Letters, We Get Mail, CXCII

Date: Wed, August 18, 2010 9:00 pm     (answered 22 September 2010)
From: jjaliii

You are hilarious... at first I actually thought you were serious with those jealous, juvenile resentful ranting's. Having been sucked in by your deluded dribble about Alcoholic Anonymous, I finally got it! You are a very psychologically funny man... sociologically dangerous... but quite funny nevertheless! It's been brought to my attention, when individual human growth is so apparently stunted and crippled by resentment, one is spiritually isolated in a world that remains flat! I wonder, is this true?

Hello Jjaliii,

You are assuming that someone objecting to the crime of foisting quack medicine on sick people is a "resentment" that will prevent someone from being "spiritual", a belief for which there is not a shred of supporting evidence in the holy books of any major religion. I suggest that just the opposite is true: If you won't clean your house, and fix what is wrong, and especially tell the whole truth to the sick people, then your activities are not spiritual.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Denial ain't just a river in Egypt."
**         ==  Mark Twain (1835—1910)

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

Canada Goose gosling One of the newly-hatched goslings, going for a swim.
It took me a while to get used to seeing such tiny newborn fluff-balls jumping into the water. Part of me worried that they would drown. It takes some getting used to it to realize just how at home they are in the water, and how much they are in their natural element, and how nearly drown-proof they are.

[More gosling photos below, here.]

[The previous letter from Lewis is here.]

Date: Sun, August 15, 2010 9:15 pm     (answered 23 September 2010)
From: "Lewis Smith"

hey orange,

sorry about the second post.. I just have a quick question.. Do you have any facts on nalextrone and the sinclair method?? I have heard that it is a pill that cures alcoholism and that the treatment industry is trying to squash it in the u.s., but it has had great success in Finland.. That would kind of make AA and the 12 steps kind of obsolete..

Well have a good day Orange..


Date: Mon, August 16, 2010 2:25 am     (answered 23 September 2010)
From: "Lewis S."

Ok one more letter..

im a night shift worker and that leaves me a lot of time to think.. the reason i was asking about the sinclair method is this.. I suffer from ptsd depression and to be quite honest, loneliness. loneliness being the worst.. One of my favorite things to do is get together with other guys and fraternize. That is what keeps drawing me back to AA every time i sober up. The thing is they are all crazy and just can't seem to be guys.. Now the thought of being sober forever doesn't bother me so much as the thought of being stuck hanging with crazy womanizing fanatics. If there were a pill that i could take that would allow me to hang at the pub with the boys and have a few beers once in a while, I would be all over it. Bill W. called it the great obsession of every alcoholic to drink like other men. But he made that seem like a bad thing.. what option did he leave us.. Be alone or hang out in church basements with a bunch of assholes.. now that really bothers me.. Anyways Orange thanks for the ear.. I would love to read your thoughts on these letters.. If you think Im just nuts, Ill take your word..

Have a good day..

Date: Tue, August 17, 2010 12:31 am     (answered 23 September 2010)
From: "Lewis S."

hey orange, me again..

I couldn't resist and spent a few hours on the internet looking into this sinclair method using naltrexone. Now I am no expert and dont have the proper data that you seem to be so skilled in gathering. But here's what I have gathered. It seems the scientific studies show that when nalextrone is taken one hour before drinking people who normally cant control their drinking gradually unlearn that behavior. The percentages very but it seems that of the people who comply, which is around 80 percent, 75 percent are still moderating their drinking within safe limits after one year. For some reason the other 25 percent decide to just quit with no withdrawl symptoms.. Again, I am not skilled at interpreting data or even knowing how to tell if it is legit.. But, what I am seeing is a method that when followed seems to have a 100 percent success rate as a moderation program and a 25 percent side effect of quitting drinking.. If these studies are true, as you know, blows AA's results out of the water.. It also seems to me that the only critics are AA believers, and that doctors are afraid to get behind it in the U.S. because they have been unwittingly recruiting for AA for so long that they really think Aa is the only way.. also it seems the pharm. industry stands to lose or not make alot of money off sick addicts anymore and are interfering with research of this sinclair guy.. Anyways, myself, I am gonna try to get my hands on some of this stuff and do my own personal research.. Thanks again for the ear, looking forward to your response..


Hello again, Lewie,

Sorry to take so long to answer these letters. I figured out what happened. You sent four letters at nearly the same time, and after I answered the first one, I issued a command to move everything whose file name contained "*Lewis*" into the "done" folder. (That is a Unix/Linux command.) And your other letters got moved too, and I didn't notice that. So they got overlooked and forgotten. But now I have found them.

That Sinclair Method sure looks interesting. I've just started reading up on it myself. I don't really know anything more about it than you do. So let me make that disclaimer right away.

Here are some links that explain the method:

The basic idea is that an alcoholic takes a pill that is a short-term opioid antagonist. That means that for a short period of time, opiates and opiate-like chemicals won't work, and can't get you high (or kill your pain, either, I guess). That would block beta endorphins, our bodies' natural pain-killers, from working. And it apparently also blocks dopamine, which is our natural "feel-good" chemical, which alcohol intoxication causes to be released in larger quantities.

The patients can keep right on drinking, same as usual, while they take this pill.

So you take this pill, and suddenly, alcohol is no big deal any more. You sort of feel its effects, but you aren't really getting high. And people eventually loose interest in alcohol because it isn't getting them high any more.

In theory, it sounds like it could help a lot of people. They claim a very high success rate, like up to 70%. Right away that makes me suspicious, because that is what the quacks at the 12-Step treatment centers claim, too. Nevertheless, it could be true. I really want to see some good, properly-done Randomized Longitudinal Controlled Studies to test how well it works.

We could even have the National Institutes for Health do a big seven-way test, to settle things for once and for all. Get a whole bunch of alcoholics from somewhere, and give them one of seven treatments, selected randomly:

  1. Alcoholics Anonymous, a.k.a. "12-Step Facilitation"
  2. SMART
  3. SOS and/or Lifering
  4. Brief Intervention
  5. Motivational Enhancement
  6. Sinclair Method
  7. Nothing. This is the control group.
Then see what really produces an increase in sobriety. And see what raises the rate of binge drinking, and raises the death rate, and raises the rate of rearrests... And employment or unemployment. And cost of hospitalizations. And divorce. And mental health. Heck, count everything, and see what is really happening there.

That test is not a joke. You might want to write to your Senators and Congressman (or Congresswoman) and suggest this test as a project for some government-run agency in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, like perhaps the NIH, or NIMH, the National Institute for Mental Health, or NIDA, the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

The Steppers will of course object to such a test, and fight it tooth and nail. They will especially scream about having a control group. They managed to keep Project MATCH from having a control group, and they will try to prevent it here too. A control group will reveal that some methods, like A.A. and "12-Step Facilitation", have the same success rate as "no treatment". The Steppers sure don't want that result, so they will argue that it is "unethical" to give "no treatment" to a group of alcoholics. But they argue from a viewpoint of assuming that shoving 12-Step theology on alcoholics helps them and saves them from death, which it does not. All of the properly-done tests show that giving more 12-Step treatment to alcoholics is what is unethical. It kills them.

Still, the biggest problem I see with the Sinclair Method is people not taking the pills. That is the same problem as with any pill-oriented cure or therapy. The alcoholic must sincerely want to quit, or all bets are off. It is too easy to just not take the pill.

My Lizard Brain has already given his answer. As soon as I read those pages that are linked above, and one page quoted a guy saying, "It takes the magic out of drinking," my Lizard Brain said, "You say this stuff (Naltrexone) takes the fun out of drinking? It takes the magic out of it? It keeps you from feeling that grand ecstatic rush when you are heading for Cloud Nine? It makes drinking uneventful and boring? The heck with that noise. Let's just sort of forget to take the pill today so that we can feel great tonight. That will be okay. I don't need to take the pill every day, do I? I'll take it tomorrow, and have a good time tonight. Besides, we are in a lot of pain, and we need the pain-killer effect tonight."

And old Lizard Brain will do that, too. He is moronically stupid about a lot of things, but he's pretty darned clever when it comes to figuring out how to get high.

So we still need to be 100% convinced that we want to quit alcohol, and not get high on it any more, and 100% determined, or else the scheming little Lizard Brain will find a way around a simple obstacle like a pill.

At least, that is true of a hard-core genetic alcoholic like me. Somebody who just had "a drinking problem", and who can successfully taper off into moderate controlled drinking, may benefit greatly from this method. It sure bears examination. I want to see some good tests.

Even if it only works on half of the alcoholics, that would be millions of lives saved.

And yes, I'm sure that the Steppers will fight this thing tooth and nail. There goes their bread and butter. A lot of those "drug and alcohol counselor" fools have absolutely nothing to sell except their goofy cult religion slogans. And there goes their religion. God won't be very pleased if everybody stops groveling and confessing, and "seeking and doing the Will of God", and just takes pills, now will He? So they will scream that the new treatment is killing people by depriving them of the "traditional, proven method" that everybody is using.

And then they will probably find one person who died while trying the Sinclair Method, and make a well-publicized poster child out of him, and claim that Sinclair killed him, while ignoring the tens or hundreds of thousands of others who died while getting "12-Step treatment".

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If someone has cancer or diabetes or coronary disease,
**     we don't use a quack doctor to treat those sick people —
**     a quack whose only qualification is that he used to drink
**     too much alcohol or take too many drugs, and who is now
**     a member of a cult religion. But with the so-called
**     "disease" of alcoholism, the standard treatment is
**     to have former alcoholics or dopers dispensing their
**     platitudes and slogans, and insisting that God is the cure.

[The next letter from Lewis is here.]

Date: Tue, September 21, 2010 10:08 am     (answered 23 September 2010)
From: "Bill O."
Subject: plugs for A.A.

Okay, readers,

Can you wrack your brains and remember plugs for A.A.?

You Kill Me (2007) w/ Ben Kingsley. Drunk hit man goes to AA, finds god, sobriety


Date: Tue, September 21, 2010 3:12 pm
From: "Rachel N. W."
Subject: TV shows promoting AA

Hi Orange,

It's me again. I have an addition to your list of shows promoting AA. "Law and Order" and "Law and Order: SVU." In these shows, Detective Briscoe (in the former) and Captain Cragen (in the latter) are both supposed to be former alcoholics, and there is a _lot_ of discussion about going to meetings and how wonderful AA is. I hope all is well, W

Date: Tue, September 21, 2010 6:29 pm
From: "Brooke K."
Subject: Television Series and AA

Hi Orange,

Thought of only one example that hadn't been mentioned, Murder She Wrote in which the words on a blackboard were written, "Chapter 5, How it Works." This example was used in meetings to promote AA.

Numerous celebs had audio tapes, among them, Anthony Hopkins and John Laroquette.

I disagree with The Sopranos as an example of AA promotion. David Chase parodied Intervention, and one of it's lead character's, Chrissy, boasted about AA, while drinking, using and conning.

My best,


Date: Tue, September 21, 2010 3:33 am
From: "Deeke K."
Subject: AA in film/shows

Hi Agent Orange,

This is what I remember AA -AlAnon prmoting in films/ TV shows:

* When a man loves a woman 1994

Popular actress Meg Ryan, who plays Alice Green, a school counselor who has a serious drinking problem. Her husband is Michael (Andy Garcia), an airline pilot. Though she's lighthearted and loving, Alice is often reckless and, when drunk, even neglects her children, nine-year-old daughter Jess (Tina Majorino) from a previous marriage, and four-year-old daughter Casey (Mae Whitman), whose father is Michael. After an accident, Alice realizes that she has "hit bottom" and goes into a clinic for rehab.

* Desperate housewives

Bree goes to AA

* Prison Break

Thers is a scene where an important clue is hidden and found through the Big Book of AA . Can't remember which season/episode

And i want to mention that in Harlan Cobens novel CAUGHT i read for the first time negative things about AA. Somebody killed while DUI and tried to ninth step, but the surviving relatives told the AAer to cut the crap and shut up with her steppism, lol!

Keep up the good work !

Okay, thank you one and all. I've forwarded these to James G. and I think it will help. Now we need to scrounge up video clips of a bunch of these things for his Utube video.

Oh, and even though I didn't put it in the list, I had the obvious made-for-TV Hallmark My Name Is Bill W. in my mental list. And that of course leads to the sequel that glorifies Lois Wilson, When Love Is Not Enough.

Have a good day now.

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     A.A. Tradition 11:
**     Our public relations policy is based on
**     attraction rather than promotion...
**     Yeh, right.

Date: Sun, August 8, 2010 8:04 pm     (answered 24 September 2010)
From: "michael f."
Subject: your internet material

dear sir:

i found your website fascinating. my story is too lengthy too relate here, but i began going to aa about a year ago and i suppose, therefore, that i can be counted as one of those who "may make it." i do have problems with the twelve steps, because, like you, i siply do not believe a lot of it. however, i would also say that they may have great utility for many people, particularly those with dependent personalties ( you and i, obviously, do not have that burden) and therefore, they cannot simply be dismissed out of hand. there is another website that concerns some work the government of ontario has done in this matter and they concur with you that aa makes no difference in suicide rates, but that unemployment and type of alcohol consumed, do. you are doubtless very familiar with all this work.

Hello Michael,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments. But alas, you give me too much credit. I don't really know everything. Specifically, I have not read that Canadian research. I'll have to check it out. (The name of the report, or of the authors, would help immensely.)

i would not be so harsh as to say aa has harmed me because, in the year i have gone to an edmonton, alberta, chapter, i have learned, at every meeting almost, some little "trick," so to speak, to help me stay sober. for instance, at today's meeting, a woman stood and said that she did not want to play russian roulette, anymore, with alcohol: i know this sounds terribly trite but it struck a chord with me, because i have so far entertained this idea that i will one day be able to return to responsible drinking, something i really want to believe, is not delusional thinking. but it is. you see, i would never have thought up that simple little phrase alone, doing it by myself.

I quite agree that people getting together and sharing advice and experiences can help in recovery. I have said several times in the past that if you took A.A., and dumped the 12 Steps, and dumped Bill Wilson's crazy religious dogma, and dumped the untrue teachings about alcoholism, you might end up with a nice social club that could be helpful to alcoholics. In fact, SMART meetings also have a period of time where people share their victories and talk about what is working for them. I've never been to an SOS or Lifering meeting, but I would guess that they do it too. The problem I have with A.A. is that the harm that the bad teachings do is often much greater than the help that people get.

people tell me i am quite a bright man, i practised medicine in the tropics and my native canada until alcohol abuse forced me out about two years ago at the age of 58. the reason i have read your voluminous and exhausting material, is that several members in edmonton have stood up and spoke of suicide in aa over the past few weeks. my interest was piqued — i thought aa was a panacea for that, but obviously, it is not.

Suicide is a big problem in A.A. Here is a suicide list.

There seem to be several problems:

  • Sponsors telling newcomers not to take their medications — especially psychiatric patients — leading to suicide when seriously-ill people go unmedicated.

  • Chronically depressed patients finding that A.A. makes them worse, not better. The whole confession and guilt tripping and fault-finding routine of Steps Four through Nine is very depressing. Some people conclude that they are so bad that the situation is hopeless and they might as well end it.

  • People wait for years and years for "The Promises" to come true. And when they don't, they become very despondent. Just recently, someone wrote to me about "the Twenty-Year Hump", where people who get 20 years of sobriety in A.A. commit suicide. I guess that it's because they realize that if they have not found happiness from the 12 Steps in 20 years, then they never are going to get it.

  • Then there is just the whole negative slant of A.A. It's all about your faults, and your moral shortcomings, and your defects of character, and what you did wrong, and how stupid you were to drink, and how your aren't qualified to run your own life, and on and on... And Step 10 says that you have to continue talking about when you are wrong for the rest of your life. Nowhere in the Steps does it tell you to love or be happy. Where is the joy?

    Now I know about all of the laughter at A.A. meetings. But somehow that rings a little hollow. It sometimes sounds like someone whistling past a graveyard.

  • And then there is something that I would call "the façade cracking". The true believers spend many years parrotting all of the A.A. mythology and falsified history, and defending A.A., and declaring that A.A. is the biggest and best self-help group in the world...

    But what if the truth starts to creep into their minds? What if they begin to notice the attrition rate, and the real failure rate, and how few newcomers really get helped, year after year? What if they learn about the real history of A.A., and cannot deny it any longer? What if they also notice the suicide rate? If the true believers have devoted their whole lives to A.A., then their whole world is crumbling. Their reality is going down like skyscrapers in an earthquake. Some just can't handle it. They have nothing else to fall back on.

    Every so often, one of those true believers gets especially nasty and vicious in attacking me for telling some undesired truths about Alcoholics Anonymous. I know that is what is going on there — the true believers feel like I am destroying their world. They are fighting for their lives.

    But what if the world of one of those obsessed people does crumble? It seems like, for some of them, suicide is the answer.

what you are doing is a labor of love and please continue to do it. but always understand that some people, even bright people, even people who, like me, have never in life relied on anybody for guidance, seem to derive benefit from an organization for which there is really no hard scietific proof. please pardon my lack of paragraphing. please continue the good work, maybe some good, hard studies will result. thank you and best personal wishes.


Thanks for the compliments. Again, I know that some people derive some benefit from talking to others who are going through the same thing. But we can do far better than A.A. You can go to SMART, or Lifering, or SOS, and women to WFS, and talk there, without getting all of the goofy cult religion dogma and wrong ideas and misinformation and untrue mythology and falsified history. I'm sure that can help even more. You can even talk about scientific reports and medical studies that do not praise A.A.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**       'Pray to god, but row to shore.'

Date: Thu, August 19, 2010 10:28 pm     (answered 24 September 2010)
From: "Alfred W."
Subject: Just checking in and saying 'thanks'

I saw you answered my email (I'd sent one about some nutcases on the James Randi Religion & Philo forum I contribute to, where a few diehards kept trying to argue that AA was not religious — they got pwned, in the manner of speaking of the youngsters nowadays) — just wanted to thank you for your reply — and for posting the reply, since I am quite sure more than one of those diehards read your response.

Hi Alfred,

Thanks for the thanks, and you are welcome.

How's your summer been? All settled in your (relatively new) home? — I know it's been a long struggle. As I've been reading The Orange Papers for several years now, for a while there it had seemed as if you dropped off the face of the earth — or died, or something equally tragic.

I see now that it actually was something tragic (homelessness) — am quite glad life appears once again to be treating you kindly.

Happily, nothing tragic happened at all. Just an inconvenience. But it really did work out for the best, because, even though it took about ten times longer than I thought it would, I found a better place to live. I might have dawdled and not moved for years more if things had not come to a head. But things did, so now I'm out in the boondocks with a whole lot of trees around me. This environment just feels so much better than all of the concrete and glass and steel downtown. And mind you, Portland is one of the nicest cities I've seen, as cities go, but this is better. At least, for me. So not tragic at all.

Feel free to drop a line every now and then if you want to chat, I'd be more than glad to reply on any subject you might wish to converse in (my favorites? As of late, that would be the book 'misquoting jesus' by Bart Ehrman — an excellent read for anyone interested in debunking religious fervor over the bible).

In closing I wanted to say I am pleased you discovered a nice semi-rural place to live — with trees!! Here, we live out in the desert of California (still 92F at 830pm!), which is great during the winter, but the lack of greenery & water makes for a somewhat bland living experience.

Have a great evening!

Alfred W.
Joshua Tree, CA.

Oh yes, Southern California. I lived in Riverside for many years, a long time ago, and also in the Mojave Desert. It had its own kind of beauty, but was definitely short on trees and water.

I'll have to check out that book.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same
**     story which is written across the whole world in letters
**     too large for some of us to see.
**       ==  C. S. Lewis

Date: Sat, August 21, 2010 2:28 pm     (answered 24 September 2010)
From: "colin b."
Subject: AA — thank you for saving us


My partner Tracey is an alcoholic. Having been through detox once before and now desperately waiting for her next date for an available bed in hospital, she was seriously considering AA. Having researched AA recovery rates in the past as part of my Social Sciences Degree, I tried to convince her that this wasn't a good idea. As she sat beside me while I typed in AA on the internet, we found your excellently written series of articles and my point was proved. She's now going to wait for her hospital detox treatment and we'll take it from there together. Tracey's a fine lady, who suffers from low self esteem, depression and ulcerative colitus, a degenerative illness. It was the pain that led her to drink in the first place but now the cause of her depression is her lack of control when it comes to booze. I'm here to help her and just wanted to say thank you so much for putting the facts here on the web. I have no doubt she'll beat the booze this time round but it's made it more likely as she's read more and more of the letters etc on your site.

Thank you again, not only because you've steered Tracey away from a big mistake but also for the education you've supplied to me as her partner.

my best wishes

Colin — Newcastle Upon Tyne — UK

Hello Colin,

Thank you for the letter, and the compliments. That really brightens my morning. I hope that your partner is well.

And, if I could be of a little more help, I just answered another one of those "what worked for you?" questions, so let me point you to it, here.

Have a good day now, and good fortune.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     We have more power than will; and it is often by way of excuse
**      to ourselves that we fancy things are impossible.
**        ==  François, Duc de la Rochefoucauld (1613—1680),
**              French courtier and moralist

Date: Sun, August 22, 2010 11:58 pm     (answered 24 September 2010)
From: "Randy P"
Subject: lie

Well, it didn't work. She relapsed repeatedly, and they kicked her out of the program.

Kicked out of the program???

Yes, she was going to an "out-patient treatment program" for alcoholism at PAAC, the Portland Alternative Addiction Center, in downtown Portland Oregon. A big part of their "treatment program" was sending people to A.A. and N.A. meetings. A funny characteristic of the program was that they demanded that people quit drinking at the start of the program, and stay sober all through the program.

She relapsed too many times, so they kicked her out of her housing and the program.

That reveals the twisted logic of the program. She was expected to keep herself 100% sober, even before she had gotten the treatment. How is that supposed to work?

And A.A. teaches that you are powerless over alcohol. So what is the logic of demanding that the patients keep themselves sober, and then sending them to meetings where they are taught that they are powerless over alcohol, and their lives are unmanageable?

If the patients really are able to quit and stay quit before getting the course of treatment, then how is treatment needed, and what is it supposedly doing that the patient hasn't already done for himself or herself?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Being surrounded by a group of people who keep
**     telling you that you are powerless over alcohol,
**     and that your will power is useless, is not
**     getting "support". It is getting sabotaged.
**     With friends like them, you don't need any enemies.

Date: Mon, September 27, 2010 5:26 pm     (answered 12 October 2010)
From: "Randy P"
Subject: Re: lie

No one can kick anyone out of the program. You are way off base.

Yes they can, and yes they did. You don't know much about 12-Step-based treatment programs, do you?

== Orange

Date: Mon, August 23, 2010 1:38 pm     (answered 24 September 2010)
From: "Robert G."
Subject: Dear Mr Orange.

How strange, is the subject title, "Dear Mr Orange".

I smiled over that one. It seems you have a deep running resentment with the 12 Step Programs, as you've made it your mission to find fault with them. Good for you!

Hello Robert,

Thank you for the letter.

Well, you are the umpteen-dozenth Stepper to jabber about "resentments". That is like a big red flag. The flag says, "Look at me! I'm thoroughly indoctrinated! I think in terms of slogans and lines out of the Big Book!"

Here is the list of previous accusations of resentments.

Why are YOU anonymous? Protecting your anonymity? Worried the "CULT" will kidnap and convert you? hahaha!

Ah, so now anonymity is a bad thing, is it? Not a holy virtue of Alcoholics Anonymous? After all of Bill Wilson's sermons about the glory of anonymity?

Are you demanding that I practice anonymity like how Bill Wilson did? Getting his name and picture printed and broadcast until he was the most famous "anonymous" person in the USA...

Well, in response the complaints of many Steppers like you for many years, who complained that I was practicing anonymity just like how the Eleventh Tradition demands, I broke my anonymity a long time ago. My birth name is Terrance Hodgins, and I live in Forest Grove, Oregon.

I read through you site. Much of what you have is accurate, sadly, accurate. There never where nor ever will be a vast amount of "old timers". Thanks to the original program getting watered down by all the "cash and carry" recovery centers and such. By the Way, Hazelton is no part of A.A. They too are a Cash and Carry business.

Thanks for the agreement that I research carefully. But I disagree about the "watered down" argument. There was never a Golden Age when A.A. worked great. Bill Wilson was just lying and falsifying the numbers when he made those grandiose claims of success in the Big Book.

The story that A.A. was great in the Olden Days is just like any other fairy tale. The fairy tales always jabber about how the magic of today's wizards is only a small part of what was known to The Ancients, and how the knights of old were so much braver and nobler than today's knights, and the kings of olden times were much more heroic and wiser than today's kings... But that is just fairy tales.

The story that A.A. worked great in the olden days, before somebody "watered it down", is just another fairy tale.

And I know that Hazelden charges a lot of money for their quack medicine. But Hazelden is also the single largest promoter of Alcoholics Anonymous and 12-Step superstition in the world.

As for Judges ruling that AA is a religion, poppy cock. IN the 1930's, unless you missed your history, Courts, Very high courts would rule and order mentally challanged women to be sterilized so as not to procreate more mentally ill. They actually believed and enforced such, can you image?!? The eugenics program was SO effective that Nazi Germany's leader sent represntatives over to study it. You know where that took that one, right?

So, it's really not too impressive that a legal mind decides that AA is a religion. That is there business, not AA's. Having to lean on that is very comical, and be careful, as with most rulings in courts, they change from generation to generation.

And that is an example of the Straw Man propaganda technique.

Yes, A.A. is a religion. It not only demands that you believe in God, they declare what kind of a God it is, and how this peculiar dictatorial God will perform miracles for you, but only if you confess all of your faults and moral shortcomings and defects of character, like in Steps 4 through 9, and Seek and Do the Will of God every day, like in Step 11.

That is a religion. All of the A.A. denials are just dishonesty.

I notice that you didn't mention that AA separated from the Oxford group for a number of reasons. ALSO, The Oxford group WAS an offshoot of a 1st Centry approach to Christanity. Very religions in there basic approach. The "Drunk Squad" of the Oxford group as they where called, was not actually just for Drunks to get better, but I"m sure you knew that already, yes?

Actually, I did mention why A.A. was separated from the Oxford Group: The O.G. kicked Bill Wilson out for refusing to follow orders — especially the order to quit recruiting alcoholics. And Bill Wilson was committing the ultimate crime for any cult: he was building himself up as a leader of a sub-cult, the Alcoholic Squadron, in direct competition with the cult leader Dr. Frank Buchman. Rev. Sam Shoemaker Jr. even had his assistant preacher deliver a sermon one Sunday morning that denounced Bill Wilson for "the divergent work of this secret group".

One of the laws of a cult is, "Thou shalt have no other cult leaders before me, for thy cult leader is a jealous cult leader, and wants your whole life."

Unfortunately, when Bill Wilson stole the Alcoholic Squadron and made it into his own cult, he kept all of the theology of the Oxford Groups, and still practiced the same religion. They just dumped the Oxford Group name, and they dumped Dr. Frank Buchman, but they kept all of Buchman's crazy beliefs and heretical theology. And that is what A.A. still is today.

All of that other stuff that Bill Wilson said, about how he separated his group from the Oxford Group because he had a better vision, is just a cover-up for the fact that they kicked him out. His vain ego couldn't stand rejection, so he had to rewrite history to make it look like he rejected them.

Thanks for the chuckle. I love reading from those on the outside and their opinions and views of us on the inside. Nothing you have to say is inaccurate, but most of it is misinterperted. You are looking through the eyes of disgust and distaste. I know them well, as I used to be just like that. Your web site and mission to "reveal the truth" about AA and such only shows how really upset you are with AA.

Actually, what I am "upset with" is the A.A. failure rate, and the A.A. death rate, while they tell lies about how great they are and how well it works.

No one forces anyone to come to meeting or to stay or to leave. Hell, got a court card? Go to the bar and have beer, you could get anyone there to initial it and who's to know, I mean really? How IS to know? The court system doesn't know us by our names or initials. They get it filled on a card and think, GREAT!

Of course somebody forces people to go to A.A.. Get real.

The court card system is junk. Always was a joke, always will be.

Best of luck to ya!

Bob G.

25 years Sober this Sept 7th.

You have a good day too, and congratulations on keeping yourself sober for 25 years, in spite of the A.A. false teaching that you are powerless over alcohol.

== Orange

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

[The next letter from Robert G. is here.]

Date: Mon, August 23, 2010 4:11 pm     (answered 24 September 2010)
From: "SS"
Subject: Thanks!


Been a fan of your illuminating site for years. I think you are one of the reasons that convinced me to write "Cognitive Recovery", a secular program. It contains some AA type concepts but focuses mostly on CBT, AVRT type techniques, living mindfully, and acceptance. Acceptance of yourself, of whatever comes to you in life, and so on. I didn't link to your site because most AA people throw up their hands in horror at what you display and I think CR can help be a weaning method of people working recovery their own way. Lifering, Women for Sobriety, SOS, SMART are all excellent as well. I'm not a fan of RR but that is just because of the way Trimpey comes off. :)


I'd appreciate your comments on the site if you have time to review it. Also, I'd be happy to send you a copy of the book. It is basically my method for staying sober but is a composite of many techniques out there. I'm no genius or prophet, have seen no blinding white light, I just put together stuff that works for my kind of addict/drunk. :)

I'm about to rewrite (yet again) the book and expand it and still don't want to go "anti-aa" but you give me a lot of ideas what else to focus on.

The best thing (only good thing?) about AA is the social aspect. A support group can be enormously helpful and like it or not, there are a shit load of AA groups out there. They might help sustain someone until that person can find a true method of recovery.

So, thanks!


Okay, Steve,

Thanks for the tip, and thanks for the thanks. I will review your site as soon as I can, and I'd love to see your book. As you already know, I think, "Whatever will help. Let's have dozens of choices." And Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is definitely a good part for the mix.

So have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the
**      same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
**         ==   Albert Einstein (1879—1955)

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

Canada Goose gosling, begging
This is that newborn gosling in the water, begging for some more oatmeal.
Can you believe it? This baby gosling is so young that this is his (or her) first day out in the world, and the little thing has already learned how to beg, and ask humans to hand over more munchies. And some people think that these birds are stupid.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

Date: Mon, August 23, 2010 4:15 pm     (answered 25 September 2010)
From: "brian m."
Subject: Can't beat em and won't join em !

Hello Mr. Orange, hope you are doing well.

I've been using beer on and off most of life and never saw any reason to quit or think that I was mentally dysfunctional enough to not think on my own and be a functionable part of society. I'm 57 yrs. old or youbeer on me as young depending on how I feel when I wake in the morning. I have never had any law trouble till the last several years.

I've had a couple of DUI's and numerous POV's (protection order violations) because of drinking beer and possessing beer only. Like about 8 of them (POV). Each one landed me in jail with no way to bond out thus making a miserable situation even worse as I lost a lotta work and jobs over this. It is unfortunate in the way that our Judicial system treats any and/or all of us these days in regards to Trust, Integrety and overall Judgement as humans. The way I feel about their lack of compassion and regards for our true well being borders on contempt.

The protection orders all stemmed from my DUI's, every time I landed in jail and got out after lockdown from anywhere between 2wks to 2 months on the grounds of time served they would reimpose a new protection order against alcohol for a another year. This went on for about three years. Damn!!! Every where I went I had eyes behind my back. Seems like they were kinda enjoying tracking me around and searching me on demand. I was riding my bike to the beer store one day and I heard voices behind me "PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR". I thought to myself without looking back "What the hell is this a jokester" Well I gave them a one finger salute. That did not go too good as next thing was drawn guns and tasers and the ol' reading of the riot act. They smelled the usual beer on me and I got locked up again.

The last time I got locked up was when me and my wife were drinking as usual and fighting as usual and she had the cops escort me out of the house. At this time no arrests for POV's. Well my wife and the cops left the neighberhood and I snuck back in to get some clothes and belongings(my beer) as it was extremely cold out. 5minutes later cops and wife came thru the door and I was told a final time to leave and not return regardless of clothes or no clothes. The cops asked if I had a place to go and I told them of one of my sisters. I was really drunk and they knew it. They told me to stay on sidewalks or I would get arrested. How comforting, to this day I wish they would had aressted me instead of letting me walk to my sisters. So I managed to get to my sisters house 3miles away and went in and sat and waited for her to get back from work. That didn't fly to good, I passed out in the back room and awoke to cops as usual. I got arrested for criminal tresspassing and numerous other charges. I did not hurt anyone, have any bad words with anyone, break anything, or break and enter, I simply walked in and tried to wait for her. If I was not freezing to death I would have waited outside. Oh well life goes on, I Think!!!.

So sitting in jail trying to get a Public Pretender OOOPS! I mean public defender I finally was given my alternatives in the sacrid courtroom 6yrs DOC (Dept. of Corrections) "OR", 1yr of drug court and classes, 2 classes wk., 1 court review a month, combined with 2yrs of AA meetings twice aweek plus weekly testing for drugs and alcohol for 2 yrs plus 2yrs supervised probation and reporting weekly to the PO. Anything to get out of jail sounded goood at that point so I took their incredibly shitty offer.

The last time in jail gave me time and think that I decided enough is enough I am never drinking again considering all the misery it has brought me. It used to be fun but through the years all of the fun turned into agony. I have quit on many occasions thru my life for years at a time. I made up my mind it's time to do this again QUIT.

So here I am stuck with what seems like an eternity of AA meetings. At first it kinda seemed allright but I knew that something about the whole thing was grating me really badly. I even attended 4 to 5 meetings a week out of boredom and a sense inside of me that wanted to figure the AA thing out. After being there for 7mths I got a good idea about their expectations and fallacies. At first for awhile I figured I could just ride this thing out and it 'd be over before I knew it. Was I ever wrong !! Get a sponsor, do the steps, read the book, turn the only residue of a human being left in me (MY WILL!!!!!) over to GOD and then be audacious enough to ask GOD to cure ME. What is wrong with these people. Every thing and word that comes out of their mouthes ends in praise for this so called wonderful program, how it saved them how they have a new life by adhering to all the bigbook bullshit. I am so sick of hearing the preamble the daily reflections and all the goodly praise blathered by these people. This is absolute pure torture in the tenth degree for me but I am court ordered to do this.

Oh, I have an alternative , I can attend Celebrate Recovery instead if I find it more suitable to my needs. WRONG. They are a Christain-based 12-step program also. Gee what a choice I have in this screwed up 2 horse town. There aint no other alternative here. Nothing else is acceptable to our prideful courts system. Whatever happened to the seperation of church and state? I am profoundly against forced indoctrination of any kind against any person. What are we turning into in this country a bunch of NAZIS. There is no choice in the matter of what I believe in, it's either AA or prison. God help us all cause I don't think any one else will. As you can see I believe in God but not what they are proposing in the meetings. I cannot accept praying with them bacause I do not know Whom they are praying to.

At present I also attend 2 drug court classes a wk and I don't even do drugs. But I gotta do it or off to prison. One thing about these classes is they are not based on spirituality or any kind of twelve step bull. They are based on self cognitive thinking therapy. I can not find any fault or discredits in the approach, readings or therapy. I actualy am benefiting from it. One thing that angers me is that the AA teachings and the Drug Classes teachings totally oppose each other in their concepts of recovery. In AA "You Do Not Recover!!!", In drug classes recovery is a goal that can be obtained thru relearning or learning acceptable thinking processes. Damn, talk about night and day cold and hot, good and evil. Damn, what is with these judges and courts doing this sort of sentencing.

Well thats enough complaining for now, I admire your writings and intuitive aparoach to to the problems of addictions. I truly believe that we all must use our own will and choices when it comes to our recovery. Not have to be spoon fed a bunch of heretical propaganda that has no resolve but its own.

THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH, It sure feels good to breath some fresh air and know I am not alone in my thoughts.

Sincerely Brian

Hello Brian,

Thank you for the letter and the story, and thanks for the thanks. I'm sorry to hear that you are going through so much suffering. I hope things are getting better now.

You clearly expose the hypocrisy of claiming that America has Freedom of Religion, while people get sentenced to attending the services of a very strange cult religion that still basically sells a Nazi philosophy:
"You must devote your life to serving Der Führer im Himmel. The highest virtue, and the highest patriotism, is unquestioning obedience to the leader. The average man is unfit to run his own life, and must follow the orders of someone better than him. You must have Faith in the leader, and do as you are told."

(You know how well that worked out for the Germans...)

Oh, by the way, keep in mind the fact that you can now sue the judge for sentencing you to a religion. And you can also sue whatever other bureaucrats and officials were part of the coercion. That is a new wrinkle in the law, courtesy of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. It is simply blatantly wrong and illegal and unConstitutional to force somebody to go to a religious service against their will. Look here and here and here.

I would save that for after you get done with your legal difficulties, and they cannot retaliate. If a few people do sue that pants off of some judges, the religious coercion will stop real fast.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     He who attempts to make others believe in means which he himself
**     despises, is a puffer; he who makes use of more means that he
**     knows to be necessary, is a quack; and he who ascribes to those
**     means a greater efficacy than his own experience warrants,
**     is an imposter.
**         ==  John Caspar Lavater (1741—1801), Swiss theologian

Date: Tue, August 24, 2010 8:49 am     (answered 25 September 2010)
From: "R. H. P."
Subject: James Frey

Hey, maybe you want to take that James Frey quote off your site since he's a compulsive liar.

Hello RHP,

Actually, calling James Frey a "compulsive liar" is a bit much. The way that I hear it, he originally presented his story as a work of fiction — a realistic novel that was largely, but not entirely, autobiographical. But his publisher said that the public wants sensational true stories, fiction doesn't sell that well, so rewrite it as "a true story", and jazz it up a bit.

Now you can criticize James Frey for being less than 100% honest about the reality of the story. Personally, I wouldn't have gone along with the publisher's instructions.

About the quote, I've thought of deleting it. But it is a true quote:

I have my own 12-step program, and the first 11 steps don't mean (CENSORED BY NETWORK) and the 12th is "don't do it."

James Frey, Author of A Million Little Pieces, speaking on the ABC News 20/20 TV program, "Help Me, I Can't Help Myself", April 21, 2003.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie —
**     deliberate, contrived, and dishonest — but the myth —
**     persistent, persuasive — of our forebears. We enjoy
**     the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."
**        ==  John F. Kennedy, commencement address,
**              Yale University, June 11, 1962

Date: Mon, September 27, 2010 6:13 pm     (answered 12 October 2010)
From: "R. H. P."
Subject: Re: James Frey

It makes sense that you would make excuses for James Frey.

I doubt Frey was, or is, an alcoholic. He had heavy drinker written all over him. So, yeah, he needs one step.

Hello again, RHP,

No, I'm not making excuses for James Frey. I just said that calling him a "compulsive liar" is inaccurate. Words mean things, and James Frey does not fit the definition of a "compulsive liar".

Dishonest author? Yes. "Compulsive liar"? No.

The "alcoholic" versus "heavy drinker" is just another word game, just a false dichotomy. Fashionably rich alcoholics prefer to call themselves "heavy drinkers". It sounds so much more fashionable and macho.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Russia is responsible for 80% of the world's vodka consumption,
**     and 30% of all male deaths there are alcohol-related.

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Last updated 25 July 2012.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters192.html