Letters, We Get Mail, XLI

Date: Sun, March 19, 2006 22:39
From: "Jon K"
Subject: Your scholarship
Mr. Orange,

In your article, "What's Not Good About A.A.," http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-not_good.html, you claim that A.A. has been statistically proven to be ineffective. The study you cite refers to the success rate of vague "spiritual therapy" programs that you assert (without conclusive evidence) were "based on the A.A. Twelve-Step program." So the study does not prove what you purport it to prove.

Hello Jon,

Get real. You pointedly ignored the next paragraph on that page, which supplies just the evidence you are demanding:

The only possible mathematical explanation is that A.A. kills one patient for each one that it saves, thus making the effective success rate balance out at zero. And that is, in fact, actually believable, given just how bad the so-called "treatment program" really is, and how high the A.A. failure rate and the A.A. death rate really are. Read on.

Especially look at the death rate link. That is Dr. George E. Vaillant, who is now a member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous Services, Inc., and who is one of the biggest A.A. promoters in the world. At the Cambridge-Sommerville Hospital, he spent the better part of 20 years shoving A.A. on alcoholics and trying to prove that A.A. works. In the end, he had to conclude that A.A. was completely ineffective and had an appalling death rate. And Vaillant wasn't using some vague spiritual therapy, he was using Alcoholics Anonymous.

Oh, and that first link that led to a study of treatment in general, and its failure, is a valid reference because 93% of all of the treatment centers in the USA use 12-Step treatment programs. So the failure of treatment in general is specifically the failure of 12-Step-based treatment programs.

On a more qualitative front, you offer the example of President George W. Bush to show that A.A. is not necessary for recovery for alcoholism. Bush, as far as you provide, has never labeled himself an alcoholic, only a "heavy drinker." I spent my college years living in a fraternity house full of "heavy drinkers," very few of which were alcoholics or potential alcoholics. I refer you to pages 20-21 of the 4^th Ed. of the Big Book, for an explanation of the difference.

There is no mention of George Bush anywhere on that "What's Not Good About A.A." web page. You must have gone off somewhere else. Specifically, what are you referring to?

In general, I do not cite Bush as an example of successful recovery. I regard G. W. Bush as a mental defective who seriously damaged his brain with 20 years of cocaine and whiskey. I think he's insane.

I repeatedly asked why the A.A. people aren't calling G. W. Bush a dry drunk for quitting drinking without Alcoholics Anonymous.

I see that you are trying to weasle out of the question by claiming that Bush wasn't really an alcoholic, just a "heavy drinker". "Heavy drinker" is what fashionably rich alcoholics call themselves.

Bill's Bull on pages 20-21 of the Big Book is meaningless garbage. Bill also attempted to weasle out of the question by claiming that if you can quit drinking without A.A., then you aren't really an alcoholic. There is no truth to that nonsense. That is just an attempt to explain away all of the alcoholics who successfully quit drinking without Alcoholics Anonymous. That is just another cultish claim that, for "real" alcoholics, "A.A. is the only way" (in spite of Bill Wilson's two-faced claims that A.A. wasn't the only way).

Bill's "hard drinker" versus "real alcoholic" is what you call a false dichotomy:

      Then we have a certain type of hard drinker. He may have the habit badly enough to gradually impair him physically and mentally. It may cause him to die a few years before his time. If a sufficiently strong reason — ill health, falling in love, change of environment, or the warning of a doctor — becomes operative, this man can also stop or moderate, although he may find it difficult and troublesome and may even need medical attention.
      But what about the real alcoholic? He may start off as a moderate drinker; he may or may not become a continuous hard drinker; but at some stage of his drinking career he begins to lose all control of his liquor consumption, once he starts to drink.
The Big Book, 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 3, More About Alcoholism, pages 20-21.

So Bill is saying that if a hard drinker just drinks a little more, then he crosses some imaginary line and becomes a real alcoholic. The "hard-drinker/alcoholic" distinction is arbitrary and artificial. It is obviously all just a matter of degrees. Even Bill says that, even he tries to semantically tap-dance his way into saying that hard drinkers are different people than alcoholics.

My take on the word "alcoholic" is very simple: If you are habitually drinking enough alcohol to wreck your health, then you are an alcoholic.
What Bill Wilson described as a "hard drinker" in the first paragraph, "He may have the habit badly enough to gradually impair him physically and mentally.", qualifies as an alcoholic in my book.

More importantly, even if Bush did drink alcoholically, his testimony about how he recovered does not contradict the A.A. program. Page 45 of the Big Book summarizes the A.A. program of recovery: "Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power? Well, that's exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem" (emphasis omitted). President Bush claims that praying for help from his Higher Power relieved his drinking. I fail to see how his experience differs significantly from A.A.'s broad spiritual purpose.

Oh neat! You are now declaring that A.A. meetings are superfluous and a waste of time. Alcoholics Anonymous is totally irrelevant and unnecessary. Just say one prayer invoking the name of Jesus and you are cured of alcoholism. No need for A.A. at all! That's the best news I've heard all week!

You also call A.A. "bad religion." You then provide a link to a long, seemingly stream-of-consciousness tract alleging A.A.'s "heresies." Alas, I could only bring myself to read a small portion of this, but there was plenty in the passages I read to pique my curiosity. You seem scandalized by A.A.'s spiritual tenets from a Christian perspective, but pay lip service to the notion that Buddhists, Hindus, and Native Americans, among others, would find A.A. as heretical as, say, the Catholic Church would. I wasn't aware that the former faiths identified A.A.'s principles (or anything else, for that matter) as "heresies." I challenge you to produce evidence of this.

Well since you couldn't bring yourself to actually read the file, I won't bring myself to actually respond to your nonsense.

I'll just point you to one specific item: Did you read the question about selling your soul to the Devil in trade for sobriety? What do you think about a deal like that? How does it differ from surrendering your soul to Alcoholics Anonymous in trade for sobriety, and learning to lie to the newcomers and hide the true nature of A.A. from the pigeons and babies?

Oh, and if "G.O.D." can be a "Group Of Drunks", why can't "G.O.D." be a "Group Of Devils"?

Furthermore, you condemn A.A.'s pantheistic "God as you understand him" concept as "deceptive double-talk," because it marginalizes atheists. How is A.A.'s palatability to atheists relevant to whether or not the program constitutes "bad religion." Under that rubric, any spiritual program (with your hallowed Catholic Church at the top of the list) would qualify as "bad religion."

Wrong. You really are twisting things. I said that it was double-talk because you can allegedly have any "God as you understand Him", and then you can't. It has to be the miracles-on-demand wish-granting order-dictating A.A. version of god, or else the 12 Steps won't work.

That is a bait-and-switch trick. And that is dishonest and deceptive.

Lastly, what is the significance of Al-Anon? Or Cocaine Anonymous? Are these A.A.? To assail A.A. as "bad religion" via such proxy attacks is no more logical than to condemn the Catholic Church for the shortcomings of Anglican or Protestant orders.

All of those organizations are part of the 12-Step cult, and they all push the same 12-Step religion as the answer to all of your problems. Your attempt to claim that they have nothing to do with A.A. is disingenuous and as phony as a 3-dollar bill.

You claim that "A.A. refuses to allow any research into treatments for alcoholism"." What does this statement mean?

It means that A.A. members who have worked themselves into positions of influence and power in government and state agencies refuse to allow any research into treatments for alcoholism that might supplant Alcoholics Anonymous, or show just how ineffective A.A. really is.

It means that A.A. members raise unholy hell whenever someone gores their ox by revealing that A.A. does not work.
People have been fired, and worse, for questioning or criticizing Alcoholics Anonymous.

It means that A.A. members scream and cry and make a big fuss whenever someone issues a report that contradicts favorite A.A. superstitions.

More perplexingly, you claim that "A.A. illegally and immorally coerces people into joining the A.A. religion." You substantiate this claim with reference to material from Hazelden, an organization which A.A. has never and will never recognize as authoritative on recovery or A.A. matters. Your subsequent attempt to connect Hazelden's policies to those of A.A. is deceptive. What in your excerpt from _Pass It On_ suggests illegal coercion? What coercive legal authority do doctors, hospitals, or ministers hold over their charges?

Again, you are trying to weasle out of it by claiming that Hazelden has nothing to do with Alcoholics Anonymous. Get real. Who do you think you are fooling? You aren't dealing with ignorant babies and pigeons here.

Hazelden is the single biggest front group and promoter for A.A. that there is in this world. Hazelden is the largest Big Book reseller and the biggest A.A. proselytizer that there is.

Hazelden even writes manuals on how to be a good proselytizing A.A. member, like the "Little Red Book of Hazelden". Hazelden and A.A. are very much in bed together.

And your attempt to claim that A.A. is innocent of coercive recruiting is so grossly dishonest that all I can do is refer you to page 58 of the Big Book where Bill Wilson yammered about A.A. being a lifestyle of rigorous honesty.

Your citation to federal judicial precedent is similarly confused. All that these cases establish is that it is illegal for the state to compel someone to attend A.A. meetings. No serious A.A. member would dispute the validity and wisdom of these decisions. A.A., after all, is not for those who need it ? only for those who want it. Compulsory attendance violates the spirit of A.A. In Chapter Seven, "Working with Others," the Big Book advises, "If [a prospective member] does not want to stop drinking, don't waste time trying to persuade him" If he does not want to see you, never force yourself upon him" And be careful not to brand him as an alcoholic. Let him draw his own conclusion" We find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not work with you" (pages 90-96).

Again, the whole issue of coercive recruiting shows the two-faced nature of Alcoholics Anonymous. A.A. routinely uses every means at its disposal to force people into A.A. meetings, everything from court-ordered attendance to treatment center referrals, and then A.A. lies and says that it isn't doing it at all, and A.A. really believes in freedom, etc... What a load of bull droppings.

I would be much obliged if you could offer a response to my concerns.

Thank you for your study,

Jon K

Okay, you have a response.

Have a good day anyway.

== Orange

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

Date: Sun, March 26, 2006 8:42
From: "Jon K"
Subject: Re: Your scholarship

Dear Mr. Orange,

Thank you for your timely and informative reply to my email.

Hi again, Jon. You are welcome.

You seem resolute in your belief that A.A. is a nefarious design, so I won"t waste either of our time trying to convince you otherwise, or challenging you to prove this charge in any meaningful sense. One issue that I believe is essential to follow up on is your personal definition of the term "alcoholic." In your reply to my email, you say that anyone who "habitually drink[s] enough alcohol to wreck [his or her] health" is an alcoholic. You then reject the viability of an entire program of recovery because you argue that an alcoholic, as you choose to define it, can stop drinking without abandoning himself to God, admitting his faults to God and to his fellows, clearing away the wreckage of his past, and giving freely of what he finds and joining other alcoholics (this is the program that A.A. offers, as the final paragraph of our basic text, p. 164 of the Big Book, summarizes it).

No, wrong, totally wrong. I do not "reject the viability of an entire program of recovery because [I] argue that an alcoholic, as [I] choose to define it, can stop drinking..." etc.

I reject Alcoholics Anonymous because it does not work, period. A.A. has a zero-percent success rate, above normal spontaneous remission. Alcoholics Anonymous just lies and fakes the numbers and fools people into thinking that it works.

Alcoholics Anonymous is not "a program of recovery". It is a lying cult religion. Period.

Let's assume, /arguendo/, that you have taken the correct position in the controversy over how the term "alcoholic" should be defined. Imagine, though, if you will, that within the broad definition of alcoholism that you provide, that there is a certain class of men and women who cannot stop drinking on willpower alone. Imagine that these men and women have tried every method to stop drinking except for the program of A.A., and that all of these other methods have failed. Now, even if you are correct that someone can be an alcoholic without belonging to this class of hopeless drinkers, it is beyond refutation that such a class of hopeless drinkers does, in fact, exist. Your argument seems to be that one can call himself "an alcoholic," and still be able to stop drinking without going to the lengths that the class of hopeless drinkers I have described above have had to go to recover from its brand of alcoholism. I am happier for these drinkers than you could imagine. However, there are over 100,000, regularly-meeting groups of people on this planet that have not been able to stop drinking without going to the lengths proposed in the Big Book.

Those are bogus terms, just the lies of Bill Wilson:

  1. "a certain class of men and women who cannot stop drinking on willpower alone".

    Who says that "will power" is the only thing that we have going for us?

    How about the desire to avoid suffering and death?
    How about fear of death?
    How about the desire to gain self-respect?
    How about the desire to keep a job or a marriage together?
    How about the desire to regain one's health?

  2. "Imagine that these men and women have tried every method to stop drinking except for the program of A.A., and that all of these other methods have failed."

    Imagine that this line is just some more of Bill's Bull.

    Almost nobody has tried all of the various sobriety programs. Two or three is more the usual count.

    And the A.A. recruiters do not ask people whether they have tried "all" of the other programs before they start saying that A.A. is the only thing that works. They start saying that real soon.

  3. ...it is beyond refutation that such a class of hopeless drinkers does, in fact, exist.

    Wrong again. I refute it. There are many stubborn alcoholics who would rather die than quit drinking, but they are not "powerless over alcohol". They just do not want to quit drinking. They would rather die than change their lifestyle.

    Now you and I may consider such a suicidal choice to be insane, but that's just how it is.

    And they aren't alone.

    • Some girls kill themselves by refusing to eat food, so they can be thin.
    • Other people eat themselves into obesity, heart attacks and diabetes.
    • Hundreds of thousands of Americans smoke themselves right into painful deaths from emphysema and lung cancer, every year.
    None of them are "powerless", even though they may be really obsessed with their particular thing.

    Even when somebody cries that he can't quit drinking, like the Bill Dotson story in the Big Book, where Dotson whimpered that he couldn't understand how he got drunk on the way home from the hospital (when all he did was stop off at the bar for a few), that does not mean that somebody is powerless over alcohol. It just means that the guy wants to drink more than he wants to stay sober, and his thinking isn't clear about what he really wants.

  4. "...there are over 100,000, regularly-meeting groups of people on this planet that have not been able to stop drinking without going to the lengths proposed in the Big Book."

    That is some more of Bill's Bull. Some people quit drinking, and then a slick fast-talking cult recruiter fools them into believing that they quit because they did some old cult religion practices that Bill got from Frank Buchman.

    The fact that somebody didn't quit drinking before does not prove that he could not quit drinking without doing some cult religion practices.

    In fact, there is no evidence that practicing the 12 Steps causes people to quit drinking or helps them to quit drinking. The hard evidence says just the opposite. Check out the studies done by Doctors:

    1. Dr. Brandsma, who found that A.A. increased the rate of binge drinking, and
    2. Dr. Ditman, who found that A.A. increased the rate of rearrests for public drunkenness, and
    3. Dr. Walsh, who found that "free A.A." made later hospitalization more expensive, and
    4. Drs. Orford and Edwards, who found that having a doctor talk to the patient for just one hour was just as effective as a whole year of A.A.-based treatment.
    5. Dr. George E. Vaillant the A.A. Trustee, who found that A.A. treatment was completely ineffective, and raised the death rate in alcoholics.

    Cult religion is just not a cure for alcoholism.

These are people for whom drinking was a fatal malady and a terminal condition. This class of hopeless drinkers was no more able to escape its dependence upon alcohol than it was able to escape its dependence upon oxygen, until each of them adopted the spiritual program of recovery outlined in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Baloney. This is fiction, just Bill's cult religion propaganda.

No matter what definition of an "alcoholic" you subscribe to, there is no disputing that there is a class of hopeless drinkers for whom no other design will ensure freedom from drinking.

Yes, there is disputing it, because it is untrue.

This is who A.A. aims to help. There are many who fall into this class of hopeless drinkers who come to A.A. but choose not to practice the spiritual program outlined in the Big Book. They invariably drink.

Baloney. That is just Bill Wilson's claim that "his alcoholics" were "powerless over alcohol", and they couldn't quit his cult or they would die.

And if someone quit drinking without kowtowing to Bill and doing his Steps, then that guy wasn't "a real alcoholic".

You seem to desperately cling to the label of "alcoholic" you have applied to yourself.

Again, that is more word games. I do not "desperately cling" to a label. I simply accept the fact that I'm an alcoholic, and I can't drink any more alcohol or it will kill me.

In turn, you seem threatened by the Big Book's use of this term to define the class of hopeless drinker I have described above.

More word games and loaded language. I am not "threatened" by Bill's Bull.

I fully believe your assertion that you are not a member of the class of hopeless drinkers who can only recover through A.A.

Right, because there is no such class.

However, the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous limits its application of the term "alcoholic" to only this class of hopeless drinkers.

That isn't true either. The Big Book contains a bunch of stories about "high-bottom" drunks who quit early — a whole section called "They Quit In Time". What, are they not real alcoholics? The Big Book is loaded with stories from non-alcoholic drinkers?

And A.A. members don't limit their proselytizing to your imaginary hopeless class. You and I both know about the teenage kids who get busted driving home from a party a little buzzed, get nailed by a cop, get sentenced to A.A. by the judge, and the next thing they know, the proselytizers in A.A. meetings are telling the kids that they are real alcoholics who have to go to A.A. meetings and "work the Steps" for the rest of their lives, or else. Those kids have not tried any other recovery program, never mind failed at all of them, but they are still getting told that they are hopeless alcoholics because of one party and one DWI bust. I know, I've talked to them and heard their stories.

Only if an old hard-core alcoholic like me quits drinking without practicing the A.A. cult religion do the A.A. apologists haul out the qualifiers and start yammering about "not a real alcoholic".

Would it suit you more if A.A. changed its name to "Hopeless Drinkers Anonymous," and its members introduced themselves as "hopeless drinkers" rather than "alcoholics""

What would please me would be if A.A. would start telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

It seems to me that, aside from your peculiar allegations that A.A. is a global conspirator and cult religion, your opposition to A.A. comes down to the extraordinarily minor point of contention I have elucidated above, i.e., how one defines what an alcoholic is.

Totally wrong. The immensity — the collosal sweeping sheer hugeness — of your minimization and denial routine is truly breath-taking.

I complain about everything from coercive recruiting to A.A. lying about their success rate to foisting heretical cult religion on children, and you try to claim that it's just a disagreement about the definition of the world "alcoholic". That takes some really grand obtuseness.

Read the file on "What's Wrong With A.A." for a list of my objections to Alcoholics Anonymous.

My hope is that your documents, which are linked to by Wikipedia entries on alcoholism, do not confuse the hopeless drinkers who can only save their lives by abandoning themselves to God, admitting their faults to God and to their fellows, clearing away the wreckage of their past, and giving freely of what they find and joining other hopeless drinkers who have done the same.

It is my hope that the documents will give people some accurate information, and help them to avoid being confused by the misinformation of a cult religion.

Your policy of posting emails critical of your site continues to impress me, and I thank you again for your study of A.A. and the 12 steps.

Well thanks. You see, I really do believe in freedom of speech. I believe in the free market-place of ideas.

I think it's Hyde Park in London where people take their soap boxes to a public square, and stand on those boxes and start yelling out their speeches and harangues to the crowd. And the crowd is free to kibitz and refute, or agree. It's kind of a spectator sport and a participational sport at the same time.

In the end, the crowd decides who is a nutcase and who makes sense. Some speakers get laughed at, and some get elected to Parliament.

Well I think that the Internet is the new Hyde Park. I think that the best cure for ignorance and misinformation is more true information. And I think that everybody deserves his 15 minutes on the soap box.


Jon K.

You have a good day too.

== Orange

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

Date: Tue, March 21, 2006 1:55
From: "Robert C."
Subject: Bill Wilson

You have an interesting website with a lot of good information, but I think that you have failed to rightly direct your investigation and your outrage. Bill Wilson is not AA. Much of what you say about Bill Wilson is true, but his failings as a human being are not a sound basis for condemning AA. AA is just a book, there is a fellowship that has sprung up around this book that is supposed to use the book as a guide, but that does not mean that it does. There are some interesting letters and articles on your website that shed some light on some of my own misgivings about Bill Wilson and Dr Bob, for that I thank you. You are very correct in much of what you say about the fellowship of AA, but the book and the program are another matter.

Hello, Robert,

Thanks for the letter.

It is absurd to try to claim that "Bill Wilson is not AA."
Whose scribblings are read out loud at the start of every A.A. meeting?

RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. ...

Whose 12 Steps hang on the wall?
Whose pictures are on the walls, when there are pictures of people on the walls?

You may personally choose not to worship Bill Wilson, but lots of A.A. members do.

I consider the book to be the authority on AA, not Bill Wilson. Bill Wilson was the main author, but if you compare the 1st Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous to his manuscript (which I found through a link on your website, thank you), there are many changes, most made by the members of the first 100. I do not believe that Bill Wilson did what is laid out in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. I think that after the hospital stay, he tried desperately to explain what had happened, and wanted it to be the "spiritual awakening" that is referred to in Step 12, a term I believe he got from William James.

That is kind of garbled. The Big Book is Bill Wilson's manual and bible for Alcoholics Anonymous. And much of it is the ravings of a lunatic, like how Bill Wilson confessed all of Lois Wilson's moral shortcomings for her in the To Wives chapter, while he pretended to be the wife of an alcoholic —

      We wives found that, like everybody else, we were afflicted with pride, self-pity, vanity and all the things which go to make up the self-centered person; and we were not above selfishness or dishonesty. As our husbands began to apply spiritual principles in their lives, we began to see the desirability of doing so too.
      At first, some of us did not believe we needed this help. We thought, on the whole, we were pretty good women, capable of being nicer if our husbands stopped drinking. But it was a silly idea that we were too good to need God.
A.A. Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 8, To Wives, page 116.

Bill's section of the Big Book that teaches us how to cheat on our wives is good too...

And I really like the part where Bill Wilson raves that God will make our alcoholism just disappear without any thought or effort on our part. Does that mean that we don't have to go to A.A. meetings or work the 12 Steps?

We will seldom be interested in liquor.   ...
We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given to us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it.   ...
We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us.
The Big Book, 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 3, More About Alcoholism, pages 84-85.

I know that Bill Wilson didn't practice what he preached, but that is a different issue entirely.

You probably know who William James is. I think he and his book are the biggest source of information that Bill Wilson used to write the 12 Steps. William James gave a series of lectures that were put into a book called "The Varieties of Religious Experience," reference to which is made twice in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. William James attempted to analyze and find the common traits from some "religious experiences" which he considered had sufficient documentation to allow thorough examination.

Nope, no way. Bill Wilson got almost nothing from Varieties of Religious Experience, basically just one slogan:

"The only radical remedy for dipsomania is religiomania."
(Footnote 1 on page 263 of The Varieties of Religious Experience.)
And then Bill mistakenly attributed that quote to Carl Jung.

The only other thing Bill got from Varieties was the general idea of people having religious experiences when they are really sick and down and out. Bill hallucinated that he read the phrase "compression at depth" in that book, and imagined that stomping on people's egos would give them religious experiences. But that phrase isn't even in the book. Bill totally misunderstood the book.

That mistake is understandable because Bill was in Towns' Hospital, tripping his brains out on belladonna and other drugs when he read Varieties.

Again, the theology of Alcoholics Anonymous is Buchmanism, not anything that came from William James or Carl Jung. Bill didn't want people to know that, because Frank Buchman was so unpopular because of his praise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. So Bill made up a fairy tale about how he had gotten the philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous from Carl Jung and William James. But there was no truth to it. And later, Bill Wilson admitted the truth:

"Early AA got it's ideas of self-examination, acknowledgement of character defects, restitution for harm done, and working with others straight from the Oxford Groups and directly from Sam Shoemaker, their former leader in America, and nowhere else."
Bill Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, page 39.

I think his analysis breaks down the "religious experience" into a definite process with observable results, and that Bill Wilson grasped that when he read it. I also believe that Bill Wilson realized that William James was describing what the Oxford Group members had told him he needed to get. I believe that he set out to "prove" that he had had the "Spiritual Awakening," as described by William James by writing the book that became Alcoholics Anonymous.

Well, Bill assumed that his vision or hallucination was a "genuine religious experience", or he put on airs that it was. But again, Bill was sick, detoxing, and hallucinating when he read "Varieties", so it is questionable how much he even saw the pages.

There is no "definite process with observable results" that produces religious experiences or spiritual experiences. That is total B.S. — just the dogma of a cult religion. In practice, it is a process of constantly putting people down, insulting and berating them, and making them feel guilty, inadequate, weak, and powerless, which is called "deflating their egos", which is supposed to produce wonderful liberating "spiritual experiences".

It doesn't work. It is just a cruel process of hurting people who are already suffering. And to do that to people who already have mental problems is unforgiveable.

Bill Wilson's great failing was not in his research of the spiritual approach to recovery from alcoholism or in his attempt to communicate this approach to others through the book Alcoholics Anonymous. His great failing was that he convinced himself that he had had a "Spiritual Awakening," and then set out to prove himself right.

It was pretty inevitable that Bill would imagine that he had had a spiritual experience. He was tripping his brains out on belladonna and other drugs, and he had no knowledge of psychedelics or hallucinations. Bill assumed that his experience was real, and that he had seen God.

And Dr. Silkworth wasn't about to disillusion Bill and send him back to alcohol. Silkworth said,

"Whatever you have got, you had better hang on to; it is so much better than what you had only an hour ago."
Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, William Wilson, page 13.

The fact that he failed to employ the solution himself, does not mean the solution doesn't work.

Solution? What solution? Bill Wilson was just selling Frank Buchman's cult religion, which is not a solution to alcoholism.

Kind of like the saying, "Those who can't do, teach." I think that the book makes one point clear, that the solution is targeted at people with whom all other methods have failed or who have lost all hope of solving their alcohol problem. This is not for everyone who ends up in treatment or with a DUI and it is not even for every alcoholic. The treatment industry, law enforcement and many others, including Bill Wilson, have done a lot of damage to the ability of AA to help people by trying to shove this thing down people's throats. You make a lot of valid points about the fellowship of AA and the way the program is presented. Thank you.

But A.A. does not have a working solution and never did. Having fanatical proselytizers in treatment centers forcing people into A.A. meetings doesn't help the situation any, and having the courts sentence people to A.A. meetings doesn't help the situation any either, because A.A. still does not work and never did work.

The idea that A.A. has gone downhill since the golden age because people aren't working the program correctly any more is just another fairy tale that is used by the true believers to explain away A.A.'s many failures.

When Bill Wilson got tired of telling the lie that 50% of the alcoholics recovered right away, Bill clearly declared that A.A. did not work at all:

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.

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.

There never was an A.A. golden age when "the solution" worked great.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

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

Date: Tue, March 21, 2006 15:33
From: "James G."
Subject: Wonderful

Thank you.

I could just write that and it would probably have more impact than wrapping this up and putting a bow around it. However, it was your site that gave me just enough belief that my doubts were founded. It was a very close run thing, and I am so grateful that you have had the courage to produce a website acting as a genuine informant to the truth. I suspect writing the articles has been its own reward, but to publish them in spite of A.A's insistence that to question the program is tantamount to murder because any doubt may lead to a drink, and to drink is to die, is very brave indeed. Any program that cannot withstand any scrutiny needs to be scrutinised out of existence in my opinion.

I would love to share my experience and insights into my 12 step experience.

James G. (Recovering from recovery!)

Hi James,

Thanks for all of the compliments, and feel free to share your stories. Please do. Lots of people do — see the letters section.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** If you persist in writing blank checks to
** treatment centers without demanding results,
** then you will continue to get failure
** disguised as success.

Date: Tue, March 21, 2006 17:14
From: Amy E.
Subject: Thank You!

I am so glad that someone has finally said what needed to be said. I was involved in AA, and NA for several years, having been inducted by an aunt at the ripe old age of 19, because I was drinking heavily, and having a lot of emotional problems.

From that point on, any time that I tried to say that I might have been mistaken, and that maybe I wasn't an alcoholic, I was shamed, and humiliated and repeatedly told that I was "just in denial and was more than welcome to go back out there and experiment a little more.... just hope you make it back."

After years of involvement I ended up incarcerated for 11 months, in a non- 12 step treatment program, in the Texas Prison System. While I was incarcerated my husband, totally abandoned me and my child, because according to his sponsor and friends in his AA group, I was a threat to his sobriety, and he was not "ready" to take care of our child on his own because he was in early sobriety.

When I was released in 2002 my husband had been involved with a woman in his group for several months. I say several, but I think he had been back in the program for all of 6 months, and with her for probably five of that. (Strange that someone with supposedly 13 years sobriety would be involved with someone with no more time than that don't you think?)

Anyway, when I got back to town I was treated like a leper because my year of clean time, was not in AA, and I was not a part of their group, and it was made very clear almost immediately that I was not welcome there, because it was "her" home group.

Anyway long story short, my husband, his girlfriend, and "their" sponsor, (isn't THAT special), practically destroyed my life, but it was the beginning of the best life I've known ever. Once I made the decision that i wanted nothing to do with 12 step, or anyone involved in it, and got away from all that psychological mind game, I finally was able to get clean, get on with my life, and now really am a "productive member of society".

Don't you love the way they love to throw that phrase around, but most of them aren't. And still isolate themselves from the rest of society, and basically have done nothing more than switch one addiction for another?

Thank you so much for your work!!!!!!!
You are my hero!
Amy E.

Hi Amy,

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

Glad to hear that you are finally coming out of top. Have a good life, and a good day too.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** If you persist in making criminals out of
** alcoholics and addicts, you will find that
** you have lots and lots of criminals. — Orange

Date: Wed, March 22, 2006 12:48
From: "Steven M C"

I believe you may have overlooked one significant point and that is that smoking is not a mood altering habit much like that of consuming alcohol. No one has ever been arrested for smoking while driving.

Hi Steven,

I haven't overlooked anything there.

First off, tobacco most assuredly is a mood-altering drug. Just watch a smoker having a nicotine fit. Brother will you see some mood changes. Then give him a cigarette and watch the immense relief.

It is obvious that smoking does not intoxicate people to the point where their driving is impaired. So what? Tobacco still kills 430,000 US citizens per year, and Heaven only knows how many world-wide.

But you know what the worst part of tobacco is?
It isn't that it kills you in the end.
It's that it kills you a little every day, and leaves you down and depressed and low-energy every day. It slowly poisons you a little bit every day, and generally messes with your life for 30 to 50 years before it finally kills you.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette.
** Puff, puff, puff yourself to death.
** Tell St. Peter at the Gate
** That I hate to make him wait
** But I gotta have another cigarette.

Date: Wed, March 22, 2006 6:48
From: "Morris J"
Subject: Keep on coming back!

Your research and writing are remarkably scholarly and articulate.
Keep on coming back!

Grace and peace,
Morris J.

Hi Morris,

Thanks for the compliment.

And yeh, I got a laugh out of the "Keep Coming Back!"

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Micro$uck Corporation, maker of the most
** virus-vulnerable software in the world,
** announced that they are going to provide a
** new subscription service — protecting you
** from viruses and worms.  In other words,
** protecting you from their own mistakes.

Wed, March 22, 2006 10:29

Hi Orange

I imagine AA to be a very dangerous cult. I was associated with it for over 30 years. I imagine, it changes the structure of the brain and one slowly deteriorates into another dimension. The people talk in a monotone and their feelings are completely non-existent: 'We don't talk about feelings, we're here to get sober'! If one starts to have feelings, one might drink!

I was fortunate, because I started seeing a therapist in 1994 and he helped me process my history and deal with the terror, shame and pain from my childhood. Recovery, for me is recovering that 'little boy' who was horrifically abused and process the associated feelings.

I haven't had a drink for 21 years. And I imagine if I depended on AA to recover I would end up a 'gibbering lunatic'. I was never insane but I imagine that AA will certainly do the job for you, if you hang around long enough.

I know a guy who hasn't had a drink for 30 years and I imagine he's quite mad. He cut me off because I said that AA was a cult and that Bill Wilson was a false prophet. We had been friends for 30 years. That's how strong the AA trance can become. His words: 'I don't like people, running down AA! He didn't tell me how he felt, because I imagine he doesn't know. I imagine he's a 'rageaholic' and rages over his fear, pain and shame, which is exactly what I used to do before I started seeing a therapist.

I imagine AA is still in the 'dark ages', it's so controlling and I imagine that it doesn't keep people sober. It's O.K. if you want to quit drinking but that's only the tip of the iceberg.

It's never about anyone else; it's all back there in one's childhood. AA has helped me recover, because it was very much like my history: very controlling and oppressive. I also imagine it to be anti-Christ.

For me the journey of recovery has brought me to a deeper understanding of what Jesus Christ did for me. I should be in Hell but Jesus died on a Cross for my sins. I called on him a couple of years ago, after years of therapy and he has taken away all the fear and guilt. Jesus has forgiven me my sins. Not a higher power but Jesus Christ the Son of God. I love you so much, Jesus, my Lord and Saviour.

I could never forgive myself but Jesus did through his sacrifice, on the Cross.


Hi Micky,

Thanks for the letter, and congratulations on your recovery.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done
** it unto one of the least of these my brethren,
** ye have done it unto me. (Jesus, in Matthew 25:40)

Date: Wed, March 22, 2006 20:43
From: Pat M
Subject: Follow-up

Agent Orange,

I wrote once before about the power that AA has in alcohol treatment and the court system. I have a friend who is experiencing the worst case of that collaboration. She is forced to go to 3 AA meetings per week, as a so-called treatment, by the court system for DUI, and attends a weekly treatment group session with a alcohol and drug treatment provider. She went 5 months alcohol free but recently had a relapse and weekend binge for some reason, sounds like she was just feeling very down and wanted to feel better. Somehow her treatment group became aware of this and now she is being forced or coerced to going to AA every day for some unspecified period of time.

What she was told was the relapse was due to her self-pity the group leader so-called therapist used one of the AA slogans that she was having a "pity party". His solution was more AA is needed and more "working the steps". She was "working the steps" and attending meetings regularly and apparently it wasn't working, so, the so-called professional treatment person figured out in his infinite wisdom that she must need more AA and more "working the steps". To me it's a bunch of hogwash. Where else do you do more and practice more something that is not working. Why is no alternative presented?

I believe my friend needs some individual counseling that is specific to her problems and not some one-size-fits-all program of fitting her in the AA box and then magically all her problems will disappear. I am trying to get through to her with some sensible suggestions but she is in deep now with the AA indoctrination.

You've obviously studied this issue extensively. How can I help my friend and encourage her at this stage. There should be some reasonable alternative to AA that the court could accept as a good treatment to substitute for the obviously failing AA treatment plan.

This idea that if something isn't working double-up on it and it will then work is a mistake I'm sure. The best analogy that comes to mind for me is: if 1 x 0 = 0 then doesn't 2 x 0 also = 0 and so on. Their approach is if 3 times a week doesn't work, move on to going every day and I guess if everyday doesn't work you move on to going twice a day and so on. I guess eventually you simply live at an AA meeting for the rest of your life to get the full program or should I say "fool" program.

Pat M.

Hi Pat,

Thanks for the letter.

Yes, there is something that you can do. There are several good alternative self-help groups, in particular SMART and Women For Sobriety (WFS).

The court not only "can accept" these alternatives, the court MUST accept them. Alcoholics Anonymous has been ruled a religious organization. It is against the law to force people to go to a religious service, which is what A.A. meetings are. See the judges' opinions, here.

Also see http://www.morerevealed.com/courts/index.html — Archive of documents, including the legal decisions that declared that A.A. was engaging in religious ceremonies, and that sentencing someone to go to A.A. meetings was unconstitutional.

You can object to 12-Step "treatment" programs on the same basis — it's just cult religion, not anything based on medicine or science. See the file on "The Effectiveness of the 12-Step Treatment" for the failure rate, which is pretty much 100% (after you subtract out normal spontaneous remission).

Another thing I would consider, if you have any contact with clergy, is to take a copy of the file "The Heresy of the 12 Steps" to your clergyman and ask for his help in getting your friend out of a bad religious cult. The judge won't want to be seen forcing someone to go to a certain religion, especially not over the objections of a clergyman from another religion.

Here are some contact links:

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Fanaticism consists of redoubling your
** effort when you have forgotten your aim.
** == George Santayana

[another letter from Pat:]

Date: Tue, April 4, 2006 20:07
From: Pat M.
Subject: Re: Follow-up

Agent Orange,

Thanks for the info ... it looks very thorough ... I already contacted WFS.

Keep up the good work in your efforts to inform people about the full story of AA ... you're doing a great service that should help a lot of people.

Pat M.

Hi again Pat, and thanks for the thanks. Have a good time.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Abstinence isn't self-denial or deprivation.
** It's just that I've already done my lifetime quota.

Date: Thu, March 23, 2006 2:02
From: "Joe W"
Subject: Your Site


I came across your site by accident. I'm a member of A.A. — I have been for 18 years now. I'm not too thrilled with what has been happening within AA during that time. I think Wally P. has been doing A.A. the greatest service by resurrecting the methods used in the 1940s and 1950s which were leading to 50-75 percent recovery rates. He did not pull these numbers out of thin air. He interviewed about 100 people from that era and reviewed actual records kept by group secretaries around the country.

I'll continue to study your site and may send you questions from time to time if you do not mind. I'm certainly not here to debate you — you are entitled to your opinion. I am a scientist by training, and have performed a lot of behavioral research — some successful some not successful. I, however, have never had a problem with any "god" concept, even long before I joined A.A. That is just how I am wired, I suppose.


Hi Joe,

Thanks for the letter.

I have huge problems with the fantastically-good numbers that come from way back when. Just about all of what I have seen is somehow rigged, fixed, faked, or flawed.

For example, look at the early reports of success from the first Philadelphia A.A. group, which I reprinted here.

First, those authors just assumed that A.A. somehow made people quit drinking after they had gone to only 2 or 3 A.A. meetings, which is absurd. Why wasn't the credit for any subsequent sobriety that occurred given to the hospitalization and treatment for alcoholism that was done there?

Then the authors started using qualifiers to rule out the failures — people were not considered members until they had been sober in A.A. for 2 months. That neatly ruled out most all of the failures and chronic relapsers and drop-outs. Such cherry-picking will easily create a great success rate.

Heck, you can have a 100% success rate if you don't count any failures because they "didn't really try" or they "didn't thoroughly follow our path" or "they didn't keep coming back".

But when you are computing the success rate of a medical treatment, you have to count all of the patients, especially the ones on whom the medicine didn't work.

That is the single biggest problem I have with all of those reports from the group secretaries. You have to ask, "Did you count every single alcoholic who came looking for help to quit drinking, even the ones who only came once and were disgusted by what they saw, and never came back?"

If the answer is "No, we didn't count them.", then the report is invalid.

And then the authors of that Philadelphia report included people who had gotten themselves sober before A.A. was ever started in Philadelphia, just to improve the numbers a little more.

Then the authors just threw away the failures whom they didn't wish to talk about. They just arbitrarily discounted 23 more people for no given reason.

Then the authors concluded that A.A. worked great.

No it didn't. Those numbers are as phony as a three-dollar bill.

Even Bill Wilson himself explained what a huge failure Alcoholics Anonymous was back in the early days:

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.

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.

Likewise, Francis Hartigan, Lois Wilson's private secretary, wrote a book where he reported that fully half of the original Big Book authors relapsed and returned to a life of drinking. And those were the early A.A. old-timers, not the so-called "one-month wonders".

Hartigan says that Bill Wilson kept the first copy of the Big Book that came off of the printing press, and he ticked off the names of the authors as they relapsed. Apparently, that book still exists, and is hidden in the locked A.A. archives so that the public won't learn the truth.

Now I would like to see those original reports from the group secretaries. Do you think you can get the real documentation — full and complete records — out of the locked and sealed Alcoholics Anonymous archives so we can research this subject further?

Have a good day. Oh and please do continue to read this web site and ask questions. I am interested in the real truth above all.

== Orange

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

Date: Thu, March 23, 2006 10:32
From: "sunil k."
Subject: Hello


after 22 years of sobriety through AA, i had a chance to browse your web-site in recent past ... i thank you for confusing me ..

Sunil (India)

Hi Sunil,

Congratulations on your sobriety. You did it. Nobody and nothing did it for you.

Are you feeling confused because you are discovering that you did the hard work yourself, rather than that a cult religion saved you, like they had been saying? Like they made you believe?

Rejoice. Now you know that you have the power to keep yourself sober, and you don't have to spend the rest of your life in depressing meetings.

And have a good day.

*                  Agent 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

Date: Thu, March 23, 2006 14:03
From: "Paul N."
Subject: My Experiance

Mr. Orange,

I went to treatment in 1986 at age 34. It was of course based on AA. Got out of treatment and did what AA suggested. Stayed clean and sober for 14 years. During this time I never went to the dentist and should have not waited 14 years. Had root canal and got prescription for hydrocodone, hesitated before getting it filled, got it filled and started taking it. And of course if one every four hours was good, four every 1 hr was better. My relapse had begun. At the end of 5 years I was injecting morphine several times daily. Needless to say all the predictable consequences of my actions for the last 5 years were coming to a head.

Fortunately, my employer forced me to go in treatment for 28 days January of 2005. Now clean and sober over a year. Of course this treatment was not much different than the one in 1986 (AA/NA) orientated. So I was reintroduced to AA for $15,000.

I have been going to meetings, got a sponsor, reading the book, carrying the message to a local state pen, but something is different this time. And please bear with me because of my previous conditioning. I seem to have different understandings of the program, I never thought I was powerless, unless the booze, etc was in me, as long as I don't drink, alcohol is not a factor!

Partly due to your information and my life experience I have begun to think about the nature of things and look for truth. I have been reading Emmet Fox's interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount and it seems that I see parts of the Big Book that are very, very similar to the wording of the Sermon in the Bible. I have seen Fox's book on sale at some AA meetings. I heard this book was given out to early members prior to the Big Book, any info on that?

Hi again Paul.

No, I had not heard of that particular factoid before, but I know that Emmett's book was popular in early A.A. circles. I've seen it mentioned in several places.

This is one book that supports that idea:
Sikorsky, I. I., Jr. (1990). AA's godparents: Three early influences on Alcoholics Anonymous and its foundation, Carl Jung, Emmett Fox, Jack Alexander. Minneapolis, MN: CompCare.

I am going to a meeting now and probably disturb one of the King's, as I call them. For right now I appreciate the knowledge you have presented and will continue to explore the truth.

PS In 1986 I was told my wife needed to go to Alanon, guess what, she went to one meeting and told me she did not need it. Her problem was ME drunk, and now that I was sober we could get on with our lives. She highly resented the Alanon members telling her she was the problem.

No joke. She has good reason to resent it.

Funny how some people know from the get go what is truth!!

Yeh, lucky so-and-so's.



Thanks NIP.

You have a good day too.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** If we persist in writing blank checks to
** treatment centers without demanding results,
** then we will continue to get failure
** disguised as success.

Date: Tue, April 4, 2006 13:55
From: "Paul N."
Subject: NA History

Sir Orange,

You have written that you had attended NA, I believe in California and I wondered if you had done research on the beginnings of this sect of AA? My friends look at me when I call NA the "Protestant" version of AA. Anyway just trying to broaden my knowledge base and determine if the founders of NA were as warped as William Wilson.

By the way I was at Fillmore for one of the last shows, Hot Tuna performed.

Thanks for your work.


Hi Nip,

Thanks for the thanks.

First off, you lucky so and so. Fillmore, Hot Tuna. Alas, I was in the wrong state at that time. (State of geography, not state of mind.)

About the roots of N.A.: I've heard some very interesting stories about its founders, but nothing that I can substantiate yet. That is an area of ongoing study.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Estimated amount of glucose used by an adult
**  human brain each day, expressed in M&Ms: 250.
**  Harper's Index, October 1989

Date: Thu, March 23, 2006 17:53
From: Brian B.
Subject: Well done, sir

A. Orange:

I have been sober for over 12 years now, and in the first 3 years of that sobriety I was an active member of AA. So active, in fact, that I was put in charge of a money-collection function and somehow found myself helping myself to the till. At any rate, I was able to repay the money and return my self-respect, but I never went back to AA until quite recently

I have found that AA, for all of its proclamations of anonymity and secrecy, is the biggest bunch of gossips and back-stabbers that I have ever found. It was made very clear to me when it was announced that a member of AA had died, and the question arose as to if "he died sober."

I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that while I do not agree with all of your assessments that I agree with the majority, and that I hope that you continue your work.

One suggestion: look at AA Online sometime. If AA had been started online, it would have never gotten off the ground. (Not that this would necessarily be a bad thing.)

Brian B.
Dubuque, IA

Hi Brain,

Thanks for the letter. That's a bunch of interesting observations.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
** He isn't really trying to get Dorothy killed by
** the Wicked Witch of the West. RARELY HAVE we
** seen him fail....

Date: Fri, March 24, 2006 8:51
From: "noel b."
Subject: I've got an illness

Dear Orange,

Wow! The scales have fallen off my eyes! I've got an illness. It's called anonymous-ism. Beware of this illness. It is cunning, baffling and powerful. But, thanks to persons such as yourselves, it is possible to recover from such an illness provided that one refuses to be duped by such toxic waste.

Keep up the great work

Christmas B.

Hi Noel Christmas,

Thanks for the laugh.

And let me add that the only cure for anonymous-ism is to join my new cult religion. Only a spiritual cure can conquer such a dreaded spiritual disease.

And have a good day anyway.

== Orange

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

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Last updated 27 April 2014.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters41.html