Letters, We Get Mail, CLXXXIX

Date: Sun, August 15, 2010 5:11 am     (answered 9 September 2010)
From: "roy w."
Subject: hi

hello again mr orange,

i'm writing to you to raise the very bad subject of paedophiles operating within AA.

As we both know its a very easy place for paedos to operate. i'm from a small town in england and i discovered two paedos in my home group. i confronted one after seeing his picture in the paper and he was never seen again, but the other one remains.

that's partly the reason i left AA. the other part is that i realised it was me keeping me sober, and after much research, including your wonderful site, i realised that AA is a very damaging anti-intellectual cult. i compare it to the borg from star trek. lol (you will be assimilated).

my town is 100,000 people with at least 3 peados operating within AA, so a city like london for instance could possibly have hundreds of child abusers operating within AA. its a great place to pick on vulnerable women with kids, don't you think?

anyway my friend thankyou so much for your help. you and your research have helped me escape the borg. thanks mate,

Hello Roy,

Thanks for the letter and the good wishes. That subject of paedophilia keeps coming up. We were just talking about my coke-snorting, child-raping 12-Step counselor in a previous letter, here.

And yes, it's an old story: The anonymity of A.A. helps criminals to operate within A.A. It's a major problem that A.A. refuses to recognize or talk about. In California there was a fellow who sought out rich lonely old ladies in A.A. meetings, and married them (under a false name, of course), and then cleaned out their bank accounts and retirement funds, and mortgaged their houses, and took everything that he could get, and then disappeared. And then he would pop up in a different city, in other A.A. meetings, with a new name, looking for another wife, and he did it all again, and again.

And of course the sexual predators and 13th-Steppers in A.A. are legendary. And that started with Bill Wilson himself.

And then you have the usual assortment of felons and thieves and con artists and psychos and murderers. A.A. even brags that they are all welcome.

The idea that doing that occult practices of Frank Buchman's old pro-Nazi cult religion will make addicts and criminals into holy people is flat-out crazy. As you noticed, it doesn't really work.

Congratulations on your sobriety. And yes, you really are doing it yourself. You were always doing it yourself. That's how it works.

And I like the Borg analogy too. "Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated."
(Oh no I won't. This is Independence Day.)

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The moving finger writes
**     And having writ, moves on.
**     Nor all your piety nor wit
**     Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
**     Nor all your tears wash out a word of it.
**        == Omar Khayyam

[The previous letter from iamnotastatistic is here.]

Date: Sat, August 14, 2010 10:52 pm     (answered 9 September 2010)
From: "iamnotastatistic"
Subject: Re: A piece of unofficial AA propaganda

Hi again Orange,

Thanks for the reply.

I've got another one for you: it's the address for a Powerpoint presentation: dcpi.ncjrs.org/dcpi/pdf/salt_lake_city.ppt and I've attached it as a pdf. Not sure what year it's from but it's a good read.

I love the fact that one of the "*Graduation Requirements*" from Family Dependency Drug Court is that the *"participant has obtained a 12 step sponsor**"*, pg. 19. Apparently only AA is good enough for Salt Lake City. However, they have a page on "Treatment Matching" (pg. 14) which, although wonderfully vague and nebulous, doesn't explain how there can be treatment matching going on if one of the requirements for graduation is having obtained a 12 step sponsor!

What's the process?
"Here is your treatment matching result: tada! It's AA!"

Keep on keeping on Orange!

P.S. Has anybody ever wondered why the total population of AA(USA&CAN) has hovered between 1.2M and 1.3M since around 1991-1992? In fact membership hasn't even kept up with the overall population increase during that period. In real terms the population of members is actually declining.

More to come in the near future.


Size: 399 k
Type: application/pdf

Hello, iamnotastatistic,

Thanks for the document. I love to get this stuff that shows what is really going on. And Salt Lake City, yet. That is Grand Central Headquarters for the Mormons. They are allegedly a Christian religion. Don't they see anything funny about forcing people into a cult religion where you can worship a bedpan, a doorknob, or Beelzebub as your Higher Power?

And they have obviously not read the file on The Heresy of the Twelve Steps. Is the Mormon Church surreptitiously promoting an unChristian proto-fascist philosophy?

I also noticed, on page 7, that only 2% of those clients who were referred for "treatment" were clean and sober a year later. Why do they bother? And don't they notice that their treatment program does not work?

But then they argue that if they use the courts to force people into treatment, that things will be better. Oh really? Treatment works if you point a gun at people?

I would suggest that some people are simply smart enough to dodge the bullet, and abstain from drugs and alcohol while they are being tested.

And there it is on page 19: Requirements For Graduation: "Participant has obtained a 12 Step sponsor".

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     And I'm still waiting for someone to start SFS —
**     Satanists For Sobriety — a 12-Step program where
**     there is no doubt who "Higher Power" really is.
**     Then, what I really want to know is: Will the churches
**     still let that 12-Step group meet in their basements?

Date: Sat, August 14, 2010 10:14 pm     (answered 10 September 2010)
From: "Lewis S."

hey orange..

I just wanted to let u know that i really enjoy reading you.Your logic really helps me to know that at least someone else can see how insane aa really is and how they take advantage of desperate sick people. My mother has been a member of alanon since i was a kid and has been spoonfeeding me this crap my whole life. Now she really does love me; she just cant see how bad she has mindscrewed me. you know, when you are told you are something your whole life, i think you tend to fulfill the prophecy.

Anyways, I did it again and went back to aa.. Youve said it so many times, there is no sense repeating just how insidious aa is. But this time they really did a number on me and it almost killed me. Anyways im back on the wagon without aa.. Please keep spreading the word.. You are really helping people like me who just want to stop drinking without all that crazy nonsense shoved down your throat.

The thing is I am surrounded by it. My whole family believes them. And the worst part is they wont even look at the facts because they already think that they have the answers. Anyhow, please if you do believe in God, would you throw in a prayer for me. I dont know who those people are praying to and listening to, but its not God.. That lunacy seems better suited for satan. Have a good day orange and thanks for being a voice for reason..


Hello Lewie,

Thank you for the letter and the kind compliments. I trust that you are doing well, and yes, I'll send a little prayer in your direction.

You make a couple of good points that resonate with me, like:

  • when you are told you are something your whole life, i think you tend to fulfill the prophecy.

  • they wont even look at the facts because they already think that they have the answers.

Yes, and yes. Those are real problems with A.A. and Al-Anon, all right. And even being told that you are weak and sinful and defective and insane and guilty for less than your whole life — just a few years — is harmful too, like happens to newcomers to A.A.

So take care, and have a good life. And have a good day, too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     In A.D. 640, when the Saracens captured Alexandria, seat of
**     ancient culture, Greek scholars pleaded with them not to burn
**     the scrolls of the great library. Their reply, as recorded by
**     Gibbon in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
**     remains a classic in theological logic. "If the writings
**     support the Koran, they are superfluous," ruled the warrior
**     tribesmen. "If they oppose it, they are pernicious; burn them."
**       ==  Richard Mathison, God is a Millionaire, page 33.

[The next letter from Lewis is here.]

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

Canada Goose goslings
The Family with Two Very Young Goslings, dozing off

[More gosling photos below, here.]

[The previous letter from Bob is here.]

Date: Sun, August 15, 2010 5:14 pm     (answered 10 September 2010)
From: Liquor store bob
Subject: Re: Liquor store bob talking

Thanks for your reply orange. it was such a gift and now they will know what I feel about bills lies. it sounds like he didn't follow the steps and was never honest about it. The women, the missing money, his disrespect he had for his wife... she should have dumped him on his ass long ago. The blinders are off now. I followed the aa lies for years and it left me wondering, can't we straighten this out? but you would have to start with a clean slate because I even asked new york central office but they said no comment just what I expected. That's a great outfit that won't give you a decent answer to something this important. it's like lemmings who follow each other off a cliff and you want to find out how do I stop this and everyone says shut up and jump like the rest of us.

For anyone else out there don't be a lemming be a non-drinking happy human being. I wish I had seen this site 34 years ago. I feel sorry for being an aa supporter and was I wrong. Bye for now and thanks for your e-mail orange. keep up the excellent work. you need to be on the time magazine again. thanks a lot.

Liquor store bob in victoria bc canada.

Hi again, Bob,

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

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Go put your creed into your deed,
**     Nor speak with double tongue.
**        ==  Emerson, Ode: Concord

Date: Mon, August 16, 2010 1:52 pm     (answered 10 September 2010)
From: "Sandra H."

I stumbled upon your website and found your descriptions of Bill W. very entertaining. I don't doubt that he is not the man that AA describes and your assessment of the group's beginnings are correct. But I think you miss the point of AA and you clearly don't understand al-anon or the perspective of the family of the alcoholic. Below is a link to an article from Wired magazine that I think you should read. It's not the religion or spirituality, it's not the steps or traditions but the combination of all that makes it work and, as the article suggests, the very coming together in fellowship is healing. The meetings vary by area of the country and it's members. Unfortunately, the groups are only as good as its members. Some are healthy groups that understand that it's a spiritual program not a religious cult. Other groups spend a lot of time on god and how there lives have been transformed him. I think if you polled most of the AA members, they don't know the details of Bill W's life and don't care. The program is not perfect and there are nuts with in it's membership, but I think a lot of people have found relief.


Date: Mon, August 16, 2010 2:53 pm     (answered 10 September 2010)
From: "Sandra H."
Subject: Fwd:

Maybe you don't read your mail anymore. I found a lot of stuff on your site that's from several years ago. But in case you do read it I wanted to ask your age, if you were an alcoholic or if your friends or family are alcoholics. I think you're clearly angry at something and maybe you just hate organized groups as a whole. I lived all over the country and have attended al-anon. Most groups were ok, some were horrible and others were great. Luck of the draw. I've found a great deal of help. What's made you so mad at AA?

Sandy H.
University of Dubuque

Hi Sandy,

Thanks for the questions. Starting at the bottom, yes, I do answer my email, although I am backlogged again, as usual.

About the Wired article, yes, we have read it and discussed it before, here.

The title was:
Secret of AA: After 75 Years, We Don't Know How It Works.

It should have been:
Secret of AA: After 75 Years, It Still Doesn't Work.

I see that you work for a university. Presumably then you must have a college degree. They certainly should have taught you something about facts and evidence and logic. Didn't you notice that the author of that article is guilty of


The author presented no valid evidence that Alcoholics Anonymous really works; he just assumed that it does. Presenting a few stories about Tom, Dick, and Harry quitting drinking while attending the meetings of a cult religion does not prove that the cult religion works as a cure. I know of some Toms, Dicks, and Harrys who quit drinking and doping and instead became Internet fanatics who spend all day in front of a computer screen. Does that prove that the Internet really works as a drug and alcohol cure? And in fact the Internet is the best cure for drug and alcohol problems?

I think not.

The rest of the article is a mess of old A.A. fairy tales, like this:

But later, as he writhed in his hospital bed, still heavily under the influence of belladonna, Wilson decided to give God a try. "If there is a God, let Him show Himself!" he cried out. "I am ready to do anything. Anything!"

What happened next is an essential piece of AA lore: A white light filled Wilson's hospital room, and God revealed himself to the shattered stockbroker. "It seemed to me, in the mind's eye, that I was on a mountain and that a wind not of air but of spirit was blowing," he later said. "And then it burst upon me that I was a free man." Wilson would never drink again.

Ordinary sourcerers can allegedly summon up ordinary demons by calling them by name and demanding that they appear:

"In the name of Baelzebub and all of the Forces of Darkness, I command you to appear!"

But the magnificent sourcerer Bill Wilson commanded God Almighty, and God had no choice but to obey and appear....

Oh yeh, right. And if you believe that, I have a major interest in a bridge in Brooklyn that I will sell you cheap. Oh heck, maybe I can even sell you a cult religion and take all of your money.

Need I even bother to mention that fact that belladonna is an even more powerful hallucinogen than LSD? The author of the Wired article seems to have forgotten to mention that little detail. In addition, Bill Wilson later took a lot of LSD, and became very enthusiastic about it. Wilson declared that LSD gave him the same great religious feelings that he had gotten from belladonna in Charlie Towns' Hospital.

To put the frosting on the cake, it seems that Bill Wilson stole the whole story about being on a mountaintop with a wind of spirit blowing through him from his own grandfather. It was Bill's grandfather, who was also an alcoholic named William Wilson, who climbed a mountain one Sunday morning, and begged God for help in quitting drinking, and had a dramatic religious experience of feeling a wind of spirit blowing through him, and never drank again. Read the story here.

The author continued, repeating line after line of untrue A.A. mythology and lore, like:

  • The untrue statement that Bill Wilson drew upon the teachings of William James and Carl Jung for the design of Alcoholics Anonymous. That is not true at all. The author wrote:

    In writing the steps, Wilson drew on the Oxford Group's precepts and borrowed heavily from William James' classic The Varieties of Religious Experience, which Wilson read shortly after his belladonna-fueled revelation at Towns Hospital. He was deeply affected by an observation that James made regarding alcoholism: that the only cure for the affliction is "religiomania." The steps were thus designed to induce an intense commitment, because Wilson wanted his system to be every bit as habit-forming as booze.

    That couldn't be much more untrue. The A.A. 12 Steps are based entirely on the occult teachings of Dr. Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman, the founder of the Oxford Group cult religion, which the author did mention, but did not give fair credit to.

    Bill Wilson got almost nothing from either William James or Carl Jung. Bill was just dropping names when he wrote in the Big Book that A.A. was based on their teachings.

    The one line that Bill Wilson mistakenly attributed to Carl Jung, actually came from William James:

    '"The only radical remedy I know for dipsomania is religiomania," is a saying I have heard quoted from some medical man.'

    That line came from footnote 1 on page 263 of The Varieties of Religious Experience, by William James.

    Bill Wilson got the idea of people getting dramatic religious experiences when they are very sick from James' book. And Bill got the idea of printing a large collection of conversion stories from James' book. A large section of Varieties (pages 198 to 263) is stories about alcoholics getting cured by having a dramatic religious conversion experience, and the back two thirds of the Big Book is similar conversion stories.

    And that's it. That is the total input to A.A. from William James and Carl Jung. All of the rest of Alcoholics Anonymous theology, philosophy, and cult practices came from Frank Buchman's Oxford Group cult religion. Bill Wilson even said so.

    Where did the early AAs find the material for the remaining ten Steps? Where did we learn about moral inventory, amends for harm done, turning our wills and lives over to God? Where did we learn about meditation and prayer and all the rest of it? The spiritual substance of our remaining ten Steps came straight from Dr. Bob's and my own earlier association with the Oxford Groups, as they were then led in America by that Episcopal rector, Dr. Samuel Shoemaker.
    The Language of the Heart, William G. Wilson, page 298, published posthumously in 1988.

    "Early AA got it's ideas of self-examination, acknowledgement of character defects, restitution for harm done, and working with others straight from the Oxford Groups and directly from Sam Shoemaker, their former leader in America, and nowhere else."
    Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, William G. Wilson, page 39.

    Bill Wilson was being a little dishonest there, when he implied that Sam Shoemaker was the leader of the Oxford Group. Frank Buchman was the real leader, and he is the one who copied or made up all of the theology and tenets and practices of the Oxford Group, which Bill rewrote into the Twelve Steps. But Frank Buchman had a very bad reputation for his praise of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi sympathizing, so Bill Wilson listed Sam Shoemaker as the leader of the USA branch of the Oxford Group. But the theology and practices are all still pure Buchmanism.

  • Bill Wilson was not "a failed stock broker". He was never anything like a stock broker. Bill Wilson was not trained as a broker, or licensed as a broker, and he never worked for a brokerage firm trading stocks for anyone. Bill's claim in the Big Book that he was a stock broker was just another of his self-aggrandizing lies. Bill was actually a stock touter and Wall Street hustler who got involved with stock market swindles. You can read more about Bill's criminal stock market activites here and here.

  • After bragging about how many people have been taught Bill Wilson's 12 Steps, the author wrote:

    It's all quite an achievement for a onetime broken-down drunk. And Wilson's success is even more impressive when you consider that AA and its steps have become ubiquitous despite the fact that no one is quite sure how — or, for that matter, how well — they work.

    The only true part of that paragraph is that he does not know how well the 12 Steps actually work. The fact that A.A. has managed to invade the medical field of addiction treatment in a major way does not mean that A.A. works, or is a good thing. That is just an example of the progaganda trick of Appeal to Numbers (Argumentum ad Numerum).

  • This is another blatant lie:

    What we do know, however, is that despite all we've learned over the past few decades about psychology, neurology, and human behavior, contemporary medicine has yet to devise anything that works markedly better.

    Actually, many, many things work better than A.A. Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the worst ways to treat alcoholism, and it produces one of the highest death rates of any way of treating alcohol abuse.

    Professors Reid K. Hester and William R. Miller (UNM, Albuquerque — Center for Alcohol, Substance Abuse and Addictions, Dept. of Psychology, University of New Mexico), rated treatment modalities by success rate. Here are the results:

    Prof. Miller's biography (on the back of his book Controlling Your Drinking, says:

    Prof. William R. Miller is Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico. He is the author of numerous books, including Motivational Interviewing, a modern classic in the field of addiction treatment. Dr. Miller's research, which focuses on providing a broader and more effective range of treatment approaches for people with alcohol and drug problems, has been supported by a 15-year Research Scientist Award from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. He is a recipient of the international Jellinek Memorial Award for excellence in alcoholism research.

    I don't have Prof. Hester's biography handy, but I'm sure that it is also impressive.

    The most successful treatment in that chart is "Brief Intervention".

    Notice how "Twelve-step facilitation" is so far down the list that you have to look for it. It's number 37 out of 48. Also notice how 12-Step treatment has a negative success rating — the "Cumulative Evidence Score" is a minus 82, while the best treatments are rated positive 390 and 189.

    "Brief Intervention" consists of a real doctor talking to the patient for usually less than one hour, questioning him about all of the ugly details of his drinking and telling him that he will die if he doesn't quit drinking. One time. That's it. No long counseling sessions, no great guidance, no on-going advice, no shoulder to cry on. And no 28-day treatment program. Just one "Dutch Uncle" session and it's over. And that's the most effective thing going.

    That kind of puts the whole expensive "drug-and-alcohol treatment industry" to shame, doesn't it?

    The most damning information about the total failure of A.A. to cure alcoholism came from one of the highest-ranking leaders of A.A., a member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous, Dr. Prof. George E. Vaillant, who spent the better part of 20 years shoving A.A. treatment on alcoholics, and trying to prove that A.A. works. His results were that A.A. did not work at all — it actually produced a zero-percent improvement in the alcoholics' sobriety rate, while yielding the highest death rate of any treatment modality that he studied. You can read all about that here.

  • This kind of writing is total bull:

    Wilson may have operated on intuition, but somehow he managed to tap into mechanisms that counter the complex psychological and neurological processes through which addiction wreaks havoc. And while AA's ability to accomplish this remarkable feat is not yet understood, modern research into behavior dynamics and neuroscience is beginning to provide some tantalizing clues.

    Bill Wilson was not operating on intuition. He just hijacked the alcoholics' branch of Frank Buchman's cult religion, and made them support him in comfort, like any other cult leader. Bill also used A.A. to supply him with a stable of mistresses, too, just like any other cult leader. All of the stories about how well A.A. works were just Bill Wilson's lies to get more people to join his cult and give him more money.

    And of course the current treatment industry is more than happy to declare that their 12-Step quackery really works and is worth the thousands of dollars that they charge for it.

  • This is another blatant lie. This author is really rewriting history:

    Headed by a an ex-YMCA missionary named Frank Buchman, who stirred controversy with his lavish lifestyle and attempts to convert Adolf Hitler, the Oxford Group combined religion with pop psychology, stressing that all people can achieve happiness through moral improvement.

    Frank Buchman was not just trying to "convert Adolf Hitler". That is another standard A.A. cover-up. The truth is that Frank Buchman was enthusiastically pro-Nazi. Frank Buchman went to the Nuremberg Nazi Party rallies year after year, and saluted Adolf Hitler with a straight-armed Sieg Heil! salute along with the rest of the Nazis. Frank Buchman went to the 1936 Berlin Olympics as the personal guest of the vicious Gestapo leader and S.S. commander Heinrich Himmler, the monster who would soon run the Halocaust that exterminated six million Jews, and Buchman came back raving, "I thank heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler..." You can read all about it here: Partying With The Nazi Party.

    The Oxford Group did not "combine religion with pop psychology". Frank Buchman's theology was particularly odious and medieval. Frank Buchman taught that people were "defeated by sin", and "insane", and only "surrender to God" would save them from certain doom. That really meant that people were supposed to surrender to a strong Führer or "spiritual leader" like him, and let him dictate their lives. Frank Buchman was just another scheming, lying, cult leader who lived in first-class luxury at the expense of others.

  • This is also just plain wrong:

    In May 1935, while on an extended business trip to Akron, Ohio, Wilson began attending Oxford Group meetings at the home of a local industrialist. It was through the group that he met a surgeon and closet alcoholic named Robert Smith.

    Bill Wilson began attending Oxford Group meetings in November and December of 1934 in New York City, in the company of Ebby Thacher, Rowland Hazard, and Cebra Graves. Bill's mentor in New York was Reverend Samuel Shoemaker Jr., who almost certainly instructed Bill to contact the Oxford Group leader in Akron, Reverend Walter F. Tunks, while he was there on a business trip to Akron, where some Wall Street "operators" were trying to pull off a hostile take-over of a rubber equipment company. The proxy battle and take-over attempt quickly failed, so the operators left town, leaving Bill Wilson behind to try to salvage something from the deal.

    Then, the standard A.A. story is that when Bill had an idle weekend and was afraid that he would drink alcohol, Bill Wilson telephoned Rev. Tunks and begged for another alcoholic to talk to. Rev. Tunks gave Bill a list of ten names and phone numbers to call.

    The last name on the list was a man who referred Bill to Henrietta Sieberling, another Oxford Grouper. When Bill telephoned her, Henrietta thought that Bill might be useful for sobering up Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith, who was yet another Oxford Grouper and a sick alcoholic. Henrietta wanted Bill to meet Dr. Bob immediately, but Dr. Bob was already passed out drunk for the day.

    So Henrietta arranged a meeting between Bill Wilson and Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith the next day. There is no evidence that Bill Wilson ever attended a single Oxford Group meeting in Akron before he met Dr. Bob.

  • This is more falsified history:

    In its earliest days, AA existed within the confines of the Oxford Group, offering special meetings for members who wished to end their dependence on alcohol. But Wilson and his followers quickly broke away, in large part because Wilson dreamed of creating a truly mass movement, not one confined to the elites Buchman targeted.

    The truth is the Bill Wilson was kicked out of the Oxford Group for refusing to follow orders. Even Bill Wilson said so.

    Dr. Frank Buchman had no problem with building a global "mass movement". His cult spanned the world, from the USA to Great Britain, to most of the European countries, to Africa and Asia and China and India and Australia. Frank Buchman was such a grandiose megalomaniac that he dreamed of taking over the whole world, and he clearly said so. The notion that Bill Wilson had bigger ideas than Frank Buchman is ridiculous.

    No, Bill Wilson was just bad at following orders.

  • This is more A.A. fairy-tale stuff:

    Aside from the steps, AA has one other cardinal rule: anonymity. Wilson was adamant that the anonymous component of AA be taken seriously, not because of the social stigma associated with alcoholism, but rather to protect the nascent organization from ridicule. He explained the logic in a letter to a friend:

    [In the past], alcoholics who talked too much on public platforms were likely to become inflated and get drunk again. Our principle of anonymity, so far as the general public is concerned, partly corrects this difficulty by preventing any individual receiving a lot of newspaper or magazine publicity, then collapsing and discrediting AA.

    The truth is that Bill Wilson never practiced anonymity. Bill Wilson was a raving narcissistic megalomaniac and publicity hound who made himself into the most famous "anonymous" person in the USA. Anonymity was just for other people, so that they could not become as famous as Bill Wilson.

    This is Bill Wilson's idea of "anonymity":

    "Bill Wilson, converting a fawning moron."

    Bill Wilson posing for a staged "Man On The Bed" publicity photograph, where Bill allegedly performed miraculous faith healings, making the drunks "pick up their beds and walk."

    Notice the cross on the wall. This photograph was very carefully staged for best effect.

    Bill's picture was featured in a newspaper article on alcoholism in the August 9, 1942 issue of the Knoxville Journal.
    Chester E. Kirk Collection of the John Hay Library at Brown University

  • This is just more B.S.:

    There's no doubt that when AA works, it can be transformative. But what aspect of the program deserves most of the credit? Is it the act of surrendering to a higher power? The making of amends to people a drinker has wronged? The simple admission that you have a problem? Stunningly, even the most highly regarded AA experts have no idea.

    A.A. does not work, remember? A.A. increases the death rate in alcoholics. Cult religion is not a working cure for alcohol abuse.

  • Again, this is B.S. that assumes facts not in evidence:

    To begin with, there is evidence that a big part of AA's effectiveness may have nothing to do with the actual steps.

    A.A. does not work. A.A. has no effectiveness, and this author never showed any evidence that it does.

  • This assumes a cause and effect relationship where none exists:

    The importance of this is reflected by the fact that the more deeply AA members commit to the group, rather than just the program, the better they fare. According to J. Scott Tonigan, a research professor at the University of New Mexico's Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions, numerous studies show that AA members who become involved in activities like sponsorship — becoming a mentor to someone just starting out — are more likely to stay sober than those who simply attend meetings.

    So, people who become obsessed with a cult religion and let it monopolize their time drink less than people who while away their spare time in bars. What else is new? That does not show that A.A. works. You can say the same thing about Scientology or the Moonies: "People who become obsessed with Scientology, and give it all of their money, drink less than the people who keep their money and spend some of it on beer." That does not make Scientology a good cult.

    I have written about that study of sponsorship before. Look here.

    In a recent controlled study, a group of new Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous members who got sponsors did no better than another group who didn't get sponsors. But strangely enough, the elder members who chose to become sponsors did better than the other members who did not choose to act as sponsors. (The sponsors were a self-selected group; not randomly chosen.) It seems that getting their egos stroked by acting as puffed-up, all-wise, all-knowing sponsors, ordering the wimpy newcomers around, helped some sponsors to stay clean and sober, even though it didn't help the newcomers any.

    Note that the same UNM Center on Alcoholism found that A.A. was terrible treatment for alcoholism, one of the worst ways to treat alcoholism. See above. They also found that "spiritual" treatment for alcoholism does not work. Look here.

    J. Scott Tonigan seems to be the odd man out at the UNM Center on Alcoholism. While other people like Prof. William Miller do real research, Tonigan writes this drivel where he says that it appears that people who participate in Alcoholics Anonymous drink less. In other words, he writes about optical illusions. We have corresponded before. Look here. When I challenged him to come up with some facts to back up his assertions, he refused to answer the questions.

  • This is more pseudo-scientific B.S.:

    As for the steps themselves, there is evidence that the act of public confession — enshrined in the fifth step — plays an especially crucial role in the recovery process. When AA members stand up and share their emotionally searing tales of lost weekends, ruined relationships, and other liquor-fueled low points, they develop new levels of self-awareness. And that process may help reinvigorate the prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain that is gravely weakened by alcohol abuse.

    Actually, that confession process is so degrading and guilt-inducing that it drives some people to relapse and suicide. A.A. raises the death rate in alcoholics, remember?

    Notice the author's use of the propaganda trick of "Sly Suggestions": "that process may help reinvigorate the prefrontal cortex". But then, in the next paragraph, the author suddenly assumes that his crazy junk science suggestion is actually true.

    What is really needed to get the prefrontal cortex healthy again is to stop poisoning it with ethyl alcohol, and take lots of B vitamins, and give it time to heal.

  • And this is more of the same fake science B.S.:

    AA, it seems, helps neutralize the power of these sensory cues by whipping the prefrontal cortex back into shape. Publicly revealing one's deepest flaws and hearing others do likewise forces a person to confront the terrible consequences of their alcoholism — something that is very difficult to do all alone.

    So now the author claims that A.A. is performing brain surgery, and changing the brains of people who perform the confessional practices? There may actually be some truth to that, but the effect is not good. Frank Buchman's cult recruiting and indoctrination techniques do not "whip the prefrontal cortex back into shape".

    And again, the veiled fascism of Frank Buchman's philosophy is beginning to show. After all of the A.A. tear-jerking pleas for sympathy for those poor alcoholics whom nobody understands, and all of the A.A. denunciation of the outsiders who do not understand those poor alcoholics, and all of the A.A. condemnation of the idea that alcoholics are just morally weak, the A.A. attitude really comes down to "those alcoholics need to get whipped into shape". Get out the whips and leather and call Donna the Dominatrix.

  • This is another reversal of reality:

    Finally, the 12 steps address another major risk factor for relapse: stress. Recovering alcoholics are often burdened by memories of the nasty things they did while wasted. When they bump into old acquaintances they mistreated, the guilt can become overwhelming. The resulting stress causes their brains to secrete a hormone that releases corticotropin, which has been shown to cause relapse in alcohol-dependent lab rats.

    Actually, it is the stress of A.A. meetings and Fifth Step confession sessions that drive many alcoholics to relapse. A.A. does not work, remember?

  • This is more A.A. mythology:

    Bill W., as Wilson is known today, didn't know the first thing about corticotropin-releasing hormone or the prefrontal cortex, of course. His only aim was to harness spirituality in the hopes of giving fellow alcoholics the strength to overcome their disease.

    Actually, Bill W. aimed to have A.A. support him in comfort for the rest of his life, and he succeeded. Bill got A.A. to buy him a Cadillac car, and a home in the country, and Bill stole so much money from A.A. that he never had to work again, and the A.A. headquarters office even supported Bill's harem of mistresses for him.

  • And now we come to the most important point:

    But how effective is AA? That seemingly simple question has proven maddeningly hard to answer. Ask an addiction researcher a straightforward question about AA's success rate and you'll invariably get a distressingly vague answer.

    That statement is not true at all. A.A. does not work. A.A. has a terrible failure rate, and a high death rate, and a zero-percent improvement over normal spontaneous recovery.

    The "addiction researchers" are not vague about the numbers unless they work for a 12-Step treatment center, and don't want to admit that they are selling quack medicine. The honest addiction researchers have produced very clear numbers:

    1. Dr. Jeffrey Brandsma found that A.A. indoctrination greatly increased the rate of binge drinking in alcoholics. People who were sent to A.A. ended up, after 9 months of A.A., doing FIVE TIMES as much binge drinking as another group of alcoholics who got no such help, and NINE TIMES as much binge drinking as another group that got Rational Behavior Therapy.

    2. Dr. Keith Ditman found that A.A. involvement increased the rate of re-arrests for public drunkenness in a group of street drunks.

    3. Dr. Diana Walsh found that "free" A.A. just messed up a lot of alcoholics and make them need more expensive hospitalization later.

    4. Doctors Orford and Edwards conducted the largest and most expensive test of A.A. in England. They found that having a doctor talk to alcoholics and their wives for only one hour, only one time, telling them to quit drinking or they would die, was just as effective as a whole year of A.A.-based treatment.

    5. This one is the most damning evidence of all, because it came from a doctor who loves Alcoholics Anonymous, and is one of its biggest promoters. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous [World] Services, Inc.. Doctor George E. Vaillant (who later became a Professor of Psychology at Harvard University), clearly demonstrated that A.A. treatment kills patients. For eight years, while he tried to prove that A.A. works, his A.A.-based treatment program had a zero-percent success rate above normal spontaneous remission, and worse, it had the highest death rate of any kind of alcoholism treatment that he studied. Dr. Vaillant candidly called the A.A. death rate "appalling". At the end of 8 years, the score with his first 100 A.A.-treated patients was: 5 sober, 29 dead, and 66 still drinking.

    Those are not "vague numbers".

  • This statement is also untrue:

    A big part of the problem, of course, is AA's strict anonymity policy, which makes it difficult for researchers to track members over months and years. It is also challenging to collect data from chronic substance abusers, a population that's prone to lying. But researchers are most stymied by the fact that AA's efficacy cannot be tested in a randomized experiment, the scientific gold standard.

    Wrong. All of the clinical studies listed above tracked their patients, in spite of A.A. "anonymity", and all but Dr. Vaillant's test were true randomized longitudinal studies.

    • Vaillant's test had a synthesized control group but was not randomized.
    • Walsh's test was randomized but did not have a control group — it compared hospitalized versus A.A.-treated alcoholics.
    • The Orford and Edwards study was randomized — a statistical randomization procedure was used to divide the subjects into two groups comparable in the severity of their drinking and their occupational status — but instead of the control group getting no treatment at all, they got just one hour of a doctor giving them advice. That is just one hour of "treatment" in a whole year.
    • The other studies were true randomized longitudinal controlled studies, clinical tests with control groups.

    So A.A. most assuredly can be tested in a randomized experiment, and it has been tested in several randomized experiments, but the A.A. members don't like the results, so they pretend that A.A. cannot be tested properly, and falsely claim that A.A. has not been properly tested. Yes, it has, and A.A. failed the tests.

  • Now here the author lets some of the truth slip out:

    AA is still far from ideal. The sad fact remains that the program's failures vastly outnumber its success stories. According to Tonigan, upwards of 70 percent of people who pass through AA will never make it to their one-year anniversary, and relapse is common even among regular attendees.

    But that contradicts all of his previous statements about how wonderful A.A. is and how well it works.

    And the truth is that far fewer than 30% get a year of sobriety in A.A. The truth is more like 5%, the same as the success rate of alcoholics who quit drinking all on their own without any "help" or "treatment", or 12-Step indoctrination.

  • Now this statement is true, and it is one of the biggest problems with A.A.:

    AA is obviously not about to overhaul its 75-year-old formula.

    Right. A.A. is a cult religion, not medicine, and A.A. will not learn from experience and improve its methods. Like any cult religion, they insist that they already know the Magic Answer, and have the truth straight from God, and they are not about to change anything.

    That makes A.A. worthless as a cure for a disease (which they claim alcohol consumption is).

  • And the author's closing quote again shows that A.A. is really a cult religion:

    And now, after more than four years in the program? "I know God exists," he says. "I'm so happy I found AA."

    Notice that the author did not even mention the question of whether the A.A. member who was speaking was actually sober after four years in A.A.; we are just told that the A.A. member now believes that God exists. Victory is at hand.

So much for the Wired article.

Then you asked, "What's made you so mad at AA?"

Well, for starters, A.A. kills more people than it saves, and then A.A. lies about it. Foisting ineffective quack medicine on sick people, and lying about how well it works, is a really low, vile crime.

Your statement that "I think a lot of people have found relief" does not excuse the deaths that A.A. has caused, or the rapes, or the relapses, or the years of suffering and misery and sickness as people wait for the 12-Step program to start working.

You should read the file The Effectiveness of the Twelve-Step Treatment to see how well A.A. really works.

Then read:

Your statement that "The program is not perfect and there are nuts with in it's membership" is just an attempt at standard alcoholic Minimization and Denial. That's no different than someone saying, "Alcohol may sometimes be a little problem for me... and yes, it caused a few DWI arrests, and I lost my job and my family, but alcohol isn't that big of a deal. No sense making a big fuss about it. I can keep on drinking..."

And you can keep on going to A.A. too, I guess.

The answer to the rest of your question about who am I and what experiences made me feel the way I do are here.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "Every man, wherever he goes, is encompassed by a cloud of comforting
**     convictions, which move with him like flies on a summer day."
**       ==  Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays (1928), "Dreams and Facts"
**        British author, mathematician, & philosopher (1872—1970)

Date: Mon, August 16, 2010 5:15 pm
From: "Facebook"
Subject: Gary B. posted something on your Wall.

Gary wrote:
"Just reading your wall.... Haha! I'm going to really look forward to reading Green Papers doing his Step 9 bit on here to apologise/"clean his side of the street" re: his amends for his "resentment" toward you and his violation of Step Eleven!! Hehe! I'll tell you what, Orange, NEVER EVER stop what you're doing. In a messed up world of insanity you and your website are more invaluable than words can say. Aw bless."

Date: Mon, August 16, 2010 5:25 pm
From: "Facebook"
Subject: Gary B. commented on your wall post.

Gary wrote:
"Erm... just to clarify for anyone less than au-fait with my reference: "violation of Step Eleven of the traditions", I meant to say (rather than the ACTUAL ELEVENTH STEP) — - — so to speak"

Hi again, Gary,

Thanks for the notes. And no, I don't think Green feels like making any "amends". :-)

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Always remember, a cat looks down on man, a dog looks up to man,
**      but a pig looks man square in the eye and sees his equal."
**       ==  Winston Churchill.

Sept 11, 2001: The Day that the U. S. Air Force was defeated by 17 guys with box cutters.

We have spent hundreds of billions of dollars, perhaps trillions of dollars, on the U. S. Air Force over the years, with the idea that we were getting some security for our money. We have super-sonic and super-sophisticated jet bombers, and inter-continental ballistic missiles, and enough nuclear bombs to blow up the entire world several times over, and fleets of fighter planes, and cargo planes, and radar all over the place, and spy satellites in orbit, and big command centers with big screens showing everything that is happening everywhere in the world. We have literally the biggest air force in the world.

And yet, when it really mattered, all of that equipment and manpower proved to be useless against fewer than two dozen fanatics with pocket knives.

What happened? How and why was the U. S. Air Force so totally ineffective? The "9-11 Commission" carefully avoided that question. And why did they do that?

Happy 9-11.

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

Canada Goose family with goslings
The Family of Nine, coming to get some munchies

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

Date: Mon, August 16, 2010 8:22 pm     (answered 11 September 2010)
From: <mike>
Subject: Thanks and a question

Love the Goslings!

Saw a cool film recently "The Parrots of Telegraph Hill", if you haven't seen it... :)

Any particular reason you named the site "Orange" and is there an explanation on the site somewhere? I saw the recommendation that was made to you about drinking plenty of orange juice in your introduction but no detail on the site name.





Hi Mike,

Thanks for the tip about The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. I haven't seen the film yet, but I went to the library and got the book, and it was delightful. I believe that I really know how that guy felt about "his" parrots, that were really wild. I feel the same way about "my" geese, that are really wild. And when I am caring for orphaned goslings, they really are "my" babies, and I become very attached to them.

For the information of all, the book is:
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, A Love Story ... with Wings, by Mark Bittner.
Harmony Books, New York, 2004.
ISBN: 0-609-61055-4
LC: F869.S36T45 2004
Dewey: 636.6865—dc22

The Orange name began as a joke. There was a woman who called herself "Apple", who ran a web site called AAdeprogramming.com, back around the year 2000. I sent her the original versions of the essays that ended up being The Orange Papers. I chose the pen name "Orange" so that we could joke about mixing Apples and Oranges.

Some more information on that history is here:

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     You must not know too much or be too precise or scientific
**     about birds and trees and flowers and watercraft; a certain
**     free-margin, and even vagueness — ignorance, credulity —
**     helps your enjoyment of these things.
**        ==   Walt Whitman (1819 — 1892)

LATER: I finally got ahold of a playable copy of the DVD, and saw the movie. It is a very sweet story, and very entertaining. Some of the stuff you have to see to believe, like the parrot called Mingus dancing to music.

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Last updated 27 September 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters189.html