Letters, We Get Mail, CXXII

Date: Sun, 5 Oct 2008 18:34:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: Lillian L.
Subject: need info about corporate AA

Hi. I've read a lot about your investigations on AA, et al.But now can't find what I read (and saved but lost info) around two years ago, about AA being a corporation. I saw the docs and all that. Now I'm trying to access that info, but can't find anything online either. I went to this site:


and have many more questions than before. How it is possible in the US to incorporate a non-profit that wholly owns a for-profit as I read they did in those early years? What is their status now? It seems that they have a very complex net for some reason we may not know — but I suspect is a powerful one. What happen to the 10% Bill's mistress heirs were receiving? Do you know if this I found in that site is true? Knowing how they try to portray the devastating studies and research done on them and by them, I don't doubt anything. I'm trying to investigate more about this "support" group turned cult because I'm into substance use and abuse research. Where I can go to get this type of info without drying my brains out trying to search?

Another thing; when I came across to the first heading, The Legal history of AA, — legal — had a yellow shading when I moved the cursor over it. I clicked to see what could come, my speakers suddenly started acting out and a the small window to close a program came up, but didn't want to close, and I had to unplugged my speakers to shut the noise. It's really, really weird, because when I plugged it again, the sound wasn't there, but the shading still shows.

Well, I hope you can help here. I think you are very tenacious in your efforts — which I just don't know how you do it!!! — to bring the truth about AA, et al. empire.

I'll truly appreciate your response.


  • 1940 = Works Publishing, Inc. is incorporated as a business corporation under the Stock Corporation Law of the State of New York by The Alcoholic Foundation. It purchases the assets and and liabilities of William G. Wilson dba Works Publishing and Works Publishing Company

  • 1943 = The Alcoholic Foundation, Inc., is incorporated as a non-profit corporation under the Membership Corporation Law of the State of New York. It replaces the unincorporated body known as The Alcoholic Foundation.

  • 1944 = The Alcoholic Foundation makes the final payments to Charles Towns and Rockefeller for their interests in the book Alcoholics Anonymous.

  • 1946 = The Alcoholics Anonymous Grapevine, Inc., is incorporated as a business corporation under the Stock Corporation Law of the State of New York. Its primary purpose is to publish a monthly magazine for distribution principally to AA members and is wholly ownedby The Alcoholic Foundation. It is also permitted to pursue any other legal enterprises. 1950 = The A.A. General Service Conference is formed on a trial basis by The Alcoholic Foundation. It is an unincorporated body composed of selected delegates, corporate trustees, and directors and staff members. It started meeting annually in 1951.

  • 1953 = Works Publishing, Inc., is renamed A.A.W.S. Incorporated.

  • 1954 = The Alcoholic Foundation, Inc. is renamed the General Service Board (GSB) of Alcoholics Anonymous, Inc.

  • 1955 = The General Service Conference of A.A. and its Charter are adopted by acclamation at the International Conference of A.A. in St. Louis. The Conference is an unincorporated service body, not a government of A.A. The Charter is a voluntary compact. (note: not incorporated/organized. It is not a grant from a state or other legal jurisdiction.

  • 1962 = Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. is incorporated as a non-profit corporation under the Membership Corporation Law of the State of New York. It takes over the assets and functions of the stock corporation then known as A.A.W.S. Incorporated, which is subsequently dissolved.

  • 1969 = The World Service Meeting (WSM) is formed and starts meeting every two years. It is an unincorporated association of AAWS franchised service structures of A.A. in various countries. The service structure of A.A. in the U.S. and Canada becomes a member of the WSM as do service structures of A.A. in other countries.

  • 1971 = Alcoholics Anonymous Grapevine, Inc. is incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation under the Not-For-Profit Law of the State of New York. It takes over the assets and functions of The Alcoholics Anonymous Grapevine, Inc., the stock corporation then known as A.A. Grapevine, Inc., which is subsequently dissolved.
  • As far as it goes, the summary is true. Explanations for all the corporate changes are lacking. And as a legal history of A.A., it is lacking any documentation or discussion of all the legal actions AAWS and GSO, etc., have taken to sue AA members in recent years. It also lacks the significant change in the Charter's Article two in 1987, which states: "In countries where a General Service structure exists, the U.S./Canada Conference will delegate sole right to publish our Conference-approved literature to the General Service Board of the structure (these are FRANCHISE Agreements)." This change effectively voided the previous Article wording: "But no Conference Section shall ever be placed in authority over another." The reason given for the change involved a problem with two different groups in Australia. One AA member informed that the change was "ramroded" through.(4) It was reaffirmed with minor language clarifications by the 1988 GSC. None of the AAWS lawsuits against AA members in Germany or Mexico have ever been approved by GSConferences. AAWS, GSO General Managers, Trustees, etc initiated the lawsuits.

    Date: Sun, 5 Oct 2008 22:00:36 -0700 (PDT)
    From: Lillian L.
    Subject: Fw: need info about corporate AA

    Warning: I hope it's not too late. Just in case the site I sent you to check out, please don't open it. After I wrote to you, my sound died and now I can't restore it. I think it has something to do with the clicking on the yellow spot on that article, and started making static-like sounds. sorry about that. I still would like to know if you can help with the info.
    thanks, lili

    Hi. I was just beginning to look at the stuff you sent. I am in no danger. I run Linux, not Windoze, and am not vulnerable to the usual Microsoft vulnerabilities.

    I get sent viruses and that kind of garbage all of the time, and just laugh and archive them for later study and disection. I just got another one a few minutes ago. It's getting to the point where I recognize them by file sizes.

    So anyway, not to worry.

    Have a good day.

    == Orange

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

    Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2008 08:17:17 -0700 (PDT)
    From: Lillian L.
    Subject: Re: Fw: need info about corporate AA

    What a relief! I think that's what I should do. Three weeks ago something ate my key board's usability. I'm still interested on knowing if AA is still run under corp or non-profit or a (safe!) place to go look.

    Thanks. lili

    Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2008 01:23:52 -0700 (PDT)
    From: Lillian L.
    Subject: Re: Fw: need info about corporate AA

    The weird thing is they say in those docs that everything was changed to non-profits. I wonder how I could go about it and where. What tickles me is how a non-profit could own a for profit? I'm making my major in non-profits and addictions on prison population, and haven't seen that. they do everything so obscure and twisted — just like cultish org.
    thanks again
    have a good one.


    Well the real short answer is that nothing has changed. AAWS — Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc, got renamed to AAS — they just dropped the "World" word from their name. It's still the book-publishing, profit-making corporation, and it is totally owned by the GSO, the non-profit General Services Office. (or Organization).

    I don't know for sure whether Helen Wynn's descendants got her share of the money or if it reverted to the GSO, or to Lois Wilson's relatives. I hear that Lois's family still gets millions.

    I'll have to investigate the rest.

    Have a good day.

    == Orange

    UPDATE AND CORRECTION: 2011.04.15:
    It turns out that the leaders of A.A. quietly reincorporated Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., many years ago, so that it is also now a non-profit corporation that doesn't have to pay taxes on its income.

    Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2008 10:06:54 -0700 (PDT)
    Subject: Re: Fw: need info about corporate AA
    From: "Orange" <[email protected]>
    To: "Lillian L."

    One thing that is helpful is Guidestar, which has a lot of information on non-profits. Go to


    and enter "Alcoholics Anonymous" in the search box at the top of the page, and you get the AA Grapevine, AA Chicago, and the General Service Board, and a zillion smaller A.A. non-profits.

    The GSB, which is for some strange reason always called the GSO, it the big important one. That's the one that owns Alcoholics Anonymous.

    I registered with them [Guidestar] a long time ago, and I see that I can still use the "View Report" button on them. They prefer a donation, but you don't have to pay to see the report.

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

    ADDENDUM: 27 May 2009

    Hi again, Lillian,

    In looking back through my email, and trying to get caught up on old email, I see that I never really finished this thread.

    I meant to say more, after investigating a few things, so I set the letters aside, and then they soon got buried under the avalanche of incoming email.

    Anyway, to answer a few of your other questions:

    As far as I know, there isn't any legal problem with a non-profit corporation owning stock in a for-profit corporation. It happens all of the time. Imagine that some rich old guy owns a lot of stocks and bonds, and he might even be the majority stockholder of a few small corporations. He dies and leaves his estate to charity. Suddenly some foundation finds itself the majority owner of a couple of for-profit corporations. No problem. It can just keep the stock and collect the dividends and then spend the income on charitable works. Or it can sell the stock to raise cash, and spend the income on charitable works. Whatever.

    A similar situation is, a pension fund — a non-profit corporation — owns stock in the for-profit company that employs the workers who will eventually retire. That happens very often — it's usually the case that a for-profit corporation sets up a pension fund for its employees, and the pension fund promptly buys a huge chunk of the stock of the parent corporation. Or, the parent corporation actually finances the pension fund by contributing a huge chunk of its own stock to the pension fund.

    (Of course, that means that the pension fund goes bankrupt when the parent corporation goes bankrupt, which is happening a lot lately. That is a good reason to demand that the laws be changed to require that pension funds diversify, and, like any Wall Street mutual fund, not be allowed to invest more than 5% of its money in any one company. But it's far too late to save a lot of pension funds now.)

    So, back to the subject of A.A., here we have a non-profit corporation called the General Service Board being the real owner of Alcoholics Anonymous, and one of their valuable assets is a book-publishing company called "Alcoholics Anonymous Services, Inc.", formerly known as "Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.", formerly known as "Works Publishing, Inc." (formerly known as "The 100 Men Corporation"). It's quite legal.

    What wasn't legal, and what nobody in A.A. will talk about, is the fact that Bill Wilson and Henry Parkhurst and William J. Ruddell sold stock subscriptions in a corporation called the "100 Men Corporation" whose purpose was to write a book for the new "Alcoholic Foundation". That book is now known as the "Big Book", Alcoholics Anonymous. (See the stock prospectus here.)

    But Bill Wilson (and possibly Henry Parkhurst) frittered away the publishing fund and then Bill Wilson stole the copyright of the Big Book. Bill Wilson wrote on the copyright form (image here) of the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" that he was the sole author of the book when it really had at least 38 authors, and that he was the sole proprietor of a publishing company called "Works Publishing", which wasn't true at all, of course. So the other alcoholics had to do a cover-up. They set up and incorporated a new corporation called "Works Publishing, Inc.", and floated the story that it was just a name change from "100 Men Corporation".

    Then the people who had bought stock subscriptions in the 100 Men Corporation were told that they now owned stock in "Works Publishing, Inc.". But then, when the book started to sell, the stockholders were told that they weren't going to get any of the profits from the sale of the Big Book, like they had been promised to get them to buy the stock in the first place — that the "Alcoholic Foundation" was buying up all of the stock in "Works Publishing, Inc.". That is of course felony stock fraud.

    There is much more on that story in these two files: Birth of BigBook and Birth of BigBook II: Financial Analysis of the Creation of the Big Book.

    Oh, and I guess that starts to answer your other implied question about, "When did that 'support group' turn into a cult?"
    The simple answer is, it was always a cult and a fraud, from the very beginnning. It was always just as dishonest as the Oxford Group cult that gave it birth.

    If you want to examine the finances of the current non-profit corporation, the General Service Board, here are their Form 990 filings with the IRS:

    1. 1999
    2. 2000
    3. 2001
    4. 2002
    5. 2003
    6. 2004
    7. 2005
    8. 2006
    9. 2007

    And these may be duplicate copies, on another web site. I haven't had the time to closely examine them yet:

    Also see these discussions of GSO and A.A. finances in previous letters:

    Have a good day.

    == Orange

    *             [email protected]        *
    *         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
    *          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
    **   "Banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties
    **    than standing armies."
    **     ==  Thomas Jefferson

    May 6, 2009, Wednesday: Day 6, continued:

    Here, the geese have successfully made their run for the river, and are safely in the water before a dog got near them.

    Canada Goose mother + goslings
    Carmen is the small one right beside the mother.
    As usual, Carmen is sidling up to the mother goose and trying to get accepted as one of her children.

    Now the goslings are back on the beach, eating a bagel, bit by bit, as I toss the pieces to them. I followed the geese down to the beach, of course, to see how things worked out. And I dug out one last bagel to feed them.

    Canada Goose goslings
    The goslings are scrambling for a bit of bagel.
    Carmen is the small one in the rear.

    The goslings have a funny way of dividing up food — they kind of fight over it. The one who has the piece of bagel will try to keep it, but the others will also grab onto it, and they end up ripping it apart and sharing it.

    Carmen doesn't care about the bagel that much; she is just going along with the other goslings, doing whatever the other goslings are doing, trying to be one of the gang.

    Canada Goose mother + goslings
    Another dog alert, so they are back in the water.
    Carmen is the small one in the middle.

    Canada Goose mother + goslings
    The goslings are expressing their dissatisfaction about something to Mother, while the father at the top of the picture does guard duty.

    I don't know what the goslings are complaining about, but they are definitely unhappy about something, and telling their mother about it. Carmen is wisely keeping quiet and not trying to annoy Mother. Carmen is, as usual, the small one in the middle.

    Here is a magnification of the complaining goslings.

    Canada Goose mother + goslings
    The goslings are expressing their dissatisfaction about something.

    Canada Goose mother + goslings
    The goose family is back on the shore again.
    Carmen is, as usual, the small one in the middle.

    This is one of the last photographs of Carmen with this family, this evening. Just when it was looking like the family might really accept Carmen, she suddenly turned away from the family and walked back to me, all cold and wet. All that I could say was, "It didn't work out?"

    I picked Carmen up and cuddled her against my bare neck to warm her up. I can guess what happened. Carmen was cold and wet, and asked the mother if she could get under the mother's wing and get warmed up, and the mother said, "No. You aren't one of my children. Go away." And that abruptly ended any possibility of adoption. It was hopeless. If she was alone outdoors, Carmen would have died of the cold that night. She just had to have a mother or somebody warming her up.

    So Carmen came back to me to get warm. While I was cuddling and warming Carmen, another goose family, one with 4 younger goslings that were just Carmen's size and age, came ashore, and the family with 5 goslings swam away.

    Canada Goose family with 4 goslings
    A family of geese with 4 smaller goslings arrives.
    They are just Carmen's size.

    Canada Goose family with 5 goslings
    The goose family with 5 larger goslings swims home for the night, without Carmen.

    Canada Goose mother + 4 goslings
    The family of geese with 4 smaller goslings approaches.

    I had seen this family with 4 goslings before, but they had not been around in a while. I considered this new family with the smaller goslings as prospective parents for Carmen, but it was getting too late to be experimenting. If Carmen swam away with them and then got rejected and the mother wouldn't keep her warm, then Carmen would have died later that night, lost somewhere out there, shivering and crying in some cold and dark place. So I kept Carmen cuddled against my neck and didn't chance it.

    Carmen and I went home together again, and I kept her warm through the night. And woke up finding her standing on my head.

    Yep, sometimes that girl does strange things. When I'm laying down, and she has had enough cuddling, sometimes she likes to get into my hair, and climb up the side of my head, and then stand on top of my head, looking around. I guess that she feels that it's a safe, secure vantage point. I was just worried that she was going to shit on my head.

    [More goslings photos and story below, here.]

    Date: Tue, April 7, 2009 10:56 am     (answered 29 May 2009)
    From: "Adam B."
    Subject: Point me to a positive alternative?

    Hi, I've been in and out of AA for about 10 years and am really pretty luke warm to the whole thing. I found your website that presents a pretty salient case about AA faults and negatives.

    Do you recommend a positive alternative for those of us who struggle with drinking too much?


    Hello Adam,

    Thanks for the letter. Yes, I have positive alternatives, several of them. We have been talking about that subject many times, so I'll refer you to a couple of those letters, here and here.

    Have a good day.

    == Orange

    *             [email protected]        *
    *         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
    *          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
    **    As I see it, every day you do one of two things:
    **    build health or produce disease in yourself.
    **         ==   Adelle Davis

    Date: Mon, May 25, 2009 4:32 pm     (answered 29 May 2009)
    From: "Hooty Sapperticker"
    Subject: Is This Guy Lying?

    From http://www.bettyfordcenter.org/news/askdrwest/sdarticle.php?id=67

    Ask Dr. West — Sober Days
    By Dr. James West, Betty Ford CenterTreatment

    Question: What is the success rate of Alcoholics Anonymous? I have never seen it published.

    Answer: Every few years Alcoholics Anonymous does a survey of its members. In 1992, a random survey of 6,500 A.A. members in both the United States and Canada revealed that 35 percent were sober for more than five years; 34 percent were sober from between one and five years; and 31 percent were sober for less than one year. The average time sobriety of members is more than five years. According to A.A. World services, the survey is designed to provide information to the professional community and the general public as part of its purpose to carry the message of recovery to those who still suffer from alcoholism.

    For more information about Alcoholics Anonymous, write to A.A. World Services, Grand Central Station, Box 459, New York, NY 10163.

    Dr. West is author of "The Betty Ford Center Book of Answers" (Pocket Books) and writes a newspaper column, from which this is excerpted. You can mail questions to him at Betty Ford Center, 39000 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270.

    P.S. I love you, Orange. Please keep doing what you do.

    Hello Hooty,

    Thanks for the letter and an interesting question. And thanks for the compliments.

    The first thing to notice is that this Dr. West did not actually answer the question. He pulled a fast one. The question was,
    "What is the success RATE of Alcoholics Anonymous?"
    He dodged that question, and gave irrelevant and probably inaccurate information instead. He did not answer with a success RATE, which would have been something like, "Five percent. That is, five successes per 100 newcomers".

    A rate is something per something else, like miles per hour, or miles per gallon, or dollars per month, or sober success stories per 100 newcomers.

    We know from the best clinical trials and controlled studies that A.A. has a horrendous failure rate. The success rate of alcoholics who quit drinking in A.A. is no better than the success rate of alcoholics who quit drinking without A.A. — just doing it alone, without any "treatment" or "support group".

    Perhaps that is why "Dr. West" didn't answer the question with an honest RATE.

    We have discussed the grandiose claims of the A.A. headquarters before, and they still appear to be mathematically impossible. (Look here for the previous letter.)

    When the A.A. headquarters claims that the average sobriety time of A.A. members is more than five years, they are announcing that they have very few newcomers. They are saying that A.A. is mostly old dinosaurs, and that it is dying of old age without a next generation.

    Consider this: a newcomer joins A.A., and he has maybe two weeks of sobriety. Pair him with an old-timer. The old-timer has to have more than 10 years of sobriety for the average sobriety time of the two of them to be more than five years. But we know just how rare those 10-year oldtimers are. At most, only one percent of the newcomers make it to become 10-year oldtimers, and the truth is that it's probably less than one percent.

    For it to be true that the average sobriety time is more than five years, there must be someone with more than 10 years of sobriety to match with every single newcomer. But if you have been to even a few A.A. meetings, then you know that isn't the case. There aren't very many 10-year oldtimers, so there can't be very many newcomers. Mathematically, it cannot be otherwise.

    Continuing with that logic: A 15-year oldtimer can offset two newcomers, but only two, so that the average of the three of them is five years of sobriety. But A.A. members with 15 years are even rarer.

    And a 20-year oldtimer can offset three newcomers so that all four of them average 5 years of sobriety. But those 20-year oldtimers are as rare as hen's teeth. Barely one in a thousand newcomers to A.A. becomes a 20-year oldtimer.

    A realistic look at a typical A.A. meeting shows that there are many newcomers with less than a year of sobriety. Then there may be a few people with multiple years. People with 5 years are rare. There may be a few of them, but they are rare. There aren't as many of them as newcomers.

    When I last went to an A.A. clubhouse, there was a special meeting for the "oldtimers". A person had to have 7 years of sobriety to qualify for that meeting. There were maybe 10 or 15 people at the typical oldtimers' meeting. And hundreds and hundreds of people at the other (shortimers') meetings.

    So I'm not buying the statement that the average A.A. member's sobriety time is more than five years. That just isn't true. It's mathematically impossible, unless there are almost no newcomers to Alcoholics Anonymous.

    So did the A.A. headquarters just discount and throw away all of the information about newcomers in order to make up those statistics and get that inflated average, or were they just flat-out lying? I don't know which it is. I don't know how they managed to fabricate that fiction, but I know it's a fiction.

    Oh, by the way, we know that the way that A.A. conducts the surveys is biased. One day every three years, they just ask the people at a bunch of meetings to fill out questionaires. A.A. members who are relapsing, out getting drunk at the bar, won't fill out a questionaire and be counted. That rigs the numbers right there. A.A. isn't counting all of the failures who don't "keep coming back".

    And what about the newcomers who have only been coming to meetings for a few days or weeks? Are they considered "real members" yet, and asked to fill out questionaires? I doubt it.

    And in the final analysis, why should we believe anything that the A.A. headquarters says? Those are the people who committed perjury in the courtrooms of Mexico and Germany, persecuting fellow A.A. members for printing and giving away or selling inexpensively their own literature. The A.A. headquarters committed perjury to protect their illegal profits from royalties collected on invalid or expired copyrights, which they swore were not expired. They actually told the court in Mexico that the Big Book was recently written by "Wyne Parks", so it's still under copyright. So I wouldn't put it past the headquarters staff of Alcoholics Anonymous Services, Inc. to fudge the numbers from surveys to make A.A. look good now. That's small potatoes compared to perjury.

    Have a good day.

    == Orange

    *             [email protected]        *
    *         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
    *          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
    ** "There were alcoholics in the hospitals of whom A.A. could
    ** touch and help only about five percent. The doctors started
    ** giving them a dose of LSD, so that the resistance would be
    ** broken down. And they had about fifteen percent recoveries.
    ** This was all a scientific thing."
    **   ==  Nell Wing — PASS IT ON, page 370.
    ** (Nell Wing was an early secretary of A.A. and Bill Wilson.)
    ** Apparently, for treating alcoholics, LSD works three times
    ** better than cult religion.

    Date: Wed, April 1, 2009 2:45 pm     (answered 29 May 2009)
    From: "BLOOZ"
    Subject: cults


    This is interesting. Veganism as a cult. I found this on a vegan website.

    He failed in the fruitarian diet due to "not understanding that ego reduction is necessary to support any major change in diet"

    Sounds like AA! Also note that the diet never fails the individual fails just like in AA. Do these principles relate to other cults? I know ego reduction or ego loss is big in some eastern religions. You know a lot about this kind of stuff so I was interested in your opinion. I also believe peta is a cult but veganism itself is a loose cult based on ideas. What do you think about this?


    Hi Blooz,

    Thanks for the letter and a good question.

    First off, I think I'll barf if I hear any more about "ego reduction". It's bullshit. It sounds so spiritual, but it's bullshit that does far more harm than good.

    Whenever some cult or phony spiritual teacher gets people obsessing with "ego reduction", it makes them more involved with their ego, not less. They spend all of their time worrying about whether they are spiritual enough, and good enough, and whether they have succeeded in reducing their ego enough, which is all a big ego trip.

    It's just like how if you are an ideal Christian, you are supposed to be selfless and unselfish and not constantly seeking things for yourself. But the result of following that teaching and attempting to be selfless and unselfish is usually that it makes people worry all of the time about whether they are unselfish enough, and good enough, to "go to Heaven." The whole thing degenerates into "I have to go to Heaven. I have to get my reward. I have to get my salvation. I have to get my ticket to Heaven. I have to get mine." It all becomes "I, me, mine." Ego, ego, ego. The net effect of such practices is the exact opposite of the advertised goal.

    The average true believer doesn't want to hear that if he is really spiritual, he won't worry about whether he goes to Heaven.

    As far as the rest of it goes, the statement that you have to reduce your ego in order to change your diet, I can only ask, "What has that nutcase been smoking?" All you have to do to change your diet is eat something different. Or eat less. Or eat more. Or eat more of this, and less of that.

    About the statement that "The diet never fails. People just fail the diet.": Wow. They just can't get away from the cultish platitudes and attitudes, can they?

    Now technically, a diet like "Eat less. Exercise more." cannot fail. If someone "thoroughly follows that path", then they will lose weight. But we all know that the Catch 22 is that people with a weight problem almost invariably don't follow that diet for very long, so bragging about how perfect the diet is doesn't do them much good. It just makes them feel guilty and inadequate, which makes a lot of them eat more.

    I think that most vegetarians are sane and sensible people, but it seems like there are always a few deluded people who have to make it into a religion or something. Way back in the sixties I remember a story in The Berkeley Barb about people who killed themselves with Macrobiotic diets, and one died insisting that the diet was working great, and she just had to stick with it a little longer and she would be purified...

    Oh yeh, and I can't help but remember that Jesus nailed this one 2000 years ago when he said, "It isn't what goes into a man's mouth that defiles him; it's what comes out of his mouth."

    Have a good day.

    == Orange

    *             [email protected]        *
    *         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
    *          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
    **    Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday,
    **    lying in hospitals dying of nothing.
    **      ==  Redd Foxx (1922 — 1991)

    Date: Thu, April 23, 2009 1:08 pm     (answered 29 May 2009)
    From: "william n."
    Subject: you go, boy

    Hi Orange, Man, thanks for the latest batch of letters to read. I love reading your letters yet I find my skin crawling every time one of these true believers gets on your case. The unwillingness to consider an alternative point of view is truly frightening. These are the same guys who decades ago would've claimed, "I was only obeying orders""

    I feel like I made some tiny, small headway in my own struggle to get the truth out there. I work at the headquarters of a worldwide company. One of the bigwigs in our legal department is the chairman of the board for one of the local men's halfway houses — one that is ostensibly a minor league team for AA, and one to which my company donates (no joke) tens of thousands of dollars annually.

    Anyway I e-mailed her and asked her if she was still on the board of the place. She immediately e-mailed me back, "Why yes. Can I be of help?" I'm sure she thought I had a drinking problem and surely wanted to shunt me into the place. Instead I wrote her back and told her I wanted our company to stop supporting the place, and I sent quotes from several of the studies The Orange Papers refers to. Well, no surprise there was no immediate reply — like with my previous email. However, the next day she did reply and said she would talk about my e-mail with the other board members.

    Whether she will or not I don't know. But I hope I got her thinking. Anyway, we can only hope.

    Thanks again for all the hard work — and the great gosling pictures. How do you get so close to them anyway? Don't momma and pappa mind?

    Bill, New Jersey

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for the letter and the work for the cause. Every bit helps. Eventually, we shall overcome.

    About the geese, no, the parents don't mind. Occasionally, they even encourage it.

    These geese are not really wild geese. We laugh about it, and call them "Portland City Geese". They were hatched here, and have spent their whole lives here. They are more native to this city than a lot of the people. Many of the geese don't bother to migrate — why leave a good thing and work your ass off flying 2000 miles to somewhere else when things are good here? It isn't too hot in the summer, and it isn't too cold in the winter, so why fly somewhere else where hunters might be blasting at you with shotguns?

    And they are very tame. It helps a lot that I've been feeding them for 8 years, going on 9 years now. (And so have many other people.) Many of the geese know me and don't hesitate to eat out of my hands. When they see me, they come on over to see what goodies I've got today. I've even had mothers bring their newly-hatched babies to me their first day out in the world, so that I could feed them too. The reason that the mothers were so trusting was because those mothers had eaten out of my hands when they were babies, too. And the mothers of the mothers were so trusting because they had eaten out of my hands when they were babies, and so on, all the way back.

    A generation of geese is 3 years. It takes them three years from hatching to mature and produce babies of their own. So it's probably true that I've fed 5 or 6 generations of geese: the great-great-great-grandparents, the great-great-grandparents, the great-grandparents, the grandparents, the parents, and now their babies.

    Just yesterday, I had these cute little fluff-balls eating out of my hand. Or rather, trying to. One was actually trying to eat my hand, rather than eating out of it.

    2 Canada Goose goslings
    A Canada Goose mother with two goslings.

    I was trying to feed the babies some cooked rice. They were in the water, and I was on a dock. The rice doesn't float, so I couldn't just throw it to them. I would hold some rice in the palm of my hand, and lean over, and put my hand level with the surface of the water so that the babies could get it. The parents understood the situation, and got the rice, but the babies were unclear on the concept.

    One of these little guys didn't understand the tiny detail that his parents were eating rice out of my hand, rather than eating my hand. He kept on biting the end of a finger, and gnawing on it, and trying to get something to eat that way. I kept trying to tell him, "The white stuff. Eat the white stuff, not my hand," but he kept going for the pink finger. It didn't hurt. Those goslings are so small that they can't bite hard. They can't even pinch hard. Their little jaws and beaks just aren't strong enough. They just gnaw on the end of a finger for a while and nothing happens. They are only a few days old. They will get the hang of it eventually.

    And then every time a wave washed over my hand, it swept the rice into the water and it sank quickly. The catfish below got more of the rice than the goslings did. And the catfish know what's going on, too. They like it when people feed the geese at the marina, because the catfish get everything that sinks to the bottom. Well, everything that the carp in the middle don't get first.

    The goose parents and babies were right there together, with the babies between or right beside the parents, and the parents weren't at all worried about the little goslings being almost in my hand. They know me, and they trust me.

    2 Canada Goose goslings
    These cute little fluff-balls are eating some apple.

    The babies did better with apples. I cut the apples into thin wedges so that one edge tapered down to zero thickness. That gave the babies an edge that they could work on. They broke off pieces, and actually ate a bunch of it.

    They like apples. Apples are good food — sweet, sour, crunchy. Apples have natural sugars and vitamin C and fiber, and are just as good for goslings as they are for people.

    I wish I had snapped a photograph of one of them trying to eat my finger. (But my hand was kind of busy getting eaten.) Maybe I'll get one tomorrow.

    Oh, and where this was happening, there is a floating restaurant that floats right along with the docks and walkways around it, and they have several outdoor tables along one side of a dock. Part of the entertainment was a gander who jumped up out of the water onto the dock and walked up to the tables and begged for handouts. So the people gave him corn chips from their chips and salsa. These geese are good at shaking down the tourists. And they are smart enough to know that if they show off their cute babies, that they get more munchies. They really are a good example of successful adaptation to a changed environment.

    Have a good day.

    == Orange

    *             [email protected]        *
    *         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
    *          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
    **    "All our geese are swans."
    **    Robert Burton (1577—1640)
    **    The Anatomy of Melancholy, pt. I, sec. 2, member 3, subsec. 14
    [The story of Carmen continues here.]

    Date: Fri, April 24, 2009 8:00 am     (answered 30 May 2009)
    From: "william n."
    Subject: another question

    By the way, who was Bill Wilson's sponsor?

    It was Ebby Thacher, a chronically-relapsing alcoholic member of the Oxford Group. He was a tragic figure. We have discussed him before, several times.


    Date: Tue, May 5, 2009 7:58 am     (answered 30 May 2009)
    From: "william N."
    Subject: Your papers
    To: "[email protected]" <[email protected]>

    Hi Agent Green,

    I read your debate with Agent Orange. I can't understand why you can't admit, or at least entertain the idea that AA is ineffective, if not downright dangerous? Don't those studies mean anything to you? Doesn't seeing people walk in and out of the revolving door speak volumes?

    I remember my earliest impression of AA. I thought, "Man, what's this all about? What's up with all the cult-speak and hoo-doo religiosity, and the absolutely creepy adulation of Bill Wilson?? Everyone thinks the same, talks the same, looks the same... Of course I was bum rushed and told "not to leave until the miracle occurs," but I couldn't leave because the judicial system shoved me into the program — so I was caught like a rat.

    I could never understand why AA members think they have a special "in" with God; that because they are alcoholics and because they tap-dance to the 12-Steps, God will confer on them all kinds of wisdom and goodies. It's baloney and you should know better. Absurd. Stop defending this greatest-of-all hoaxes. And for god's sake get yourself out of Al-Anon and face life like an adult.


    Hello again, Bill,

    Thanks for the input. I see that Green has posted a rebuttal to my rebuttal, which I have to get around to answering sometime or other.

    Have a good day.

    == Orange

    *             [email protected]        *
    *         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
    *          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
    **    "A well conducted professional study" showed that
    **    "some 5% of newcomers are still attending meetings
    **    after 12 months. This is a truly terrible statistic.
    **    Again we must ask 'Where does the fault lie?'"
    **    == Dr. Ron Whitington - Chairman General Service Board,
    **    AA Around Australia, Spring Edition No 90, October 1994

    Date: Thu, April 2, 2009 8:13 pm     (answered 30 May 2009)
    From: "David B."
    Subject: Home page typo

    On your home page it says "30. Rev. Irongate's Sermon On Buchmanism." I believe that should be "Ironside."

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the tip. You are quite correct. In fact, I ended up finding 5 of those Irongates. In seems like, once you get an erroneous idea in your head, it seems to stick around for a while. But I got them all fixed. Ironside. Not Irongate.

    Have a good day.

    == Orange

    *             [email protected]        *
    *         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
    *          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
    **    "Twinkle, twinkle little bat
    **     How I wonder what you're at!
    **     Up above the world you fly,
    **     Like a tea-tray in the sky"
    **      ==  Lewis Carroll (English Logician, Mathematician, Photographer
    **      and Novelist, especially remembered for Alice's Adventures in
    **      Wonderland. 1832—1898)

    More Letters

    Previous Letters

    Search the Orange Papers

    Click Fruit for Menu

    Last updated 5 October 2013.
    The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters122.html