Director of Renascent have? What is his salary? I'm not sure how the laws of Canada work, but in the USA, the finances of non-profit corporations are an open book, and their filings are available for public inspection. It would be interesting to see what a self-proclaimed "expert" on addictions makes.

Oh, and other readers: Do you have any juicy tidbits on your local corrupt 12-Step fraud — a.k.a. "treatment center"?

I have been through the AA/treatment mill, and web sites like yours give me hope. In Canada, there is a whole industry run by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, that houses men who are addicted, taking their welfare cheques, and mandates 12-step attendance. The catch? If and when a person relapses they are evicted instantly and get none of their rent money back.

Hmmm. It's hard to see how that is "Christian" behavior.

Thank you for exposing the myth and downright treachery of the 12-step industry.

Here's hoping that its days are numbered, and tax dollars can be spent on medical treatment for addiction and real counselling for those in need instead of pseudo-religious bullshit!

Sincerely,
Andrew B.

Yeh, really. 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.'





Date: Sat, January 21, 2006
From: "Kenny L."
Subject: A.A. as a cult.

Is A.A. a cult? Well, since I'm generally happy, optomistic, loving, caring (twords all), respectful, unchained from the booze, etc... and have a desire to live again.

Hi Kenny,

Congratulations on your sobriety. It's nice how breaking the alcohol addiction makes people feel so much better. And the really nice thing is that it works even outside of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Obviously, your improved mental state comes from not killing yourself with ethyl alcohol any more, rather than from any cult that you may be visiting.

And I only got this from my A.A. fellowship and the steps.

Obviously, you don't know what caused the improvements. It's the "no alcohol" that does it, not "the fellowship".

Besides, you didn't try a lot of other things, did you? So you can't declare that the improvements come only from some "fellowship".

How many other programs did you work? For how many years? How thoroughly? Did you actually quit drinking at any other time, in any other program? Then you can't blame the program for not working, when you didn't work the program, now can you?

Then it doesn't matter to me personally. It will matter to a possible newcomer. Most of us have tried all the different ways to stop and stay stopped drinking. Usually A.A. is the last stop.

All of the different ways? Please list them. Vague grand hand-waving doesn't make it.

Of course A.A. was the last stop for you, because you quit looking for other programs when you quit drinking. But what about the other people, the millions of other people who quit A.A. and also quit drinking some other way? You don't count them, do you? You don't even talk to them. So what do you really know?

The last thing we want to do is to be controled by any group or individual.

Baloney. You spend your life in a mind-controlling cult, jabbering illogical platitudes like this letter.

You have most likely turned off a person looking to get sober by participating in our program.* You* can tell his family that your negative input may have helped him to stay away from getting help from a sucsessful program.

That's just some more standard Alcoholics Anonymous fear mongering — a very common A.A. mind game and propaganda trick. You are proving my points for me. That's what cults do — fear-monger and play mind games on people

And Alcoholics Anonymous is not a successful program; it is a total failure. The only people who quit drinking in A.A. are a small minority of those people who were going to quit anyway. Alcoholics Anonymous merely steals the credit from a few cases of spontaneous remission.

You are also using the propaganda trick of Sly Suggestions. "You MAY HAVE caused his death." Or maybe drugs and alcohol caused it. Or maybe mental illness caused it. Or maybe nothing caused it — maybe he didn't die.

Speaking of deaths: Do you go to the houses of the A.A. suicides and apologize to the families for having caused their deaths with cult religion? Why not?

We as members benefit greatly by having new people come into the program.

That is typical of cults. You always need new blood and fresh meat.

We get to see them go from self hatred to self love.

Baloney. Alcoholics Anonymous teaches immense amounts of self-hatred and self-contempt. Read "The Us Stupid Drunks Conspiracy". A.A. ex-members tell me that it takes years to overcome the psychological damage caused by the constant A.A. put-downs and criticism.

We get to hear their stories of reuniting with their familys'.

Oh yeh? Like this one?

We get to hear about their job promotions. etc... I think it is called Joy that we receive from new or current members. Not a bad cult.

Ken. L.

Not a bad cult? As compared to the Moonies and Scientology?

I noticed that you kept talking about how much you enjoyed new members, not how much the new members benefitted from the A.A. routine.

And what you really never did is compare the stories of people who quit drinking inside A.A. with the stories of people who quit outside A.A., so see if there are really any benefits to A.A. membership.

And you also seem to be ignoring all of the horror stories that people tell me about their experiences in Alcoholics Anonymous. You should read the files of letters that I get.

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.


[2nd letter from Kenny:]

Date: Wed, February 1, 2006
From: "Kenny L."
Subject: RE: A.A. as a cult.

Hi Orange.

You sure did a lot of assuming about what I tried and didn't try. And what I learned from the program or from not drinking. I don't recall saying that A.A. is the only way to get and stay sober.

But you did say, "Most of us have tried all the different ways to stop and stay stopped drinking. Usually A.A. is the last stop.", which means just about the same thing.

And that statement is totally untrue. What the Harvard Medical School says is that 80% of the people who successfully quit drinking for a year or more do it alone. So "do it yourself" is really the last stop for the vast majority of alcoholics.

I didn't put down any other programs.

Well implying that the other programs do not work, and that A.A. is the last stop, sure sounds like putting other programs down.

I don't care how someone gets sober. I didn't go through all of you web site, but Hopefully you had enough decensy to suggest some alternative programs for people to try.

Ken

We have talked about what works many times. Look here.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "There were alcoholics in the hospitals of whom A.A. could
** touch and help only about five percent. The doctors started
** giving them a dose of LSD, so that the resistance would be
** broken down. And they had about fifteen percent recoveries.
** This was all a scientific thing."
** === Nell Wing — PASS IT ON, page 370.
** (Nell Wing was an early secretary of A.A..)
** Apparently, for treating alcoholics, LSD works three times
** better than cult religion.





Date: Sun, January 22, 2006
From: "Jeff"
Subject: Thanks, Keep up the Good Work

Howdy Agent Orange,

Your site has been of great help to me. Having ridden the RGM's merry go round a few times with no success I felt like a failure. AA just didn't work for me and it wasn't due to lack of effort on my part, although thats what I was being told.

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the letter and all of the compliments. Glad to be of help.

"The Lord helps those who help themselves" is what I was taught in my religious upbringing. So, I googled about on the internet for non 12 step methods to quit drinking. I found Rational Recovery and have been using AVRT. I haven't drank alcohol since then, late June of 2004, and am amazed at how simple and relatively easy quitting drinking and later quitting cigarettes was.

Congratulations! That is great, especially getting rid of both alcohol and tobacco. Pretty soon you will be feeling like King Kong.

This fall I was told about your site during a conversation with another x-AAer. It all seems so clear now. AA isn't about quiting drinking, it's about recruiting new members for the cult and keeping those in the cult stuck there. That really pisses me off and I think that is a good thing. After reading through all that is on the Orange-Papers I consider myself lucky to have gotten out of the cult alive and in good mental health. Speaking of mental health, I'm also pissed off about how the ATI pushes 12 step "treatment" without presenting alternative treatment that actually works and doesn't require a lifetime of being in recovery, going to meetings, recruiting new cult members, and being "diseased".

It would be great to see the media explore the effectiveness of 12 stepping, the cost in $, and the harm done to those who are unknowingly sent into the 12 step ATI under the guise of "treatment".

Thankyou for the info,
Jeff

Thanks again for the thanks, Jeff.

I agree that the media ought to be covering this issue. The silence is deafening. We basically do not have an active, free media much anymore.

The media have been making just a little noise, lately.

  1. First, there was the ABC News 20/20 TV program, "Help Me, I Can't Help Myself".

  2. And recently, South Park did a great spoof of Alcoholics Anonymous, a really accurate, biting satire. Look here and here.

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: Sun, January 22, 2006
From: "MS R W."
Subject: Literature Craziness

Hello Orange:

I hope you are well. Sorry to hear about the AOL fuss. Did pass the info along to the 12-step free zone, a CC, I believe was hoping to hear from you.

Hi RW,

Good to hear from you again. Yes, I am well. And AOL has knocked off the blocking.

Anyway, was wondering if you could clear up a bit of AA craziness. Amazon.com lists the publisher of the book Alcoholics Anonymous as Hazelden (you have to click on the title Alcoholics Anonymous, and scroll to the bottom of the next page and look at product details). And it says the author is AAWS. People who have copies of the book (4th edition) say the publisher is AAWS.

Can you figure this out? Went on a sober chat and they seemed offended that Hazleden has anything to do with AA. I don't understand this, doesn't Hazleden use 12 steps in their rehabs? People seemed very offended that Hazleden or anyone else should make money off a "shoestring outfit like AAWS." Of course I had to put my two bits in while I was there — I am really appalled at the way they handle criticism of the program, stupid insults, more stupid insults, and of course, the truly insane suggestion that I try the steps, and can't possibly happy without a god in my life. Then they accused me of drinking. I got no response to the question "Do you think attending AA meetings has limited your abilitity to express yourself?" I was, however, invited to "lift up my skirt and fight like a man," (I had signed in as a man) is it only in AA that a real man is defined by his ability and/or desire to view and discuss another man's equipment? I don't understand why if they thought I was a man, I'd be wearing a skirt. Must have missed the step that explains that one.

Do AAWS and Hazleden both publish AA literature? Is AAWS a publishing company? Is Hazelden employed by AAWS to publish the book, and if the only products coming from Hazlden support and advertise the AA "product" would it be fair to say Hazleden is part of AA or exists only with the support of AA? Does AA contribute to Hazleden? Is Hazleden really non-profit?

Anyway, I'm getting tired of looking up information, finding the information, mentioning the information and being told I'm not getting my facts straight. How am I supposed to my facts straight when AA is on an all out campaign to keep the facts a secret or present them in such a way no one knows what's going on?

Tattle

You have your facts basically straight. Hazelden and AAWS are very much in bed together. Hazelden is the biggest publisher of pro-AA and pro-12-Step titles in the world. They publish far more titles than AAWS. They even publish the lunatic fringe titles, like how to use the 12 Steps to treat "spiritual diseases" like "codependency", and how to quit smoking with the 12 Steps. (I'll give you one guess how well that works.) Go to the bibliography, and search the page for Hazelden, and you will find a bunch of titles.

AAWS only publishes about 30 titles, including the Big Book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, PASS IT ON, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, and a few minor titles. And of course there is the perennial republishing of Bill's Bull, squeezing more profits out of excerpts from Bill's lectures and sermons that were published in The A.A. Grapevine, in books like As Bill Sees It and the various books of daily meditations that feature one of Bill's crazy sayings for every day.

Hazelden, on the other hand, has a list of hundreds of published titles.

Hazelden is a strange beast. Technically, they are a very rich non-profit corporation. They run a big expensive 50-year-old rehab / treatment center at Center City, Minnesota, which charges $15,000 for a 28-day-long A.A. meeting, where you must complete Steps 1 through 5 before you "graduate". (See the story about The Hazelden Coffee War.) Hazelden is also a large publishing house. They publish a zillion pro-AA and 12-Step books. Hazelden is also a book distributor, and they are the biggest distributor of AAWS books that there is. (You give Hazelden $15,000 for "treatment", and they "give" you a "free" Big Book.) And Hazelden is also the biggest proselytizer and promoter of A.A. in the world.

Some years ago, the California State Supreme Court ordered Hazelden to remove all of their books and literature from the California Youth Authority schools, and all of the AAWS books and literature too, because Hazelden was obviously promoting their 12-Step religion.

Hazelden is undeniably, unashamedly, unabashedly, openly a front for Alcoholics Anonymous. Hazelden was founded 50 years ago to promote A.A. and to give 12-Step treatment to alcoholics, and it is still doing it. Hazelden is one of those "alky farms" that Bill Wilson envisioned during the beginning days of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Now, about the publishing of the Big Book. I never heard of AAWS licensing the printing of the Big Book to Hazelden, although it is possible. Still, I don't see any reason for them to change their usual behavior. Usually, AAWS prints and wholesales the Big Book, and Hazelden distributes it. It's been that way for a long time, and still is, as far as I know. The copy of the 4th edition that I have clearly says that it is published by AAWS. There is no mention of Hazelden anywhere on it. Now this is the hardcover edition, ISBN 1-893007-16-2, 2nd edition, 2002. (That is the same number as Amazon lists on that web page.) It is possible that AAWS might have decided to do some kind of a business deal to have Hazelden reprinting the book in paperback or something. AAWS still owns the copyright. It very clearly says "Copyright Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc."

And in fact, Amazon shows AAWS to own the copyright. See:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1893007170/ref=sib_dp_top_cr/002-3068344-6623230?%5Fencoding=UTF8&p;=S006#reader-link

So until I see a copy that says something different, I will assume that the web page on Amazon contains a typographical error, and that AAWS is the publisher, and Hazelden is the distributor.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** And the Steppers said, "If you want what we
** have, and are willing to go to any length to
** get it, then, here, drink this koolaid."





Date: Mon, January 23, 2006 16:31
From: "Todd G."
Subject: AA 1st Step

Are you a alcoholic? From reading your article i would guess not.And if your not,i would suggest this to you, try drinking untill you addicted and then try to stop.

Your ignorance is amazing.The drink is a small part of it.In fact its only a symptom of a larger problem.Alcoholism is not a drinking problem its a thinking problem.AA not only helps me to stop from takeing the first drink ,but how to live life as GOD would have me live it.Not how someone else or AA would have me live my life.As a matter of fact,know one has ever told me how to live my life at a AA meeting.

I just think your way off base here.You might want to attend an AA open meeting if you would like to understand how it works ,and why it works.

Todd G.

Hello Todd,

Please read a little bit before deciding that you know all about me and that my "ignorance is amazing." If you had bothered to just read the introduction to the web site, just the first small page of the web site, you would have learned that I most assuredly am an alcoholic — and an old alcoholic who has gone to a lot of A.A. meetings.

I am also an old alcoholic who went into DT's and was shaking and jerking like I was being electrocuted, the first time I quit drinking, about 17 years ago, so I have also drank until I was addicted, and then tried to quit. And I succeeded in quitting, and stayed sober for 3 years after that. And then I went out and drank for 9 more years. That's in the web site too, several times. You just didn't bother to read before deciding that I was ignorant about alcoholism.

It's getting old, you know, how routinely the Alcoholics Anonymous true believers insist that I can't be a real alcoholic, because I quit drinking without A.A. or Bill Wilson or his 12-Step dance. Look

It's just a form of denial, you know. I am living proof of the fact that A.A. is unnecessary, and that people can successfully quit drinking without the 12-Step cult, but the A.A. believers just don't want to hear about it. So they use the "Real Scotsman" logical fallacy, and claim that I must not be a real alcoholic. The funny thing is, A.A. members are the only people in the world who are saying that I am not an alcoholic. My doctor says that I am. My family says that I am. My friends agree that I am. Everybody who knows me well says that I am. Only A.A. is in denial about it.

Your letter is loaded with the usual thought-stopping A.A. slogans and put-downs "Alcoholism is not a drinking problem; it's a thinking problem.", etc....

Of course alcoholism is a drinking problem. If you don't drink too much, then you aren't an alcoholic. Alcoholism is also a feeling problem just as much as it is "a thinking problem". The single commonest cause for people drinking too much is because they feel bad and they want to feel good.

Just for the fun of it, why don't you define the word "alcoholism" for us? Is alcoholism habitually drinking too much alcohol, or is alcoholism a "spiritual disease" over which you are "powerless"?

Oh, and if GOD has any plan for you, I don't think it is to waste your life in cult meetings, mindlessly parrotting slogans and talking about how powerless you are.

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.


[2nd letter from Todd:]

Date: Wed, February 1, 2006
From: "Todd G."
Subject: Re: AA 1st Step

Hi Orange,

Well you are correct on one thing, I did only read the introduction. not only did I not read anymore of it but I totally dismissed you thoughts on this issue.

The part I did read, ill admit infuriated me. I will go back and read your article in its entirety.

My point is that you may not think AA works along with its slogans and such,but it works for me.I have managed to stay sober with AA for 10 years.I will admit I have slipped in the past ,but looking at the whole picture for me, AA was the, and is the only thing that will continuously keep me sane and sober.I have tried to stay sober with and without AA and I have never succeeded without.I just don't understand how or why you so harshly put down a program witch has helped so many.

Hello again, Todd,

What you are doing is called "Confusing Causation with Correlation". There is no evidence that "it works".

To say "I never quit drinking until I went to A.A."
makes no more sense than saying,
"I never quit drinking until the year 1987. Therefore 1987 is the magic year that made me quit drinking."

What really made you quit drinking was your decision to quit drinking. You got sick and tired of being sick and tired, so you decided to quit. That happened after you had suffered enough years of sickness and hangovers, and all of the rest of it.

And you decided to finally go to A.A. and see if they could teach you something. They immediately set to work to fool you into thinking that they made you quit drinking.

You also backslid now and then because you thought you could drink just one or just a few, now and then, after a while. And after several failures, you learned that you couldn't just have a few now and then (because you imagined that you had 'recovered', or 'you had it under control now').

Nowhere in there was A.A. the Cause of your sobriety.
Nowhere in there was A.A. "working".

And I dont understand why you call AA a cult. A majority of the people ive come to know in AA are all GOD loving people of many different denominations and backgrounds. I guess you can put a cult tag on anything that you disagree with .

No, when I call something a cult, the word has a very specific meaning. Read The Cult Test — the whole thing, questions and answers. I explained it all in detail.

By the way, the statement "I guess you can put a cult tag on anything that you disagree with" is two propaganda tricks: minimization and denial, and ad hominem.

well Orange i respect your opinions even though i may not agree [from what ive read anyway]

And your answer to your question on my definition of a alcoholic as i understand it is simply,"Who i am ,and what i do i do about it"

Todd G.

Huh? That is not a definition of "alcoholic" or "alcoholism".

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: Tue, January 24, 2006
From: "Limbodancer"
Subject: Feedback

Dear Mr. Orange (Sorry can't find your first name),

I am reading your website with great interest — might take me a few years to get thru it tho'...

My background — member of an allied 12-Step group. Dropped out due to the attitude and behaviour of group, plus growing realisation of the damage and half-truths — or half-lies — propagated by the AA 12-Step movement.

How about this one: A father is — according to AA — powerless over alcohol (Step 1) and cannot even have one drink ("One drink, one drunk"). So how does AA explain: A man with a very serious drink problem:

  • a) Stopping /on his own/, which AA says is impossible ("powerless over alcohol"),
  • b) Doing what AA says is even more impossible: drinking -eventually- in moderation by which I mean one whisky or one glass of wine — which regime he maintained from the time he stopped serious drinking thoughout the last 20 years of his life. He was never seen or reported — even remotely — drunk for the remaining years of his life!

I wonder what would have happened if this man had gone to AA and been told "You've got it for life, you can never drink again, and if you do you'll go on a bender automatically". Well this man didn't. I wonder how many people attending AA are brainwashed into thinking they're incurable.

I think what is a sad is that there are genuine people coming together to help each other in a spirit of goodwill, but the rules of interaction are determined by a flawed, dangerous, and non-sensical philosophy.

Regards,
Mark

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the letter. I couldn't agree more. The Steppers' standard answer is to declare that I am not "a real alcoholic" because I quit drinking without practicing Bill Wilson's occult nonsense. Thus, with the wave of a hand, they blithely dismiss all evidence that their dogma is untrue. That just proves that it really is a cult.

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: Tue, January 24, 2006
From: "Karl R."
Subject: Suggested Reading

Hello,

I just stumbled across your site, "The Twelve Steps, Interpreted" and wanted to let you know that the Holy Bible was the original source book for the founders of AA. For more information, visit Dick B's web site (http://www.dickb.com/index.shtml) and consider obtaining a copy of his book, THE GOOD BOOK AND THE BIG BOOK; A.A.'s Roots in the Bible (http://www.dickb.com/goodbook.shtml).

In reading through your site, it would seem clear that you have no idea what it is to be an alcoholic — the incomprehensible demoralization, the cravings, etcetera. You talk like any ?normal? person who has no understanding of the disease — and it is a disease — a disease a real as any other disease. Just because you do not suffer from it and do not understand the nature of the disease doesn't mean it is not a disease. I would strongly suggest you go visit some detox centers and/or hospitals and spend a good amount of time talking to those who you claim are simply making bad choices. And do it with an open mind and heart, instead of the closed one you present on your site. Pray before you go and ask God to open your heart and your eyes.

Grace and peace,
Karl

Hello Karl,

You've got it all wrong. You should actually read a little more of my web site before jumping to conclusions. I am an old alcoholic — just an old alcoholic who doesn't buy into the A.A. cult dogma and misinformation about alcoholism. Start by reading the introduction to the web site. Then read this discussion about "a real alcoholic".

I not only know about Dick B.'s web site, but we have corresponded and he sent me a huge load of his books. (Thank you, Dick.) Where Dick and I disagree is over the issue of how holy the Akron Oxford Group really was. He thinks that it was a holy thing, a gift from God. I think that it was an evil cult.

The Oxford Groups actually drew very little from the Bible. That was mostly a Public Relations act that they put on — pretending to be Christian. Frank Buchman made up his own theology. He considered his own received "Guidance" to be just as authoritive as anything in the Bible. And Frank Buchman abandoned Christianity when it was politically convenient.

The Catholic Church banned Frank's cult twice, because it was so heretical and unChristian.

Also look at this rap about the conflicts between Christian beliefs and Buchmanism.

Anybody can pretend to be religious and holy by putting on airs and quoting the Bible a lot. But when they actually practice fascism and praise Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, and sneer at the poor while living in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, then you know that there is something very wrong with that picture.

You should read The Religious Roots of the 12 Steps — the whole thing.

Have a good day.

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*** "Early AA got its ideas of self-examination,
*** acknowledgement of character defects, restitution for
*** harm done, and working with others straight from the
*** Oxford Groups and directly from Sam Shoemaker, their
*** former leader in America, and nowhere else."
*** == Bill Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of
*** Age, page 39.


[2nd letter from Karl:]

Date: Thu, February 2, 2006 11:58
From: Karl
Subject: Re: Suggested Reading

Thank you, AO, for your reply.

Since your site has many pages and none of the links to those pages gives any indication as to your being an alcoholic, it would take a long time for me to read through everything you have to discover what I'm looking for.

Hi again Karl. Okay, so anyway, now you know.

Just so you know, I am a recovered alcoholic as well, a little over six years now. Additionally, I do not find A.A. particularly relevant now that I am recovered. I know it is suggested that I give back what was given to me, but what was given to me did not come from A.A. HOWEVER, A.A. played an integral part of my initial recovery.

Congratulations on your sobriety.

You see, back in '87 I put in a couple of years in A.A. Initially it was a ploy to have a judge go easy on me. It worked. I continued to stick around and became active in a sobriety "club" where meetings were held (AA, NA, Al-Anon, etc.). I "worked the steps" as was convenient for me. All the time, however, I never truly saw myself as an alcoholic "of the hopeless variety." By '89 I was back out drinking and drugging.

On July 10, 1999, I called a man I had heard speaking in meetings that I had recently returned to. This time I was attending meetings of my own volition. I knew I was out of control and was searching for some kind of answer. I knew about A.A. and figured that was as good a place as any to start. I knew that my drinking "was but a symptom" so I figured if I could get sober, perhaps I could discover what my drinking was a symptom of. I figured right. My lifestyle was a symptom of my feelings toward God — as I misunderstood him. The man whom I called on July 10, 1999 was not only a recovered alcoholic, he was also a man of God. After pouring my heart out to him for two hours I asked what was next. He said, "90 meeting in 90 days and start going to church."

I hadn't been to church since I was a teenager — which was when I had my falling out with God. (To get a better understanding of that "falling out," see my brief testimony here: http://kdr.focusedandfree.com/bio.htm.) I began attending church and did my 90-in-90. Naturally, none of it was easy nor felt good, but I knew I did not want to go back to living as I had for so long. I wanted to be free from all the pain and anger I had been harboring and feeding on for the last 30 years.

A.A. helped me get sober and learn what was eating my lunch. But it was going to church and drawing near to God that was the healing agent in my life. After a year, I dropped A.A. After 4 years, I dropped church as well. Attending meetings — both A.A. and church meetings — was essential and necessary for me for a time, but that time has passed. I quit attending both A.A. and church for the same reason a person is released from a hospital — I was healed.

You are assuming a cause-and-effect relationship where none existed.

The real cause of your sobriety was your decision to quit drinking.

After 10 years of partying your brains out and waking up sick and hung-over, you decided that you were sick and tired of being sick and tired. You decided to quit drinking. You also decided to go to some A.A. meetings. You went to A.A. to see if they had any helpful information or techniques that would help you to quit drinking.

You were impressed by a skilled propagandist who made you one of his protegés. He told you to do a bunch of cultish busy-work, to immerse yourself in the cult, and to also not drink alcohol. He could have just told you not to drink any more alcohol and you would have been just as sober.

You abstained from drinking alcohol because you chose to.

You gradually abandoned the cult practices because you realized that they were not really necessary; that they were just a waste of time.

Do not mistake my cessation of attending church meetings as a turning away from God. Neither mistake my cessation of attending A.A. meetings as a turning away from their program. The Big Book led me to the Good Book, and the Good Book has led me into a new way of life. I have been born again, I am a new creation in God.

There is great hypocrisy in both A.A. and the church, but I do not make an effort to degrade and belittle that which does many people great good — as it did for me. There is nothing perfect in this world and from what I read in the Bible, Christ did not call us to go around pointing fingers. Jesus was known as the "friend of sinners," not the accuser of sinners. Our "commission" if you will, is to share the GOOD NEWS of Christ, and to be salt and light.

Well A.A. sure doesn't do that. I can't remember the last time I heard people talking about Jesus Christ in an A.A. meeting.

I see that you have put in a lot of time and have spent a lot of energy toward disparaging an organization that has helped many people come to Christ and be healed. I do not know what happened to cause such bitterness in your heart, but I do know it does not come from God's Spirit of Holiness, simply by the "fruit" that comes from your action. It does not reflect that which is Christ — that which he exemplified while he was here on earth. It does not line up with the whole of his teachings. Instead, it casts a shadow of darkness and of doubt as to your entire motive for taking such a stand.

Excuse me, but you are way over-generalizing. A.A. is not an organization that "has helped many people come to Christ and be healed." What the Steppers tell me is that religion is a drag, a shackle, and bad, and that religious people are just hypocrits, etc. If you talk about Jesus someone will suggest that you take it to church. Or, as one A.A. member so eloquently said to me, "You are in the wrong group if you are looking for Jesus.   ...you are one blind fuckwit."

You really should read the file on The Heresy of the 12 Steps. It lists many of the problems with A.A. being non-Christian, and even anti-Christian.

You hide behind a moniker that stand for death and destruction — Agent Orange. You want to convince me that reflects Christ? The entire mood of anger and hatred that your site exudes is totally unbecoming a follower of Christ and belies any notion that you are walking and living in step with God's Spirit of Holiness.

Again, you are grossly misreading the situation. The name "Orange" came from a joke about mixing apples and oranges. That morphed into another spoof, "Secret Agent Orange", because I was anonymous. That got shortened to just "Agent Orange". Sometimes Agent Orange hangs out with Agent Apple and Agent Banana.

I have answered that question many times before. Look here and here. More on that whole process here.

Please understand, I am not "rebuking" you. Rather, I am pleading with you as a brother in Christ to step back and take a good look at what you are doing and why, and see if it lines up with what God has called us -/in Christ/- to be and do.

Yes, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God or "Higher Power" or Great Spirit, or whatever you want to call It, did not put me on this Earth to help a lying cult to spread misinformation about God, recovery, and alcoholism.

Are we not to speak the truth in love and with gentleness? Are we not to be humble at all times and to look up to others as being better than ourselves?

No, not always. When Christ walked into the Temple, he flew into a rage when he saw the money-changers desecrating the Temple, remember?

Jesus raged at them, "It is written in the scriptures that God said, 'My temple will be called a house of prayer for the people of all nations.' But you have made it into a hideout for thieves!" And then the whip came down.
(Mark 11:15. Also see Matthew 21:12 and Luke 19:45.)

The idea that you must always be nice and meek and polite and namby-pamby when confronting evil and wrong-doing is just another superstition. (Notice how it helps Evil.)

Please prayerfully consider the following portion from the letter of James, and know that it is in love that I share my thoughts with you.

Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness. For we all make many mistakes, and if any one makes no mistakes in what he says he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also. If we put bits into the mouths of horses that they may obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Look at the ships also; though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So the tongue is a little member and boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire!

And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is an unrighteous world among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the cycle of nature, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by humankind, but no human being can tame the tongue?a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening fresh water and brackish? Can a fig tree, my brethren, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good life let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity. And the harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

*James 3:1 through James 3:18 (RSV)*

May the word of Christ dwell in you richly.

Your brother in Christ, Karl

Karl, Why don't you ponder the question about "What kind of a person lies to sick people about what medicine might heal them and how well it works?"

Is that spirituality?

Another question to ponder is, "What kind of a person remains meek and silent when he sees great evil being done?"

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

*                  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 27, 2006 3:42
From: "jim h."
Subject: AA — Stanton Peel

Dear Mr. Orange,

I stumbled upon your site and was thoroughly impressed with the amount of research that you have completed. I _am_ a member of NA, NOT AA as I do not identify with the concept of being powerless over a substance. Ironically I have come to many of the same conclusions that you have arrived at. I now have 15 years of "abstinence" and attribute it to myself, _not _ "GOD".

I have concluded the following:

  • I quit "using" when I made the decision " I am _not_ powerless over my recovery

  • NA is one of many, many ways to get "recovery" I have chosen this one

  • I choose of my own free will to attend meetings " not out of fear or ignorance

  • I "give back" to other organisations in the community, as well as NA

  • I only "share" in meetings when I want to and I don"t always want to

  • My "personal statistic" is attributed to me and nothing or no one else =100% Me!

  • I don"t think the "statistics" are right either"NA has never produced Stats" = 100% succsess!

  • I believe that those who wish to stop "using" will stay stopped regardless

  • NA states that addiction is a disorder: "An ailment that affects the function of mind or body" that works for what I"ve experienced and seen " NOT a "disease"

  • NA Members that work in the field of "recovery" should never recommend one form of recovery option over the other""no opinion on outside issues"

  • My beliefs are mine and are not necessarily applicable to anyone else

  • So called "defects & assets" are simply a matter of perception

  • NA states that addiction is NOT a moral issue " that works for me

  • I consider myself an atheist and don"t give a damn what GOD thinks about it

  • I read Rational Recovery"s The Small Book @ 11 years clean"I found I had intuitively developed about 60% of the same techniques

  • Stanton Peel has several good points about addiction and recovery and i enjoy his books

  • I enjoy discussion and am not afraid of or offended by opposing views"I believe in an open exchange of opinions and beliefs and am open to changing my views if a new idea makes sense if it can withstand critical and practical rigour

Yeah, "OL Bill W was a crackpot. He dropped acid (LSD) from 1956 to 58. (Pass it On, AA World Service Publication) But as you have made the point of quoting Adolph Hitler (Methamphetamine addict) Even the truly cuckoo can have their moments"

It may be strange to you that I agree with many of your findings"I guess I went to NA (NOT AA) with my own opinions and critical thinking and have made it work for me and not vice versa. Thanks again for your hard work; I respect the extent of your thoroughness.

Sincerely
Jim H.

Post Script: I would appreciate a response if you find the time...

Okay Jim,

Here's a response. Thanks for the letter, and it's good to see that somebody is thinking for himself. Have a good day.

== 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."


[2nd letter from Jim:]

From: "jim h." Subject: Re: AA — Stanton Peel Date: Mon, February 13, 2006

Well Done!

As Homer Simpson said "God bless God"

I'm still not sure what it means, but as long as it keeps me out of the picture.

Sincerely,

Jim

Okay, that's funny.

You have a good day too.

== 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: Fri, January 27, 2006
From: "Steve P."
Subject: hi

I just read your articles about Dr Tiebout. You sound like you have a lot of anger and resentment. Dr. Tiebout's papers have really helped me and many people that I know. I'm sorry you feel so strongly against them. I will pray for you and I hope you are well.

Steve

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the letter.

It does not matter how much "anger and resentment" I might have. That is completely irrelevant, and is merely a diversion from the fact that Dr. Tiebout was still a sadistic nut-case who got his rocks off by making alcoholics "surrender" to him.

How on earth could Dr. Tiebout have helped you? Do you imagine that you benefitted in some way from reading the illogical and dishonest statements in his papers?

I am well, and I hope you are too. Have a good day.

*                  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.  But if the game runs sometimes against
us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we
shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we
have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake."
--Thomas Jefferson





Date: Fri, January 27, 2006
From: "Thomas C."
Subject: A new leash on life!

Hello Orange,

I'm thinking of all the creatures great and small who bear the brunt of their dependent house mates: the pets! Why has nobody come up with a twelve step solution for Fido and Fluffy? They have been abused and humiliated and they need some kind of recovery program and an HP (Higher Pet). Pets have been taught to fetch beer from the fridge and sometimes are cheered on as they slobber up a spill. Co-dependency is a major issue, especially among our canine friends, and dysfunctional litters are not an exception but the norm in this country ravaged by disease. Is there something wrong with me or is there a real need for Alapet groups?

Anonymous pet owner.

Hi Pet Owner,

You are absolutely right. In addition, the pooches need to learn how to hold tin cans, and how to sign over the deeds to their dog-houses, so that they can be audited by the Scientologists and get rid of those painful engrams.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "You go to war with the jokes you have, not the jokes
** you might want or wish to have at a later time."
**  == Our Secretary of Offense, Ronald McDumsfeld





Date: Fri, January 27, 2006
From: "RAYMOND C."
Subject: Wondering

*Hi Agent,*

* I was just wondering what opinion you would have about the James Frey controversy.*

* Personally I have totally enjoyed reading your informative website, thou I am only 1/3 thru your site. Thou I have always felt something lacking in AA, I do attend some meetings for the same reasons you give about what is good in AA. The fellowship and encouragement. I believe strongly in the SMART approach to recovery. I didn't get sober and/or clean to be a mindless cult member. *

* Keep up the good work of getting the truth out to people!*

**
*Respectfully,* **
*Ray C.*

Hi Ray,

Thanks for the question. I still have not yet read Frey's book, but I've been hearing plenty about it. It seems that there are two separate issues there, and they are getting all mixed up.

1. Frey fabricated some tall tales to make his book more exciting and saleable. Apparently, he actually first tried to sell it as a work of fiction, but his publisher wanted it to be a true story, because those apparently sell better, so the fiction became "a true story".

That is unfortunate, and even reprehensible, because a lot of people were putting a lot of emotional stock in his story of recovery without the 12-step cult, and they were left feeling betrayed.

2. I hear that Frey had some strong criticisms of the 12-Step treatment programs, and 12-Step "recovery". Not having read his book, I can't agree or disagree. I just notice that the people who are pro-12-steps are trying to imply that the cricisms of A.A. or N.A. are just as untrue as his stories of fights with the cops and arrests and imprisonment.

That is bad logic, even though Frey's credibility is blown. They remain two separate issues.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== 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.





Date: Sat, January 28, 2006
From: "joe m."
Subject: regarding aa

I read with great relish you position paper on AA cultism. While i do agree that there are many cultish behaviors with in AA,such as the closing prayer and handholding routines,which i am not a fan of.

Hi Joe,

Thanks for the letter.

Actually, I find that the closing prayer and the hand-holding are some of the least-objectionable cult characteristics of Alcoholics Anonymous. What bothers me are the much more obnoxious things like deceptive recruiting, irrational dogma, dishonesty, hypocrisy, and about 60 more such items that you will find in The Cult Test.

The truth for me is that i could not stop drinking without the help and support of my fellow members. It for me gave me a starting point to belong. Finally there were people with the same desire to kill themselves that i had. For me it was very powerful as i had not belonged any where in school jails or even in my family. For a scared hopeless person like myself it gave me comraderie and a sense of purpose.

Okay, so you enjoy the meetings, and get some comfort from them. You found it to be a supportive social group.

That does not mean that A.A. meetings or the 12 Steps work to make people quit drinking, or that other people should be forced into Alcoholics Anonymous.

Surely we can put together some non-drinking social groups that are not cults.

Having been very aware of cults growing up and having the ability to see through them: i was heavily recruited by many. I did not believe AA was in truth a cult. The proplem Mr.Orange is that the proof is in the pudding.

Yes, the proof is in the pudding, and A.A. is a failure. You should read the file on The Effectiveness of the 12-Step Treatment to see what the pudding is.

It does not matter what Mr. Wilsons shortcomings were I am sure he was very well aware of them if memory serves me correctly.

Um, when a bunch of people declare that some guy is a messenger from God, it matters. And I get a lot of letters from the A.A. true believers that tell me that Bill Wilson was a messenger from God.

No he wasn't. He was a lying con artist.

You fail to include the book that actually gave him the impetus? to begin writing.This book was "Varieties of Religious Experiences" .This book provided the wiggle room that Mr.Wilson needed to keep him from reverting to his childhood religion.

Actually, the book by William James, "Varieties of Religious Experiences", had almost no input into Alcoholics Anonymous. All that Bill Wilson did was take a branch of Frank Buchman's Oxford Group cult and make it his own. A.A. is the Oxford Group, and A.A. is Buchmanism. Bill Wilson didn't make up the theology of Alcoholics Anonymous at all.

The only line from James's book that made it into the Alcoholics Anonymous dogma is:

'"The only radical remedy I know for dipsomania is religiomania," is a saying I have heard quoted from some medical man.'

Bill Wilson mistakenly attributed that quote to Carl Jung, but it really came from footnote 1 on page 263 of Varieties. So William James got one line into the A.A. doctrines, and Carl Jung got zero. Everything else came from Frank Buchman.

I have the good fortune to have been sober 26 years with varying degrees of "sobriety".

Congratulations on your sobriety.

Unfortunatly Mr. Wilson had to live his latter years without the benefit of medications for his depression.I do believe he thought they would help him but he felt the world was watching him. In essence he was a martyr for AA to the detriment of his health.

Oh good grief. Bill Wilson stole all of the money, and made himself the Chief Boohoo of the Cult, and was a sexual predator who used his leadership position to seduce women A.A. members, and he lied constantly. He was not a "martyr".

Bill Wilson suffered from years-long bouts of deep clinical depression as well as a narcissistic personality disorder since childhood. His pain was not caused by "service to A.A." or anything like that.

I do not always go to meetings in fact for 10 years I attended none.That may have provided me with a fresh perspective on cultism.On the other hand there is no such powerful force as a group coming together in a common cause when they each have an affliction it has proved helpful in all phases of medicne.And if people take the time to meditate every day,i think the world at large could use the same.I like you do not believe that God is my personal servant .It is up to me to find my way in this world.I will say however that the times I have tried to listen very hard in this world and relied on intuition from the result of meditating I have been amazed at what I have seen and heard.Something very special seems to happen when you try to be in tune rather than bulldozing.I of course do not always rely on this as iI am just an ordinary human.

I agree that meditation can be a very good thing. But that does not make Bill Wilson a very good thing.

I think you may be just a little too harsh on AA as awhole.What your motivation is I have no idea,I too have heard horror stories of rigidisets telling members to not take any meds. I myself take some as it is helpful but I would dare not tell anyone else to stop and will even confront other members that do advise such behavior.The one thing about AA is the fact that the door to get in is very broad so I suspect even you could get a seat if the need ever arises.

Please note that not all members are as rigid and conforming as you may believe. I am still a Deadhead after all this time though I do not smoke ,I am also looking for LsD therapy as an insight into my psyche.Bill wilson thought it would do wonders but again the world was watching.I on the other hand am small potatos.

I know that not all A.A. members are narrow-minded and dogmatic. But as a whole, the organization is still doing more harm than good.

Bill Wilson did plenty of research into LSD, regardless of who was watching.

"One of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous [Bill Wilson] described to me the transcendental experience he credits with giving him control over his compulsive drinking. Years later he took LSD five or six times. This, he said, reinstated his original ecstasy, and consequently he wishes that LSD were more available to alcoholics."
Chemical Ecstasy: Psychedelic Drugs and Religion, Walter Houston Clark, page 101. Sheed & Ward, New York, 1969.

And Bill actually took LSD a lot more than 5 times. He took it heavily for at least 3 years, and turned on everybody around him that he could talk into trying it, including his wife, his priest, his secretary, and other A.A. members.

I wish you well in your chemical search for happiness, but personally, I'm retired from that scene. I'm working on a different wavelength now.

If you are really trying to treat or cure depression with LSD, I strongly recommend that you see a doctor and get some medications that are more appropriate for your condition. LSD tends to make bipolar people worse off. Be careful. See a doctor.

So in conclusion save some of your vehemence for a crowd that is much more deserving ,with your investigative powers I suspect you could find someone.If on the other hand you ever need a reasonably humble man with all the same disorders as Bill Wilson minus some i say some grandiosity please feel free to call on me. My favorite to do a story on is the groups that use the handicapped to raise money,like the YMCA and I happen to know that the money raised goes to general funds and not exclusivly to the handicapped program.I also know of a wealthy public riding club that touts their Pegasus Program as the reason they are raising money,even trotting out the handicapped kids no less and the money raised goes of course into general funds.This is a nationwide epidemic that I feel is worthy of your attentions and writings as you are certainally dogged .

Sincerely,
Joseph M.

If I am quoted please inform me thank you.

Okay, Joseph, you are quoted.

I have occasionally branched out into criticizing other aspects of the so-called "recovery industry", like my web page on "Children's Gulags", because abusing children in "rehabilitation camps" is a product of the same mind-set as says that we should shove alcoholics into the 12-Step cult for their own good.

But the main focus of this web site will remain Alcoholics Anonymous and the other branches of the 12-Step empire.

Have a good day.

== 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."





Date: Sat, January 28, 2006
From: "Robert P."
Subject: motives

Dear Mr. A:

I am a medical physician with an open mind. I am both a scientist and a believer in the human spirit, whatever it may be called: intuition; wisdom; education (both academic and hard knocks schools);conscience. I have read your writings. I do not agree with all you say but will defend your right to say it (see Voltaire: "Not only is it extremely cruel to persecute in this brief life those who do not think the way we do, but I do not know if it might be too presumptuous to declare their eternal damnation.")

I just wonder how badly you must have been hurt to be obsessed with all of this AA stuff.

By the way, thank you for your research, in that you have provided me with many documents and pictures I had searched for. Remember rule 62

May the god of your undertanding bless you with tolerance and a new freedom and new happiness.

Bob

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the letter.

Why do you assume that I must have been "hurt so much" to care about a bunch of quack doctors killing patients (my friends and acquantainces) with voodoo medicine?

Don't you care about such things?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

*                  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: Sat, January 28, 2006
From: Brderchick
Subject: hey

it sounds to me that your in denial. it's not a shamelful thing to be an addict or alcoholic and no matter what you think or say, you will be one for the rest of your life, the problem doesn't just go away. as for sponsors, their are bad ones out there but that doesn't mean you need to quit going to meetings just cuz you had trouble with yours. there's millions of meetings all around and different people. I would have to agree with you sponsor that you haven't hit you bottom yet. I"m not trying to bash on you but I am an addict and I had the same mentality as you have and I've seen many others with the same attidue. I went back out for awhile and it really sucked but your higher power has a plan for you, and right now it might not be recovery. I respect your opinions but don't forget where you came from and where you could end up.

peace

Hi Brderchick,

In denial? You know, there is a strong echo in here. Again and again, it's either "you have a resentment", or "you are in denial".

If you would just read the introduction to this web site, just the very first small page, you would read my story of alcoholism. I am not in denial and haven't been since I went into DT's while quitting drinking 17 years ago.

As far as the rest of your rap goes, I am not in danger of relapse because I don't believe in the 12-Step dogma. Heck, I would be in far greater danger if I did believe in it.

Oh, and I don't have a sponsor, and the sponsor that I don't have didn't say that I haven't hit bottom yet, etc... etc...

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."


[2nd letter from Brderchick:]

Date: Sat, February 11, 2006
From: Brderchick
Subject: hmm

to be quite honest, i think you full of shit. No person who is truly an addict or alcholic would be just fine on their own. Addiction fucks you and you don't just "snap out of it". Your research isn't correct, I think you should check again. If you really knew people in a twelve step program, you would know it saves a lot of lives, maybe not everyones but people who are willing to have an openmind. As for a religious cult..if you know so much about the literature, you should have read a lot of spirituality...not religion....religion is for people who fear hell, spirituality are for people who have already been there. I'm not sure if you have nothing else to do, but being an asshole over the internet seems like a waste of time to me. People always have to get into shit they know nothing about or disagree with, why not do something you enjoy or your interested in? Whats the point of all this? To see how many compliments you can get? To see how many people you can get pissed off? Seems ridiculous. I'm sure your going to refer me to some page of your site or tell me i'm in denial, but life is precious and your wasting your time.

God bless

Hello again, Brderchick,

Yep, you're right. I'm going to say that you're in denial. That's the ultimate in denial — just stubbornly insist that recovery from addictions is not possible. (Notice how that conveniently explains A.A.'s failure to cure alcoholics.)

It is, of course, absurd to declare that people must be slaves for the rest of their lives just because they got habituated to some chemical for a while. A slave to addictions, or a slave to a recovery cult, or a slave to "god" or "Higher Power"... Always a slave to something.

Well I'm not buying it. This world is not a fascist heaven where everybody has to be a slave of somebody or something, some addiction or cult or Führer or other.

What, are you afraid to discover that the door to your cage was always unlocked?

All of those years that you spent in that cage, insisting that you could never get out of it, and the door was always unlocked.

Ooops.


Recovery from addictions is most assuredly possible. People do it every day. Millions of people recover and go do something else with their lives. The Harvard Medical School reported that a little over half of all alcoholics eventually quit drinking, and 80% of those successful quitters do it alone, on their own. They do just snap out of it, and decide that they won't die that way.

That is actually a very cheerful and encouraging message. You can recover. You can get it together and live your own life more the way that you desire. You can use your own native intelligence and common sense to solve your problems. Like the Jefferson Airplane sang, "You've got to take your head in your hands and make your own demands or you'll wind up crystallizing on a shelf."


And no, the 12-Step program does not save a lot of lives. You are just trying to claim the credit for those few people who decided to quit drinking, for whatever reason, and then who happened to spend some time in an A.A. meeting room — often after they have already quit drinking. (And yes, I'm going to refer you to another page. Check out the actual A.A. success rate here and here.)


As far as "spirituality" goes, you are just throwing that same tired old slogan at me, "religion is for people who fear hell, spirituality are for people who have already been there", which makes you oh so much more spiritual than the people who go to the regular churches. Baloney. That is just an ego game of spiritual one-upmanship, not spiritual at all. Now you are showing that A.A. really is a cult religion. "We are special.     We are better than the other religions."


The answer to your last question of "why?" is simple. I saw friends getting fed quack medicine and cult religion instead of anything that even vaguely resembled "treatment" for addictions, and saw that the whole recovery industry is a hoax and a fraud, and Alcoholics Anonymous is at the heart of the big lie. The goal is to save lives by telling people the truth, no matter whether you are comfortable with the truth or not.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== 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.'





Date: Mon, January 30, 2006
From: "Paul W."

Hi Orange

My friend gave me the name of your site and as an AA member who was involved in running a Secular Recovery meeting for some time in the UK I was interested as you express a lot of views that I've held about 12 Step recovery for a while. What's with the zealotry, though? Aren't you driven by the same need-to-prove — the need to disprove, in this case — stuff that you highlight as being messed-up in the AA literature and in many members' attitudes? It's good to have a forum for this stuff but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater: good, healing stuff goes on in AA... and then there's all the crap in AA that you've shown so well on your site. Alcoholism is a complex issue and alcoholics are not an homogenous group so you can't be so definitive about what's right and wrong for people in terms of how they stop drinking. One of the problems is that there have been so few proper scientific studies into AA for anybody to be sure about things one way or the other.

Keep up the good work (but try and be more balanced)!

Regards
Paul

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the letter and all of the compliments.

The thing that makes me a "zealot" is reading the faked "studies" that are generated by the A.A. propaganda mill to justify forcing the 12-step garbage on more people, and diverting more medical care money to the 12-Step cult. If you think that I am prolific or productive, you should look at their output. Check out Keith Humphries, Rudolf H. Moos, George E. Vaillant, and their ilk. My output is nothing compared to theirs.

I disagree with your attempt at an escape via relativism — that we don't know anything for sure because there haven't been enough valid studies to know anything. Read the file on "The Effectiveness of the 12-Step Treatment".

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Grover Norquist couldn't drown the government,
**  so he drowned New Orleans instead."





Date: Mon, January 30, 2006
From: "charley what"
Subject: want more info,,,, Truth etc.

Your site has saved lives mine and the others I wanted to kill not really but wanted to please contact me I am in compleat support of your site and it dident make me drink, it works thanks................

CharleyCwhat

/_Charley C What,,,, What do You see ????_/

Hi Charley,

Thanks for all of the compliments.

Okay, I'm game. Talk on.

And 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





Date: Tue, January 31, 2006
From: "Cash Cow Enterprises"
Subject: Who are you

Who are you and what are your qualifications to speak on these matters. I am just curious I have no axe to grind. Are you Doctors? Psychologists? Psychiatrists? Councilors? Alcoholics? Do you have degrees? Do you have a GED? Do you have a God?

Who are you and why would you go to all this trouble?

Regards,

Joe

Hi Joe,

Thanks for the letter.

In going down my list of credentials, I was stunned to notice that I have the same qualifications as Bill Wilson in every category:

  1. I am not a doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, or a counselor.

  2. I am an old alcoholic with lots of years of experience in drinking. Like Bill Wilson, I drank until I was showing signs of brain damage.

  3. I also took psychedelic drugs and had drug-induced religious and spiritual experiences.

  4. I don't have a GED. I don't need one; I graduated from high school.

  5. Like Bill Wilson, I dropped out of college.

  6. Unlike Bill Wilson, I scored high in math and science classes.

  7. Like Bill Wilson, I am self-trained.

  8. And lastly, yes I have a God.

I am in every way just as qualified as Bill Wilson to set up a cult religion and start counseling alcoholics in how to use occult nonsense to recover from addictions.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== 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.





Date: Tue, January 31, 2006
From: "Catherine P."

What you have provided in this mainly opinion based paper is called detached statistics. That is misleading. Why do you spend so much time bashing AA? Are you so bitter that you weren't able to make it that you have to try to bring others down with you too? Why don't you give it another try? You certainly don't sound very happy, joyous and free to me.

*/Christianna P./*

Hi Christianna,

No, the medical studies I cite are most assuredly not detached statistics — also known as "The Semi-Attached Figure". I know just what such numbers are, and I have that propaganda stunt listed in my page on propaganda techniques, and the valid randomized longitudinal controlled studies that I cite are not "detached statistics".

Why spend so much time telling the truth about A.A.? — Which you call "bashing AA" — that's the propaganda trick of Exchange A Term. It's also a bit of an Ad Hominem attack, which you also use in your next line, "Are you so bitter that you weren't able to make it..."

Wrong. I made it. I feel sad for the people who were hurt by the 12-Step nonsense and who didn't make it.

Anyway, you could have read the answer to "why" if you had just bothered to read the very first small page of the web site — the introduction.

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.





Date: Tue, January 31, 2006
From: "Frances"
Subject: Thanks — and my story

Orange

Thanks. I've read your website hungrily for the last 18 months.

You gave me the courage to step away — just before it was too late.

I've become the person I always knew I had the potential to be. Thanks. And please — PLEASE — keep this website active.

(oh and please use the pseudonym Frances if you choose to publish this....)

Okay, Frances,

Thanks for the letter, and all of the compliments.

And I'm really happy to hear that you have taken control of your own life and are doing 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: Wed, February 1, 2006
From: mickdg

Hi Orange

I was recently at an AA meeting and sharing my experience, strength and hope and mentioned that AA never got me sober < I've been sober for over 20 years >. Anyway, a woman shared after me and said that she was confused < sober 8 months > that I didn't give AA credit for my recovery. Recovery for me has meant going back to the chamber of horrors < my childhood > and rescuing that little boy who was so horrifically abused and feel the terror, pain, anger and guilt which had been locked in my body all those years.

Anyway, the guy that shared after this woman started abusing me, saying I was anti AA and that he hated me. I told him that he probably hated himself and that I imagined he was quite mad, but wasn't aware of it. All the people that shared, after him, were quite adamant about how AA had helped them and made sure that what I had shared was inappropriate < covert > and basically, I was wrong. The amazing thing was that I had been sober the longest.

Here I am sharing with these people < how I got to AA and ended up having to see a therapist to deal with my feelings > that I have recovered from alcoholism and owed my recovery to Jesus Christ, not AA.

No one in the meeting mentioned how they felt, < if you have strong feelings, you better get to more meetings and stuff them down > they read something out of the Big Book, and then discussed what they read, very much like being at school, very controlling.

I imagine, that some of the people in that particular meeting could be quite dangerous, like that guy raging at me and making me wrong. I imagine, if people are not dealing with their core issues <feelings > they drink, commit suicide, or act out their rage in other addictions. I'm not anti AA, if anything; AA has helped me deal with my own issues. I imagine, AA to be one giant dysfunctional family, and probably would have never have recovered, without it. I am grateful to AA, but I feel, that I need to move on. I won't be going back, because I imagine the people don't want what I have; being happy, joyous and free and a recovered alcoholic.

David

Hi David,

Thanks for the letter and the story.

Again, we see the problem that in A.A., people with little or no training, education, or experience prop themselves up as real authorities on recovery, and feel entitled to shove their opinions on others. (Heck, you don't even have to be sane to be a sponsor.) Yes, it is dangerous. It even drives people to suicide.

Hopefully, in the future there will be more non-cult sobriety clubs to help people get sober.

Oh well, have a happy life and 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, February 1, 2006
From: "Danny R."
Subject: Say What?

I just finished reading the entire page of your site, "It's Spiritual, Not Religious". (http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-spirrel.html)

Hi Danny,

Thanks for the letter.

That page is obsolete. The current version is at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-spirrel.html

With all due respect, it is apparent that you chose to publish this page not only with your own bias, but also many deceptive and non-contextual quotes from literature published in support of several 12 step programs. Was this all in the intent to undermine these programs?

It is all the same 12-Step cult, with the same 12 Steps and the same heretical theology, no matter whether they are claiming to cure alcoholism, drug addiction, compulsive gambling, sex addiction, or spiritual cooties like 'codependency'. And they all yammer, "It's spiritual, not religious."

I can understand your points made in establishing whether or not AA, NA, et al should be considered a church, but when you tried to prove your point by the comparisons of the 12 step programs to many conventional and accepted organized religions, you destroyed your own arguments. You practiced the very double-speak that you ridicule in the article. The fact that these types of programs /encourage/ participants to do certain things such as making a moral inventory and becoming willing to make amends while 'religions' do not in itself shows that these programs are not religious.

What double-speak? Please be specific. Show exact quotes.

Comparing Alcoholics Anonymous to other religions is a very good way to show that A.A. is a religion. In fact, it shows that A.A. is far more extreme than those other religions.

I was so confused by what you were really trying to accomplish. I respect your right to opinionated writing. However, I found your site after doing an internet search for 'Bible & Narcotics Anonymous' in an effort to find biblical support of the program. Reading your site could discourage a person such as me from seeking recovery from addiction. The way that you presented your information could lead a person to believe that there is absolutely no hope through such programs /nor/ through religion.

No, my web site will not discourage people from seeking recovery from addiction. It will merely discourage people from getting fooled by cults that claim to offer recovery.

By no means do I feel that 12 step programs are perfect. However, neither is any established religion. AA, NA, CA, OA, the Baptist church, the Roman Catholic church, and the Buddhist culture are all based upon the thoughts and collaborations of human beings. All of them are subject to bias, preference, interpretation and corruption. For each person to succeed in life, they must find a system or program that allows them to better themselves and allows for service to fellow human-kind.

That is an attempt to use the propaganda trick called "escape via relativism". -- "Oh heck, A.A. isn't any worse than other religions."

That is also a good example of minimization and denial, something that A.A. says alcoholics do a lot.

What was your intent, other than discouraging readers from self-improvement and enlightenment? Would you rather see your fellow humans live in a life of suffrage and misery?

That is two more propaganda tricks. You try to frame the question as:
"EITHER join the 12-Step cults, OR ELSE live a life of suffering and misery."

That's framing the argument, and use of the EITHER/OR propaganda technique.

Life is not a matter of "join a cult" or else you will live in misery.
Self-improvement and enlightenment are not achieved by parrotting the slogans of a cult.

My intention is to warn people about the dishonesty and crazyness of 12-Step recovery cults. I am all for people breaking free of addictions, and free of cults too.

I don't expect a response. I don't expect my opinion to change yours. Regardless of your path in life, I hope for you the best rather than what you deserve. I hope the same for myself.

Thank you for your article. It did serve to encourage me in my own faith and spirituality. Thank you for your time in reading this e-mail. By the way, I am a Christian and participate in the traditions and theology of the Baptist church. I am also an addict in recovery through the process of the Narcotics Anonymous 12 Step Program. I have combined the teachings of both to improve myself as a part of this society we call Earth. And, having had a spiritual awakening?I try to practice these principles in all my affairs.

If you are really a Christian, then you should read the web page on The Heresy of the 12 Steps. The 12-Step cult is not a Christian religion, no matter how somebody tries to twist and reinterpret the words.

**Sincerely,**
**Danny**

You have a good day too.

== 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 Danny:]

Date: Sun, February 12, 2006
From: "Danny R."
Subject: RE: Say What?

I appreciate you taking time to reply. I must admit to you that my first e-mail was written in retaliatory anger. After further research of your pages, which of course took more than a few minutes, I must commend you for being bold enough to express your opinions in such an open format. I respect your writings and often found great humor among the pages. This does not mean that I totally agree with all of them. I have since reconsidered where my disgust should have been directed and wish to retract it from you and your pages. I thank God that we live in a country where you and I are both free to express our opinions and practice religion and spirituality as we feel.

Good fortune to you in the future and may the God of your understanding continue to bless you.

Thanks,
Danny

Hi Danny,

Okay, you have a good day too.

== 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





Date: Wed, February 1, 2006
From: Laura.D.
Subject: Just Reading Your Website

Thanks for all the research, it is something to think about. Were you involved in the program/group at one time?

**Laura D.**

Hi Laura,

Thanks for the thanks. Involved with the group? Oh yes. Read these:

  1. Intro to A.A.
  2. Bait-and-switch treatment
  3. Friends driven away from help by the 12-step nonsense

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Don't abort little Mort.
**  That's what war is for.





Date: Thu, February 2, 2006
From: "Samantha P."
Subject: I concur...

Dear Agent Orange,

I have been enthralled by your exposé for a couple of years now. I even believe that I wrote to you once before. After learning about your problem with AOL I decided to write once again. I laud your candor and I hope you will continue your efforts at debunking this unfortunate lie. If you could put me on your mailing list for new information I would very much appreciate it.

Your Sincerely,
Sam

Hi Sam,

Thanks for all of the compliments. Right now, there isn't any mailing list. I suppose that's another thing to think about, but I don't know what I would mail...

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Grover Norquist couldn't drown the government,
**  so he drowned New Orleans instead."





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Last updated 16 December 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters35.html