Letters, We Get Mail, CCCLVIII

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters358.html#Ctmjon ]

Date: Wed, June 12, 2013 4:07 pm       (answered 17 May 2013)
From: "Ctmjon"
Subject: Fwd: Male Logic

Worry about nothing, pray about everything!!!


Woman: Do you drink beer?

Man: Yes

Woman: How many beers a day?

Man: Usually about 3.

Woman: How much do you pay per beer?

Man: $5.00 which includes a tip. (This is where it gets scary !)

Woman: And how long have you been drinking?

Man: About 20 years, I suppose.

Woman: So a beer costs $5 and you have 3 beers a day which puts your spending each month at $450. In one year, it would be approximately $5400 ...correct?

Man: Correct.

Woman: If in 1 year you spend $5400, not accounting for inflation, the past 20 years puts your spending at $108,000, correct?

Man: Correct.

Woman: Do you know that if you didn't drink so much beer, that money could have been put in a step-up interest savings account and after accounting for compound interest for the past 20 years, you could have now bought a Ferrari?

Man: Do you drink beer?

Woman: No.

Man: Where's your Ferrari?

Thanks for the laugh, Ctmjon.

And have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Forty years ago, the Rolling Stones moved from Britain to France
**     to avoid the crushing income taxes in Britain. In an NPR interview,
**     Bill Wyman declared, "I don't have any trouble with the language.
**     I don't speak French." (NPR News, Morning Edition, 2010.05.17)
**     By the same logic, I don't have any problem with alcohol;
**     I don't drink it.

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters358.html#J ]

Date: Thu, June 13, 2013 12:59 pm       (answered 17 June 2013)
From: "J."
Subject: Recovery without steps

Greetings Agent Orange,

I have been growing increasingly frustrated with AA (my group of choice) and what I have found out for myself there. I've been looking online for a different take on the recovery process and came across your site. Excellent work and an amazing amount of good solid information here. Well done!

I am 40 years old and 16 months sober. I went to my first and only rehab in February of last year and got out from under a nasty addiction to prescription meds — benzos and opiates.

I admit that I am someone with an addictive personality. I drank and smoked pot regularly and occasionally used other substances for years. I managed to do well in many aspects of my life but eventually my tendencies toward excess (coupled with very liberal and generous doctors and friends) got the best of me and in the end I became quite a mess.

However, it was the actual treatment that came closer to killing me than the substance abuse. I was there under medically supervised detox for three days. On the fourth day the dispensary mixed up my meds and I had a seizure and collapsed. I was rushed to a hospital and admitted to the ICU as a stroke patient because I had lost my ability to speak and most of my fine motor control.

So there I sat, hooked up to IVs and tubes. I suffered multiple seizures and the full unmedicated effects of withdrawal for three days. It was the kindness and attention of a 70 year old neurologist who actually bothered to request my chart from the rehab (they didn't send it voluntarily) and ordered me a dose of Ativan and Steriods. I came out of my debilitated state almost immediately and stabilized. So I was discharged... you guessed it... right back to the rehab I arrived from.

When I got back, they considered me to be done detox and immediately began the intensive rehab portion. It was probably pretty standard rehab stuff for 12 to 14 hours a day — group therapy, cafeteria food, 12 step oriented "classes", daily AA and NA meetings, limited visits and outdoor time — and I was willing to endure it because I really wanted to get better. I was in very poor physical condition but I pushed through it and became stronger mentally and physically. I have absolutely no regrets as to the space I got to begin recovery and the pace I was expected to run at. The food wasn't all that bad either.

After five weeks I completed the program, but the further along I went I had an increasingly hard time with even the most basic aspects of "the program". I was shocked that questions about it were rebuked with phrases like "take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth" or "keep it simple stupid" or "it was your best thinking that got you here." In rehab, one particularly nasty councilor even pointed me out publicly as someone who "was just along for the ride and not giving myself to the program." I would hardly say I was not giving myself to the program after being willing to go back for treatment after their little medication mistake.

So I concluded at the end of my stay that rehabs are a business. They are a very large and profitable business. I did find examples of people there who are genuinely caring and whose hearts and minds are in the right place but they are the exception and not the rule.

Mostly everything "educational" is provided directly by 12 step programs and Hazelden. Why? Because it's popularly accepted and it's FREE.

It's an example of our broken and ineffective education system twisted to suit people with serious addiction problems. Additionally, the basis of all of the teaching materials is 70+ years old and never adapted or grew with our increased understanding of our minds and methods of helping people. In fact, after reading much of the hard research and statistical data on your site, I'm afraid that it is evident the materials have not been adjusted even in light of their of their own mistakes and abysmal failures.

But why would they change? Working on improving their materials requires a lot of time and money and would cut deep into the profitability of the whole system I am sure. Since there is no real oversight or regulation or required evaluation of the actual content provided to people in rehabs, finding a reason to do this is eclipsed by the all mighty dollar.

Speaking of bad materials, my problem begins right with step 1 — powerlessness. I am not powerless. I have been known to make bad decisions with what and how much I put in my body. I want to learn to make better decisions and cope better overall with the ups and down of life and not turn to substances. That's why I was there — not to surrender control of my God given free will.

Ironically, I did find spirituality through this process. However, it has very little to do with my attendance to a 12 step program or my adherence to it's principals. At one point it was actually suggested I use a doorknob as my higher power. Ridiculous!

So why, you may ask, am I writing you all of this while I'm still in the program? I have a "home group" and I show up to make coffee every week. I setup the tables and chairs. I buy supplies. I hand out anniversary coins. I participate in events. I've read the Big Book several times. I have a sponsor but we really dont' talk much. I will gladly go out of my way to talk to another person in recovery if they need an ear to bend.

I do it because I want to be a friendly face, a compassionate listener and a voice of reason. I want to show people that you can be sober and not necessarily march to the extremist beat of the AA drummer. I do it because the entire convoluted system is geared to send people just like me right into these groups without a concern for what really happens there and a complete lack of any real oversight. Sure, there are alternatives, but they are few and far between.

However, it is hard. I hear the same stuff repeated meeting after meeting ad nauseam. I hear smart and capable people chanting about how "happy, joyous and free" they are and constantly reliving their painful past in a ritualized and very public self-inflicted emotional flogging. They mindlessly repeat mantras and cliche as an answer to everything. They face the challenges of life by "giving it up to God" and writing off the hard work that would beget them a more favorable outcome. I dont' care who or what you "give it up" to, but giving up is giving up no matter what "it" is.

It's also become a point to repeatedly "suggest" I make more meetings and work a "better program". The fact that I do what I do for my group seems to never be enough. I suspect it won't ever be enough — that is, until I drink the kool-aid. And when I voice my concerns, I'm told I'm just getting a resentment.

Well, guess what? I resent that.

Until I can find a better way to do my part to help people going through what I did, I will continue to go. In the meantime, I hope you'll publish my letter as a testimony to your visitors that it is possible to take the good, leave the bad and progress into a better way of life by coloring outside of the traditional lines of 12 step groups. It is possible. I live it every day.

Many people in AA would call this heresy, and I would be quick to remind them that the truth is always heresy to the closed minded. Likewise, pride always comes before the fall.

Your work in this regard is amazing and inspiring to me. Keep it up.



P.S. Please do not publish my real name or email address. Thank you.

Hello J,

Thank you for the letter. It says so much. You are obviously a member in good standing of the Newcomers Rescue League. Congratulations, and thanks for caring about the vulnerable newcomers.

You might also enjoy some SMART meetings, or SOS, where you can get some sane company and advice and ideas. I'm not saying that you should quit A.A. — I think you probably really are helping newcomers there — but it might be nice to occasionally talk to sane people who won't tell you to "Take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth."

Here is the list of links and addresses of non-cult recovery groups: http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-alt_list.html

By the way, I'm adding your story to the list of A.A. Horror Stories.

Have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**        Think, think, think!
**        Stop your stinkin' thinkin'.
**        Utilize, Don't Analyze.
**           ==  A.A. slogans

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters358.html#Dorian_R ]

Date: Fri, June 14, 2013 6:29 am       (answered 17 June 2013)
From: "Dorian R."
Subject: [Orange Papers] My rant for today:
To: "Orange Papers" <[email protected]>

Dorian R. posted in Orange Papers

My rant for today:

"Humanity will never truly be free until the last king is strangled to death with the entrails of the last priest."
    —     Denis Diderot

Personally, I see AA and most other religions as a vile cancer to be eradicated from the planet, simply one of a host of inherent evils our species must overcome.

AA is a twist on traditional religion, but it is still religion. Nonetheless, don't offhandedly dismiss their philosophy, rhetoric and dogma no matter how absurd and illogical it may seem now that you've made it though to the other side. Know your enemy. So long as you realize that the underpinnings of any religion are founded in a conman's definition of the word "faith," you'll see right through their house of cards. Follow the money and the power structure, and you'll win their shell game every time.

The basis of control in any cult lies in suspension of critical thought. (ie. "Your best thinking got you here.") The next time you "argue" with an AA, realize that you're dealing with a weakened mind. They put down the vodka, then drank the kool-aid willingly, and adored it. They came back for seconds. They liked it so much that they can't understand why everyone doesn't else doesn't like it. "There are such unfortunates."

One of my favorite activities is planting seeds of doubt in the minds of lower level AA minions (you know, the "baldies" who shave their heads like Hare Krishnas, do manual labor for the elders and perform crowd control in the meeting halls), who may or may not still be on a "pink cloud." Nothing brings me ecstatic glee so much as attending a meeting and, after letting a journeyman chair talk himself up with the usual bullshit, then asking them — rhetorically, of course — an obvious question that later they have to consult their sponsor about.

Here's one of my favorites. They'll wax on about picking up chips for X amount of days, months and years, then you ask them (with a sincere and perplexed look on your face) why it is we get chips.

Then explain it something like this: My neighbor across the street, he gets up every morning at 5AM and he goes to work where he does his 8 to 10 hours then comes home and cuts his grass, eats his supper, plays with his kid, fucks his wife, goes to sleep, then wakes up the next morning and does it all over again. He does this five or six days a week, and on weekends he watches a ball game or does chores around the house. After several years of this he manages to save up enough money for a boat or something, and he's content with what he has. He pays his mortage, pay his taxes and produces something every day of his life, he doesn't break the law and generally treats others like he'd want to be treated.

Where is his chip? Don't you think he deserves one? Don't you think he has moments of doubt in his life and endures the same ups and downs and tragedies as we all do? He doesn't stay drunk all the time, probably because he's got other shit he'd rather do. He makes a conscious decision to live his life, sometimes on his own terms, sometimes on somebody else's. Yet we all applaud for someone picking up a chip like we would a five year-old who manages to shit in a designated container and somewhat wipe his own ass. Why do we expect to be congratulated and applauded for doing what you're SUPPOSED to be doing anyway?

Most times I've used some variation of that argument in a meeting it has resulted in a chain reaction of crosstalk and hostility, sometimes even a heavy hand clapped on my shoulder urging me to shut my mouth or leave. But the seed has been planted, and the organism reacts, and just like any cancer cell it will defend itself against a foreign object, or a like how a cockroach will instinctively scurry away from the light.

Their eyes bore into me and their hatred is palpable. "How dare you, you motherfucker." It has a ripple effect, as the elders clamor to regain control. They'll talk about that shit for the next week, and bring their arguments back to the meeting hall, none of which ever seem to make any real sense.

And then, I move on to the next target. We all recover in different ways, and it is a selfish program.


Thank you, Dorian. You make so many good points.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     A rat race is for rats. We're not rats. We're human beings.
**     Reject the insidious pressure in society that would blunt your
**     critical faculties to all that is happening around you, that
**     would caution silence in the face of injustice lest you
**     jeopardize your chances of promotion and self-advancement.
**     This is how it starts, and before you know where you are,
**     you're a fully paid-up member of the rat pack.
**     The price is too high.
**       ==  Jimmy Reid

June 01, 2013, Saturday, downtown Portland:

Illuminated Marchers
Illuminated Marchers

Canned Goods
Marching Canned Goods

Show Biz
Show Biz

Star Wars
Star Wars

[More gosling photos below, here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters358.html#Emily_V ]

Date: Mon, June 17, 2013 9:07 pm       (answered 19 June 2013)
From: "Emily V."
Subject: AA writing is intriguing

Have you experienced drug/alcohol addiction? Your writing style reminds me of that portion of English class; "Ok boys and girls, we are now going to learn about persuasion and argumenative writing." Don't you see that it is problematic to take such a complex issue and act like you have all of the answers? You failed to present any of the positive outcomes. You are so one sided and black and white that it's difficult to respect your opinion. The people who failed, succeeded, or remained unaffected by the program each have a different life story. They are complex humans, not a case number or statistic. Therefore you should not be so quick to judge. What is your motive here? Your coldness makes me cringe. Even aa people question what we are doing in the program, but we are honded with our aa people who are now friends and neighbors. Please, if you care about helping addicts, and contributing to society, then use your writing gifts to educate; not simply delight your ego in a one sided rage.

Hello Emily,

Wow, thank you for a textbook example of the propaganda technique called Ad Hominem — "Avoid discussing the facts by just attacking the speaker."

Yes, I have experienced alcoholism and addiction, and I have talked about it many times on my web site. Apparently, you have not even read the introduction to the web site before you objected to my writing style. See:

  1. the introduction, my introduction to A.A.
  2. more about my Stepper pedophile counselor
  3. the "treatment" bait-and-switch trick
  4. another friend goes missing
  5. who are you
  6. really an alcoholic...
  7. definitions of "an alcoholic"
  8. Rat Park and Other Children's Stories
  9. How did you get to where you are?
  10. A biography written for SOS
  11. There are some recent pictures of me and my little friends here and here and here.

Emily, you also failed to provide any of the "positive outcomes". You also failed to say how many there are. And you failed to compare the number of A.A. success stories to the number of A.A. failures.

Now I did, and so did Dr. George E. Vaillant, who went on to become the most famous contemporary A.A. Trustee. Dr. Vaillant tracked his first 100 A.A.-treated patients for 8 years, and the score was: 5 continuously sober, 29 dead, and 66 still drinking.

So there are your "positive outcomes". Five sober people out of a hundred. But A.A. cannot even take the credit for them, and Dr. Vaillant said so. Why? Because that is the normal rate of spontaneous remission in alcoholics. An untreated group of alcoholics — that is, people who got no "help" or "treatment" or "support group" recovered at the same rate, so the number of recoveries that could be attributed to the A.A. program was zero. The people who quit drinking were the people who were going to quit anyway, no matter where they were. A.A. did not improve on the situation at all. Even worse, the A.A.-treated patients had the highest death rate of any mode of treatment that Dr. Vaillant studied. And that came from a doctor who just loves A.A., and who went on to become a devoted Trustee of A.A. and its biggest booster. (Dr. Vaillant is just in love with the A.A. religion, and he doesn't seem to care that it kills alcoholics.)

Now, would you like to discuss the A.A. success rate, or failure rate?

What is the REAL A.A. success rate?

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

No qualifiers are allowed, like, "We will only count the people who worked the program right, or we will only count the people who really tried, and kept coming back." Everybody counts. No exceptions.

No excuses are allowed. When the doctor gives a patient penicillin, and it fails to cure the infection, the doctor doesn't get to say, "But he didn't work the program right. He didn't pray enough. He didn't surrender. He held something back in his Fifth Step." No excuses.

So what's the actual A.A. cure rate?

HINT: the answers are here and here and here.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
**     If all you have is cult religion, everything looks like a spiritual problem.

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters358.html#Emily_V2 ]

Date: Wed, June 19, 2013 8:27 pm       (answered 24 June 2013)
From: "Emily V."
Subject: Re: AA writing is intriguing... not hate mail this time.

Alright, I have been reading more and have found a healthy respect for your work. I appreciate all of the responses you give to people in the letters portion of your blog, especially the links to other authors, sites, and resources. I think I got mad because the truths in your message are frightening. I want the mtgs to work for me. With truth, even disappointing truths, comes a more balanced point of view. I am lucky that the women of aa I have befriended are level headed, well intended people. I will be looking out for the red flags of the program, thank you.

Luckily, my powerlessness was mainly with dumb old mary-jane. I got sober from pot in 2006 but relapsed in 2012, a year ago. The relapse was only a week, but it made me absolutely nutty, then dangerously depressed, suicidal. I went to the program 1 year ago to learn to forgive myself bc i was so upset that i broke my 5.5 years sobriety. A year later, with that 1 mtg a week, I am sober and alcohol free, which is a bonus. I have a personal concept of spirituality. I have all of these tools I was missing out on before. I will keep with it, but in a more careful way.

Hello again, Emily,

Thank you for the response. I'm glad to hear that you are getting a grip and living your life the way that you really want to.

I can understand how having your beliefs shattered could anger and frighten you. It feels like somebody is pulling the rug out from under you, and threatening you. I am reminded of a semi-obscene remark from Oscar Wilde: "My dear, you have just learned something, although, right now, it feels like you just lost something."

I doubt that the 12-Step group is really giving you the tools that you need to stay clean and sober. Confessing all of your sins and declaring that you are powerless is not something that will help you. The 12-Step program is brainwashing, not therapy, you know. (Look at Dr. Robert Jay Lifton's description of Chinese Communist brainwashing, and notice how similar it is to the 12 Steps.)

And you are not powerless. You only slipped for a week, and then you got a grip and decided that you did not wish to go down that road any more, so you quit smoking pot, again. That is not powerlessness. That is strength and control and power. Congratulations.

By the way, that was a "slip", not a relapse. A relapse is where you really loose it and go all of the way back down, like smoking and drinking for another year, or several years. Just backsliding for a week and then getting it back together is merely a slip. And that's another sign that you were never powerless.

You said that you were frightened because you wanted the meetings to work. May I suggest some other meetings that might work better? See the list of sane and rational types of recovery here:

And this link is good: How did you get to where you are?

Have a good day now, and a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     To say that we are powerless over alcohol is as stupid and wrong
**     as saying that children are powerless over candy bars. While the
**     temptation to consume may be strong, none of us is powerless.
**     When they tell you that you are powerless,
**     that just means that somebody else gets the power.

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters358.html#Wanderer ]

Date: Mon, June 17, 2013 5:31 pm       (answered 19 June 2013)
From: "The Wanderer"
Subject: Clancy I.

I was doing medical research and stumbled on your site. I had to laugh when I saw Clancy I.'s name pop up. From the moment I first met him I knew he was a humbug and a fake. You should advise people in AA that they should never get a sponsor with more than 3 or four sponsees. Beyond that it's an entourage and not a recovery tool. When I first met him Clancy had over 150 sponsees and was bragging about it. I am 27 years sober and have always gone to Atheist and Agnostic AA meetings in San Francisco. We are radical enough here to get away with it. I think you would enjoy them. Have a glad day. Please do not use my name if you publish this email. My handle is The Wanderer (from the I Ching "Fire on the Mountain").

Hello Wanderer,

Thank you for the letter and the note about Clancy. And I'm glad to hear that you are doing well. And congratulations for taking care of your health for 27 years.

Actually, I question whether sponsors do any good for the sponsees, even if they only divide their time between three or four sponsees. The one and only valid controlled test of sponsors that I know of found that the sponsors did nothing for the sponsees. Look here.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "God, please save me from your followers!"
**          ==  Bumper Sticker

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters358.html#Bob_W ]

Date: Mon, June 17, 2013 5:08 pm       (answered 19 June 2013)
From: "Bob Warner"
Subject: How AA Steals your soul

Hello. I am the original author of "How AA Steals Your Soul". I certainly have no problem with your site publishing that, (actually, with the integrity you showed, I appreciate your publishing of it). but I was wondering if you could do me a favor. The contact and email links for me are obsolete. Further, I have published a book which expands on the essay. If you could correct the email and contact links so as to connect with my current email, I would appreciate it.

Also, is it possible to put a link to the Amazon.com page where my book is sold?

In any event, thanks for your time. The links I wrote of are;
[email protected]

Hello Bob,

It's good to hear from you. Thanks for the great essay. And thanks for your courage in being one of the pioneers in fighting against 12-Step coercion.

Yes, I'll gladly fix the URLs and give your book a plug. I'm publishing this letter in the letters section of my web site so that other people can see it too. I'm eager to see your book.

I also gave you a link in the links page, here.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The less reasonable a cult is, the more men seek to establish it by force.
**         —  Jean Jacques Rousseau

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters358.html#brainwash ]

BLOG NOTE: 06/05/2013

Recently, a thought occurred to me that has been staring me in the face for years: It is entirely possible that the Chinese Communists learned brainwashing from Dr. Frank Buchman and his wierd cult religion.

We have occasionally looked at Dr. Robert J. Lifton's Eight Conditions for Thought Reform, i.e. "brainwashing", summarized here, and remarked that the 12 Steps are very similar to the techniques of Chinese Communist brainwashing:

We all know that Bill Wilson copied all of the material for the 12 Steps from Dr. Frank Buchman's "Oxford Group" cult religion. Bill Wilson even said so:

"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."
== William G. Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, page 39.

Where did the early AAs find the material for the remaining ten Steps? Where did we learn about moral inventory, amends for harm done, turning our wills and lives over to God? Where did we learn about meditation and prayer and all the rest of it? The spiritual substance of our remaining ten Steps came straight from Dr. Bob's and my own earlier association with the Oxford Groups, as they were then led in America by that Episcopal rector, Dr. Samuel Shoemaker.
== William G. Wilson, The Language of the Heart, page 298, published posthumously in 1988.

(Bill Wilson was of course being deceptive there. Bill listed Rev. Sam Shoemaker as the leader of the Oxford Groups. Actually, Sam Shoemaker was the number two man. Frank Buchman was the leader, and he is the man who created and promoted all of that perverted religious dogma. But Frank Buchman had a terrible reputation for his praise of Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler and the Nazis, so Bill thought it best to avoid mentioning the Buchman name.)

"The Five C's" were a core part of Buchmanism: These steps were the procedure for recruiting more members. The most important duty of members was to "win more souls" for the Group. The five C's were:

  1. Confidence
  2. Confession
  3. Conviction
  4. Conversion
  5. Conservation

What they meant was:

  1. First, the recruiter got the prospect's Confidence and trust by utilizing whatever mind games were required.   (Yes, it's a "con" — a confidence game.)

  2. Then, the recruiter Confessed something to the prospect in order to get his trust, and encouraged him to Confess something about himself in return. Gradually, the recruiter pressured the prospect to Confess all of his innermost dirty little secrets. The Oxford Group manual called "Soul Surgery" tells us that recruiters must be "lovingly relentless" in insisting that a confession be made.

  3. Then came Conviction — the recruiter betrayed the prospect's trust, and turned his confession around and used it against him, amplifying and exaggerating it, in order to make the prospect feel as guilty as possible. The recruiter got the prospect to 'Convict' himself of sins — that is, to find himself guilty of having committed many sins and to confess that he was a worthless sinner who had been defeated by sin.

  4. Then, the recruiter held out religious Conversion as the only way to escape from the feelings of guilt. The prospect was told that he must "surrender himself to God" (really, surrender to the Oxford Group recruiters).

  5. And the last 'C' was "Conservation", which was somehow redefined to mean that the new convert had to go out and recruit more new cult members, using the same Five C's as were just used on him, doing unto others what had just been done unto him.

Note the similarity between Buchman's routine for conversion of prospects, and the Red Chinese brainwashing that was inflicted on the American, British, and other United Nations soldiers in North Korea during the Korean War:

The Reds had found that the easiest way to subdue any group of people was to give its members a guilt complex and then to lead them on from self-denunciation to self-betrayal. All that was required to put this across was a sufficiently heartless exploitation of the essential goodness in people, so that they would seek self-sacrifice to compensate for their feelings of guilt. The self-sacrifice obviously made available to them in this inside-out environment is some form of treason.
Brainwashing, From Pavlov to Powers, Edward Hunter, page 169.

In Buchman's cult, the self-sacrifice that was made available to the guilt-ridden new convert was the chance to surrender to the cult, and become a slave of the cult, and spend the rest of his life "Under God-Control", "Seeking and Doing the Will of God" (as Buchman and his lieutenants defined it), and, of course, recruiting more members for the cult.

Another vital ingredient for a good brainwashing program is a method for inducing a sense of helplessness or powerlessness in the victims. Prof. Margaret Thaler Singer listed that as one of her five essential conditions for an effective mind-control program — "Create a sense of powerlessness, covert fear, guilt, and dependency."

The Red Chinese guards could easily induce such feelings of helplessness and fear — their victims were already prisoners of war, and the guards could randomly, arbitrarily, punish or kill whomever they chose, and they did. Buchman induced a sense of helplessness and fear by declaring that everyone was defeated by sin and incapable of running his or her own life (and presumably doomed to Hell unless saved by Buchman), because even their thinking was corrupted by sin — "Oh Lord, manage me, for I cannot manage myself."

(And Alcoholics Anonymous induces feelings of fear, helplessness, guilt, and dependency by telling newcomers that they will die of alcoholism unless they stay in A.A. for life and "work a strong program", and "surrender".)

That similarity may not be coincidental at all. Dr. Frank Buchman went to China as a Lutheran missionary in 1915, 1916, and 1918, and taught the Chinese his strange guilt-inducing methods of religious conversion. Is it just a big coincidence that 30 years later, the Chinese Communists had coercive conversion techniques that are almost identical to Frank Buchman's techniques?

I also notice how conversion is conversion the world over. That is, it doesn't seem to matter whether the goal is to aggressively convert someone to belief in a cult religion, allegedly worshipping a God, or Communism, worshipping dialectical materialism and "the force of history". The mechanics of the conversion process are the same.

Also see this reader's response:

P.S.: I also ran into a story about a member of Moral Re-Armament — Frank Buchman's renamed "Oxford Group" — who was a prisoner of war in North Korea during the Korean War. He was subjected to the Chinese Communist brainwashing routines. He marvelled that the brainwashing sessions were just like Moral Re-Armament meetings.
See: Robert Jay Lifton, 1961, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, pages 455-456.

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters358.html#Danyl_W ]

Date: Mon, June 24, 2013 1:14 pm       (answered 27 June 2013)
From: "Danyl W."
Subject: AA Lies


I've been a heavy drinker for 25+ yrs, gotten 3 DUI's, and lost everything including my career in Supply Chain (I have a master's degree, but have been unemployed for quite some time now). I've read through your post "What's Not Good About AA?" and started reading through "Heresy of the 12 Steps". I've been judicially forced to attend AA and 12-Step programs several times in the past, but I could never truly grasp the 'programs' and always had lingering doubts about the dogmas, but could never articulate the specifics.

I couldn't help but notice all of the time, effort, and most importantly research, that you've put into your posts!! Very commendable, to say the least. Furthermore, I wholeheartedly agree with you.

Who are you exactly, and how can I help? I am interested in working with the courts/jails in sharing a recovery program that I personally have found effective recently. It's very in-depth, scientific, practical, and not based on religion whatsoever. Perhaps my past issues in "getting with the program" have failed dismally time and time again simply because I couldn't relate and/or connect with the "information" being conveyed or insidious "tactics" being used. However, I was very receptive to this program for some reason, although it is time consuming and requires effort. However, it seems to be quite effective.

Danyl (Dani) W.

Hello Danyl,

Thank you for the letter. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well now, and have found something that works for you. And thanks for all of the compliments.

Now you have me curious. You didn't say what new recovery program you are using now. I am always interested in hearing about any new method of recovery that is "very in-depth, scientific, practical, and not based on religion whatsoever."

How can you help? The first thing that comes to mind is publicity and politics. That is, we need more publicity and broadcasting of the truth to counter the river of lies and misinformation that comes out of the A.A. propaganda machine.

And we need to inform our politicians — all of them — about the truth about A.A., and how sending people to treatment programs that are based on the 12 Steps is a waste of money.

The Paul Wellstone Act for "Equal Treatment" of Mental Illness authorized payment of treatment centers for treating "alcoholism". In other words, health insurance had to pay for treatment of drug and alcohol problems, as well as paying for treatment of mental illness. However, there was a clause in there that said that the treatment programs that get money must be proven to actually work.

A.A. and the 12-Step routine will never pass that test. Unfortunately, I don't think that requirement is being enforced. We should make sure that it is enforced. Tell your politicians that no HMO or health insurance company should have to pay for any quack treatment that is based on the 12-Step religion. And the treatment programs based on the 12 Steps or A.A. or N.A. just don't work.

And nobody should ever be sentenced to A.A. meetings. That is unConstitutional, coerced religion. (Heretical cult religion at that.)

And we must keep on telling our politicians that; all of our politicians, at all levels, from the President down to your local state representatives and the city council. The local representatives have a lot of control over funding for things like drug and alcohol programs. Often, the city and state fund the local detox center.

Happily, here in Oregon, the state's Oregon Health Plan no longer pays for drug and alcohol treatment, all of which was based on A.A. and N.A. and the 12 Steps. Even worse, my so-called "counselor" was a cocaine-snorting Internet child pornographer and child rapist, but he isn't getting paid to counsel any more.

Unfortunately, the state health plan did not defund that fraud before the quacks drained most of the funds out of the health plan, which is now almost defunct, and really sick people cannot get their medications. But I keep on telling that story, in hopes that our politicians will not get fooled by the Stepper propaganda and start funding that quackery again.

How else could you help? Well, here is the wish list: Wish List — things I wish I could get.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     When I was a child, I was taught that "having faith" was a good
**     thing.  And I believed it, for a while.  But now that I am old, and
**     have a better perspective on the whole thing, I can see that having
**     faith is a bad thing.  When you "have faith", you believe things
**     that are not true.  Oh, you will insist they are true, and proclaim
**     that you believe that they are true, even when they are not.  Thus
**     "having faith" is a form of lying.

June 01, 2013, Saturday, downtown Portland, Starlight Parade:

Imperial Troopers
Imperial Troopers

Imperial Troopers
Imperial Troopers

The Portland Hearse Club
The Portland Hearse Club

The Portland Hearse Club
The Portland Hearse Club

[The story of the goslings continues here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters358.html#Marsha_G ]

From: "marsha g."
Subject: I read your essay on AA.....
Date: Mon, June 24, 2013 8:25 am

I enjoyed the read; however, I am unclear on how the group uses funds of any of your mentioned resources, insurance companies, etc., for their own purpose. How does that work?


"Religion is belief in someone else's experience. Spirituality is having your own Experience." Deepak Chopra

Hello Marsha,

Alcoholics Anonymous has a very unusual structure, different from any other cult. Most members of A.A. get their funding through "other channels", like the health insurance companies. Most of the so-called "counselors" who work at detox centers and treatment centers are actually A.A. and N.A. members, who teach their cult religion to the sick patients, and constantly tell the patients that they must go to A.A. or N.A. for the rest of their lives or they will die. Thus the health insurance companies are actually paying the A.A. and N.A. recruiters, so the headquarters in New York doesn't have to. Similarly, most A.A. promoters and propagandists work for the 12-Step rehab racket.

Thus, strangely enough, A.A. actually has a paid staff that is much, much larger than the crew on their actual payroll. Isn't that a cute arrangement?

Just recently, we were discussing in the forum how a conspiracy of failed doctors — doctors who lost their own licenses to practice medicine because of drug or alcohol abuse — is working under the auspices of ASAM — the "American Society of Addiction Medicine", which is an A.A. front group — and they have managed to weasel themselves into positions of power in most states of the USA, where they can pass judgement on all other doctors and nurses and dentists and verterinarians and other medical practitioners, and decide whether they are guilty of drug abuse or alcohol abuse — without any real evidence. Hearsay, slander, rumor, and inuendo are enough. Then the conspirators send their victims to a chosen 12-Step facility like Hazelden for "evaluation", where they are invariably found to need 12-Step treatment. Then the conspirators can sentence their victim to "treatment" in a 12-Step facility, at the victim's expense, of course, or else the victim looses his or her license to practice medicine. And thus the Evil Empire makes even more money.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     It finally dawned on me that just because one's motive
**     isn't money doesn't mean one's motive isn't selfish.
**     (There is more than one form of profit.)
**        ==  Janet S.

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters358.html#Mari_H ]

Date: Fri, June 21, 2013 7:07 am       (answered 24 June 2013)
From: "Mari H."
Subject: About the NAADAC

I was looking for some information, and noticed that you list the Association for Addiction Professionals, along with a few other great sites on: http://www.green-papers.org/rebuttal.htm

Honestly, thank you for mentioning them. I really can't say enough positive things about the NAADAC.

It may be worthwhile to mention http://www.withdrawal.org either above or below them. The signs and symptoms of withdrawal are very serious. Unfortunately, the community does not discuss these dangers often enough, and most webpages offering information are commercial with an interest in client acquisition.

Withdrawal.org is part of the USA Addiction Treatment Partnership, a Florida registered non-profit. This way you can point visitors somewhere without having to trust a commercial site.

Let me know if you have any questions. Thank you again, and keep up the great work.

Take care.

Mari H.
Outreach Director

ATTENTION: This confidential, electronic transmission may contain attorney/client privileged information belonging to the sender. This information is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named on this transmission sheet. We are in no way related, or representing any government agency. If you are not the intended recipient, or the employee or agent responsible to the intended recipient, you should return to sender immediately. You are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or the taking of any action in reliance on the contents of this electronic transmission information is STRICTLY PROHIBITED.

Hello Mari,

Thanks for the note. But honestly, I don't understand how you can simultaneously praise my work and praise NAADAC. We are diametrically opposed in our approach to treating addictions. I consider NAADAC to be an evil organization.

The vast majority of so-called "addiction professionals" and "drug and alcohol counselors" in the USA are selling an old cult religion from the nineteen-thirties as a quack cure for substance abuse problems.

They are generally corrupt, too. They know how phony their act is. They know that it doesn't work. But it's a paying job, and what other job can a burned out old addict get?

My own "counselor" at the "treatment center" was a cocaine-snorting Internet child pornographer and child raper. And the police arrested him for it and he was convicted and sent to prison for it. You can read the whole story here. That's really some counselor, isn't it? Just the guy to be giving you life advice.

Yes, withdrawal symptoms can be very bad. I know. I went into DT's one time when I quit drinking. You can read that story here: A biography written for SOS.

You can read further rebuttals to "Agent Green's" accusations and misinformation here:

  1. http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters90.html#Green
  2. http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters181.html#Green
  3. http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters274.html#Green

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision
**     to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a
**     disease but an error in judgment. When a bunch of people begin to
**     do it, it is a social error, a life-style. In this particular
**     life-style the motto is "Be happy now because tomorrow you are
**     dying," but the dying begins almost at once, and the happiness is
**     a memory. It is, then, only a speeding up, an intensifying, of the
**     ordinary human existence. It is not different from your life-style,
**     it is only faster. It all takes place in days or weeks or months
**     instead of years. "Take the cash and let the credit go," as Villon
**     said in 1460. But that is a mistake if the cash is a penny and the
**     credit a whole lifetime.
**       ==  Philip K Dick

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Last updated 2 August 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters358.html