Letters, We Get Mail, CXX

Date: Fri, September 12, 2008 1:05 pm     (answered 16 May 2009)
From: "John McC."
Subject: Fwd:

For your web-sites, as you choose to use, or not. (I wonder why this MD can't explain what a "disease" is — even the MEDICAL ONES?).

From: John McC.
Sent: Friday, September 12, 2008 8:42 AM
Subject: AB 239 VETO Memo

Please encourage FACT to join me in encourage Governor Schwarzeneggar in VETOING AB 239, CADAAC's BADLY WRITTEN "Licensure Certification" Bill! A copy of a memo sent to the governor is attached for reference.

On Sep 12, 2008, at 9:31 AM, Igor Koutsenok wrote:

Hi, John. I agree with your concept against licensure the way it is written by CADAAC. I agree that this AB should not pass. I disagree though with your p. 2 and we might have a discussion re this issue to make your argument stronger.

Igor Koutsenok, MD, MS
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry,
University of California San Diego
Director, Center for Criminality & Addiction Research,
Training & Application (CCARTA)
565 Pearl Str., Suite 306, La Jolla, CA 92037
phone: 858/551 2946, fax: 858/551 2948

From: John McC.
Sent: Friday, September 12, 2008 11:57 AM
To: Igor Koutsenok
Subject: Re: AB 239 VETO Memo

Hello Dr. Koutsenok,

I would be interested in finding out what your disagreement is with the "point 2" in my memo urging the Veto of AB 239. I think the fact that a person that considers themself as "in recovery" (and therefore not DONE with an addiction!), reflects a poor professional standard to endorse state licensure with. Reviewing the number of AOD Licensure Revocations from the state of AZ is a good example of this (people who relapse, and have their licenses revoked as a result!). People who do not consider themselves to be DONE with their addictive substances have no business being licensed for a profession, anymore then a "doctor" would, if that "doctor" was not done with medical school, or an "attorney" would that is not done with law school. I think the AOD treatment field deserves a higher standard then that.

Feel free to e-mail whatever response you think would make the argument against the bill stronger though.

John McC., M-RAS, NCAC-I

On Sep 12, 2008, at 11:59 AM, Igor Koutsenok wrote:

Thanks. This is exactly the point that I disagree with you. Substance use disorders in general, and the dependence particularly are chronic relapsing conditions (similar to diabetes or hypertension). Therefore it is not clear to me what do you mean by being DONE with addiction.

Igor Koutsenok, MD, MS
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry,
University of California San Diego
Director, Center for Criminality & Addiction Research,
Training & Application (CCARTA)
565 Pearl Str., Suite 306, La Jolla, CA 92037
phone: 858/551 2946, fax: 858/551 2948

From: John McC.
Date: September 12, 2008 12:26:17 PM PDT
To: "Igor Koutsenok"
Subject: Re: AB 239 VETO Memo

How can a condition be "chronically relapsing" if a person can STOP doing the substance (thus ENDING the "relapse"? This is a complete contradiction. It's like saying a person is somehow "powerless to stop" (as the 12-Step groups think exists) and then STOPS! It makes no sense. Comparing addiction to hypertension or diabetes is an incorrect analogy because the person with the condition ALWAYS HAS IT, regardless of the level of the blood sugar or blood pressure. On the other hand a person CANNOT be addicted to a substance that one is NO LONGER USING (it's like saying a smoker who has quit smoking is still a smoker?). The ridiculousness of addiction as a "disease" and "not being able to stop" is what forces (like CAADAC) in the addiction treatment industry want to insure is THE line of thought in order to insure they will always have a line of work (in spite of the COMPLETE LACK of medical science that backs up ANY "addiction" as a "disease".

By the way, as an MD, you should be able to answer this question (that I have always wanted to ask an MD): What exactly is the medical definition (that would be taught in a medical school) of a "disease"? Given that "disease" is a medically-bsed word, with medical criteria being needed to fulfill its definition, you can see how perverted 12-Step groups have defined "disease" to promote their own interests and agenda.

John McC., M-RAS, NCAC-I

From: "Igor Koutsenok"
Date: September 12, 2008 12:51:22 PM PDT
To: "John McC."

Well, John, it would be very difficult for me to answer your questions accurately, because this would require to refer you to literally thousands of research findings from the last decade or so regarding the neurobiology and neurophysiology of addictive disorders. Particularly the ones that came from MRI and fMRI research. I can only tell you one thing, and that is that your statement "a person CANNOT be addicted to a substance that one is NO LONGER USING" is in direct contradiction with the current science of substance use disorders.

Igor Koutsenok, MD, MS
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry,
University of California San Diego
Director, Center for Criminality & Addiction Research,
Training & Application (CCARTA)
565 Pearl Str., Suite 306, La Jolla, CA 92037
phone: 858/551 2946, fax: 858/551 2948

Hello again, John,

I notice that the good professor seems to be changing the definition of the word "addicted". He is using a meaning where if someone's brain is changed, then they are "addicted". I totally disagree, and think that the general medical community will also disagree.

In the past, I was addicted to alcohol and tobacco for many years, like 20 for alcohol, and 30 for tobacco. As a result, my brain is permanently changed and I am hypersensitive to those two substances. If I consume even a little bit of them, I will soon become readdicted to them.

But right there, the last sentence reveals that I am not NOW addicted. (How could I get readdicted if I am still addicted now?) In fact, I have not had a dose of either of those drugs in 8 1/2 years, so I am certainly not currently addicted to those drugs. I don't crawl the walls for another dose of those drugs; I don't crave them; in fact, I don't even think about them much, except for when I'm answering letters here.

Nevertheless, I am sure that an MRI or CAT scan would show some funny effects on my brain from those 20 or 30 years of alcohol and tobacco. I know that I am still slowly recovering my memory — especially the short-term memory. It's pretty good now, but there is still room for improvement.

I wonder who keeps on rewriting the definitions. That just confuses the issue.

I also find this statement to be very strange, and flawed logic:

Substance use disorders in general, and the dependence particularly are chronic relapsing conditions.

Just because some guys can't — or more accurately, don't want to — resist the temptation to return to getting high and partying some more does not mean that alcohol abuse is a "disease" that is a "chronic relapsing condition". There are certain kinds of incurable terminal constantly-recurring cancers that could be accurately labeled a "chronic relapsing condition", but I don't think that having fun partying until you get sick matches that description — especially not when there are people like me who just quit drinking, smoking, and drugging, and don't relapse. So obviously, the kind of "alcoholism" that I "got infected with" or "inherited" — or whatever happened — is not a "chronic relapsing condition". So I wonder what the professor would call my kind of chronically non-relapsing alcoholism (and nicotinism).

Oh, and above, the professor was saying that people who haven't taken their drug of choice for years are still "addicted" to it. But how can people be "constantly relapsing" if they are still addicted all along?

The goofy terminology and odd definitions need to be cleaned up, so that we can have sane and logical discussions, and not be talking at cross purposes.

Thanks for the letters, and have a good day. Oh, by the way, I also got around to answering another of your letters, about genetics. It follows.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "We AA's have never called alcoholism a disease because, technically
**   speaking it is not a disease entity."
**   ==  Bill Wilson,
**   speaking to the National Catholic Clergy Conference On Alcoholism.
**   April 21, 1960, in New York City

Date: Sun, October 5, 2008 4:08 pm     (answered 29 April 2009)
From: "John McC."
Subject: Alcoholism = Genetic??

Hi Orange,

Looks like I finally found something on your site I am not in agreement with. You mentioned that your father was an alcoholic, and his mother before him. As the "by-product" of TWO alcoholics (one of whom drank herself TO DEATH-my biological mother), I am wondering. . . . where the hell is MINE??? I have had my "fair share" of encounters with alcohol (college drinking), and am NOT an "alcoholic". To the best of my knowledge, this "condition" called "alcoholism" just isn't "passed on genetically" like hair color, eye color, size of feet, shape of ears, or even TASTE PREFERANCES! I don't doubt that alcohol (and all other drugs!) affect different people in different manners (tolerance, and being under the influence- wise!), but to say that one is an alcoholic because one's parents/ grandparents, and other multiple family members were/are, feeds into AA's whole BS of "being powerless" over an inanimate drug that one CHOOSES TO USE! (James Frey nails this in his book, "A Million Little Pieces"-pp. 191-92). If someone ever "proves" the "genetic connection" that "causes addiction" to whatever substance (liquid, solid, or gas), I am sure they will win the Nobel Prize in Medicine! Until that time, I think it's just a bunch of "apologists" looking for the "excuse" to justify their own debacuherous conduct. After all, if you no longer use a substance, how can you be "addicted" to what you NO LONGER USE, or even be able to quit doing it?

Hope to hear back from you on this,


Hi John,

It's good to hear from you again. Sorry to take so long to answer; I'm way backlogged on email.

The genetic factor is a curious one. First off, because it is genetic, it is hit-or-miss. You can have both an alcoholic mother and father, and not get the gene, by inheriting the non-alcoholic recessive genes of your parents. The gene (or rather, one of them) is reputedly dominant, which means that the non-alcoholic gene is masked.

You and I agree that the genetics of alcoholism are not like eye color or hair color. Eye color is totally genetically determined. It doesn't matter whether your parents drink or pray or dance the polka: if you inherit a gene for blue eyes from each parent, you are going to have blue eyes. And if either parent gives you a gene for brown eyes, you will have brown eyes.

Alcoholism isn't so simple. Not by a long shot. I think we agree that there is no gene that makes someone an alcoholic, with no choice in the matter. There seem to be at least two genes, perhaps several, that influence how people feel, and how they react to intoxication.

And then there are the people who just refuse to drink alcohol. Often, children of alcoholics refuse to drink and die the way that a parent did. Again, there is no gene that takes away their choice in the matter. That creates the appearance that "alcoholism can skip a generation".

What makes me strongly believe that there is a genetic component to "alcoholism" or "alcohol abuse" or "alcohol addiction" is seeing what happened in me. I am a text-book case of what I have heard described as "Type A" alcoholism — the late-starting middle-aged drinker, as was my father, and his mother before him. (Type B is the early-starting teenage alcoholic.) When I was a teenager, I didn't even like alcohol. I never drank it, unless the whole gang was going out and drinking. And I was living in Germany at the time, where the legal drinking age is 16, so we could all go downtown and drink beer or wine all we wanted. Well, I just didn't want it. Sometimes I'd have one glass of wine just to be drinking with everyone else. No more than that, ever. I didn't want it until I turned 29, and then something changed, and for the first time in my life, I suddenly liked coming home from work and having a beer. For the first time in my life, I would actually go and buy alcohol because I wanted to drink it. And mind you, those were some of the happiest days in my life. I had a happy family, a beautiful wife and a delightful son less than one year old, and a good job as a TV repairman, so there was no big tragedy in my life that was driving me to drink. Just the opposite. (Oh, and I wasn't smoking tobacco then either, or smoking pot, or taking anything.)

Some biological clock ticked over, and I suddenly liked beer and I liked the alcohol buzz, which I had always disliked before.

The rest is history. One beer after work turned into two, three, four, and kept going up, year after year, until it was killing me.

Here's the medical evidence that I know about:

In the book SOS Sobriety, The Proven Alternative to 12-Step Programs by James Christopher, check out the interview with Kenneth Blum, titled "The Fickle Gene". Blum discovered one of the genes that appears to contribute to alcoholism, and perhaps also a tendency towards drug addiction.

Alcoholism and some other addictions and compulsions have in common the inability to achieve satisfaction from limited quantities of a pleasure stimulus. This inability, "reward deficiency syndrome," is hard-wired into the brain and appears to be linked to a genetic variation in the D2 receptor of chromosome 11.
See Reward Deficiency Syndrome, Kenneth Blum and others, The American Scientist, March-April 1996.5

And recently, an article stated that there is evidence that "A Functional Neuropeptide Y Leu7Pro Polymorphism [is] Associated With Alcohol Dependence in a Large Population Sample From the United States". They say, "This is only the second specific genetic mechanism ever identified that modulates risk for alcohol dependence." (See: Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2002;59:825-831;

I like that careful terminology: Modulates the risk for, not causes, alcohol dependence.

I hope this sort of explains something.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Rule your desires or they will rule you.

May 6, 2009, Wednesday: Day 6:
The weather was good in the afternoon, just for a change, so we went to Waterfront Park. Carmen flipped when she saw families of geese with goslings. She wanted to join one of those families so badly. She was repeatedly rejected.

Carmen liked me just fine, and we got along great, and she came back to me when she was rejected by the other geese, but she really wanted a goose mother and a bunch of little gosling brothers and sisters. She just wanted to be a goose and have a normal gosling childhood.

When Carmen saw this family with five goslings, she ran off to join them. Here, she has just done an end run around the father, who saw her coming, and put his head down and gave her a glare and pointed his beak at her. The father is behind the mother, and has his head down. He gave Carmen a hard disapproving stare when he saw her coming, but he didn't bite her. Carmen ignored him and just ran around him and planted herself in the middle of the brood of goslings.

Canada Geese goslings
Carmen running to join a family of goslings

This family was surprisingly tolerant, and allowed Carmen to join in and play and eat with their children. Usually, broods don't mix, and the parents bite other parents' goslings and drive them away. But Carmen spent hours with this family, and for a while it was looking like they might adopt her. This family has 5 goslings that are noticeably older and larger than Carmen.

Canada Goose + goslings
The mother goose is saying something to the goslings. Carmen is the small one in the middle.

The expressions on the faces of the goslings are priceless. This warrants some magnification:

Canada Goose goslings
The reactions of the goslings to whatever Mother is saying. Carmen is the small one.

Canada Goose mother + goslings
Carmen is the small gosling by the mother's head. Here, Carmen is trying to get into the mother's good graces. Carmen was constantly sidling up to the mother and trying to get the mother's approval and acceptance.

Canada Goose goslings
An obnoxious kid mouths off. Carmen is the small one on the right who is getting yelled at.

I can't be sure, but I suspect that what that little guy was saying is, "Hey! You can't have any of this bagel. You aren't our sister!"
The eye on the ground is a gosling that has put its head to the ground and then turned its head sideways so that it can peck on the bagel from the side. You can do that if you have a long neck as flexible as a goose's neck.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

Date: Wed, August 27, 2008 5:28 pm     (answered 21 May 2009)
From: Jaciti
Subject: this is funny

It is amazing that you would take so much of your time and effort to disprove a method that has worked for so many. For you to even begin to see this organization as a cult is totally ludicrous. Truly, you don't know of many cults where you may come and go as you please. The 12 steps are suggestions. You talk about the horror stories of the program and the manipulations that Bill Wilson uses to lure people into a cultish program. What is the payoff? No one really gains anything except for a new way of living. Surely the Catholic church has something more going on for you to dip your mind into.

Does the program work. Yes, the program works to help people not only achieve a alcohol free life, but mainly it helps people to achieve a new way of life based on spiritual principles. Now whats so wrong with that. No one is putting down those who can quit without the program. Its great that people can do that. Perhaps this program is for people who found that they can't quit without a program.

One thing for sure, it works. And let me leave you with this. The 12 steps are guides to a new way of life. Much like the guidance that you get by going to church. It only mentions alcohol once. The true change is within the thinking process. For you to work so hard to disprove a program that works is, well,,,,,,,,, a lack of serenity. I hope that you find peace.

Hello, Jaciti,

Well, you have a bunch of the standard A.A. lies and propaganda lines and slogans in that letter. Unfortunately, none of them is true.

  1. "A.A. has worked for so many."
    and "One thing for sure, it works."
    and "...a program that works..."

    That is not true at all. A.A. has a failure rate that approaches 100%. The only people who get sober and recover in A.A. are the ones who were going to recover anyway, without A.A. "help". They quit drinking by using their own will power and intelligence and common sense, and then A.A. takes the credit for their hard work. But A.A. never takes the blame for the millions who don't quit drinking.

    We have been over this so many times that I will refer you to some places where we discussed it before.

    Now I offer you the chance to tell us what the actual A.A. success rate really is.

    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?
    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.

  2. "...to see this organization as a cult is totally ludicrous."
    "Truly, you don't know of many cults where you may come and go as you please."

    Denial isn't just a river in Egypt. Of course A.A. is a cult. It passes the cult test with flying colors.

    And I know of lots of cults where people are physically free to come and go. Shall we start with Scientology and the Moonies? How about the Hari Krishnas and Soka Gakkai? In fact, most cults — the vast majority of cults — allow people to physically come and go as they please. Very, very few cults are like Jim Jones' People's Temple was, keeping them in armed compounds, shooting those who tried to leave. People were even allowed to leave David Koresh's Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas, while it was under seige, and those people were the last to get out alive. Nobody shot them in the back as they were walking out and leaving David Koresh behind.

    Now we have been talking about being physically free to leave. Mental freedom is another thing. Cults routinely use Phobia Induction to make people afraid to leave. If you leave Scientology, you supposedly won't get the promised clarity and mental powers, and your huge investment will be lost. If you leave the Moonies, the Devil will get you. And if you leave Alcoholics Anonymous, you will supposedly relapse and die drunk in a gutter. Not true.

  3. "The 12 steps are suggestions."

    That is another standard propaganda line. When he was writing the opening chapters of the Big Book, Bill Wilson wanted the Steps to be program requirements. But the less dogmatic and fanatical A.A. members objected that such a hard-core religious attitude would drive away many of the alcoholics whom the new A.A. organization was supposed to help. Jim Burwell, the resident atheist, took the credit for getting that "suggested as a program" line into the Big Book at the start of Chapter 5.

    But Bill Wilson got his revenge soon. Very soon, like on the first page of the next chapter that he wrote, Chapter 6:

    If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking.
    The Big Book, page 72.

    Then Bill Wilson really cranked up the pressure in his second book. There he said that you will die unless you "follow the suggested Steps" right:

    Unless each A.A. member follows to the best of his ability our suggested [Bill Wilson's required] Twelve Steps to recovery, he almost certainly signs his own death warrant. His drunkenness and dissolution are not penalties inflicted by people in authority; they result from his personal disobedience to spiritual principles [Bill Wilson's cult religion practices].
    Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 174.

    So that is quite some "suggestion". "You will die unless you follow my suggestion." That isn't a suggestion — that's blackmail.

  4. "What is the payoff?"

    A big fat ego trip for Bill Wilson — years of self-aggrandizement and pretending that he was working for God, and a lifetime of free money so that Bill Wilson never had to work a straight job again, and a free house in the country ("Stepping Stones"), and a free Cadillac car to drive, and a stable of mistresses for Bill Wilson, supported by make-work jobs in the A.A. headquarters.

    That was then, this is now:

    • Again, ego trips. The old-timers like to tell themselves that they have devoted their lives to helping others, not that they were fools to destroy their lives with alcohol and then go join a brain-damaged cult.

    • Desire to believe.
      Who wants to admit that he doesn't really have a ticket to Heaven?
      Who wants to admit that he doesn't really have a hotline to God?
      Who wants to admit that he has wasted years on a cult?
      Who wants to admit that A.A. doesn't work at all, and just wastes people's time, and even hurts them by teaching them grossly wrong things about alcoholism and recovery?
      Who wants to admit that A.A. kills more alcoholics than it saves?

    • Alleviation of fear. Again, the cult induces phobias — "You will die drunk in a gutter!" — and then A.A. pretends to offer salvation. "The A.A. program will save you."

    • Money. The A.A. leaders in the Interchurch Building in New York City are pulling down anything from $70,000 to $125,000 per year.

      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.

    • Money, Sex, and Power. Sub-cult leaders and their lieutenants get a free ride financially, and a young girl in every bed. Mike Q. of the "Midtown Group" is the poster child for that. I hear that Clancy and his "Pacific Group" are the same.

    • Religion. A.A. members still like to tell themselves that they are working for God, doing God's will, and selflessly helping others (by recruiting them into the religion).

    • Denial. A.A. members refuse to even hear about the true history of A.A., or the sky-high failure rate, or the harm done to alcoholics. They just go into denial and proclaim that everything is wonderful.

    • A social club. A.A. functions as a social club, and for some A.A. members, it is their only social circle.

  5. "...it helps people to achieve a new way of life based on spiritual principles"

    There are no "spiritual principles" in the cult practices of Frank Buchman's Oxford Group, which Bill Wilson stole and made into Alcoholics Anonymous.

  6. "No one is putting down those who can quit without the program."

    Baloney. Bill Wilson sneered at such people and called them "two-steppers" — people who only wanted to quit drinking, and didn't want to do all of his Twelve Steps or practice his cult religion.

    Oh, and then A.A. members routinely declare that people who quit drinking without doing the 12 Steps are "dry drunks". So much for "not putting them down".

  7. "Perhaps this program is for people who found that they can't quit without a program."

    Perhaps that program isn't for people who want to get healthy.
    Perhaps that program isn't for people who want to quit drinking.
    Perhaps that program isn't for people who "can't quit without a program."

    That is the propaganda trick called Sly Suggestions You offer no facts to support the assumption that A.A. works. You only offer a sly suggestion that maybe it might "be for them".

  8. "I hope that you find peace."

    Thanks, but I've already found peace. I hope you find sanity. (Step Two, remember?)

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: Sat, August 30, 2008 8:45 am     (answered 22 May 2009)
From: "Mike P."
Subject: Buchman/Himmler correspondance

Hi Agent Orange,

Glad to see you are back online and answering emails. I really have gotten a lot from your writings. Next week I will have 18 years sober. I have pretty much weaned myself off of AA over the past few months and haven't died yet (although I plan to do so sometime in the future).

After reading your essay regarding the links between Fascism and the Oxford Group, I became interested in obtaining some actual correspondence between Frank Buchman and Heinrich Himmler. I thought I had found something promising when I picked up a used copy of a book called Reichsführer: Briefe an und von Himmler (Letters to and from Himmler). I found that the letters therein mainly have to do with Himmler's duties as SS leader. A lot of the correspondence has to do with mundane administrative matters, various decrees and directives, and other issues, not to mention all the planning involved in the wholesale annihilation of Jews, homosexuals, Communists, and sundry dissidents.

I did find a few interesting letters in which Himmler had alcoholic SS members arrested, stripped of position, and forced into detox cures. In one instance he ordered an underling to stay sober until the end of 1944 (the letter was written in May of that year). The most interesting letter I found concerns the imprisonment of an alcoholic Nazi in the Dachau concentration camp on grounds of "conduct unbecoming of a Nazi" (those are my words, based on the translation of the German letter I did):

May 18th, 1937 To: Anton Lehner, Dachau Concentration Camp.

My dear Lehner Toni!

Of course you will be let go. For the time being I need to withhold the release date. Upon your release, I will also provide you a position. I'll have you released when I have become convinced that you have completely sworn off alcohol, which throughout the years has held sway over you to the detriment of both yourself and your family, thereby causing you, a long time Nazi, in many instances to set an unworthy example. The punishment did not come from the Führer in order to harm you, rather to take you from a path that has led both you and your family into the abyss.

Heil Hitler
Signed H. Himmler

Heiber, Helmut (1968), Reichsführer: Briefe an und von Himmler, Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt GmbH., p. 47

Anyway, good to see that forced attendance in "rehabs" is not a thoroughly American phenomenon.

Kind regards,


Hi Mike,

Thanks for the letter. First off, let me congratulate you on your 18 years of health and sanity.

And then thanks for the history. Not entirely coincidentally, I was watching a video that I downloaded from the Internet a while ago (whose name I can't remember at the moment), that was about the infighting at the highest levels of the Nazi Party. Heinrich Himmler was vicious as he clawed his way to the top. In the beginning, before Himmler became the Police Chief of all of Germany, and head of the S.S., Himmler's main rival was the Chief of Police of Prussia. Remember that Himmler was the Chief of Police of Bavaria at that early time. Neither was inherently the Chief of the civilian police of the entire country, but Himmler wanted to be that Chief. When one of the protegés of a rival drank too much, Himmler exploited that weakness to discredit the fellow and ruin his career. And yes, he sent those unfortunate fellows to Dachau.

It really is downright bizarre, how such men could demand "high moral standards" and sobriety from others as they shoved millions of Jews, Priests, ministers, political dissidents, gypsies and gays into the concentration camps and gas chambers. But, like Paul Diener remarked, Naziism was another "spiritual health and purity movement". Look here and especially here and here.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "To win the sympathy of the masses, you must tell them the
**   crudest and most stupid lies."
**    ==  Adolf Hitler

Date: Fri, August 29, 2008 11:41 am     (answered 22 May 2009)
From: "Christopher"
Subject: Passages

Dear Orange,

Please check out this link.

I was wondering if you knew anything about this? They claim a 84.4% success rate. Seems mighty high to me.

Yet, the fact that they seem to be anti-AA may mean they are on to something. Your comments sir?


Please with-hold email address and just use my first name if you publish.

Hello Christopher,

We were just talking about Passages of Malibu a little while ago. It's the luxurious, super-expensive rehab resort where all of the movie stars go. Their real success rate seems to be no higher than any other treatment or rehab center.

Watch out for the wording and terminology: Rehab centers almost invariably brag about what percentage of their graduates are sober for maybe one month following graduation. They don't tell you what percentage of the incoming patients actually last until graduation. The habitual relapsers don't "graduate". And the rehab/treatment centers never do long-term follow-ups, to see how many of their graduates are still clean and sober a year or more after treatment. So it's all just a fake-out numbers game where they are decieving you with half-truths and weasel words.

Check out this link, here, and especially look at the second letter, for more about Passages.

Have a good day.

== 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: Mon, September 1, 2008 8:21 am     (answered 22 May 2009)
From: "Brian MacL."
Subject: whoo hoo!

just read your ditribe,
i am so with you!
yes AA got me to sell my house and donate all the money to them!!!
and also told me my wife was not right for me so I divoresed her! but hey man I stopped drinking and I m still alive !
you really really know what you are talking about!!!

Brian Macl.

Hello Brian,

Thanks for the sarcasm. That's also listed in the standard propaganda techniques, here.

Now, if you can stop being sarcastic for a minute, would you like to tell us what the actual A.A. success rate is?

Out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A., how many will pick up a one-year sobriety medallion a year later?
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.

Alcoholics Anonymous is worse than useless when it doesn't sober up any more alcoholics than does giving alcoholics no help at all.

Have a good day anyway.

== 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: Wed, September 3, 2008 11:15 am     (answered 22 May 2009)
From: "black bear hollow"
Subject: Re: Bill W.

You're just another religious looney who needs a life.

AA works for those who work it and the Steps work.

It doesn't matter what you say as you'll remain in your clueless religious fog of hate and judgment.
Get a clue. The real deal is that no one cares about Bill Wilson's personal life. What matters is that he was able to create AA. He was a player in a bigger plan.

All you say about Bill is just a reflection of your own self hatred. Everyone can see this — just read the answers to your pathetic reviews on Amazon.

Well, hello "black bear hollow",

That is a demonstration of several of the standard cult attack and debating techniques: starting with word games like "AA works for those who work it", which isn't true at all. Alcoholics Anonymous merely appears to work okay if the alcoholics will kindly quit drinking by using their own will power, and then give the credit to A.A.

Since you think that A.A. really works and does something good, would you like to tell us what the actual A.A. success rate is?

Out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A., how many will pick up a one-year sobriety medallion a year later?
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.

Then of course you have to launch a couple of personal attacks because you have no facts to speak of.

And I find it funny that you accuse me of being a religious looney. Your fellow A.A. members often call me an atheist when I won't agree with their childish superstitions. Why don't you guys get together and decide which it is, am I a fundamentalist Bible-beater or an atheist?
Oh, by the way, that is also an example of the propaganda technique of name-calling.

Then of course there is the Minimization and Denial: "Bill Wilson is irrelevant. His personal crimes don't matter."
When you A.A. true believers cannot defend the monster, you minimize and deny his influence on A.A., and claim that you don't follow his teachings, while simultaneously claiming that he was working for God and creating something great. But you will still begin your next A.A. meeting, and every A.A. meeting, by incanting his lies from pages 58 through 60 of the Big Book, won't you?

And then you end the letter by using the propaganda technique of "Everybody Knows, and Everybody Says", as in, "Everyone can see this..." The fact that some A.A. promoters disagreed with me on Amazon proves nothing except that some A.A. promoters disagreed with me on Amazon.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== 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 describing early recruiting efforts for Alcoholics Anonymous,
**  at the memorial service for Dr. Bob, Nov. 15, 1952; file available here.

Date: Thu, September 4, 2008 6:26 am     (answered 22 May 2009)
From: "Don G."
Subject: Thank you...

Thank you for the article. I had resolved my drinking habits 28 years ago. Now I am a person displaying "Dry Drunk" behavior according to a divorcing wife in her appeals to her friends for speaking my mind on matters concerning spousal issues with our 17 yr old son. I began to feel as though she may be right. As an agnostic, I had problems with AA some thirty years ago and was considered "Not willing to change". Your article has helped me put this accusation into perspective.

Don G.

Hello Don,

Thanks for the letter. Sorry to hear about your troubles, but I'm glad that you were able to benefit from my web site in some way.

So have a good day.

== 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.

Date: Fri, September 5, 2008 7:22 am     (answered 22 May 2009)
From: "Jonna S."
Subject: 13th stepping

Hello A,

I would be interested to know your interpretation of "Thirteenth Stepping". When asked why he doesn't seek a sober girlfriend, my "true believer" friend "admits" that he cannot date "one of those girls" in AA. He says it is because they may relapse and he does not want to handle that (there's a guy who is practicing the 12th, huh?). I think it is because of the 13th. And curiously, why is the 13th not listed?? Hmm.

To me, that just does not make any sense. If you claim to live a sober lifestyle than why not seek other sober people to have relationships with. Especially intimate ones. After all a true believer claims no one understands him but his AA family or another drunk.

Being an ex Moonie, I do understand, even though he claims I do not. I just don't agree. Now I am "one of those people".


Thank you.


P.S. Cute note: He believes Bill W. is a Saint. For real. And when I debate Bill's "character defects" I am told to read Ch. 7 We Agnostics.

Hello Jonna,

Thanks for the letter. The only interpretation of 13th-Stepping that I have is that I thought it really referred to an old-timer taking advantage of newcomers, like an older male sponsor teaching the 12 Steps to a young woman newcomer, and then he takes her into the bedroom and teaches her the 13th Step. I never considered an honest love affair between equals to be "13-Stepping".

Indeed, if "The Program" really works, then what better spouse to choose than another sober person from A.A.?

Ah, but the program doesn't really work, and your friend knows it (even if he denies that fact out loud), so your friend was wise and perceptive to refuse to choose a partner from within Alcoholics Anonymous. I would also be very reluctant to choose a mate from the ranks of A.A., for much the same reasons. I have enough problems already.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "Give me chastity and continence, but not yet."
**        ==  Saint Augustine (354—430)

Date: Fri, September 5, 2008 9:04 am     (answered 23 May 2009)
From: "Robert H."
Subject: Powerless Over Alchohol

I have read your article and I am curious if
1. You are an alcoholic,
2. Have a personal faith in God.

Bob H

Hello Bob,

Thanks for the letter.

I was an alcoholic, but it is debateable whether I am one now. It depends on your definition of the word "alcoholic". We have discussed this before, several times, so I won't repeat it yet again. I'll just refer you to the various definitions of the word "alcoholic", here

I recognize the phrase "a personal faith in God" as code words that are used by some sects to mean that you have bought into a standard package of beliefs and superstitions.

The answer to that is, "No, I haven't drank the koolaid, and I haven't bought into any standard package."

Now I have a lot of faith in God. I can see that God is working very hard to keep the Law of Gravity working right. And He has the electromagnetic forces tuned nicely too, thank you. And the strong and weak nuclear forces are doing well. All kinds of things are working properly due to His engineering.

But if you were to ask me whether God really cares if the Pharoah enslaves the Israelites, or whether Joe Blow is screwing his secretary, my answer is, "I don't think so. God seems to be very busy on higher planes."

Likewise, I don't expect God to give special favors to members of Christian churches while rejecting Buddhists, Moslems, Hindus, Jews, and Native Americans.

And I really don't expect God to give any special favors to members of Alcoholics Anonymous because those people drank too much alcohol and then started practicing Buchmanism.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is
**     the only animal that has the True Religion — several of them. He is
**     the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his
**     throat, if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the
**     globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to
**     happiness and heaven.     ==  Mark Twain

Date: Thu, August 21, 2008 6:11 pm     (answered 23 May 2009)
From: "Meg"
Subject: A Thank You

Hi Orange,

Thank you for your website and all of the hard research you've done on AA and it's cult affiliations. The information you have diligently put together has set me free. I've been in AA for 3 years and I am delighted that what I saw in AA wasn't all just in my head!

Thank you,

Hi Meg,

Thanks for the thanks. I'm glad to hear that you benefitted from the web site.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Dream as though you'll live forever, live as though you'll die today 
**    ==  James Dean

Date: Thu, August 21, 2008 5:12 am     (answered 23 May 2009)
From: Roy R.

Orange Boy ,
You seem like a very board person who seems so angry at AA that you your life must really suck,Whats the matter you cant stay sober..
Hope you get laid someday.

How's that for spirituality orange boy,

Thank You,

Roy R

Hello Roy,

I'm not bored, not at all. I find life very interesting.

And I'm not having any trouble staying sober. It's been 8 1/2 years now.

But I do also hope that I get laid soon. Carmen is the best girl I've had in bed in the last month.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons —
**  for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

Date: Thu, August 21, 2008 6:16 am     (answered 23 May 2009)
From: "Brian B."
Subject: Great Article

That must have took a lot of time and effort on your part. Thank you for that.

I went to AA about 6 years ago, followed these "contradictions" Bill Wilson conjured up and havent had a drink since.. My life has become increasingly better, each year it seems to get better. I have reformed relationships with friends and familly. It has trully changed my life for the better.

This is the same for millions more around the world.

I understand you are just trying to inform people of your belief and point of view on this, but I must ask why?

Why is it that a fellowship such as alcoholics anonymous that helps so many ppl rebuild their lifes for better upsets you so much.

And While Im still in the middle of your write up, Im curious as to your suggestion to me, or someone like me to stop drinking? This must be for free, as I can go to AA for free..

I am a convicted felon, I have been arrested as a result of alcohol and drugs over 20 times, I have had 2 DUI's and alcohol related car crashes. Would you prefer I didn't go to AA and remained driving around on the same streets as your familly?

Thanks for your inpupt.


Hello Brain,

Thanks for the letter. I am glad to hear that you are doing well. Congratulations on your sobriety. Congratulations for saving your own life. Nobody else did it for you.

You are mistaken on the arithmetic though, when you say that A.A. has helped or saved "millions more around the world." That number is off by a few million. The claim that A.A. has saved the lives of millions of alcoholics is the standard "Big Lie" of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is the biggest lie that they tell. The real number that A.A. has saved is approximately zero. I was just answering the same statement a few letters ago, so I'll refer you to that discussion, here

And we were talking at length about what works, and what really helps alcoholics, just a little while ago, so I'll refer you to that discussion, here.

As far as your attempt at debating by asking if I would "prefer [you] didn't go to AA and remained driving around on the same streets as your familly", that is bad logic. I would prefer that you do something that actually works, and actually helps alcoholics to get a grip and live a healthier lifestyle, and don't drive drunk any more. A.A. does not do that. A.A. kills more alcoholics than it saves, and A.A. does not work to sober up the alcoholics. And that is why I criticize it.

Have a good day.

== 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.

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Last updated 19 January 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters120.html