Letters, We Get Mail, CXCIII

Date: Tue, August 24, 2010 12:26 pm     (answered 25 September 2010)
From: "Mike P."
Subject: Facts — Not Delusional Fiction as contained on this website.

Mr./Mrs. a. Orange,

It is without question that you suffer from massive depression, denial, hate, delusion and for some reason, jealousy of 12 Step programs starting with Alcoholics Anonymous.

Hello Mike,

Nothing like starting with a little Ad Hominem attack, is there?

In regards to surveys as to "who stays sober for life," or for different periods of time, they are an absolutely impossibility to conduct with anything close to accuracy, simply because of the logistics. No one has the time, money, staff or need to do this and be anything close to accurate.

Wrong. That is just denial. It most assuredly is possible to calculate pretty closely what the A.A. success rate is. Even Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob did it, and they found that they got a mere 5% success rate, which is the same as the success rate of people who go it alone, and quit on their own without A.A. or any "help" or "treatment".

As far as your analysis of one "coin inventory" obtained by a person who is obviously unscrupulous and without integrity, the reasons that it is invalid are far to obvious to name. However even a simple mind could detect and start with the person who obtained it for you who is, as per your information, a person of low integrity and a thief, who well could have changed the information for his or your benefit and likely (in my opinion) was paid for by you. It seems that birds of a feather do flock together.

Again, you are trying to dismiss evidence without any evidence of your own. To accuse everyone who collects information about A.A. of being "unscrupulous and without integrity" is slandering the very alcoholics whom Steppers claim to love.

Anyone who believes differently is not adept nor experienced at the study of logistical information. They are certainly lacking in the ability to use common sense to find the obvious lack of clarity, information and abundance of bias included in your obviously inept for accuracy, analysis. I count you among those with this type of mind. Your rants and totally slanted, biased and distorted views and opinions are definitely to the point it is obvious, you are affected by mental issues. I will say a few prayers that you eventually find the fortitude to face your illnesses and seek help.

Again, you are attacking people without any evidence.

Another indication and evidence of your sickness is, I have never encountered anyone who puts so much time and effort to debase a organization that helps so many people. Sometimes saving lives.

That is just more of the same.

It is obviously unclear to you, that solely going to A.A. meetings does not and never will save lives or lead to long term consecutive sobriety. Certainly any type of sobriety that does bring contentment, love, tolerance, forgiveness, selflessness, joy etc. on a consistent and long term basis. Without contentment and joy, a vast majority do not stay continuously sober, if at all. It is a learned practice that can only be retained by daily practice. The number one reason A.A. does not work for any individual, is that they never discover it is a "program that is not for spectators, only participants." They simply do not learn to live the program and not solely to just attend meetings.

Again, there is no evidence that practicing the 12 Steps of Frank Buchman's cult religion makes people happy or joyous or sane or selfless...

It is certainly holds no credence with you that when a problem drinker goes to their Doctor, a vast majority of doctors include as a must in their prescription, to contact Alcoholics Anonymous "immediately if not sooner." I think most who have looked at your site with a open mind can almost instantly see your obvious deceit and determine that you know more then anyone else about almost everything, especially your obsessive obsession with A.A..

No, that is not true. Many well-informed doctors do not recommend Alcoholics Anonymous. My doctor did not.

An example of your deceit and delusion that is quite obvious is very evident in your chastising Mr. Bill Wilson for attributing the statement regarding "contempt prior to observation" to Mr. Herbert Spencer. You forgot to mention that until the 1980's, almost every, if not all historians gave credit to Mr. Spencer for being the originator of this statement of wisdom. Rest assured that in 1938 when most of the "Big Book" was written, that all historians did. You may or may not know that no one has produced sufficient and convincing evidence that Mr. Spencer was not the original, so as to be accepted by a majority of historians. If fact those who claim he is not, have varied opinions on who actually did create it. The majority of literature of any type that contains this quote, still give credit to Mr. Spencer.

First off, I did not "chastise" Bill Wilson for repeating Ray Campbell's mistaken quote. (See the first edition of the Big Book, An Artist's Concept.) I simply stated the facts. Now I have chastised Mr. Wilson for lying, fraud, philandering, theft, and deceiving people in the name of God, because those are much more serious crimes than misquoting somebody.

And then, what historians "gave credit to Mr. Spencer"? Let's see some facts. All that happened was more people mistakenly repeated Ray Campbell's mistake, which Bill Wilson reprinted in the back of the second edition of the Big Book.

Bottom line on who actually originated the quote, has no bearing on what the quotation states or why Mr. Wilson used it. It certainly doesn't matter in one's recovery. It was perfect in content as well as intend.

Actually, Bill Wilson grossly misused the quote. Bill believed that Sir Herbert Spencer wrote it. Well Sir Herbert Spencer is well-known as a defender of Darwin's Theory of Evolution. If Spencer had written that quote, he would have been condemning true believers who refused to even look at the facts before rejecting the theory. Sort of like the Pope refusing to even look through Galileo's telescope before declaring that it was an instrument of the Devil. That was "contempt prior to investigation". And Bill Wilson used the quote to declare that you should not reject his cult religion before you have tried it.

Of course, we now know that what the real original author was criticizing was pagans who rejected Christianity without listening to the arguments of Christian theologians.

If any one cared to, a book could be written exposing your bias in presenting information, your deceitfulness, your inaccurate and mis-information presented with total distortion, as well as your delusional mind. Your hatred is a sickness. Your rants show in runs very deep.

So write it. So far, you have presented no facts to support your allegations.


Sieg Heil! A.A. über Alles!

I've wasted quite a big of time in writing you. More then 10 seconds would be considered a waste in dealing with you.

I doubt that you will present this on your site of mis-information and hatred. However your mind is just distorted enough to conjure up a reason to do so. Your failure to truly expose your idenity on the web is a expamle of your paranoia and even more so, cowardice. It takes away any chance of giving credence to your misinformation and distortion.

Well you are wrong. I'm printing your two letters now. I am a firm believer in Freedom of Speech, and giving everybody his or her say.

May a Power greater then yourself heal you. It seems that your malady's are also incurable by any human power. The end result of your ranting are continued sickness for many and death for a number of those inflicted with the disease of addiction.

I am already healed, thank you for your kind thoughts.

With a non-distorted and factual content obtained through long studied and daily experience of AA, NA, and other 12 Step programs.


Mike P.

Las Vegas, NV.

All persons of spiritual faith, whether they be right or wrong about their faith, HAVE COURAGE. Don't expect you can understand that Mr./Mrs. Orange.

FYI, Nobody in A.A. that learns to live the program, has any concern whether A.A. is a religion or not. Recovering A.A.'s have no concerns about the subject. To us, it absolutely doe's not matter. What matters is that it REALLY DOES WORK FOR THOSE WHO ARE WILLING!! Maybe GSO is wrong about what they state in our preamble and Traditions? Nobody cares! Our Primary concern is in sobriety and staying that way. Without that and the way of life the program suggests and has worked for many others, we will have nothing. That is an example of a fact. I don't expect you to understand this paragraph unless you actually have been addicted to something that can kill you, and then applied the 12 Steps of Recovery, which without question and more then substantial evidence, has been proven to work on a consistant basis for those who are willing to follow it.

Quitting drinking by playing tiddly-winks works great for those people who are really willing to work a strong program and completely abstain from drinking any alcohol while playing tiddly-winks.

Oh I almost forgot you will not accept this because you know more the hundreds of thousands, and much more likely, millions,of people.

Yes, actually, I do know more than hundreds of thousands of deluded cult members. That isn't very hard to do.

PS — Repetition is not the definition of brainwashing although surely a part of the process. It seems it is your only definition as well of condition of brainwashing. However, every educational system in this world's main and common ingredient is "Repetition."

That is not my definition of brainwashing. For a simple one-page description of brainwashing, look here.

Date: Tue, August 24, 2010 3:27 pm     (answered 25 September 2010)
From: "Mike P."
Subject: Hurting yourself and other people.

Mr. /Mrs. Orange Hate,

I just read your article on "powerlessness" and the 1st step. It is obvious you don't have any understanding of what this step or A.A. is about. The written steps found on "the board", in wallets, etc. are generalizations of the steps. The instructions are found in the "Big Book" and the explanations in the essays found in the 12 & 12. Nobody can stay sober off of the generalizations found in the written steps themselves.

I quoted the 12 Steps directly from the Big Book, not from pamphlets or wallet cards. See The Twelve Steps Interpreted.

And what is this line??!!

"Nobody can stay sober off of the generalizations found in the written steps themselves."

Wow. Now you are declaring that the holy Twelve Steps are useless, as Bill Wilson wrote them? The Twelve Steps, as written in the Big Book, are vague generalizations that don't work to get people sober? A lot of other Steppers will disagree with you about that.

I suppose you need a sponsor to tell you "what the words really mean", right?

Once alcoholism has progressed to a point, it is asinine to state that one only has difficulties quitting. The proof is in millions upon millions of dead alcoholics. There is nothing about quitting or abstaining being "impossible" that is stated or insinuated anywhere in A.A. Literature.

The fact that many people choose to indulge in bad habits until they die is not proof of "powerlessness". People also eat themselves to death, and smoke themselves to death. And some people sit on the couch and watch TV until they have a heart attack. Please don't tell me that those people are powerless over TV and potato chips.

"When the going gets tough..." is inspirational. It was intended by Coach Lombardi to inspire people to endure Physical Pain they may have a bid of mental control over (Psychosomatic). Not to something God didn't give them. The problem with that one is that most people aren't "tough," they just like thinking they are. You're a great example of that. If you truly were, you have no reason to remain paranoid, secretive, hurtful or anonymous. Appears to most that you are very weak which this site makes appear quite factual. No one is "weak" that can't quit alcohol or any other drug Mr. Hate, they are addicted to a point that is far greater then where you have ever journeyed. Weak is someone who hides behind a computer screen and babbles negative, deceitful and dishonest things about a prescription that has allowed at least thousands to not die prematurely and live better then their disease had ever allowed them to dream.

Again, you are arguing that people are just weak and stupid, and need a dictator to order them around and run their lives for them, because "God didn't give them something". That is the Nazi philosophy.

And once again, another Stepper complains about me using a pen name, and accuses me of hiding behind anonymity. It sure is funny how anonymity is supposedly a holy virtue when A.A. members practice it, but it is a bad thing if someone else does it.

For the umpteen dozenth time, I broke my anonymity years ago, in reponse to the complaints of Steppers like you who believe that following the Eleventh Tradition is a Very Bad Thing. My birth name is Terrance Hodgins, and I live in Forest Grove, Oregon.

"Radically departs from Christianity." I don't think many addicts (or anyone else) really care if this is true or not. Maybe some zealot Christians or dry drunks, etc but that is their problem. You lack any common sense in any of your analogies. Who cares of A.A. is a religion or not. Who cares of somebody in A.A. says it is not. Only you. No one cares if A.A. "departs from Christianity or any other mainstream religion of the world." People just like your self said "Christianity was a cult." People never, ever surrender their lives to the A.A. group. Great example of your delusional mind is your statements pertaining to "bait and switch." Step one is preparation for steps 2 thru 12. If you can't admit you have any problem or know what it is, you cannot fix it. There is no point in proceeding fixing a problem if you can't admit you have one.

"Radically departs from Christianity" just shows the deceit and hypocrisy of Alcoholics Anonymous. When they are talking to Christians, or using their churches for meeting halls, they claim that A.A. is completely compatible with Christianity.

But now you declare that you don't care if A.A. is anything like Christian.

And you are making stuff up, and putting words into my mouth. I never said that Christianity is a cult. (To complain that "People just like your self said ..." is a clever word game. What other people may have said is not what I said.) I have talked about some crazy "Christian" cults, like the local one that repeatedly kills children by insisting that the children be healed only by prayer and refusing to take them to a doctor, but I never said that "Christianity is a cult".

Yes, Step One is a setup for the following eleven Steps. But you are assuming that the following 11 steps fix things, which they do not.

If you were capable of understanding the instructions of Step 2 found within A.A. literature, you would understand the only insanity we need a higher power to help us with is the mental obsession and craving we have that causes the insidious insanity that we have right before taking the first drink. In light of a "problem drinkers" proven inability to handle their addiction, sooner or later, the have absolutely no power over taking that first drink, the removal of this obsession can only come from a non-human power. Again proven over and over through any written history you will find on the subject of problem drinking /alcoholism, in the history of this world. You can not disprove these with any written facts. You can only think you can through your own delusional and unsupported mentally distorted theories. Thus you have absolutely no proof that has ever appeared on you site.

You are engaging in Minimization and Denial. Your definition of "insanity" is not the same as what is in the Big Book. It is also completely different from what the Oxford Group doctrine said, which Bill Wilson copied to make up the Twelve Steps. When the O.G. said that you were insane, they meant that you were not living a life that was devoted to Seeking And Doing The Will Of God.

If the "insanity" were only a compulsion to drink alcohol, then it wouldn't be necessary for A.A. members to prattle on and on about how fucked up their thinking is.

There is no truth to your jabber about "a compulsion over which the alcoholic is powerless", and "the removal of this obsession can only come from a non-human power." That is just Alcoholics Anonymous cult religion dogma, not medical facts. The truth is, hundreds of thousands of alcoholics quit drinking every year, all on their own, and without surrender to a Big Dictator in the Sky.

After that 1st drink, the scientifically researched and proven fact is that the abnormal metabolism of an alcoholic, which causes them to process alcohol much slower then a normal non-alcoholic person, causes a physical and mental manifestation of craving that necessitates them taking another drink. Sooner or later they cannot resist. This craving intensifies every time another drink is taken. So thus the end result is a feeling of extreme excitement and pleasure in the mind that releases all inhibitions and normal thinking. Thus it is a "no brainer" that this mind altering substance will result in abnormal behaviour and insanity. Without the insidious insanity of the first drink, there can be no more then a normal person's level of insanity. The Insanity of the first drink" is the only insanity that is important or intended to be, in taking this step. Please take your extreme resentment out of your mind and state the damn facts straight.

That is again just a bunch of bull. There is no "scientifically researched and proven fact" to the A.A. dogma about powerlessness. See the book Heavy Drinking: The Myth of Alcoholism as a Disease by Herbert Fingarette. There you will find the scientifically proven facts.

Most alcoholics are not, by any means daily drinkers, and most know they can stay sober for varying periods of time. Quitting drinking can come about by many processes, with or without help. Alcoholics Anonymous is the only process in the history of this world that has consistently allowed problem drinkers to attain long term consecutive sobriety by recreating the pleasures of life that alcohol first produced in their drinking episodes. The extreme pleasure that is rarely, if ever, felt by normies at the level an alcoholic does, or at least believe they do. Also a proven medical fact obviously unbeknownst to you.

Again, you are just spouting the standard A.A. party line without any evidence to back up the mythology.

And this claim:

"Alcoholics Anonymous is the only process in the history of this world that has consistently allowed problem drinkers to attain long term consecutive sobriety by recreating the pleasures of life that alcohol first produced in their drinking episodes."
...is so untrue that it is downright delusional. A.A. does not work. It does not increase the rate of sobriety in alcoholics. And to claim that A.A. recreates the pleasure of a life of drinking is flat-out crazy.

The only insanity the 2nd step that requires a power greater then ourselves to stop, is the insidious insanity before the first step.

More mythology.

If there actually are people who believe they "can't manage their lives," they are generally the one who need and require some type of mental help. The fact is problem drinkers are less and less able to manage their lives the longer they keep drinking and the disease progresses. Some to the point the only think they can really manage or think about is that next drink. You think people urinate and crap in their pants because they want to. You have almost no common sense.

Your rap is completely at odds with even the most basic of A.A. teachings: Just a very short list of A.A. slogans tells us that:

  1. "I am powerless over people, places, and things."
  2. "Strength in powerlessness."
  3. "I pray to God every day that I never get the idea that I can run my own life."
  4. "I know I'm in trouble when I start thinking I can run my own life."

Regarding the 3rd Step, again you are incorrect. We do not turn or "surrender our lives and our wills (thinking) over to the care of God in this step, although I wish we could. We simply make a decision to do so. You, I or any other person makes decisions that we do not follow through with, in fact probably more that we don't follow through with. Also, I believe most religions literature make statements that are close to, "God helps those who help themselves." God will not do for you what you can do for yourself." Etc., Etc. We must follow through on our decision and do our part in these matters." We learn to do this on a continual basis for life. So stop making so many false and apparently illiterate statements. You are confusing and influencing to many innocent and illiterate people. You are not a Higher Power so stop being a "Know it all." I bet you can't without the help of God!

Your statement that you don't turn your will over directly contradicts 70 years of Bill Wilson's and A.A.'s teachings.

  1. "Turn it over."
  2. "Don't Quit — Surrender."
The Big Book says,
Abandon yourself to God as you understand God.
The Big Book, 3rd & 4th editions, William Wilson, Chapter 11, A Vision For You, page 164.

And Bill Wilson's Third Step prayer declares,

"God, I offer myself to Thee — to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.   ...   May I do Thy will always!" We thought well before taking this step making sure we were ready; that we could at last abandon ourselves utterly to Him.
The Big Book, 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, page 63.

Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program...
The Big Book, 3rd & 4th editions, William Wilson, Chapter 5, How It Works, page 58.

Completely give themselves?

And then, in Step Eleven, you can't do your own will, you must Seek and Do the Will of God. You pray for God to turn you into an obedient little puppet who lives only to carry out God's orders.

We are not cured of alcoholism. What we have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our daily activities.
The Big Book, 3rd & 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, page 85.

If you think any addict is "passively dependant," whose disease has been put into recession by the 12 step program will remain passively dependant when they personally, their family or friends is threatened with any kind of harm, in any way, I urge you to try it. You deserve what you will get. There is no doubt that your insane readings, agreed to by only those who are not recovering and thus insane due to their continual usage of their addiction, will cause some cases of death and the vast majority will live their lives in the torturous hell of addiction.

Now you are just jabbering illogical nonsense. I never said that passive dependents could not become violent.

Your statement "cannot heal themselves." I ask you, when you are sick or hurt, do you heal yourself. Oops, we know you try mentally but certainly remain uncured. You must seek treatment physically?

That makes no sense. I heal myself all of the time, without going to a doctor or anybody else.

I could go on and on rectifying your non-senseical, illiterate of subject and unfounded writings. Your mental illness is obvious in every paragraph I have read within every one of your writings and/or analogies (Read most of them but decided to quit wasting my time on such negative crappola). If you have gone through the 12 steps with a teacher/sponsor, they obviously had not been taught by any one with knowledge or understanding of the process. Your writings make this very clear. You are almost totally illiterate about the subject of the 12 steps as outlined and taught in A.A. literature. Your hate of A.A. and the 12 is unprecedented.

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. All that you are saying is that I supposedly don't understand the Steps.

And of course you have to keep on declaring that I am mentally ill because you can't stand somebody contradicting your favorite superstitions.

Let's say that there are people who find you writings do make sense, and who do not end up dieing or live torturous lives because they quit participating or end up never going to 12 step programs. What good does your site accomplish? If AA is as terrible and horrendous as you project, wouldn't they discover it by their own experience and intelligence in a very rapid manner? Of course they would. There is no need for your supreme intelligence and insights that obviously the many brilliant people who have and continue to endorse A.A., or the rest of us dumb drunks who get well and stay sober for most or our lives, will agree with.

Now you are falling back on the usual A.A. attack, "You are causing alcoholics to die by telling the truth."

In a manner that is totally against the teaching of A.A. or my Gods will, I can not restrain myself from telling you that when your pain finally exceeds your perverse pleasure, you will finally be able to stop FUCKING YOURSELF!!

Yes, that is really spiritual.

I'd bet if I had contacted my God or my sponsor, I would not have made my last statement.

So why didn't you?

It is a fact that many of us do need help to do the right thing.

Oh really? You can't do the right thing without contacting your sponsor?

But above, you were arguing that you didn't need to turn your will over to A.A. or any supervisor, and that the insanity was only a compulsion to drink alcohol. Now you claim that you cannot behave yourself without contacting "God or your sponsor"? That's insane. And nutty cult religion, too.

You see, some of us receive more assets at birth from God then others. This does not mean that those who receive so many gifts that they never need help, are better then anyone. It means they should help those less fortunate who need the assistance of others. I think that Christianity and every other "mainstream religion of the world" believe in that. Why don't you?

Mike P.

Actually, Mike, I do believe in helping others. The first thing that they need is the truth, not blatantly false cult teachings.

"A coward dies a thousand deaths." Have you reached this magic number yet? You sure gotta be close. I was also wondering if you open-minded about abandoning your masochism. Debating with you is like "dueling with an unarmed man."

Well Mike,

You have had your say. You don't make much sense, but you have had your say. I did not censor you.

Do you feel better now?

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The flow of energy in this universe does not always have the
**     human agenda or your personal agenda as its primary focus.
**         ==  Pregnant Soul

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

Canada Goose gosling The two newly-hatched goslings, poking around for something else to eat.

[More gosling photos below, here.]

Date: Tue, August 24, 2010 3:46 pm     (answered 25 September 2010)
From: Bob O.
Subject: spiritual not religious hoax

Mister T,

Thank you for all you do. The spiritual not religious line has been repeated so many times I need a reply. I believe you have said something like superstitious not religious. I have just heard "a distinction without a differenced" which I will adopt for my reply.

Long Island Bob O.

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the thanks, and it's good to hear from you.

Yes, the line was that "A.A. is superstitious, not religious." I hear your "distinction without a difference." But I'm not quite so cynical as to believe that all religion is superstition. Just a lot of it. Maybe even most of it. But not all of it.

I guess you will like the following signature.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "The Jews, the Muslims & the Christians. They've all got it wrong.
**    The people of the world only divide into two kinds:
**    One sort with brains who hold no religion.
**    The other with religion and no brain."
**      == Al-Marri (973 — 1057). Syrian Poet & Philosopher. Muslim.

Date: Wed, August 25, 2010 7:12 am     (answered 25 September 2010)
From: "PJ"
Subject: Does AA even exist???

Hi Terrance,

I was doing some late night research and think I discovered that a legal entity called Alcoholics Anonymous does not even exist. Here is my post from Stinkin-thinkin.

Well, well, well . Rick gave me the link that I had been to before, but I hadn't really gone through the doc and tried to figure things out. After more research, it turns out there is no such organization in New York state called Alcoholics Anonymous. nope, no such animal. No shit. A company that was registered in 1941 was registered with a typo. and it is named "Alcoholics ANNonymous". So, all those folks that think they are in Alcoholics Anonymous are mistaken. There is no such animal. There is a book by that name, but NOTHING else (at least according to New York State). Fascinating ! However, the following are registered and active —

Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc
General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, Inc
Alcoholics Anonymous Grapevine, Inc

The General Service Office is not listed as a separate organization.

No wonder it is so hard to pin down Alcoholics Anonymous on anything. It clearly doesn't even exist. The big kahuna is the General Service Board. They make policy and financial decisions for the fictitious organization. Any hard ball stuff should be aimed squarely at them, not GSO.

What I found is very interesting and I challenge anyone who wants to prove me wrong to have at it. My claim — The organization " Alcoholics Anonymous" does not exist. The name does, but the organization does not.

Here are the links for some do it yourself research..





If this is true, it can explain a lot. If AA does not exist as a legal entity, there is no one to go after. The rest of the organization is so convoluted that making something stick would be nearly impossible. I think I get it now..

The main point of this is, for 16 years, I thought I was a member of an organization that had some legal existence. I mean, everything in AA references AA, so there had to be some legal entity called Alcoholics Anonymous, right? I guess not.

I have been trying to think of an analogy in the real world and am having a hard time finding one. Every organization I think of is a legal entity — Masons, Shriners, Churches, etc. But not AA and I think that is just strange. Plus, who registered Alcoholics Annonymous in 1941 ( double n intended) ? Was this a mistake? Deliberate? Somebody was stupid or drunk? There HAS to be a story behind it.

If it is true that AA does not exist, then nobody can hold it accountable for anything precisely because it doesn't exist.

How odd...


Hello PJ,

Thanks for the sleuth work. I didn't know that. "Alcoholics Annonymous". Now that's funny.

I knew that the main A.A. headquarters uses two corporate names, the "Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc." book publishing, profit-making company, and the non-profit "General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, Inc.", which owns all of the stock of AAWS. And then I hear that several years back, they dropped the word "World" from the AAWS name.

And then of course the Grapevine is a separate entity. I understand that it is a captive organization too, totally owned by either AAWS or the GSB.

And it is odd that everybody talks about the GSO, the General Service Office, but that is not the name of any actual existing organization.

Another interesting read is Guidestar: http://www.guidestar.org

They rate non-profits and charities. You can get some information on the "General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, Inc." there.

And then there are the Form 990 filings of the GSB. Because they are a tax-exempt non-profit, they have to file publicly-viewable financial reports. Look here.

After I posted some of the information that is in one of those reports, the former A.A. EDP manager Lillianna Murphy wrote to me and said that the report that claimed that she was paid $175,742 was a lie, that she got nowhere near that much. So who pocketed that money, tax-free? Look here.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    It's the New American Work Ethic — work real hard for a
**    long time, and you'll get screwed (when the company offloads
**    your pension plan to the Federal government and some CEO takes
**    the big money home in bonuses, stock options, and a golden parachute).

Date: Mon, September 27, 2010 10:02 pm     (answered 12 October 2010)
From: "PJ"
Subject: Re: Does AA even exist???

Thanks Terrance... hang in there. You certainly seem to be making a big difference in a lot of people's lives. Mine included.


Thanks. That's flattering.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

Date: Wed, August 25, 2010 3:10 pm     (answered 25 September 2010)
From: LJ
Subject: Hi!

I was reading your website and giggling... especially about Bill Wilson. Regarding him, I do NOT think your information is far from the truth.

I do think your numbers on recovery are off as I and many, many of my friends and I got and stayed sober in AA in the early 80's... We are happy members of society and no longer a danger to ourselves and others. Many have stopped going to meetings and now follow a different spiritual practice. I believe that is the 'spirit of rotation' in action. AA is truly for the newcomers.

Anyways, I see what you are saying and possibly why you are saying it. Many of us are living the other side of the story.

For years, (about 40) the true AA message has been watered down and is struggling to get back to what works best... the AA big book or manual.

Your story about the creation of the book made me laugh soooo hard... Your version makes sense! Why, as humans, we have some silly need to put people up on a pedestal constantly awes me...

Anyways thanks for your website. I truly enjoy it. Just please note... it works for many of us!


Hello LJ,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments.

You state that you and a bunch of your friends got sober in A.A. Well of course. I never said that nobody gets sober in A.A. If nobody got sober there, then A.A. would be killing a lot of people.

What I said is, "A.A. does not increase the amount of sobriety in this world. A.A. does not make people quit drinking. A.A. just steals the credit for people who were going to quit drinking anyway."

If you send a bunch of alcoholics to Alcoholics Anonymous, or church, or the Ladies Home Garden Club, or Baskin Robbins, about 5% of them will get sober each year. It doesn't matter which one they go to. The results are the same. Those recovering people who quit drinking are the people who decide that they want to live. So they quit drinking and save their own lives. Then A.A. says, "See? It works."

A.A. takes advantage of that optical illusion to create the false belief that A.A. is sobering up a lot of people. No, it just steals the credit from a lot of the winners.

The story that A.A. has been watered down since the Good Old Days is another standard myth. There never was a Golden Age when A.A. worked. I was just talking about that in a previous letter, here.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
**        == Mark Twain (American Humorist, Writer & Lecturer. 1835—1910)

Date: Wed, August 25, 2010 8:20 pm     (answered 25 September 2010)
From: "Chris B."
Subject: Recovery Depression

Dear Orange,

As a brief intro, I'm a recovering alcoholic who's tried and failed at AA several times, as well as tried and failed on my own several times (although I had much more success on my own). Anyway, my current issue, in my latest attempt at giving it all up, is the anxiety and depression I feel within the first weeks and months of sobriety. Maybe you've covered this on your website, but frankly there's so much information on there that it would take me quite a long time to find it. I wanted to know if you experienced this, or have heard of others that experienced it, and if it does in fact get better. Obviously I could go to the doctor to be treated for depression, but I feel reasonably certain that the depression is a temporary symptom of not drinking after being full of booze for 15 years. Therefore, I'd rather, at the very least, get a re-assurance that my scrambled brain will begin to return to normal if I can just white knuckle it through the first couple of months, rather than go get pumped up on Prozac, only to find that it screws up my "balance" even more. Just looking for your insights based on experience. Thanks in advance.


Hello Chris,

Thanks for the question. Sorry to take so long to answer it. I'm backlogged. Congratulations on your sobriety. I hope you are doing well, and feeling okay.

About the depression: My experience in quitting drinking was just the opposite: I never felt depressed. Even though I got so sick that I came down with bronchitis and pneumonia, and was sick for like 5 weeks straight, I still never felt depressed. Wrecked, yes. Depressed, no.

Perhaps a big part of the reason for that is that I quit smoking at the same time as I quit drinking. Even though I was very sick, I also felt like I was rapidly recovering at the same time. And I was. In fact, I got the pneumonia because my lungs were on a binge of housecleaning and they were shoving out junk faster than the tubes in the lungs could clear it out.

Behind it all, I felt like I was going to get over this soon, and be a lot healthier soon. Which I eventually was.

So I'm really not a good one to ask about depression.

I understand your reluctance to go to a doctor and just get doped out. I feel the same way. I turned down my doctor's offer of painkillers for my arthritis because I didn't want to get habituated to painkillers. That would just add another problem that I don't need.

Nevertheless, I really would go to a real doctor and see what he has to suggest. If you get a doctor who just offers to get you loaded on pills, then you could ignore that offer and try another doctor. And they may have something new that can take the edge off of the bad emotions without putting you into Happy La-La Land.

Oh, and I must remember to mention vitamins. Especially B vitamins. They help to heal the brain, and the rest of the body too. I gobble vitamins like chicken feed, and they really do help. Twice a day, I take:

  1. A high-potency one-a-day everything pill, like Centrum Silver.

  2. Good, high-potency, B-complex with C.

  3. 1000 mg. more C

  4. Baclofen. This is to take the edge off of muscle tremors and sudden muscle seizures — another gift from alcohol.

  5. Calcium with Vitamin D. This is for my osteoporosis. You may not need this, but lots of alcoholics do. It turns out that alcohol messes with the bone-growing gene, too. Three years after I quit drinking, bones in my feet started breaking just from walking up the street. Strange but true. I snapped the second metatarsal in both feet, one foot at a time, at 3 different times in all. No athletics, no touch football, no running and jumping, just walking up the street, and crack! there goes another metatarsal. For a while there, I was getting a fracture about every two years. So this calcium helps. I haven't had a fracture in over four years now.

    Note that new research has shown that taking calcium increases your risk of a heart attack. Doctors are now advising some people not to take calcium tablets; to just get their supply of calcium from foods like cheese and vegetables. It's an either-or question. I'm still taking calcium because my heart is strong but my bones aren't. This is another good one to ask a real doctor.

  6. Ranitidine. To prevent Acid Reflux Disease. This may have nothing to do with alcohol; it might just be another sign of old age.

  7. Chondroitin Sulphate and Glucosamine and MSM. For arthritis. Again, maybe that is just aging.

I take all of that twice a day so I am getting double the dose.

A little-publicized bit of recent medical research discovered that we really do grow new brain cells. That goes against centuries of teachings that we are born with all of our brain cells intact, and will never get any more, as long as we live. Some doctors did some very clever experiments to discover the truth, including one where they got terminal patients, like cancer patients, to volunteer to be guinea pigs. A few weeks before they died, the patients drank a cocktail of harmless mildly-radioactive chemicals that could only be absorbed by newly-forming brain cells. After the patients died, the doctors took their brains apart, and found that the chemicals had been absorbed into cells in the center of the brain. The individual neurons in the brain do not reproduce; that would mess up the brain's logic wiring. What happens is: there are a bunch of stem cells in the center of the brain, and they reproduce, and then some of their offspring turn into new neurons. Then the neurons actually crawl on their little dendrites through the hallways of the brain, to their new home, an empty space that was left by a brain cell dying. And since a single drunken binge for one night can kill 100,000 brain cells, us old alcoholics have plenty of empty spaces for the new neurons to move into.

I was puzzled by the question of how the new little neurons know where to go. I couldn't believe that a newborn neuron would get instructions like, "Go up to level 1976, and go down hallway 1369, and then turn left on cross-street 2183, and it's the thousandth house on the left." No, that would be too complicated. Individual brain cells aren't that smart.

Then it hit me: Mother nature usually takes the easy way out. The new neurons just mindlessly crawl around inside of the brain until they find an empty slot where a neuron died, and then they just slip themselves into that empty space, and set up happy house-keeping, and start growing connections to their neighbors. It's so simple, it's brilliant.

Now mind you, the brain cannot just fix all of the damage quickly. It takes years. We drank for 15 or 20 years, and it will take that long to fix the damage. But at least the damage is getting fixed. And it turns out that we will grow new neurons for the rest of our lives. And baby neurons eat B vitamins, so gobble those B vitamins.

As far as "getting over it" goes, my impression is Yes. That is, I had a lot of odd-ball things going on during the first months of sobriety, even for the first year or two, including insomnia, short-term memory loss, easily-aroused feelings of frustration and anger, emotional over-sensitivity, and yes, occasional anxiety. Occasional extreme anxiety. It passed. It took years for some of it to go away, but it did. Alcohol does some heavy damage to the brain, so it isn't surprising that it takes years to heal the damage.

Some previous descriptions of such recovery are here:

  1. emotional recovery
  2. Getting back some short-term memory at 9 months and 5 years.
  3. More early recovery experiences.

And, about the short-term memory, I am noticing another mile-post in the road now: I'm now at the 10-year point, and again, I am noticing that my short-term memory has clearly improved. I've been having a lot of experiences where I meant to write something down, to remember it for later, but I got distracted and didn't write it down. Later, I was asking myself, "Now what was it that I meant to write down and make a note of?" And I remembered it. Then I began to notice that if I could remember it later for the purpose of writing it down, that I didn't need to write it down.

I discovered that I am relying less and less on notepads, because I am remembering stuff anyway, which just never happened before. (At least, not for many, many years.)

Good luck now, and have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     One of the most sublime experiences we can ever have
**     is to wake up feeling healthy after we have been sick.
**          ==  Rabbi Harold Kushner

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

Canada Goose goslings, begging
The newborn goslings and their mother, begging for some more oatmeal.
There is no doubt about it. They are asking for some more oatmeal. In just a few hours, those babies have learned all about getting goodies from people.

They are no good at reading, writing, or arithmetic, but they are surprisingly smart when it comes to subjects that are near and dear to their hearts, like food.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

Date: Wed, August 25, 2010 8:53 pm     (answered 26 September 2010)
From: "michael s."
Subject: Another letter for the pile

Greetings Orange,

I love reading your letters, so in the spirit of "Passing It On", I thought I'd make a contribution and write about my AA experience. Actually I have been reading your site off and on since 2002 and have written you before, around '04-'05, When I wrote you the last time, I figured you just didn't understand the steps or the spiritual principles of recovery. So I sent a letter of wrath your way to let you know what an ignorant fool you were.

On February 16th 1990 I was struck sober by a spiritual experience, a moment of clarity, or whatever you want to call it. I was 23 yrs old and have not had a drink or drug since. It was a sudden and moving experience, and I knew right then I did not want to drink and I never had to again unless I insisted on it. That desire to drink has never come back to this day. At that young age I was already homeless and thru rehabs and relapses, and had been in and out of AA not having anywhere else to go.

I related my awakening with the spiritual experience of Bill W and the first three steps and quickly became the most devoted AA you could find. I read all the books, listened to speaker tapes, talked the lingo, countless meetings, etc.etc... And I have prayed my 11th step prayer, prayed for my defects in 6 and 7, and prayed the 3rd step together with countless newcomers for over 15 yrs.

I loved AA more than anything for saving my life, but the fire was gone after about 6 or 7 yrs in. As a sense of duty and maybe fear, I "kept on trudgin," but over time became bored with it, and actually developed my own opinions about things that didn't actually fit the typical AA jargon. I was getting more and more uncomfortable with sponsoring and taking people thru the steps.

And now to my point. Last year I met a fellow that was new to AA and he asked me to sponsor him. He was completely surrendered and ready to stop drinking. He did everything I asked him to do without question and was eager to learn everything he could about recovery. We worked the steps, nothing too emotional, and all was calm for a couple months. Then the fanatics got a hold of him and he started quoting the book and saying it had all the answers to life and all that crap. In my heart I knew the steps and the Big Book had nothing at all to do with his sobriety. He was completely surrendered and ready to stop when I first met him. If he would have walked into any other program with any other book, it would have worked too and he would be sitting there saying that program was the magic solution to life.

You are absolutely right, the truth to sobriety is don't drink. My drinking problem was solved 20 yrs ago *when I surrendered to sobriety.* Being so-called (usually self-proclaimed) spiritual or spewing out jargon from AA has nothing to do with it at all. I no longer believe in dry drunks or even half of what is accepted as wisdom in AA. I have my beliefs, but I don't have to practice the steps to have them either. I really am glad to be enlightened once again. My 20+ yrs of sobriety have treated me well, so I should be fine. I have a great girlfriend and hold a Masters Degree in Architecture. Believe it or not but I am in the best shape of my life. Haven't smoked in 14 yrs, never drank coffee, and love playing raquetball and beach volleyball. So I look forward to a future sober without AA in my life, period. I know it is pointless to argue the AA doctrine in AA, so I will move on. I do not agree with all your criticism, but plenty of it I have seen with my own eyes (maybe in another e-mail).

Thanks for the website and all the letters, and sorry for calling you whatever I called you back in '05.

(That's me apologizing, not working some stupid 9th or 10th step).

Mike S.

And I could care less if you print my name or e-mail, I stand by every word I said.

Hello Michael,

Thanks for an uplifting letter, and thanks for the compliments.

I will still refrain from printing your email address because you wouldn't believe the amount of spam you will get if I do. The spammers seem to have 'bots that crawl websites, searching for valid email addresses, and as soon as they find one, you start getting everything from a zillion offers to buy fake Viagra and Vicodin from "Canadian pharmacies", to offers of Russian girls (who probably won't come to you when you send them the money for an airplane ticket. I suspect that "Natasha" is really named "Boris").

Your story about the fellow who was "completely surrendered and ready to stop drinking" is spot on. That is the process. When someone really decides to quit drinking and have a new life, and is open to change, the big work is already done. And the fellow is also then open and vulnerable to persuasion. Dr. Edgar H. Schein called it "unfreezing" the personality. Look here.

I'm happy to hear that your life is much better, and you have your head screwed on straight. It sounds to me like you had a real "spiritual experience", or "breakthrough experience", or whatever you want to call it. The improvement in the quality of your life kind of makes that obvious.

I find it ironic that you mentioned that you felt like you had a real spiritual experience, just like Bill Wilson. I think you had a much better one. In the beginning, I assumed that Bill's story of his experience in Towns' Hospital in December of 1934 was true and genuine. But as the years pass, and I learn more, I doubt it. People who get real spiritual experiences do not spend the rest of their lives lying and stealing and bragging and philandering, being a sexual predator who preys on sick women who are seeking help. And above all, I can't see how someone who had a real spiritual experience could make a career out of deceiving people in the name of God.

And then Lois Wilson's secretary Francis Hartigan, who wrote a biography of Bill Wilson, reported that the story of "being on a mountaintop, feeling a wind of spirit blowing through him" actually came from Bill Wilson's grandfather, who was also an alcoholic named William Wilson, who climbed a mountain one Sunday morning and begged God for help. Look here. So, did Bill Wilson just get a white flash from a drug reaction, and in his confusion, call it God? And then, later, decide to embellish the story and make it into a big dramatic "spiritual experience"? That could be the case.

I was just recently thinking about the historical novel Trask, by Don Berry. It is a really great novel that captures the feel of the Oregon coast in the days when white men were new to the area, back in the early eighteen-hundreds. Mr. Berry described how the rite of passage for Indian boys was to go on a spirit quest, where they went into the wilderness and fasted until they had a vision, and found their Spirit Helper. But then came the big question: "Was it a genuine spiritual experience, or just a mistake?"

And after the days of fasting and scrubbing with cedar branches and plunging into the cold waters, maybe you will be clean enough for the Power to visit you; for the spirits hate the smell of food and camps and many people all together. They come in solitude, if they come at all, bringing the Vision, bringing the Power. And then, even after the Vision, the terrifying uncertainty; hiding in the lodge, painting the symbol of your spirit helper on a board, or carving it — and never knowing if your Vision was a true one. For if the spirits promised the power to carve strong canoes, and later in life you were a gouger of splinters — then the Vision was not true, but something made up in your own mind, something springing from the hungry-head. You were cheated; a man whose center was emptiness, a man who did not know his own true strength, a man without a Power. But when it was a true thing...

Ever after, your life would be given strength by the Vision as the arrow is driven by the bow. Without it — merely dead wood, a stick. A nothingness.
Trask, Don Berry, pages 184-185.

Have a good day now.

== 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

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