Letters, We Get Mail, L

Date: Sat, May 20, 2006 04:52
From: "Bill W."
Subject: orange-papers.info

About your web site, why do you care? If you think AA is a fraud and a waste of time, what does it say about your efforts? Why can't you just move on and let these poor, uniformed, duped and maleable folks be?

Don't bother to answer. Peace.

Hello, Bill W. (Funny choice of name, yes?)

"Why don't you just move on?" I've heard that several times from the A.A. apologists, and it seems to mean, "Why don't you just stop telling the truth, and let us continue to foist cult religion and ineffective quack medicine on sick alcoholics and addicts without you making trouble for us?"

Look: here and here and here.

I'm not sure which "poor, uniformed, duped and maleable folks" you are referring to — the sick addicts, or the A.A. true believers. Both could use some help.

Don't you think that telling them the truth will help them?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== 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: Sat, May 20, 2006 08:33
From: "Karen H."
Subject: question

Hello Mr Orange!

I agree with most of what you say — but one thing niggles me. During the 3 years I was in AA I really did find a lot of members had long term sobriety. I went to various meeting here in Nottingham and can honestly say that each group had alcoholics who had years of sobriety. I think you said that they would have stopped anyway, but have you any proof of that?


Hi Karen,

Yes, there is lots of proof. The people who go to A.A. do not quit drinking in any greater numbers than those who quit on their own. In fact, the Harvard Medical School reported that half of all alcoholics eventually quit drinking self-destructively, and 80% of the successful ones did it on their own, alone, without any "treatment" or "support group".

Sure, you have seen some sober old-timers in A.A. meetings. The A.A. routine is good at fooling people into thinking that they got sober because of A.A., rather than because they were simply tired of the pain and suffering and finally decided to quit drinking and have a happier life. See these doctors' descriptions of confusion about the causes of healing, and the worthlessness of testimonials.

Also see the propaganda item Confusion of Correlation and Causation.

In addition, when A.A. was put to rigorous tests, the results were disastrous for Alcoholics Anonymous:

  1. Dr. Jeffrey Brandsma found that A.A. indoctrination greatly increased the rate of binge drinking in alcoholics. People who were sent to A.A. ended up, after 9 months of A.A., doing FIVE TIMES as much binge drinking as another group of alcoholics who got no such help, and NINE TIMES as much binge drinking as another group that got Rational Behavior Therapy.
  2. Dr. Keith Ditman found that A.A. involvement increased the rate of re-arrests for public drunkenness in a group of street drunks.
  3. Dr. Diana Walsh found that A.A. just messed up a lot of alcoholics and make them need more expensive hospitalization later.
  4. This one is the most damning evidence of all, because it came from a doctor who loves Alcoholics Anonymous, and is one of its biggest promoters. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous [World] Services, Inc.. Doctor George E. Vaillant (who later became a Professor of Psychology at Harvard University), clearly demonstrated that A.A. treatment kills patients. For eight years, while he tried to prove that A.A. works, his A.A.-based treatment program had a zero-percent success rate above normal spontaneous remission, and worse, it had the highest death rate of any kind of alcoholism treatment that he studied. Dr. Vaillant candidly called the A.A. death rate "appalling". At the end of 8 years, the score with his first 100 A.A.-treated patients was: 5 sober, 29 dead, and 66 still drinking.

Also see these links:

  1. description of spontaneous remission
  2. Dr. Zimberg's calculation of the rate of spontaneous remission in alcoholics.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Be careful about reading health books.
** You may die of a misprint.
**   ==  Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

Date: Mon, June 5, 2006 04:53
From: "Karen H."
Subject: Thanks

Just to say thanks for your incredible fact finding mission. I have just done a year sober and now I am absolutely certain I will not risk my sobriety by going back to AA. I always had this feeling that I just did not fit in with AA, however much I tried to fit in with them — I thank myself for just getting out in time (phew).

Wish you all the best


Thanks for the thanks, Karen, and you have a happy life too.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  I don't play country music. I play Nashville city
**  music, while dressed up in alligator-skin boots,
**  a sequined jacket, and a spotless new Stetson hat.

Date: Sat, May 20, 2006 10:50
From: "Dr. Rico"
Subject: advice ? help ?

Hello Orange —

I am impressed with the courage and honesty of the orange web site.

Let's see if anyone has some advice for an alcoholic who is trapped in an AA-dominated "monitoring program".

I currently practice in the State of Pennsylvania and was pushed into a voluntary monitoring program for alcoholic doctors. At first I was relieved that such an organization existed but I am now disappointed and increasingly alarmed.

The organization — called the PHP — fashions its monitoring mechanism on both the demonstration of abstinence through regular forensic urine testing and compliance with an AA-style program (required meetings, required sponsor, required attendance in addiction counseling, etc.). The problem is that the people on top — some of whom are not in recovery themselves — have bought into the totalitarian version of AA with all of the destructive dogmas (e.g., "us stupid /crazy alcoholics"; "Thank God — and us —that you're allowed to continue practicing, you should be in jail if you got what you deserved"; "If I lapse or relapse I'll have no self-respect and will have to 'start from scratch' and probably need to go away to an expensive residential rehab. center"). You get the picture.

It is not possible to sit on the sidelines and wait things out. If you are perceived as not buying into the dogma you are branded as non-compliant and the administrators of the organization — who are paid largely by contributions to the PA Medical Society — feel empowered and compelled to report the "non-compliant" physicians to their employers, credentialing organizations, state medical boards, etc.

In short, it is hard to pursue what I would consider a rational approach to recovery. If you don't buy into the extreme AA-styled dogmas you must take a position of either living dishonestly — faking it — or living on the edge of perceived compliance within a state-sanctioned program.

It seems to me that the state medical board should not be able to demand conformity with a treatment/monitoring regime that is not scientifically validated and has a decidedly religious basis.

*Any advice on how to get out of this trap ?*

— Dr. Rico

Hi Dr. Rico,

Thank you for the report, and thanks for the compliments.

This line of yours is the kicker:

It seems to me that the state medical board should not be able to demand conformity with a treatment/monitoring regime that is not scientifically validated and has a decidedly religious basis.

Yes, that is it precisely.

I would sound out the ACLU and see if they will help to sue that organization for foisting cult religion on doctors. It is clearly a constitutional issue. Also sue for enough damages to bankrupt them. That could stop them.

You might also check out the atheists' web sites. There are several like "Freedom From Religion" that are anti-religious-coercion activists. Personally, I am not an atheist, but I have no problem with siding with the atheists to help fight against coercive cult religions, and Alcoholics Anonymous certainly is one.

You might email guys like these:

  1. http://www.ffrf.org/ == Freedom From Religion Foundation
  2. http://www.atheists.org/ == American Atheists. They regularly sue and win — http://www.atheists.org/flash.line/pledge2.htm
  3. http://www.irregulartimes.com/further13.html == Further Than Atheism

Just do an Internet search for things like "atheists against coercive religion" or "freedom from religion" to see lots more.

Do not overlook the fact that A.A. has been shown to be harmful treatment — very harmful. It has a success rate that is zero percent above the normal rate of spontaneous remission, but it has much higher rates of binge drinking, rearrests, and deaths than no treatment or "help" at all. I just listed all of that stuff in the previous letter, a minute ago, so I'll point you to the list, here

I am not a doctor, but I seem to recall that the second or third rule of the Hippocratic Oath was "Do No Harm". Well, A.A. and the 12-Step cult do a lot of harm, and kill a lot of patients. That PHP board has a lot of explaining to do, how they can have forgotten their oaths, as well as all of their education about how you do science and real medicine.

Good luck, and have a good day. Keep me posted on your progress, please.

*                  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: Sat, May 20, 2006 17:11
From: "James G."
Subject: Lets see what happens...


You play guitar? I've played for 14 years, perhaps it is what has kept us sane!

Hi again James.

You know, you might have a point there. Guitar playing might be keeping me saner than I realized. Some of my critics send me letters declaring that I am negative all of the time, and obsessed with proving A.A. wrong, and spending all of my time on this web site. What they don't know is that I spend a lot of happy time outdoors, in the sun, getting a tan and feeding my little feathered friends and playing the guitar. It's a very positive, healthy lifestyle, and leaves me cheerful. Definitely not sour and obsessed or chained to the computer. And soon, in a few hours, after I kick out a bit more backlogged email, I'll be out there again.

I recently made up another signature:

I used to be a creature of the night;
Now I'm a creature of the light.

And it's true. I used to be up all night (usually drinking and smoking) and sleeping all day, living the lifestyle of a vampire (and apparently some women thought I looked like one too).

Now I'm in the early-to-bed, early-to-rise camp. And the whole non-smoking, non-drinking, guitar, geese, sun, fresh air and exercise thing is sort of a unified lifestyle. And that routine has certainly left me a lot saner than I was before. And guitar playing is just positive.

Have a good day James.

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot
**     the corkscrew and for several days we had to live
**     on nothing but food and water.
**            ==    W. C. Fields (1880 — 1946)

[This letter is in inverse order — I started it.]

To: sobeyondthat

Someone pointed out that you made this comment in a Yahoo group:

"I talked to a friend last night who has struggled with the God thing for years and doesn't get it, but can't get out of their spell. Someone suggested that he get a cat and make the cat his higher power. I can't make this stuff up."
== "sobeyondthat", May 14 2006

I'd like to quote that in one of my web pages, if you don't mind, because it's pretty funny, and pretty revealing too.

Have a good day.

*                Agent Orange                 *
*           [email protected]          *
*       AA and Recovery Cult Debunking        *
*       https://www.orange-papers.info/         *
** "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: Sat, May 20, 2006
From: "so beyondthat"
Subject: Re: Another system

Be my guest. Take care. SBT



My close relationship with this person for years was the primary reason I went on line a few years ago and found your site.

Then I had a stint with them and it became for me that I was looking again. This person has been sent to alternative churches where he paid for counsel. He was told to attend any church service once a week to get the concept of God. He went to many different denominations and sects. He would go there and do all the rituals of that church or group and still couldn't get it.

While searching, he relapsed. Now is with a semi sane stepper but it was suggested that a cat might get the HP thing handled. Like I said, I can't make this up.

This is one case of someone who they have seriously failed.


Thanks for the note. Have a good day.

*                  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.

[anther letter from SBT:]

Date: Sun, June 4, 2006 08:41
From: "so beyondthat"
Subject: Re: Another system


I hope someone can read your choice for posting on your site and see how ridiculous they can be. Ridiculous but dangerous. Doorknobs, cats, the group, a tree, it's all the same. I thought this was especially wrong as it was something he had to find and possibly buy. It drew him to an interest in cats. He became obsessed for awhile. After all, when you're looking for a higher power you want to make sure the meow is just right. Amazing.

Take care.

Yes, it is amazing. I've often thought that malarkey like that just wouldn't work on anybody who hadn't already addled his brain with drugs and alcohol. (Unfortunately, that isn't really true. Just ask any Moonie or Scientologist. Ummm, but then again, what did they do before joining their favorite cult?)

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "All the ants on the planet, taken together, have a biomass
** greater than that of humans. Ants have been incredibly
** industrious for millions of years, yet their productiveness
** nourishes plants, animals, and soil. Human industry has
** been in full swing for little over a century, yet it has
** brought about a decline in almost every ecosystem on the
** planet. Nature doesn't have a design problem. People do."
**                         William McDonough
**                         architect & visionary

[another letter from SBT:]

From: "so beyondthat"
Subject: Re: Another system
Date: Wed, June 7, 2006 07:55

Hi Orange,

If someone walked in there after being clean and sober for say six months or a year, they would walk right out. They give no credit to the process of receptor cups being refilled or the brain's wiring rebounding. In survival mode they are vulnerable. Families are up their behinds. Friends are saddened. Employers' patience is thin. So they find a family of sorts. Someplace to rest their weary heads. Anyone who buys into being "healed" on any level, runs the risk of indoctrination. I think because they are of the mind that they are "sick" and need healing.

On 12sf I've posted that there is no other illness or malady that once the physical healing takes place that a lifetime of aftercare is indicated. Only in AA/NA.

And you're right, those without a life are more vulnerable. Someone with a track record of any kind in the real world is less likely to get taken. I can prove myself wrong there too... Tom Cruise, John Travolta.

But who are the famous AAers?

Off to work now. Enjoy your day.


Hi again, SBT,

Yes, yep, and yeh. As far as Cruise and Travolta go, L. Ron Hubbard was very clever about setting up a palatial "Celebrity Center" in Hollywood early in the game. He courted movie stars and other celebrities just as fervently as did Frank Buchman, and for the same reason — to use their names to promote his cult.

Now as far as why so many of them have gotten sucked in, well, perhaps expertise in acting and following a director's instructions doesn't necessarily translate into expertise in thinking clearly and logically. (Actually, I already knew that. Just read a copy of the National Exquirer or Star or something and it sort of becomes obvious. :-) I recently heard that the phrase "jumping the couch" has already entered the lexicon as meaning, "The moment you realized that he was totally crazy."

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Don't worry; Homeland Security says that you
** are going to be just as safe as New Orleans.

Date: Sat, May 20, 2006 20:26
From: "Philip A. F."
Subject: aa

are you still around. If so, Thank You.


Hi Phil,

Yes, I'm still around, and thanks for the thanks.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** I envy people who drink. At least they have
** something to blame everything on.
**   ==  Oscar Levant (1906 - 1972)

[another letter from Philip:]

Date: Tue, June 6, 2006 18:00
From: "Philip A. F."
Subject: Re: aa

Hi Again,

I have left going to meetings to the people that need that type of support. I find AA like a Oreo cookie. I find the "center" the top, (beginning) and the bottom (the end of the meeting) very distasteful. I have found a few sane people there and to my surprise, a few old friends.

I read something on your site about suicide in AA, I had been attending the meetings for about 10 months, and saw 2 suicides in that time period. That is a very high ratio for the time I was around. I am a trained "Drug Rehab" counselor and did not see that kind of a ratio in my 10 years working with addicts. I find this one of the most dangerous aspects of AA. The claim that many make is that "All you need is AA". People die. I find it an act of "God" that I found your site. Keep on doing it!!!!!

Phil (from San Francisco)

Hello Phil,

Thanks for the letter and the information. And the compliment.

You have a good day too.

== 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: Sun, May 21, 2006 10:16
From: "Penelope"
Subject: hi orange

Just curious — what is your educational background — what are your "Credentials?" I was wondering how you have reached the conclusions that you have posted on your site — I see that most of the works have been cited — but are these works opinions, or facts?

Hi Penelope,

My credentials are that I have a Ph.D. from the School of Hard Knox.
(Actually, I went to college and majored in biology, but changed my major to LSD and dropped out. Berkeley, no less, 1966. That was a good year.)

Also see:

  1. Intro to A.A.
  2. Bait-and-switch treatment
  3. Friends driven away from help by the 12-step nonsense
  4. who are you,
  5. who are you, 2

The works I cite cover the entire range from scientific research to theologians, historians, doctors, psychiatrists, alcoholics, everybody and anybody, you name it. See the bibliography, here. I even quote people like William Griffith Wilson and his true-believer followers.

Is the Orange Papers based on scientific research, your own investigation of 12 step programs, or is it a compilation of your opinions based upon the opinions of others?

All of the above. I just listed some of the scientific research in a previous letter, here. Also see the page "The Effectiveness of the Twelve-Step Treatment". It is loaded with scientific and medical information.

I hope you will reply to this email, as I am quite interested to hear your answer!



Okay, Penelope,

You have your reply.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** As I see it, every day you do one of two things:
** build health or produce disease in yourself.
**         Adelle Davis

[2nd letter from Penelope:]

Date: Sun, June 4, 2006 09:58
From: "Penelope"
Subject: Re: hi orange

Thanks for replying, Orange.

I'm curious because I'm one of those folks — a 12 stepper (EEK!) who has managed to find a great new way of life via Narcotics Anonymous- and I am also one who fully believes we are all entitled to our opinons. Of course, I have had some not so great experiences with a few "NA Nazi's" but overall have found the program to be very beneficial to me and my life. There are sick people everywhere, I suppose. I was just curious what your background is — the funny thing is, I notice that people either embrace 12 step programs or hate them — I was wondering what happened to you that would make you feel the way you do.

We all travel different roads towards the same destination, I suppose — I'm just glad I'm not living with a glass pipe eternally glued to my face these days!

With respect,

You have a good life, too, Penelope.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "You got to be careful if you don't know where
** you're going, because you might not get there."
**     == Yogi Berra

[another letter from Penelope:]

Date: Wed, June 7, 2006 06:23
From: "Penelope"
Subject: Re: hi orange

Thank you, Orange — wishing you the same. All we can do is try, right?

Hi again, Penelope,

Honestly, can't we succeed?

Have good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "Do, or do not. There is no 'try'."
**  ==  Yoda ('The Empire Strikes Back')

[another letter from Penelope:]

Date: Sun, June 11, 2006 10:12
From: "Penelope"
Subject: Re: hi orange

*"Do, or do not. There is no 'try'."
** == Yoda ('The Empire Strikes Back')*

OK — agreed! We CAN succeed, so today I will make that my goal. That Yoda WAS a smart guy!

Orange, I DO know a lot of "NA Nazi's" who don't have a life outside of the program; I'm not one of them. I have too much life to live for that. For me, NA, the 12 steps, the "Program" is a tool that has enabled me to have a life, but it certainly is not "Life itself" as many in the rooms will have you believe. I know a few folks who live and breathe and would have you choke on the 12 steps — which is in direct conflict with what the NA literature suggests we do! The goal is really about staying off dope, HAVING BALANCE IN OUR LIVES, and to share what we have learned with someone who wants what we have (SHARE IT — not shove it down someones throat!) After almost 30 years of active addiction NA has taught me that I can live drug free — and I do live, work and play without having to get high to do it (Plus I pay my bills now...LOL.)

I have proven that living as an active "meth monster" just doesn't work out — not compatible with a real life, apparently. Some of the NA Nazi's choose to look down their collective noses at me because I DO have to take meds for pain, (For now, anyway,) and don't seem to realize their own hypocracy for doing so (The NA program says very clearly that they aren't doctors, and that MY medical treatment is MY business, taking meds is MY business, and not abusing the meds is MY responsibility... so that is what I do.) I've read your site (Some of it, anyway,) and it makes me sad that there ARE 12 steppers out there that are steppin' all over others, and seem unable to have a life outside the "Program" (Since it is clearly written in the literature that the goal of recovery is freedom from active addiction — and BALANCE in our lives... plus, that spiritual connection that some of us out here in the world enjoy.) I actually do understand how some could find the program repellant — and that's OK. It isn't for everyone.

I work, have kids and dogs and bills and a home, a lot of NA T-Shirts , and for me, NA is an adjunct to having a real life — it DOES help me to stay away from the dope and keep my life in order now.

Again, I respect your opinion — 12 step isn't for everyone and I know lots of folks who WHOLLY disagree with the way we do things... I think, though, a few (12 steppers) make it look pretty bad for the many, and that is a sad thing to me.

NA is a lot like AA, but a lot UNLIKE AA in more ways, too. I like it, it's worked out pretty good for me so far, and I'll probably stick around the rooms... but I do respect your opinion. I actually learned how to do that (HAVE SOME RESPECT FOR OTHERS) at NA — how ironic is that?

You have a great day, Orange, and it has been interesting to have this dialogue — at least for me.

Take care, friend.

Hi again, Penelope,

It is good that you got off of meth. That stuff is a killer. It is okay for you to attend the meetings of any social club that you like.

What is not okay is for such (12-Step) social clubs to proclaim themselves a working treatment or remedy for drug and alcohol problems, and to even use the power of the courts to force people into their meetings. That is a crime.

It is also wrong for treatment centers to use 12-Step meetings as "treatment". That is pure quackery. And there is zero evidence that "it works".

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** The finest structure can house the worst evil.

Date: Sun, May 21, 2006 15:16
From: "Dan C."
Subject: Interested in Supporting Materials


I'm interested in reading more of the source materials upon which you base the claims of your website. I appreciate your viewpoint and I know firsthand about the controversies within and around AA, but more poigant than any single person's enthusiastic viewpoint (or that of a group of people) is an unbiased statistic. As a scientist and a fringe member of AA, I would like to reach my own conclusions based on the material.

From you experience and bibliography, can you recommend some papers and studies? You bibliography is fairly extensive — I'm not sure where to start.

Hi. You can start with the list of papers that I just cited in a previous letter, here.

Then read the first half of the file on "The Effectiveness of the Twelve-Step Treatment". It is loaded with scientific and medical information.

Also, do you have an electronic copy of the 1976 Rand Report on Alcoholism and Treatment that you wouldn't mind sending me? I am having trouble finding it in any libraries or journals.

I have a xeroxed copy of both — the 1976 one and the follow-up four years later. I can scan them and email the files, but it will take me a little while to get around to it. (The weather outside is great and it's Saturday and there is even a festival in town.) In fact, I have xeroxed copies of most all of those medical and scientific papers that I cite. Have to have all of those documents that I am citing, and all of that.

I would love to put all of them on my web site, but I don't own the copyrights.

Thank you,

Dan C.

You are welcome. 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: Sun, May 21, 2006 16:51
From: "Gordon"
Subject: All is well in Scotland

Hello again... Greetings!... Many thanks again for TRANSFORMING so many lives here in Glasgow. I had intended to gush on with compliments but words fail me — just thank you for digging out the truth which set you and us FREE. Best regards and hope to meet you some day.


Hi Gordon,

Thanks for all of the compliments. You have a good day too.

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Look to your health; and if you have it, praise God
** and value it next to conscience; for health is the
** second blessing that we mortals are capable of, a
** blessing money can't buy.
**     ==   Izaak Walton (1593 - 1683)

Date: Mon, May 22, 2006 18:29
From: "Kevin F."
Subject: Fwd: News from the NIH (see the link)


Ragge and Bufe might want to see this but I don't have any email for them. Forward it if you like. Feel free to distribute it without my attribution. I got it from someone else anyway so I don't need, deserve or expect the credit for it. You'll note they didn't bother with the AA "treatment".

PS: Tuesday is my third year clean of booze. Your site helped convince me I wasn't a complete nutbar, the AA crew was.

Hi Kevin,

Congratulations on your sobriety, and thanks for the compliment. Three years is getting up there. A lot of stuff is healing and getting back together.

Thanks for the tip. That is very interesting. Yeh, no A.A. treatment.

Alas, the one thing that they did not do was have a control group — another similar group that got no treatment at all.

Such tests almost never do. That leaves us with no way to evaluate the effectiveness of naltrexone. We can't compare naltrexone to "no treatment" to see whether naltrexone really improves the situation.

The same goes for the "Specialized Alcohol Counseling". How much better than nothing is it?

What if both were equally ineffective?

The biggest problem with naltrexone or disulfiram or any of those drugs is that the patients simply stop taking them when they decide that they want to drink.

It seems like all of the alcoholism tests that the government has done lately are always one treatment method compared to another, without any control group. Project MATCH was done that way too.

Apparently, some people were arguing that we can't have a control group — that it would be "unethical" to give "no treatment" to a group of alcoholics. But they are assuming that treatment works, and is necessary for the health of the patient. That's putting the cart before the horse. They are assuming facts not in evidence. (I think a lot of people are deathly afraid of revealing the dirty little secret that treatment doesn't work.)

So while some of the giddy researchers crowed, "Treatment works!", other, more sober doctors pointed out that there was no evidence to support that conclusion. Without a control group, you can't measure how much treatment works.

Oh, and the other glaring omission is: How did they select their patients? That is very important. A group of alcoholics who sincerely want to quit drinking are a very different bunch of people than alcoholics who want to continue to drink:

  • People who truly want to quit drinking often do. On their own, even.
  • People who truly want to drink more usually do.

To select a bunch of alcoholics who want to quit drinking, and give them some "treatment" or other, and then notice that a bunch of them quit drinking, and then brag, "Treatment really works!", is fraud.

They reported, "the researchers found that most patients showed substantial improvement during treatment"... What kind of patients? And how long after the test ended did the improvement last?

Oh well, at least the guys at the NIH are trying. Have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  China: Eliminating Falun Gong one organ donor at a time.

Date: Tue, May 23, 2006 12:03
From: Mike A.

Dear Orange,

I had various results in AA at different times of my life and am presently a chairperson at one meeting with about 1 year sobriety. I have enjoyed your website. Actually, I think it should be required reading for anyone undertaking the "program."

There is no question that basically you are correct. AA doesn't do everything and persons should take medication if required, consult real professional counseling if necessary, and all your other points I have no disagreement with.

It sounds like you are an advocate of the Rational Recovery School. This is fine. Basically I think I am too. I think the rational recovery method is great and to me it is somewhat analogous to step 1, rewritten as: "we admit we were powerless over alcohol and our lives had become unmanageable SO WE QUIT!" End. Nothing more required.

Personally, I usually get a lift from the meetings and the one-on-one contact is not something that I know where to get elsewhere. I tend to avoid meetings that have people who are brainwashed. It's been my experience that if a person talks excessively about a higher power that should tip you off that the person may be brainwashed. Also, I watch out for those persons who appear to act as if they have all the answers. I have no sponsor and don't want one. Neither do I work the steps.

I think that if I approach the program with the attitude that there really are no requirements other than a desire to stop drinking and watch out for signs of brainwashing then I can still get a lot out of it... I think that the rational recovery method and Alcoholics Anonymous need not be mutually exclusive. I think I would have a problem if I placed all of my faith in the program and none in myself. It is always my responsibility whether I drink or not and I view the program as an optional step. I am always quick to remind new persons that no one can demand anything of them. Everyone has certain rights guaranteed by tradition 3.

Perhaps it would be better to tailor your approach on your website as a moderation or reform of alcoholics anonymous... Your section titled "what is good about AA" is really why I go back. All of the other stuff, the negatives, I just tolerate or fight back. In my group it seems to me that the regulars are basically all regular people that are not brainwashed. It is usually the newcomers who talk about God a lot. Although, I am being nagged to work the steps which I will need to put a stop to...

In summary, I think I do OK with a kind of hybrid program of rational recovery and the fellowship of AA with a healthy dose of tradition 3 (that there are no requirements other than the desire to stop drinking). This is my opinion now which could change later. I don't expect the program to do everything but I view it as a kind of nice add-on to my deep desire to not drink and use drugs. I agree with your basic premise, but I am enough of a skeptic and am cautious enough so that I can get a lot out of it, but not get sucked into the brainwashed-cult type of guy. I don't think of myself that way, and I enjoy your website. I think that you are a very logical thinker. The only drawback to the strictly logical approach is that sometimes we miss the emotional side, or to put it another way, a logical thinker may be using his cerebral cortex, the last part of neurological evolution and the distinctly human part, but the drug addiction resides in the older parts of the brain (IMO) and logic does not always work so well there.


Ps., I trust you to not use last names or emails as you do for others.

Hi Mike,

You make a lot of sense. I also agree with most everything you are saying. And you are to be congratulated for making your A.A. meetings something sane, useful, and non-dogmatic. Unfortunately, such A.A. meetings are rare.

Just a few comments:

I agree about the "lift from the meetings". Then you say: "and the one-on-one contact is not something that I know where to get elsewhere."

Actually, I also find it at SMART meetings. I haven't been to any Women For Sobriety meetings, but I'd guess that they get it there too.

I don't overlook the emotional side of meetings and the hoopla and cheerful encouragement of beginners (or even oldtimers having birthdays). I have often asked myself whether it would be possible to take the positive side of A.A. and make a beneficial cult — sort of a soft-core cult — that would cheer people on in their recovery.

(In fact, that is what Prof. Vaillant says Alcoholics Anonymous is — just a nice harmless cult that encourages people to quit drinking.)

Alas, it seems that every time somebody has tried it, like Synanon, it started great and then deteriorated into another Hell.

And then the Straights are another nightmare that descended from descendants of Alcoholics Anonymous. In fact, the entire abusive "confrontational therapy" school of recovery descended from A.A. and Synanon.

About logic not working too well with the addictive part of the brain — I agree. Read the web page on The Lizard-Brain Addiction Monster.

Fortunately, the caveat is that the higher brain is more powerful than the lower brain and can override it. My base brain still yammers for a beer and a cigarette every so often. I just tell the little monster "No."

And my reasons for doing that are largely emotional — I just don't ever want to go back to that kind of pain and sickness and suffering again, not ever. Nothing is worth it. (So just one fun Saturday night is certainly not worth it.)

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** The more severe the pain or illness, the more severe
** will be the necessary changes. These may involve
** breaking bad habits, or acquiring some new and better
** ones.  ==  Peter McWilliams, Life 101

[2nd letter from Mike A.:]

Date: Sun, June 4, 2006 13:32
From: "Mike A."
Subject: Re: Website

Thanks for the info, Orange. I will have to get some more information on the SMART program. I'm far enough into addictions to know that I certainly don't have all the answers. If I thought I had all the answers I would have to declare myself brainwashed and quit AA. Different measures for different people at different times work (and don't work).

I often feel like you do about AA. At this stage of the game however I'm trying to solve those issues which drive me to addiction in the first place. It seems like the meetings ameliorate the causes of my addiction to some extent if only temporarily — all those familiar gems like self-pity, isolation, "all my problems are somebody else's fault" etc seem to be smoldering down there with me... but as far as the act of drinking itself goes: I've gotten better results from making the simple and firm decision to stop drinking than any other method I've ever tried. It took me a while to get to the point where I said to myself "never again. It's over." Some people just never do get to that point.

I would encourage you to redirect your passion toward a reform of AA. The problem is that AA is kind of an American institution now, like hamburgers and Chevys etc and it will likely not disappear anytime soon. Of course my predictions are usually wrong. It certainly does need reforming. I don't know how this would happen, but it does seem possible anyway. I mean, as an alternative to forming offshoot and splinter groups. I do agree with you that the law has no business directing people to AA. I have to sign those court-slips and I always feel a bit ridiculous doing that.

Best Wishes, Mike A.

Hi again Mike,

Thanks for the note.

RE: "I would encourage you to redirect your passion toward a reform of AA."

I don't believe that it can be reformed. Even people who are in it and trying to reform it are getting zero success. A.A. is structured in such a way that a super-majority is required to change anything, and that isn't going to happen.

And then they say, "Every group is independent, and not under the control of headquarters", so the individual groups will continue to do whatever the old-timer group leaders wish — which is to change nothing.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** The finest structure can house the worst evil.

Date: Wed, May 24, 2006 08:28
From: "Darin D."
Subject: Love the site


I recently found your site, and am really enjoying it — there's enough material there to last me all year, maybe more, to sift through.

I first went to an AA meeting in 1992, at age 20. I lasted two meetings, then left. I went to another in 1996, just the one — something still seemed 'off'. I got my second DUI in 1997, went through rehab in 2000, and was forced to attend one meeting a week for six months as part of the court ordered rehab. The counselor's were annoyed that I didn't attend more than the bare minimum, but I completed the program all the same and never looked back. It just felt like something was "wrong" with AA, but I couldn't articulate what it was.

Well, you've managed to articulate alot of the problems I was having with AA. For a long time, I felt like I had some 'character defect', because I was simply unable to commit to this cultish group that asked me to eliminate some of the things I hold dear (rational thought, for one). At a meeting, I expressed some of the problems I was having with group meetings, and someone said to me "Fake it until you make it". WTF? That made so little sense to me, but I stayed quiet, nodded my head, "okay, okay...say, will you sign this for my rehab group?"

A few months ago, I decided I wanted to quit drinking, I was sick of it. I'm currently a graduate student, and expressed my desire to stop with a grad advisor. Now, our field is creative writing (a common hideout of drunks and addicts, for whatever reason), and his advice was counseling and AA meetings. The thought of going to more AA meetings filled me with dread (they worked oh-so-well in the past), as did more counseling — how much more do I have to strip away my ego before the healingn starts, christ...

I didn't go, and kept drinking. Last week, I found the Rational Recovery website — and it made a hell of a lot more sense than anything I've heard in AA. Found your site, which also makes sense to me. I've been sober for a week or so (not really counting the exact days, but about a week), and doing it my own way — and it's good to know, it is possible to find my own way to sobriety without twelve goosestepping my way to it.

So thanks for everything, allowing me insight into my drinking and letting me make the first changes in my life without a bunch of mindless slogans and totally breaking down my rational mind — it is appreciated.


"the kid wasn't a bad writer, and he had the ability to laugh at himself, which is sometimes a sign of greatness, or at least a sign that you have a chance to end up being something else besides a stuffed literary turd." — C. Bukowski, "Night Streets of Madness"

Hi Darin,

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

I'm glad to hear that things are looking up for you. Congratulations on your new sobriety. Hang in there, you can do it, and it even ends up being a lot of fun. Wait until you get those recovery rushes and feel high as a kite. That's really fun. For me, they hit at around the 4-month point, and again at the 9-month point, and again at 5 years. (Unfortunately, they don't last very long, but then a new kind of feeling of well-being gradually settles in. And the one at 5 years was more like dawning clarity and memory working right than a high rush.)

Oh, by the way, you said that you found the R.R. web site. If you liked that, then you will probably also like SMART:

Oh, and definitely check out the web page on The Lizard Brain Addiction Monster. There, Trimpey and I are saying pretty much the same thing.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** One of the most sublime experiences we can ever have
** is to wake up feeling healthy after we have been sick.
**         Rabbi Harold Kushner

Date: Wed, May 24, 2006 12:47
From: "Mojo"

Hey Orange.

I've followed your website for a few years now and have always agreed with what you say and want to commend you for what must be exhausting work. Believe me when I say that Dr. Peele has nothing on you.

Today was the first time in a while that I've read your letters section and I was absolutely fucking infuriated, INFURIATED to read the letter from the woman in Vermont regarding the blatant kidnapping of her daughter. I lost someone who was my heart and soul to this gestapo bullshit almost seventeen years ago and that poor woman's letter brought all of it flooding back to me (I'll be o.k.). My question is this:

What can I do for you to help your cause directly?

This isn't some bullshit rambling... I want to help, in any way that I can. Letter writing, infililtration of programs, giving support to people directly or indirectly. Anything.

I have a degree in psychology from the university of Massachusetts, so I find it absolutely impossible to swallow any of the treatment paradigms that are out there (with the possible exception of s.m.a.r.t.). Please let me know what I can do. I feel like I have an obligation to cut the head off of this 12-step snake. I have waited for an opportunity like this for 17 long years. In case big brother monitors this I'll just sign off for now.


Hi Mojo,

Thanks for the letter and all of the compliments.

What to do? There is a lot that you can do:

  1. First off, send emails to your Senators and Congressperson, demanding that drug and alcohol treatment programs ("modalities") be tested by the FDA or National Institute for Mental Health, or somebody like that. Then Congress should not pay any of the taxpayer's money for treatments that don't work. That one thing alone will break the back of the 12-Step treatment industry, because the 12-Step hoax doesn't work and has never worked.

    Emphasize that you are opposed to H.R.1258, the "Time for Recovery and Equal Access to Treatment in America (TREAT America) Act of 2005", which is just the Steppers trying to get more money for themselves.

    You can also complain all you want about the unConstitutionality of forcing a bizarre cult religion on sick people, and calling it "Alcoholism Treatment" or "Drug Treatment".

    See this web page for the procedure for emailing your politicians.

    This is an election year; the politicians might actually pay a little bit of attention to what you are saying, for a little while.

  2. Also read this letter to somebody at a treatment center, about how the treatment centers fake success rates. That's good education and ammunition for the coming debates.

  3. Publicity is a big deal. We need to get our knowledge and viewpoint out in the public every way possible, as much as possible. The only reason that the whole 12-Step racket continues is because the majority of people think that it is a good thing, because that is all they have ever heard.

    The Steppers are very good at publicity and self-promotion and they've been successfully doing it for 70 years now.

    Look at these things:

    1. Keith Humphreys' stuff
    2. Rudolf Moos's stuff.
    3. A.A.-Booster Pseudo-Science: Spirituality: The key to recovery from alcoholism
    4. More A.A.-Booster Pseudo-Science: The Spiritual Dimension of Healing
    5. More Big Lies — A.A. Propaganda As Usual
    6. More A.A.-Booster Propaganda: the book Cults: Faith, Healing, and Coercion, by Marc Galanter
    7. Answer to a George Vaillant Speech

    We must become equally good at publicizing the truth. Write letters to the editor, post on the internet, write magazine articles, tell your story any way that you can. Make the public understand that a hoax is being perpetrated.

    It will take a lot of work by a lot of people to cut throught the fog. The public just thinks that 12-Step recovery programs work great because that's all that they have ever heard. They even think that the only reason someone would resist such a program is because they want to remain an alcoholic or drug addict. The public must be informed of the truth, and then they will stop supporting the madness.

  4. Hammer the insurance companies with letters about how they are being cheated by a racket. There is no reason for the health insurance companies to have to pay for ineffective quack medicine.

    The Steppers, of course, are trying to get laws passed to force the health insurance companies to pay for more 12-Step treatment. That's what that H.R.1258, the "Time for Recovery and Equal Access to Treatment in America (TREAT America) Act of 2005" is all about. On this point, we have the insurance companies as allies. They don't want to pay more (for obvious reasons) and we don't want them to pay more for 12-Step quackery.

    The insurance companies have lots of money, lawyers, and lobbyists. They are good allies to have.

Well I guess that will do for starters.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem
**  to have."    ==    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

[from the newsgroup alt.recovery.from-12-steps, 24 May 2006:]

Kyle asked,
"I'm curious as to whether there is some specific doctrine in AA which condemns rationality and possibly philosophy as well."

Oh yeh, absolutely. A.A. and the writings of Bill Wilson are loaded with it.

My favorite Wilsonism is this delusional nonsense where Bill insisted that we had to give up "Reason" (with a capital 'R') in order to reach his "New Promised Land":

      Some of us had already walked far over the Bridge of Reason toward the desired shore of faith. The outlines and the promise of the New Land had brought lustre to tired eyes and fresh courage to flagging spirits. Friendly hands stretched out in welcome. We were grateful that Reason had brought us so far. But somehow, we couldn't quite step ashore. Perhaps we had been leaning too heavily on Reason that last mile and did not like to lose our support.
      That was natural, but let us think a little more closely. Without knowing it, had we not been brought to where we stood by a certain kind of faith? For did we not believe in our own reasoning? Did we not have confidence in our ability to think? What was that but a sort of faith? Yes, we had been faithful, abjectly faithful to the God of Reason. So, in one way or another, we discovered that faith had been involved all the time!
      We found, too, that we had been worshippers. ... In one form or another we had been living by faith and little else.
=== The Big Book, 3rd & 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, Page 54.

So, Bill says, because we trust our ability to think, we are "worshipping" the false "God of Reason".

Notice how Bill changed the goal of Alcoholics Anonymous from quitting drinking to getting "faith" in the first paragraph. Bait and Switch.

There is lots more, too much to type here.
Check this out:

*               Agent Orange              *
*          [email protected]       *
*      AA and Recovery Cult Debunking     *
*      https://www.orange-papers.info/      *
** Sanctimonious true believers arrogantly declare that they
** have some God-given right to tell others what they should
** or shouldn't think, and how they should and shouldn't live.

[26 May 2006]

> I'm not familiar with the expression about "self-will running riot,"...

That bit of lunacy comes from one of Fearless Leader's more famous guilt-inducing sermons:

      Whatever our protestations, are not most of us concerned with ourselves, our resentments, or our self-pity?
      Selfishness — self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate.   ...
      ... the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn't think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us!
=== The Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd & 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, Chapter 5, "How It Works", page 62.

Yazzuh, bozz man! Us disgusting sinners is just so bad, may the Lord have mercy on our worthless asses!

[P.S.: Actually, Bill Wilson was describing himself. He was practicing psychological projection, and accusing everybody else of doing what he did. It was Bill Wilson who threw screaming temper tantrums to get his own way all of the time.]

*                Agent Orange                 *
*           [email protected]          *
*       AA and Recovery Cult Debunking        *
*       https://www.orange-papers.info/         *
** Those who can make you believe absurdities can make
** you commit atrocities. == Voltaire (1694-1778)

Date: Fri, May 26, 2006 00:07
From: "Mvega"
Subject: Another one:)


I don't know if you've stumbled on this before, but take a look, it's interesting to say the least!

http://www.indiana.edu/~engs/cbook/chap6.html [ == Why We Should Reject The Disease Concept of Alcoholism, Herbert Fingarette, Ph.D.]

Keep up the great site!

Hi Mvega,

Thanks for the tip and the compliment. I have read some of Fingarette's stuff before, but don't recall having seen that particular item before.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** You start with a full bag of luck, and an empty
** bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag
** of experience before you empty the bag of luck.
** If you succeed you win the game.

Date: Fri, May 26, 2006 05:46
From: "michael g."
Subject: Bill Wilson & Boniface

Hi Orange

I wondered if this might interest you:

Bill Wilson & Boniface

When he wrote the essays on each of the twelve steps, he sent some to Ed Dowling, a Roman Catholic priest, to evaluate. In his accompanying letter of July 17, 1952, Wilson says, "But I have good help — of that I am certain. Both over here and over there" [Robert Fitzgerald, S.J., The Soul of Sponsorship: The Friendship of Fr. Ed Dowling, S.J. and Bill Wilson in Letters, Center City, MN.: Hazelden Pittman Archives Press, 1995, p. 59]. Then he explains that one spirit from "over there" that helped him called himself "Boniface". Wilson says:

One turned up the other day calling himself "Boniface". Said he was a Benedictine missionary and English. Had been a man of learning, knew missionary work and a lot about structures. I think he said this all the more modestly but that was the gist of it. I'd never heard of this gentleman but he checked out pretty well in the Encyclopedia. If this one is who he says he is — and of course there is no certain way of knowing — would this be licit contact in your book?
[Ibid., p. 59].

Dowling responds in his letter of July 24, 1952:

"Boniface" sounds like the Apostle of Germany. I still feel, like Macbeth, that these folks tell us truth in small matters in order to fool us in larger. I suppose that is my lazy orthodoxy"
(Ibid., p. 59].

Peace Be With You
Micky PS: You might already have this information! Email me & let me know either way!

Oh yeh. Bill's crazy séances and hearing the voices of the dead is one of my favorite subjects.


Have a good day.

*               Agent Orange              *
*          [email protected]       *
*      AA and Recovery Cult Debunking     *
*      https://www.orange-papers.info/      *
** "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.

[another letter from Micky:]

Date: Sat, May 27, 2006 14:23
From: "michael g."
Subject: William Wilson

Hi Orange

Thanks for replying to my email!.... your response was brilliant. There is nothing wrong with your brain, you certainly do your homework.

I think we have a right to know about Wilson's "spook sessions" — maybe AA would disintegrate if they [AA] really knew the truth about that "false prophet" [Wilson] What about the "Freedom of Information Act"? Can that be applied?

Unfortunately, the A.A. national headquarters has sealed the records of Bill's "spook sessions" and doesn't allow any scholars, investigators, curious members, or nosy skeptics to see them any longer, so we can't get any more of those interesting details of Bill Wilson's and Doctor Bob's contacts with the spirits from the Great Beyond.

I wondered if you were aware [my email] that there was a William Wilson that lived in the same period as Bill W & he was Scottish [uncanny].

"Stained Glass Cartoons of William Wilson"

One of the windows is about Boniface! Did you notice that in one of the FILES?

I wondered if he thought he was related to this other "Wilson" or stole his identity!

I don't comprehend, why AA's are so reluctant to find out the real truth about "Wilson"! He was a raving "lunatic"! If it wasn't for the Internet & people like you, I would probably still be in the dark. I imagine AA's brains have been so conditioned [walking dead] with this Wilson & Smith propaganda that the "truth" would seem like a LIE. Talk about denial!? AA is the biggest "con job" of the century. They [AA's] are very dangerous because they are not dealing with their core issues. I don't have anything to do with them, anymore [like talking to a zombie — emotionless]. They always start of with: "Are you getting to meetings"? Which should be rephrased — "How is the brainwashing going"!.... because, that's what it is! Absolute disintegration of a human being!

Peace Be With You

Hi again, Micky,

You just answered your own question. They don't want to know the real truth about Bill Wilson because he was a raving lunatic. :-)

I mean, what church would want to publicly admit that their founder and the author of their holy book was a raving lunatic who thought that he was routinely talking to the spirits of the dead? A guy who said that the spirits were talking to him even when he didn't invite them?

(Sounds like the poor boy just did a few too many Step Elevens... :-)

Alas, no, the Freedom of Information Act is not applicable. That is just for getting information out of the U.S. Government. Churches and private clubs can keep all of the secrets that they wish to. So there isn't really any legal way to force Alcoholics Anonymous to open up its historical archives and reveal all of the dirty little secrets.

Besides, they have probably purged the archives and destroyed all of the embarrassing stuff by now. Susan Cheever said that the stuff about Bill Wilson's philandering was being "excised from the official literature". I would guess that all of the other good stuff is suffering the same fate.

So much for their "spiritual rigorous honesty".

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   The moving finger writes
**   And having writ, moves on.
**   Nor all your piety nor wit
**   Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
**   Nor all your tears wash out a word of it.
**   == Omar Khayyam

Date: Fri, May 26, 2006 13:34
From: "Richard O."
Subject: Fw: For Your Consideration Only.....


Just thought I would throw this out for something to read, consider and reflect on...


http://www.psychoheresy-aware.org/aaroots.html [ == "AA: Christian or Occult Roots?" ]

Okay, Richard,

Thanks for the reference. That is an interesting one.

I'm really surprised that more of the Christians don't notice just how heretical A.A. really is. I mean, conducting séances, hearing voices, practicing necromancy, worshipping a bedpan or doorknob or a Group Of Drunks as GOD, come on. Really now.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** And the Lord our God spake, and He saeth: "There's a
** football game today between the New England Patriots
** and the Green Bay Packers. How should I fix that game?
** How much have those players been praying? Who has the
** most pleasing prayers? Whom should I make win the game?"

Date: Sat, May 27, 2006 19:07
From: "Mark R."

AA needs to be exposed for what it is.... ineffective.

Hi Mark,

I agree wholeheartedly. One of the ways to prove that it is ineffective and a waste of money when used as treatment is to put it to the test — real rigorous medical testing, just like how any other medicine or treatment gets tested and evaluated by the FDA before anybody can start giving it to the public.

Please send some letters to your Senators and Congressperson to say that. I put together a web page to make it easy, here.

Thanks, and have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Death is nothing to us, since when we are,
** death has not come, and when death has
** come, we are not.   ==   Epicurus

Date: Sun, May 28, 2006 17:29
From: Robb W.
Subject: Letters


I've spent the last couple of hours going through your site and am quite impressed with the sheer volume of information. I am, however, a little disappointed with some of your "facts". You state many times that Bill said that A.A. cures alcoholism. In fact, in the forward of the book Alcoholics Anonymous, it says; "We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body." It does not say that they have recovered from Alcoholism rather that they have recovered "from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body". This is true in my case as well.

Hi Robb,

Thanks for the letter. The answer to that question is really quite simple: Bill changed his tune. (And you are trying to read too much into Bill's euphemistic way of writing.)

Bill Wilson started off talking about curing people completely. He declared that his A.A. members had recovered from alcoholism. (RecoverED, past tense.) In the prospectus for the 100 Men Corporation, which financed the writing of the Big Book, Bill wrote:

Among the recoveries are men from every profession, and practically every type of business.
It is an indisputable fact that over the past four years over one-hundred true alcoholics have recovered, who from the standpoint of medicine and psychiatry, were considered hopeless. These men have dubbed themselves Alcoholics Anonymous.
In all, about two-hundred cases of hopeless alcoholism have been dealt with. As will be seen, about fifty percent of these have recovered. This, of course, is unprecedented — never has such a thing happened before.
      This work has claimed the attention of prominent doctors and institutions who say without hesitation that in a few years time, as it gains impetous, thousands of hitherto incurable cases may recover.
THE POSSIBLE MARKET — It has been estimated that there are over a million alcoholics in the United States and that every family seems touched by the problem. If this is so, and we have been assured that there has never been any published work that not only gave the answer, but told a man what to do to recover, then this book should have an incredible sale.

But then most of the early A.A. members relapsed and went back to drinking (including 50% of the original Big Book autobiographies' authors), so Bill changed his rap to, "We are not cured of alcoholism. We just get a one-day reprieve... Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our affairs...", etc.

You also talk about the courts "sentencing" people to 90 meetings rather than 90 days as a way of "recruiting" new members into the "cult". No one is forced to go to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. Those sent by the courts can always take door number two and do their time in jail.

Get real. Whom do you think you are fooling?

That's like a mugger robbing you at gunpoint by saying, "Give me your wallet or I will shoot you."

You hand over the wallet to avoid dying, and a little later, the police catch the thief. He says that he is innocent. "That guy chose to give me his wallet of his own free will. I didn't use force on him."

Heck, you could have chosen to take the bullet. You weren't "forced" to hand over your wallet, were you?

And the word I have been using is "coerced", as in "coercive recruiting".

FYI: the definition of "coerced" is:

co�erce ( P ) Pronunciation Key (k-�rs)
tr.v. co�erced, co�erc�ing, co�erc�es
  1. To force to act or think in a certain way by use of pressure, threats, or intimidation; compel.
  2. To dominate, restrain, or control forcibly: coerced the strikers into compliance. See Synonyms a t force.
  3. To bring about by force or threat: efforts to coerce agreement.

And there it is: "threat".

By the way, what the law says, at least in the United States, and almost certainly also in Canada, is: If you make someone do something with the threat of imprisonment, that is coercion, and that is forcing someone to do something. And there most assuredly is force involved. Those cops have guns, and if you don't do what the judge demands, they will forcefully physically haul you off to jail, if they don't shoot you.

I'll tell you that being one of the 50,000 members at the Rogers Centre in Toronto last year was certainly a spiritual experience and not a cult experience.

That is not a spiritual experience. That is mob psychology, mass emotionalism, and hoopla.

Heck, you can get some more "spiritual experiences" like that by joining the Moonies and going to their big mass weddings. Look here.

By the way, how do you tell the difference between "spiritual experiences" and "cult experiences"?
How many "cult experiences" have you had, that you know of?
How many cults have you belonged to, that you know of?

Wish you the best on your personal journey.

Robb W.

You have a good day too.

== 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

Date: Mon, May 29, 2006 12:01
From: "Cam"

Hey orange how you doing?

Check this out on my you tube!!


Want everybody to see this!

From Cam

Still sober without AA! <http://www.deniro.co.uk>

Thank you Cam,

That is simply priceless.

Everybody: This is the best spoof of the Twelve Steps I've ever seen. It's Penn & Teller at their finest — just biting wit.

Have a good day now.

*                  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."
UPDATE: 2013.01.23: Someone posted the famous Penn and Teller episode of Bullshit! that mocks Alcoholics Anonymous in its entirely as a single file:

Date: Mon, May 29, 2006 12:15
From: "Bryan G."
Subject: AA

Dear A.

I just had the nauseating experience of reading your complete misunderstanding of what AA and a spritutual experience is all about. I don't have the hours to go on and on about how clueless you are of AA's history and the how & whys in which the 12 steps are worded.

If I say to you — "don't drink and go to meetings" is a spritual saying, I know you can't even begin to fathome what that means. You are not an alcoholic, so you can't relate.

The reason AA has an over a 50% success rate is there are no absolutes in AA. Name a religion that does not demand certain qualifiers to reap the promises of whatever it is? 50% doesn't sound very high, but the rate of success of treatment centers and religous programs are 8%.

I have to go clean the puke off the floor now.

Take Care

Bryan G

"Keep coming back" ps That is spirtual also.

Hello Bryan,

You are misinformed or deluded: A.A. has nothing like a 50% success rate, and if you have been going to A.A. meetings for very long, you have seen that problem with your own eyes. A.A. has a dropout and failure rate of 95% in just the first year, and then the attrition continues.

Only 3 out of 1000 newcomers to A.A. get 10 years of sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous. Guess how I know that? From the sales figures of the sobriety coins. For every 1000 of the "Just For Today" coins that they give away, they only give away 3 of the 10-year coins. But you already knew that, didn't you? You know how many of what is given away. You can see.

[CORRECTION: The correct number is: ten out of a thousand newcomers get the 10-year coin. Look here for more information.]

And yes, I am an alcoholic, even "a real alcoholic". All I have to do is look at the palms of my hands to see that. Read the introduction to the web site, and this and this.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** 'Tis pity wine should be so deleterious,
** For tea and coffee leave us much more serious.
**     == Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

Date: Mon, May 29, 2006 15:47
From: "Chris"
Subject: Good work, and thanks

Dear Orange:

I like your Orange Papers a lot, and here's why: You have helped me get rid of some guilt I've been carrying around for three years, ever since I left AA. After reading your work, I don't feel guilty about it any more.

Here's how I got involved with AA: I quit drinking and taking drugs in September 2000, via a 28-day in-patient rehab. After rehab, I moved (at the recommendation of my rehab counselors) into a residential program (sober house with mandatory "aftercare" therapy sessions, with heavy emphasis on the 12 Steps, plus mandatory AA attendance). I stayed there for nearly three years without relapsing. I think the support I was getting from my peers, both at the house and in AA, helped me to stay sober, but I was never totally comfortable in AA, never really happy with it. Something about it never felt right to me. This was always a source of conflict with my aftercare counselors, who were constantly urging me to "get more active" in AA, and to "work the Steps," and to thoroughly embrace the whole AA program. But I was always reluctant to do so. I didn't mind going to several meetings a week, but there was always a part of me that just balked when it came to the 12 Steps. I always felt guilty about this, because I was always being told that my reluctance to "work the Steps" was due to my disease, which wanted to "get me alone and kill me." My tendencies to "isolate" and "intellectualize" were jeopardizing my sobriety and my life, I was told. The only way to stop "isolating" and "intellectualizing," of course, was to throughly embrace the 12 Steps of AA.

As soon as I moved out of that residential treatment facility, and there was no longer an authority figure forcing me to go to AA meetings, I quit going to AA meetings. And guess what? Very soon, I felt a whole lot better. And no wonder: now there was no one constantly nagging me to keep going to meetings, and to do a Fourth Step, and it was simply a big relief not to have to keep hearing about how I wasn't "working the Program" hard enough. A big weight had been lifted from my shoulders; I felt free, and I didn't relapse. I've now been sober for five years and eight months, and haven't been to AA for the last three years.

Still, I've felt a bit of residual guilt ever since I left AA, and I was never quite sure why. Leaving AA didn't cause me to relapse (despite all the dire warnings that I'd get drunk the very day I stopped going to meetings), and I have actually felt happier without AA, so why in the world should I feel guilty? I'm clean and sober, healthy and happy, so why should I still sometimes feel guilty that I quit going to AA?

Well, after reading many of your articles, I no longer wonder where that residual guilt has been coming from. The reason I was never really happy in AA is because I never totally bought into Bill W's religion. I liked the social aspect of AA, and I think the social aspect of it was useful and helpful. But some part of me did get brainwashed and buy into the dogma and propaganda, which insists that the ONLY way to lifelong sobriety, happiness, and spiritual health is through rigid adherence to those 12 Steps. What I instinctively resisted, and finally walked away from, was a cultish religion, not just a fellowship of recovering alcoholics. Now that I'm aware of this, I no longer have to feel guilty about it.

So, I thank you for helping me to see the truth, and to admit it to myself: I was involved with a religious cult, which some part of me was healthy enough to resist instead of swallowing whole, even though I couldn't admit to myself at the time just what it was that I was instinctively balking at. After reading your work, I can let go of that bit of left-over guilt and just be happy that I got what I could out of AA while I was in it, and just be glad I'm out of it.

If you print this letter, please don't print my full name or email address, just call me Chris. Thanks again, my friend!

Well, Maggy, I got your castoff
devils all right and fits lovely.
And am vaguely graceful. Maggy thanks.
--FW 273.F6

Hello Chris,

Thanks for the thanks, and congratulations on your sobriety, and congratulations on your new liberation too.

You quit in September of 2000? I quit the following month. Boy does that bring back memories.

I agree about the beneficial side of the social support aspect of meetings. That may be the best thing about Alcoholics Anonymous. Fortunately, you can also get the same thing from other recovery groups, like SMART, SOS, or WFS. Those things are still rare, with not yet enough meetings in all of the cities, but they are growing. (See the links page.)

Have a good day, and a good life.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** It is better to hide ignorance, but it is
** hard to do this when we relax over wine.
** == Heraclitus (540 BC - 480 BC), On the Universe

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Last updated 26 May 2014.
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