Letters, We Get Mail, LI

Date: Tue, May 30, 2006 04:57
From: "Andrew W.S."
Subject: Tom Palmer on internet addiction

"Internet Addiction"?

Behavior: It's Addictive

I'm tempted to write that I found this story about "Internet Addiction" ( http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/internet/05/19/internet.addiction.reut/index.html (Dead Link.)) after many hours of aimless surfing the net, but actually I just got back from dinner with two friends and checked the headlines on CNN.com. Yeah, right!

another Internet-Addict-In-Denial-Lie! And anyone who believes it is an Internet-Addict-Enabler! As "expert" Dr. Diane M. Wieland points out,

"Denial is strong in Internet addicts who claim they cannot be addicted to a machine," Wieland notes. The "one more minute" response to being asked to go offline is common and is similar to an alcoholic who says they will quit drinking after "one more drink."

Why can't we just say that some people might be happier if they were to allocate their time differently (more time on sports, or less time on sports, card playing, TV watching, eating, etc., etc.)? What's the point of calling it an "addiction" when people develop habits they'd like to break?

Posted by Tom Palmer at 10:47 PM
( http://www.tomgpalmer.com/archives/039034.php )

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the note. That is both amusing and true. It seems to really depend on your definition of "addiction". I know it sure isn't an addiction like alcohol or heroin or nicotine. It may be obsessive or compulsive behavior, but as the writer pointed out, there is a lot of that going around. Just ask any golf widow.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Pain (any pain — emotional, physical, mental) has a message.
** The information it has about our life can be remarkably specific,
** but it usually falls into one of two categories: "We would be
** more alive if we did more of this," and, "Life would be more
** lovely if we did less of that." Once we get the pain's message,
** and follow its advice, the pain goes away.
**         Peter McWilliams, Life 101

Date: Tue, May 30, 2006 12:29
From: "william n."
Subject: Thanks for the Help

Hi Orange,

I just celebrated a year on May 26th. I was sober for 9 years before that, but started to drink again. I drank again because I was bored and bummed out about life, to tell you the truth. I got in a mess of trouble (again) and lost my license for a while, and so here I am behind the 8-ball again with fines, surcharges, etc. But I've got my sobriety and I'm enjoying it immensely.

Anyway, I did the AA thing for a long time — too long. When I first started out in AA 13 years ago, I thought right away it was a weird group with weird people in it. But as you have beautifully pointed out time and again, I was foisted into it by the criminal justice system. So I had to attend or else I went to State Prison. So there I was: I had to listen to these guys.

I was very dazed and confused at that time, and therefore in a horrendously vulnerable position. And here were these knuckleheads telling me how I was willful, and how my thinking was terrible, and how I wasn't right with God (as if they knew). Well, it did a number on me so I followed along, dumbly.

I then got thrust into a halfway house for 14 months, where the brow beating continued. The halfway house was, as you might expect, a farm league for the 12-step program. We used to sit in weekly marathon Friday night group sessions, confessing all kinds of inappropriate and extremely personal information about each other. And then it was expected that we were supposed to feel "better" and "lighter." Well, I never did — I felt terrible. I couldn't stand that confessing stuff. It never was cathartic for me. It just depressed the hell out of me to tell you the truth.

After I got out of the halfway house I still went to meetings for a while. But then I tailed off. I heard all the doom and gloom pronouncements from the AA crowd, that I was "out there," that I was in trouble, etc. Frankly, life was fine. I was just busy having a life, doing things that were meaningful and enjoyable to me.

Anyway, when I relapsed 2 year ago I went back to AA, as I didn't know any better (but suspected it.) I used my grand sponsor as my sponsor and to his credit he spent a lot of time with me. He drove me around, helped me do errands, etc. He was very selfless with his time. But the constant, mindless dogma that came from his mouth, coupled with his criticism and the emptiness and frustration I felt from the people and the meetings forced me to look elsewhere to continue my sobriety. By the way, for the record I stopped drinking first, and THEN went back to AA.

One night my sponsor called saying he hadn't "seen me around" lately. That's program-speak for, "You're not going to meetings." I opened up and tried to explain to him my doubts, fears, and concerns about what I was seeing in the people and in the program, and he just said as if programmed, "So — you're taking your will back."

That cinched it for me. I thought to myself, "You fucking asshole — I'm trying to connect to you, trying to tell you what's on my mind, what worries me, but the banal platitudes of AA carried more weight and veracity than my pouring my heart out. That was the end for me.

I started citing the facts about AA to him, the Vaillant study, the AA triennial studies, etc., and he just couldn't handle it. He kept sneering, "So, you're gonna do it you're way, huh?" I said yes, I was. Then I asked him a poignant question. I said, "You DO wish me well, right? I CAN count on you for support, right?" And you know what? He had trouble answering that. What a sad thing. Had I been the sponsor, I would be happy for anyone who was trying to get sober, by whatever means. But my sponsor was more loyal to AA, and its code of conduct than he was to me. I never heard from him after that night. Never called me to see how I was doing — nothing. So if you're in AA and you're reading this, please ask yourself if this is really the sobriety and spirituality you want to have. Are these the kind of people you want directing your life?

My advice to newcomers is use the 10-foot-pole rule when it comes to AA. Stay clear because you can do better. But if you're forced into it because of the courts, then my suggestion is watch-out out there, because you are in a very vulnerable position. If you get one of these true-believers as a sponsor, be very careful.

The problem is the program has built-in mechanisms that ensure it never gets any better. And it immediately squashes any individual questions or doubts it members might have, dismissing them as "stinking thinking," or "willfulness." What a load of horseshit, honest to God.

The people who give you "advice" are the same people who have sat like lumps in church basements day after day and sometimes even year after year. How they think they have become enlightened and spiritual during this mostly passive process is absolutely beyond me. All they do is sit and repeat the same clichés over and over to each other, for the same problems over and over, and yet somehow this substitutes for wisdom. It just doesn't add up if you honestly look at it.

Anyway Orange I got so pissed after that last discussion with my sponsor that I wrote an op-ed piece to the biggest daily newspaper in my state, "The Star Ledger." They haven't published it and I kind of doubt they will. After all, I'm not a famous writer or doper or celebrity. But I'm including it (below) because I think you will appreciate it.

Thanks for letting me get this off. Keep up the great work. Here's my op-ed thing:

Name: William N.
Address: Annandale NJ

Op-Ed Article

I'm responding to the recent article in the Ledger recently where addiction workers are appealing to the Governor's Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse to restore funding, and also to the letters criticizing Stanton Peele's objection that New Jersey had paid $1.6 million over the past two years for unused beds in private treatment facilities.

One of the biggest problems with the 12-step (AA) program and the attendant addiction industry is the inability for its proponents to tolerate any criticism towards it. This is unfortunate, as most treatment for alcohol and drug addiction provided in the State of New Jersey (+90%) is based upon the 12-step approach, an approach with which I am familiar. Often, all these treatment centers do (with all the money they get) is simply teach its residents about the 12-step program. Fortunately I was lucky enough to attend a facility which had its own code of conduct and behavior above and beyond the 12-step program.

What many people don't know and what is assiduously ignored by the 12-step programs and the treatment industry that promulgates it, is that the 12-step "solution" to alcoholism and drug addiction has a virtually zero success rate. This has been reported in several studies. The most telling is in an eight year study of 100 alcoholics performed by Harvard professor George E. Vaillant, who is a non-alcoholic "Class A" member of the Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. (AAWS) Board of Trustees and a diehard supporter of AA. Among other findings, Vaillant's study produced two startling results:

1) Five non-treated alcoholics (the "control group") were sober after 8 years. Vaillant called this "spontaneous remission," or "the natural history of the disease," and

2) Five AA-treated alcoholics were still sober after 8 years.

According to the study, the 12-step AA approach was no better than doing nothing. In addition, the AA treated group experienced the highest percentage of alcohol-related deaths: 29 out of 100. This is more than any other treatment, including non-treatment. So not only is AA's failure rate 95%, it's more lethal than anything else as well.

Vaillant (who considered the death rate "appalling") reported, "After initial discharge, only five patients in the Clinic sample never relapsed to alcoholic drinking, and there is compelling evidence that the results of our (AA) treatment were no better than the natural history of the disease." There is also evidence that the 12-step doctrine of powerlessness leads to binge drinking. Other studies (Brandsma et. al.) have found that 12-step participants were binge drinking five times as much as alcoholics who received no treatment. Incidentally, the 12-step program teaches its followers that relapsers either didn't "really try," or weren't "real alcoholics." Either way, the program itself is always off the hook.

In other studies, Harvard University found that most people who stopped using drugs and alcohol and who remain abstinent simply do it on their own. But most people don't hear of these successes due to the drum beat of the treatment industry that would have us all believe there is only one successful way to attain sobriety. What happens is AA takes the credit for people who basically quit, or would have quit on their own, hence its loyal following.

Raising issues like these in 12-step meetings or in treatment facilities are considered anathema. Criticism/questioning are seen as "denial" or "willfulness," which are deemed "disease symptoms." Tragically, the program has many built-in, self-defeating mechanisms which ensure it never changes, never improves. Treatment centers which simply groom residents for lifetime participation in look-good/feel-good programs like AA vacuum up the lion's share of treatment related funds — funds which should be made available for other programs so that persons interested in recovery have the option of trying other modes of treatment. The one-size fits all approach to addiction and alcohol treatment should be revisited — and fast. As AA Trustee Vaillant lamented after his study, "How can I, a clinician, reconcile my enthusiasm for (12-step) treatment with such melancholy data?" How indeed.

William N.

Hello William,

Thanks for the letter. For whatever it's worth, it's published here. Congratulations on your sobriety, and I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better out of the cult.

Have a good day and a good life.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it,
** and it fixes its fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way.
** Blaise Pascal

[2nd letter from William:]

Date: Tue, June 6, 2006 10:45
From: "william n."
Subject: Neat!

Hi Orange,

Thank you for answering my e-mail and for printing my never-to-be-published op-ed letter to my local paper. When I spotted my letter I said to myself, "Wow, I made the Orange Papers." Back in the '60's there were the "White Papers," and nowadays we have the "Orange Papers.

Yes, that was the pun. The name is both a take-off on mixing apples and oranges, (because the author of www.aadeprogramming.com used the name "Apple") and a twist on 'white papers'.

Anyway, I'm writing today to make up for a glaring error on my part: The reason I was able to write that letter to the editor was due to all your diligent work, research, and encouragement. I just stole the material from you and Stanton Peele, to be perfectly honest!

Despite my thievery, please keep on keepin' on.


Oh heck, I quote and borrow from other people all of the time. I got most of my best stuff from other people too. If you look at my web pages, you just see a mass of quotes. You know the old saying, "If you copy from one guy, that's plagiarism. If you copy from 100 guys, that's research."

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."

Date: Tue, May 30, 2006 19:46
From: "Brett W."
Subject: Question


Great website! Keep up the good work.

I wonder if you have come across any information pertaining to how to obtain life insurance if you have been diagnosed as an alcoholic/addict?

Here is the quandry I (and I'm sure many like me) face:

I am an otherwise healthy 30 year old male who has a problem with alcohol. Bottom line, I cannot touch the stuff. I have finally accepted that and I have been sober for six months. The bottom line is that this sobriety is the result of my decision to quit, not the 12 Step programs that many preach.

The issue is that in early 2004 I voluntarily checked into rehab. I asked my intake "couselor" what negative impact this could have on me in the future, and her response was essentially "we take your medical insurance, so all will be well". The "rehab" was a complete joke, nothing but platitudes and recitations from the "counselors" (side note: many of these "counselors" have PhD's and a lot of them could not reason their way out of a paper bag — what's going on there?). The forced AA meetings were even more disgraceful... I could not wait to escape those morose surroundings.

Anyway, I have a wife and two kids and as part of an estate plan my wife and I applied for life insurance. On my application I disclosed my alcoholism and was denied not once, but twice by two separate companies. The reason for denial was listed as alcoholism, but upon further query, reps from both companies told me I would never be able to get life insurance b/c I started drinking again for a period after leaving rehab and also truthfully disclosed that I do not (and will not) go to AA under any circumstances. So what to do: do I lie and say I go to meetings? Do I actually have to go (God forbid) to meetings?

I am wondering if you or anyone who reads these pages has any input.



Hi Brett,

Thanks for the compliments, and thanks for a good question. I had not heard of that problem before. Alas, I don't know the answer. Perhaps a reader has some suggestions. Anyone?

I can't help but notice that A.A. brags that it removes the stigma from alcoholism. And then you get treated like that.

I don't think that it will help you in the short term, but in the long run, the people who are fighting against coerced cult religion in America should look at enforced A.A. as a condition of getting life insurance. Another correspondent wrote about a similar problem in a recent letter — mandatory A.A. as a condition of keeping his license to practice medicine.

This mandatory Buchmanism has to stop.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Do-gooders arrogantly imagine 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.

Date: Wed, May 31, 2006 09:19
From: "Paul N."
Subject: Cherry Picking

Mr. Orange,

I discovered that you have been cherry picking. You list a great number of 12 step programs but you failed to list the attached. This program appears to be 100% effective.



A Twelve-Step Program for the Dead
by Terrel L. Templeman, Ph.D.

Oregon Trail of Technology

The Journal of Polymorphous Perversity was the first publication to address an often neglected though certainly grave topic in the field of psychotherapy, namely therapy of the dead (Menahem, 1984; Templeman, 1984). Although published studies employing psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy demonstrated promise in clinical trials with dead clients, mental health professionals have generally found this type of client most resistant to entering treatment (Burke & Hare, 1988). Recently, a self-help literature for the dead has been promoted as an alternative to therapist-directed approaches (Barnum, 1989), but the low sales of books such as Dead Who Love Too Much and Dead No More suggest that the dead are not receptive to this approach either.

My colleagues and I at Oregon Trail of Technology believe that a new approach to this lifeless field must be undertaken if the dead are to be engaged in treatment effectively. We present here for the first time a 12-step program for the dead, which is modeled closely after other 12-step programs. Dead Ones Anonymous (DOA) groups allow dead to meet in supportive, anonymous settings to develop mutual trust and to realize that they are not alone in their dead pursuits. Most dead come from dysfunctional families, and we have encouraged DOA members to share their feelings about the burden of being unjustly maligned or irrationally revered by the living, a burden strikingly apparent in the facial expressions of group members. Topics in these groups range from ego boundary problems (especially salient for the borderline dead) to living up to the expectations of others. (We have discovered that living up to anything can be very difficult for the dead.)

Unlike other 12-step programs, DOA groups are best facilitated by a non-dead member. Without at least one living participant, these meetings often degenerate into protracted and embarrassing silences. The facilitator also helps to keep participants focused on the 12 steps, not to mention sitting upright in their chairs.

What Are The 12 Steps?

1. Accept the fact that you are dead. Stop fighting it. Remind yourself that death is simply nature's way of telling you to slow down.

2. Take responsibility for your own inertia. Stop blaming it on those around you. Remember, today is the first day of the rest of your death.

3. Give your burdens up to a higher power and don't try to play God. Recite the Serenity Prayer and pray for the wisdom to know the difference between life and death.

4. Take a holiday. In fact, take a vacation once in a while. Don't take death so seriously. Remember, you only die once.

5. Remind yourself that death is a disease. It begins the day you are born, progresses until the day you die, and then takes over completely. For 10 out of every 10 people, this disease is fatal.

6. Admit that you are powerless over death. If you thought life was unmanageable, just try keep all your loose ends together when you are dead!

7. Make a searching and fearless mortal inventory of yourself. See what you can find.

8. Humbly ask someone to see that your grave is kept clean.

9. Know that you are not alone in this affliction.

10. Remember that things could always be worse.

11. Relinquish materialism and let go of worldly possessions. Remember, you can't take it with you.

12. Strive for a spiritual awakening as long as you are dead, and remember: It's never too late to try for heaven.

The Role of the Family
Family members are encouraged to attend other groups for survivors, codependants of the dead, and adult children of the dead. These groups allow family members to better understand their own dysfunctional relationships with the dead, usually rooted in an inability to bury the past. Toward this end, family members are taught an intervention called the Internment, which helps them to lay to rest not only unresolved conflicts with the dead but the body of the problem itself. Families are generally relieved after the Internment, although for the dead themselves it is only the first step to recovery. Thus, therapists in our program are encouraged to work individually with the dead after the Internment, as much uncovering is necessary before dead clients are ready to attend group meetings.

Barnum, Jr., P.T. (1989). Waking the dead: New markets for old ideas. Bibliotherapy Today, 12, 1-25.

Burke, E., & Hare, W. (1988). Engaging the recently dead for science and profit. Necrotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice, 104, 312-320.

Manahem, S.E. (1984). psychotherapy of the dead. Journal of Polymorphous Perversity, i(l), 3-6.

Templeman, T.L. (1984). [letter to the editor]. Journal of Polymorphous Perversity, I(2), 3.

From the Book: Freudulent Encounters by Glenn C. Ellenbogen, Ph.D. Re-printed by: Xenophilosophus. No permission asked, none granted.

Okay Nip,

Thanks for the information.

Have a good day.

== Orange

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

Date: Wed, May 31, 2006 20:42
Subject: Re: cults


That's pretty cool. I used to play with the baby geese when I lived in northern california. I like that penn and teller spoof. They also did a nice story on peta which i also consider a cult, on their show bullshit. You can view it here if you like.


best wishes, Steven

Okay, Steven,

Thanks for the tip. I've personally never had any dealings with PETA, but have heard the stories too.

Have a good day.

== Orange

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

Date: Thu, June 1, 2006 05:47
From: "rfo"
Subject: Where's the money?

I have been a fan of the Orange Papers for the last few years. I agree with and relate to much of what's posted on the site. I have a question, though. I agree that AA has become an institution supported by a significant number of true believers and society in general. My question is, given the apparent problems within AA, what is the motivation for sustaining this institution? I realize that the recovery industry benefits greatly from AA in terms of dollars, but does AA itself receive a great deal of money from the industry or its own membership? Is AA getting big donations from the industry, in violation of its own traditions? Just curious. — RFO


The reasons for maintaining A.A. are both corporate and individual. That is, the corporation executives at the top have one set of motives to keep A.A. going, while the true believers at the bottom have a different set. I've already made a couple of lists of the reasons that the true believers stay in A.A., here:

  1. Why people stay in cults
  2. Why people stay in cults

Institutions strive to maintain their own existence. That is true of all institutions, no matter whether it is General Motors, the Catholic Church, or Alcoholics Anonymous.

At the A.A. corporate headquarters, the executives enjoy both status and a healthy income. The members of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous [World] Services, Inc., get $70,000 per year, and the President of the corporation gets $125,000.

CORRECTION (2011.03.28): It turns out that the trustees are not paid. But other people get lots more. The President and General Manager of A.A. Greg Muth gets $125,000 from both AAWS and the GSB (General Service Board of A.A.), for a total of $250,000 per year. And then his friend Thomas Jasper gets $469,850 for being a "Senior Advisor". And many others get salaries in the range of $70,000 to $100,000 each. Look here.

Corporate A.A. is supported in a variety of ways. First off, they get millions from the sales of books like the Big Book and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. They also collect royalties from all of the foreign countries that publish the Big Book, or its translations, in spite of the fact that it is not legally copyrighted.

A.A.W.S. (Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.) has even committed perjury in the courts of Mexico and Germany to get A.A. members sentenced to prison for printing their own inexpensive unapproved versions of the out-of-copyright 1st edition of the Big Book. Just protecting the profits, you know.

Then A.A. is not above taking outside contributions. They got over $100,000 from the city of San Diego for holding a convention there. Who knows how much they get from the Hazelden Foundation, which is the biggest distributor of A.A.W.S. publications in the world. Hazelden is also one of the biggest promoters and proselytizers for A.A. in the world too — they are another bunch of 12-Step true believers.

A.A. receives support from the treatment center industry too. I don't know the numbers for cash contributions, but I know that as far as membership goes, the treatment centers are all just recruiting agencies for Alcoholics Anonymous. "Come to group therapy three times a week, and attend at least three A.A. meetings per week." In residential treatment centers, it's A.A. every day, and they do their best to convince the clients that they must stay in A.A. for the rest of their lives.

Then there are the proselytizers who have a vested interest in appearing to be wise and knowledgeable. A lot of them got Ph.D.s by promoting 12-Step treatment. The last thing they want to do is admit that they have wasted years and their professional reputations by promoting a cult religion that is completely ineffective for making people quit killing themselves with alcohol. Look at frauds and deceptions like these:

  1. so-called studies by Rudolf H. Moos
  2. so-called studies by Keith Humphreys
  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 A.A.-Booster Propaganda: the book Cults: Faith, Healing, and Coercion, by Marc Galanter
  6. More Big Lies — A.A. Propaganda As Usual
  7. Answer to a George Vaillant Speech

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** "A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon
** devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive
** of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider
** god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do
** less easily move against him, believing that he has
** the gods on his side." — Aristotle

Date: Thu, June 1, 2006 07:17
From: "anthony k."
Subject: Last throw of the AA dice

Hello again, Orange.

How are things?

Keeping up the good work, I see.

Here's a link and a question.
The link is to the web-site of a new meeting that a friend and I are starting this week.

The question is a tough one, so you might want to have a bit of a sit down:
What has been the reaction to this meeting of those members not involved?
a) Warm congratulations;
b) Indifference;
c) Barbed comments, hysterical accusations that it's not AA and a campaign of misinformation, largely centring on accusations that it's for atheists only.

If you said (a) or (b), then I may have over-estimated you!

If you look at the site, you might recognise some of the FAQ stuff and the alternative preamble from the Agnostic groups in America. I went to one in Greenwich Village on a recent business trip and it provided the final motivation to do this. It's what I think a meeting should be like, but to say I'm in a minority is an understatement.

I think we both know what kind of mindset you have to be in to interpret genuine neutrality as a threat and, frankly, if this proves more trouble than it's worth, I think that's probably it for AA and me (my friend feels the same).

I must admit to being torn. I do want to help struggling alcoholics and I do want to help spare them all the crap they get foisted on them in AA while too vulnerable and frightened to resist, but on the other hand, I've got a great life and I have better things to do than argue basic facts with a bunch of membots (see definition below. I think this is a concept you will want to use, if you haven't already. I've seen you refer to memes before). My wife and I spent a glorious month on holiday in Australia earlier this year. I didn't go to any meetings during that month and it was fine, of course. I went to one on the day I got back and had the distinct feeling that I was hearing a load of strange talk that had no bearing on my life (and that I could happily live without).

Your site has helped accelerate and support a process of reverting to good sense that was already underway in me. AA looks distinctly weird now and I thank you for that.

Anthony K.

MEMBOT: A person whose entire life has become subordinated to the propagation of a meme, robotically and at any opportunity. (Such as many Jehovah's Witnesses, Krishnas, and Scientologists.) Due to internal competition, the most vocal and extreme membots tend to rise to the top of their sociotype's hierarchy. A self-destructive membot is a memeoid.

Hi Anthony,

Thanks for the letter. That is both informative and amusing. And thanks for the thanks. And good luck with your meeting.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   "When in the company of deluded people,
**    keep your own counsel."  ==  Buddha

Date: Thu, June 1, 2006 11:03
From: "Linda L."
Subject: Very interesting reading but...

Who are you?

I've been where you have been and I had that funny feeling that something wasn't right. My sister is an AA guru but I just couldn't buy into the steps — especially the First Step although I went through 10 of them a few years ago.

I think I see a ray of hope if I can de-program myself. I am a believer in God but I can't accept that He wanted us to feel this way — powerless. This idea of being powerless, in fact, has exacerbated my problem.

Thanks for your research and personal observations of the program (cult). Maybe I'm not as crazy as I thought I was.

I'll continue to read and think (a God-given capability) and then come to a conclusion regarding my path.


Hi Linda,

Thanks for the letter. You don't sound crazy to me.

The idea behind the "powerless" doctrine is to make you feel so weak and helpless and desperate that you will surrender to the cult. That's why Frank Buchman declared that "You have been defeated by sin, and you are powerless over it."

Bill Wilson just changed that to "You are powerless over alcohol."

In either case, the only hope that they held out was to surrender your will to the cult, and trust that the cult would save your soul or your life. (Step 3.)

And you most assuredly can deprogram yourself, and recover. See the web page on How To Deprogram Your Own Mind.

And remember that the Harvard Medical School reported that 4 out of 5 of the successful quitters — alcoholics who abstained from alcohol for a year or more — did it alone, on their own.

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: Thu, June 1, 2006 12:34
From: "Linda L."
Subject: After more reading

I see that I've been led on a political path. PLEASE — you can select quote anyone you want to get the desired result of lies in all its forms — especially from politicians! You quote facts where it becomes your agenda but nothing to represent your opposition.

Remember step 4 or is it 5 ? about listing your positive qualities as well as your immoral ones?

You've removed yourself from the arena in my head. Maybe you should blog your personal political views on some other website.

I am a registered Republican. Do I agree with everything that's going on and the decisions being made by our elected officials on either side of the fence? No.

But when I go to a website about alternatives to AA I don't expect to get your biases about other issues.


Hi again, Linda,

I do not subscribe to the A.A. policy of "no outside issues".
I do not see life in the real world as an outside issue.

What is the point of recovering from drugs, alcohol and tobacco, only to get killed off by industrial pollution or an elective war?
Or a civil war when the oil runs out?

Beware of that word "expect". It is one of the key words that reveal irrational beliefs. You can make yourself miserable — even insane — by expecting the world to be a certain way and then being constantly disappointed when the world chooses to do something else.

The same moral and ethical standards that tell me it is wrong to foist quack medicine and cult religion on sick addicts also tell me that it is wrong to kill children with Shock And Awe bombing in a war that some lying politicians chose to get into (for the oil in Iraq).

Why should I speak out on the first issue but remain meek and silent on the second issue? (And it's my web site and I can mix issues as much as I wish.)

I don't know which signature ticked you off, but whichever it was, I haven't even used some of my most critical ones yet.

You think that I am just prejudiced against Republicans? Think again. It's just that the current sleazy politicians who are running the show are Republicans. And they rate a lot of criticism.

Heck, the last good Republican was Barry Goldwater. Now there was a man with some principles. They don't make'em like that any more.

Barry Goldwater would be appalled and up in arms at the current crop of amoral unprincipled neo-Cons.

As far as Clinton goes, I think he sold us down the river with NAFTA and GAT, and he was too busy messing around with Monica to deal with the coming oil crisis.

It is likely that some of your grandchildren and great grandchildren, and some of mine too, will die because of the stupidity of the last four Presidents: Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, and Bush 2.

  1. Jimmy Carter started a lot of alternative energy projects because he knew that the oil was going to run out, and we had to get ready for it.
  2. Reagan stupidly shut down all of those projects.
  3. Bush 1 didn't restart them.
  4. Clinton stupidly did not bother to restart those projects, either.
  5. Bush 2 won't restart them.

Now it's 25 years later, the end is much closer, the price of oil is rising rapidly, and it isn't going to come back down, and we haven't done a darned thing about switching our industrial base to something other than petroleum.

We need a lot of time and energy to switch over our entire way of living. We won't have it if we wait until the end of the oil and then try to make the switch. The amount of infrastructure rebuilding that must be done is staggering, and it will take many years — probably a whole generation. Maybe more. (As if we had that much time.)

Our food comes from big agribusiness, which runs on petroleum. They use oil for everything from powering the tractors to making insecticides and herbicides, to powering the trucks and diesel locomotives that bring the food to you. Likewise, the fertilizers come from natural gas, which is also running out, and it will get burned up fast as the oil runs out.

Without petroleum, where are you planning on getting the food for your grandchildren?

Do you really imagine that Bush's occupation of Iraq is going to get us all of the oil that we need?

Oh well, have a good day anyway. And stay sober, in spite of the fact that Bush isn't giving you any reason to do so.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** It's one of the great mysteries of our age:
** Bush and Cheney claim to have the situation
** under control — Bush says that he is "the decider" —
** and yet, they claim to have had no foreknowledge of,
** and no responsibility for, all of the disasters
** that have occurred during their reign.

Date: Fri, June 2, 2006 05:47
From: "L."
Subject: Divorce

Thank you for a site with a cerebrum, not just a brain stem. I will keep this missive short, au point.

Do you have stats on the correlation between AA and divorce rates? My situation, in a nutshell (well, a big nut, say, Brazil):

My husband is suing me for custody of children. Ostensibly, this is based on 1) extended breastfeeding (we have a 3-year-old), which he is alleging to be sexual molestation, and 2) my "addictions" and need for a "recovery program." (I drink 1-2 glasses of wine a day , or did, and take prescribed medication for depression. And that really is all, folks. But, of course, I'm in "denial.")

Okay, he also invaded my personal computer and found some writings he didn't much care for. But, of course, that has nothing to do with the "real issues."

My husband is a recovering alcoholic. He has been in and out of AA on his own terms. Following his reading of my computer, he went to his first AA meeting in months. He received Instant Sponsor, now his daily guru. Directly following the meeting, he made plans, oh yes. The next day my computer was gone. Our bank account was drained. And, on a minor note, our kids were gone. For nearly a week. I was issued an ex parte restraining order based on unspeakable lies.

Last year, my husband also demanded a divorce and custody (that time, because he was the "breadwinner."). This also directly followed an AA meeting and a new sponsor. (who my husband later spurned because apparently this person was trying to get him into the Amway pyramid).

My husband has changed, since his indoctrination into AA five years ago, into a person I truly don't know. I applaud him for his sobriety. But he has told me repeatedly that if I don't join him in "recovery" (including giving up my "misplaced values" related to political and social activism) that we cannot have a "happy marriage." He reads the Bible every night, now. Wow. I am not searching for Serenity, per said husband. He is. He does not seem terribly Serene, nor grateful for much, but what do I know? I dare to have anger. How unevolved.

Any information will help. Perhaps these are mere coincidences. Oh — but, there ARE not "coincidences," are there?



Hi L.

They are not coincidences at all. You are describing a textbook case of Stepper. That's what the cult does to people. That's one of the reasons that I am so down on it.

I don't have any statistics about the divorce rates of Steppers, but I know that it is high. Bill Wilson approved of divorce in the Big Book, in an indirect way.
Look here.
Also see: "Dump your spouse and marry the A.A. group, because A.A. is The Only Way."
And: more on A.A. divorces.

Something that I really would bring up in court is the fact that Alcoholics Anonymous told your husband to divorce you, for the sake of his sobriety — A.A. broke up the marriage. What if A.A. next tells your husband to dump the kids? — Again, in the selfish interest of his sobriety, of course?

As a courtroom tactic, I would bring up the whole A.A. routine of just how bad alcoholics are. Read the file "The Us Stupid Drunks Conspiracy".

  1. I would ask him whether the teachings of Bill Wilson and Alcoholics Anonymous are true.
  2. He will probably argue that they are.
  3. Then ask him how a horrible person like Bill Wilson described as the alcoholic could possibly be trusted with the care of children.

  1. Your lawyer:
    • "Bill Wilson wrote on pages 61 and 62 of the Big Book that alcoholics are selfish and self-centered and egotistical, and extreme examples of self-will run riot.
    • On page 82 Bill said that 'The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others.'
    • On page 86 Bill wrote that alcoholics are undisciplined.
    • On page 125 Bill said, 'Many alcoholics are enthusiasts. They run to extremes.'
    • On page 53 of Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Bill Wilson wrote:
      'But it is from our twisted relations with family, friends, and society at large that many of us have suffered the most. We have been especially stupid and stubborn about them. The primary fact that we fail to recognize is our total inability to form a true partnership with another human being. Our egomania digs two disastrous pitfalls. Either we insist upon dominating people we know, or we depend on them far too much.'
    • Is that an accurate description of your personality?"
  2. Husband: "No."
  3. Your lawyer: "Then are you telling this court that Bill Wilson and Alcoholics Anonymous are all wrong about alcoholics and alcoholism?"
  4. Husband: "No."

He can't have it both ways.

And again,

  1. Your lawyer: "Your previous sponsor told you to get rid of your wife, so you did. What if your next sponsor tells you to get rid of the kids because they are interfering with your sobriety? Will you do that? If your wife is expendable in the pursuit of your own happiness, why aren't the kids also expendable?"
  2. Husband: "Well I love my children."
  3. Your lawyer: "Didn't you love your wife?"
  4. Husband: "Well, yeh, at one time."
  5. Your lawyer: "So you loved your wife, and then suddenly you didn't. So why can't you just as suddenly stop loving your children? Especially if your sponsor tells you to? Doesn't that sound just like what Bill Wilson described: 'The primary fact that we fail to recognize is our total inability to form a true partnership with another human being.'?"

And on and on. Bill Wilson gave you a ton of ammunition, in all of his ravings about how bad alcoholics are, and how untrustworthy and selfish and warped and evil...

  1. And have your lawyer ask your husband whether he admires Bill Wilson and wishes to emulate him.
  2. He will probably say yes. Most hard-core Steppers do.
  3. Then the lawyer should bring up all of the issues about

Also don't overlook the fact that Bill Wilson taught contemptuous treatment of wives. Look here. Your husband is faithfully following Bill's instructions.

That is some suggestions, just for starters.

Good luck, and don't hesistate to check back if you have any more questions.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "AA certainly functions as a cult and systematically
**  indoctrinates its members in ways common to cults the
**  world over."
**  "...in the absence of proven scientific efficacy,
**  critics are legitimate in suggesting that mandated AA
**  attendance may be criticized as a failure of proper
**  separation between church and state."
**    == A.A. Trustee Prof. Dr. George E. Vaillant,
**    The Natural History Of Alcoholism Revisited, page 266.

UPDATE: 2013.01.23: There is information on the A.A. divorce rate, here.

Date: Fri, June 2, 2006 06:42
From: "michael g."
Subject: Re: "Rageaholic" Woman In AA

Hi Orange

I felt pain when I read the above posting. I imagine she [Jenni J] is like a lot of woman in AA....."rageaholics" & "control freaks". I imagine it is her "stuff ", from her history. I wondered if she may have been physically or sexually abused [as a child] & has used you as a "scapegoat" to medicate her pain, fear, shame & anger.

I wondered if you were abandoning yourself by responding to her diatribe [good scrabble word].....having to explain your self etc. You are a good man & I support you 100%! I hope you have adapted to my weird sense of humour......previous postings! [don't take it personally].

Peace Be With You


Hi, about responding to her diatribe — I felt that it was an opportunity to show and counter a zillion of the standard A.A. slogans and propaganda lines. She was just so insistantly declaring that A.A. saved millions, and that justifies everything. — Even as she also bragged that A.A. wasn't scientific or empirical and couldn't show any evidence of zillions saved.

Quite a show.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent 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.

[another letter from Micky:]

Date: Fri, June 2, 2006 13:57
From: "michael g."
Subject: Re: "Rageaholic" Woman In AA

Hi Orange

I wondered how you felt after her [Jenni J] onslaught. I imagine you would have felt some pain & shame. I can relate to "Jenni".....making the other person wrong, etc. I imagine by making you wrong she [Jenni] can feel :"better than"! What I have learned — it's not about being right or wrong but what feelings are triggered.

Hi again, Micky,

Yep, it's about feelings. But I don't feel "pain and shame" from such attacks. Maybe a little defensive, as I double-check myself to see if there is any truth in the attacks. But there generally isn't. Such people fly into a tizzy because they feel that their whole world is threatened. It's like their life is a house of cards and they see me about to knock out one of the bottom cards. So they react rather badly.

I imagine some of your postings [pro-AA] are not about you or AA but from the senders' childhood. I get a sense that whatever you say to an "AA Fundamentalist", would fall on deaf ears, anyway. Most AA's are terrified & if someone like you comes along & explains the truth to them, their reaction is going to be similar to "Jenni's".....terrified of being exposed as "frauds".


That is what intimacy is all about....."me being me & letting you see me" [feelings expressed]. Most AA' are so emotionally shut down & the Wilson/Smith "bullshit" keeps them shutdown & in their "heads".

Sadly, yeh.

I imagine that the AA's that do respond to you in a positive manner are the ones who intuitively know that something is not right [AA] & someone like you [Orange] comes along & gives them permission to question the "Guru" [Wilson].

Yeh, that's what I see too.

So keep up the good work.... you are a "gutsy" man & I "love" [platonic] you. I suppose I wondered how you dealt with your feelings.... I imagine you have support. I care about you.... society needs people like you. You are constantly in my prayers!

Peace Be With You Micky

Thanks for all of the compliments Micky. The way that I deal with most of those feelings is that I don't have them. That is, I don't feel wounded or injured when attacked by the Steppers who are going postal. ("Going Postal" is an American expression derived from the story of a mailman who went to the post office and shot up the place, including a bunch of his co-workers, because he was upset about something or other. It basically means "way over-reacting". Synonyms include "going ballistic" and "going non-linear".)

When I am attacked by such Steppers, I consider the source, and realize that they just can't handle the truth. It would undermine their whole philosophy and world view (German: Weltanschauung). Such attacks merely verify everything I've been saying about "Group-think" in the Cult Test.

What I really feel most of all is sadness that this is still the current state of the human race. If some little green men from Mars came to visit, I would have a really hard time explaining my species to them, other than to say that, "Look, you've got to understand that they are just a bunch of dumb cavemen. They aren't very smart, or very rational, sometimes. Give'em another two million years or so, and they might get better."

Oh well, have a good day anyway.


*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [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: Fri, June 2, 2006 08:45
From: "td."
Subject: AA Article

It is quite obvious that you do not have a clue as to what A.A. is all about.

A cult! Not likely. A cult usuall follows a single leader. There are no leaders in A.A.

Hello, TD,

There seems to be an echo in here. I just dealt with that one, here.

Lots of cults, including Scientology, the Hari Krishnas, and Alcoholics Anonymous, have dead leaders who are revered as holy men or saints or wise men or something extremely good.

In addition, The Charismatic Leader is only 1 of 100 cult characteristics that I have listed in my Cult Test. Most cults start off with a charismatic leader, but not all do.

The charismatic leader, by itself, does not define a group as a cult one way or the other. The whole of the USA was not a cult just because President John F. Kennedy was very charismatic and charming.

Each group is run independantly and each group decides by vote as to what type of meeting they will have. There is no specific God that is worshiped. If you choose a lightbulb to be your higher power so be it. That is between you and your light bulb. G.O.D. can stand for a Group Of Drunks, hardly a cultThere are more rules at a football game than at A.A. Iguess everyone who enjoys going to a Redsox game or a Football game are cultists. So are Catholics,Jews,Protistants,Hindues,Arabs,Budists Democrats,Republicans,Union Members P.T.O's ,Cub scouts etc. Get real your an idiot.

Baloney. A.A. is all standardized. You start the meeting by reading the same plastic-laminated dogma from pages 58 through 60 of the Big Book, including the Twelve Steps and The Twelve Traditions. And then you ask if there are any newcomers or people from out of town, and then you have some speaker who delivers some rap or other, after reading a quote from one of the holy books like "As Bill Sees It". Then people start "sharing" their stories, and then the basket is passed around for the Seventh Tradition. Then you give away some sobriety tokens. Then more sharing, and then you close the meeting by standing in a circle, holding hands and reciting the Lord's Prayer.

It's more standardized than a McDonald's franchise.

Now I know that you have a few variations on that formula, like Big Book Study Groups and such, but it is still all standardized.

As far as the judges sentencing all types of offenders to A.A. the one thing you seem to overlook is the common thread that a vast majority of those crimes where commited while the person was under the influence. Many people will due something under the influence that they would not do straight. It does not excuse it but if you take the boose out of the bad guy you take the bad guy out of society. Its that simple you dope. My brother spent 15 days inb jail for possesion of marijauna. If he did not smoke pot he would not have gone to jail.

You have completely missed the point that it is wrong, unConstitutional, to sentence somebody to a religion or religious service, no matter what they have done.

He told me that almost all of the people he spoke with in there did some thing wrong while under the influence and when they came to and found out what they had done they where just as horrified about their crime as the rest of us.

Welcome to reality. That still doesn't mean that it is okay to sentence people to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. How would you like it if the judge changed his mind and started sentencing everybody to Church of Scientology "auditing" sessions instead?

Addiction is a disease.A.A. is the medicine that can cure the disease if it is taken. Would you call people that recieve chemotherapy for cancer cultists?.... I bet you would.

Excuse me, but if alcoholism is a real disease, then real doctors should treat it and cure it, just like they do with cancer, diabetes, and heart attacks.

A.A. has no qualifications for treating diseases. You guys are not doctors. You haven't gone to medical school.

Where do you get off defining the "disease of alcoholism" and then claiming that only you are qualified to treat the disease?

When did God appoint you the Surgeon General? Why are you entitled to practice medicine without a license?

By the way, alcoholism is not a disease. It is compulsive behavior — basically one very big, very bad habit. It can be a horrible addiction, and addicts can be deathly ill, but "alcoholism" is still not a disease.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   How many diseases does modern medicine treat
**   with a "spiritual cure"?
**   If you get cancer, does the doctor tell you
**   to join the Pentecostals and speak in tongues?
**   If you get diabetes, is the fix to join the
**   Mormons and eat chocolate cakes?
**   So why, if you get "alcoholism", should you join
**   Alcoholics Anonymous and conduct seances to
**   hear the voice of God giving you work orders?

From: "Michael M., USAR"
Subject: sidebar questions
Date: Fri, June 2, 2006 10:06

I am trying to read as much info on your site before submitting a question.

But this one just sprung up. What is the possibility that Bill Wilson was on Buchman's payroll somewhere, to implement AA as a vehicle to help recruit members for the dying Oxford group? I would imagine Frank may have had some spare change lying around for that. Lois, if I am not mistaken, was a strong advocate. Maybe the MRA gave them a small stipend to keep them remaining loyal to its principles?

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the letter and the questions.

On this one, there is little doubt that the Oxford Group didn't like Bill Wilson, and they wanted him gone. He was committing the most unforgiveable sin that someone can commit in a cult — he was setting himself up as the leader of a sub-sect who was in competition with the cult leader. That's really the ultimate no-no.

And then Bill Wilson insisted on dragging in a lot of ragged down-and-out alcoholics. Frank Buchman preferred the company of princes and millionaires. One of Rev. Shoemaker's assistants gave a Sunday morning sermon on the subject of Bill's "Alcoholic Squadron", denouncing "the divergent work of this secret group".

They just really didn't like Bill's style, so they slandered and 'bad-vibed' him out the door.

Bill's continuing to promote the beliefs of Buchmanism seems to be that he just believed in it, calling it "the spiritual principles", as if they were simply the only ones. It might also be that Bill just didn't have anything else to sell.

Buchman looks like he could have been a child molester, he seems to fit the profile and back then molesters weren't persecuted as heavily as today.

I won't argue with that. I often think he looked pretty creepy. There isn't any documentation or evidence on the child molester charge, though. There is just a vague suspicion, like why did he leave Hartford Seminary so suddenly after he was ordered to move out of the boys' dorm? What was he doing sleeping in the boys' dorm in the first place? He was 38 years old!

a sidebar- What about Lt./Capt.(?) Wilson during his years in WW I? There was a giant downsizing of troops then, but what about his military records, I would guess it was honorable? What kind of leader was he? Who were his troops that he led; and what do they have to say about his character? It seems that his history during the war was a giant vacuum. Normal people would have enlightening stories abounding with experiences.

You are going to love this: It is hilarious. The reason why they don't talk much about Bill's war record is because he didn't have one. Bill lucked out and never saw combat. He never fired a single shot, or ducked a single bullet. He got into the war late, and when his unit got to Great Britain, they were stalled there for months by an outbreak of the Spanish Influenza in France. That gave Bill the time to go exploring England and to have a "spiritual experience" in Winchester Cathedral. By the time they got to France, the war only lasted for two more weeks. Even luckier, Wilson was stationed in a small mountain town far from the front. Bill stayed there for a few months after the armistice, and then went home.

Now here's the fun part: For Bill, the most exciting part of the war was when Lt. Wilson pulled out his pistol and pointed it at his own men and demanded that they obey his orders.

What happened was, they were on the troop ship sailing from the USA to Great Britain, and one night, when they were approaching England, there was the sound of a terrible explosion, and the ship was rocked by the blast. Bill and his men were below decks in their bunks when it happened. The men believed that the ship had been torpedoed by a German U-boat, so they immediately headed for the deck. Bill stopped them. They wanted to head for the lifeboats, but Bill pulled out his pistol and aimed it at them and threatened to shoot them if they didn't obey his orders. So Bill kept them just waiting down in the bottom of the ship.

After a while it became obvious that the ship wasn't sinking. Later, they would learn that the Navy thought they saw a German U-boat, so they tossed a depth charge real close to Bill's ship. That was the bang.

Bill Wilson felt that he had passed the test of war by remaining cool while his men were "panicking".

It is amusing to read the various biographies of Bill Wilson, and see how different authors handled and glorified this incident.

First, here is Robert Thomsen:

...there was a crash so overwhelming that it toppled a small table and sent its contents flying to the floor. For a moment Bill stood staring stupidly at the table; he felt a wave of nausea sweep over him. In another second every man was awake, out of his bunk, racing for the stairs. But Bill's pistol was drawn, and he was barking orders. And there was no doubt in any of their minds that he meant them. If they moved, if they dared take one more step, his pistol would be used. They waited, all eyes staring up at him, but there was no second crash, only the sound of the motors as the Lancaster moved steadily ahead. Later, they found out that a destroyer sailing very close at their side had spotted a sub and dropped an "ashcan" off her stern, and the crash of the impact so close to the Lancaster's hull had given every indication of a direct hit.
      When finally Bill was relieved of his watch and had crawled up the hatchway and out onto the deck, the sky was growing brighter in the east... ...the dot ahead was land. ... A British blimp was coming out to meet them. ... They had made it. ... But more, much more than this, he had come through the night, faced terror and escaped humiliation. There'd been no panic on his deck because he had been there, and as he stood watching the blimp's approach he felt more complete in himself than ever before.
Bill W., Robert Thomsen, pages 116-117.

Umm, pardon a stupid question, but if you think that your ship has been torpedoed, why would you just sit and wait for a second crash? Waiting for the U-boat to torpedo you again?

Here is the Hazelden Foundation staff, ghost-writing Bill Wilson's "autobiography" for him:

...I was musing away when suddenly there was an ear-shattering crash. Thinking about it afterward, it reminded me of the time I stuck my head inside the old church bell, and a kid pounded the bell with a rock. It was utterly shattering, and the ship trembled and shook, and I thought to myself, "This is it." Then a rush from the bunks started. Sleeping men making for the hatchways. And I found I had to offer to shoot them to stop it. And the minute I drew my gun and quieted those people down, although we all thought our number was up and not a chance, another tremendous spiritual experience, this wave of complete confidence and exaltation. The feeling, "Well, you aren't yellow after all."
Bill W., My First 40 Years, "Bill Wilson", pages 47-48.

Francis Hartigan's treatment of the incident can only be called a gloss-over:

      Bill had trained for war, but he had been fearful of what he would do when confronted with the "real thing." When an explosion rocked the British ship carrying him and his men to England, he discovered that his leadership ability extended beyond the parade grounds. Instinctively, he took charge and said the right things. His calm but firm orders quelled the panic and stopped his men from stampeding dangerously toward the stairway leading up to the deck. They thought they were under attack by German U-boats, but it was only a depth charge dropped by a passing destroyer that exploded near their ship. This event, and an artillery exercise that sent a shell nearly on top of his position, was the closest Bill came to combat.
Bill W., A Biography of Alcoholics Anonymous Cofounder Bill Wilson, Francis Hartigan, page 28.

Bill's rank was Second Lieutenant. He said that he was supposed to get a promotion but "my promotion got lost in the mails somehow and it didn't show up." (p.40, My First 40 Years)

I read in one account that Bill was supposedly liked and respected by his men and that they bought him some kind of going-away present at the end of the war, but I can't find anything about that in the three biographies I have on hand.

(I may be highly prejudiced, but I can't see myself liking a lieutenant who threatened to either shoot or drown me.)

Also, I forwarded your site to my "sponsor" of 15 years, who compared you to the likes of the UniBomber!!!


Now that's funny, because if he saw me, he would be even more likely to think that. I also have long hair and a fuzzy beard. No cabin in the woods with bombs, though.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Donald Rumsfeld: "If I were grading, I would say
**  we probably deserve a D or D+ as a country."
**    (TIME, Apr 3-9, 2006)
**  Excuse me Rummy, but the failure is yours,
**  not America's, and yes, this test counts.

Date: Fri, June 2, 2006 10:39
From: "James G."
Subject: Check this out


I am liking this — is America waking up?

Thanks for posting my letters and I loved the pics.

Kind regards,

J a m e s G

Hi James,

Thanks for the reference. I always liked Dr. Jeffrey Schaler. He speaks truth.

I just added that link to the links page. The Talbott story is one of the more outrageous pieces of malpsychia and malpractice in the so-called "recovery industry" lately, right down there with the Straights.

But I don't know if America is waking up. Maybe very very slowly...

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*                  Agent Orange               *
*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** Self-appointed do-gooders arrogantly imagine that they
** have some God-given right to tell others what they should
** or shouldn't think, and how they should or shouldn't live.

PS: Oh, and aren't those goslings just the cutest little fuzz-balls?

Here is another family with 5 goslings, about 5 weeks old, beginning to get feathers:

The mama Mallard Duck has trouble squeezing in there, but I make sure that she gets some bread too.

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Last updated 11 January 2015.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters51.html