Letters, We Get Mail, CXXX

Date: Mon, June 15, 2009 11:43 am     (answered 9 July 2009)
From: "Mike P."
Subject: some interesting recovery forums

Hey Orange,

Hope all is well with you. You may be interested in two rather heated forums which have been the scenes of give and take between Dr's. Schwartz and Dombeck (pro-AA'ers) and a host of other people who are sharing their views on the program. What's interesting is that the two PhD's (I don't think they are M.D.'s) are side-stepping posts which point to AA's failure to stand the test of scientific inquiry. Instead, these gentlemen continually retreat back into the anecdotal argument that they know people who have been helped by the program.

The second link is of particular interest because Harriet Hall M.D. actually weighed in asking for proof that AA works. She is known as the Skepdoc and has a web site that deals with quack medicine. She recently wrote an article about AA:

I believe she did not know about your web site before she wrote the article.

Here are the links to the forums:



I think at this point that Dr's. Schwartz and Dombeck have been cornered by reason. I would not be surprised if the forums are taken off line in the near future.


Hi Mike,

Thanks for the tips. That sounds very interesting, and also a little hopeful.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Medicine has been defined to be the art or science of amusing
**    a sick man with frivolous speculations about his disorder, and
**    of tampering ingeniously, till nature either kills or cures him.
**        == Old saying, author unknown

Date: Mon, June 15, 2009 3:19 pm     (answered 9 July 2009)
From: flores v.

I don't know who you and I am not trying to argue with you but I feel you are dead wrong about AA. What does it matter if how they quit drinking and drugging. They are not a cult. A cult is a organization which states that they have thr truth..The only truth to get to Heaven and to God. AA encourages people to get involved in "a" faith or religion.

You should only be happy that these people stop doing drugs and no longer have the need to rob you or your house to gettheir high. Also as jacked up as our nation is surrounding anything having to do with Jesus and the Bible...they send people to AA NA.

You sound very angry..unlike the people I have met AA. Maybe you could learn from them on how to address your anger issues.

Good luck.

Hello Flores,

Thanks for the letter.

You are assuming things that are not true. In the first paragraph, you say, "What does it matter if how they quit drinking and drugging."
And in the second paragraph you try to claim that A.A. makes people get clean and sober: "You should only be happy that these people stop doing drugs and no longer have the need to rob you or your house to gettheir high."

Alcoholics Anonymous does not work to get people off of alcohol or drugs (or tobacco, either). A.A. has a failure rate so high that the only people who quit drinking (or drugging) are the ones who were going to quit anyway. We've been over this a zillion times before. Look here and here. So there is no point in asking whether I'm glad that the addicts aren't robbing my house. Neither A.A. nor N.A. deserve any credit for that.

You ask, "Who cares?" Well, I care. I care whether A.A. foists quack medicine and cult religion on sick people and lies about its success rate.

Then there is your statement, "A cult is a organization which states that they have thr truth."
There is a whole lot more to a cult than just that one characteristic, but that description does fit A.A. just fine.

And Bill Wilson did claim to have "the truth", and he did claim to get people to Heaven. Bill declared that practicing the 12 Steps gave these results:

There is a solution.   ...   But we saw that it really worked in others....
We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.
The Big Book, 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, chapter 2, There Is A Solution, page 25.

I know that Bill Wilson often declared that A.A. is not a religion, but he was just lying. Claiming that "It's spiritual, not religious", is just a word game.

Then you finish with the standard A.A. put-down: "You sound very angry..unlike the people I have met AA."

Spoken like a well-indoctrinated A.A. member: "You axiomatically spiritually wrong if you are angry or have a resentment".
Look here for a list of other A.A. members who said the same thing before.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** An alcoholic is a fellow who is "trying to get his
** religion out of a bottle... when what he really wants
** is unity within himself, unity with God...."
** "There is a definite religious element here."
**  ==  Bill Wilson at the Shrine Auditorium in
**     Los Angeles, in March, 1943

Date: Mon, June 15, 2009 8:23 pm     (answered 9 July 2009)
From: "michael mcc."
Subject: Info for You

Here's some interesting info for you Orange. You may have already seen this, but if not enjoy!



Hi Mike,

Thanks for the link.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Measure not men by Sundays, without regarding
**     what they do all the week after.
**       ==  Fuller

Date: Tue, June 16, 2009 9:14 am     (answered 10 July 2009)
From: "Dog"
Subject: I am proud to call you my new friend

Dude! You are telling it like it is. Since we are going to be friends (reciprocated or not) I'd like to tell you something about me. I am the 30/60/90 day wonder. I've got six years of colored chips, but none any higher than three months. Six years of working steps (evidently not hard enough) and not a damn thing to show.

My last, and I do mean my very last visit to AA was last Thursday. I went in ready and willing to drink the Kool-aid once *again*. My wife has seen me fail at AA many times over the past six years. This time I was ready to surrender (Just like last time). But this time I just knew it would be different. I did a meeting on June 5,6,7,8, 10, and 11. I missed the 9th and I think the one on the seventh wasn't really an AA meeting. It was marked open meeting of AA but it was mostly about drugs. Anyway... I noticed that I really felt compelled to drink more when I was at the meeting than any other time. The drunkalogs all had new faces attached to them. Same old poopie!

So let's get down to the 11th of June 2009. Got to the meeting early, had the usual coffee on the porch, involuntarily smoked about ten cigarettes through passive inhalation and received my packet of lovebombs from the newest crop of "Keepers" and then took my chair. Blah blah blah!

I looked around and recognized a woman from my past. We never had a relationship other than professional, but I really respected her. She is beautiful and bright. I am happily married and would never consider cheating, and that is not the problem in this situation. It is a problem of respect. She is older than I am and she is someone I respected very much outside of AA. She just happens to be a she. As the meeting dragged on I noticed that every guy in the room was staring at her like a t-bone steak complete with taters and gravy.

Then it happened. Slowly but surely every drunk in the room "tested the waters" for the 13th step with little verbal quips. She didn't shoot them down. She just continued on with the pre-programmed one liners and slogans. "..*by the grace of God and the fellowship at AA I am alive today..*.".

I thought about the incident a lot. I went to the store and got a case of Bud. Drank 12 on Friday, 12 on Saturday. I felt much better about the situation, not so good about myself. I found your site on the web Sunday morning. I've read through a ton of your material. I watched the Penn and Teller link and downloaded it off You Tube. No friggin wonder "I" couldn't succeed. There was no "I" left to make it to success. Your bottom line is that drink is a choice. I have adopted your bottom line. I chose to drink the case of beer this weekend. It was a bad choice. I don't have to choose that anymore. I am *not* powerless over a bottle of beer. I am not powerless over my lizard brain. I don't need a Nazi cult to keep me sober. I don't have a disease! I have a CHOICE. I'm not putting you on a pedestal, though you are quite a remarkable organizer of knowledge. I am putting knowledge on a pedestal. Keep up the Great work!

PS. Love the pictures of the Geese. Please keep my address hidden. I really don't need any hassles or name calling from the old home group.


Hello Dog,

Thanks for the letter and the story, and congratulations on your awakening. It sounds like you suddenly got the whole thing. That happens, you know. People can muddle along for years, and then they suddenly wake up one day and their life is totally different.

(By the way, remember that it was you who went looking for something else. You went looking and found my web site, and the reason that you did is because you were already waking up and seeking something better.)

So have a good day and a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    To have freedom is only to have what is absolutely necessary to enable
**    us to be what we ought to be, and to possess what we ought to possess.
**    == Rahel

May 12, 2009, Tuesday: Day 12, continued:

Canada Goose families
Carmen's new family is in front, and the "family of 9" is behind them, with 3 of the 4 parents visible.
Carmen is the dark-colored gosling in the lower middle of the picture. The father is leading the family, and the mother is bringing up the rear.
You can easily distinguish Carmen's new mother and father by the shapes of the white patches on the sides of their heads. The father's pattern has spiked corners, while the mother's pattern has rounded corners. (In fact, you can identify a great many of the geese by the shapes of their white head markings.)

Canada Goose goslings
These are six of the goslings in the "family of 9", eating oatmeal.

Canada Goose goslings
Here you see another sister-brother look-alike pair in the "family of 9". Of the two goslings that are looking at me, the girl is on the left, and her brother is on the right. You can tell the boy by his larger head and body.

Canada Goose goslings
Three of Carmen's new siblings

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

Date: Tue, June 16, 2009 9:39 pm     (answered 11 July 2009)
From: "Howard L."
Subject: Your web site

I check your website once or twice a year.

It's great fun to see what's new in your never ending struggle to undermine Alcoholics Anonymous and to demonize Bill Wilson.

Keep up your "work." Tee hee.


Howard L.

Hello Howard,

It's okay that you are entertained, but what is really important is whether alcoholics get real help or hindrance in quitting drinking and recovering from their addictions.

(By the way, laughing at information that a person does not wish to hear is one form of minimization and denial, something that Bill Wilson said alcoholics were good at. Laughing something off (or pretending to laugh) is also a subtle form of the condescension technique.)

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Drunkenness is the vice of a good constitution, or a bad memory;
**    of a constitution so treacherously good, that it never bends till
**    it breaks, or of a memory that recollects the pleasures of getting
**    intoxicated, but forgets the pains of getting sober.
**       ==  Charles Caleb Colton (1780—1832), English writer and clergyman

Date: Thu, June 18, 2009 9:17 am     (answered 11 July 2009)
From: "Byron D."
Subject: hi there

I came across your site by chance. I believe you are trying to help people who may not need AA to stop drinking. I'm taking the time to write because I respect that and think it is relevant, and I am a member of AA. I do not know what experiences led you to the conclusion that all AA's believe that AA is the only way for anyone to become sober, but I and the majority of the other folks I know in AA understand that there are other paths and that AA is not the only answer. We decided through self-identification that AA may work for us, and over time became convinced that it will. So, please accept that your opinion does not resonate for me or match my experience, and I am actually in AA. If you can do that, you can accept that not all AA's are as you describe.

Hello Byron,

Thanks for the letter.

Starting at the top, you speak of "people who may not need AA to stop drinking." That implies that there are some people who "do need A.A. to stop drinking." But who could that be when A.A. has a failure rate so bad that it kills more alcoholics than it helps? That is like speaking of "those people who don't need Scientology to become sane."

About, "I do not know what experiences led you to the conclusion that all AA's believe that AA is the only way for anyone to become sober, but I and the majority of the other folks I know in AA understand that there are other paths and that AA is not the only answer."
That is a standard A.A. bait-and-switch trick. First, the story is, "A.A. isn't the only way, we know only a little..." But later, A.A. really is the only way. I discussed that before, in both the Bait-And-Switch tricks page, here and in The Cult Test, here.

In my experience, AA is not about quitting drinking, but recognizing that drinking is a faulty solution for other problems, both emotional and spiritual. It is a *symptom* of the problem. The people who embrace AA do so because they identify with this, not because they are brainwashed. As a matter of fact, we are not allowed to try to convince anyone to join AA, it is based on self-diagnosis. See tradition 11, 'attraction rather than promotion'. In fact, no one can come to this program unless they have decided to.

Wow. What a stream of standard slogans and misinformation.

  • "In my experience, AA is not about quitting drinking,"...
    I agree with that statement. A.A. is really a cult religion that pretends to have a working cure for alcoholism.
    Unfortunately, a whole lot of people have been misled and fooled into thinking that A.A. is about helping people to quit drinking. — Like the judges who sentence people to A.A. meetings.

  • "...but recognizing that drinking is a faulty solution for other problems, both emotional and spiritual."
    Well yeh, but that is just a truism. You can go over to Over-Eaters Anonymous and opine "Eating is a faulty solution for your emotional problems..." That makes people feel guilty for being stupid, but how does it help them?

  • "It is a *symptom* of the problem."
    No, actually it is the problem. People may have other problems, like mental problems like a Bi-Polar Disorder, or emotional problems like depression, or whatever, but drinking deadly quantities of alcohol is the first problem to cure, because that is the one that is killing them.

  • "The people who embrace AA do so because they identify with this, not because they are brainwashed."
    Baloney. Prove that statement. People who "identify with" A.A. are often the newcomers who are being love-bombed and misled, and told, "You are not alone. You are just like us. You have come home."

  • "As a matter of fact, we are not allowed to try to convince anyone to join AA, it is based on self-diagnosis. See tradition 11, 'attraction rather than promotion'. In fact, no one can come to this program unless they have decided to."

    That is really over the top. Tradition 11 proves nothing except that Alcoholics Anonymous is hypocritical. Of course A.A. is a program of promotion and coercion. The last two triennial surveys done by Alcoholics Anonymous, Inc., showed that about two thirds of all of the A.A. members were originally coerced or forced or pushed into A.A. by the criminal justice system, "counselors" and "treatment programs" and "treatment centers", "employee diversion programs", family, or coworkers. (Click on that link.)

    And A.A. still encourages such coercion, and is complicit in it. The A.A. headquarters euphemistically calls it "cooperating with the courts". Look here for quotes from their position paper on the subject.

    And this is nothing new. A.A. has always been a program of coercion, ever since the very earliest days of A.A. Bill Wilson even bragged about how he and Dr. Bob bagged "A.A. Number Three", Bill Dotson, in the hospital.

    The Man on the Bed
    Bill Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith recruiting Bill Dotson.

    The A.A.-council-approved history book Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers describes how Dr. Bob and Bill Wilson shoved their Oxford Group cult religion "alcoholism treatment" on Bill Dotson, when he was in the hospital in Akron, Ohio:

    ... they thought it a good idea to have a preliminary talk with his wife. And this became part of the way things were done in the early days: Discuss it first with the wife; find out what you could; then plan your approach. It should be noted, as well, that the alcoholic himself didn't ask for help. He didn't have anything to say about it.
    Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1980, pages 82-83.

    Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob actually felt entitled to shove their own cult religion on other alcoholics regardless of the patient's wishes or beliefs — "for his own good" — the patient didn't get any say in the matter. (That is still the attitude of many so-called counselors.)

    Note that Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob were actually recruiting for the Oxford Group cult religion in Akron. "Alcoholics Anonymous" did not exist then, and would not exist until four years later. There was only the Oxford Group, so Bill Dotson was not "A.A. Number Three" like Wilson said. Bill Dotson was actually Oxford Group victim number ten-thousand or so.

A great many people stop drinking and live happily ever after without AA, this is known fact. I wish I was one of them, but I am not. I have to work to stay sober, because of the underlying emotional and spiritual maladies that I drank to overcome. AA provides me with a plan of action that works — for me.

Yes, the vast majority of people who successfully quit drinking do it without A.A. or any "program" or "support group", so I doubt that A.A. is really necessary for you either. You just believe that it is necessary. That's Dumbo's Magic Flying Feather again... (You know, Dumbo just couldn't fly without that magic feather...)

And the way that A.A. has convinced you that you drank because of "underlying emotional and spiritual maladies" is really tragic — it's just one more replay of the "you are defective" broken record.

I have no stake in communicating with you and no expectation of a return. But if you are open-minded enough to recognize that 'AA is not for everyone', I am requesting that you could state on your website that there are people in AA who agree with you (I would venture there are vast numbers of people in AA who agree). Regardless, your characterization of all AA's as believing that AA is 'the only way' is inaccurate, based on my own experience.

You keep saying, "AA is not for everyone", which implies that A.A. must be for a bunch of other people. The evidence does not support that assumption. A.A. creates more problems than it solves. A.A. increases the rate of binge drinking and increases the number of rearrests, and A.A. even raises the death rate in alcoholics, while failing to sober up the alcoholics, so who is it for?

I know that there are some A.A. members who say that A.A. is unsuitable for a lot of people. Some of them even make up the "Newcomer Rescue League", and they go to A.A. meetings to save the newcomers from bad sponsors and bad dogma and bad misinformation.

If I have misread your website, my bad.

Byron D.
Chicago, IL

Byron, you have not misread my web site. You have misread Alcoholics Anonymous.

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."
**     === 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: Mon, June 22, 2009 1:58 pm     (answered 12 July 2009)
From: "Claire A."
Subject: WOW!

Obviously you are not an alcoholic. If you were, you would know that rubbish about spontaneous recovery is nothing but pure misinformation!! I got sober at age 35, and have been continuously sober for 8 years. 100% of the people that I know who work The Program of AA have remained sober. 100% of those people tried many, many, many times unsuccessfully to quit drinking alcohol and nothing else worked.

Hello Claire,

Yes, I am an alcoholic, and yes, alcoholics recover all on their own, without A.A. or any 12-Step program.

Apparently, 100% of the few people whom you know who got sober go to A.A., and you have never bothered to find any other people who got sober without Alcoholics Anonymous.

What a true and grave mistake you have made by publishing such junk. I wonder just how many alcoholics have died after reading your paper and getting the idea that there's no hope. How do you sleep at night?

And there it is again: The standard A.A. complaint that telling the truth will hurt alcoholics: "You are doing a great disservice to those who are seeking sobriety."
Not so. Alcoholics need more true and accurate information, not less.

Look here for the list of many more echoes and parrottings of that line.

Above all, I do not tell fellow alcoholics that there is no hope. I tell them just the opposite — that they can get sober like I did, and recover like I did, and enjoy a life free of cults, just like I am doing.

It is Alcoholics Anonymous that tells alcoholics that they are powerless over alcohol, and cannot ever recover. It is A.A. that tells them that they have no hope:

...He will usually offer his proof in a statement like this:
      "Sure, I was beaten, absolutely licked. My own willpower just wouldn't work on alcohol. Change of scene, the best efforts of family, friends, doctors, and clergymen got no place with my alcoholism. I simply couldn't stop drinking, and no human being could seem to do the job for me.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 63.

I knew from that moment that I had an alcoholic mind. I saw that will power and self-knowledge would not help in those strange mental blank spots. I had never been able to understand people who said that a problem had them hopelessly defeated. I knew then. It was a crushing blow.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 3, More About Alcoholism, pages 41-42.

If you are satisfied that he is a real alcoholic, begin to dwell on the hopeless feature of the malady. Show him, from your own experience, how the queer mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, page 92.

Doctors are rightly loath to tell alcoholic patients the whole story unless it will serve some good purpose. But you may talk to him about the hopelessness of alcoholism because you offer a solution.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, page 92.

Maybe you have disturbed him about the question of alcoholism. This is all to the good. The more hopeless he feels, the better. He will be more likely to follow your suggestions.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, chapter 7, "Working With Others", page 94.

We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Into Action, page 85.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Falsehood and fraud grow up in every soil, the product of all climes.
**      ==  Joseph Addison (1672—1719), English essayist, critic, poet

Date: Fri, June 19, 2009 8:25 pm     (answered 12 July 2009)
From: "M M"
Subject: Need more of your voice


I have read over your papers and I am so thankful you can defy the AA robotic way of life. I have (had) a friend who I use to occasionally drink with. She 3 years ago decided she was an alcoholic. Bear in mind, Orange, she was not. She drank and was functional. She wanted to let people know she was "real messed up". It was all attention seeking.

I was having some problems in life: death of brother, marital issues and I increased my drinking. She, of course decided I was an alcoholic. I needed AA or lest I would be lost. She called my wife behind my back to convince her I was a gutter drunk. I needed to be saved. The only way is AA. NOTHING ELSE WORKS!!!

So my wife and her decided I needed AA. I went to these meetings and felt real uncomfortable. These people are from another planet. Why do they go around the room and basically force you to tell them your name. Where is the anonymity in that? Hi, I am AL K HALL and I am forced to be here.

Anyway, after going with this nutcase for a time, I convinced my wife I was not a sot. I still drink but I believe it is situational, as is much of life.

These AA people called my house and told me they were the only way to serenity. AA should realize most people that drink too much eventually cut back or stop on their own. I very rarely drink the way I use to. I knew that I needed to cut back, so I did. Of course, I am in denial. I can never be a "social drinker" after being a heavy drinker. WHY NOT???

I want to let AA know I have my own steps I use to combat the evils of alcohol. These have helped me remain a "social drinker"

My 12 Steps

1) Time... time does help heal the hurt and problems of life

2) Exercise.... AA probably thinks exercise is bad because it makes you feel good. Endorphins are dangerous. Endorphin Anonymous anyone?

3) My children... my kids are great. Most members of AA I saw ignored their kids and family for the good of the cult. I embraced my kids and they helped me get through a bad time. If I would have taken the AA approach I would be taught to put my kids 2nd or 3rd.

4) Music... music has a way to help a person understand life and its problems..

5) Jesus... I am not a holy roller but i regularly pray and read scripture. I talk nightly to God. higher power???? only one higher power people.. GOD

6) Yardwork... I use my creativity and love to sculpt my lawn. I put on my ipod and go crazy. I do not drink while I am doing yardwork. I GET A NATURAL ENDORPHIN HIGH!!!

7) Movies... watching a good movie is a great way to escape without getting plastered.

8) Journaling... write down your thoughts, it helps. Why pay a shrink $100 to listen and not really do anything. write down your thoughts, it is the same and cheaper!!

9) Travel... seeing new places gets one out of the normal routine. Seen that 1000 times. get out and go somewhere different, even if it is the next town over. Most cities and towns have great stories and history behind them.

10) Sex... drunk sex is awful. sober sex is heaven... enough said

11) Golf... the ultimate mind battle.

12) Diet... people what you put in your mouth affects your mood and drinking habits. go to any amusement park and just look at the eating habits of Americans. Eat a healthy diet with whole grains, fiber and protein.

Orange my first time writing. I apologize for spelling and grammatical errors. I hope people realize AA is NOT the way. I listed my 12 ways to combat heavy drinking and I am sure there are 50 to 100 other ways. It is all personal. The point is, AA is not going to do it. They say they will but I was lucky, I fought my way out of the brain washing and did it on my own. Please people understand you can do it on your own, it does take time but it will happen. THANKS

Hello MM,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments. Your 12 Steps are great.

About, "...most people that drink too much eventually cut back or stop on their own". Yes, although that unfortunately still leaves a lot of tragedies.

The Harvard Mental Health Letter reported,

"Another estimate is that at least 50% of alcoholics eventually free themselves although only 10% are ever treated. One recent study found that 80% of all alcoholics who recover for a year or more do so on their own, some after being unsuccessfully treated."
Treatment of Drug Abuse and Addiction — Part III, The Harvard Mental Health Letter, Volume 12, Number 4, October 1995, page 3.
(See Aug. (Part I), Sept. (Part II), Oct. 1995 (Part III).)

Even a 55% recovery rate still leaves 45% dying of alcohol abuse — something that A.A. has not fixed or improved in its 70 years of claiming to have "the solution".

And then there is the problem of sorting out the alcohol and tobacco damage. Most heavy drinkers are also heavy smokers, and more than half of the time, the tobacco kills them before the alcohol does. So should the coroner count that as an alcohol or tobacco death? And when someone drinks and smokes together, it makes the health problems more than twice as bad because the two interact to make people even sicker.

The famous think tank called "The Rand Corporation" did a study of alcoholics where they found that half of the alcoholics who got sober did it by total abstinence, and the other half by tapering off into moderate, controlled drinking. Of course the A.A. organization screamed when that report was released.

Then there is the problem of defining just who is an alcoholic. A.A. is far too eager to label people alcoholics, often because of just one problem incident, or even none. (But then, when some of those people quit drinking without Alcoholics Anonymous or its "program", A.A. is just as quick to declare that they were not "real alcoholics" after all.)

I am reminded of a letter that I received years ago from a young woman who went through a divorce, and went into a real depressed funk for a while, and drank far too much for three months, and ended up crashing her car. So she was forced into Alcoholics Anonymous, where they told her that she was an alcoholic for life, and "in denial". Apparently this went on for four years. She finally discovered that she wasn't an alcoholic at all. So she has a few drinks now and then, and that's about it.

A.A. obviously didn't "help" her at all. Nor did they help you.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Aim at the sun, and you may not reach it; but your arrow will
**    fly far higher than if aimed at an object on a level with yourself.
**        == J. Hawes

From: "erica l."
Subject: What would the world be like without people like you
Date: Sat, June 20, 2009 3:00 am

Quite simply, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!

With Love

Hi Erica,

Thank you, and you have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The best part of our knowledge is that which teaches us
**     where knowledge leaves off and ignorance begins.
**     ==  O. W. Holmes

Date: Sat, June 20, 2009 12:33 pm     (answered 12 July 2009)
From: "Paul T."
Subject: Your website and your message.

Dear good people,

I am a recovered addict that subscribes to the 12 Step Program of recovery as outlined in the Big Book of Alcoholic Anonymous. Let me state that I have gone on to read other literature in an endeavor to reach a higher consciousness, a higher self, and at a minimum, to stay clean and sober. Just recently, I have finished reading M. Scott Peck, M.D. books (The Road Less Traveled, Further Along the Road Less Traveled, and People of The Lie). These books have had considerable impact on me; an impact to the extent that I felt compelled to incorporate what I had learned into my 'speak' at 12 Step meetings. The intent may have been honourable and good but the process was completely self-serving. Simply put, my existence and participation in 12 Step meetings should be done in the context of the 'movement'. In other words, when in someone else's house, make the effort to be cognizant of the traditions and the intent of the purposefulness of the group. As I see it, the purposefulness of any group setting is to share "Our stories in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now." From my many active years in Cocaine Anonymous, I believe this is "How It Works".

Much respect, Paul T.

Hello Paul,

Thanks for the letter.

Starting at the end, you said, "...I believe this is "How It Works"."
Well, belief is all fine and well, but that isn't evidence that Cocaine Anonymous actually works to make addicts break their addictions and get clean. It's the same problem as with Alcoholics Anonymous — lots of "faith" and "belief", but woefully short on real results.

Then you said, "...when in someone else's house, make the effort to be cognizant of the traditions and the intent of the purposefulness of the group."
That is just another way of saying that you should conform to the cult. You cannot contradict or criticize the slogans and misinformation and nonsense that the old-timers are spewing at the meetings.

It seems to me that you should always tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth to the addicts and other sick people — the cult's dogma and "program" and "traditions" and "purpose" be damned. Those things do not work and do not help the addicts to recover.

If you believe that those things do make addicts recover, then let's see some numbers. What is the actual cure rate of C.A., as evidenced by valid medical clinical tests, like Randomized Longitudinal Controlled Studies? Out of each thousand newcomers to C.A., how many get a year clean and sober? Five years?

And how does that compare to the self-cure rate, where people quit doping and recover on their own?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Quackery has no such friend as credulity.
**        == C. Simmons

Date: Tue, June 23, 2009 1:51 pm     (answered 12 July 2009)
From: "Lori M. R."
Subject: just saw your site

Good Day! I just was searching for any info on orange juice vs apple juice for the detoxing alcoholic and found your introduction! since I have been clean for 5 years now I don't see eye to eye with you only because I work a program in my life, I needed it and took it and ran with it. along the way it changed me and I am still evolving today. was just wondering how you are doing these days? a few years seem to have gone by since the writings I read just a few minutes ago. are you still not drinking? or can you drink and be ok with that? many people are. either way I find it people and their experiences with life interesting.

nice to meet you,


one day at a time....the only way to live!

Hi Lori,

I'm doing just fine. I have 8 1/2 years sober now, and also 8 1/2 years off of all other drugs and even tobacco. I totally abstain, from all of them. I haven't had even a sip or a puff in those years. I have to do it that way. I'm one of those people who has no success with moderation when it comes to alcohol and tobacco. Total abstinence is the only thing that has ever worked for me, but it works very well indeed.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    On Quackery:
**    "From powerful causes spring the empiric's gains.
**    Man's love of life, his weakness and his pains — 
**    these first induce him the vile trash to try,
**    then lend his name that others too may buy."
**    ==  George Crabbe (1754—1832)

Date: Thu, June 25, 2009 7:25 am     (answered 12 July 2009)
From: r. s.
Subject: god

I got sober in a rehab on Long Island in 1980 and have been sober since then. I stay sober for myself and attend AA meetings for amusement. When I am told GOD got me sober, I reply, "If GOD got me sober then GOD got me drunk," which ends the conversation.

Thank you for all you do.

Hi R.S.,

Thanks for the laugh.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     That science is worse than useless which does not point to
**     the great end of our being.
**     Therefore literary, scientific, and theological quacks have
**     done immense mischief in human society.
**     ==  Thacher

Date: Thu, June 25, 2009 3:07 pm     (answered 12 July 2009)
From: "Tim K."
Subject: A belated thank-you

My therapist pushed AA on me, so finally I went to a meeting.
Pathetic.   Hopeless.   Demoralizing.   Depressing.   Useless.   Hopeless.
I left thinking, "That is the great 12 step program?"

Next day I began looking on-line, and happily I found you. I don't drink, I never drink, I have quit drinking, but not because of a support group. Not "one day at a time."

Thanks again for all the help and information and inspiration your site gave and gives me.

Tim K.

Hi Tim,

Thanks for the letter, and thanks for the thanks, and congratulations on your sobriety. I'm glad to hear that things are going well for you.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Nothing more strikingly betrays the credulity of mankind than medicine.
**    Quackery is a thing universal, and universally successful.
**    In this case it is literally true that no imposition is too great for
**    the credulity of men.
**        == Thoreau

Date: Mon, March 30, 2009 2:51 pm     (answered 12 July 2009)
From: "James G."
Subject: Fwd: A video I made — with a link to Morerevealed

We'll see how this one goes — if it gets a good reception I may well continue to make more...


Spent a while on this one. I know it might offend a few, but contained within are many of the reasons I began to challenge AA, continue to do so, and always will.

The most powerful question is not whether I am right, which I may have been, but instead why have I been silenced, bullied and ridiculed for daring to question?

That simple inquiry rather gives it all away?

Kindest regards,


PS Dow she goes.... lol

Okay, thanks, J.

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      
**    Heroes have gone out, quacks have come in; the reign of quacks
**    has not ended with the nineteenth century. The sceptre is held
**    with a firmer grasp; the empire has a wider boundary. We are
**    all the slaves of quackery in one shape or another. One portion
**    of our being is always playing the successful quack to the other.
**       ==  Carlyle

From: "Up With People Movie"
Subject: Re: Hi Terry. Up With People Movie here
Date: Tue, February 24, 2009 6:29 pm    

Hi Terry,

I hope this email finds you well.

Wanted to let you know that we have finished the film about UP WITH PEOPLE, which is now called "Smile 'Til It Hurts". More details and a trailer are at www.smiletilithurts.com.

I think you'll enjoy it. And as promised, you are included in the credits as a researcher. Hope it makes it to Portland in the near future. Be sure to sign up on the website for updates.

Thanks again for all your help,

Storey Vision Productions

Hi again, Bari,

That's good to hear. I'll be looking forward to the movie.

Have a good day now.

== Terry

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

2009.07.13: Somebody sent me this, and now I can't find who it was, but this is good news:

U.S. Government (NIH) Endorses Alternatives To AA

The U.S. government just announced newly revised guidelines,with the launch of its "Rethinking Drinking" website, regarding the consumption of alcohol. The extensive site supports the concept of the viability of non-12 Step programs to help people stop drinking.

Los Angeles (PRWEB) March 13, 2009 — The U.S. government just announced newly revised guidelines, with the launch of its "Rethinking Drinking" website, regarding the consumption of alcohol.

The extensive site supports the concept of the viability of non-12 Step programs to help people stop drinking. According to Marc Kern, Ph.D., this new approach is a long awaited and beneficial change in the way the NIH (National Institutes of Health) approaches alcohol treatment and recovery.

"Millions of people have been avoiding any sort of help for their drinking because they weren't willing to embrace the ''black or white notions" that permeate the 12-Step program," Kern said. "Now the government is saying that there are effective options."

Dr. Kern is a founding father of SMART Recovery, one of the alternatives included on the NIH Website.

For decades, problem drinkers have been steered exclusively to Alcoholics Anonymous by state and local courts, and the prison system. For many people the A.A. structure and belief system simply doesn't work.

"In my opinion, countless people see their alcohol problems get worse because they aren't willing to accept the powerlessness and religious overtones of the dominant A.A. model," says Kern.

SMART Recovery® (Self Management And Recovery Training) teaches individuals how to attain and maintain abstinence from addictive behaviors (substances or activities). The program offers specific tools and techniques for each of the program points:

Point 1: Enhancing and Maintaining Motivation to Abstain
Point 2: Coping with Urges
Point 3: Problem Solving (Managing thoughts, feelings & behaviors)
Point 4: Lifestyle Balance (Balancing momentary & enduring satisfaction)

SMART Recovery a free mutual-help group is consistent with the idea that "even heavy drinkers are able to change on their own" according to to Mark Willenbring, MD., director of NIAAA's Division of Treatment and Recovery Research.

The "Rethinking Drinking" site supports several other alternatives stating, "If one approach doesn't work, try something else. If a setback happens, get back on track as quickly as possible. In the long run, your chances for success are good."

Dr. Kern is very encouraged by the updated NIH approach, stating that "This will finally give people a government sanctioned choice."

Marc Kern, Ph.D. is a practicing addiction therapist who appeared on 20-20 and Larry King live among numerous radio and TV shows. He is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who uses cognitive therapy to help people manage and overcome addictions. He came to his profession after overcoming his own serious struggle with alcoholism. He is also co-author of "Responsible Drinking," among other publications.

Dr. Kern is available for interviews on the topic of addiction recovery alternatives.

Founder/Director, Addiction Alternatives Inc.
Co-Founder — http://www.1TherapyPlace.com
BIO: http://www.habitdoc.com/about_my_qualifications.htm

CONTACT: Marc Kern, PhD., (310) 275-5433 ext. 1

Date: Wed, July 1, 2009 12:50 am     (answered 14 July 2009)
From: "Sherp"
Subject: movie about Erik Jan Hanussen


There was a movie called Invincible by the great film director Werner Herzog. It's based on the true story about a muscle man named Zishe Breitbart who is Jewish who becomes famous throughout Germany as the new samson. It features Tim Roth as Erik Jan Hanussen who changed his name from Hersche Steinschneider.

Heres an IMDB link.



Hi Sherp,

Thanks for the tip. I'll have to see that.

We have touched on Erik Jan Hanussen before, and a book about him is listed in the bibliography. Hanussen was a fascinating character — astrologer, "seer", "psychic" and "clairvoyant" to Hitler and the Nazis. And also their victim.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    For every credibility gap there is a gullibility fill.
**        ==  Richard Clopton

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Last updated 7 December 2013.
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