Letters, We Get Mail, CCCLXXV

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters375.html#Richard_B ]

Date: Wed, October 30, 2013 11:41 am     (answered 15 November 2013)
From: "Richard B."
Subject: Attorney Chris Blaylock | Criminal Defense | Personal Injury

My preferred non-Google search engine — Duck Duck Go — came up with this bit of self-promotion:
If Blaylock intended to spare his client further adverse publicity, really, he couldn't have made a worse move. Do you know the old saying about letting sleeping dogs lie? Well, now he's got people's curiosity up — mine at least — to the point that they're looking at what the San Jose Mercury News, Huffington Post, CBS News. and other sources have had to say on the matter.

And beyond that, what's to be known about that AA-guided rehab center/revenue mill? There must be some aggrieved "graduates" out there who might be emboldened to speak up.

Good luck!
Richard B.

Hello again, Richard,

Thanks for the link. And yes, you are quite right. If he had let sleeping dogs lie, we would have forgotten about the whole thing. It would have been just another story of just another disreputable rehab. There are so many. But now we cannot forget it.

Date: Wed, October 30, 2013 11:47 am     (answered 15 November 2013)
From: "Richard B."
Subject: Residential rehab facility in Eaton Canyon is denied application to continue operating — latimes.com


Oh wow! Isn't that just the frosting on the cake? Denied a license to continue operations? And they are worried about my forum ruining their reputation? Nuts.

Date: Wed, October 30, 2013 12:12 pm     (answered 15 November 2013)
From: "Richard B."
Subject: Eaton Canyon's Treatment Center Sobriety Testimonials


Aargh! Gag me with a spoon.

Testimonials are of course, just a standard propaganda trick, and totally worthless for real evidence of medical efficacy. The FDA automatically rejects testimonials as evidence of the efficacy of any medication. One of the reasons for that is because the propagandists always cherry-pick — reporting the success stories and hiding the failures.

And these testimonials are such grandiose, bombastic bullshit:

After leaving a 28-day program, I came to realize that 28 days would not compare to my seven years of using. I had to find a long-term treatment program and God directed me here to Eaton Canyon. I have now gained back some of what I lost emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. This place has also showed me how to love myself and my fellow man for the values and individuality of each one. The miracle of this treatment center has not only allowed me to become a part of society once again, but has also brought a cleansing and caring breath to my soul.

God directed this guy to the facility of a fugitive murderer?

So, how long has this guy been going to Eaton Canyon? How long has he been clean and sober, and getting back "some" of what he lost?

It's all wonderful flowery language and glittering generalities (another standard propaganda trick), without any specifics. The only number in there is that he did 28 days of an initial detox program somewhere else.

And Ronnie W. says:

After my admission to Eaton Canyon and successful recovery I'm now clean and sober with a new wife & son.

Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc — "It happened after 'X', so it was caused by 'X'"

And again, how long has this guy been clean and sober?

And Scott G. says:

Then, in a rare moment of clarity, I called my little brother and asked for help, a call that eventually resulted in my being here at Eaton Canyon, where my life is being restored to clean and sober sanity.

Wow. He's still in there. He hasn't even gotten out yet, and he's declaring himself a success story. Call me in a few years and tell me how it worked out.

And Tom N. says:

First off, I'd like to say that my stay at Eaton Canyon Treatment Center has been the best start for me since I began my sobriety one year ago. It has given me a foundation, a place to bond where I can talk about things in life that are upsetting me or bringing me down. This place has also given me my sobriety & self-respect back. The staff have been very understanding and loving towards me. For me this is not just another treatment center, this is a home of love, which is something that I have not had in quite a long time.

Oh, doesn't the wonderful love just melt your heart? How much does a month of that love cost?

Again, no clear numbers, just flowery language. How long has this guy been clean and sober? Is he still in there? He says that he "began" his sobriety a year ago, but he also says, "Eaton Canyon Treatment Center has been the best start for me since I began my sobriety one year ago." Huh? So how many starts, or restarts, have there been in the last year? If he has multiple "starts", then that implies that he isn't staying sober.

And Tisha D. says:

I came to Eaton Canyon after having lost my apartment and everything I owned, along with my dignity and self-respect. I had been living in the streets when I called my grandparents, who took me to a local treatment center for their 30-day program and I relapsed on the 31-day. The staff there recommended that I enroll at Eaton Canyon Treatment Center which would provide a more aggressive treatment due to dual diagnosis. It's now been six years since coming to Eaton Canyon and I can truthfully say their treatment program saved my life. The warmth and serenity found here is like nothing I have ever known. Their amazing staff taught me how to become a sober responsible adult again.

Wow. Is she still in there? After 6 years? A semi-permanent resident? That isn't a cure, that's an insane asylum.

And Michelle G. says that she really likes the 12-Step cult religion:

Eaton Canyon Treatment Center has given me a structured, supportive environment in which I can begin recovering from alcohol and drugs. There exists a camaraderie involving people who sincerely care about one another and are honestly concerned about each other's problems. Their counseling, therapy and group sessions techniques were very effective. We went to 12-step meetings together, read and discuss the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, meditated and prayed together, and generally help to promote each other's recovery.

Effective? I love that word. How effective? Can I see the numbers? What percentage of the incoming clients graduated and got 10 years clean and sober? 20 years?

Okay, enough of this nonsense. Except that I cannot ignore the last one. Too much talk about God to skip over:

I grew up as a member of an upstanding, middle-class family in a small California town, and yet I started drinking at age five. By the time I was 12 my disease was full-blown and in the next ten years my disease took me to places worse than any nightmares. Through a series of events I can only attribute to my Higher Power, I arrived at Eaton Canyon a broken man, morally and emotionally bankrupt. Despite the fact that I had never felt comfortable anywhere in my life, I was immediately at ease in this facility. I have been able to start on the road to recovery in a facility where serenity soothes my nerves, and understanding of my disease. God has blessed this facility and blessed me by allowing me to be a part of it.

Oh Jeez Louise! His "upstanding, middle-class family" had him drinking at the age of 5, and by 12 he was a full-blown alcoholic? Why wasn't his "Higher Power" looking out for his welfare then? Old H.P. did nothing until he was a broken man? Why?

Then, once again, "God" or "Higher Power" guided this man to the house of a fugitive murderer, where he felt right at home and very comfortable.

And he says that he has "been able to start on the road to recovery". Start? There is a huge difference between starting something and finishing it. So he conflates starting with success.

Again, call me in a few years and tell me how it worked out.

Thanks for the link. That really does illustrate the kind of propaganda that treatment centers use to advertise their quack cures.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             oran[email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If alcoholism is really a disease, then A.A. sponsors are
**     guilty of practicing medicine without a license. They are
**     also guilty of treating a life-threatening illness without
**     having any medical education or training.  They have never
**     gone to medical school, and never done an internship or
**     residency, and yet they presume to be qualified to make
**     life-or-death decisions in the patients' treatment. That
**     is what you call quackery.

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters375.html#Jim_McP ]

Date: Thu, October 31, 2013 9:21 am     (answered 15 November 2013)
From: "jim mcp."
Subject: Many Congratulations!!

Hi Terence,

Just had to write to express my delight at 4 Million Hits !!!!!!!!!!!!

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!!

Keep going, for goodness sake..............this utter madness has to be exposed for the damage it continues to do!!!

Continues Health and Happiness to you.......and thank you!


Hi Jim,

Thanks for the compliments. Yes, things are really picking up. It's already pushing about 4 1/2 million hits per month, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it go up to 5 million per month in a few months.

Funny how the mechanics of some of these things work. I think there is a vicious cycle aspect to it. Search engines like Google seem to steer people towards the more popular sites, so the more hits you get, the more hits you get. Well, the Orange Papers seems to be on the upswing.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*          Nothing succeeds like success.

September 30, 2013, residential Forest Grove:

Downed tree
We had a windy rain storm that blew down some trees.

Downed tree
So their tree crushed their garage.

[More photos below, here.]

[The previous letter from Bratmeister is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters375.html#Bratmeister ]

Date: Fri, November 1, 2013 2:01 am     (answered 15 November 2013)
From: "Der Bratmeister"
Subject: Re: Finally (Thanks)!


Wanted to check in: In a couple of weeks I'll be at two years and feel fantastic! I haven't been to a meeting in over three months, thus completing my "0 in 90." Guess what??

...nothing bad happened. I didn't relapse, go on a bender, end up in jail, etc. Nope, I just found myself with an extra hour-and-a-half (meeting plus travel time) each day to work out, clean up around the house, spend time with the family, etc. No cravings, nothing. In all honesty I'm not surprised, I was only going to maybe two meetings a month for the previous six months and even during those I was pretty much "over" the Program. Like I said in my first letter, I was spending most of those meetings just wanting to jump up and say "for God's sakes people, move on and just live your lives!"

It always made me wonder when I'd hear old-timers say things like "I've got over ten years, but when I couldn't go to meetings for two days in a row last week 'cause of work, boy was I feeling pretty squirrely."

What? Seriously? If after ten years, I'm still so dependent on meetings that I can't miss one or two, just take me out back and shoot me.

So, that about does it. Not picking up a two year coin because
a) I've stopped going and
b) I think that collecting anniversary coins is self-defeating and has the potential to make a slip/relapse turn into something much worse. It is supposed to be one day at a time, right? Again, why live in the past, holding on to an anniversary date of something you've moved beyond?

I haven't had a relapse, haven't even come close, and feel no need to keep a tangible reminder of some "thing" that simply doesn't apply to me anymore. Sort of like keeping a bad tattoo of a gang you used to be in.... if you're out, get the thing removed! Why look at it every day?

I have no notion that my absence is even noticed by my old group. I never hung out with those folks, never socialized after meetings, never called any of them, etc. I just never related to them. They weren't really that bad (OK one or two were), some of them are actually pretty good guys, but even from Day One of me starting the Program I just had no connection to them. They never really knew anything about me either, except to tell me about my "defects" and why I should work the steps more diligently (barely got to Step 3, and even then had misgivings about them). As if these guys know the first thing about me or my life.... I'm relatively certain not one could name what I do for a living, my hobbies, etc., but they knew "everything" about me.

OK, back to living life. I am supposed to be moving on, so there's stuff out there to do, waiting for me!


Hello again, Bratmeister,

Thanks for the letter and the good news. I'm so happy for you. Congratulations. And I love your "0 in 90" program. :-)

I've also given up on collecting drunk junk, like sobriety coins. They really meant something to me in the beginning. They gave me a feeling of accomplishment. But when I discovered that Steppers were claiming that the coins given out proved that the 12 Steps worked, I stopped picking up coins. As far as I was concerned, the coins merely meant that you had not drunk any alcohol in that amount of time, but to the Steppers, the coins meant that A.A. works. Oh no. So no more coins.

I still keep track of my sobriety date and years sober, if only because Steppers ask. When I'm debating with a Stepper, they seem to think that years sober are about the only credentials worth considering. Well actually, then they make it trickier than that. Years sober in "The Program" is credentials and rank. Years sober outside of the program is time spent as a "Dry Drunk".

And I like to notice the changes, and keep track of them. Like how it took 5 years to get my short-term memory back. I found it very encouraging and reinforcing to note each little recovery or improvement that way. It gives a feeling of progress. And actually, I think it really is progress.

But now, I think the recoveries and improvements have about stopped. I've probably recovered about all that I'm going to. Or else the changes are coming so glacially slowly that I don't notice them. But on the other hand, I'm not degenerating or falling apart or dying, either. So that's good.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      There is a tide in the affairs of men,
**      Which taken at the flood, leads onto fortune.
**      Omitted, all the voyage of their life,
**      Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
**        ==  William Shakespeare

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters375.html#Justin_G ]

Date: Sat, November 2, 2013 1:52 am     (answered 15 November 2013)
From: "Justin G."
Subject: I've just started browsing your page

so a little background, (I don't care if google reads my email)...

I occasionally attend AA, I've been to one NA meeting, I mostly attend Celebrate Recovery at the church I also go to Sundays. I've been off meth for 2 years now.

I just started reading parts of your page and I am impressed at the logical, thoughtful, and informed point of view you present. I enjoy reading many different types of 'recovery literature' including rational recovery and other non 12 step stuff.

the truth for me is one day I just decided to quit. 12 step stuff helped at first because it gave me somewhere to go besides the dealer. then I started educating myself, finding out what worked for others.

I was Facebook chatting today when I saw someone say, "addicts don't belong in AA, the DNA of the program needs to stay pure", or something like that and I was disheartened they would turn away a struggling addict.

I dunno I guess I'm curious on your thoughts about celebrate recovery. while its 12 step based, I feel its more forward looking than aa. how are we living today, not what a bad person i was before. breaking groups up by gender, and discouraging dating relationships inside the group to prevent predatory behavior. rather than saying you're an addict for life, I feel we try to find the root problems that lead to addictive behavior. I'm powerless only in the sense that if I start smoking meth again, I know I won't stop until I get arrested, so I choose to not use.

I feel I used a fairly sane way to kick drugs and then stay clean. first I decided I didn't want to go back to that life. after deciding I was going to stay sober I started going to church. i basically skipped all the inventory sharing stuff but day by day i try to be a better person than i was the day before, and now I feel I'm not an addict anymore but I truly try to help others get off drugs at Cr.

is Cr as harmful as aa appears to be?

you seem to be fairly knowledgeable about 'recovery', so I figured it wouldn't hurt to see if you would offer an opinion.


Hello Justin,

Thanks for the letter, and I'm glad to hear that you are doing well. Congratulations on your recovery. It sounds like you did it pretty much the same way as I did: I just decided that I wasn't going to die that way, and quit all of my bad habits all at once. And even though I went to some A.A. and N.A. meetings, they didn't really have anything to do with it. I had already quit before I went to them.

We were just talking about Celebrate Recovery, a few letters back, here. And we weren't saying good things.

I don't want to kill your fun, but I have to be honest. I regard Celebrate Recovery as a giant mistake that embraces heretical theology. Rick Warren is trying to turn an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties into a Christian program. The problem with that is that all of the basic beliefs and doctrines of the 12-Step religion are unChristian or even anti-Christian.

The 12-Step program resembles selling your soul to the Devil in trade for sobriety. You surrender your will, your mind, and your soul to some unnamed "Higher Power" in Step Three (a "higher power" who might be "God" or might be Baal Bedpan, or might be Group Of Drunks), and you promise to be a faithful slave of Higher Power, and then you get your work orders from "Higher Power" in a Step 11 séance. The is not what Jesus Christ taught.

I wrote up a whole file about the conflicts between Steppism and Christianity here: The Heresy of the Twelve Steps.

And even if someone doesn't care about religious doctrines all that much, the problem remains that the 12 Steps are actually brainwashing techniques, not any kind of recovery program. Rick Warren is way off base when he imagines that just inserting the words "Jesus Christ" into the Steps a few times will suddenly make them into good things.

So I'd suggest that you click on the links above, and you will get the drift of what we have been talking about. Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Error is a hardy plant: it flourisheth in every soil.
**      ==  Martin Farquhar Tupper (1810—1889)

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters375.html#S ]

Date: Sat, November 2, 2013 9:06 am     (answered 16 November 2013)
From: "S."
Subject: DUI teachers

Some of the male Dui teachers are sex offenders and females are expected to sit in their classrooms late @ night. The owners of DUI schools should be required to do background checks on these addicts. Please use S for my name. Keep up the good work Orange, you are making a difference.

Hello S.,

Thanks for the letter, and thanks for the compliments. Yes, I have to agree about the "teachers". Heck, my "counselor" at a "treatment center" was a child-raping cocaine-snorting child pornographer. And yet, the state of Oregon paid $1700 per person for him to teach a bunch of people how to live clean and sober lives. It didn't work. Almost all of them relapsed. I'm the only one that I know of who didn't, and I'm the one who quit drinking two weeks before the "treatment program" started.

The idea that ex-addicts make the best counselors is a crazy idea that only the 12-Step religion pushes. Nobody recommends ex-addicts for brain surgeons or heart surgeons. Nobody says that old alcoholics make the best oncologists. But Steppers imagine that because someone is expert at drinking and drugging, that they will be expert at teaching other people how to not drink and drug. There is no evidence to support that belief.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If you wonder whether evil karma can be neutralized or not,
**     then know that it is neutralized by desire for goodness.
**     But they who knowingly do evil deeds, exchange a mouthful
**     of food for infamy. They who knowing not wither they
**     themselves are bound, yet presume to pose as guides for
**     others, do injury both to themselves and others. If pain
**     and sorrow ye desire sincerely to avoid, avoid, then, doing
**     harm to others.
**        — W.Y. Evans-Wentz, Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters375.html#S2 ]

Date: Tue, November 5, 2013 8:57 am     (answered 16 November 2013)
From: "S."
Subject: calling adults babies

Another unhealthy aspect of AA is calling adults, babies of their sponsors. This continues no matter the length of your sobriety or your age. Many sponsors exploit their so called babies and always expects the babies to pick up the tab when going out anyplace.
AA is most definitely the blind leading the blind.
Most of the old timers who hang around have nothing better to do with their lives, or so they think.

Hello again, S.,

Yes, calling newcomers "babies" is really patronizing and condescending, isn't it? The word "infantization" comes to mind.

As if your years of life before A.A. never taught you anything. And your life started the day that you walked into an A.A. meeting.

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Get a sponsor and have a crazy loser running your life for you.

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters375.html#Doug_M ]

Date: Tue, November 5, 2013 6:23 pm     (answered 18 November 2013)
From: "Doug M."
Subject: Hi

I'm not sure how long ago you posted about the cult of aa but I just happened to stumble onto it today. First and foremost, excellent read, thank you for telling the truth. Not only telling the truth but citing specific examples. My experience comes from na and not aa, but the differences are really none. The only difference I know of is if you go to an na meeting and say your an alcoholic they saw welcome, but go to an aa meeting and say you're an addict and they treat you as though you're a fire-breathing demon sent to kill them off.

Regardless I was in a treatment center for a cocaine addiction and more or less forced into treatment programs, it was my choice, either aa or na. I chose na simply because it was more tolerable. I will say I did find the help I needed, which was really being scared into not becoming an na regular. From the second I walked in the whole thing just screamed this is a cult, period. I went along with what they said and did because I wanted to get the hell out of rehab and get on with my life. I can honestly say that the things they spew are nothing but propaganda. I know this because I did not and do not live their 12 steps and I have been clean from my cocaine addiction for over 10 years and have no desire to use the stuff.

Surely if they were correct I would be dead by now, yet here I am. Must be a coincidence. But I'm sure if you ask one of the sheep they would tell you that there's no way I could be alive since I didn't follow the 12 steps. Of course you can't discuss anything with them rationally because they say things like keep coming back. Which is really away of avoiding answering while being as condescending as possible. Regardless I just wanted to share what I went through, thanks for exposing the truth

Sent from my iPhone

Hello Doug,

Thank you for the letter and the compliments. And of course I couldn't agree more.

Not coincidentally, way back in 1987, when I was going to only my third A.A. meeting, ever, I asked one of the old-timers "How does this work?" It was a simple honest question where I wanted to get a list of instructions and procedures, and learn how "the program" actually works. He just gave me a mindless grin, and answered, "Keep coming back."

I found that answer less than satisfying. After four meetings, I stopped going, because I decided that although they seemed like nice people, I didn't want to spend the rest of my life sitting around talking about drinking.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Look! Good fortune is around you.
**  It is better to be alone than in bad company.

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters375.html#Tom_H ]

Date: Thu, November 7, 2013 3:06 am     (answered 7 November 2013)
From: "Thomas H."
Subject: Hey

Hey, I wanted to thank you for your info the reality that AA/NA is a cult. I have my own painful stories about them, and am grateful I'm not the only person who finds it ridiculous that the program can't be questioned. Thank you.


Hello Tom,

Thanks for the compliments, and thank you for all that you do. I really like SMART, and went for a while about 12 or 13 years ago. And even facilitated some meetings for a while. Alas, my health doesn't make that very easy any more. So I concentrate on my web site, where I work on getting the truth out.

Yes, it is outrageously arrogant for any group or church or religion to declare that it cannot be questioned or criticized.

In fact, that is one of the most obvious glaring characteristics of a cult. Sane people can be rational about their favorite organizations and beliefs, but irrational people cannot. I notice that rational comes from the Greek word "ratio", which means a fraction. Sane people can say that their favorite thing in 80% good, or 90% good, but not 100% perfect. True believers, on the other hand, tend to pop a cork if you ask them to list what is wrong with their favorite religion or God or political party, or whatever...

As our good friend Kurt Vonnegut said, "So it goes."

Have a good day now.

== "Orange"

*          [email protected]       *
*      AA and Recovery Cult Debunking     *
*      http://www.orange-papers.info/      *
*    http://www.orange-papers.info/forum   *
** "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.

From: "Thomas H."
Subject: Re: Hey
Date: Thu, November 7, 2013 1:32 pm

Thanks for the reply. I suppose anyone that claims i have a disease and compares that disease to diabetes or cancer but then tells me I'm not sober or that I'm cheating because I'm taking medication is completely contradicting themselves. That was NA. I'm sure AA has plenty of similar stories.

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters375.html#Peter_F ]

Date: Fri, November 8, 2013 1:57 pm     (answered 18 November 2013)
From: "Peter F."
Subject: Dealing with an Addict


Peter Ferentzy, PhD
Scientist 1, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Author of Dealing With Addiction — why the 20th century was wrong
Co-Author: The History of Problem Gambling: Temperance, substance abuse, medicine, and metaphors

Okay Peter, I'll have to check that out.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Found in a fortune cookie: "Among the lucky, you are the chosen one".
**     I got this the day I left drug rehab, knowing most of those I was
**     in the hospital with would relapse shortly.
**        == 15 yrs Sober, Brooklyn NY. ==
**           Written in a blog, January 16th, 2008 4:26 pm

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters375.html#Stephen_R ]

Date: Fri, November 8, 2013 1:52 pm     (answered 18 November 2013)
From: "Stephen R."
Subject: Relapsing addiction workers

Hi orange

I'm looking into this to see what sort of support rehabs and other addiction services give to their employees who relapse. Not just 12 step places, but the sector as a whole.

Do you know of any good links, data, articles or contacts where I could research further? Google is not helping...


Hello Steve,

Alas, I don't have much to add there. From what I've seen, relapsing "treatment center" workers get fired and told to do the 12 Steps.

Oh, and at the same time, the jabber about "you are powerless over alcohol", or "you are powerless over your addiction" changes to "You chose to pick up."

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     When I "graduated" from the so-called "treatment program" at the local
**     "treatment center" (because the health insurance funding ran out), they
**     congratulated me for my continuous sobriety and for "achieving the goals"
**     of the treatment program. That starkly contrasts with the A.A. dogma
**     that says that you are powerless over alcohol. If I were really powerless,
**     then I couldn't have chosen sobriety, and I couldn't have accomplished
**     anything. The so-called treatment is contradictory: They demand that you
**     go to 12-Step meetings and get a sponsor and join the 12-Step cult
**     religion, but they also demand that you act like you have the situation
**     totally under your own control, and abstain from drinking or drugging
**     as a matter of choice.

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters375.html#iamnotastatistic ]

Date: Sun, November 10, 2013 4:45 pm     (answered 18 November 2013)
From: "iamnotastatistic"
Subject: Effectiveness of AA and court mandated AA

Hi Orange,

Recently I was researching court mandated AA and found some interesting related research papers regarding the effectiveness of both AA and court mandated AA.

1. Another meta-analysis (in addition to the Cochrane and Mesa Grande meta-analyses) that says that AA is ineffective.

From a 1999 meta-analysis by Kownacki and Shadish:

"This article reviews the outcome (usually abstinence at 12 months) of 21 controlled studies of AA, with emphasis on methodological quality. Severe selection biases compromised all quasi-experiments. Randomized studies yielded worse results for AA than nonrandomized studies, but were biased by selection of coerced subjects. Attending conventional AA meetings was worse than no treatment or alternative treatment; residential AA-modeled treatments performed no better or worse than alternatives..."
Kownacki, R.J., and Shadish, W.R. Does Alcoholics Anonymous work? The results from a meta-analysis of controlled experiments. Substance Use & Misuse 34:1897—1916, 1999. Abstract only on PubMed:

2. A 2006 report from the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University refers to the 1999 Kownacki and Shadish meta-analysis above and the authors' own 1995 meta-analysis:

"A meta-analysis of controlled studies of the effectiveness of AA (Kownacki and Shadish 1999) found that randomized studies, but not nonrandomized studies, of AA alone produced more negative outcomes than no treatment at all ... The randomized studies contained several samples of coerced participants, whereas the nonrandomized studies used only samples of voluntary participants, indicating that forced AA attendance may be worse than no treatment (Kownacki and Shadish 1999)."

"In the meta-analysis (Wells-Parker et al. 1995)[3], only two reviewed studies evaluated direct court referral to AA, and those studies did not show that mandatory AA participation alone had a beneficial effect on recidivism."

Patricia L. Dill, Ph.D., Elisabeth Wells-Parker. Court-Mandated Treatment for Convicted Drinking Drivers. Alcohol Research and Health 2006;29(1):41-8. Full report at

[3] Wells-Parker, E.; Bangert-Drowns, R.; McMillen, R.; and Williams, M. Final results from a meta-analysis of remedial interventions with drink/drive offenders. Addiction 90:907—926, 1995. PMID: 7663313. Abstract only at

So, AA attendance alone is worse than no treatment. Mandated AA attendance is worse than no treatment and has no beneficial effect on recidivism. There is simply no medical, scientific or constitutional justification for court mandated AA attendance.

The author of two of these reports, Elisabeth Wells-Parker, is an interesting character — she is Professor of Psychology at Mississippi State University and Associate Director of the MSU Social Science Research Center and has authored many reports regarding court mandated treatment of DUI offenders.

Thanks Orange,

Hello again, Iamnotastatistic,

Thanks for the links. I shall have to get those and study them carefully. Those are important findings. I can easily believe it. How is coerced cult religion supposed to improve people's lives? — Especially an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties?

On the other hand, people who have voluntarily come to the conclusion that they want to quit drinking and improve their lives are a very different (self-selected) population. They are always the only ones who succeed in the long run.

It's just like how you can't legislate morality. People have to make that choice for themselves.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "We should pray for a sane mind in a sound body."
**       ==  Juvenal (full name Decimus Junius Juvenalis, A.D. 60?—?140), Roman Satirist,
**            Satires, (c. 100 A.D.), 10.356

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters375.html#John_H ]

Date: Fri, November 8, 2013 5:35 am     (answered 18 November 2013)
From: "john w h."
Subject: What about the upside?

How many poeple have lost there lives from taking meds?

How many lost lives has the Pacific group and Clancy's work at the Midnight Mission saved?

Go watch Fight Club, if you have seen it, watch it again. You sound rather de-masculated in your rant.

I am not advocating, violence. This movie was filmed in 1998 and the banks exploded on there own in 2008.

Substitute Yoga or some form of Mediation for the fighting in Fight Club and you might get my prospective, maybe.


The main thing is "Find Peace" and "Find Courage", drugs are not the answer, just breath.


Hello John,

Thanks for the letter. Wow. What a mess of disconnected thoughts.

I cannot say how many people have died from taking meds. I know that meds save more lives than they kill. That's why we use meds to treat diseases and other medical problems. If witchcraft worked better, we would still be using witchcraft.

You asked, How many lost lives has the Pacific group and Clancy's work at the Midnight Mission saved?

And the answer is, "Approximately zero. Clancy's cult abuses people. It doesn't save them. The few people whom you see recover are the ones who chose to save their own lives." You can read more about Clancy's corrupt organization here:
Stories about Clancy Imusland's Pacific Group. And the Atlantic Group, Foxhall Group, Badger Group, and Nursery...

I did watch Fight Club, years ago. It was an interesting story of a delusional psychotic man who didn't know that he was fighting himself. Are you trying to recommend that as a treatment for alcohol addiction?

You wrote, "This movie was filmed in 1998 and the banks exploded on there own in 2008."

Okay, but I don't see the connection.

I like this line, The main thing is "Find Peace" and "Find Courage", drugs are not the answer, just breath.

That sounds good. Meditate and watch your breath. Exercise and stay aware of your breathing.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his
**       delusion is called a philosopher."
**         — Ambrose Bierce (1842 — 1914)

October 6, 2013, Sunday, Fernhill Wetlands:

Mongrel Drakes
The three surviving Mongrel Drakes, coming to me for munchies.

Mongrel Drakes

[More goose photos here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters375.html#Jason_F ]

Date: Sat, November 16, 2013 11:55 am     (answered 18 November 2013)
From: "Jason F."

Hello Terrance :-)

Before I begin, please make sure that my email address is private if possible. I don't know how to do that and I do not know how to acquire that information. Thank you.

I really enjoyed your website very much and appreciate the time it must have taken for it to be so comprehensive. I especially appreciated your explanation of the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions. You said much more with less words than the books and your explanation made much more sense to me. Thank you.

I have not been sober long. I have been abusing alcohol for several years, but my drinking habits became steadily worse for about five years. It's strange, but I am not able to stay sober for what I consider to be long periods of time. The longest I have been sober was for almost nine weeks, and I worked very hard for that. For me, staying sober is a job in and of itself.

I have a brief history with AA and much of your commentary on it, as well as some of the letters sent to you, I can relate with. Personally, what I found most frustrating about AA is that it was never fully explained to me. The vast majority of people I met at AA were nice to me. However, all they basically said to me on how to work the program was to "stay sober and keep coming back." Generally, any questions I had about AA was either not fully explained to me adequately for my understanding or the person did not know the answer. I would think that if working the AA program is a matter of life and death, according to AA, than the people who are there, particularly "old-timers," should be able to explain the AA program to newcomers using the most basic language necessary in order to help them understand it thoroughly.

Another aspect about AA that I had difficulty with is the metaphysical/theological/spiritual claims AA makes. Naturally, they are all viewed as "true" without adequate explanation for why that is so. "Oh... just believe that it is true. Your life depends on it after all. Besides, Bill W. says that it true; therefore, it is" Well, I simply was not able to do that. I believe conditioning had much to do with my inability to take what was said at face value and expecting me to merely assume that the AA claims in these regards are true.

I have not been to an AA meeting in about three months, and I do not intend to go to one ever again. The above reasons is why I will not do that. However, I will do my best to stay sober longer than the 9 week record I have.

Thank you for reading my letter to you. I hope you have a great day today. Congratulations on your sobriety.


Hello Jason,

Thank you for the letter and the compliments. I hope you are doing well.

About: However, all they basically said to me on how to work the program was to "stay sober and keep coming back."

Oh yes. We were just talking about that in a previous letter, here:
Same thing. No explanation. No attempt to really answer your question. Just repeat the slogan, "Keep coming back."

That was one of the first signs that I got that A.A. was a cult. I didn't know that at the time, I just found the answer less than enlightening or satisfying.

When they try to discourage you from thinking, and try to short-circuit your thinking process, you know that something is wrong.

And when they can't give you a simple, clear, logical answer to how their program works, then you know that something is very wrong.

And to claim that things work in a magical, spiritual way that cannot be explained or measured is fraud, pure and simple.

Perhaps this can help you in your struggle to get sober: Three years ago, on the occasion of my 10th anniverary off of alcohol, someone asked me, How did you get to where you are?, and I wrote that answer. It isn't the end-all and be-all answer, but it covers some key items. It also has links to lists of answers — both mine and other people's suggestions — about what helped them.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "I don't know why we have to go around the world forcing our
**      way of life on other people at the point of a gun.
**      When you have something good, man, they will steal it."
**          ==  Dick Gregory (the comedian)
**      (The same is also true of A.A. using courts, parole officers,
**      treatment centers, counselors, and 12th-Steppers to force itself
**      on unwilling victims.)

More Letters

Previous Letters

Search the Orange Papers

Click Fruit for Menu

Last updated 21 November 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters375.html