Letters, We Get Mail, CXXXIII

Date: Thu, July 2, 2009 8:37 am     (answered 21 July 2009)
From: "anne i"
Subject: interesting article


So many people have different opinions about the subject or addiction, but it seems to me that change is in the air?! That many people are demanding something better than AA. When the truth starts to become: people w/out treatment do better (I believe it) because between the times I would binge & the times I wanted to be sober (I was better w/out AA) doing it alone. I believe one reason I got so sick at AA is because it took me so far down the wrong path in relationship to (my truth & the truth) & left me lost on the trail. After the love-bombing (one-two years) AA did turn abusive on me & abandon me (during the last year).

I have found my way back to the path of reality. I don't worship either of you like people do AA, but I know both of you saved my life from AA. All the things AA was saying & doing to me (verbal crazy making like Patrica Evans talks about) and then denying doing were items that both of you have exposed the truth to the light. The truth is where sanity lives.

PS: I do not know if I sent this to Mike? but this is what a Dr. put my sister on after she finally quit her psych meds (I have nothing against meds if they work & they are the right ones, but I do have something against meds if they are screwing a person up worse!) My sister has been on them a month & she notices a huge improvement. I have been trying them for a week & feel better. You don't take them forever maybe 3-6 months. Just wanted to share.

Many Thanks for helping people leave AA!

Hi Anne,

It's good to hear from you. Thanks for the letter and all of the compliments. I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better. It brightens up the morning cup of coffee to hear that I was able to help in some small way.

I totally agree about the meds — if they are helping the patient, then that is good. If they are hurting the patient, then discontinue the medications and find something better. And that is just what competent doctors do.

Have a good day and a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Medicine, the only profession that labours incessantly to
**      destroy the reason for its existence.
**         ==  James Bryce

Date: Sun, June 21, 2009 8:45 am     (answered 21 July 2009)
From: "Noel"
Subject: Few typos

Hi Orange,

I've been trawling through your site again with the intention of doing some amateur proof-reading.

Here's a couple of typos/spelling mistakes I have noticed.

In your essay 'Heresy of the 12 Steps', you have Bangladesh spelt Bengladesh, likewise Chechniya should be spelt Chechnya.

In 'The Bait and Switch Con Game', in your description of Bait and Switch no. 32, you have a quote from 'Pass it on'. 'Pysical' should be spelt 'physical'.

I hope all is well.


Hi Noel,

Thank you very much for the sharp eyes. I've looked at some of those darned typos for years and never saw them. Well, they are fixed now.

Yes, I am well, and you have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    If error is corrected whenever it is recognized,
**     the path of error is the path of truth.
**       ==  Hans Reichenbach

Subject: aadeprogramming address
Sender: anonymous
Date: 16.07.2009 18:35     (answered 21 July 2009)

aadeprogramming has a new address:


Hide my e mail address please!!!


Hi Anon,

Thanks for the tip. I'm glad to see that Ken is keeping that stuff online.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Our ideals, laws and customs should be based on the proposition
**     that each generation in turn becomes the custodian rather than
**     the absolute owner of our resources — and each generation
**     has the obligation to pass this inheritance on to the future.
**        ==  Alden Whitman

Date: 17.07.2009 03:26     (answered 21 July 2009)
Subject: Hello and Thanks
Sender: Simon

Hi Orange,

I've been reading your excellent work for a few weeks. In truth, I was first here about 18 months ago. At that time I was fully embroilled in AA, racking up a few months sober, getting drunk again, in and out of treatment, hating 12-step meetings but dragging myself along 2 or 3 times a week. I was desperate to stay sober and, though I just couldn't see how the 12-steps had anything to do with staying sober, I believed what I was being told by health professionals, counsellors, family, friends and of course other steppers; that AA was the only way and that it would work if I worked it, and that if I didn't work it I would die. I sat in endless meetings staring at those faded 12 step scrolls desperately trying to understand what the steps had to do with staying sober. I think also that I wanted to find somewhere where I "belonged". I'd never really felt that I belonged anywhere before. When I found I didn't belong in the rooms either I became seriously depressed.

When I first visited your site back then I still believed that AA had to be right and that I was the problem (after all that's what I was being told by "professionals"), I admit I was angry with you. I wanted your research to be flawed (of course it's not), or I wanted to conclude that you were nasty, mad, resentful, not really an addict/alcoholic, dry drunk, etc. etc. After all you are regularly accused of all these things by 12-steppers, many of whom seem not to have given your site more than a cursory glance (not even your autobiographical notes). I see now of course that you're a decent, intelligent, compassionate guy (and an animal lover too) who dares to tell the truth about the 12 step cartel which is failing addicts and society so shamefully (shamelessly?).

Hi Simon,

Thanks for the compliments.

I went to my last AA meeting about 9 months ago. I never really decided to stop going. I just found myself doing some other good stuff in my life which was clearly going to help me stay sober and couldn't find the time for tedious, depressing meetings. In fact until a few weeks ago I still found myself thinking, with some guilt "Perhaps I should get to a meeting sometime." Now I know I will never go to a meeting again. In fact to do so would undoubtedly jeopardise my sobriety. Coming to your site has helped me reach that decision, so thanks for that.

You are welcome. Personally, I think that going to another meeting would be just an unnecessary pain. I have a hard time silently sitting through all of the opening lies, like "RARELY have we seen a person fail...."

One experience you related did particularly strike a chord, so I thought I'd mention it. I can't find the comment in your letters section now, but you'll be able to date it because you wrote it on your 5th sober anniversary. You were wondering whether to go to your first NA meeting in ages to collect a 5 year chip (did you go?). You just couldn't bear the thought of people taking the credit, on behalf of NA, for your clean time.

I never went and got that coin or keytag. Or any others, ever again. I finally managed to let go of my attachment to drunk junk. Then, at the 7-year point, a friend who is an ex-member sent me his 7-year coin, just for the hell of it. I suppose that might be the last one, ever.

Now I sat in meetings for more years than I care to remember, looking miserable, bored and anxious (because that's how meetings made me feel). Then, as I mentioned, I found other things in life that lifted my negativity and helped me to stay sober. In one of the last meetings I attended some guy noticed my happier disposition and commented on it. "You look happier these days." I said "Yes, I am, thanks." You can guess his response. "You see. This program works." I was angry at the time. Not any more, It helped me realise just how totally irrelevant the program is to my sobriety.

Incidentally, I don't think chips, coins, keyrings are handed out so much here in the UK. One has to go to certain specific meetings to collect them. The only one I have is a Cocaine Anonymous newcomer's keyring. Now I've put a whole lot of nasty chemicals into my body over the years but amazingly have never taken cocaine, despite its apparent ubiquity here in London (detectable in the river Thames). I was in a treatment centre and attendance at all 12 step meetings was mandatory. Even people there for eating disorders, traumatic disorders or just depression were pretty much forced to attend. So I was pushed up at the end of the meeting to collect my keyring and a round of applause. How crazy. In the view of the 12 step evangelists in the treatment industry there is no problem that cannot be solved by the program. That's very sinister, not to mention the vast amounts of money, both public and private being poured into ineffective recovery programs. Still, better for me not to get on to the subject of the treatment industry scandal. I'll be here typing all day. Another time maybe.

About, "there is no problem that cannot be solved by the program." Yes, it's a real snake-oil cure-all, isn't it?

(I don't know if "snake oil" was ever popular over on your side of the pond, but in the USA, during the Wild West days, it was a popular quack's cure-all potion. Snake oil would supposedly cure anything. Of course, it was highly questionable just how many snakes were actually in that "snake oil"...)

Sincere thanks for your efforts.


Thanks for the thanks, and you have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     There are some frauds so well conducted that it would be
**     stupidity not to be deceived by them.
**         ==  Charles Caleb Colton, Lacon, 1.96, 1825

Subject: thanks for your writing
Sender: Lynelle F.
Date: 17.07.2009 11:17     (answered 21

Found your writing on Craig's list. Went to your website. Very happy to be able to read your work.

— Lynelle

Hi Lynelle,

Thanks for the note. I just recently learned that there was a bunch of posting about A.A. and recovery on Craig's List. Until then, I thought it was just a forum for people buying and selling used stuff. Funny how these things evolve and morph.

And you have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and
**     you help them to become what they are capable of being.
**         ==  Johann W. von Goethe (1749—1832)

Date: 18.07.2009 08:31     (answered 21 July 2009)
Sender: Nathalie


I just read this excerpt of your writing on amazon:
and I must say it expressed exactly what I felt 8 years ago at an AA meeting and yesterday at an SLAA (sex and love addicts). The room was full of women who, in my opinion, are in desperate need of thorough psychological or psychiatric help, myself included. And all they did was "share" for five minutes, repeat the indoctrination steps, and give up to a higher power.

First I thought it was only sad, but today I think it's actually dangerous. I wrote an e-mail to the chairwoman but she probably will not understand what my objections were.

Anyway, I enrolled in a program of a scientifically based psychological institute, which helped me cure my OCD. No groups, no higher power, just working hard at leaving destructive patterns.

I am gonna read your website to avoid making the mistake going to AA, NA, SLAA or whatever anymore. I am glad both at AA and SLAA one meeting was enough for me to see what they are all about. I am 8 years clean and sober now, with the help of plain old cognitive therapy.

Keep up the good work.

Kind regards,

Nathalie, the Netherlands

Hi Nathalie,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments. And I'm glad to hear that cognitive therapy helped you. That's good stuff, isn't it?

And you have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Health and intellect are the two blessings of life.
**       ==  Menander (c. 342—292 B.C.) Monostikoi (Single Lines)  

Date: 18.07.2009 13:33     (answered 21 July 2009)
Subject: Orange is my new favorite color!
Sender: Rick

Just stumbled upon your site looking to prove to a friend that Bill Wilson wrote most of the Big Book, not the so called 100 drunks. I'm talking about the first 150 pages. I think you proved me correct.

Hi Rick,

Thanks for the letter.

Yes. Henry Parkhurst wrote the "To Employers" chapter, and Joe Worth may have helped to co-write "Bill's Story", but the rest was written by Bill Wilson (although Dr. Bob's daughter Susan says that Bill was such a bad writer that other people had to rewrite a lot of it).

Holy crap! What a web book. I'm sober 20 years and credit the fact that I made friends that don't drink to long term sobriety. It's too bad there is so much BS along the way in AA. I have not gone to many meetings in the last 15 years.

Yes, friends who don't drink are a big help. First off, you don't have to explain to them why you aren't drinking. They already know. Then they don't expect you to drink, and they don't think you are strange if you don't drink with them. It just makes things a lot easier.

I recently started going to OA meetings because my eating is messed up. (Sugar was my first addiction, if that's possible.) OA is even more messed up because most of the people are FAT. I never saw a drunk at an AA meeting, but lots of fatties at OA. I think I can lose weight out of spite by going to those meetings, and I might just make some formerly fat friends. Unfortunately very few thin OA's don't believe that they got thin by putting down the fork. They are more into the cult than AA's.

That is what Elayne Rapping reported in her book about "the Self-Help Movement":