Letters, We Get Mail, XLIV



Date: Mon, April 3, 2006 13:30
From: Lib
Subject: moderation management and Allen Carr

I just came across your site today and am very glad I did. I'm wondering if you have written anything on either moderation management (moderation.org) or the Allen Carr "Easy Way" books. I have been involved with MM for a few years, but am questioning if their 9 to 14 drinks a week limit is doable for someone who has a habit of drinking too often/too much, and even if it is doable, if it is even really "moderate." I just read Allen Carr's book on drinking and it helped me immensely. I see a lot of parallels in his book and yours. Thank you for all that you have written and shared.

Lib

Hi Lib,

Thanks for the letter, and thanks for the thanks.

The question you are asking is a tricky one.

First, the easy part: Yes, I've written about MM and moderation. In fact, I once met the founder of MM, Audrey Kishline. Here are some blurbs on MM:

  1. Moderation Management and controlled drinking
  2. the book Moderation Management
  3. Audrey Kishline rejoins A.A.

I've never read the Allen Carr stuff. I'll have to check it out.

Whether someone can drink moderately is an individual thing. Some people can, and some cannot. I am one of those people who cannot. I can successfully abstain from drinking for many years, without even too much trouble (I now have 5 years), but I cannot drink moderately for even one week. I know, because 14 years ago, I relapsed after 3 years of sobriety. Just one beer was the kiss of death. One led to three which led to a six-pack the next day and the next, which led to 12-packs and soon that led to countless cases... I ended up drinking for another 9 years, until things really got bad.

But that is my personal problem; not everybody else's. Some other people can learn to moderate. As I said in the paragraphs about MM linked to above, the Rand Corporation found that the successful people who had stopped drinking self-destructively were split between total abstinence and tapering off into moderate, controlled, drinking.

Our individual problem is to figure out which half we are in. Can we individually drink moderately and keep it under control?

Dr. Kenneth Blum, the doctor who discovered the first gene for alcoholism (of 2 found), commented that he thought that genetic alcoholics cannot drink moderately. That makes sense to me. My father drank himself to death. His mother was an alcoholic. I don't know where it came from before that, but alcoholism definitely runs in my family and I discovered the hard way, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that total abstinence is the only thing that works for me.

But that's okay. I'm happy with things the way they are. It's really so much easier to not drink at all, to not even have it be a question, than to obsess over when I get the next twelve-pack and the next and the next, and when am I going to run out?

Now I don't begrudge the people who can have one now and then. More power to 'em. That's them and their lives, and it doesn't really have anything to do with me.

If you think that keeping your drinking down to the suggested limit is too much of a chore, then maybe it is. Maybe you will also be happier just not drinking at all.

Have a good day and a good life.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Mark Twain said, "My doctor tells me that I must be
** more moderate in my smoking. Well, I can either smoke
** like a chimney, or I can totally quit smoking, but there
** is no way on earth I can be more moderate in my smoking."


[2nd letter from Lib:] Date: Mon, April 10, 2006 20:54
Subject: Re: moderation management and Allen Carr

Thanks Orange. I tried to moderate for several years, but it was more trouble than anything else. Reading Carr gave me the missing pieces that allowed me to quit. I do think MM is worthwhile, as it helps people like me begin to look at their drinking.

Thanks again,

Lib

Hi again, Lib,

Thanks for the thanks.

I agree about moderation being too much bother — for me. Total abstinence works great for me — it's actually pretty easy; moderation just doesn't work for me.

I just got ahold of the Allen Carr books, The Easy Way to Quit Smoking and The Easy Way to Quit Drinking. I was impressed. There is a lot of good stuff in there. He even touched on what I call the "Lizard Brain Addiction Monster". He called it simply "the little monster in the stomach", and "the big monster in the brain". It's obvious that we are talking about the same thing — that nagging voice that whispers "Oh, it's been so long since we've had one. We've got it under control now. We can have just one, for good old times' sake... Just relax for a little while... It's okay now."

I can't count how many times that thing fooled me into smoking another cigarette, but I ain't gonna get fooled again. I can count with alcohol — it fooled me exactly once. And I ain't gonna get fooled again. Remember The Who's song, "Ain't Gonna Get Fooled Again"? I think that should be one of my theme songs now.

Have a good day, and a good life.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** The Bush Administration's plan to handle the Avian Flu crisis:
** "The Treasury Department is poised to sign agreements with
** other nations to produce currency if U.S. mints cannot operate."
**  == Washington Post, 2006.04.16
**  — Oh yeh, right. If half of the U.S. population dies from
** bird flu, our most pressing need will be to print more money.
** It's nice to know that the morons in Washington are looking
** out for our welfare.





Date: Mon, April 3, 2006 19:21
From: "keneth d."
Subject: what's up ahead?? great website

thanks for website!! Would be interesting to know if this (not so noble organization, AA) will fizzle out before its glorious 100th anniversary in 2035; approaches and philosophies, such as this, should have gone away before the 21st century.

Hi Keneth,

Thanks for the thanks. Alas, I have no ability to predict the future. I would like to think that the human race will wise up, but there are no guarantees.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             ora[email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Humans always do the most intelligent thing after every
** stupid alternative has failed. --- R. Buckminster Fuller





Date: Tue, April 4, 2006 23:30
From: Cris B.
Subject: letter

Am interested in this link between aa, religion and christianity? Where do these aa members proclaim to be christian and is christianity a requirement of membership? Do you have to be religious to be a member of AA?

Hi Cris,

The answers to some of those questions are tricky.

  1. Officially, A.A. members do not claim that A.A. is Christian. The official position of A.A. is that you can be any religion you want, or have no religion.

  2. At the same time, one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, Dr. Robert Smith, was a fanatical member of the Oxford Group, which claimed to be Christian, although contemporary ministers and priests complained that it wasn't. The Vatican even banned the sect, twice.

  3. Christianity is not a requirement of membership in Alcoholics Anonymous. In fact, it might be considered a handicap. Many Christians have found strong anti-Christian attitudes in A.A. literature and practices. Some people quit A.A. because they find it to be too anti-Christian.

    To quote Dr. William L. Playfair, the author of "The Useful Lie",

    In fact, the most striking evidence of the non-Christian nature of AA is in the testimonials of its members. ... Not one single reference to the God and Father of Jesus Christ or Jesus Christ, as the one and only Savior, can be found. This is especially interesting when one realizes that every other kind of testimony is recorded. Out of the millions of AA members, surely AA could have included one Christian testimony in a book filled with testimonies! If anything, this book shows an anti-Christian bias.
    The Useful Lie, William L. Playfair, M.D. with George Bryson, page 95.

    The mildest thing you can say is that A.A. does not promote Christianity.

  4. At the same time, A.A. is pulling a whole bunch of bait-and-switch tricks where first you can believe anything you want, and then you should believe what your sponsor and the group elders say (or else The Program won't work):

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** People who murder children by the thousands with
** "Shock and Awe" bombing are servants of Satan,
** not servants of Jesus. Jesus said that "Whatever
** you do unto the least of these, you do unto me."





Date: Wed, April 5, 2006 13:22
From: "Steve S."

Where in the Twelve steps does it say Bill DEMANDED anything of GOD. Bill seved God and his fellow man by TRYING to help the drunken mind comprehend the availabilty of help. Mr. Orange, Were you ever a DRUNL ?

Steve

Hi Steve,

Apparently, you aren't too clear on how the Steps work.

If your personal version of "God" or "Higher Power" doesn't meddle in this world and deliver miracles on demand, then

  • You won't get any power over alcohol, and your unmanageable life won't get managed in Step One, and
  • you won't get restored to sanity in Step Two, and
  • God won't take care of your will and your life for you in Step Three, and
  • your many "defects of character" and "moral shortcomings" won't get removed in Step Seven, and
  • "God" or "Higher Power" won't talk to you in Step Eleven, and give you secret messages and work orders and the "sure power" to carry them out...
  • And "God" or "Higher Power" won't give you a "spiritual experience" or a "spiritual awakening" in Step Twelve.

Oh yeh, and theoretically, somewhere in there, God is supposed to make you quit drinking alcohol, too, even though the 12 Steps don't actually say that you are supposed to quit drinking alcohol.

If God says, "No, you made your bed, so you lie in it. I'm not going to do your work for you." then the 12 Steps cannot possibly work. They are useless.

God must 'Work The Steps', or else the A.A. program won't work.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Denial ain't just a river in Egypt."
**     — Mark Twain (1835-1910)





Date: Sun, April 2, 2006 20:20
From: "paul b."
Subject: point to note

At the risk of sounding simplistic, the rate for your husband won't be 5%. It will be either 100% or zero, depending on whether he wants to quit. That seems to be the big thing to me — actually, really, wanting to quit. If he doesn't want to quit, the success rate will of course be zero. If he REALLY wants to quit, the odds of success are very high.
(a quote from a letter, here

Hey just love your site.. Good old fashioned logic and reason. Most crazy people dont know they are crazy .. do they??

Anyways.. in this quote you mentioned 100% recovery chance.. and at the end you switch to chances are Very high..

Well a very high chance may be 90% but still isnt 100%. Even 99.99% isnt 100%

Proves one thing.. that your writing is slipping a little bit.

Its that hole in the dyke that lets in the water..

Absouloute black and white.. when it comes to abstinace from booze.. for sure.

just one beer means Im not quit...maybe im not drunk but still not quit..

But few people who havent been beaten up bad enough will realy want to quit. Perhaps that is the 0.1%.. the confused or the daydreamer or the stubborn.

Hi Paul,

Nope, it's your logic that is broken. You are ignoring the time element, and you are comparing rates to odds.

First, I was talking in the past tense, looking backwards in time from somewhere in the future, recording someone's results, saying that someone would have succeeded or not. His success rate will then be 100% or zero, not 5%. He either quit drinking, or he didn't.

I know that isn't obvious, because I said that his "success rate will be". The key word there is rate. A rate is calculated as something per something else, like miles per hour or miles per gallon, or sober successes per hundred incoming patients. Such a success rate is calculated after the fact. When the treatment program is done, or even better, a year after the program is done, you ask, "How many of them got and stayed sober?" With only one guy to count, the success rate has to be either zero or 100%.

Then I spoke in the future tense, speaking of the odds of someone succeeding in the future. Now you are talking about a probability, not a success rate. And, if someone really wanted to quit drinking, then the odds of him succeeding were very high.

But when you are trying to predict the future, the odds aren't 100%. There are no absolute guarantees when you are making predictions.

(Like Yogi Bera said, "Making predictions is really hard; especially about the future.")

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Success is simple. Do what's right, the right
** way, at the right time." — Arnold H. Glasgow





Date: Thu, April 6, 2006 8:20
From: "Jenni J."
Subject: Wow!

I've read all your stuff. You truly are an idiot and have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

You must not get laid much...

Hi Jenni,

That's a neat demonstration of the propaganda trick called ad hominem — When you don't have any facts on your side, just attack your opponent and call him names.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Gandalf said, "The demons of the darkness howl in
** pain when you shine the light of truth on them."


[2nd letter from Jenni:]

Date: Thu, April 13, 2006 6:06
From: "Jenni J."
Subject: Re: Wow!

Orange,

You are far too cerebral for your own good. You are very self-indulgent in your pontifications. I wonder if you even originally believed the stuff you are saying. I really think you kinda believed it, but then you fell so in love with your own thoughts that you became intoxicated by it. Each extrapolation becoming more orgasmic than the last one, unitil you finally swirled into a sort hedonistic thinking diatribe.

Hi again Jenni,

You know, that is a pretty meaningless generalization. Do you have any specific facts that you want to talk about? Any specific errors in my web site? Is there anything that you want to dispute on a factual basis?

By the way, what do you mean when you say, "You are far too cerebral for your own good."

  1. That I won't just flip out and mindlessly believe in a cult religion?
  2. Why would degenerating into irrationality be "for my own good", or to my benefit?
  3. How could behaving in a brainless manner be good?

Just yesterday, a friend and I were talking about how both Frank Buchman's Oxford Group cult and Hitler's Nazi Party, which Buchman praised, were extremely anti-intellectual. They promoted their organizations with great emotionalism and hoopla, and giant spectacular meetings and rallies, and they encouraged everyone to stop thinking and just feel and believe.

They also condemned those people who were "too cerebral for their own good." Some of those condemned people died in Hitler's concentration camps.

The anti-intellectual tradition that you are promoting has a very bloody, sordid history.

Oh, and A.A. founders Bill Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith learned all of that anti-intellectual stuff from Frank Buchman while they were members of his Oxford Group cult.

Funny thing is, you probably don't even understand what I am saying. You are not smart enough. You are what we would call in the intellectual circles at Princeton, a 'Grade B' thinker. You have some potential, but it's like you keep a poker face in your own head in order to bluff yourself into thinking that you've got it all figured out. But you'll never grow with that brand of close-mindedness.

Again, you are not saying anything. That's just a standard ad hominem attack.

So I would just run circles around you, obvoiusly. And no, I don't need to reference fancy Latin terms. I can just use my own power of reason, something you don't possess yet. You are stuck forcing logical deductions out of concepts that don't exactly proceed into a valid point. You lack the power of inductive reasoning.

Please give a working example of the inductive reasoning that you think I am failing to see. Your rap is devoid of any actual facts or content.

Just keeping it real.

Obviously, you are not keeping it real. Do you have any real facts that you would like to discuss, like the failure rate of Alcoholics Anonymous, or its suicide rate, or the drop-out rate, or the cultish nature of the organization, or its tawdry history?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Rev. Jim Jones said, "Drink the red koolaid. It
** has cured millions. RARELY HAVE we seen it fail...
** But then again, the green koolaid is good too.
** Take what you want, and leave the rest."





From: "Mvega"
Subject: Yet again!
Date: Thu, April 6, 2006 15:32

Hi Orange! It's me again.

Just thought you'd like to hear about my latest encounter with AA.

Well, this will be short:)

Ok I ran into 3 guys from "the program" at the local Tim Horton's coffee shop today.

They approached me and asked me why I hadn't been to AA.

One guy was even looking at me with a look of pity on his face. Imagine that!

Anyways, we started talking and the concept of "live and let live" came up. They told me how wonderful life was in AA. They told me how good their serenity was, etc.

I got the distinct impression that they were not only trying to "sell" it to me, but that somehow in a sick and twisted way they were validating themselves.

One guy finally said "We go to AA so that we can live life on life's terms".

I said "Really? Are you living life on life's terms or life on AA's terms?"

They became all silent.

Then one guy spoke up nervously and said, "Life on life's terms."

I asked him to prove it. To explain to me how AA could be a way of life for him yet not live on it's terms.

Well, they left me at that point. Thank God!

Well Hope your having a nice day:)

Bye for now!

P.S. Still sober (5+years) No AA meetings. Go figure!

Hi Mvega,

It's good to hear from you again. Thanks for the laugh.

And I'm glad to hear that you are doing well.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Everyone who is incapable of learning
**  has taken to teaching." — Oscar Wilde





Date: Thu, April 6, 2006 15:54
From: "keneth d."
Subject: AA versus "course in miracles" thanks again for web site

The "Course In Miracles" is hard to understand, and i do not totally agree with everything in it. However, on page 461 at the bottom of the page, it indicates that the concept of "powerlessness" is an ultimate cause for misery. The concept,"powerlessness' is a central component with 12-steps and is probably 1 of the largest reasons for the high-failure rates for AA and 12-step approaches.

Hi again Keneth,

Now that's an interesting observation. ACIM is loved by some Steppers, as well as various other cult members. The subject of those books keeps coming up, even just today, here.

But logically, you are quite right. Declaring yourself powerless is rolling out the red carpet for misery.

Heck, I didn't beat alcohol and tobacco until I took just the opposite attitude, and declared myself powerful, and said that I could beat them, and would win the battle no matter what.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday,
**   lying in hospitals dying of nothing."
**      ==  Redd Foxx (1922 - 1991)





Date: Sun, April 9, 2006 2:01
From: "James G."
Subject: Re: Wonderful

Orange,

After stumbling upon your site I was left thinking we need more sites like yours out there, not necessarily anti-aa but rather pro truth — I like the way you make that distinction. I have the skills to build such a site, and I am a writer by trade. I wondered how you would feel about such an idea. I would need to borrow some of your work and thoughts, but this site would be hosted in the UK. I think your work is amazing but I might try and make a site that focuses on some of the key points and then sends the viewers your way for a more detailed explanation. It will take me about 2 weeks to build it — would you be happy to support me if you were to approve of my work?

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask. I am feeling particularly passionate about this at the moment and the more I read, the stronger that passion gets. Something has to be done — it must.

James G.

Hi James,

That sounds good. I'll be glad to support you or help you however I can. Come on in, the water's fine, the more the merrier.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Gandalf said, "The demons of the darkness howl in
** pain when you shine the light of truth on them."


[2nd letter from James G.:]

Date: Thu, April 20, 2006 16:17
From: "James G."
Subject: Re: Wonderful

Orange,

Still working on the site but in the meantime have a look at this video I am working on — it is only a trailer but I think it gives the right idea.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91-XlZdhlOE

It would be great if you could help drum up some views provided you agree with it.

James G

Hi James,

That's great. Keep on it. I'm happy to give you a link and a mention.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** When you can't tell the difference between a baby
** and a blob of snot, you are officially crazy.





Date: Sun, April 9, 2006 2:28
From: "Laurie N."
Subject: Not just AA

I just found your amazing website after doing exhaustive research on chemical dependency, religion, legalities and ethics. I have been working for a chemical dependency clinic for almost a year and couldn't figure out why things felt so wrong. I was seeing things beyond belief, things that if you don't actually see it, there is no way a person would ever believe it. I felt like Alice in Wonderland with a stomach ache everyday.

Then I read your Cult Test and was shocked. Point after point, I was reliving examples of the environment I worked in everyday, not only regarding staff but clients as well. "Training sessions" that revolved around "you have to trust us and respect us", telling my family members and fellow staff that I am deceptive, not caring, in need of psychotherapy. I had to stop hiding from my past and share my personal life, because after all, their job was to keep me healthy and I couldn't be healthy if I kept hiding, being recommended that certain members of your family are not to be turned to for support (because they didn't like them), a female client who was told she had to go to their church every Sunday because she "needs to come out of the darkness and let us show you the light". And by the way, that was a condition of treatment.

I could go on and on and on and on and on, but I was finally fired last week, apparently I never fit in. That confused me, because I received 2 promotions in the last 6 months and had a glowing review. Things got bad for me when I began defending and not conforming.

In any case, I am still reeling, in shock and truly exhausted from what the last 4 months has taken out of me.

I want to thank you however for the time, energy and work you put into this site. I am looking at my situation and know there is nothing I can do, but if enough people come to realize how dangerous some of these organizations can be, especially in the hands of complete whack jobs, maybe some kind of regulations can come into play.

In any case, thanks again for a great web site, I don't feel like Alice quite so bad anymore!

Hi Laurie,

Thanks for the story and all of the compliments.

And yes, I am also hoping that if enough people learn what is going on, that maybe we can make things better.

Have a good day.

== 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, April 9, 2006 20:22
From: "Stephen B."
Subject: an ex-aa member's gratitude

Hi my name is Steve, and I would like to thank you SO MUCH for the time and effort you put into your research. I did the aa cult thing for about a year. I knew something wasn't quite right about Alcoholics Anonymous from the beginning. In fact I even remarked to my first sponsor that I thought AA seemed cultish. Yet I was told not to trust myself and to trust AA. Plus, lots of people in the general public know about AA and it is regarded as a benign organization. It is enjoying years of propaganda, as you said. Thus, I trusted myself even less in regards to my initial response to AA, and I went along with the steps and everything. After wallowing in extreme guilt and having simple slogans go through my head constantly for a year, I finally got fed up.

I'm not sure what finally broke the camel's back. Maybe it was some 16 year old from sobriety high (those government-sponsored schools are another research possibility) telling me how to run my life and how to work the steps properly. (I am 24, not that much older, but still...) Or maybe it was seeing some kid who had grown up in foster care his whole life getting bad-mouthed at group level by a "spiritual" old-timer for not working the steps properly. He needed acceptance and social support, certainly not cult religion. Or maybe it was getting lots of money taken from me by someone with "quality" sobriety (I think this is actually called the 14th step, taking the newcomer's money, but I might be wrong.). I don't remember exactly what finally did it, as there are so many things I would like to forget that either happened to me or people around me in those rooms.

Then, after a year, I did my research. I must say that your website in particular is what really set me free. The abused mind of a cult member needs to be provided with rational facts and lots of clear evidence.

Awesome job, Mr. Orange. Humor has also helped me a great deal (thanks to South Park and that Visual Aids for the Sane website).

Anyways, this email is certainly overlooking a lot of things in my experiences with the program, but again thank you. I remember just staring at your work for the first time for hours. Oh yeah, I am still sober and am actually feeling like my life is getting back on track now.

However I do miss the social part of AA. Yes, most people in there are not good people to be around, but there are also a lot of good, though misguided, people in there as well that just go to meetings without really selling their souls to the steps. There are not that many SMART meetings in proximity to where I live. Is there any chance that these alternatives will become more popular? Honestly, I am wary of going to any self-help meetings at this point, but I am interested in non-12 step groups.

I guess my worst problem these days is seeing active AA members on the street. Can you relate to this? I was exposed to a huge group of people that I would really like to never see again, but they keep popping up everywhere in the darndest places (outside of meetings, no less) and I would like them to go away. I also am worried about future career opporunities being ruined by these people (though I don't plan on being a psychologist as so many of these nitwits often become. However, I'll probably never be a construction worker either. Oh well.). I don't blame you for staying anonymous.

My last point is that I wish you would update your activism links and suggestions more often. I want to know how to do my part in exposing these groups for what they are. AA has created another enemy, I guess.

Anyways, stay sober, keep living life, and keep up the good work.

Probably my letter will get lost among the AA support letters, but writing this was therapeutic. You've helped more people than you know.

IDEAS ARE BULLETPROOF

Steve (happily sober ex aa'er)

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the letter, and thanks for all of the compliments. I'm glad to hear that you have escaped from the madhouse and are feeling better.

About meeting the practicing true believers on the street, yes, I know what you mean. For the first few years I would feel odd and awkward when I didn't play along with their giddy assumptions that of course "everybody" is recovering through the Steps, and isn't it wonderful?

Gradually, though, I began to feel differently....

  • One of the things that really did it was the realization that I had more sober time that most of the people who were yammering about how well the Steps work.

  • And there was the funny thing that I was the only one out of my class at the treatment center who had not relapsed.

  • And almost all of the sober people around here did it their own way, and the successful people rarely believe in Steppism.

  • And now my 12-Step counselor is in prison for snorting coke and screwing his step-children. So much for 12-Step "spiritual" recovery.

  • It just became so obvious that I didn't need to apologize to anyone for not buying into their nonsense.

    In fact, they should feel awkward and stupid for still pushing the same losing proposition. Like, "How can you continue to promote a program with a 100% failure rate? Are you blind and crazy?"

About updating the activist links, ah yes. The big problem is thinking of new activities — new things to do. Updating the links is easy after I figure out what to do. That's what's hard.

The number of SMART meetings is growing. Every month, a few more are added here and there, although for sure we need lots more. In the mean time, you might find some companionship in chatting online. Most of the non-cult self-help recovery groups have online chats now. Look here for a list.

Have a good day, and a good life.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Rev. Jim Jones said, "Drink the red koolaid. It
** has cured millions. RARELY HAVE we seen it fail...
** But then again, the green koolaid is good too.
** Take what you want, and leave the rest."





Date: Mon, April 10, 2006 11:17
From: "emerson"
Subject: A.A. And Bill Wilson

Thank you for your very enlightening website. I had an alcohol and drug problem for better than 25 years. After finding that I couldn't stop on my own in my late 20's and being exposed and made aware of A.A. in a rehab prior to that, I sought help for myself at a local church and ended up at an A.A. club. I too was taken and touched by their manner of dress, their demeanor and outlook on life, so I was determined to give their program a try and picked up a 'white chip'.

I ran around for a year and a half doing the first three steps, i.e. 'the three step waltz' program and made a few half hearted attempts at going through the steps both with a sponsor and through a Big Book workshop. I finally left the fellowship of A.A. when some members tried to heap me with the responsibilty of running a Sunday speakers meeting that I was totally unprepared for. I had also seen some people who had been around for sometime, still drinking.

After sucessfully staying clean and sober for six months without meetings and having nothing to do with the A.A. fellowship, I started to have a relapse. I was at some friends' house one Christmas when I decided, at their urging, to have an inch of champagne at the bottom of a rock glass, which I did and then got so frightened of drinking again because I was so much of a drunken sot that I didn't dare risk drinking again for fear of my life, I began using pot to 'stave the craving for a drink off' and still be half way 'coherient'

This went on for another six months with more drug addicted behavior. I was in a business proposition with a couple of other 'buddies' and was trying to get a meeting together to solve some problems. I had set an appropriate time and was waiting at our base of operations for the meeting to happen and nobody showed. I was angry as I tried making phone calls and waiting for the guys to arrive. Finally, I said "Fuck it all" had some money in my pocket and brought a case of beer, put it in my car, and decided to go to some other 'friends' house to share it with so I didn't have to drink it all by myself.

We ended up going to the beach so we could polish it off and after drinking almost a six pack, one right after another, I couldn't for the life of me get drunk. I was already that way on my own emotions, that, finally, I just stopped and let my friends have the rest. The next day, I went back to A.A. in fear for my life, because there was no way that I wanted to ever be drunk again because there was times that I should've been killed in car accidents and walking on the railing of a bridge over an inlet which was at least a 100 ft. drop at it's apex only to be saved by the local police that told me to get down, which I did.

So I started to sit in the front at meetings, like it was suggested to, and raised my hand to shared what had happened. When we were in the closing prayer circle, I began to cry midway through. As the prayer circle broke up, instead of welcoming me back to A.A. they just stood around talking, congratulating each other, patting themselves on the back, and discussing where they were going for coffee at except for one elderly lady that came over to hug and console me. Come to find out later that this woman just liked to chase young men around A.A. and while it was a nice gesture it was something I didn't really need at the time.

Anyway I began to open up about things to other A.A. members and eventually was steered to a Big Book workshop where they take you through the steps as described out of the Big Book, at this point I was willing to try anything. The men that led the meeting had at least 50 years of sobriety and experience between them, and were well known and in good standing with the local fellowship. So I brought a Big Book and a highlighter and started highlighting passages in the book that I related to. At the workshop these men talked about being */_recovered_/* from alcoholism as opposed to recovering and of not solving just one of our problems but */_all_/* our problems

One morning I woke up crying for all the things I had done in my disease and the idea came in my head to pray, which I did, because I had nothing else to lose. So I got on my knees, opened up the Big Book to the page in Bill's Story where it had a form of the 3rd step prayer and the 7th and 8th step there too. It was then that an amazing thing happened, when I said the prayer for myself, I'd immediately stopped crying and I felt a great weight being lifted off of my shoulders, I know it sounds cliched, but that's exactly what happened!!!

Getting these kind of results, I saw no reason to stop what I was doing, so I kept going to the workshop. After a few weeks of reading, praying, making out the resentment list, doing a 5th step and praying some more, I began to set out making amends. When I got a quarter of the way through the 9th step, I saw this woman in the fellowship that I knew whom I thought was a total 'queen bitch' sharing at a meeting about going through a particularly rough time of things, but she was coping. There was a part of the Big Book that said, "We went to our former enemies, and expressed our ill feelings toward them."

So I made it a point to get with her after the meeting to do so. I had talked to her, asked her to forgive me, hugged her, and walked away. About 20 seconds later, I was outside on the patio of the A.A. club I was at, when I suddenly felt a wet spot in my belly, and just as suddenly, this wet spot just shot down through my legs to the bottom of my feet and shot up through my whole body like a geyser and all the fear that had permeated through my body was replaced with just pure and utter Love.

It was something I'd never felt before in my life. I was so awed and dumbfounded, I just gracefully fell into a chair where I sat basking in the experience for I don't know how long, maybe 20 minutes to an hour. Finally I got up, wondering if it was safe to drive home, being the way I was, but I did and went to bed for a nap. When I got up, I was plesently suprised to find the beatific feeling still with me. The members in A.A. call what I had a 'White light experience" I recently found out that what I had was a Kundalini experience. While in the throes of this, linear time had just stopped for me. I began to exibit no fear whatsoever, people leading meetings was asking for somebody to read How It Works, I just walked by, casually grabbed the sheet it was written on out of the guy's hand and took a seat in front, reading it with an authority that I had never had before when it was time to read.

When people began to share, I found out that I had developed an empathy for them. I could hear and feel their joy, bliss and suffering due to powerlessness. There were also some people, one in particular who had been around for many years and 'well respected' just mouthing words. It was then I learned who had did what in their recovery in A.A. I also began talk to the fellowship when I was sharing, like 3rd class witch doctors, which was something I rather enjoyed.

As time went on, I began to get the notion that there was more to the 'God Thing' than what was being talked about in A.A. I began to be a 'magnet' for spiritual things, like a button with a duck on it that said "I don't know where I'm going, but I know that I'm on my way" and a newspaper article about people that had gone through near death experiences, feeling the same overwhelming feeling of love, peace and protection that I was going through at the time. The Big Book became an obsolete thing for me. I found out through many years of spiritual study on the internet what I was going through was valid and natural, even though the fellowship would say otherwise.

My sex drive hightened as well and that too was perfectly natural, and I got laid a lot just by sharing positively and with authority at meetings, while most others exploited their sponsorees to do that, both men and women. I need to say here that I was single at the time and did no wrong and all the women approached me rather than I to them. Then there came a day when I found out about the darker side of A.A. One day one of the men that led the Big Book workshop was at a meeting and started to share about the Big Book and recovery, when this one guy from Boston got up and said that he was "full of shit" and proceeded to tell him why. The argument even started up outside after the meeting with the Bostonian practically getting in the guy's face while my friend from the workshop, just stood there calm and as peaceful as Jesus addressing the Devil.

Then this 'gentleman' from Boston who was also well known around the fellowship started taking on sponsorees, both men and women, for the purpose of getting the Big Book workshop out. A few months later, I began hearing stories from women about this guy soliciting sex from them, saying that he would take them through the steps if they would sleep with this scumbag, and when they refused, he would have one of his male sponsorees call up the women and threatened them with death if they ever said anything.

Unfortunately he succeeded in getting the original workshop out, which had a great sucess rate and no problems, with his that has questionable ethics and scandal. As for me, I've since left the fellowship of A.A. to get happy and to pursue my spirituality with fervor. I've been clean and sober ever since.

What I've since learned is that bad people can have a certain spirituality too. It is unfortunate, but it's a fact. As far as I'm concerned the steps are the greatest gift from God to His children in the 20th Centrury and that He wants us to have the great care and concern and compassion that He does. This is eveidenced by people like Helen Schuman that 'wrote' A Course In Miracales in the 70's, Leo Buscalia, Marianne Willamson, Ralph Waldo Emerson and even Plato, it's just that we (mankind) as a whole are hard learners, but nevertheless, there is a spiritual movement taking place and even A.A. or any other 12 step fellowship can stop it. No matter how much negativity they feed the newcomer or how much they chose to stick their collective heads in the sand ignoring it, and somewhere down the road, maybe not in this lifetime, but somewhere the 12 step fellowships will be offered a choice, either start changing their minds about some things or be cut from the branch!!!

Now about Bill and the Big Book, what the Big Book actually is, is Bill Willson's story rehashed. Every last bit of the first 164 pages is from his own experiences. While he may have cheated on Lois, it was a very right and wise thing to do in not telling her and that he did the right thing by telling the truth about his infedelity in a roundabout way in The Big Book, because the need for confession is imparitive in recovery. it's just a shame that things are going on like they are. Maybe one day that will change.

Hi Emerson,

Thank you for the letter, and congratulations on your sobriety. It is good that you decided to quit drinking, and then did it.

I especially want to thank you for such a clear description of the indoctrination and conversion of a newcomer into a true believer. It's neat how accurately you catalogued the breakdown of your mind, step by step, as they worked the program on you.

And it's great that you finally saw through it and decided to move on. Good luck in your future endeavors.

It's funny that you should mention A Course In Miracles. That darned thing just keeps popping up again and again, three times now in just the last few days. Apparently that hoax is becoming increasingly popular in A.A. circles.

Oh well, have a good day anyway. And have a good life.

== Orange

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





Date: Mon, April 10, 2006 14:19
From: Vegancindy
Subject: find you quite amazing!

Hi Agent Orange!

I am very intrigued by your writings on AA. I have only been in AA 3 months. Took me 3 months to get my one month chip. AA has been a real eye opener for me. I left 3 meetings frustrated by some sponsor and drank some. A bit of humor, yet traumatic too, to know that as people sit in AA meetings, some are planning to go have a drink right afterwards because AA is upsetting to them. I have found it can be dangerous to very new and vulnerable people. Some people are quite nice, but most of the time I feel like I am sitting in the twilight zone. Anyway, Like to read your website.

My name is Cindy Y. And I don't care if an AA member reads this with my name attached. I do have freedom of speech. Some people have gone out of their way to lie, and try to make me uncomfortable. Maybe I will continue to go and make them uncomfortable. I stood up for myself when my sponsor outright lied about me using AA to pick up men. I don't need AA to pick up a man. That's not where I am at in life right now anyway though. So, I confronted her in front of her friends and now I get the cold stare from some people. I was very honest and diplomatic with her. Funny, how can she sponsor when she was and is being investigated for molesting her son?

Anyway, I will keep in touch.

Hi Cindy,

Thanks for the letter, and I hope you are doing well. And thanks for all of the compliments.

When I hear that someone is working their way through their first few months of sobriety, I always want to start dispensing advice. I don't know if I really have any pearls of wisdom that will help you, but I have to recommend the web page on the Lizard Brain Addiction Monster. Understanding that little monster has been a big help to me, for staying off of both alcohol and tobacco.

And I put together a list of discussions of what works, earlier, that you might want to look at, and it is here.

Have a good day and a good life.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Being surrounded by a group of people who keep
** telling you that you are powerless over alcohol,
** and that your will power is useless, is not
** getting "support". It is getting sabotaged.
** With friends like them, you don't need any enemies.





Date: Mon, April 10, 2006 15:02
From: "Russ L."
Subject: Bill's broads

This is a very well-researched and very interesting piece on Bill Wilson's habits with women other than his wife. It is pretty well known to anyone who has done any reading or research on the subject that Bill ran free and loose when it came to women. To this, I say, "so what?"

Hello Russ,

Thanks for the letter.

So what?
Well, I've heard a lot of A.A. true believers insisting that Bill Wilson was some kind of holy man who was "guided by God" to write the 12 Steps and the Big Book. But I know that real spiritual people don't act like Bill Wilson did: cheating on his wife, exploiting sick alcoholic women for his personal pleasure, cheating his business partner Henry Parkhurst out of all of the money, lying constantly, grandly bragging constantly, making himself the "Grand Poohbah of Alcoholics Anonymous", and putting on airs of being spiritual, attacking those who criticized him or disagreed with him, and worst of all, lying about his success rate and telling alcoholics that he had a sure-fire, never-fails cure for alcoholism. "RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail..."

And I know that the teachings of such a phony aren't worth following.

Are you an alcoholic? Has your life been saved by the program and fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous? Well, I am and mine has. So I could nearly forgive Bill if he were an axe murderer, as long as his legacy was the program of AA. While he is credited as the "co-founder" of the program along with Dr. Bob Smith, it is really the efforts of Bill Wilson that gave us the program we have today. He wrote the Big Book. He wrote 12 Steps and 12 Traditions. He is the one who synthesized the 12 steps from the Oxford Group program. He is the one who realized and put into motion the guiding principal that, in order to keep sobriety, we must give it away. In other words, the only way an alcoholic ultimately stays sober is by sharing with another alcoholic.

  1. Yes, I am an alcoholic, if by the word "alcoholic" you mean someone who is hypersensitive to alcohol and simply cannot drink any more of it or it will kill him. Look here for a larger discussion of the word "alcoholic".
  2. You are assuming a cause-and-effect relationship where none exists. Alcoholics Anonymous didn't make you quit drinking or save your life. You did. You decided not to die by alcohol.
  3. The Big Book and 12 Steps and 12 Traditions are some of the worst garbage ever written in the English language, not holy scriptures that help alcoholics.
  4. The Twelve Steps are also cult religion garbage that Bill Wilson copied from Frank Buchman's Oxford Groups.
  5. There is no "guiding principle" in doing recruiting for a cult religion. Ask any ex-Moonie or ex-Scientologist.

To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever nominated Bill for sainthood, or to be a bishop, for that matter. In fact, he writes on page 60 of Alcoholics Anonymous, "...we are not saints." Give the man his due.

Yes, Bill Wilson talked out of both sides of his mouth, constantly. It was his bait-and-switch game. "We aren't saints... We know only a little." And then it's "Our religion is better than the other religions. We have the real spirituality..."

I wrote a large web page on just that — The Bait-And-Switch Con Game.

His work, along with those who followed him, has saved countless thousands, if not millions, from the fatal disease of alcoholism. It is no coincidence that the vast majority of commercial treatment programs rely on the 12-step program, as well as all the other offshoots, such as NA, CA, GA, OA, ad infinitum.

Russ L.

Sorry, but A.A. has a zero percent success rate above the normal rate of spontaneous remission in alcoholism.

A.A. hasn't saved millions of alcoholics or even hundreds of thousands. Alcoholics who don't get the A.A. "help" recover at the same rate, or even at better rates, than the alcoholics who go to Alcoholics Anonymous. And the "do-it-yourself" people don't die as much, or commit suicide as much as the A.A. group does.

Even a leader of A.A. says so.

Prof. Dr. George E. Vaillant, who is a member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous [World] Services, Inc., tried for nearly 20 years to prove that A.A. worked. In the end he had to report that A.A. had no good effect on alcoholics at all. Groups of Alcoholics who even got 8 years of A.A. didn't sober up any more than other groups of alcoholics who got no "help" at all.

And Vaillant reported that A.A. had an "appalling" death rate — the worst death rate of any kind of treatment that he studied. See the whole story here.

And yes, I am aware of the fact that the 12-Step cult, including Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon, Narcotics Anonymous, et. al., has successfully invaded the treatment industry and made it a failure and a national tragedy.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Treatment centers based on Alcoholics Anonymous concepts
** routinely advised their patients to find a "higher power"
** or take a "moral inventory", untroubled by the contradiction
** between giving such advice and providing insurance-funded
** treatment for medical diseases.





Date: Tue, April 11, 2006 0:41
From: human_race
Subject: Wowwww the penny just dropped

I just had an exciting moment in the shower.

Well I thought of a guy I sponsored (harrassed, confronted and nurtured = he needed it) in AA a few years ago and he kind of crossed my mind.

And the AA line to get sober of "God could and would if he was sought..... would make? you get sober.

e.g.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

(c) That God could and would if He were sought.
The Big Book, 3rd & 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, Chapter 5, How It Works, page 60.

Well I was thinking that there was a fucking shit load of people standing on the beaches a while back and as the sea surged in to drown them... all cried "God save me, save me, Oh God... Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh"

And God didn't and wouldn't when he was sought.**

Thousands of people come into AA get fed this shit and they fuck up all over the place; AA has a failure rate much higher than people who get sober all by themselves.

And I thought.. Yeah... that's just the thing to bring up when they try to brain wash you with that shit if you ever find yourself in an AA meeting.

** and he doesn't put in much of a fucking appearance when he is needed in lots of other places either.. except for cunts like George Bush (who lives in a magical fairy land.)

Hi again, Human,

I pretty much agree with you. The only comment that I have is that I am not angry with God about how things are going, for the simple reason that I don't believe in a God who meddles and micro-manages this world. I think God is kind of busy with keeping the Law of Gravity working, and keeping the electrons orbitting the nuclei of atoms, and keeping nuclear reactions working right, so that the stars keep on burning bright.

God doesn't seem to care a whole lot about whether the worms or the hairless monkees down here engage in reproductive activities.

On the bright side, we are not just left out in the cold and dark, all alone. I think that our awareness is our connection to the divine. I believe that when we die, we wake up into a cosmic community of awareness, and find ourselves coming home.

But in the mean time, I see no evidence that God cheats at solitaire, and rigs the football games down here.

So the whole A.A. program is fatally flawed where it assumes that we can just demand that God fix our alcoholism for us.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "My name isn't 'your Higher Power'."   **
**                  == GOD                   **





Date: Tue, April 11, 2006 2:50
From: "BLOOZMAN"
Subject: cult deceptive recruiting

Orange,

I was thinking of the deceptive recruiting trait of cults and it reminded me of the movie Private Benjamin where the army recruiter lies to the recruit. Then Goldie Hawn says "I must be in the wrong army, I joined the one with the condos." In AA i felt like saying "I must be in the wrong AA, I joined the one with the freedom of religion and the quit drinking program."

Steven

Hi Steven,

Yep. What more is there to say?

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** The Bush Administration's plan to handle the Avian Flu crisis:
** Order millions of doses of Tamiflu, which the Asian doctors
** have already found to be useless against avian flu.
** By the way, Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is one of the biggest
** share-holders in the patent on Tamiflu. Obviously, that is
** just a coincidence.   Isn't crony capitalism wonderful?





Date: Tue, April 11, 2006 14:00
From: "Steve S."
Subject: Letters

Hey Orange,

Two things, I'm curious.

Why do you call yourself SECRET Agent Orange?

How did you originally get off of alcohol?

Steve

Hi Steve.

1. Because I'm anonymous — really anonymous.

And actually, it's also a bit of a joke. It started with a joke about mixing apples and oranges, described here. And then it sort of grew. There is Secret Agent Orange, and Secret Agent Apple, and Secret Agent Banana. Secret Agent Banana tells me that he does his best work in the dark.

2. I just quit. I just got sick and tired of being sick and tired. And my life fell apart, and everything went wrong, and I got evicted and was homeless, and then a doctor told me to quit drinking or I was going to die. That was the last straw. I decided that I had simply totally had it with suffering like that, and didn't want to die that way, so I just quit.

Here is another description of that event.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** A wise man should consider that health is the greatest
** of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought
** to derive benefit from his illnesses.
** ==  Hippocrates (460 BC - 377 BC), Regimen in Health





Date: Tue, April 11, 2006 17:49
From: "Peter M."
Subject: Religious Roots of AA

Hi A. Orange,

I have just been reading your critique of the Oxford Group and AA. I am currently a member of AA — been going three or so years.

I have voiced the same kind of criticisms as your article to other members of the "fellowship". One or two agree with me.

I am actually a Christian first. I was seaching and reading The Bible just before coming into AA. I came into AA after the proverbial — and a somewhat spectular (grandiosity?) — rock bottom. I'm having trouble reconciling AA with Christianity for all the reasons you outline. It's nice to know I'm not alone in this world.

One guy here in London is so out of control (the cult master) that he "suggested" one of his sponsees stop taking his perscribed medication. Two weeks later said sponsee had comitted suicide by jumping off a motorway bridge.

These people would do less harm to themselves and to others if they continued drinking. The best (only) solution is to find Jesus. What do you feel about Christianity?

There are many denominations. I currently attend an evangelical church but enjoy the odd Catholic mass.

Hope I'm not freaking you out too much here.

Cheers,
Peter.

Hi Peter,

You aren't freaking me out at all. I like Christianity, especially as Christ taught in the Sermon on the Mount. I don't belong to any particular sect, and in fact am very ecumenical. I have studied and learned from all of the great religions of the world, so I don't limit myself to any one thing. I'll take wisdom wherever I can find it.

You are quite right about whatever religion is practiced in A.A., it doesn't much resemble Christianity.

It takes world-class arrogance for an untrained, undegreed A.A. sponsor to tell a sponsee not to take the medicine that a doctor gave him, but I have heard that story in connection to A.A. again and again and again.

UPDATE, 2013.01.20: There is now a whole file of such A.A. "no meds" stories, here.

Bill Wilson loved to rave about "humility", but I don't see very much genuine humility in A.A. as it is actually practiced. A little real humility might save a few lives — humility like the realization that a sponsor doesn't know much about being a doctor.

And it wouldn't hurt if the A.A. people who are meeting in church basements would really listen to the preacher upstairs now and then, and ignore the nutty sponsors.

But they don't and they won't and that's why A.A. is more of a cult than a self-help group.

Such dogmatic adherence to the anti-medications prejudice even happened to my buddy in a treatment program. That is, 5 years ago, I voluntarily went into a treatment program, just in case they could teach me anything that might help me to stay off of alcohol. I made friends with another older guy there. When he said, "You know, we are just getting to be too old for this stuff any more", we connected right there, because that was exactly how I felt.

And wouldn't you know it? His very first sponsor in Dual Recovery Anonymous, and the other old-timers in the group too, immediately told him to stop taking his medications.

That guy had already told me that his meds were the only thing that kept him from relapsing. With his Paxil, he was okay. Without it, he flipped out every time, and ended up drinking and drugging. But his sponsor didn't even bother to ask about that before they just dogmatically declared that he should stop taking his medications.

The sponsor is a fool. Such people have no qualifications to be handing out medical instructions.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "I distrust those people who know so well what God
** wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides
** with their own desires."  ==  Susan B. Anthony, 1896


[2nd letter from Peter:]

Date: Fri, May 12, 2006 17:52
From: "Peter M."
Subject: Re: Religious Roots of AA

Many thanks orange,

I like your quote from 1896 — could have been about George W. today and his invasion of Iraq for oil. Same shit different century. Mankind really hasn't changed /at all.

** "I distrust those people who know so well what God
** wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides
** with their own desires."
** == Susan B. Anthony, 1896

We see modern paganism in the form of liberalism (gay marriage, abortion, promiscuity) and rampant individualism all around us and the Roman Empire has been replaced by the American one. Nothing has really changed at all. Given this, we can only try and make ourselves and others happy by doing the right thing for ourselves and for our neighbors in Christ Jesus. It is everything. The be all and end all in a fallen world. Que sera.

Have a good day,

Take care of yourself,

God Bless,
Peter.

Hi again Peter,

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

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]s.info        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** George W. Bush is living proof that there
** is no divine plan of Intelligent Design.


[3rd letter from Peter M.:]

Date: Sun, October 29, 2006
From: "Peter M."
Subject: Re: The Oxford Group & the Heresy that is AA

http://www.stepstudy.org/downloads/what_is.pdf [What Is The Oxford Group]

[Local copy here: What_Is_The_Oxford_Group.pdf]

Sound familiar ? Holy cow, ripped off hook, line and sinker. Rebadged and reissued as AA. I guess Christianity has constantly been reissued by heretics throughout the ages. At least the Oxford Group kept Jesus Christ and The Bible in there!!! Holy hell Orange. Where's the napalm ?

If Bill W. were alive today I'd have something to say to him.

Peter.

And you know, the kicker is that the Oxford Group was not really Christianity. Oh they claimed that it was, but there was no connection to Christianity other than the fact that they engaged in name-dropping, and mentioning Jesus and some saints now and then.

But Frank Buchman's teachings were really heretical, and some of the contemporary ministers and priests said so.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Now I know what it's like to be high on life.
** It isn't as good, but my driving has improved."
** == Nina, on "Just Shoot Me", 13 Jan 2006.


[4th letter from Peter M.:]

Date: Mon, October 30, 2006
From: "Peter M."
Subject: Re: The Oxford Group & the Heresy that is AA

Hi Orange,

Probably why Time Magazine had the Oxford Group leader on the cover as a cultist. When is someone going to have the balls to do this with Bill Wilson and Robert Smith and the cult that is AA ? (I know you have made a good start online ...)

The Oxford Group changed its name prior to WWII to Moral Re-Armament and believed that divine guidance would prevent WWII from breaking out. The name was changed also because of dwindling attendance as a result of cultlike beliefs, whereas Frank Buchman was on the cover of Time magazine with the title "Cultist Buchman".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_Group

Cheers (still sober),
Peter.

Hello again, Peter.

Congratulations on the sobriety. Me too.

Thanks for that link to the wikipedia. It had not occurred to me that there even was an Oxford Group page. It sure needs a lot of work, but I think I put some help in there.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Now I know what it's like to be high on life.
** It isn't as good, but my driving has improved."
** == Nina, on "Just Shoot Me", 13 Jan 2006.





Date: Tue, April 11, 2006 22:19
From: "Rob B."
Subject: Thanks Mr. Orange

20 years sober. I quit at 17. Been trying to deprogram for years. I've always thought there were only two teams to join in this society... religious fanatics or the hedonists...

It's nice to know there might be more options.

Thanks for the info.

Rob

Hi Rob,

Thanks for the thanks. And have a good life.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** The beauty of computers is that they amplify your power immensely.
** It takes only a small slip of the finger to cause a major disaster.





Date: Wed, April 12, 2006 16:02
From: "Howard W."

Dear Orange:

I am sorry to keep e mailing you — but, you are unique. No need to publish this.

I am in the process of deciding that AA is a troubled organism. I am coming to think that AA is quite vulnerable and "needy". I think that AA has a patholical need for validation; AA needs to be needed. AA seems to need people to tell AA that it is essential and valuable. It seems to feed on need. Perhaps AA is clinically depressed. A strange notion, perhaps: AA is clinically depressed.

This does trouble me; I have come to think that AA is a deeply troubled organization. In a sense, that may be worse than it being a cult.

Actually, when I went to AA, I appreciated the coerced attendees. Many seemed to understand why they were there: to stay out of jail; and, to fill the rooms. They were, I am sure, quite cynical. But, not far off the mark. These notions are not in conflict, imho.

Many coerced attendees are not problem drinkers.

I am, in fact, very deeply troubled by the substance abuse treatment system. I regard, in all seriousness, 12 step as iatrogenic. It causes disease; not cure it. It reminds me of leeches.

I have a real difficulty with a profession which allows this modality to exist.

Regards
HW

Hi Howard,

Thanks for the remarks. I agree. I don't mind the "bother" of receiving and publishing these remarks. I find them intelligent and perceptive.

Have a good day.

== Orange

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





Date: Thu, April 13, 2006 11:46
From: "DAVID B."
Subject: whats up

hey oragnge

your sure critical about a helpful society.

Hi David,

Alcoholics Anonymous is not a helpful society. It is a cult that lies about its success rate and fools people into thinking that it is a helpful society.

But in reality, Alcoholics Anonymous

  1. increases the rate of binge drinking, and
  2. increases the rate of rearrests for public drunkenness, and
  3. makes alcoholics sicker and makes their hospitalization more expensive, and
  4. even raises the death rate in alcoholics.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Being surrounded by a group of people who keep
** telling you that you are powerless over alcohol,
** and that your will power is useless, is not
** getting "support". It is getting sabotaged.
** With friends like them, you don't need any enemies.





Date: Thu, April 13, 2006 19:32
From: "Laura"
Subject: Assinine 'spiritual behavior.'

Hi Orange.

Just love browsing through your website. I get so much pleasure and amusement---.

Answer me this one. What do you call a bunch of folks who 1st — Say the Serenity Prayer, calling on the name of God, asking for His help, guidance etc., etc., then spend the rest of an hour cursing Him, using his name in vain, and other mean, disrespectful (to God and other meeting attendees) names that would make a gutter-bum blush, then at the end of this Pray the Lords Prayer, again evoking Him and His name to ask Him to intervene in their lives after giving Him the dickens and raising HELL with Him for 60 minutes?

You tell me!

Your friend Laura-Ann.

Hi Laura-Ann,

Thanks for the letter.

That's a good question. You know, I had never quite seen that one like that before, even though it was right in front of my face for all of these years.

You are quite right. There is something very odd about the "love" where people relate to God like that.

But I'm not sure what word or label describes such behavior, besides "crazy"...

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** People who murder children by the thousands with
** "Shock and Awe" bombing are servants of Satan,
** not servants of Jesus. Jesus said,
** "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." (Matthew 25:40)





Date: Fri, April 14, 2006 7:17
From: "Stephen"
Subject: Letters

Hi Orange,

Have written to you several times before, but to no avail. Just really wanted to say a big "thank you" for helping me find my way out of NA, AA etc whilst I was still young.

I have since done my best to discount the cults in whatever way possible since leaving, including writing to the English drug worker "trade press" (I am employed in one of the "front line" drug agencies), commenting on a 12 step group that works in Prisons (RAPt — http://www.rapt.org.uk).

They claim to have a 50% success rate, which is backed up by government funded research. I have written on more than one occasion asking to see the research, and have always been ignored, so I decided to call them on their lies in a more public forum. You can read the rather angry responses that I got at
http://www.drinkanddrugs.net/features/april1006/letters.pdf
(second page, as well as someone slating harm min techniques in favour of 12 step on the 3rd page). I am currently drafting my response, and information from your site has been invaluable in debunking some of the "12 step works" claims that were made.

I have also set up a MySpace group called "Recovering Without AA", the URL of which is
http://groups.myspace.com/recoverynotreligion

I would appreciate a quick plug, so would be grateful if you do print this letter. We link directly to your pages?

Good luck with your continued efforts. I noticed in a recent letter you said that you were looking into NA history at the moment. I await that with interest.

Regards,
Stephen R

Hi Steven,

Thanks for the letter. I have no idea why you couldn't get through before. Well, you have gotten through now.

It's good to hear what you are doing, and I'm happy to give you a quick plug. Keep up the good work.

And have a good day.

== 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: Fri, April 14, 2006 7:29
From: "david r."

thanks for your articles on aa. i am a registered nurse with a drinking problem. i made the mistake of getting"treatment". it is the biggest joke and fraud ever perpetuated on the insurance industry (besides home health care).

while the physical detoxification saved my life, the ensuing treatment program was repugnant! i felt guilty knowing that blue cross/blue shield was paying for me to paint little boxes, play pictionary and the like. and the facility bills insurance 35 dollars a meal! and a typical meal was ... a... hamburger... and a slice of pickle. or ... a.... hotdog.... and by this i mean 1 hamburger, no dressings, just 2 pieces of bread, a patty and a piece of cheese. no side dishes! this after having a dietician preach healthy eating to us. and a hotdog was a piece of bread and a weiner. that was it! for 35 dollars! (they were teaching us the rewards of delayed gratification i suppose, as all people with drinking problems ascribe to their king baby philosophy) and i had to sit through the nauseating aa meetings.

dont get me wrong. i am as religious as they come. in fact the therapists actually derided me because i did not curse, and i did not rub all over and flirt with the women (i am engaged, so why go pawing on all the women?) and as to the meetings they were a joke. say the bland empty steps, then have a few drunks tell how awful their life is and tell all their problems, then say the lords prayer, then keep coming back... and noone has solutions. only problems. then they say "dont you feel better now that we had the meeting?

while it may sound funny to you i feel that aa is devoid of true spirituality. if you think a doorknob is a power greater than you, you must have a very low opinion of yourself.

all the while i was in the meetings i asked god to forgive me for being there but i was doing what i needed to do to save my job. all the while i felt "there is just something wrong with this picture" so you dont have to be an agnostic or atheist to disagree with aa. i am a baptist, and i think aa and popular alcoholism treatment are a joke. i am convinced that alcoholism is a disease. but drunkenness is a sin. alcoholism is a disease in that we lack the proper metabolic enzymes to metabolize alcohol in the way it should be. it is sinful in that knowing this we choose to drink anyway. alcoholism is a disease,but drunkenness is a choice.

thanks again for your article.

regards. david

Hi David,

Thanks for the letter. I hope you are feeling better now.

And thanks for the report on another treatment program. Indeed, what a hoax.

And about, "aa is devoid of true spirituality". Yeh, I have to agree. I was just thinking the same thing today. It occurred to me that a lot of A.A. members are so confused about what spirituality is that they are actually repulsed, and run away, when they are confronted with real spirituality.

You know, a lot of good people would really have a hissy fit if they knew what was going on in the recovery industry, but they don't. And they don't believe it when somebody tells them, because the truth is just so outrageous that they find it unbelievable.

Oh well, we have to just keep plugging away at getting the truth out.

Have good day and a good life.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "A little patience and we shall see the reign of witches
** pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people
** recovering their true sight, restore their government
** to its true principles.  It is true that in the meantime
** we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the
** horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public
** debt.  == Thomas Jefferson





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Last updated 20 January 2013.
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