Letters, We Get Mail, CCCCIV



[The previous letter from Gamine_H is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters404.html#Gamine_H ]

Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2014 12:31:36     (answered 6 June 2014)
From: Gamine H.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Final

Ive read your 'cult test'. Its a disorganized, 100 page whine tantrum specifically aimed at AA. So don't tell me to read your garbage Orange. Have you ever seen Eyes Wide Shut? That's a Cult! Comparing AA to a cult makes you look like an idiot. The only comebacks you have are "typical cult personality to attack critics" and "minimization and denial!" Your estimate of AA is so off base, I don't believe you've ever done more than attend 1 group for a few months. At the end of every day, at every AA group across the planet, when all the people go home, there is nothing left to blame but a wall full of words. "'You'" think its a cult, dangerous, and has no solution but you fail to realize the 'traditions' and about 200 other sociological, philosophical and psychological concepts.

AA is just people, Just People, who drank alcoholically and need someone to talk to, or have recovered "through" the program/fellowship and wish to HELP others. That's it! Its a wall full of words and ideas and regular people (half of which are agnostic) who virtuously want to help others like them. You routinely mention people like Bill W as if they were devils hell-bent on hurting others and world domination. Bill was an American citizen and veteran. He was a patriot who struggled the perils of alcoholism and together with Dr. Bob co-founded a safe haven for drunks. Those two men availed an emotional/psychological solution and brotherhood. All these old farts did was write some words down and try to help others but you curse them and shit on their legacy of goodwill. SHAME on you!

Have you seen The Dark Knight? (its a newer Batman film) There's a guy who discovers who Batman is and foolishly thinks he can blackmail a millionaire, Bruce Wayne. You are that guy. You have a ridiculous grudge, poor logic and worse writing/organization skills and you've gone up against AA!? Alcoholics Anonymous has groups in over 170 nations. You are 1 person whose only real effect has been to defer people away from a convenient, free, promising solution--you nurse their desire to go back out and continue a cyclic pattern of alcoholism that can lead to death or imprisonment. You, running your ignorant, misinformed, resentful mouth, are making 'reservations' easier for people with alcohol problems. If you gave a shit about helping others, you would get an accurate idea of what AA really is instead of finding articles that justify your unjustifiable hate and excuse people back into behavior patterns that kill them.

Spontaneous Remission!? You have got to be kidding me! Seriously, whats the difference between a person who says "God removed my disease of alcoholism" and "I "spontaneously" had a remission. Minimization?! You laugh off recovery and attribute it to "they would have quit anyway"! Take your own medicine. Whether they "spontaneously have remission" (like some divine intervention/miracle or probably how you meant it, a neurological change) or whether the fellowship of AA and the steps kept them sober long enough to establish a sensible living pattern, or whether 'gawd' really did miracle their ass into sobriety---all the same, unknowable but fortunate difference!!

Maybe you should back up your spontaneous remission rhetoric with some actual medical proof, not just bullshit statistics you find. But you're not an MD are you? or qualified in the slightest to give advice about substance abuse. You probably never even drank alcoholically so your'e ranting about a disease you don't understand and a society you've judged unfairly. You really don't know anything about what you're talking about. You have not been humbled by a substance abuse addiction, if you had, you wouldn't speak as you do. You have zero humility.

AA's routinely say that outside sources of help are encouraged. We get sober in AA but don't care if others have achieved sobriety other ways--good for them--glad it worked. Read page 133 of the big book! Just because there is Christian dogma, and chapter 4 is about as ignorant as possible, doesn't mean AA isn't immeasurably useful. I'm not trying to convince you, I realize you've been at YOUR sinister little game, pointing fingers at AA for years. You've probably been responsible for helping many drunks to their untimely grave, lying to them about AA, through your pride driven ego, your skewed version of truth. You're despicable.

My biggest bone with you isn't your misinforming or your animosity towards AA, but with all your work you so proudly exhibit as reasons for AA dismissal. The work is grossly incompetent, scrambled, informal, redundant, littered with a profusion of hate etc...its not that you're absolutely wrong, its that you're totally wrong with no literary grace.

Whatever 'good' you may daily display, whatever altruism you've employed over the years, its all becoming a wash with every second you continue this tirade against a well meaning society. Soon, if its not already happened, all beneficial trace of your impact on Earth will be soiled, and you'll just be another variable in the suffering of others.

---Truly, Neal

Hello again, Gamine, or Neal, or whichever name you prefer to use now,

  1. Of course A.A. is a cult. Eyes Wide Shut is one example of a cult. But there are many more, and they have different styles. Defensive cult members routinely point at the most extreme cults and claim that "We aren't a cult because we aren't as bad as them. We haven't committed mass suicide." That is not a valid objection. Very, very few cults commit mass suicide, only the most extreme and insane ones.

    Another standard dodge is, "We don't have a charismatic leader who is screwing all of the girls and taking all of the drugs and stealing all of the money." Not now, but A.A. did have such a leader, and his name was Bill Wilson.

  2. This is nonsense:

    At the end of every day, at every AA group across the planet, when all the people go home, there is nothing left to blame but a wall full of words.

    An A.A. group is not the meeting room. Don't be ridiculous. When the A.A. members go home, they are still A.A. members who believe in and promote a cult religion. Like how you are doing.

  3. I know about "The Traditions". They are not traditions, which are things that people have been doing for a long time. The A.A. "Traditions" are a dozen new rules that Bill Wilson made up and foisted on the other A.A. members. And they are bad. They declare that you are unimportant and secondary to the cult. A.A.'s practices (not principles) come before your thinking, morals, and experience.

    And A.A. should never be organized, they say, except for the fact that Bill Wilson totally organized it into two corporations with a Board of Trustees and a Board of Directors, and a President, and a General Manager, and on and on. There is Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Incorporated, and the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous (the "GSO"). Not organized, indeed. Bull.

    I analyzed the so-called "A.A. Traditions" here:
    The Twelve Traditions Interpreted

  4. On to the next paragraph: You rationalized,

    AA is just people, Just People, who drank alcoholically and need someone to talk to, or have recovered "through" the program/fellowship and wish to HELP others. That's it!

    A.A. is not just people. It is also the two corporations that I just mentioned above. And AAWS even commits felony fraud and perjury against A.A. members in order to get more money.

    A.A. is also its front groups like ASAM and the NCADD.

  5. Then you wrote,

    Its a wall full of words and ideas and regular people (half of which are agnostic) who virtuously want to help others like them.

    Geez Louise. You keep referring to those posters of the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions as if that is A.A. There is much, much more to A.A. than that, including sexual predators and con artists and religous fanatic sponsors telling people not to take their medications, and don't see a doctor and just trust the 12 Steps to heal you... You are really glossing things over when you claim that the A.A. members just want to help. Some do, but many don't. You should read about the A.A. Horror Stories for a lot of peoples' experiences where the A.A. members didn't just want to help.

    And wanting to help isn't good enough. You have to actually help. You know the old saying about, "The proof is in the pudding." So what is the real A.A. cure rate, without any qualifiers like "those who really tried", or "those who thoroughly followed our path"?

    And of course you just had to mention your token agnostics, as if they somehow counter-balance all of the raving about God that Bill Wilson wrote in the Big Book and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

    And no way are half of the A.A. members agnostics or atheists. Those guys are relatively rare because they get driven out by constant hypcritical raving about God. There are very few atheist or agnostic A.A. groups, and A.A. occasionally even delists them, like happened to the Toronto atheists. Look here and here for that.

  6. This is Minimization and Denial to the max:

    You routinely mention people like Bill W as if they were devils hell-bent on hurting others and world domination. Bill was an American citizen and veteran. He was a patriot who struggled the perils of alcoholism and together with Dr. Bob co-founded a safe haven for drunks. Those two men availed an emotional/psychological solution and brotherhood. All these old farts did was write some words down and try to help others but you curse them and shit on their legacy of goodwill. SHAME on you!

    Bill Wilson really was a crook and a con artist. Bill Wilson was a felonious embezzler, a stock swindler, and a narcissistic pathological liar, a philandering sexual predator, and a fake holy man and a fake faith healer.


    "Bill Wilson, converting a fawning moron."

    Bill Wilson posing for a staged "Man On The Bed" publicity photograph, where Bill allegedly performed miraculous faith healings, making the drunks "pick up their beds and walk."
    Notice the cross on the wall. This photograph was very carefully staged for best effect.

    Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob just took a branch of Dr. Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman's cult religion and renamed it to "Alcoholics Anonymous". Actually, Clarence Snyder came up with that name, and Bill Wilson stole that too, and never gave proper credit to Clarence Snyder.

    Yes, Bill Wilson was a veteran. He enlisted in the Army as an excuse to leave Norwich University where he was flunking out. His big wartime adventure was pointing his pistol at his own men and threatening to shoot them if they didn't obey his orders. You can read that story here.

    Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob did not create "a save haven for drunks". They just established a cult religion that lies to drunks. They created no "emotional/psychological solution and brotherhood". The words that they wrote down were all of Frank Buchman's heretical occult nonsense. They just sold Dr. Frank Buchman's cult religion as a quack cure.

  7. This is nuts:

    Have you seen The Dark Knight? (its a newer Batman film) There's a guy who discovers who Batman is and foolishly thinks he can blackmail a millionaire, Bruce Wayne. You are that guy.

    I must be a terrible blackmailer, because I haven't received a single penny of payoff money. Heck, I haven't even written the blackmail note yet. And where do I send the blackmail note? Whom am I supposed to be blackmailing? And how much money does he have?

  8. You have a ridiculous grudge, poor logic and worse writing/organization skills and you've gone up against AA!? Alcoholics Anonymous has groups in over 170 nations. You are 1 person whose only real effect has been to defer people away from a convenient, free, promising solution--you nurse their desire to go back out and continue a cyclic pattern of alcoholism that can lead to death or imprisonment. You, running your ignorant, misinformed, resentful mouth, are making 'reservations' easier for people with alcohol problems. If you gave a shit about helping others, you would get an accurate idea of what AA really is instead of finding articles that justify your unjustifiable hate and excuse people back into behavior patterns that kill them.

    Yes, that is quite an ad hominem diatribe. You complained that I often say that A.A. members are doing that. That's because they are often doing that just like how you are doing it now.

    Objecting to A.A. members deceiving sick people with quack medicine is not a "ridiculous grudge".

    The fact that A.A. has groups in 170 nations only means that it is as popular as Scientology, not that it is a good organization. That is an attempt to use the propaganda trick called Appeal to Numbers (Argumentum ad Numerum) to claim that A.A. is a good thing. Not so.

    A.A. is not "a convenient, free, promising solution". A.A. doesn't work. A.A. just raises the death rate in alcoholics. And I do know what A.A. is.

  9. On to the next paragraph.

    Spontaneous Remission!? You have got to be kidding me! Seriously, whats the difference between a person who says "God removed my disease of alcoholism" and "I "spontaneously" had a remission. Minimization?! You laugh off recovery and attribute it to "they would have quit anyway"! Take your own medicine. Whether they "spontaneously have remission" (like some divine intervention/miracle or probably how you meant it, a neurological change) or whether the fellowship of AA and the steps kept them sober long enough to establish a sensible living pattern, or whether 'gawd' really did miracle their ass into sobriety---all the same, unknowable but fortunate difference!!

    Yes, there is such a thing as spontaneous remission. Every disease and malady and illness has a spontaneous remission rate where the body just heals itself. Or the mind heals itself. Or the patient changes his behavior and lives a healthier lifestyle. A.A. members really don't like to hear about spontaneous remission because that explains all of the cases of recovery that they see around A.A. meetings.

    Your attempt to equate spontaneous remission with God miraculously healing people is ridiculous. When you skin your knee and it scabs over and heals, is God getting in there and miraculously healing your knee? Why not? If God heals drinking behavior, why doesn't God heal skinned knees? Why isn't God necessary for healing skinned knees?

    And A.A. does not keep people sober until they can "establish a sensible living pattern". A.A. makes people worse. A.A. makes alcoholics binge drink more, and get arrested more, and get sicker so that their subsequent hospitalization is more expensive.

  10. Then you wrote:

    Maybe you should back up your spontaneous remission rhetoric with some actual medical proof, not just bullshit statistics you find. But you're not an MD are you? or qualified in the slightest to give advice about substance abuse. You probably never even drank alcoholically so your'e ranting about a disease you don't understand and a society you've judged unfairly. You really don't know anything about what you're talking about. You have not been humbled by a substance abuse addiction, if you had, you wouldn't speak as you do. You have zero humility.

    You want me to provide actual medical proof of spontaneous remission? Oh, I have. You apparently didn't bother to read the file, The Effectiveness of the Twelve-Step Treatment. You should. It's all there. Start at the beginning.

    Then you complain that I'm not an M.D.? Oh, the hypocrisy. A.A. constantly brags that they are better than doctors, and don't need no stinkin' M.D.:

    I have no doubt that a man who has cured himself of the lust for alcohol has a far greater power for curing alcoholism than has a doctor.
    Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, William G. Wilson, page 320.

    Well, gee, since I'm one of those people who has cured himself of the lust for alcohol, I must be better than a doctor too, right? Bill Wilson said so.

    All kidding aside, I don't have to be a doctor to report on what the doctors found and said. And yes, I am qualified to criticize cult religions and quack medicine.

    And then you used the typical Stepper accusation that I'm not a real alcoholic, and just don't know what it's like. Bull. I've been to Hell and back too.

    By the way, that is another standard Stepper ad hominem attack: "You aren't a real alcoholic. You don't know what you are talking about. You have zero humility."

    The complaint that I don't have humility is especially revealing. A.A. wants everybody to be an oppressed "humble" loser in the cult, with no self-respect, and no self-confidence, and no ability to think for himself.

    You can read about my drinking history here:

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

  11. Then you wrote:

    AA's routinely say that outside sources of help are encouraged. We get sober in AA but don't care if others have achieved sobriety other ways--good for them--glad it worked. Read page 133 of the big book! Just because there is Christian dogma, and chapter 4 is about as ignorant as possible, doesn't mean AA isn't immeasurably useful. I'm not trying to convince you, I realize you've been at YOUR sinister little game, pointing fingers at AA for years. You've probably been responsible for helping many drunks to their untimely grave, lying to them about AA, through your pride driven ego, your skewed version of truth. You're despicable.

    No, actually, outside sources of help are not encouraged. In an A.A. meeting, you cannot even read a book that is not "council approved", meaning: "official cult propaganda".

    Page 133 of the Big Book says:

    We are convinced that a spiritual mode of living is a most powerful health restorative. We, who have recovered from serious drinking, are miracles of mental health. But we have seen remarkable transformations in our bodies. Hardly one of our crowd now shows any mark of dissipation.
          But this does not mean that we disregard human health measures. God has abundantly supplied this world with fine doctors, psychologists, and practitioners of various kinds. Do not hesitate to take your health problems to such persons. Most of them give freely of themselves, that their fellows may enjoy sound minds and bodies. Try to remember that though God has wrought miracles among us, we should never belittle a good doctor or psychiatrist. Their services are often indispensable in treating a newcomer and in following his case afterward.
    The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, The Family Afterward, page 133.

    Yes, that sounds open-minded, but it's a fake job. Bill Wilson talked out of both sides of his mouth on so many subjects. The claim that A.A. is open-minded to other solutions is just a recruiting bait-and-switch trick:
    First, they will tell you to see a doctor, and say that "we know only a little", but then it's "We know more than doctors", "We are the experts on addictions", and "Don't take medications."

    And notice that Bill's so-called "spiritual mode" was supposedly more powerful than doctors. No, it wasn't. Bill's group had a sky-high relapse rate. Bill Wilson was lying. Again. As usual.

    At other times, Bill Wilson revealed the truth. He couldn't even keeps his various false histories of A.A. consistent:

    At first nearly every alcoholic we approached began to slip, if indeed he sobered up at all. Others would stay dry six months or maybe a year and then take a skid. This was always a genuine catastrophe.
    Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, William G. Wilson, (1957), page 97.

    You have no conception these days of how much failure we had. You had to cull over hundreds of these drunks to get a handful to take the bait.
    Bill Wilson, at the memorial service for Dr. Bob, Nov. 15, 1952; file available here.

    So much for his group being "miracles of modern mental health" and "remarkable transformations".

  12. About this attack:

    You've probably been responsible for helping many drunks to their untimely grave, lying to them about AA, through your pride driven ego, your skewed version of truth. You're despicable.

    That is another standard A.A. ad hominem attack: claiming that telling the truth about A.A. kills alcoholics. That is such a common attack that I have a long list of such accusations, and you made the list:
    Accusations that telling the truth about A.A. is killing alcoholics.

    Now the truth is, since A.A. just makes alcoholics sicker and raises the death rate in alcoholics, telling the truth about A.A. is not killing anybody.

  13. Then you complained,

    My biggest bone with you isn't your misinforming or your animosity towards AA, but with all your work you so proudly exhibit as reasons for AA dismissal. The work is grossly incompetent, scrambled, informal, redundant, littered with a profusion of hate etc...its not that you're absolutely wrong, its that you're totally wrong with no literary grace.

    Unfortunately, you haven't given a specific instance or example of any of your accusations. It's all just sweeping denunciations with no facts. That is also another ad hominem attack. Steppers don't seem to have many other tools in their toolbox.

  14. Then you finished with:

    Whatever 'good' you may daily display, whatever altruism you've employed over the years, its all becoming a wash with every second you continue this tirade against a well meaning society. Soon, if its not already happened, all beneficial trace of your impact on Earth will be soiled, and you'll just be another variable in the suffering of others.

    You call A.A. "a well-meaning society". Good intentions is the opposite of doing good. "Intending to do good" is failure. A.A. "means" to cure alcoholics with an old pro-Nazi cult religion from the nineteen-thirties, and that is not good.

    And then you finished with another ridiculous sweeping ad hominem attack. Do you have only one string in your harp?

Oh well, have a good day now, Neal.

== Orange

*             [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.

[The next letter from Gamine_H is here.]





June 1, 2014, Sunday, the Fernhill Wetlands at Forest Grove:

Canada Goose goslings
Two Goose Families

Canada Goose goslings
The Younger Family of 5

Canada Goose goslings
The Older Family of 5

Canada Goose goslings
The Younger Family of 4

Canada Goose goslings
The Younger Family of 4

[More bird photos below, here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters404.html#Marc_S ]

Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2014 19:04:03     (answered 6 June 2014)
From: Marc S.
To: [email protected]
Subject: WOW!

Dear whom it may concern,

I would just like to thank you for the twelve biggest lies of A.A. I was a member of NA for awhile and I couldn't stand it. Reading this basically sums up all of my beliefs in the program onto one web page. I will show this to many and spread the word. I cannot stand the A.A./N.A. thinkers. Who the fuck is going to tell me I CANT GET SOBER ON MY OWN?? That's the most disgusting thing anyone has ever said to me. No one has ever told me I CANT do anything on my own, I almost punched someone in the face for saying that but I couldn't or else I would have gotten thrown out of Rehab.

-Marc S.

Hello Marc,

Thank you for the letter and the compliments. And I totally agree with you about getting sober on your own. Heck, I did. I quit drinking 2 weeks before I was even sent to A.A. meetings (by a so-called "treatment program".) And not to brag, I have 13 years clean and sober now, and even 13 years off of cigarettes now, without A.A. or any "support group" or any "sponsor". I just decided that I was not going to die that way. End of story.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    People unfit for freedom — who cannot do much with it
**    — are hungry for power. The desire for freedom is an attribute
**    of a "have" type of self. It says: leave me alone and
**    I shall grow, learn, and realize my capacities. The desire for
**    power is basically an attribute of a "have not" type of self.
**       ==  Eric Hoffer





June 1, 2014, Sunday, the Fernhill Wetlands at Forest Grove:

Canada Goose goslings
The Younger Family of 5

Canada Goose goslings
Two Families

Canada Goose goslings
Two Families, asking me if I have any more munchies for them.

Canada Goose goslings
Two Families

[The story of the birds continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters404.html#Kerry_M ]

Date: Sun, 8 Jun 2014 16:20:11     (answered 10 June 2014)
From: kerry m.
To: [email protected]
Subject: thank you x

you are, no doubt, inundated with letters of thanks daily. here is another...

i have been a 'member' of AA for the past 11 years, and i have during this time, become sicker and sicker as a result. i have a medical condition, an addiction to alcohol which i feel has been exasperated over the last 11 years by membership of this selfish ridiculous cult. you are an alcoholic? don't worry , you can be cured via prayer!!!

i happened upon orange papers about 5 years ago, but was told by the hardcore fraternity of AA that if i wanted to die from this disease then i were to carry on reading the information you provide. the ignorance and closed-mindedness of this suggestion has kept me sick. my obsession with alcohol comes from AA. having made the decision 8 weeks ago to cut ties with this useless organisation, my obsession has started to wane. i cannot drink alcohol but i've started to tell myself that if i wish to have a drink, then i can. because i am now allowing myself to drink, i no longer have such a strong desire to, because it is no longer something scary. i am changing my thinking. if you tell me that i cannot have something, i want it more than anything in the world, but, if i am allowed something, well, it becomes less desirable. in 11 years, i have not been sober for more than 3 years, and that was because i became ill (totally unrelated to drink). i credited AA with this miracle, but that was utter nonsense, and I did my sobriety a great dis-service in doing so. i am an atheist, but i was told that this would kill me. outrageous. i am a university graduate, but i was told to get a cleaning job because a) my sobriety came first, and b) to show some humility. outrageous. my dignity was stripped away by these lunatics. the last two months have seen a great weight lifted from me. i am back in contact with school friends, and i am applying for graduate jobs. i was told that i was not ready for work / a relationship, i was told that i was mentally ill, too intelligent to get well etc etc. my self esteem has been on the floor. i feel like i am waking up. as we already know from AA themselves, that their success rate is between 3 and 7% max. this is outrageous.

thank you so much.

it has been a long time coming

from kerry

Hello Kerry,

Thank you for the letter, and thanks for the thanks. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well. Welcome to freedom.

Yes, the A.A. routine is really oppressive, isn't it? They constantly harp on how bad you are, and insane, and selfish, and dishonest, and manipulative... They deliberately destroy your self-confidence and self-respect. It's all part of the mind game to keep you enslaved in their cult. They tell you that you can't trust your own thinking and experience; you must listen to them and they will tell you how to live. Yes, it's a cult.

That is also one of Dr. Robert Jay Lifton's Eight Criteria for Thought Reform (brainwashing): Doctrine over Person. Their dogma, doctrines, and teachings over-rule your logic, knowledge, and experience, even when their doctrines are obviously stupid, illogical, and wrong. In fact, they say that they cannot be wrong; if you disagree with them, then that proves that you are wrong.

I wrote a whole long file on how Bill Wilson and A.A. hold alcoholics in such contempt:
The "Us Stupid Drunks" Conspiracy

Yes, A.A. can make people very sick. A.A. makes alcoholics binge drink more, and get sicker so that their subsequent hospitalization is more expensive, and then A.A. makes alcoholics die more. Telling people that they are powerless over alcohol and cannot ever recover produces some very nasty results.

And don't you love how you were supposed to get a cleaning job so that you would be "humble"? They are so anti-intellectual that they just can't stand it when someone rises above their simple-minded loser lifestyle, and gets a good job that involves brainwork and intelligence and education.

Oh well, you are free of that now. So have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     "Yes. ... [It] doesn't hurt at the level of GSO for AA to have humility
**     and understand that 60 percent do it without AA."
**       ==  "George Vaillant (AA board member, author of "The Natural
**            History of Alcoholism"), AA "Grapevine" magazine 5/2001
*
**     Actually, it's more like 75% or 80% do it without A.A.
*
**     And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin,
**     is pride that apes humility.
**        ==  Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Devil's Thoughts





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters404.html#Jackie ]

Date: Sun, 8 Jun 2014 10:00:51     (answered 10 June 2014)
From: Jackie
To: [email protected] <[email protected]>
Subject: The pseudo-science of Alcoholics Anonymous: There's a better way to treat addiction — Salon.com

http://www.salon.com/2014/03/23/the_pseudo_science_of_alcoholics_anonymous_theres_a_better_way_to_treat_addiction/

In case this one hasn't yet reached ypu.

Hello Jackie,

Thanks for the tip. I had not seen that.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not
**      you believe in it."
**       ==  Neil deGrasse Tyson





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters404.html#Can_HAM ]

Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2014 03:56:06     (answered 10 June 2014)
From: Canadian Harm Reduction
To: orange <[email protected]>
Subject: 55th Annual Institute On Addiction Studies

Please circulate this announcement to friends and colleagues ...

This e-mail was sent to you by the Canadian Harm Reduction Network.

55th Annual Institute on Addiction Studies

55 years of Personal and Professional Development

July 13-17, 2014

The Institute on Addiction Studies offers professional development and learning opportunities to those working and involved in substance use and related fields. This year's annual Institute workshops include the following:

  • "Concurrent Disorders: The Interaction of Addictions and Compromised Mental Health": Dennis Kimberley, MSW, Ph.D., RSW

  • "Defusing and Debriefing 101": Kent Laidlaw / Dr. Paulette Laidlaw

  • "Managing Emotional Charge: An Introduction to Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Skills with Substance Abuse Disorders (SUD): Ian Robertson MSW, RSW

  • "An Introduction to Drugs for Counsellors": Dr. Rick Csiernik

  • "The Basics of Community Reinforcement Approach" and "The Basics of Community Reinforcement Approach Family Training": Greg Purvis M.Sc.

  • Plus presentations and workshops on internet addiction, relapse prevention, addiction and the family, self-esteem and addiction, anxiety, compassion fatigue, terminal illness in recovery and more

  • Keynote Speaker: Dr. Rick Csiernik "The Global Politics of Addiction: The Money Behind the Disease"

  • Plenary Session Speakers: Angela Rolleman / David Garvie "The Secrets of Extremely Happy People"

Location:

Kempenfelt Conference Centre, 3722 Fairway Rd., Innisfil, ON (near Barrie)

For further information, please check our website or contact our office by phone or email:
Website: http://www.addictionstudies.ca
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 1.866.278.3568

This e-mail was sent to you by the Canadian Harm Reduction Network.

Please visit our Website and support us by becoming a member.

Check us out on Facebook ... and on Twitter.

Okay, I'm passing it on.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     Truth is a necessity if you're ever going to live in harmony with Spirit
**     and become a source of inspiration for the people you encounter.
**       == Dr. Wayne Dyer, Inspiration Perpetual Flip Calendar, 5 April
**
**     The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know
**     nothing about and refuse to investigate.
**       ==  Dr. Wayne Dyer





June 1, 2014, Sunday, the Fernhill Wetlands at Forest Grove:

Canada Goose goslings
The younger Family of 5

Canada Goose goslings

Canada Goose goslings
A family coming ashore

Canada Geese
Geese Resting

[The story of the birds continues here.]





[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters404.html#Frank_F ]

Date: Sun, 8 Jun 2014 21:45:49     (answered 10 June 2014)
From: Frank F.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Green/Orange

Hi Orange, This is a copy of what I just send Green.

Best, Frank

Dear Agent Green,

Hi! My name is Frank and I'm writing to you to express concern about a statistic on your website, green-papers.org. My concern is around (that dreaded) 5% claim in relation to the graph at http://www.scribd.com/doc/3264243/Comments-on-AAs-Triennial-Surveys, and your interpretation of it.

I'd really appreciate if you read this through. It's my professional opinion that you and many others are interpreting the data to an erroneous conclusion. I do not allege that you or others are doing this deliberately, in fact it' my personal opinion these data lend themselves to accidental misinterpretation.

I bring to your attention this letter and response, as retrieved from http://www.green-papers.org/greenmail.htm at June 08 2014 21:22 NZST

From: Ryan
Subject: Triennial Survey graph
To: Agent.Green
Received: Saturday, August 20, 2011
Hello,
I'm an addict who just started attending meetings. I found the Orange Papers..and then your website. I looked at the frequency distribution graph from the study and really don't understand it. I am trying to wrap my head around how there are 26% still attending after one year. Can you please explain how that figure is derived? I tried google and couldn't find any help. Thanks a lot,
Ryan

Hi Ryan, thanks for your email.
Re the Triennial survey. The graph is not as complicated as Orange makes out.
Imagine an AA meeting of a hundred alcoholics, all of them in their first year of sobriety. A survey guy walks in and asks who is in their first month of sobriety, 19 people stick up their hands. He then asks how many are sober more than a month but less than two (ie in their 2nd month), 13 people raise their hands. He then ask who has been sober more than two months but less then three (ie their 3rd month), 10 alcoholics stick up their hands. The survey guy keeps asking: people in your fourth month raise your hands... fifth month... sixth etc. He keeps going until he reaches 12th month, for which 5 people raise their hands. He writes down all the data like this:
1st month: 19
2nd: 13
3rd: 10
4th: 9
5th: 8
6th: 7
7th: 7
8th: 6
9th: 6
10th: 6
11th: 6
12th: 5
Now he goes away and writes those down as percentages:
19%, 13%, 10%, 9%, 8%, 7%, 7%, 6%, 6%, 6%, 6%, 5%
Then he draws a graph. That is the graph that Orange gets so worked up about.
The survey guy then goes to another AA meeting of 100 alcoholics. A strange meeting at which the same number of newcomers come in every month, and everyone that has ever joined has never left. He asks his questions again, but this time he gets these results:
8.3%, 8.3%, 8.3%, 8.3%, 8.3%, 8.3%, 8.3%, 8.3%, 8.3%, 8.3%, 8.3%, 8.3%
Why are the figures in the first (normal) meeting so different from this strange meeting?!
The answer is that in the normal meeting, some people stop going after a while (some go out drinking again, some don't like AA, some think they're not alcoholics etc). So, at any time, in the normal meeting, there are more people in their first month of sobriety than in their second, more in their second than in their third, more in their third than in their fourth, and so on.
That is the attrition and it can be calculated by the difference between the first and twelfth month attendance figures. So between 19 people and 5 people. The percentage difference is found by dividing 5 by 19 and multiplying by a hundred. Which is 26.3% and is the percentage of people remaining of the 100% who started going to AA a year earlier.
That is my simplified version of how the surveys were done for purposes of explanation. In reality they were made via questionnaires handed out in many meetings, the data then averaged out (and rounded up, that being the reason the percentages in the graph don't add up to 100%, but rather 103%).
Orange looked at the graph, saw 5% under the 12th month and said: '95% of people who go to AA leave within a year!', which I hope you can see from my explanation is not what the graph says!
Orange's position would be forgivable if he had simply made a mistake, but as you can see by reading the letters on OP, he has had his error explained to him many times, but won't budge or change his website because writing negative things about AA is very important to him for some reason. Also, his 5% misreading from the graph also dovetails conveniently with his 5% misinterpretation from Vaillant's text 'The Natural History of Alcoholism' but that's another issue!.
Best regards
Agent Green.

The data table we're working with is this, with datum being percentage points:

Percentage of those coming to AA within the first year that have remained the indicated number of months

Percentage of newcomers Month
19 1.
13 2.
10 3.
9 4.
8 5.
7 6.
7 7.
6 8.
6 9.
6 10.
6 11.
5 12.

I'm interpreting this data, as you are, as if it is a snapshot of those present at meeting[s] at a specified time.

I'd like to point out immediately that the first potential to misread these data stems from the ambiguity around the interpretations of the periods. The language states "remained the indicated number of months" so for the purposes of analysis, every data point only measures A.A. attendees who have attended A.A. meetings for at least one month. This may seem like a technical point, but it's specifically this point which seems to be the cause of confusion, because in your explanation you use say "1st month".

The first data point, 19%, is the percentage of people present that have attended A.A. and remained at least 1 month but less than 2 months.

The second data point, 13%, is the percentage of people present that have attended A.A. and remained at least 2 month but less than 3 months.

And so on, until the last point:
The twelfth data point, 5%, is the percentage of people present that have attended A.A. and remained at least 12 months.

Now let's reverse engineer this so we get the 26% of people staying for at least a year, a figure you state is the correct one: You work this out as being 5 percentage points divided by 19 percentage points, which is 26%. This figure is an incorrect figure for total attrition. It's only correct for this specific instance: people who have attended A.A. for at least one month but less than two months, and still attend at least 11 months after that.

This is the most exact interpretation of the data on the working table, and is a actually a different presentation of the data than the one you give on your website.

To work out the total attrition, one would have to know how many people were at data point 0, which is all the people who attended A.A. meetings and didn't stay a month. Because this can only be more than those who stay for at least one month, this leaves us with the result that 26% is the best figure obtainable, but the real figure has to be worse, and extrapolating the trend line would suggest a much higher likelihood that it is significantly worse than 26%.

This difference is caused by your own interpretation to interpret the months as being "in" the month. This is a common perception problem with graphs that can be rendered as either discrete or continuous data. I personally speculate this confusion stems from the fact the data was graphed in the first place, when it should have been left in a table.

Finally, I draw you to the following statement on your website

Orange quotes an internal AA survey as evidence that 95% of people who begin going to AA meetings will have left after a year. In reality, the graph shows that 74% will leave within their first year not 95% — Orange either doesn't know how to read a frequency distribution graph, or is willfully presenting it dishonestly.

I respectfully suggest that your conclusion for this specific point is erroneous, and would encourage you to closely inspect the data afresh.

Cheers,
Frank

Hello Frank,

Thanks for the letter. I couldn't agree more.

Now just for the information of Green and whoever is listening to Green, it simply is not true that I have refused to ever reconsider or change my position. I did, years ago.

Originally, I believed the interpretation of the people who came before me, who had the document and interpreted it as a longitudinal study that showed the dropout rate. After looking at it and thinking about it for a couple of years, I came to the conclusion that it was not a longitudinal study at all. Nobody tracked the newcomers for a period of time to see what the dropout rate was. As you said, somebody just conducted a quicky survey one day by asking all of the people who had a year or less in A.A. how long they had been attending meetings. Then the AAWS staff calculated the answers as percentages of the newcomers, and graphed the results.

I explained all of that long ago. Look here:
http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-effectiveness.html#triennial_survey


Figure C-1 from page 12 of the Commentary on the Triennial Surveys (from 1977 to 1989), A.A. internal document number 5M/12-90/TC
Also see: Addiction, Change & Choice; The New View of Alcoholism, Vince Fox, M.Ed. CRREd., page 66

Still, the information does reveal a huge dropout rate among A.A. newcomers. As you said, if they had a zero-percent dropout rate, then they should have the same numbers of people in each month. It would be like a pipeline with a certain number of people joining each month, and the same number graduating out as one-year winners at the other end of the pipeline. They would have 8.33% of their members in each month, and the graph would be a flat horizontal line. Obviously, that is not the case. The majority of the newcomers are in the first few months, and the people who have 10 to 12 months of membership are largely missing.

What the graph shows is more like a very leaky pipeline. Imagine a pipeline with a zillion small holes all over its length. Water goes in the front of the pipe and leaks out all along its length. There will be less and less water in the pipe as you go down its length, until only a small trickle flows out the other end of the pipe. A.A. is like that.

And as you mentioned, there is one huge number missing from the graph. They do not have any information about the newcomers who stayed for less than a month. We know from experience that lots of people only come to a few A.A. meetings before they are so put off by the religiosity and slogan-slinging and narrow-minded refusal to consider other recovery methods that they simply don't come back. Those people never got counted in any survey.

I don't have any hard numbers, but I've heard and seen that half or three quarters of the newcomers leave after only a few meetings. Thus there is no way that Green can calculate that 26% are still attending at the end of a year. She has zero information about those who dropped out before they could become part of the left-hand data points and even enter into the mathematics.

There is one document that I have that reveals the A.A. dropout rate: The A.A. "Foxhall Group" in Omaha, Nebraska, created a spreadsheet that was supposed to show what a success A.A. was, but by including all of the raw numbers, they made it possible to calculate the real dropout rate. And it was huge. They took in about 400 to 420 new members each year, and only retained 10 of them. Only 10 new members, after a year of meetings and "working the Steps" and praying and all of the rest of it. Here is the document:
The spreadsheet from the Omaha, Nebraska Foxhall Group.

We have discussed this before, several times, and Green refuses to admit that a bunch of people dropped out before the survey was conducted.

  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
  4. http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters358.html#Mari_H
  5. http://www.green-papers.org/rebuttal.htm
  6. http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters388.html#ILR

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*
**     Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have
**     carefully considered what they do not say.
**         ==  William W. Watt
**     (Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.)
*
**     Wouldn't it be terrible if I quoted some reliable statistics
**     which prove that more people are driven insane through
**     religious hysteria than by drinking alcohol?
**        ==  W. C. Fields





More Letters


Previous Letters









Search the Orange Papers







Click Fruit for Menu

Last updated 16 Decemnber 2014.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters404.html