4HTML> Letters 178
Letters, We Get Mail, CLXXVIII

Date: Sun, June 27, 2010 6:01 pm     (answered 8 July 2010)
From: "Linda C."
Subject: Re: Orange You Glad I didnt say BANANNA?

why not just say it as it is?
As a Christian..I Am not a Gossip,
I was Lied to and I tried to find help.
THEY Were not very Kind,
Please exuse my way with words,I have a exspesive languge disorder as
well as other!

They gave my son his drugs in his bag and more!

as for AA
I am sober over 18 years and I was healed!
My many LOGS,I am not in anyway to Judge,I SAY MY FACTS" not opinion!
IT would be a simple easy answer ...to just say you WOULD BE HAPPY
AA.... by formal choice?
intimidation or Brain Washing for Christ?
WASHED...like a Minna Bird, People Just being demanded to repeat and
follow or else?

THIS IS A OUTRAGE,and is not comming to MY JESUS!

I HAVE WITTNESSED others being like CULTISH with the Words of My GOD'
and Now I know where they COME FoM Directly from UTURN!........
and as a Christian to say that AA is bad, instead of a reply..
argg and

I Do not think Jesus Approves,in CULT PRAISE awfull!
Mrs Linda Ann C.

Hi again Linda,

You have a good day too.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.info        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one
**     of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
**        ==  Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:40)

Date: Sat, July 24, 2010 7:12 pm     (answered 31 July 2010)
From: "Linda C."
Subject: Re: Orange You Glad I didnt say BANANNA?

i say 2 u.
and I still reply,
It is scary when a person cannot stand up for the Facts
is it from the heart or from a REPPETTITIVE EMOTION..
either say what you mean or do not reply..
as I do not BELIVE YOU..
it is so very sad to not speak the facts

Well, gee, I don't know what to say.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.info        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Drunkenness ... is temporary suicide.
**       ==  Bertrand Russell (1872—1970), British philosopher, mathematician.
**           The Conquest of Happiness, ch. 2 (1930).

Date: Sat, October 30, 2010 11:20 pm     (answered 21 November 2010)
From: "Linda C."
Subject: Re: Orange You Glad I didnt say BANANNA?

can be permanent suiside..........too see that too sad for all who love
I allmost was dead....1977. but IM NOT!

Hi again, Linda,

Well, I'm glad that you didn't die that way. So have a good life now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.info        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**               Against self-slaughter
**     There is a prohibition so divine
**     That cravens my weak hand.
**        ==  Shakespeare, Cymbeline. Act iii, sc. 4, 1. 78

Date: Sun, June 27, 2010 11:34 pm     (answered 8 July 2010)
From: Katherine
Subject: Are their any secular support groups instead of Al-Anon?


Thanks for such an informative web site. Keep up the good work!

Do you happen to know if there are any secular support groups for families or friends of persons who are addicted to alcohol?

If you do know, could you email me back with some suggestions?



Hello Katherine,

Thank you for the compliments and the question. That is a tough one. I don't know of a group that exactly matches your description — secular family-of-alcoholics support group.

But I have seen that family members do visit the secular alcoholics' support groups. I've personally seen a couple of women come to a SMART meeting and explain that they were not alcoholics, they were wives of alcoholics, but was it okay if they attended anyway? We said, "Sure, no problem." And those were the women who went on to explain that they were actually ex-wives. They had tolerated their husbands drinking for years, but when the husbands sobered up and joined A.A. and became crazy true believers who devoted their entire lives to A.A., that was just too much and the women divorced them.

So the women were attending meetings like SMART to see what else there was for recovery besides becoming religious nutcases.

My suggestion is to check out the usual secular support groups like SMART, SOS, and Lifering. You will probably find a lot of kindred spirits. Many, many alcoholics were also children of alcoholics, or relatives of alcoholics in other ways, so the issues that they face are often the same as the ones that you face. I just reprinted the list of secular groups again, here. I would also get into a bunch of those online forums and ask there. If someone has not started a secular family support group, they should.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.info        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "I do not know how to avoid the conclusion that a man who is capable
**   of taking the illusions of religion so literally and is so sure of a
**   special personal intimacy with the Almighty is unfitted for relations
**   with ordinary children of men."
**      ==  Sigmund Freud

[The previous letter from 'X' is here.]

Date: Thu, June 24, 2010 4:55 am     (answered 8 July 2010)
From: "X"
Subject: RE: getting aa criticism mainstream press

Thanks, Orange.


I was thinking about you this morning because my household financial circumstances have improved recently and I would like to make a donation towards the cost of keeping your site online, and that includes after your death, or my death. Do you feel that the future of your site is in any danger due to financial restraints? Do you have an 'heir', so to speak? I feel that your site is so important that I would like to know that its ongoing presence online is assured. It is my impression that anyone who speaks against the 12 step movement links to the ops, for its references apart from anything else; we need the ops to have a permanent net presence. I will donate via paypal, but if the financial future of the site is in any danger at all (and let me know about ideological difficulties too, I would take a more long term view. I hear you had a problem with aol which was eventually sorted). I will make a modest donation via paypal, but I am thinking in terms of my will.

Hi X,

It's good to hear from you again.

The way things are now, when I die, the web site dies. I have given official permission for anybody to mirror the site after I'm dead, but I think — hope — maybe we can do better than that. We were just talking about that in a previous letter, here. Having a small group of moderators who manage the forums will supply some live bodies to keep things going.

In the long run, perhaps incorporation as a foundation is necessary. I don't think you can bequeath money to a dead person, or to a dead person's web site.

Anybody got any ideas?


I urge you to register with the Guardian newspaper in the UK (free and fairly easy), which has the largest net profile of all UK papers. They regularly have a thread called, 'What do you want to talk about?', where people send in suggestions which are regularly used. You will get a very very big audience. If I were someone as articulate as you, I would wait until they start the 'WDYWTTA' thread and jump in with the first comment, to get maximum readership. But please just try it now, because they have one going at the moment.

Ah yes, the Guardian. I'm already registered with them. I like them. I like to frequent foreign newspapers because they will tell the truths that the American newspapers won't. Like did you know that Greg Palast could get his stories of corruption in the Florida elections in 2000 — purging of qualified black voters because they had names that merely resembled felons — printed and broadcast by the BBC in London, but neither the New York Times nor the Washington Post would print the stories?

3. I agree that 'The ineffectiveness of the 12 steps' is the best starting point. It says it all.

4. I sent some bits from 'Stinkin' thinkin'' to Private Eye, but more from a humorous point of view than anything else.

5. I am thinking of Mark Thomas and Dave Gorman in the UK, both stand up comedians who either take on heavy issues or question sacred cows.

6. Please write something for the Guardian. Or look at Mumsnet (both UK sites; both read by lots of people, both free to all. Please try mumsnet; they have a powerful and very (good for us) argumentative membership.

Okay, I'll have to work on that.

7. I have also been considering writing to British medical insurers; BUPA, Norwich Union, etc, enclosing 'TEOTTS'. What do you think of this angle? The Priory does not have shareholders. I rang a couple of 'treatment' facilities for my fictional alcoholic brother and I was told that he was in denial. I asked their success rates and they very proudly told me 65%, but on closer questionning, the 65% meant that 65% had lasted the residential course.

I think that is a very good angle. I cannot think of another area of modern medicine where quackery is acceptable. Try billing the health insurance companies for treating cancer with colloidal gold, arsenic, and prayer, and see how much money you get. And yet the insurance companies pay for 12-Step religion every day.

8. I am also very wary of putting my head above the parapet.

All the best.

Okay, X, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.info        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Neither fire nor wind, birth nor death can
**      erase our good deeds."
**          ==  Siddhartha Buddha

Date: Thu, September 3, 2009 10:09 am     (answered 8 July 2010)
From: "Alicia M."
Subject: College Paper

Hi Agent Orange,

Thank you soooo much for making your website. It is so amazing and helpful. I used to be in AA and after being raped by my boyfriend, who was of course in the program as well, and having all of my AA friends turn their back on me, I have condemned AA. I am now in college in a sexuality class and have to write a paper and do a presentation on a subject of my choice involving sex.

I have decided to present about sex in recovery and I would like to know if you have any particular articles that may be helpful or know of any videos I could use. I will of course continue to look through on your site and others but it seems that the search engine on your site does not work so that makes things a little tricky.

Thanks a lot hope you are having a great day!


Hello Alicia,

Thank you for all of the compliments. Sorry to take so long to answer; boy did this letter get misplaced. I just found another bundle of letters that got stashed and forgotten many months ago. I got kind of disorganized when I was moving to a new home.

I cannot think of anything special that you haven't probably already found. The stories about sexual exploitation are just getting to be so commonplace.

First off, of course, there are the really outrageous groups like Mike Quinones' "Midtown Group" in Washington DC. The list that is linked there also lists several other groups around the country.

And then there are the stories of sexual exploitation in the list of A.A. horror stories.

Oh, and that "Entropy" search engine (at the bottom of all of the web pages) does work, sort of. It just isn't very easy to use. All that it does is give you the URL of the web page where something is found, and then reprint the top few lines of the file, which have nothing to do with what you were searching for. So what you have to do is open the page, and use the web browser's built-in search function (usually a slash '/') to search within the web page to get to what you really want.

Anyway, you have probably finished the paper and graduated by now, right?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.info        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Buy a Hallmark card and help A.A. to rape underage girls.

*Date: * Sat, March 6, 2010 12:39 am     (answered 8 July 2010)
*Subject: * Webmaster
*From: * GC

Dear Webmaster:

I am SO glad to have come across you website. Your information just REASSURED me that what I was thinking was correct.

I was FORCED by the mental health system attend AA/NA meetings because of a prescription drug problem, which I have successfully (and gladly) been cured. My problem was the 'detox.' The detox symptoms were so great that I never could fully make it though the withdrawal and would just give in and take my prescribed and narcotic medication. It wasn't that I just didn't want to quit.

It had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with "character defects" as AA/NA preaches. I am so happy to be clean and it has NOTHING to do with AA/NA. I totally IGNORED the AA/NA teachings, and felt like I was being FORCED to attend a meeting with some strange cult.

If people THINK that AA/NA is NOT a cult, just try to disagree with one of the members at a meeting! They will NOT speak to you, and totally ostracize you; they may even ask you not to come back.

I feel like "who the heck is this Bill W. and what makes HIM the final authority on addiction & recovery?" I always had a problem with saying "My name is bla bla bla and I'm an addict," because I felt that I was cured of drug dependency, as I have NO DESIRE to get back on addictive prescription medication that I was taking before. I am only too happy to be off the medication. However, AA/NA was always trying to "correct" me by saying I would never be cured, and that is absolutely ridiculous.

They even corrected me at a meeting when I was forced by a drug counselor to speak about my problems. I introduced myself (as I was made to do) by saying my name and that I was an "addict." Anyway, it turned out that I was approached by the chair of the meeting and asked that in the future would I please identify myself as an "alcoholic." I answered VERY quickly and said that I would certainly mind, because I hate alcohol, had maybe 3 drinks (which I practically wasted since I only took a sip or two) my entire life, and that I didn't have a problem with alcohol and would not introduce myself that way. This woman actually had the audacity to ask me to LIE and say that I was ANYWAY out of "respect for the meeting." Have you ever heard of something so crazy???? I basically told her that I WOULD NOT lie, and that I just wouldn't speak, no matter what, in one of their meetings from then on, no matter what the drug counselor said I had to do.

Being in the psychiatric nursing field (I have been a nurse for approximately 20 years), I can tell you that they INCORRECTLY use the terms "adverse reaction" and "allergy." An adverse reaction is NOT defined in the manner of which THEY use it, and neither is allergy.

I actually had several people in AA/NA tell me that I was WRONG when I told them that there were certain dynamics of: relationships/problems/issues that a person needed to see a professional (counselor, therapist, psychiatrist, etc etc) about, because a "sponsor" is not qualified to address those issues. They continued to argue with me until finally I just gave up. HOW could they actually think an unqualified "sponsor" (who is nothing more than a former alcoholic or addict themselves) could be BETTER than someone with schooling specially geared to that specific issue?

These people are OUT OF THEIR MINDS. I am college educated man, and it was only too apparent to me that this is CLEARLY a cult organization of the first rank.

Because of my occupation, I have seen many 12 step programs, and worked loosely with them through clients. I find it sad that mental health facilities are being increasingly and WRONGLY more reliant on these 12 step programs. I am seeing the trend swing towards 12 step programs the longer that I nurse, it is disgusting. I had NO IDEA that these programs were like this until I was forced to attend them. It makes me ill to know that all the patients I was working with also being forced to attend 12 step programs and on top of that, were being subjected to this against their will. Apparently the majority of the public is unaware of what a cult these programs really are. People in mental hospitals, chemical dependency centers, and the court system SHOULD NOT IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM be forced to join a religion. And I am a devoutly religious man. But it is a religion of my choosing, not one forced upon me by a health care system/court system.

Because I was forced through a chemical dependency program to attend these crazy meetings, I was able to see EXACTLY what you are speaking about.

They continue to make the members state things like "my name is John Doe, and I'm an alcoholic" which ONLY REINFORCES to the client that they will NEVER RECOVER! THAT IS NOT NORMAL! THAT IS NOT CONDUCIVE TO TRUE RECOVERY.

I could go on & on & on & on, but it literally makes me sick to my stomach to even discuss this very sick program.

Thanks so much for all the WONDERFUL information that you have provided. It is CERTAINLY the truth.

God bless you friend,



Hello GC,

Thank you for the letter and the compliments. You make a lot of good points, and I couldn't agree more.

We were just talking about that "I am an alcoholic" problem a few letters back, here and here and here. It is very unhealthy to spend years labeling yourself as an alcoholic or an addict. And of course recovery is possible. Obviously, there comes a day when it is time to change the rap to, "Hi. My name is Terry, and I used to drink too much, but that was many years ago, and now I'm doing other things with my life. Want to hear how I quit drinking and changed my life?"

It is some kind of national crime for A.A. and N.A. to dominate the drug and alcohol recovery business (which is what it is — the business of selling cult religion and quack medicine to sick people).

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.info        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If alcoholism is really a disease, then A.A. sponsors are
**     guilty of practicing medicine without a license. They are
**     also guilty of treating a life-threatening illness without
**     having any medical education or training.  They have never
**     gone to medical school, and never done an internship or
**     residency, and yet they presume to be qualified to make
**     life-or-death decisions in the patients' treatment. That
**     is what you call quackery.

[Previous letters from Shannon are here.]

Date: Wed, March 3, 2010 10:10 pm     (answered 9 July 2010)
From: Shannon
Subject: Re: aa cult scorecard

Thank you for your response. I copied and pasted over 600 pages of your work, that should keep me very busy reading for a while. I am a "dry drunk" by AA standards as I chose to not drink and I chose to do that wihout a "program". My boyfriend told me tonight with glee that he got got to be the "Greeter" and he got his first "Sponsee"! (aargh) I truly appreciate your research and your view as I feel very much the same. It is very difficult to be in a serious relationship with someone who lives by his 12-step program every day and attends a meeting of some sort every day. He gets all this recognition, support and celebration because he made a choice not to drink. Sometimes I just want to celebrate me. Grrr. Anyway, thanks again for your response and for sharing all your hard work. I sincerely look forward to reading further. Good day.


Hello again, Shannon,

Sorry to hear about your difficult relationship. Yes, being in a relationship with somebody who drank the koolaid is really tough. But it sounds like you are at least taking care of your own health — both physical health and mental health.

So have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.info        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      Give fools their gold, and knaves their power;
**      Let fortune's bubbles rise and fall;
**      Who sows a field, or trains a flower,
**      Or plants a tree, is more than all.
**         == Whittier, A Song of Harvest

Date: Thu, March 4, 2010 9:03 am     (answered 9 July 2010)
From: "Gene t."
Subject: copycat site alert

Hello again,

There is a site called orange-papers.com that is pro AA. The bastards are trying to divert people from your site to a misleading one. In the future I will have to be much more careful when I refer people to your site for help.

Hi again, Gene,

Yes, that is a copycat web site. Just an attempt to keep people from seeing the Orange Papers. Really spiritual behavior, huh?

UPDATE: Summer 2013: The domain name orange-papers.com became available, so I quickly registered it. Now that name just redirects to orange-papers.info. For the last few years, the owner of orange-papers.com neglected the web site, and didn't update it, and let it die. No wonder why. It got no traffic. Google was still directing all of the traffic to my site. So now I have the name orange-papers.com , and that prevents any copycat web sites with that name. I also got orange-papers.net and orangepapers.net while I was at it, and they also redirect to orange-papers.info. Problem solved.

Date: Thu, March 4, 2010 9:32 am     (answered 9 July 2010)
From: "Gene t."
Subject: Alternate Views


I have a deep outrage against Bill Wilson's AA. I am a Christian and know what a pack of lies he has handed us. Thanks to this site I can help others whose faith has been poisoned by that lunatic. Everything good about Christianity has been turned upside down by AA.

In that people like me who are dedicated to Jesus often get slammed by ex-AA people because of a resemblance in our beliefs. Now I have to deal with programed knee-jerk reactions people have against God because of Wilson's treachery. I have a few Christian anti-AA sites to share with anyone interested. Wilson came not to help, but to destroy. I am looking into his so called treatment by the then Nazi psychiatrist Carl Jung. Also I have read of possible contact by Wilson with the satanist Aleister Crowley. That info came from sparklesdelicious website. It is possible Wilson met both individuals in Germany. Perhaps he did not go for "treatment" but for instruction and collaboration. I do not believe Wilson could have done all this on his own. There is a striking similarity between the Big Book and "The Diary Of A Dope Fiend. This may take awhile to track all this down with my limited resources.

Remember that the triangle in the circle is an occult symbol used to summon demonic entities. It is also Luciferian in the Masonic symbols. I believe there is more to this picture than just Bill's hocus pocus.

Yes, it is amazing that they declare that A.A. is completely compatible with Christianity, or even "based on the Bible". I'm still looking for where it says in the Bible that you can worship anything as your "Higher Power" — Jesus, Golden Calf, Group Of Drunks, or Beelzebub... They are all the same and anything is okay, right?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.info        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "You are in the wrong group if you are looking for Jesus.
**      ...  you are one blind fuckwit."
**       ==  Robert, in the Internet newsgroup
**            "alt.recovery.addiction.alcoholism" (August 2003)

Date: Thu, March 4, 2010 10:06 am     (answered 9 July 2010)
From: s.c.
Subject: dry drunk

I read this and im a little lost. my huband is what aa calls a dry drunk and hes mad all the time and he wont go to a meeting so what can be done for this?

Hello S.C.,

Thank you for the letter. Sorry to take so long to answer; the letter got misplaced while I was moving.

There isn't really any such thing as a "dry drunk", and going to an A.A. meeting is not the answer to emotional problems. Look here to read about the "Dry Drunk" myth.

In fact, going to A.A. meetings can make him worse off. The constant self-criticism and confessions and guilt induction are very unhealthy and leave people feeling depressed and frustrated. One of the earliest letters that I got from an A.A. old-timer said,

"Old timers in AA are often an angry lot: a mask of serenity with a seething cauldron underneath."

I have to guess that your husband quit drinking, and now he is angry a lot of the time. That is actually rather normal. I went through a lot of that too, for years after quitting drinking. Alcohol makes major changes to the brain, and it takes years to heal and repair the damage. And then there is the problem of all of the original causes of drinking that never got resolved. Like, was he an abused child? That is good for many years of residual anger.

I recommend a couple of things:

  1. B Vitamins. Actually, all vitamins. That is, get a good high-potency one-a-day "everything" vitamin pill, and also a good high-potency B-complex with C pill. Personally, I take Centrum Silver, B-Complex, more C, Calcium, and aspirin, twice a day. The B vitamins help the brain to heal sooner — they really help a lot. The calcium is for osteoporosis, which alcohol can cause, too. The aspirin is for blood thinning, and the pain of arthritis, and to prevent headaches. After living on a liquid diet for many years, my body can easily feel dehydrated when I'm not constantly guzzling something wet, so thinning the blood is a good thing.

  2. Try some counseling. I have mixed feelings about counseling, personally. Some counselors are blithering idiots — the blind leading the blind. But if you get lucky, you might find a good one who can help him to sort out his feelings and overcome some of the anger.

  3. Try some meditation. It doesn't have to be anything fancy or formal. Just five or ten minutes of calming down and centering each morning can make a big difference. Have him try just a five-minute session of "For the next five minutes, I will calm down and not be angry. For the next five minutes, I will think happy thoughts." It works.

    Then, if he can increase it to 15 minutes or more every morning, it becomes very powerful.

  4. Also, I wrote about emotional recovery at the end of that "Dry Drunk" web page, here. There you have a few more suggestions for how to overcome the residual anger.

Good luck. And have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.info        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal
**      with the intent of throwing it at someone else;
**      you are the one who gets burned.
**         ==  Buddha

Date: Thu, March 4, 2010 11:03 am     (answered 9 July 2010)
From: "Nick S."
Subject: There is a cure for alcoholism called naltrexone


Thank you for your fantastic site. I agree that AA is complete bullshit.

Making matters worse, AA is actively interfering with new, revolutionary methods for combatting alcoholism that work. Nine months ago I was a raging alcoholic, binge drinker who tossed down about fifty drinks a week over the course of three nights. I then read about a drug called Naltrexone in the New York Times. The article is here.


Naltrexone has previously been marketed as an anti-craving drug used with abstinence. It failed miserably when used this way and therefore has a bad reputation in the medical community.

The correct way to take the drug is with continued drinking — taking the pill one hour before consumption. The pill alters the buzz and basically eliminates the positive reinforcement for drinking. I am part of a support network located at www.thesinclairmethod.com. My handle there is Minneapolisnick.

After nine months of taking naltrexone before I drink I am cured of my alcoholism and no longer crave alcohol. Dozens of people at our site are either cured entirely of their alcoholism or have their consumption and craving for alcohol drastically reduced thanks to taking naltrexone one hour before they drink.

My beef with AA is that they are literally killing thousands of people by preventing people from discovering medical solutions for alcoholism that actually work.

Thank you for your great work.


Nick S.
Attorney at Law

Hello Nick,

Thank you for the letter. Sorry to take so long to answer it; it got misplaced while I was moving to a new home.

Thank you for the information. I don't know a great deal about Naltrexone; I quit cold turkey; but it sounds very good. The way I see it is, "Whatever works. The more tools we can have in our toolbox, the better."

By the way, I see that you are a lawyer. Ever considered suing A.A. for medical malpractice? Or for negligent treatment of sick people, or depraved indifference, or for manslaughter? Or for practicing medicine without a license?

Have a good day.

== Orange

Date: Thu, March 4, 2010 11:07 am     (answered 9 July 2010)
From: "Nick S."
Subject: My take on AA's "success"

Defenders of AA are always telling me, "It has done wonders for so many people!" And my response is this: NO IT DIDN'T. Our incredible instinct for survival and inherent need to escape a miserable life of alcoholism is the driving force behind the sobriety. I'm quite convinced that if alcoholics were not railroaded into AA but instead were directed to witchcraft/voodoo classes, that an equal number of people would be able to maintain their sobriety by sticking pins in their voodoo dolls. Desperate times call for desperate measures! If you had told me at my low point of boozing that standing upside down naked on top of the Empire State building while reciting the Koran would stop me from drinking, I would have tried it. And I probably would have maintained my sobriety about as long as your average AAer with that strategy. And then all of mainstream society would be declaring, "It's amazing what standing upside down naked on the Empire State building while reciting the Koran can do to help people stop drinking."

I quite agree. A.A. just claims those few people who sober themselves up, while ignoring and not counting the great numbers of people who don't quit drinking. ("They didn't work the program right. They didn't thoroughly follow our path. They didn't really try.")

I often joke about my quack cures, like The Baskin-Robbins Cure, or The Ballerina Dancing Cure, or The Patty-Cake Treatment Program, or the Tiddly-Winks Treatment Program, but they aren't entirely a joke. Truth is, I'd be happy to participate in a real scientific experiment, a valid Randomized Longitudinal Controlled Study, to test one of those cures against Alcoholics Anonymous. I'd happily teach the Patty-Cake Treatment Program, or the Tiddly-Winks Cure, and I'm sure that I can match or beat the success rate of any program that is based on Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps. And I'm sure that we will have a lower suicide rate, too. And besides that, we will be very "Spiritual".

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.info        *
*         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

May 18, 2009, Monday: Day 18, continued:

Canada Goose and dog
Parents of the "Family of 9", and a small dog
This is one of those photographs where I just missed some great shots. These adults were very upset about the dog, because their babies were there, just off-screen to the left, in the water. The parents were honking angrily. Then they started thinking, "That is just a small dog, and there are more of us than there are of him." They actually psyched themselves up, honking louder and louder, and faster and faster, and then the two ganders suddenly attacked the dog, biting and screeching and whipping it with their wings. The dog freaked out and ran. Then the geese proudly reclaimed the beach.

I had never seen the geese attack anybody or anything like that before. Canada Geese are normally very mellow and easy-going (unlike the white domestic geese). But then again, Canada Geese really don't like dogs. (It's a very old adversarial relationship: Wolves and coyotes and foxes have been eating geese and goslings for millions of years, and both the geese and the dogs know it.)

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

Date: Fri, March 5, 2010 9:33 am     (answered 9 July 2010)
From: "B."
Subject: thanks...

My daughter is undergoing treatment for an alchohol problem. She came home from her first AA meeting and said it was a cult... Thanks so much for all of this information. She's decided to be accountable to herself and make better decisions, not allow strangers to declare her "sick" and that the only "cure" is AA.


Hello B.,

Thank you very much for the letter. That is very encouraging. You daughter has arrived at something that really is the essence of the whole solution to the problem: Just manage yourself. Just control your own drinking, by either moderation or abstinence. She's got it all.

So have a good day now. Oh, and please give my congratulations to your daughter.

== Orange

Date: Fri, March 5, 2010 9:34 am     (answered 9 July 2010)
From: "B."
Subject: oh.....

and I see you have letters on your site? If you put them all up, please leave my name off...

No problem. Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.info        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Whenever we seek to avoid the responsibility for our own
**     behavior, we do so by attempting to give that responsibility to some
**     other individual or organization or entity. But this means we then
**     give away our power to that entity."
**        ==  M. Scott Peck.

Date: Fri, March 5, 2010 11:51 am     (answered 9 July 2010)
From: "Sarah W."
Subject: Nationally-distributed criticism of AA first appeared in a 1963 Harpers Magazine article


This is an excellent article from 1963. I could describe it forever, or just let you read it because my experience was exactly what this man described. I have been casually drinking (not getting drunk) for several years now after almost 10 years in AA. It's amazing I had not one person who thought this was possible except my husband. This excellent article describes the lock-step nature of AA and the ability of "former" alcoholics to drink safely, given they have addressed the problems that lead to their need to drink to excess. Oh, and for the AA people reading this that say, "that's impossible, you're lying to yourself!", I have no need or desire to drink the way I did. It took a great deal of work (outside AA) and soul searching, but the reasons I drank have been resolved.

I hope you enjoy the article, I know I did!



P.S. Thank you again for your help when I was leaving AA and profoundly traumatized by the experience of being on of their "flock".

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for the link. Yes, isn't that a perceptive article? That was Dr. Arthur H. Cain, who clearly recognized that A.A. was a cult that was seriously departing from reality. And, if I'm not mistaken, Dr. Cain's Harper's article was the first article in a nationwide magazine that criticized Alcoholics Anonymous, and stated that A.A. was not the wonderful panacea that they were claiming.

I just happen to have both of Dr. Cain's articles, here.

"BurkeD" seems to have confused the source of the article. I have that article as coming from the September 19, 1964 issue of the Saturday Evening Post. The Harper's article is quite different. Happily, I have both.

I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better. The big secret that A.A. does not want people to know is that lots of "alcoholics" (whatever that word is really supposed to mean) recover by tapering off into moderate, controlled drinking.

Many years ago, way back in 1980, the famous government think tank, the Rand Corporation, found that the successful people who had stopped drinking self-destructively were evenly split between total abstinence and tapering off into moderate, controlled, drinking. So total abstinence is not the only way. It all depends on the individual person.

Personally, I'm one of the people who has to totally abstain from alcohol to keep it under control. (And I have to totally abstain from tobacco to keep from getting readdicted to cigarettes.) But that is my problem, not yours.

When that Rand Corporation report was published, the A.A. true believers had a hissy-fit. They screamed that the Rand Corporation was killing alcoholics. Ann Landers indignantly printed a denunciation and said that it was irresponsible to release such information. As if alcoholics are too stupid to handle the truth. (Remember Jack Nicholson screaming, "The truth? You can't handle the truth!")

But in my experience, alcoholics are not a separate species of stupid sub-humans. They are as intelligent as the rest of the people, and they need more true information, not less. (What a vicious, insulting stereotype of alcoholics A.A. really spreads.)

So I'm glad to hear that my web site helped you in some way.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.info        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "A useful idea has turned into a religious movement —
**     and a hindrance to research, psychiatry, and to many
**     alcoholics who need a different kind of help."
**        ==  Dr. Arthur H. Cain, Alcoholics Anonymous: Cult or Cure?,
**      Harper's Magazine, February 1963.

Date: Fri, March 5, 2010 1:40 pm     (answered 9 July 2010)
From: "Judith B."
Subject: Alcoholics Anonymous

Orange ~ I read your site about AA, very interesting perspective you have there. Not that I agree, here's wishing you a wonderful life.

Hi Judith,

Hey! That's a nice wish. So I wish you a wonderul life too.

And have a good day today.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.info        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that
**      every human creature is constituted to be
**      that profound secret and mystery to every other."
**         ==  Charles Dickens (1812—1870)

Date: Mon, June 28, 2010 12:48 pm     (answered 9 July 2010)
From: "P"
Subject: Jerry's Kids AA

I have been in AA for some time now and appreciate your project. One of AA's biggest faults is discouraging its members to think for themselves. Oddly, AA has given me a good perspective on my life and taught me that I could think for myself. I tune out the majority of what I hear there, I see AA as an opportunity to encourage people to embark on the path of classical philosophy — to seek the good and question the actions of their own existence. For me, my recovery from alcoholism would be worthless if I did not, at about one year of sobriety, do something radical and choose to think for myself. Consequently, I do not seek the people in the AA fellowship who are robots or zealots — I seek the independent, free-thinking philosophers. They do exist within AA — although they are few and far between.

Anyway, I was reading a letter on your site about a group called 'Jerry's Kids' within Eugene/Springfield AA. I can verify what John S. claimed about them. It is common knowledge for those who have been in AA around here over the past couple years. Jerry S. holds his own meetings around here and has been personally barred from several local meetings. He conducts these meetings and sponsors both men and women. Those who are his followers may not be directly sponsored by him, but all the Jerry's Kids emphasize belonging to a 'Sponsorship Tree'. They draw in newcomers and corner them into being sponsored by people with relatively no sobriety. From what I hear, Jerry's meetings are focused on his interpretation and encourage kneeling prayers during the meeting. Its members encourage one another to tell their senior members their secrets.

Jerry's Kids, from what I understand, has been dormant in the Eugene area until about one year ago. His meetings have more followers now and they attend outside meetings to employ their zealous recruiting practices. His now 21 year old wife attends meetings and exhibits behavior that is surreal. On the whole, I notice that they pick on young newcomers and preach about accepting that God will do anything for them and that everything is okay.


(Obviously I would appreciate remaining anonymous if you choose to publish my letter. Thanks.)

Hello P,

Thank you for the letter, and I'm glad to hear that your brain is awake and functioning.

And thanks for the news about Jerry's Kids. What a tragi-comedy. And it is especially unfortunate that they are preying on the young. There are just wanna-be cult leaders everywhere, aren't there? Since I'm just outside of Portland, and they are down in Eugene, that isn't very far away.

Have a good day, and a good life. Oh, and congratulations on your year of sobriety. Now it gets a little easier.

== Orange

*             orange@orange-papers.info        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "The best way to get rich is to start a religion."
**        ==  Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, the founder of Scientology

Date: Mon, June 28, 2010 6:32 pm     (answered 10 July 2010)
From: "Kathy F."
Subject: The Courts and AA

In catching up with the latest at Orange Papers, I noticed the remarks about certain AA groups being unhappy about courts sentencing offenders to the program. Perhaps you have covered this somewhere in your research that I have not come across but in case not, I point out the testimony of Chuck Chamberlain (Clancy Imislund's sponsor) before Congress. Senator Harold Hughes led the hearing and he was an AA member (I used to have a copy of one of his talks). My interpretation of the testimony is that these two kicked off the game of recovery via government intervention and subsidization. AA has no business complaining.


The website with the testimony is going through an upgrade so the link may not work (but you may already know this since I picked up the site from Orange Papers). The particulars are Chuck C. September 27, 1969 Testimony before a U.S. Senate Subcommittee.

Your work is most appreciated!

Hi Kathy,

Thank you for the tip. I didn't know about that. I haven't read all of Silkworth.net, yet...

That is so interesting that I made a local copy, here, so we don't need to worry about Silkworth.net becoming disorganized.

Yes, Chuck Chamberlain sure parrots the party line. He's got so many of the standard slogans in there:

  • Alcoholism is a disease.
    (But Bill Wilson said that "we have never called alcoholism a disease". See the signature below.)

  • Alcoholism is an allergy of the body coupled with an obsession of the mind.
    (The Big Book says that Dr. Silkworth said that.)

  • "why am I not drunk this morning? I'm an alcoholic."
    (Maybe it's because you chose to abstain from drinking alcohol today...)

  • Traditionally we neither endorse or oppose any causes. We cooperate but we do not affiliate.
    (Right. They just use front groups like NCADD, ASAM, and Hazelden to do the dirty work for them.)

  • We also have the tradition that we are self supporting. We don't take any moneys from any outside sources whatsoever.
    (Tell that to the alcoholics in Mexico and Germany who got sued so the American A.A. could illegally take more money. And then there was $100,000 from the city of San Diego.)

  • When you sentence us, don't give us that lecture, because we can't take it.
    (That is the standard A.A. stereotype of "the alcoholic", a dishonest, neurotic sub-human.)

  • So, indeed, in A.A. we have a lot of fun.
    (Oh yes, it's just so much fun to be in a cult.)

  • I went to the clergy, to men of medicine and to a few people who knew more psychiatry than there is. And my answer from all of them was willpower, backbone and stand-up-and-be-a man.
    (Yes, all of those educated men were too stupid to recommend cult religion.)

  • I never heard of the disease of alcoholism until I came to my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
    (As if Dr. Benjamin Rush didn't declare alcoholism a disease in 1784.)

  • It's a holdover from the days when the only descriptive adjectives used for people like me were bums, spineless people, dregs of society, a cancer on the social body, and all that sort of thing.
    (So now A.A. declares that alcoholics are atheists, dishonest, in denial, selfish, "constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves", disgusting, indulging in the Seven Deadly Sins, "born that way", and they don't want to get too good too soon. A.A. has really improved things, hasn't it?

    By the way, if alcoholics are really that bad, why on Earth would anyone ask an A.A. member for advice on how to live a good life?)

  • Senators will ask: "What good does it do? ..."
    I don't have any facts and figures. I know we're going to develop some as we go along in these hearings, ...
    (Well, they still don't have any honest numbers that tell what good A.A. does. We have been waiting 70 years now, and A.A. still does not have an official statement of their success rate.)

  • Now this thing is seemingly proven in our work. Any alcoholic who sits through an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, leaves knowing the answer is there — whether or not he admits that he has a problem.
    So I believe that no one, no alcoholic, regardless of whether he has admitted it or not, who is exposed to this therapy about which we are talking, leaves with any questions in his mind. I think he knows immediately that the answer is in the room.
    (Nothing like self-congratulatory bull. And he calls A.A. "therapy". But when I criticize "A.A. therapy" for not working, the A.A. true believers declare that A.A. is not a therapy program, and A.A. is not a treatment program, so they don't keep count of treatment successes. )

  • They [the alcoholics] are going to be sent to these detoxification centers. But they're going to be sent there by the court or by the police instead of being sent to jail. They will have to go through that.
    (That sure helps with the cult recruiting problem, doesn't it?)

  • Senator Dominick: That program has worked; that's what I want to know?
    Mr. Chuck C.: Yes.
    (Huh??!! What worked? They just said that they don't have any numbers. They don't even know what the A.A. success rate is. And yet they still declare success.)

Oh well, have a good day anyway. I'm going to. It's summer, and the sun is shining, and it's beautiful out there.

== Orange

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

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Last updated 12 July 2015.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters178.html