Letters, We Get Mail, CLXXXVI

Date: Sun, August 1, 2010 12:59 pm     (answered 10 August 2010)
Subjetc.: thank you — please do not show my emails address, use my email if you wish

Hi Orange

I have spent the last couple of years in great conflict and the last couple of days reading your site/book (please publish this book).

I have been to hundreds of A.A/N.A and was really sucked in, I was never a follower, or so I thought, but the miracle of stopping drinking did happen around the time of going to A.A, so I thought "WOW", for I was almost dead!

Lots has happened in the 8 years, I did get a sponsor, one whom I knew would be soft, and did do lots of commitments, but I never really ever let go — thank god !

After losing my Parents in short period I ended up in Hospital with depression, all my so called A.A friends vanished, my sponsor said I was not " working the programme " and let me go.

After 8 months, I returned and people who ignored me in the street, were hugging me and saying "thank god you are back, but mainly saying, "of course there is only one answer!"

I remained for awhile, mainly due to a pattern, I was on prescribed drugs which I shared about and was told not to take them, flush them, the doctor is stupid etc....

I did stop taking them and got worse, very bad... to the point of total exhaustion, by this time I wanted to die, but I kept on.

My reason for writing — sorry to ramble —, is that all that you write is true, and it needs to be shown to as many people as possible, for in weak moments we do need to belong, need love etc. and A.A old-timers have a way of making you feel wanted, but also making you feel if you left, you'd die !

I have seen people people turn into robots, die, commit suicide, drink time after time and heard the A.A say " they were not on the programme " I have even seen arranged marriages, I kid you not... I've seen everything a person in deep pain and recovery need not see.

I am scared of being alone and making a life, there is comfort in being around people who drink tea and coffee, for my drinking story was alcohol and drugs, not coffee. So I was happy drinking coffee, but was never happy that all they ever talked of was drink, AA, the book, etc.

I know I need to leave, reading the truth helps me safe in the knowledge that I was just "not on the programme". I have spent years sharing guilt, shame to feel part of a group. One of the most worrying parts for me was when my sponsor told me he wasn't alcoholic and not everybody in A.A. was, some were there to carry God's love and do good.

I am an alcoholic who nearly drank myself to death and have seen people drink themselves to death before A.A and during. The truth is, the real alcoholic loses in every way, if people are there who are not alcoholics, what chance does anyone have regardless of the 12 JOKES

I was also told by old-timers to remain for I was fairly young and would help new comers who were young. It's a cult for sure, and to be honest Orange, I am scared of leaving. What do I have? Where can I find people like yourself who are alcoholic, and who don't drink and DONT go the ROOMS?

I know lots who stay for comfort and loneliness, but I am sick of it, are there rooms for people who want to remain away from drink but do not wish to A.A I am in London UK and its a lonely place in general I don't think I shall drink, but I will miss the company, general company if you get me.

Lastly, my mail is of pain and fear... but I do have a sense of humour, one of the funniest things in A.A. is famous people, usually ones who are old and are no longer in the limelight, how they carry the BS is laughable, and that's why the truth hurts, for it is not funny any more, everyone in my home group remains, but what about the 300 or more who came and went in 8 years, I pray for those, after all, they are the real alcoholics, who usually go off to drink because they cannot stomach the BS of Bill W.

I really hope your writings becomes a book, I know for sure it would sell and people will be guided safely and I KNOW you'd never want fame or $.

You have really helped me more than you can imagine, I really hope you write back.

I know you are busy, but please KEEP COMING BACK, revealing the TRUTH.

Oh lastly... I often wondered in the early days why men and women 30 years without a drink would remain in the rooms, then it slowly revealed itself, where else would murderers, sex offenders, general evil bastards be welcomed back night after night, whilst in the street nearby the alcoholics lay in the doorways killing themselves?

I cannot thank you enough, please call me " FREE- ALMOST " and hide my email address please

oh god, what do I do with this secret of writing you? :)

One day, and maybe not in our lifetime there will be the big book and the orange papers for every alcoholic who goes to rooms, hospitals, treatments etc.


Almost Free

Hello Almost Free,

Thank you for the letter and the story. You make a lot of good points. I trust that you are doing well. And thank you for all of the compliments. If you were able to benefit in some way from my pages, then that makes it all worth it.

But I think you give me too much credit. It is you who is seeking the truth, and working on having a better life. Other people, who are not interested in learning the truth and changing, just go into denial and dismiss what is in those pages. So the quality of the student has a lot to do with the lessons learned.

There are many non-cult self-help groups for alcohol and drug problems. Here is a list of the ones that I know of:

Check these out:

  1. SMART: Self Management And Recovery Training.
    Rational, sane, common-sense recovery techniques. Based on Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, the brainchild of Dr. Albert Ellis.

  2. WFS (Women For Sobriety) also has online chat groups: (guys ignore this one)
    For local group meetings in your area you can also call 1-800-333-1606.

  3. SOS, Secular Organizations for Sobriety, a.k.a. "Save Our Selves".
    SOS is an alternative recovery method for those alcoholics or drug addicts who are uncomfortable with the spiritual or superstitious content of widely available 12-Step programs.

  4. LifeRing Secular Recovery (LSR)
    LifeRing provides live, online meetings on the Internet, and they are also starting meeting groups in various cities.

  5. Harm reduction, Abstinence, and Moderation Support (HAMS)
    HAMS is peer-led and free of charge. HAMS offers information and support via a chat room, an email group, and live meetings — as well is the articles on this web site.

  6. Moderation Management

  7. Rational Recovery
    Rational Recovery is no longer "a recovery group", it's a book, and a technique — basically the same idea as the Lizard Brain Addiction Monster.

  8. And then there are these forums and message groups:

  9. You can also get some more links from the start of the links page.

Have a good day, and a good life.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         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: Sun, August 1, 2010 5:52 pm     (answered 10 August 2010)
From: "Trevor F."
Subject: AA

Hello. I do find your overall insights into AA to be almost entirely true.

But I was just wondering, do you sometimes misquote the Big Book to make your point more trenchant? for instance in the "12 Biggest Lies" section, when you cited:

"If you are having a problem with drinking too much alcohol, then you have a disease which only a spiritual experience will conquer. (The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William Wilson, page 44.)

The Big Book, at least in my fourth edition, attenuates all of this with the word "may", more than once.

I'm just wondering about this. maybe there is something I'm confused about.

Good work.


Hello Trevor,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments, and the question. What I was doing there, in that A.A. Lies web page, was paraphrasing the standard A.A. lectures as they are delivered today, rather than doing direct quotes from the Big Book. The references to the Big Book quotes just provide corroboration. I think that I should make it clearer that that web page is doing a lot of paraphrasing.

Bill Wilson's writing style was that he would make grandiose sweeping statements, and then insert a qualifier or modifier into the sentence to cover his ass when his statements were proven wrong.


  1. "Of alcoholics who came to A.A. and really tried, 50% got sober at once..."
  2. "RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path."

So only those people who "came to A.A. and really tried" counted, and only those who "thoroughly followed the path" counted. If they didn't get sober, then it was because they didn't work the Steps right, and they didn't really try, not because the Steps don't work.

Likewise, Bill Wilson often used the Sly Suggestions" propaganda trick. Bill didn't write solid statements that could be proven wrong, he just hinted that what he wrote may be true. He could write the most ridiculous sweeping statements, and just say that "this may be true". But a few sentences later, he would forget the may modifier and just assume that his suggestions were all true.

If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking. ...
... they wondered why they fell. We think the reason is that they never completed their housecleaning.
A.A. Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 6, Into Action, pages 72-73.

Father feels he has struck something better than gold. For a time he may try to hug the new treasure to himself. He may not see at once that he has barely scratched a limitless lode which will pay dividends only if he mines it for the rest of his life and insists on giving away the entire product.
The A.A. Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 9, "The Family Afterward", pages 128-129.

Your prospect may belong to a religious denomination. His religious education and training may be far superior to yours. In that case he is going to wonder how you can add anything to what he already knows. But he will be curious to learn why his own convictions have not worked and why yours seem to work so well. He may be an example of the truth that faith alone is insufficient.
Admit that he probably knows more about it [religion] than you do, but call to his attention the fact that however deep his faith and knowledge, he could not have applied it or he would not drink.
The Big Book, 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, page 93.

And most importantly, when the A.A. recruiters and pundits are delivering lectures today, they conveniently leave out those "may" words. That is what I was really paraphrasing — those lectures that are going around today. Personally, I was never told in an A.A. meeting that I "may be alcoholic", or that I "might be powerless over alcohol." All of Bill Wilson's sly suggestions had become unquestionable truths.

Now, according to contemporary A.A., alcoholism is unquestionably a disease, and you are unquestionably powerless over alcohol, and you must do the 12 Steps, or else. There is no maybe about it.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "When the man is presented with this volume it is best that
**      no one tell him he must abide by its suggestions."
**       ==  The Big Book, William G. Wilson, page 144, paragraph 3.

[The next letter from Trevor is here.]

Date: Mon, August 2, 2010 7:34 pm     (answered 10 August 2010)
From: "anthony v."
Subject: Peter Braunstein

You may recall this guy... a few years ago, he kidnapped and raped a NYC woman in Chelsea for 13 hours after setting a fire in front of her door, while posing as a NY City firefighter, then going on a nationwide crime spree. This story received widespread coverage in the local and national press during the manhunt and subsequent capture, and was the subject of a number of television documentaries. I find it interesting that what all failed to mention was that Peter had been been attending various 12 step meetings in Manhattan... CA, AA, Al-Anon for years.

I always wondered if he had used these meetings to stalk other potential victims. I find it hard to believe that no one ever came forward to say that Braunstein had attended AA, or that the media would not find this interesting. I did a google search, and I could not find a single article linking Braunstein to any 12 step meeting. Braunstein used to attend a CA meeting every Saturday night at Payne Whitney in the E 60s with a woman named Daphne... maybe these people were too freaked out to come forward, or the media deliberately withheld his association with the 12 step meetings.

I was just wondering if you had heard of this association before, because I searched your site (which is extremely well-written), btw... and did not find a single reference to Braunstein.

Sent from my iPad

Hello Anthony,

Thanks for the letter, and the compliments, and the tip. I had not heard of Peter Braunstein before. Now I certainly have heard about the media censoring any mentions of nasty criminals attending A.A. meetings. That little detail usually gets dropped from the stories of the criminals' lives that go on the evening news. We never hear how many years the criminals have been attending A.A. and N.A. meetings.

Heck, the local media did not even cover the story of my 12-Step "counselor" getting busted for child pornography, cocaine, and criminal sexual penetration of minors. I wonder why not. They covered the stories of the arrests and trials of the other pedophiles, but not this 12-Step counselor. The Boy Scout leaders and school teachers and priests got lots of nasty publicity, but not the Stepper. I had to learn about the arrest by hearsay, from other alumni of the "treatment program".

Can you get any more information on that? I know it may be very difficult if nobody will talk and no reporter ever bothered to document it. But it would be interesting.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Editor: a person employed by a newspaper, whose business
**     it is to separate the wheat from the chaff,
**     and to see that the chaff is printed.
**       ==  Elbert Hubbard

[The next letter from Anthony, about this issue, is here.]

Date: Tue, August 3, 2010 7:15 am     (answered 10 August 2010)
From: "Peter M."
Subject: I am impressed!

Hi there, I am impressed by your wisdom and insight (not forgetting experience too). And all those Roman numerals!

Thanks for taking the trouble to catalogue so much information that is of benefit to so many. Who could fail to be impressed.

Will keep watching and listening



Hi Peter,

Thank you for the letter and all of the compliments.

And you have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    There is nothing so powerful as truth, and often nothing so strange.
**       ==  Daniel Webster (1782—1852)

May 19, 2009, Tuesday: Day 19, continued:

Canada Goose family with goslings
Carmen's family
As usual, Carmen is clinging to the mother.

You can see what the priorities of the goslings are. While Carmen is clinging to her new mother, the two boys are sitting on the pile of oatmeal. They are stuffed and cannot eat any more right now, so they are hogging the oatmeal and saving it for later.

(And I suspect that they also enjoy luxuriating in wallowing in oatmeal. Sort of like a human enjoying bathing in money.)

Oh, and here, the difference in size between a little girl and her brothers is becoming obvious.

[More gosling photos below, here.]

Date: Tue, August 3, 2010 7:38 am     (answered 10 August 2010)
From: "Mm Nottingham Uk"
Subject: MM UK Listserv

Hello Orange and regards Dr Steinberger Ph.D SMART Recovery Madison and Jamie SMART UK Bradford.

We have recently formed a Moderation Management (MM) United Kingdom email listserv to assist in the development of MM in the UK, along side SMART UK.

Details are as follows:-

Post message:



MM meetings are currently running in Nottingham and Mansfield and are hoping to form in London, Dundee and Torbay. For further details or information on MM contact me on

Also anyone interested in the formation of SMART Recovery or WFS in Nottingham or who would would like to get in touch with non 12 step drug problem support groups in the Nottingham area please contact me on the above email address

MM Nottingham UK

Hello Laurence,

Thanks for the information. It's good to hear that more sane recovery groups are getting established.

And have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**         Half this game is ninety percent mental.
**           ==  Yogi Berra

Date: Wed, August 11, 2010 2:03 am     (answered 16 August 2010)
From: "Mm Nottingham Uk"
Subject: Re: MM UK Listserv

Cheers mate

The begining of the end of 12 stepism has started, we probably won't see the end, we're a bit old, but those who follow will!



Hi Laurence,

I sure hope so. Although I have this funny feeling that then just another stupid cult will come along to replace it.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The A.A. Plan: "Search out another alcoholic and
**     try again. You are sure to find someone desperate
**     enough to accept with eagerness what you offer."
**       ==  The Big Book, William G. Wilson, page 96.

Date: Tue, August 3, 2010 3:27 pm     (answered 10 August 2010)
From: "Courtney B."
Subject: Orange Papers

I have recently come across your papers regarding A.A. and its "founders". I came across them because I wanted to hear an opposing perspective on the organization. I am currently an A.A. member and also have a college degree. I was taught in college to question information and where it comes from, but I have always been a questioner. A.A. has been helpful to me but I also have questioned whether or not it has the characteristics of a cult. I also have been diagnosed with some mental illnesses and can definetely understand your comparisons with Bill W. and mental illness. What bother's me the most about A.A. and every other religion, is that there is always some person that people think are messenger's of God. People idolize these leaders and put them on a pedestal. I could go on and on. I'm trying to find what is my truth. You have certainly helped and I will continue to do my own research.

Thank you for giving me a different perspective-


Hello Courtney,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments. I'm glad to hear that you are thinking for yourself. I just hate to see people committing intellectual suicide, drinking the koolaid. I'm happy to hear that you aren't doing that.

So have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*      True information, human intelligence,   *
*      and Reason are the mortal enemies of   *
*      cult leaders...                        *

Date: Wed, August 4, 2010 8:58 am     (answered 10 August 2010)
From: "John"
Subject: AA


I often read your posts. You are to be applauded on your vigilance. I relish reading and listening to different peoples varying opinions and experiences on different subjects. AA is probably one very close to my heart having lived 19 years of sobriety.

Was hoping you may be able to help me out with the origins of your quote

And maybe the worst example is, "Alcoholism is a progressive disease that is caused by spiritual deficiencies, defects of character, moral shortcomings, and sin." If alcoholism is really caused by immorality, then it isn't a disease at all. It's a behavior problem.

I am fairly offay with the literature and dont recall seeing this ?

I very much liked your suggestion

What they are not told is that they can also choose to go to Rational Recovery, SMART, SOS, WFS, MFS, or any other secular recovery group meetings that they can find. So, by default, almost everyone ends up at the twelve-step meetings, unaware of the fact that they have a choice in the matter. The counselors are taking full advantage of people's confusion and mental disorientation during the early phases of detoxing and recovery. If asked about it, the counselors will rationalize their actions by saying, "Well, those groups are what works. Twelve-Step treatment is the proven successful program. It's how we all recovered." ? Thus repeating the standard party line and the Big Lie one more time, and revealing that the counselors are sending the patients to the counselors' own religion.

It should be compulsory if the courts are to send people to recovery meetings they should be sent to maybe 12 meetings but must attend at least six different types ? and be given a list which includes ten or fifteen different organisations. I personally, dont think and never have thought that AA is a fix all for everyone. It only suits a certain type of person with alcoholism. Many AA members have certainly caused great harm to people by believing that AA is the answer to everyones woes.

More people recover from alcoholism without Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps than do it with them, several times over. More people recover without any support group of any kind than with one. A.A. won't tell you that; that's one of the biggest dirty little secrets that A.A. has. The A.A. dogma says, "Nobody can do it alone." The truth is, most people do it that way.

I have been around and am old enough to know this is true. Just through general socialising I often meet people who dont drink and obviously having that in common we talk about why and how we stopped. I have encountered numerous people who haven't had a drink in years, talk about their experiences (which were similar to mine). Some even identify as being acloholic but had no need for AA. The greatest myth is that AA is a cure all for everyone. In fact, if some of our members, who could certainly be labelled zealots, stopped acting as such life would be a little more comfortable for everyone.

Again I would be interested if you could advise me where this is in the literature ?

Beginners are told that the Twelve-Step program is the only way to achieve sobriety, and that nothing else works.

I have to admit I am the stereotypical alcoholic you wrote about who is very egotistical, manipulative, arrogant, selfish, inconsiderate, grandiose, dishonest, and resentful.

Maybe that is why the program has worked for me ? lol... To be honest, I would happily put a sign up out the front of my meeting each week that says 'Please, unless youa re the nuttiest, craziest of crazies, self centred to the extreme and absolutely full of shit please do not come to this AA meeting. If you are slightly sane and appear to have your wits there are fifty better treatment programs for you if alcohol is a problem'

Anyway, I have been wanting to write in for some time. I hope you dont get the wrong impression from my email

kindest regards


ps — It was far to late in the evening to spell check so apologise in advance

Hi John,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments, and I'm not offended by the question.

Starting at the top, about the line, "Alcoholism is a progressive disease that is caused by spiritual deficiencies, defects of character, moral shortcomings, and sin.":
That is paraphrasing, not a direct quote. Here we have the same problem as we just discussed in a previous letter, here, confusion of literal quotes and paraphrasing.

That line is assembled from various statements here and there in the A.A. literature. The declaration that "alcoholism" is a progressive disease is common in the A.A. books. The "defects of character" and "moral shortcomings" come from the 12 Steps, of course. The "spiritual deficiencies" and "sins" come from Bill Wilson's lectures in his second book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, where he revealed that "admitting your defects of character" was really the same thing as "confessing your sins". It turned out that Bill was just using some euphemisms when he wrote that stuff in the Big Book, to avoid alienating the Catholic Church. But by the time he wrote the second book, Bill was no longer worried about the Catholic Church squawking about him usurping the territory of the priest.

It sounds like we agree about the rest of that stuff.

I doubt that you are really as bad as you suggest.

And I only have one problem with the statements about the nature of A.A.: The people whom you say are really in need of the A.A. program — who are best-suited for the A.A. program — the most obnoxious ones — are often the mentally ill ones. What they often need most are psychiatric medications and the services of a good psychiatrist. But that is what A.A. will discourage them from getting. That is worrisome.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Inconvenient truths do not go away just because they are not seen."
**        ==  Al Gore

Date: Wed, August 4, 2010 1:32 pm     (answered 10 August 2010)
From: "Chris C."
Subject: Thanks

Agent Orange,

I'm writing to thank you for your website and tell you a little about what I'm going through.

Here's my story: Almost ten years ago, I was arrested twice for driving under the influence. I was a college student and admittedly making some stupid decisions with alcohol. I recognized that hard partying wasn't working for me and decided to stop drinking shortly after the arrests. I quit drinking without going to AA.

During the past eight years, I graduated from college, attended law school, and I am pleased to say that I passed the state bar on my first attempt three years ago. Unfortunately I haven't been admitted to practice law because of my arrest history with alcohol.

I have been forced into a year of the Lawyer's Assistance Program and been told to attend four AA meetings per week. I also attend a weekly meeting for attorneys with issues and submit to random urine tests. "Maybe you've abstained," they say, "but have you been through a recovery program?"

Unless I adhere to their guidelines, get a sponsor, and show some "significant insight" to my "disease", I will not be admitted to practice law. They require nothing less than a spiritual awakening.

I can't even get past step one.

I'm not powerless over alcohol and I manage all my affairs quite well. One of my sponsors told me that since I'm required to go to four AA meetings every week, my life is unmanageable. And since my life is unmanageable, I belong in AA. That's AA logic.

Since many of the Lawyer's Assistance Program's administrators are in recovery and lavishly praise the twelve steps (and likely believe that AA is the only way one could possible quit drinking), I have to tell them what they want to hear. I can't tell them that I'm an atheist. I can't say how it makes me feel to go to AA meetings. They don't want to know what it's like for me to sit in a hard folding chair next to a drunk with dog crap on his pants and listen to him ramble incoherently for ten minutes. This actually happened.

They want me to blame myself for the situation I'm facing thank them for the opportunity to grow slow in the rooms of AA.

My year of this program ends in just two more months. Until that time, I just have to grin and bear it.


Hello Chris,

Thank you for the letter and the story, and I'm glad to hear that you are surviving the dogshit. Isn't it incredible that this kind of superstition survives in the twenty-first century? It sounds far more appropriate for a medieval witchcraft trial, where they are giving girls a chance to recover from witchcraft by getting it burned out of them.

Oh well, have a good day, and hang in there. Only two more months.

Oh, and then please do think about sueing the bastards, once you get your license. We were talking about that before, here and here.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "A little patience and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their
**     spells dissolve, and the people recovering their true sight, restore their
**     government to its true principles.  It is true that in the meantime we are
**     suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long
**     oppressions of enormous public debt.  But if the game runs sometimes
**     against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we
**     shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost,
**     for this is a game where principles are at stake."
**         ==  Thomas Jefferson

Date: Sat, August 7, 2010 6:10 pm     (answered 10 August 2010)
From: j
Subject: Washington Post article

Hi Orange,

Check out this opinion piece in the WP of tomorrow:


It seems more people are waking up.
Thank you for your website.
(Please blank out identifying info.)

Date: Sun, August 8, 2010 5:38 am     (answered 10 August 2010)
From: "Mike B."
Subject: Washington Post Article Slices AA and Rehab

Hey, Terry, One of the regulars on the Without_AA board posted this one. Mike


Yes, isn't that article incredible? I'm going to have to write something about it.

By the way, it's a funny rapid development. Two days ago I posted a comment about, "Now that Lindsay has been released from jail and has to go to treatment, I wonder what kind of treatment she will be getting."

So it's the Malibu Resort rehab...

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

Date: Sun, August 8, 2010 6:30 am     (answered 10 August 2010)
From: "John M."
Subject: Rehab doesn't work


The only thing that is wrong with this article (aside from the whole "freakin duh!" vibe) is the fact that the author still thinks of alcoholism as a disease.

Date: Sun, August 8, 2010 7:12 am     (answered 10 August 2010)
From: "Christopher M."
Subject: FYI — Article in today's Washington Post Opinion Page —


Interesting — it's message is one you are trying to get out.

Hello all,

And thanks for the links. Isn't that article something else? It's been a long time since somebody bothered to tell the obvious truth so clearly and bluntly. What a breath of fresh air.

Now, let's not forget that the "Paul Wellstone Equal Access Act" provides for payment for "mental health", but that the "treatment" must be shown to work. The 12-Step treatment centers think that they are going to collect a lot of money for treating drug and alcohol problems with quack medicine. We need to keep reminding our politicians that 12-Step treatment is a hoax that does not work, so we should not waste one dollar of taxpayer money on it.

Have a good day.

== Orange

      Said a clever quack to an educated physician: "How many of the passing multitude, do you suppose, appreciate the value of science, or understand the impositions of quackery?"
      "Not more than one in ten," was the answer.
      "Well," said the quack, "you may have that one, and I'll have the other nine."

author unknown

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Out, you imposters; quack-salving, cheating mountebanks;
**     your skill is to make sound men sick, and sick men to kill.
**       ==  Philip Massinger (1583—1640), English dramatist, playwright, poet

May 19, 2009, Tuesday: Day 19, continued:

Canada Goose family with goslings
The Family with Two Very Young Goslings

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

Date: Wed, August 4, 2010 7:06 pm     (answered 11 August 2010)
From: "Jay"
Subject: Great Website

Since you have done all of this information gathering which I greatly appreciate. What do you recommend to moderate or stop drinking? I've been drinking pretty much daily for 28 years. I'm thinking it's just not healthy but when I try to stop for a day I get jittery. I'm obviously physically addicted. I can go to detox for that as I've heard it's dangerous to go "cold turkey" if you are physically addicted. Any advice on what books to read or programs to join to figure out how to moderate or slow down?


— Jay

Hello Jay,

Thank you for the letter and the question. Yes, it is very dangerous to detox alone. I accidentally did that 22 years ago, and I don't recommend it. I just recently wrote up that story, here.

You really must see a genuine medical doctor, and get some real help, and go through detox under some kind of medical care.

After that, you can use a variety of groups or methods to stay sober, or even to moderate. Here are some lists:

  1. the list of non-cult recovery groups and forums

  2. The Top 10 reading list

  3. the short list of what works, and

  4. the longer list of what works.

  5. more talk about what works

Have a good day, and a good life.

== Orange

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

Date: Wed, August 11, 2010 11:06 am     (answered 12 August 2010)
From: "Larry B."
Subject: I can't stop

AA didn't work for me. I've been court ordered. I want to stop drinking.

Hello Larry,

Thanks for the question. My first reaction is that nothing works to make you stop drinking. A.A. does not work. All of the A.A. members' claims that A.A. saved their lives is just the error of confusing coincidence with causation.

And of course there is the A.A. superstition that "Higher Power" will make you quit drinking because you are doing Bill Wilson's 12 Steps. Not so.

And then again, nothing else "works" that way either. If somebody told me that SMART or SOS "made" him quit drinking, I wouldn't believe that either. The only things that could really "make" people quit drinking would be some kind of a mind-control program, or a 24/7 bodyguard holding a gun to your head and saying, "You know I will pull the trigger if you pick up a drink." And he means it, and will really do it, and you know it. Now that will make you quit drinking, one way or another.

Short of that, we are all on our own.

Nobody will hold your hand every Saturday night but you. So you have to do the quitting yourself.

Now there certainly are some things that can help. Probably the single most important thing is to get your head straight about quitting. Part of your mind says that you want to quit drinking, but another part doesn't really want to quit. It just wants the pain to stop, but the fun to continue, which is unrealistic.

(Personally, I find it easy to stay quit when I know for sure that more drinking will just mean more suffering, sickness and death. That isn't attractive.)

What is needed there is something to clarify your mind and your thinking, and to enhance your motivation to quit and stay quit.

SMART is good for that. One of the goals of SMART is to enhance motivation, and another is to recognize and fix irrational thinking.

I think that SOS, Lifering, and Rational Recovery also have much to offer in the way of help, so I suggest that you check them all out.

And please do read about the old Base Brain or "Lizard Brain Addiction Monster".

Here are some lists of helpful things:

  1. the list of non-cult recovery groups, forums, and methods

  2. The Top 10 reading list

  3. the short list of what works, and

  4. the longer list of what works.

  5. more talk about what works

  6. more advice.

Oh, by the way, you may be court-ordered, but they must allow you to choose a non-cult or non-religious group or method. That is the law. We were just talking about that earlier, here.

Good luck, and don't hesitate to write again if you have more questions.

And have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "There are no shortcuts to any place worth going."
**        ==  Beverly Sills, Opera Singer

BLOG NOTE: 13 August 2010:

Hey, it's Friday the 13th! Wonderful. Thirteen has always been a good number for me. I was born on January 13th, which makes it both the 13th day of the month and the 13th day of the year. And then my son was born on my own birthday. So we both have a birthday on a Friday the 13th every seven years or so.

I've always objected to the superstition that keeps tall buildings from having a thirteenth floor. Some of us might find it very lucky to live and work there.

Have a good day.

== Orange

Date: Thu, August 5, 2010 8:15 am     (answered 13 August 2010)
From: "Sarah"

I go to AA. My sister is an alcoholic too and she does not go to AA and is sober. I don't think she should go to AA if she doesn't want to, she is doing fine without it. I have made friends in AA and I enjoy going. I take the things I agree with and leave the rest. I think some people take it too far but that is not everyone. Just remember it does help a lot of people out of bad places in their lives.

Hello Sarah,

Thank you for the letter. If everyone was as reasonable as you seem to be, then I don't think that we would have such a problem. Unfortunately, other people push A.A. as "The ONLY Way", and even manufacture tons of false "research" that shows that "A.A. works best". And other A.A. recruiters and proselytizers abuse the justice system to force more people into their religion.

And then there are the rapists who prey on the newcomer young women, and the dogmatic fundamentalists who tell the newcomers not to take their doctor-prescribed medications...

And then there is the problem that the 12 Steps are inherently psychologically unhealthy — they are just the recruiting and indoctrination practices of an old cult religion — and they do a better job of guilt induction than teaching healthy living.

That kind of stuff kills people. And that's the problem.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose.
**     Take which you please, — you can never have both.
**        ==  Emerson, Essays: Intellect

Date: Thu, August 5, 2010 9:03 am     (answered 13 August 2010)
From: robert r.
Subject: Liquor store bob talking

I want to tell you that when I saw your site I said right on. After 34 years of sober time and being involved with the program I salute you. You have shone a light on aa that I have felt for years and you probably saved a lot of people with one thing the truth. I have worked in the liquor stores in british columbia canada for 33 years. I went through hell myself and I always say booze loose. They don't talk to me in the meetings and they don't ask me to speak anymore now that I tell them the truth. People that I have known for years don't talk with me when I tell them about the shitty success aa really has, but I have seen hundreds of people that went back on the booze and I always wondered what the hell is wrong here. Now I know what's wrong. thank you very much and if you come to victoria I promise to buy you dinner.

My phone number is 1-xxx-xxx-xxxx and my e- mail is [email protected] on vancouver island. if you need some support now and then contact me thank you. the truth that sets you free.


Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Hi Bob,

Thank you for all of the compliments, and thank you for telling the truth. And you have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Learn the truth and the truth shall set you free.
**       ==  Jesus

[The next letter from Bob is here.]

Date: Thu, August 5, 2010 4:22 pm     (answered 13 August 2010)
From: "Kathy F."
Subject: Re: The Courts and AA

I appreciate your thoughtfulness in sending a personal reply. Please excuse my belated acknowledgment; occasionally I tune out of cyberspace.

Your website is terrific — the length and breadth of the researched analysis you provide is very useful. In fact, it was a godsend a few years ago when I finally broke ties with the program after 20 years. What a racket that operation is!

Best wishes,

Hi Kathy,

Thank you for the kind words. Don't worry about being slow to respond. Some unlucky people wait many months for me to find and answer their letters. :-)

Have a good day now.

== Orange

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

Date: Sat, August 7, 2010 9:19 am     (answered 13 August 2010)
From: "jeff d."
Subject: Fantastic site

Thanks for your site and all the hard work it must have taken to build such a site. I have been a drug addict for about 45 years and have been forced into aa/na more than 5 times without success. I finally found a doctor who doesn't insist on aa/na meetings and is more than open to other methods of 'recovery.' (I hate that word) I am currently on suboxone which is the only thing that has worked and have not used opiates for over three years.

Some of the other guys in the program that do attend aa/na meetings report that other members say they are not really 'in recovery' because they use suboxone. One of them has actually been thrown out of a meeting. The last aa meeting I went to four years ago I was threatened by another member because I chose not to say the lord's prayer. It got pretty nasty and almost ended up in a fistfight. I never went to another meeting after that!

Like I said before thanks for a great site and all the good information.

J D.

Hello Jeff,

Thank you for the letter and the compliments. I'm glad to hear that you found some real help, and got a handle on your problem.

It really is appalling how the true believers reject any answer other than their own cult religion, isn't it?

Oh well, there are now more and more good answers, and better help becoming available, for a variety of addiction problems. So the future looks brighter.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Jede Form von Süchtigkeit is von übel, gleichgültig,
**    ob es sich um Alkohol oder Morphium oder Idealismus handelt.
**    Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic
**    be alcohol or morphine or idealism.
**       ==  Carl Gustav Jung (1875—1961),
**            Erinnerungen, Träume, Gedanken (1962) ch. 12

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Last updated 8 March 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters186.html