Letters, We Get Mail, CIV

Date: Sat, March 14, 2009 9:39 am     (answered 28 March)
From: "Danny B."
Subject: short letter to Mr Orange...

You can write what you like, Mr Orange....

But you cannot ever write anything which changes the absolute fact that everyday AA is helping to improve the lives of lots, and lots, and lots, of people from all over the world and from all walks of life... And hopefully, always will.

It obviously did not work for you, and unfortunately, it is true to say it doesn't work for everyone... I'm sure there are vast number's of reason's for this and I will not pretend to be intelliegent enough to know, or comprehend them all (or even a small proportion of them... ) Or, be self-righteous enough to claim that my way (the "AA way") is the only way, or even the best way... If you, or anyone else, finds something else that work's better for you... Then a sincere best wishes and goodluck to you.

All I do know is it is an absolute fact that AA does indeed work for lots, and lots, and lots, of people from all over the world and from all walks of life... And hopefully, always will.



Hello Danny,

The simple answer is that A.A. does not work to make alcoholics quit drinking. Period.

Bill Wilson was just lying to get people to join his organization when he wrote on page 58 of the Big Book, "RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail..."

Now if you think that A.A. works, then please answer these simple questions about how well it works:

What is the real A.A. success rate?
Out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A., how many of them will pick up:
  • a one-year coin for sobriety?
  • a five-year coin?
  • a ten-year coin for sobriety?
  • How about the 11-year coin? What percentage of the newcomers will eventually get an 11-year coin?

Not very many, right?

And that is all that you need to know about how much A.A. helps alcoholics.

Hint: the answers are here.

By the way, in 7 years of me asking those questions, I have not ever had one A.A. member answer those questions honestly. Not one. Not ever. That says something about the "rigorous honesty" of the A.A. "manner of living".

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

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

Date: Sat, March 14, 2009 12:45 pm     (answered 29 March)
From: "Paul L."
Subject: Lovely research!


I just wanted to drop you a note about the Orange Papers. I very much enjoy reading the facts you present. I earlier this year (10 months ago) attended AA meetings for around three months.

Meeting one: I mentioned that I was leary about coming due to the religious factor, that seemed so prominent on the web site. I was quickly ambushed at the end of the meeting by four "older" members to ensure me that religion had nothing to do with it!

Meeting three: was asked why I didn't attend the meeting the night before. I simply said, " I was busy." They responded, "Busy doing what?.... getting drunk!" Followed by sarcastic snickering.

Meeting four and beyond: Consistently made to feel guilty because I was not trying hard enough to find my higher power. Invited on a weekend camping trip with ten other members (I didn't even know these people). Started to notice the glazed over eyes of members of more than a year. Subtle comments made during "sharing" to expose my unwillingness to surrender myself to a "higher power", and believing I could quit drinking on my own. Started to notice the members bet. 19 and 25 getting too involved in the group and forgetting that they are only 19 — 25 years old, they have yet to live! They are also convinced that they need AA to stay sober. But that's because they have given up on themselves and are totally dependent upon the group meetings to live.

My work began to suffer more than when I was drinking. I actually got fired within two months of being sober. Prior to that I always did an excellent job, I was just hungover. The twelve steps and brain washing made me complacent. I witness this in two people I work with now! They are both AA's and have been "sober — so they say" for seven years. Both are irritating to work with because they don't let mistakes bother them enough to even try and correct. They live only for the day they are working and are selfish employees. They talk a good game, but most definitely are the least favorite in the kitchen. (I am a chef).

I could go on... but you have hit the nail on the head. The thing that made me really stop, was this: My sponsor invited me golfing to his club. He made me pay for everything myself, and proceeded to make fun of my golf clubs. He was the anti-thesis of what the program is supposed to be about. He was 10 years sober!

Since I have stopped AA meetings, I don't even think about drinking. I just don't. Going to meetings everynight. And it is true they want you to go every night in your first year! F-off!, I was constantly thinking about booze. I was getting pissed off that I couldn't have any. But it was all the talk about booze.

I only pray now for the poor young souls lost in AA. It would be interesting to find the stats out on what happens to people who enter AA as a teen and continue, and those that leave, and those that were heavy drinkers but never went to a meeting, but managed to quit with the help of friends and family! I have a very good picture what has happend to those who stayed.

I do credit AA with getting me off the juice, but I credit myself for staying off the juice. This is the longest I have ever gone since I was 15 years old without alcohol. I don't pass the buck on to a mythological higher power, I pass the buck to no one but myself!.

Thanks for a good read,

Paul L. LOL

PS. The funniest thing is the e-mail's I get from the group. So much for anonymity — everyones e-mail address was in plain sight for everyone to see, including mine that is my name. I let them know this, and all I got in return was — did you ask for your e-mail to not be seen? I answered yes, what don't you understand about the word anonymous!

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the letter. Your observations are verified by many others. The thing about meetings making you want to drink really stood out. I have felt the same thing, and other people have reported it too. I'd be fine before I went to a meeting, but came out of the meeting wanting a drink. It's easier to stay sober by not going to meetings.

And it really would be interesting to see the stats of kids who joined A.A. as teenagers, but I don't have any source of such numbers.

And about giving A.A. credit for getting you off of booze, I would question that. You wouldn't have quit if you hadn't wanted to quit, and A.A. didn't make you want to quit, did it? You wanted to quit, and you decided to quit, so you both quit and went to some A.A. meetings where they sneered at you.

Have a good day.

== 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

From: "Dan A."
Subject: Greetings!!!
Date: Sat, March 14, 2009 1:43 pm     (answered 29 March)

Dear Agent Orange,

My friend and I co-host a show on www.blogtalkradio.com called "Shattering the Myth" and the purpose of the show is to debunk the lies and myths that human ego has injected into "the program" and to expose the inconsistencies that the tenets of AA are based on.

We discovered your website a long time ago, but would like to reference some of your material (particularly the cult section) in an upcoming show, and wish to ask you if you would support our use of your material as long as we are careful to mention the website and give the proper credit. We'd also like to invite you to listen in to the show if you are so inclined; you could also listen at another time as the show is recorded and posted to the www.blogtalkradio.com website after each episode. Here's a link to the show:

In any case, thank you for your amazing website, the amount of research you put into it, and the clarity of your arguments. We are both intrigued by your findings and I am regular visitor to your site.

Best regards,

Dan A.

Hi Dan,

Yes, of course. Use all of the material you want. The more people who are getting the information out there, the better.

Good luck with your show. And have a good day.

== Orange

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

From: "Marty E."
Subject: Up With People
Date: Sun, March 15, 2009 1:11 am     (answered 29 March)

Wow. I just read your orange paper on "Up WIth People" and it left me wondering what on earth they did to you. I know the origins of the group were with Moral Rearmament but I also know it very quickly transformed to be something very different by the early 70's. I traveled with Up WIth People in 1973 and I have absolutely no idea what MRA even IS. WHen I traveled, we were by definition not politically or religiously affiliated — it was an international non- religious group. (No one was against the Vietnam war more than I or most of my friends in the group. If being in the group meant supporting the war, we wouldn't have had a cast.) Those "segregated" (male/female) busrides were long gone, and the cast members had no shorter hair than anyone else of the time.

Hello Marty,

Thanks for the letter.

Your ignorance of the real roots of UWP does not change the facts.
It's good that you were against the war in the seventies. When UWP went on national TV in the sixties, they were very pro-war, and had an act that made fun of the anti-war hippies. And they had lots of flag-waving "super-patriotic" skits. My parents cheered. Of course, my father was a lifer career sergeant in the Air Force, and very pro-war.

If you were in MRA in 1973, perhaps you knew Dr. Morris Martin, who was with the show until 1973 as a full-time teacher. Dr. Martin was Dr. Frank Buchman's personal secretary, and also, surviving MRA members have said, Frank Buchman's gay lover. And you think you weren't getting taught the Oxford Group—MRA philosophy?

Frank Buchman and his crew camping out at the DuPont family mansion in Florida, the winter of 1943.
Left to right: Ray Foote Purdy, Loring Swaim Jr., Dr. Morris Martin (standing), Frank Buchman (seated), hidden and unknown woman (seated), Signe Lund (seated), Dubois Morris and Bob Young (standing).
Preview Of A New World; How Frank Buchman Helped his country Move from isolation To world responsibility; USA 1939-1946, Arthur Strong, page 109.

Morris Martin was one of the British draft dodgers who found that practicing Buchmanism while living in millionaire's mansions in the USA was a lot more fun than serving in the British Army and camping in the mud and snow.

I currently work in the film business and have worked with incredible folks — Shirley MacLaine, Elizabeth Taylor, Milton Berle, Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton, Morgan Freeman, etc. etc. etc. And STILL, 35 years later, that year with Up WIth People was the most amazing year of my life — and the people I met will always be my closest friends and we'd do anything for each other. I joined Up With People because at 18, I "wanted to give a year of my life to the people I met." Sound corny? Sure. But the 60's were pretty crappy. A lot of bad shit was going on and in the days of protests, we wanted to do our little part to help folks in the world get along.

So how does a song-and-dance troup that promotes the Moral Re-Armament agenda "help folks in the world get along"? There is that MRA—UWP grandiosity again. They constantly claimed to be "Remaking The World" by doing one song-and-dance show after another.

Speaking of film people, did you know that someone just made a movie about UWP? It's called "Smile Until It Hurts". Look for it.

Glenn Close, who was also in the UWP cast, didn't want to appear in the movie, because she dismissed UWP as just so much youthful foolishness.

I've always believed that prejudice and hate form out of ignorance and intolerance for another — it's through knowing a person that those walls break down. We had a cast made up of people from all over the globe, and we lived with families everywhere we went. And people in other countries who had never see Black people or American Indians, etc. got to know people who were different from them. We were able to show that 165 people from different backgrounds, religions and nationalities could live and work and perform together for a year, providing an example to others in countries we visited. Did everybody get along all the time? Of course not. But we learned how to work it out.

It's nice that UWP allowed token Negros and token Indians into the cast. Frank Buchman always had the philosophy that everybody in the world should be the slave of his fascist God, regardless of their race, creed, color, religion, or country of national origin.

I can honestly tell you that my cast was never pounded with "moral" crap or political garbage. Our only goal was to get to know the people of the countries we visited and be a positive example of what the world could be if everybody just gives each other a chance. Not only did we get immersed in the cultures of the places we visited, we got to know and live with people there and get to know what they thought, see things from their perspective, and get an education unequaled to all my years in college put together. In addition to performing our show, we worked in the communities and got to experience things most people don't experience in a lifetime — Astronaut Eugene Cernan showed us around NASA, I watched Dr. Debakey perform an open heart surgery, I learned sign language from kids at a deaf school. It saddens me to see folks make fun of something that was the most positive experience of my life. Moral Armament sounds funky as hell — no way would I have joined UWP if that was still the driving force in '73. I hate to think that folks still hold MRA against UWP since it hasn't had anything to do with MRA for 40 years. And the Orange Papers make it seem like that's still what UWP is all about.

Just my dos pesos.

Marty E.

Okay, Marty. You have had your say. The fact remains that UWP was a just another front for MRA, and just another part of its publicity machine. UWP was created by and controlled by MRA. And UWP was financed by major corporations that profitted from the Vietnam War.

The fact that you really enjoyed traveling around with the UWP show doesn't change the fact that the goal of the organization was to promote Frank Buchman's philosophy.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "I thank Heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler, who built a
**    front line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism."
**    == Dr. Frank Buchman, founder and leader of the
**       Oxford Group and Moral Re-Armament, August 26, 1936.

Date: Sat, March 14, 2009 9:43 pm     (answered 29 March)
From: "Matthew D."
Subject: Enjoy your site overall

I like your website and what it does to tell the truth about AA. You do a better job than most sites I have seen.

One aspect that I would like to comment on is the incessant references to the W administration. I am not a fan of the Bush administration and what they have done to increase/abuse executive power in this country but it really feels like the reader of your site is getting beat over the head with your politics. This is especially true in the propaganda/debating techniques section. I know you spent a lot of time on your work, and it shows but some of the political correlations seem lazy.

I think it distracts from the main idea of the site, which is to expose AA and all of their nonsense. Why drag politics into this and attenuate your well thought out points? Plus, I think we need to get as many people into the anti-AA fold, conservatives or not.

Regards, Matt

Hello Matt,

Thanks for the compliments, and the problem is solved. G. W. Bush is gone, and all of the political cartoonists are hurting for material now.

The reason that I have mentioned political things in the past is because I cannot compartmentalize the world and restrict my interests to just one area and say, "I will care about this issue, but I won't care about that." I care about both 100,000 Americans dying of alcoholism, and 100,000 innocent Iraqis dying in a needless war. As far as I'm concerned, there are no "outside issues". It's all the real world, and we are in it.

But I won't flog a dead horse, so I don't think there will be many more mentions of what's-his-name.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The greatest of mankind's criminals are those who delude themselves
**     into thinking that they have done 'the right thing.'
**          ==    Rayna Butler

Date: Mon, December 29, 2008 1:29 pm     (answered 29 March 2009)
From: "Andrew W."
Subject: AA / 12 step fallacy in the media outside of the US


The rather long subject header just refers to a TV I just watched in England about 'who was the greatest TV detective?', starting with Sherlock Holmes and onwards. Anyway one of the most significant serious crime detective series was called 'Prime Suspect' which starred Helen Mirren and was very hard-hitting. I didn't remember this at the time but a sub-plot was that she was progressively suffering from a drink problem, which the show's narrator proudly announced 'maybe she'll go to AA' or words to that effect. Hmmm. Sorry to be the bearer of such depressing info but it appears the stranglehold of the 12 steps and AA in particular are not just confined to TV writers on your side of the pond.

Regards Andrew

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the letter. Somehow, it doesn't surprise me. Constantly proselytizing is a standard cult feature. They aren't happy if they aren't making converts.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   The A.A. Plan: "Search out another alcoholic and
**   try again. You are sure to find someone desperate
**   enough to accept with eagerness what you offer."
**   (The Big Book, page 96.)

Date: Fri, December 26, 2008 8:36 am     (answered 29 March)
From: "Jim O."

I would love to know your story. Anyone with that much hatred fostered by self righteous "knowitallism "must be in enormous inner pain and narcissistic as well. Perhaps you should address what might be wrong with YOU instead of me. I'm a useful and productive happy member of my community and family today as a direct result of the AA program and its SUGGESTIONS. I am not a cult member but call it what you like.Today I can be of service to those around me and love you as well. May I have that right.

Not really wanting to dig deeply into your babbling am I correct in assuming you are atheist? Sounds like you definitely need a drink... I don't.

Jim O.

Hello Jim,

I criticize Alcoholics Anonymous because it is a fraud that harms more alcoholics than it saves.

I haven't had a drink in 8 years and I'm doing just fine, thank you.

Since you imagine that A.A. works, please answer these simple questions:

"What is the actual A.A. success rate?
Out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A.,
  1. How many of them finally pick up a one-year coin?
  2. A five-year coin?
  3. A ten-year coin?
  4. A fifteen-year coin?
  5. A twenty-year coin?"

(HINT: the answers are here.

Have a good day.

By the way, it is actually none of your business, but anyway, I am not an atheist. I am simply opposed to harmful cult religions.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism,
**    but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling."
**    == Dr. George E. Vaillant, currently a member of the A.A. Board of
**    Trustees, describing the treatment of alcoholism with Alcoholics
**    Anonymous, in The Natural History of Alcoholism: Causes, Patterns,
**    and Paths to Recovery, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA,
**    1983, pages 283-286.

Date: Fri, December 26, 2008 8:44 am     (answered 29 March 2009)
From: "Kevin G."
Subject: The Twelve Biggest Lies of A.A.

You are obviously not an alcoholic. And it is apparent that you are a Perfect Person who knows all, and have the power to judge others. Congratulations.

I myself, Prefer to be judged by a higher authority than you and your rhetoric.

So, I guess that over a half a billion AA Members worldwide who have been helped by this program is not enough proof for you that it can and will work, if you seek it.

The "Dry Drunk" that you mention, sounds like yourself.

I hope that you can find a Higher Power, other than yourself for your sake.

Vermont, USA

Hello Kevin,

Wow, the grandiose exaggeration keeps getting bigger and bigger. Half a billion A.A. success stories is the biggest number that any A.A. member has ever bragged to me.

If that number was really true, then there should not be very many alcoholics left in the whole world.

Obviously, that isn't the case.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   "You have no conception these days of how much failure we had.
**   You had to cull over hundreds of these drunks to get a handful
**   to take the bait."
**   Bill Wilson, at the memorial service for Dr. Bob, Nov. 15, 1952;
**   file available here.

From: ksrmk
Subject: hi orange
Date: Fri, December 26, 2008 8:49 am     (answered 29 March 2009)

Hey Orange,

Stumbled across your website while trying to do a google search.

Wow — you really have a huge issue with AA. I am curious why that is so. You probably have posted your reasons on your site, but I have not read everything on there.

Hello Ksmrk,

The simple answer to your curious question is, "Because A.A. does not work, and harms more alcoholics than it helps."

Read the file on The Effectiveness of the 12-Step Treatment for much more on that subject.

I am sure you get a ton of hate emails from AA members who jealously guard their association with AA.


Just wanted to let you know that I am sober for 9 months now (and reasonably sane) and AA has worked for me where nothing else has. I have come across many people who are able to take what they need and leave the rest. I agree with most of what AA offers and professes — some precepts more strongly than others. BUT... I am sober and it is because of AA.

Congratulations on your 9 months. Hopefully, it's a year by now.

Remember that it is easy to Confuse Correlation with Causation. Just because something happens in the vicinity of something else does not mean that one thing caused the other.

My wish for any alcoholic is that they are able to find what works for them... AA or whatever. I am happy that I found what works for me. Honestly, if you site works for some/many I am happy to hear it!

I wish the best for alcoholics too. That's why I tell the truth about the various "treatments" or "solutions" for alcohol abuse or addiction problems. And I recommend any and all things that work better than Alcoholics Anonymous.

This addiction sucks, and I would not begrudge anyone relief from alcoholism just because they do not seek the same remedy that I do.

I don't begrudge anyone relief either. I just warn them about what does not work, and about the people who will lie to them and tell them that quackery and cult religion really works best of all. Oh, and I also warn them about the criminals who will rob or rape them.

Hope all is well — ...

Yes, all is well, thank you. And I hope you are well too.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   The way to love everything is to realize that it
**   might be lost.

May 24, 2008: Still in the park, Day 7.

Canada Goose goslings

[The story of the goslings continues here.]

Date: Sat, December 27, 2008 12:14 pm     (answered 30 March 2009)
From: "David B."
Subject: Website

Great job — thanks.

Hi David,

Thanks for the thanks.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   "The economy as a whole is doing well."
**       — What a smiley-faced government talking head said in 2008.
**   "The economy is a hole going to Hell."
**       — What my cynical mind heard.

Date: Sat, December 27, 2008 5:09 pm     (answered 30 March 2009)
From: "Kate S."
Subject: It works !

Hi Orange,

The reality is that AA has worked for many people where nothing else has. Something like that can't be 'bagged' altogether.

AA does offer a fairly common-sense spiritual solution which people can adapt for themselves. It is not prescriptive. "God" is something for the individual to understand/define for himself.

AA also offers a community, something which is fairly essential for most people to function happily in any society.

AA doesn't cost much to operate and is self-supporting, an admirable thing.

AA also works by attaction. It doesn't proselytise or inflict itself on those who don't want it. Some individuals might in their misguided understanding of the AA principles but the organisation itself doesn't espouse this kind of conduct. AA works on the basis of consent and free will to participate in the Fellowship. People participate because they choose to and the sobriety and support they therefore gain is of huge individual and social benefit.

With regard to some of your comments about smoking, well smoking wasn't really recognised as a major health problem until the last 1970's and 1980's. Smoking doesn't have such an immediately deleterious effect as too much alcohol, so this is understandable. AA focused on alcoholism because that was the MAIN problem and one that had to be tackled before anything else.

Many people these days who get free of alcohol go on to deal with other addictions such as nicotine or other drugs, or other compulsive behaviours such as gambling.

We understand addiction/compulsion differently in this day and age but that doesn't stop the AA program from working. In fact I believe that Bill Wilson and his colleagues at the time AA commenced showed a highly intuitive but accurate understanding of addiction — physical, mental and spiritual.

So, it works and harms none. People can make their own choices about attending, using the 12 Steps.

Best wishes ~


Hello Kate,

You are once again repeating the standard A.A. package of propaganda and misinformation.

  1. A.A. does not work. It is a complete and total failure that just

  2. A.A. does recruit aggressively and deceptively, and even coercively. A.A. is most assuredly not a program of "attraction, not promotion".

  3. Your minimization and denial of the issue of tobacco is revealing. The harmful effects of tobacco were actually well known a long time ago. Mark Twain complained about how his doctor gave him a hard time about smoking too much, and demanded that he cut down. It isn't like it's a recent medical discovery and neither Bill Wilson nor God could have known how bad tobacco is.

    And tobacco kills about four times as many Americans as alcohol, every year, so it is hardly a minor "outside issue".

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  ...when they used to tell me I would shorten my life ten years by smoking,
**  they little knew the devotee they were wasting their puerile word upon
**  — they little knew how trivial and valueless I would regard a decade
**  that had no smoking in it!
**     ==  Mark Twain, in a letter to Joseph Twichell, 19 Dec 1870

Date: Sun, December 28, 2008 7:58 am
From: "mohan b."
Subject: NA's boot camps in india.

Dear orange,

I could not beleive this wonderfull site. This gave me a lot of insights and darker sides of AA and NA . I would like to introduce my self as a drug user from chennai in india. I have an organization called IVDU inner voice of drug users, we fight for the rights of drug users and abuse the drug users going through american policy propaganda.

Of lately i heard that local NA members were planning to lobby a ruling party's politician. This is a good eye opener for us, we can argue on why the govt should help such organizations. There are a number of rehablitation centres or simply drug rehabs run by these AA and NA members.

i can get some stuff on the abuses from here would you be interested to have it on your web site or if there is some thing like orange papers for NA please guide me so that these dirty people who call themselves clean can be exposed.

Thank you,
Regards and Respect,

Hello Mohan,

Thank you for the letter.

Yes, I am definitely interested in hearing what is happening with AA/NA in India. Like Scientology, the 12-Step scam is a world-wide cult.

Have a good day.

== Orange

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

Date: Tue, December 30, 2008 7:39 am     (answered 30 March 2009)
From: "mohan b."
Subject: Re: NA's boot camps in india.

Dear orange,

Thanks a lot, i am one of the guy directly affected by the 12 steps group called NA. Over here these guys wreck havoc amongst the drug users and alcoholics in the treatment industry. Out here there are no regulations. any one can register and open a treatment centre. this is where all the atrocities happen there are people who lost lives because of the inhumane and negligence, these so called therapeutic communities are the AA and NA.

There is also a court case proceeding going on on a NA member, who owns a rehab called sumana good will home, One guy died of burns, no one knows what happened, actually on the day the patient was burnt, he had his family there to see him in the rehab, but the rehab staff did not allow the family to see the patient. the family didn't know that their loved one is suffering with pain of burn injuries. They sent the family away telling that the patient is unconscious.

But the truth came out when the patient died. Autopsy report says that the burns occurred much before the rehab staff claimed. So the family registered a complaint and a case was lodged. We are following it.

These guys believe in tough love and in the name of tough love, there are multiple horror stories. i myself have been in a rehab like that run by a church priest named Father Rev. Desmond daniels. i have been through hell. I have to stop this orange. I will do it with our Registered Non-profit.

Regards and Respect,

Hello again, Mohan,

Thanks for the letter. Sorry to take so long to answer it; I'm backlogged on email.

Good luck on your project, and please keep me posted.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Gandhi: "Whenever I despair, I remember that the way of truth
**  and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers,
**  and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they
**  always fail. Think of it: always."

Date: Sat, December 20, 2008 1:56 pm
From: "William D."
Subject: real Love

Sure reads like a resentment.

William D.
The Clifton Clinic

From: "Jane"
Subject: Love your web site
Date: Sat, December 27, 2008 6:46 pm     (answered 30 March 2009)

Dear Orange,

Love your web site. I too became involved in AA 30 years ago back when I was a crazed young drug taking, booze drinking kid. What I found was sanctimonious, cult like figures who demand total devotion, which to me seemed suspect. I always rejected any kind of religion and because I was basically told I was powerless and stupid my whole life I didn't need that reinforced. So the whole god/higher power concept really escaped me and still does. I understand having to separate yourself from some bad influences. I did take some good concepts away like admit when your wrong and make amends to those you hurt. I've learned that I'm not an alcoholic, I was going through a period of letting myself be influenced by some not so nice people. I like the buzz I get from wine — that's why I drink it! I don't want to live in a bubble and that's what AA was, a lock step must do or fail bubble of self righteousness — one must learn to live in the REAL world.

Best Regards,

Date: Sat, December 27, 2008 6:55 pm     (answered 30 March 2009)
From: "Jane"
Subject: One other thing...

I found that upon going to AA there were predators, being a young good looking female, I was pursued by a few fellows who had their own "program" in mind. I very quickly became involved with a guy, against the dictates of "the program" who was a pretty good guy when he wasn't smashing his fists through bathroom doors and hurling table tops at me.

Hi Jane,

Thanks for the letters and the compliments. I hope you are doing well, in spite of everything.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "The trouble ain't that there is too many fools,
**  but that the lightning ain't distributed right."
**   ==  Mark Twain  (American Humorist, Writer and Lecturer. 1835—1910)

Date: Mon, December 29, 2008 9:22 am     (answered 30 March 2009)
From: "Louanne P."
Subject: I like your writings...

You have put many of my thoughts into words. Thank you. Several days ago I dropped out of AA after ~6 months. This was my second experience with AA and I had forgotten how ineffective it is. Actually, it is much much worse than ineffective — it is dangerous. I was attending a daily morning meeting for a long time. One day I realized how hypocritical the people are (I don't blame them — they are scared to hell.) That 6 months was a nightmare. I may try to record a video about the experience — for my mental health. May put it on youtube, but in any case, I'm doing lots of research on the web looking for helpful alternatives.

Thanks, again.

Louanne P.

Hello Louanne,

Thanks for the letter. Sorry to take so long to answer it; I'm way backlogged on email.

While you are looking for good alternatives, here is my list of the usual suspects:

Have a good day, and a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius."
**     — Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Date: Mon, December 29, 2008 4:11 pm     (answered 30 March 2009)
From: "Dirk F S."
Subject: AA

You page is full of naive generalizations and biased, skeptical, hateful opinion with no basis in fact; your website potentially damages suffering alcoholics who could recover in AA.

Hello Dirk,

There it is again, the standard A.A. line about "You are doing a great disservice to those who are seeking sobriety."
Look here for more of that.

A.A. does not work. I am not just generalizing. Even one of your leaders, a member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., discovered through his own testing that A.A. was a failure that just raised the death rate in alcoholics.

"Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism, but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling."
== Dr. George E. Vaillant, currently a member of the A.A. Board of Trustees, describing the treatment of alcoholism with Alcoholics Anonymous, in The Natural History of Alcoholism: Causes, Patterns, and Paths to Recovery, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1983, pages 283-286.

While trying to prove that A.A. worked great, he accidentally proved that A.A. was a failure that harmed more alcoholics than it helped. There is much more on that here.

My guess is you are a frustrated alcoholic who could not do the work in AA necessary to stay sober, or that you have a friend or relative for whom AA has failed. "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path" — you obviously do not understand what "thoroughly" means. It's a lot more that just showing up at meetings. Before you spew your harmful rants, you should go to a few dozens meetings and talk to sober people there to find out the truth about this amazing program.

Wrong guess. I have 8 years clean and sober, and I am quite happy about it.

I understand what "thoroughly" means. It's a word game:

"RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail to quit drinking in Alcoholics Anonymous, who has thoroughly quit drinking by using his own intelligence and will power, and then gave the credit to A.A."

Also, there is a huge difference, as you would know if you spent time with alcoholics, between those who are dry and those who have true recovery/sobriety. Those who have true recovery in AA are happy and productive and they find fulfillment through working with other alcoholics who still suffer from this fatal disease.

Dirk S.
Sober 28 years in AA

Congratulations on your 28 years.

I have spent enough time in A.A. and N.A. to learn what they are, and I've spent a lot more time with alcoholics than you know.

Have a good day.

== 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.

Date: Wed, December 31, 2008 6:10 am     (answered 30 March 2009)
From: "Debbie S."
Subject: A question?

I have been reading information from the Orange Pages about AA and I am not sure who wrote this and nothing is really said about the author so I can determine reliability. Could you please give me some information on the author and how "he/she" came to believe AA was a type of cult?

Thank you and I appreciate anything you could give me. I am looking for reasons why or why not to attend AA.


Hello Debbie,

Thanks for the letter. Sorry to take so long to answer. I'm very backlogged on answering the email.

The best way to check credibility is to pick out some of the quotes that you find to be the most interesting, and verify them, and see whether I am quoting honestly and accurately. You will find that almost everything I say is backed up by a lot of quotes from various doctors, theologians, or other authorities, so verify some quotes.

Beyond that, here are some answers to the question of who I am:

  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

There are some recent pictures of me and my little friends here and here and here.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Who speaks the truth stabs Falsehood to the heart.
**      —  James Russell Lowell (1819—1891)

Date: Thu, January 1, 2009 10:05 am     (answered 30 March 2009)
From: "Eric R. J."
Subject: Bill W

Dear Mr Orange

a very interesting study. I wonder what made you go into this, in such depth?
I had been reading it as part of my college work (research on therapies)


Hi Eric,

Thanks for the letter. Why such depth? Well, first off, that is just my nature. I've always been that way. When I was a kid I wanted to know absolutely everything in the world that there was to know. As you can guess, before I grew up, I discovered that that was physically impossible. There is just too much stuff to know. (The age of the Rennaisance Man is long gone.)

Nevertheless, I'm not satisfied with superficial knowledge. I want to know all of the gory details and learn as much as I can.

Here are some more answers to the question of why:

  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

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "Three great forces rule the world: stupidity, fear and greed."
**     ==   Albert Einstein

This is an old letter that never got posted.

Hey Orange,

Happy thanksgiving!

Do you have any interest in, or do you think there would be any value in an orange papers group on here?

One of my newer patients told her sponsor something rather mild about my views on treatment, something along the lines of "he's not a huge fan of AA but has been sober for 23 years" and her sponsor remarked that I must be a dry drunk or else had a "bad experience"....

I reassured her that, no there was no bad experience, I just gradually un-brainwashed myself via education and personal/professional work experience and that I am quite happy these days.

She was surprised to learn that 'dry drunk' was not an actual legitimate mental condition! Most people I see are relieved to find out that it is merely a made up condition to describe what basically amounts to a negative attitude, and let's see, last time I checked former problem drinkers didn't have the market cornered on bad attitudes! But, like many AA beliefs, much of the individual's character is pathologized and ego-centrically steered back to "alcoholism" rather than common characteristics that many people have to one degree or another.

Many of my AA patients are surprised that there is no alcohol-ISM anywhere in the DSM-IV... only alcohol abuse/dependence, nor any mention of disease.

Anyway, hope you have a great day!

(you can put this letter, or parts of it, on your site if you'd like)


Hi Allan,

Thanks for the letter. Sorry to take so long to get to it. Obviously, I don't poke around in my Facebook mailbox very often. And that's the first reason why I kind of shy away from the idea of setting up a group on Facebook. It would be a funny kind of group if I rarely visited my own group.

Thanks for the story on the dry drunk. I am also occasionally surprised by people who believe that a "dry drunk" condition is a real psychiatric problem, or real threat to their mental health. It's really amazing how pervasive the mythology of the 12-Step organization is.

Oh well, have a happy New Year.

== Orange

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

Date: Thursday, January 01, 2009
From: Olen B.
Subject: Re: How's it working?

Are you staying sober?


Yes, no problem. I've got 8 years now, off of alcohol, tobacco, and any other drugs, I'm happy to say.

Have a good day, and a happy new year.

== 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: Fri, January 2, 2009 7:24 am
From: "Olen B."
Subject: RE: How's it working?

I've got 10 years off alcohol.

8 off tobacco

6 off caffeine

About 5 years of good diet and exercise.

I did AA for about 4 years. Church ministry for 7. I do a lot of spiritual work. I've always thought that's what's keeping me sober. I was really ready to quit, though. Other friends also quit with various spiritual methods. A few have died.

I still smoke pot off and on.

The spiritual work has given me a life's purpose.

I can see some validity to your argument. I was ready. Just turned 50 a couple days ago.


Cool. Thanks for the message

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   Bacchus hath drowned more men than Neptune.
**   == Dr. Thomas Fuller (1654—1734), Gnomologia, 1732

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Last updated 8 March 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters104.html