A series of pages about Substance Misuse Recovery Programs, Real Recovery. and Analysis of Alcoholics Anonymous.
An Online Book by "Orange"

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance — that principle is contempt prior to investigation."


The above famous misquote1 was put in the Big Book by William G. Wilson, in Appendix II, "Spiritual Experience", in the back of the second and third editions. Bill Wilson was trying to imply that we should not dismiss his "spiritual cure for alcoholism" without first trying it.

That is curious, because in 1864 Herbert Spencer was actually arguing against fundamentalist religious beliefs and dogmatic blind faith, and in favor of Charles Darwin's new theory of evolution.

Nevertheless, that quote sounds like good advice. So let's really, honestly, investigate Alcoholics Anonymous, without rejecting criticism of A.A. before investigation of all of the facts...

What is the REAL A.A. success rate?

Out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A., how many will pick up a one-year sobriety medallion a year later? Or ever?
And how many will get their 2-year, and 5-year, and 10-year coins?
How about 11 years and 21 years?

HINT: the answers are here and here and here.

An update for 2024: NA World Services has released keytag distribution statistics in their Annual Reports since 2018 (available HERE.) One in five people are still in NA after one year. Half of them are out by the 90 day mark.

The four years of data available for NA show that 10% make it to one year, 5% make it to two years, and that every year there is as much as a 20% reduction in the number of people either picking up a chip/keytag or buying the "NA basic text." (1,200,000 in 2018 is down to 600,000 in 2022.) So not only are the newcomers not making it to one year - They're also not returning. They are dying, going it alone, relapsing, looking for help elsewhere, or not coming back for another "white keytag" again.

* The blue line in the 2022 report representing "Chips" is mainly from the Iran NA fellowship according to the 2022 annual report. These groups have issues ordering keytags or books due to sanctions and the annual report itself explains that the one-in-seven figure is abnormally high for 2022 after switching from "keytags" to "chips."

This mirror of the Orange Papers has no affiliation with the original author, nor with various discussion groups , chatrooms , or other forms of "social media" that are named after the Orange Papers. If/when the original Orange Papers website is restored to a working state, this site will be redirected there.


Pro-A.A. Propaganda, analyzed:

  1. A.A.-Booster Pseudo-Science: Spirituality: The key to recovery from alcoholism
  2. More A.A.-Booster Pseudo-Science: The Spiritual Dimension of Healing
  3. More Big Lies — A.A. Propaganda As Usual
  4. More A.A.-Booster Propaganda: the book Cults: Faith, Healing, and Coercion, by Marc Galanter
  5. Five more fake-science AA-booster papers
  6. More A.A.-Booster Propaganda: The Cybernetics of Self
  7. The International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction totally discredited the faked Humphries-Moos study that supposedly showed that A.A. works better than Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
  8. More pseudo-science and deceptions: Lee Ann Kaskutas, "Alcoholics Anonymous Effectiveness: Faith Meets Science".
  9. Dr. Harry Tiebout: The First Fascist Mad Scientist of A.A.
  10. Answer to a George Vaillant Speech
  11. The Recovery Propaganda Machine, part 7
  12. A reply to Kris Best's articles in the Lafayette Examiner

Letters, We Get Lots of Mail...

Auxillary and Supporting Documents

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Now you can see what was
Censored by Yahoo!

This web site, all of these pages and all of this information was suddenly totally erased without prior warning or notice, or explanation, on Sunday, April 20, 2003, by Geocities.Yahoo.Com, whose friendly staff didn't seem to like something that I said. They wouldn't say what it was that they were censoring. Read the story here.

Join the Blue Ribbon Online Free Speech Campaign
Join the Blue Ribbon Online Free Speech Campaign!
The censors and the book-burners are at it again.
Now my email is

Blocked by AOL!

Wednesday morning, December 28, 2005, I answered an email from somebody on AOL, and it immediately bounced back to me with a big hairy error message.

I investigated and found that AOL had blocked my email account and IP number because somebody complained about my web site. Read the story here.

And, if you are on AOL, you can help out by sending a letter of protest to the [email protected]

It's fixed! AOL silently removed the blocks, without a word of explanation or apology. Thanks to all of the people who wrote in support of this web site.


1) Michael has done a lot of research on that quote, and he found that it actually came from William Paley, not Herbert Spencer. See Michael's paper here:

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Copyright 2016 asserted by A. Orange on [Mirror on the Wayback Machine establishing asserted copyright]

This mirror of the Orange Papers has no affiliation with the original author, nor with various discussion groups , chatrooms , or other forms of "social media" that are named after the Orange Papers.

There is another IPFS based mirror at which, for better or worse, I will never be able to fix edit or take down. Happily enough, neither will anybody else. Anyone can "pin" and host a copy of that page and make sure it never goes away.

Facebook groups you can ask to join are "Deprogramming from AA or any 12 step group", LEAVING AA, and Make AA Safer activism.

Visit leaving AA:

This mirror is hosted by, an "orange-pilled" 12 step failure of a so called na group that probably killed injured and harmed more people than it ever "helped"