Letters, We Get Mail, CXXI

Date: Thu, August 21, 2008 1:12 pm     (answered 23 May 2009)
From: "Steve C."
Subject: oh, please

you must be some fucking moron.

there is no "leader" of Alcoholics Anonymous.
you can believe whatever you want. accept what you will... leave the rest behind.
REPEATEDLY in the AA big book and the 12 and 12... it cautions the reader that there isn't one single way to do this thing called recovery... and that nothing should be accepted as gospel.
bill repeatedly said that you can do the steps to the best of your ability and, if you can't do them in order, why don't you do what you can.

the steps are almost plainly obvious.

  • admit you fucked up and you're done with drugs (including alcohol, which is a drug like any other)

  • accept that some power outside yourself can help you (because, within yourself, ya ain't findin the answers.) if it turns out that it can't, fuck it. at least you tried. fo' sho', fo' sho'... your own way has ZERO chance of getting you clean and keeping you clean. it's proven a miserable failure time and time again.

  • when you find that power, "turn yourself over" to it... in the sense that if something works, you ought to devote yourself to pursuing it

  • take a look at yourself. where have you fucked up? what are your resentments? surely even an AA skeptic like you can see that it would be a good idea to look at resentments, can't you? after all, the person who carries them around is carrying around a lump of shit in his/her heart that doesn't change anything accept his/her attitudes/outlook on life and makes him/her unhappy

  • then you get it off your chest

  • then you can actually look at your faults and think about changing them

  • then earnestly, within your heart, you ask for change. fuck the god part. "god" is whatever you want that to mean. "deep down inside" you ask of your whole being that you leave the faults behind.

  • at that point you can start earnestly looking at the reparations you need to make. why not sooner? because you're the same dipshit who pulled the crap on those people, and you're not likely to keep from doing that same stuff again unless you've worked on yourself. DUH! how can i go to someone and apologize if part of it isn't... "i will do my best to never do that again." never again, huh? never again means i'm not that same loser who did that stuff anymore. i've worked on myself.

  • then you can actually go and make those amends.

  • how about then you keep your house clean on a daily basis? you shit all over the place before. now that it's a clean, liveable place... howza boutz you keep it that way so you can be functional.

  • prayer and meditation don't hurt at this point. they keep a person CENTERED so that maybe he/she get introspective enough that he/she doesn't walk into the same stupid situations that he/she did before when he/she was out there gettin loadidfied.

  • and then... helping other people. have you ever done that, or are you all about just poking holes in organizations that benefit others? when you help people, you feel good. you don't feel like drinking. i used to pop two eightballs up my nose per day at one time. i'm totally high on helping young kids whose lives are fucked up and are stuck in juvenile hall. if you do that sometime, let me know how that feels.

my sponsor has 41 years of sobriety. i've met thousands of AAs and NAs with 20+ years sobriety/clean-time. you show me the thousands and thousands who have abstained for 20+ years. i'll bet you my dick and balls you can't find more than a handful. a two eight-ball a night jerkoff like me does not suddenly come to his senses and say, "ya know what... i think i've had enough of this stuff forever" and never snorts another line. doesn't happen. i tried hundreds of times to quit. it's only with 12-step philosophy and practice that i've gotten two years clean.

oh, i forgot that i bow down and kiss bill wilson's ass every morning and say secret sacred AA chants that i'm forced to repeat by the evil powers that be in that organization who are controlling my mind remotely by a chip implanted in my brain. wanker...

am i a shining example of AA principles for writing to you and telling you to lump it? probably not. but i'm not a cult member. i do whatever the fuck i please. if i feel like getting angry at you... well... maybe i damn well should! you're propagating a bunch of idiot lies. OBVIOUSLY you've never fully read bill wilson's writing.

did you ever read alexander pope? i think he has a little ditty that goes something like this...

"a little learning is a dangerous thing drink deep or taste not the pierian spring there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain and drinking largely sobers us again."

sober up, bruvva man!

hey, and guess what? the moment i send this, my anger will pass out of my fingers, body and mind. i'll have a great day. no resentments!

did i leave out... "eat shit and die"? oh. i guess not.

take care!

Steve C.

Date: Thu, August 21, 2008 1:25 pm     (answered 23 May 2009)
From: "Steve C."
Subject: by the by...

slogans are simply the bullshit PRACTICES of some assholes in the room.

there is NOTHING WHATSOEVER that says

fake it till you make it
work the step or die!


nothing of that nature in bill wilson's literature.

and as for the grandiose claims of redemption... leave other people's faith to them fucking selves, nitwit. i'm an agnostic, but i respect other people's faith. if they want to think that way and it helps them, good for them. it never says anywhere in the big book or 12x12 that you need to adopt this or that god, but that you do need to take on a spiritual way of life. spiritual may, to those of limited capacity who can only read dictionaries, denote that which literally has to do with the divine aspect of a human being. to me... it means that part of a person which accepts that it is part of something bigger... is humble... open-minded. it is gnosis. the complete being as a single function. not a jumble of thoughts or emotions, but the whole integral self.

that is not written in the most graceful, wonderful prose... nor is it well thought out.

but come on, man! it's ALL OVER wilson's writing! you don't have to follow my way. follow your own star.

what people say in the rooms of AA is their own idiot business. for each person who says... "there is ONE program: THE program" there is another guy like me who says, "fuck dat, yo. there are as many programs in this room as there are people in this room."

it is only the closed-minded who hear one type of person... all the slogans... the jingos... who gets nothing out of the "shares" but that which they want to hear with their twisted, sadistic little minds which think nothing of drunks but that they're the rubbish of society and deserve their misfortune.

i read your jerkoff page. the way you refer to drunks as a bunch of worthless pieces of shit is remarkable.

Will being a booze-hound really get you that much good stuff?

Booze-hound, huh? Really? that your first born be a gutter booze hound and that you learn by painful experience what it is to love another human being who can't find any love for himself! and that you may learn what, in recovery, that selfsame booze hound child of yours may achieve.

nothing more or less than the next guy. but for a "booze hound", just to be functional and "part of" society is an incredible, incredible achievement FOR HIM.

you don't have to think anything of it. it doesn't change anything, what you think.

i'm only pissed off at you not because you are so ridiculously opposed to 12-step, but because you're clearly a recovery naysayer. that's disgusting. the fact that you're so smug and self-centered that you devote your time to poking holes in things that work for SOME people says a lot about your character (i.e., lack thereof.)

what works for you is great for you. what works for others is great for them. to claim that AA is a cult simply misses the definition of cult. how can anything be called a cult where the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking/using?

Steve C.

Well, Steve,

You really get upset when someone critically examines Alcoholics Anonymous, don't you?

I'll just leave your letters as they are. They aren't worth answering in detail. You really do a good job of making my points for me. I offer your two letters as evidence that A.A. really is a cult.

But there is one glaring contradiction in your first letter, in your idea of "the A.A. Program", that I have to comment on:

  1. First, you declare:
    accept that some power outside yourself can help you (because, within yourself, ya ain't findin the answers.)

  2. A little later, you declare:
    fuck the god part. "god" is whatever you want that to mean. "deep down inside" you ask of your whole being that you leave the faults behind.

First you say that the answer must come from outside of yourself because you aren't finding the answers within you, and then, a little later, you say "fuck the god part — the answer is deep down within you." So somewhere around Step 1 or Step 2, you are saying that you need the help of "Higher Power", but then around Step 7 you decide that you can correct all of your "defects of character" and "moral shortcomings" without "Higher Power" (God). That makes no sense. You can't have it both ways.

And this is grossly wrong, and exactly backwards:
"the way you refer to drunks as a bunch of worthless pieces of shit is remarkable".
Bill Wilson was the one who basically referred to drunkards as worthless pieces of shit, not me. I never said any such thing. Please learn to read. Then go read the file on The "Us Stupid Drunks" Conspiracy where I list a lot of Bill Wilson's put-downs of alcoholics. Also read item 2 of the cult test, You are always wrong, and item 90, Newcomers Need Fixing for more of the standard A.A. put-downs of alcoholics.

By the way, "Fake It Until You Make It", and "Act As If", have been part of A.A. practices and slogans since before A.A. began. That is, they were creations of the Episcopal rector, Dr. Samuel Shoemaker, when he was the second in commmand of Frank Buchman's Oxford Group cult. Shoemaker created those practices to aid in the religious conversion of prospective victims. Bill Wilson learned all of that cult religion stuff from Sam Shoemaker while he was a member of the Oxford Group. Bill Wilson even said so:

Early AA got it's ideas of self-examination, acknowledgement of character defects, restitution for harm done, and working with others straight from the Oxford Groups and directly from Sam Shoemaker, their former leader in America, and nowhere else.
Bill Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, page 39.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    And the believers said, "If you want what we
**    have, and are willing to go to any length to
**    get it, then, here, drink this koolaid."

Date: Thu, August 21, 2008 10:02 pm     (answered 23 May 2009)
From: "Leon L."
Subject: THANK YOU!!!

You have NO Idea how accurate your papers are!

I have SUFFERED many a "consequence" for leaving A.A., from employment and professional losses to down right stalking (God forbid you try to leave).

And I will be the first to point out the numerous examples of exploitation this CULT's members engage in, especially in the Los Angeles area and the members who are involved in the entertainment field.

I have never been so taken advantage of in my life!

Hello Leon,

Thanks for the letter. Sorry to hear about your troubles. I hope things are going better for you now.

Have a good day.

== Orange

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

May 6, 2009, Wednesday: Day 6, continued:
Here, Carmen is still with the family with five older goslings that she wishes to join.

Canada Goose mother + goslings
The mother goose and her goslings are working on a bagel.
Carmen is the small one in the front and center. Carmen wants the mother, not the bagel.

Canada Goose goslings
All of the goslings are looking at me expectantly, hoping that I will toss them some more "bagel bits".
Carmen is the small one in the middle.

The goslings' jaws and beaks are not strong enough for them to be able to rip a bagel apart. But they can eat it when I tear the bagel into little pieces and toss the pieces to them. So they were hoping that I would do that for them. I did.

Carmen didn't really care about the bagel that much. She was very well-fed, not really hungry like the other goslings that were out in the tough real world, scrounging for a meal. But Carmen did whatever all of the other goslings did, just to fit in.

Canada Goose goslings
Carmen walking along with the other goslings. She tried so hard to fit in. Carmen is the small one.

Canada Goose mother + goslings
Dog Alert
The family of geese is running for the river, because a dog is coming.
Carmen went with them. She's the small one on the right.

When I took this picture, I thought that Carmen was gone, that I wouldn't see her again, at least not for a while, because she was going to go away with this family.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

Date: Thu, August 21, 2008 1:56 pm     (answered 23 May 2009)
From: "Num Num Buns"
Subject: Interesting Article on AA

I found your article very interesting. I have never wanted to join AA for a lot of the same reasons you've listed here. Do you know of other alternatives?

Hi Num Num Buns,

The answer is "Yes". Here is a list of discussions of alternatives.

Good luck, and have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Where ideas are concerned, America can be counted on
**     to do one of two things: take a good idea and run it
**     completely into the ground, or take a bad idea and run
**     it completely into the ground."
**                                    — George Carlin

Date: Mon, August 25, 2008 12:47 am     (answered 23 May 2009)
From: "Elaine C."
Subject: X-Bill W. Friend!!!

Wow, I found your page and what great work you are doing. I was AA for the better part of 20 years and saw, heard and preached all that muck! I tell people today, "Can you believe I was once part of a cult..........AA!"

The bitch about it is I spent 20 years convincing my family about "the disease" and my NEED to go to meetings. Now, they call me "dry drunk" because I have nothing to say good about AA. Now, I get to spend the next 20 years trying to convince them that it was all bull.

My sisters say "you've changed!" I say yes, I'm not a victim anymore. I fixed myself and like (love) myself just fine.

I live and am from New Orleans. I am a working artist and have a happy life. Lots of my old AA friends just cant understand that what I do works for me. From time to time I well bump into an old AA friend and will always be asked "You drinking?" I say, "You cheat on your spouse, or your taxes?" In other words, don't hold that guilt yard-stick up to me!

Anyway thank for what is clearly a very time consuming process. Putting the info out there.

Regards, Elaine

Hi Elaine,

Thanks for the letter, and congratulations on your escape from the madhouse. And thanks for the thanks.

And have a good day.

== Orange

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

Date: Mon, August 25, 2008 2:04 am     (answered 24 May 2009)
From: "john r."

Obviously you have vague knowledge of what it is like to recover from a seemingly hopelless , helpless state of mind. i am a recovered alcoholic and it is through the simple program of alcoholics anonymous that i've found my help. you stated in your ramblings that this program is a religion-it is not,it is a sound set of principles for living. our guidelines for living have been set down by people who have a common problem and have found through experience that one alcoholic helping another is what works.

a " higher power " , a god of your own understanding, is an essential part of our recovery process. you have obviously devoted a lot of unnecessary time trying to convince another that a program only an alcoholic can understand , does not work . you need only look in the book of james to understand these principles. if you may be agnostic or atheist maybe you may consider another of a.a. essentials- that being open-mindedness- also if the alcoholic anonymous program is all you say, why has it helped millions of people in over 150 countrys recover from there hopeless , helpless state of mind ? god bless you for your time and understanding .

p.s. saint francis prayer and sermon on the mount by emmett fox may give insight to this wonderful fellowship. good day

Hello John,

Actually, I have a lot of experience with alcohol addiction and recovery. Try reading the introduction, for starters. Why do you think I was in an "alcohol treatment program"? And I now have 8 1/2 years off of alcohol, tobacco, and any other drugs. So yes, I've been through the mill, and I know about addiction and recovery.

You said,
a " higher power " , a god of your own understanding, is an essential part of our recovery process.
By an odd coincidence, I just received another letter from an angry A.A. member who explained "the Program" this way:

...then earnestly, within your heart, you ask for change. fuck the god part. "god" is whatever you want that to mean. "deep down inside" you ask of your whole being that you leave the faults behind.

Why do we get this constant alternation between "God" and "no god"? It looks suspiciously like a bait-and-switch trick. First, "You don't have to believe in God", and then you do.

And if "god" (lower-case 'g') can be anything, then god can easily be something that cannot help you. I don't really believe that using a bedpan, doorknob, or rock, as my "higher power" is going to save me from addiction. Do you?

Then you declared,
"you have obviously devoted a lot of unnecessary time trying to convince another that a program only an alcoholic can understand , does not work ."
That is just a game of one-upmanship, trying to declare that I cannot understand A.A. because I am supposedly not an alcoholic. The funny thing is, everybody who knows me, or knew me back when, agrees that I'm an alcoholic. Ex-wife, children, friends, coworkers, everybody. My doctor went so far as to say, "Quit drinking or die. Choose one."

But when I criticize the insanity of Alcoholics Anonymous, suddenly I'm allegedly not an alcoholic, so I supposedly can't understand how A.A. really works. (Which it doesn't.)

The claim that outsiders can't really understand the wonderfulness of the organization is just another standard cult characteristic. Look at The cult and its members are special and Enemy-making and Devaluing the Outsider.

The Oxford Group liked to quote the Book of James to justify their twisted theology and heretical cult practices, but the Christian Church rejected and banned James' practices like group confessions nearly 1600 years ago, because of the many problems that practice caused. (And the correct term is "practice", not "spiritual principle".) Look here. So, no, I'm not going to look into the Book of James to see the "A.A. principles".

You are again repeating the Biggest Lie of Alcoholics Anonymous:
"It has helped millions of people in over 150 countrys".
No it hasn't. We were just discussing that a few letters back, so look here.

Have a good day.

== 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: Mon, August 25, 2008 3:35 am     (answered 25 May 2009)
From: "jacob b."
Subject: AA

Why the fierce attack against AA? It seems to me you take examples out of the big book and use unfounded examples. In all the time I have gone to AA I have never been in a group that told me I was wrong, I was going to die if I didn't do AA, etc. All of your negative examples I have never once seen. I've gone to perhaps 20 different meetings, some of which I attend regularily. What did you do to research your claims, as I find nearly all of them to be untrue.

btw, I liked your rendition of the twelves steps (with santa claus in them and whatnot). I told that to my sponsor and he laughed. Something you say won't happen in AA. Weird how that happened.

Hello Jacob,

Thanks for the letter.

You seem to have found some very nice A.A. groups. Lucky you. The fact that you have personally never seen anything bad happen in Alcoholics Anonymous doesn't mean that it isn't happening. As Carl Sagan used to say, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

Many other people who write to me have real horror stories to tell, so it isn't just my opinion or my interpretation of the Big Book or the Twelve Steps. Look at

  1. He now prays about EVERYTHING and expects a message or sign from God.

  2. My 13 months in AA was absolute hell. ... My first nine months, two new comers killed themselves. ... I had one horrible relationship with a very ill narcissist man, who lied and cheated and was hooked on prescription drugs, but claimed his sobriety each day in meetings.

  3. More A.A. murders

  4. Growing Up In a 12 Step Home

  5. A.A. and treatment horror story

  6. ...he's not only stopped drinking, he's stopped living.

  7. the people yanked away from their families

  8. That core group of '80s era Narateen children all went on to become junkies.

  9. I had a friend who was alcoholic. She kept being drawn back to AA and all its abuses. Well, she hung herself.

  10. ...we are getting divorced, and I think it all comes down to her sponsor and AA indoctrination...

  11. AA gave my dad's selfish, violent behavior justification.

  12. ...a married lady who is being pressured to essentially cheat on her husband by members of her NA group.

  13. It is insane to tell someone like my sister who was bi-polar and suffering from so much, that she should ... Stop taking all medications

  14. my own sister had five years sober when she committed suicide in a most horrible way

  15. another bad sponsor

  16. another bad sponsor

  17. The 'teacher' of the Steps class said I had to go to any lengths to remain sober. ...being in the program I BEGAN TO DISBELIEVE WHAT I KNEW WAS THE TRUTH.

  18. A girl is hijacked to a 12-Step treatment center by a Stepper true-believer aunt, after the aunt gives the girl alcohol.

  19. Screwing with alcoholics in the U.K.

  20. Seven rehabs, seven chances to get cheated.

  21. Another treatment center nightmare: losing a fiance to a rehab romance

  22. The how and why of losing a fiance to a rehab romance

  23. Another old-timer writes about his experiences with "the evil empire"

  24. They were mad because I was getting married when I got back.

  25. a sad story of Narcotics Anonymous, the "sexual, social cult"

  26. I've been pathologized for twenty years. I can't go back there.

  27. holding a parent's children hostage until they go to AA or NA is just wrong.

  28. I had NO IDEA that these programs were like this until I was forced to attend them.

  29. I have been haunted by this program for almost 30 years now. Often, I would just give up and resign myself to drinking, rather than submit to AA.

  30. The Q Group: Young women have been raped by much older men. My old sponsor had sex with a 14 year old girl and he is in his 30's. He acted like it was no big deal. I mentioned to him that such things are wrong. He said "who says so"...

  31. I used to attend the badger group in waukesha, the biggest aa cult in waukesha... What has always been shocking to me is the rationalization of a death after a person has quit taking their meds under the so-called direction of their sponsor.

  32. more about the rapes of under-age girls at the "Midtown Group" of Washington DC, USA

  33. more Midtown Group sexual exploitation of youths in A.A.

  34. the local TV station in Washington DC has been reporting on the Midtown issue

  35. the Phoenix, Arizona, Young People's A.A. says that it's all about "cars, pussy, and money"

  36. the Bainbridge Island, Washington, A.A. group is another sex society

  37. the harm done to a lot of people

  38. abuses in England

  39. the Pacific Group of Clancy I., another exploitative sub-cult within the A.A. cult

  40. another treatment center horror story

  41. The leader of the group was a man named Jerry S. This particular group was nicknamed "Jerry's Kids".   ...   About four years ago shockwaves erupted in the rooms when Jerry wound up marrying a 15 year old girl who came to meetings seeking recovery..

  42. My wife just informed me yesterday that she wants a divorce, within hours after I forwarded to her the information that I found on line from your web site

  43. A good friend of mine that came from another state, 38, married, good life ahead, changed noticeably after some dickhead gave him the Big Book, he told me about it but I never told him what I knew about A.A., and he killed himself last year.

  44. "They really seduce you at first, just like someone with narcissistic personality disorder does when they are looking for their supply. But then as the relationship progresses, the constant devaluing begins, as you are only there to give them what they need. Then ultimately, the victim is depleted and discarded."

  45. My sister died last month, I don't blame AA completely but I feel that they definitely contributed to her death.

  46. I can control my drinking but I can't control the AA person she has become.

  47. stop taking medications to please A.A.

  48. My first sponsor ... starts screaming at me because she knew I took medication for some mental illnesses I have.

  49. It's all bullshit.... and I paid the price for this quackery for far too many years.

  50. My sponsor with 22 years sobriety behaved like a dictator in my life TELLING me what to do.. ... My sponsor found out I was on medication and told me to stop taking it... she then in an open meeting addressed me being on medication and the meeting proceeded to be a SHIT ON SARAH FEST for being stupid to allow myself to be medicated!!!!

  51. The crap these people taught about medication was reprehensible. I stopped taking medication after MY sponsor called me out on my Prozac.... I was shamed into stopping it.

  52. When i was nearly 4 years sober, a LONG timer with over 20 years of " RECOVERY" decided that i need his help. ... He ordered me to drink his urine as it had special powers.

  53. her sponsor forbid her from seeing me for thirty days... and at the end of the 30 days I was told by my now ex that I could never talk to her again

  54. I have been so manipulated by an old timing AA woman. I was led into a marriage to her incarcerated son...

  55. My partner has just passed 5 months in a highly restrictive 12 step based treatment center. (She has the "option" of staying up to a year, which has been "suggested".)   ...   It is being strongly "suggested" that she cut all ties with me.

  56. Two weeks after being there, no individual therapy, meetings AA meetings AA...

  57. I broke down to my command chaplain; a Lutheran minister who I had always trusted... The next thing out of his mouth was a slew of insults aimed at making me believe how stupid and evil I was. He called me a liar, manipulator, and pointed out how screwed up I was in the head because I was an alcoholic. ... My sponsor began telling me that I wasn't ready to embrace the program yet because I still wanted to do it on my own. Then he started asking me for money. ... Turns out, the dude had nowhere near the amount of success that he claimed AA had given him.

  58. She was seriously mentally ill — personality disorder probably. She hit me, stole money from me, had a serious gambling addiction, was chronically unfaithful, was extremely verbally and emotionally abusive, etc. etc.

  59. After I gave birth I had severe postpartum depression. I had not healed from the birth and my sponsor told me not to take any medication. ... My sponsor had said that god would heal me and when god wanted me to sleep I would.

  60. ANYTIME I don't follow a direction, no matter how small, I get yelled at and lectured and told repeatedly that I'm not willing and haven't had a real bottom. There are no choices, it's an illusion. It's really controlling.

  61. He is already a wreck... He attends AA meetings 6 days a week with a sponsor, one of the counselors tells him that he should not be taking Paxil, which he takes for severe anxiety, because it's "all in his head and he is causing his own anxiety".

  62. Sexual misconduct is so pervasive and ignored in AA that young women are being hurt, abused, and becoming pregnant while newly sober.

  63. I was 13th stepped by my drug and alcohol counselor, who was sober in AA. He was in his 60's and i was 26. It did a great deal of harm.

  64. I was raised by an abusive AA member who, of course, told me I was alcoholic since before I ever had a drink. In fact, everyone is an alcoholic in his mind.

  65. Horror Story of 12 Step Eating Disorder Treatment

  66. When I was about eleven years old, my mother became a devout AA member. Even though I'd never had a drink in my life, she started telling me that I was an alcoholic anytime that she and I had an argument, which only got worse when I was a teen.

  67. [At a "treatment center":] So I decided to leave. They made it impossible. They wouldn't give me my things, which included my bank card, saying if I left AMA I can't get them instead they mail my possessions to my house. Well I was far from home, had no money (needed the card), no phone and no way to even get to the airport.

  68. Several years ago I sought the help of a Psychiatrist who happened to be in AA. I gave him my complete trust. His prescription for depression was going to meetings rather than "feeling sorry for myself" and "carrying the AA message".

  69. For years I watched my beautiful gentle husband turn into someone I don't know or like.

  70. An A.A. sponsor describes her sponsee as a retard who "has a serious spiritual disorder and also one inside his head".

  71. "Without rhyme or reason, the system disowned Leo and he spent the last month or so of his life in miserable pain. He died alone living effectively in exile"

  72. "... the counselor ... tried to convince me I was an alcoholic. Among his evidence that I must be an alcoholic was that I cut back on drinking after blacking out when I was in college (I'm now in my mid 40s, college for me was back in the 1980s)."

  73. ...he's hardly at home when I get home from work he's gone, he eats dinner at his group because they take turns at taking dinner for eveyone, he said they told him it's ok if he doesn't eat with his family...

  74. "my husband says whenever I go to AA it causes so much trouble at home as they tell me to leave him as he drinks."

  75. "as soon as I got into speaking for the first time (The "Newcomer") I got bashed harder than anything. I was shocked with the way they were speaking to me and then I kept my mouth shut for the remainder."

  76. I've seen AA do nothing for my parents, nor Alateen and Alanon do nothing for me.

  77. After a few months of this, my partner and I were effectively leading separate lives, and I hardly saw my family at all. My entire thinking was being taken over by AA.

  78. A few years ago I got sucked into the AA nightmare. At the time I thought it was the only way out of an ongoing battle I'd been having with alcohol. Well, it turned out that it only made it worse. I was always relapsing, going back to meetings, relapsing, going back and on and on.

  79. ...this group went to friends of mine outside of A.A. and spread lies, ruined my reputation and cost me dear friendships.

  80. they started showing a video of a new 18 year old girl that had just came in to the group and they said she was going to be one of the sponsor's girlfriend "the sponsor is 38 years old"

  81. This guy was diagnosed as a manic/depression. ... & he did a lot of sponsoring people & he CHARGED them for it, you heard me right, HE CHARGED PEOPLE FOR IT.

  82. Is it ME??? They talk and they talk about helping and spirituality and they snub at the same time. All they want to do is praise AA.

The list of horror stories has been moved to its own file, here:
More stories are there.

And speaking of my interpretation of the Big Book and Bill Wilson's teachings about God and alcohol, you might want to look at these items (then again, you might not):

  1. the immense amount of misinformation about alcoholism and recovery,
  2. the crazy theology,
  3. the deceit and dishonesty and falsification of history,
  4. the insanity of the Founder Bill Wilson and his Big Book,
  5. the 13th-stepping

Have a good day.

== Orange

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

Date: Wed, August 27, 2008 10:55 am     (answered 25 May 2009)
From: "Erik B."
Subject: wow

Dear Orange Guy:

You know if you attacked any organization, however good they may be, with the same negative zeal as you just ripped 12 step programs I'm sure you could dig enough dirt to send Mother Theresa's group to life at hard labour.

While I admit that Bill Wilson was a failed AA all his life and that he was probably quite insane when he died, the concept of what the first several hundred AA's started is real and do-able.

Granted AA is probably a dying organization because they are very orthodox and unchanging, NA has attempted to fix all that crap. For example, saying a higher power of your understanding and then in the next sentence proclaiming that it's a "Him" and his name is "God". NA has long had problems with AA purists and our organization works.

You quote as many "fools" with statistics as AA does. All I know is that, at 55, I'm still alive and all my friends from my youth are now either dead (most) or insane (a few). The difference — I went to NA and worked the 12 steps and still do.

Thanks for the entertaining web page but I think before you resume your crusade you should take a look in a mirror and get at the root of all that misplaced anger.

Erik B

Hello Eric,

Mother Teresa didn't sell quack medicine as a cure for a deadly problem. Mother Teresa didn't use the courts and police and judges and parole officers to force people into her organization.

The rest of your letter is basically logical fallacies. You start with minimization and denial "the problem was just Bill Wilson and A.A. purists". (No, the problem is that the 12-Step program is a cult religion fraud.)

Then you claim that Narcotics Anonymous works and fixes all of the problems with Alcoholics Anonymous — but you supply zero evidence to support those claims. You don't supply any facts like the all-important actual N.A. cure rate. You just use a simple Proof by Anecdote argument — "I'm alive today because I drank Dr. Bummer's Magic Koolaid."

No, you are alive today because you stopped killing yourself with drugs, not because you joined a cult religion.

And you argue that, "You quote as many "fools" with statistics as AA does."
No, I quote doctors who know what they are talking about.

Trying to reject statistics is the last refuge of someone who is losing an argument. It is also the propaganda trick and mind game called Antirationalism, which is the argument that there is no real rational knowledge, that we cannot know the truth. Baloney. Yes we can, and yes we do.

Please supply a success rate. If we send 1000 randomly-selected alcoholics or drug addicts to Narcotics Anonymous, how many of them will pick up a neat glow-in-the-dark one-year "clean and sober" keytag a year later? And a black multi-year keytag two years later? The answer is important. The answer shows whether the N.A. program actually works.

By the way, I've still got my keytags — the whole set, including the 1-year and multi-year tags — but I didn't get them by following the teachings of either A.A. or N.A.; I got them by rejecting the teachings of both A.A. and N.A., and using my own common sense and determination to save my own life. That of course invalidates N.A. Step One:
"We admitted we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable."
That is bad misinformation — fatal misinformation. If I were powerless over my addictions, I'd be dead.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    And the believers said, "If you want what we
**    have, and are willing to go to any length to
**    get it, then, here, drink this koolaid."

Date: Tue, August 26, 2008 11:13 am     (answered 26 May 2009)
From: "John L."
Subject: Forum


Your website has been of great use to me in under standing what my wife is going through in AA, we are getting divorced, and I think it all comes down to her sponsor and AA indoctrination, that I am bad because I will not get a program (I do not believe in a higher power or abuse alcohol) and want her to drink again. She also suffers from bi-polar and PDD which does not help. All very sad for me and the kids but it seems that is the way it is.

Why not have a forum where people could learn from others about problems like this with AA. I can set it up for you or host it for you. It would be easier to search and follow than read through all your emails and people could chat about problems like I have been having.


Hello John,

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

And I'm sorry to hear about your troubles. Destroying marriages is one of the worst things that the 12-Step cult does. About the only thing worse is causing people to die. Which they also do.

I have been thinking real hard about a forum or bulletin board system. When I chose the current host system (Hostmonster.com), I made sure that they were running Linux and that I could install my own custom cgi-bin, just so that I could do such things. (I am an old cgi-bin computer programmer myself, so that part of the work isn't a problem.)

Can you suggest some good free software for a forum system? Ideally, it should allow multiple forums with multiple threads, and all of the usual features. Allowing embedded images would be really nice too. I'm sure I'm not the only one taking pictures of cute things like ducklings and goslings that they might want to share.

And I know I will need the help of volunteer moderators, because I don't seem to have much spare time for running and managing such a system myself — I'm still way behind just in answering email and working on the occasional web page. And summer is here, and the river and sunshine and cute goslings are calling...

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what
**    they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their
**    own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the
**    very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power
**    does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed."
**        ==  Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-AZ)

UPDATE: 2011.04.22:
The forum is finally a reality:

Date: Wed, August 27, 2008 1:24 pm     (answered 26 May 2009)
From: "Bill"
Subject: You and cults

Hi Agent. I hope all is well.

You kinda scared me for awhile because you hadn't been answering your email. I thought maybe something bad had happened to you.

I can't get enough of reading your mail, it always makes my day. I loved your pics of the goslings. They're so cute.

I'm sure you've already been to this site

But I just found it recently. I started to read it and all I could think was WOW, this is totally aa!!

Anyway I just wanted to say hi, and keep up the EXCELLENT work and all that you do.

Don't let the thumpers get you down. :)

They're just scared little aa'ers (that half the time can't even spell correctly) afraid your going to destroy their little world.


Hello Bill,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments and the laugh.

And I'm doing fine, in spite of current communications difficulties. Thank you Qwest. (Hint: If you are chosing a phone company, you might avoid Qwest.)
UPDATE: Qwest morphed into CenturyLink. I don't trust either of them.

And thanks for the tip. I don't think I found this web site before:

And yes, those little goslings are just so unbearably cute. They really are Tribbles. Remember the original Startrek series, "The Trouble with Tribbles"? Well, little newly-hatched goslings are Tribbles. They are irresistable. The photographs don't begin to convey the feelings you get when you have one or even several cute little goslings cuddling up to you and chirping happily about "Oh, your body is so warm. That feels good. I want to cuddle more."

By the way, in case you didn't notice, I just got another orphan a few weeks ago. The story starts here. Yes, it's already another year and another generation of cute fluff-balls.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    If Jesus died for my picayune little sins,
**    then He really overreacted.
**         ==  Unknown Texan Band

Date: Mon, July 28, 2008 9:14 pm     (answered 26 May 2009)
From: "Perry S."

Hi Orange,

More than eight years ago, I was alcohol-dependent, and had been so for most of my 22 year-long drinking history. Eventually the disgraceful consequences of my drinking (and signs of liver disease) were too much to pay for the "benefit" of getting drunk and I decided I wasn't going to drink anymore. I believed then, and still do, that I no longer have any moral licence to drink. I subsequently have not touched a single drop of alcohol, and I have no sense of missing anything in life by being abstinent. I know that even if I could somehow avoid the bad consequences of drinking, the best I could get out of a hypothetical drink now is no more than what I got out of it thousands of times before. I just have no interest in drinking again — I've moved on.

At the time I made this decision for abstinence, I did feel that I needed the emotional support of abstainers in making this sudden move from being a drunk to being alcohol-free. I went to my first AA meeting in search of such support, which in large measure I did get. On top of this, I also got all of the "advice": get a sponsor, go to meetings, go especially to steps meetings, listen, and so on. I baulked at the idea of "getting a sponsor". The word "sponsor" means someone who gives financial support to a community group, for example a sports club, and gets some advertising in return. Was someone going to pay me money to wear a shirt with his name on it? I recognized absurdity right from the beginning — I was only an idiot when I drank, I'm not usually an idiot otherwise. Early on, I saw a couple of cases of new AA members driven out by dysfunctional old-timer sponsors. I've also never accepted the dogmatic disease-of-alcoholism model, and got away with saying so at a couple of meetings. My attitude though, was if the emotional support I needed was available, I could ignore a degree of nonsense, especially recognizing the slogan "take what you want and ignore the rest". I never did invite a "sponsor" to control any part of my life. I was also perplexed about what relevance the twelve steps had in recovery from alcohol dependence. To be sure, some of the content in itself is good — for example, making amends for misdeeds — but what significance does this have for someone pushed by a sponsor to do it, under threat of relapsing into drunkeness otherwise? Anything good in the steps is removed by the AA context. As a drunk, I often freely made amends to people for bad behaviour, with no effect, or expectation of effect, on subsequent drinking.

So up to here, I've got no sponsor, and I'm ignoring the steps, at least in their dysfunctional AA context, but I'm attending meetings for emotional support, not drinking anymore, and not missing it. At first I was attending four or five meetings a week, and did service as group treasurer for one of them — at two months in. Taking this up was the first of several uncomfortable experiences, revealing something of the sick nature of much of AA. The group needed a treasurer, and strangely no-one present wanted to do it. Naively, I volunteered, to the objection of one "old-timer" I hadn't seen there before spouting rules about needing at least six months sobriety to take up AA service. The others shushed him up with some effort, and I was the treasurer. As it turned out, the "old timer" was a group regular who had been overseas for a couple of months, and when present dominated the meeting with abusive put-downs of anyone present, and declarations of his perceived superiority. He particularly didn't like my university background, and let me know from the floor many times that I was just a "useless academic". What could I do now that I had taken on a group role that obligated me to attend this meeting every week with this AA-conditioned narcissistic lunatic? I realized also that the rest of the group had deliberately dumped me in it — none of them wanted to be obligated to be in the room with this madman every week!

What is also clear in this, Orange, is your own point that there is no organizational structure in AA to remove people who more desperately need professional psychiatric counselling. Eventually, I was courageous enough to turn up at the meeting and announce I was passing on the treasurer job and leaving the group. Of course my mad friend who objected to me taking it up in the first place had plenty to say about me "dumping the job" and harangued me about my "lack of integrity" until I could get away, never to return. I was sensible enough to just roll with the punches for about twenty minutes, knowing that I would never see this sociopath again (and I haven't).

I kept up other meetings though, and made it my policy to drop meetings where I experience sick attitudes. When I heard conversation at one of the meetings about thirteenth-step conquests on the meeting table (!) before the opening of the meeting, that meeting went. When I heard someone else claiming, in all apparent seriousness, that he derives divine power from the knob on the door to not drink, and the following week someone else make the same claim about the chair he was sitting on (no-one there ever batted an eyelid!), that meeting went. At meetings I've witnessed people getting shouted down for saying AA is a religion — while taking people seriously who worship doorknobs and chairs?

I currently attend just one small meeting, and not every week anymore. I regard the core of the group as friends (none of them are mad old-timers), but really the main reason I'm still there is I'm the treasurer (yet again a group treasurer!), and there haven't been any sufficiently bad or mad experiences there yet (apart from the standard readings, which I just lethargically defocus from). Having said this, Orange, your critical analysis of AA has given me the energy and inspiration to make the remaining final break from this dysfunctional outfit that I've never really believed in and definitely don't need. It's getting near impossible now to go through the motions of "sharing" dogmatic step program-based BS at meetings and still live with myself (especially the pretence that even after eight+ years of abstinence, I still suffer from a "disease" that might cast me back into drunkenness at any moment). After reading your material, I feel a bit stupid that after eight years I'm still attending a meeting, but I feel very lucky that at least I had the sense to never get a sponsor.



Hello PWS,

Thanks for the letter and the story, and congratulations on your years of sobriety and your escape from the looney bin.

So have a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   "You cannot help people permanently by doing for them
**    what they could and should do for themselves."
**       == Abraham Lincoln
**   So much for the A.A. "Higher Power" quitting
**   drinking for you and keeping you sober.
**   So much for staying in A.A. for the rest of your life and
**   counting on Alcoholics Anonymous to keep you sober.

Date: Fri, August 1, 2008 9:23 am     (answered 26 May 2009)
From: "william n."
Subject: Stopping the Crazies

Hey Orange,

How's it going? Glad to see you are posting letters again — one of my favorite pastimes is reading both those letters and your pithy replies.

Anyway, one of the ways I'm trying to dismantle the huge AA juggernaut is to engaging the local pastors at the churches where the cult meets. I've had a few dialogues and, while not seeing any progress, at least have been given the opportunity to express the 1) heretical nature of the organization, and 2) describe in detail its failure rate.

I also pointed out that there were occasions where I saw drug, alcohol, and sometimes sexual activity on their premises before-during-or after meetings by some of these upstanding pillars of recovery. I thought it might help to provide the clergy with a little more detailed information about who enters their doors.

I also inquired to the head of the local United Way about the dollar amounts given to a couple of local halfway houses. I found out that each gets about $30,000 dollars per year. I then wrote back to the United Way, citing facts and figures about the zero success rate of the 12 step programs, which of course these institutions foist on its hapless clients.

I'm writing letters to the local papers, and will contact my governement officals about this as well.

I was just thinking back to when I was collared and corraled into one of the halfway houses I mentioned above. It was supposed to be a 6-month course of treatment but it turned into 14 months. I nearly lost my marriage over it. Anyway, one day we were being driven home from our menial jobs (which they encouraged us to take and be proud — aspiring to anything more was deemed "egoism" and "self-will...") by one of the "phase 2 guys" ("phase 2" means you've been there longer and are peceived as a "role model") when we were almost killed in a near head-on accident with a fully loaded gravel truck. Fortunately there were only bumps, bruises, and strains.

When we got back to the halfway house the staff had all the guys who were in the van huddle up in one of the counselors offices. The State Police were on their way to the halfway house to interview the people in the van. Well don't you know the spiritual staff told us to lie about what happened, i.e. we were all wearing seatbelts (not all of us wore them) and that we were going the speed limit (we weren't) and etc. etc.

Yep, that's AA in action. That's doing God's will alright; lying to 5-0 so that they could get over and continue their patina of righteousness. Because if the truth got out their criminally operated gravy train would run out.

So Orange — how do like THAT spirituality?

Bill N.

Hi again, Bill,

Thanks for the letter and the story. And thanks for all of your activism. If enough people write those letters and make a fuss about the 12-Step hoax, something good really might happen, especially now while we have both massive budget cuts due to the destroyed American economy, and a new administration that is less dogmatic and crazy. The hoax machine might find its funding cut.

By the way, demanding real results from treatment programs and half-way houses and similar things is a great approach. I recently learned that the State of Oregon has wisely inserted demands for proof of efficacy into funding for Substance Abuse Treatment programs and the like. That is the kiss of death to the quack healers, because their frauds do not have any efficacy. So demanding that the taxpayers get a thousand dollars worth of cure for a thousand dollars of funding is a very good strategy.

Look here for a description of valid test procedures.

So keep up the good work, and keep your fingers crossed.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "The most fundamental form of human stupidity is
**   forgetting what we were trying to do in the first place."
**        ==  Friedrich Nietzche

[William N.'s next letter is here.]

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