Letters, We Get Mail, CXCVIII

Date: Tue, October 5, 2010 3:48 pm     (answered 13 October 2010)
From: "Thankful"
Subject: Thank You

Thank you for the time, work, effort put into the "orange papers". I read a huge chunk of it today.

Recently, I have attended approximately 19 AA meetings in the last 2 weeks. Consequently, my mind has been reeling from all the BULLCRAP floating around in it.

(I am an avid reader of the Bible...and a Believer in Christ Jesus. I quickly recognized that AA is VERY VERY dangerous. And I recognized a Cult immediately (though, strangely, I kept going about 17 more times!)

Thankfully, I kept asking questions. I notice that when a "newcomer" asks questions, any question at all, the first thing I was told was: "YOU ARE COMPLICATING THINGS."

My "insta-sponsor"....re-iterated this and has told me several times any time I have asked a question this past 2 weeks, "You NewComers are always complicating things."

Here is what I was told many many times in just 2 weeks:
"Don't try and complicate things. Keep it simple."
When I followed up with another question, I then received the COMMAND:
"Don't Complicate Things."

At the same time if I had any questions I was to:
"Call Your Sponsor"
"Just Do What You're Told To Do."
"Don't Read this yet. You're not ready."
"You need to keep coming to meetings."

As soon as I divulged that "The God of my understanding" is God Almighty (God The Father, God The Son, God The Holy Spirit) — I noticed a HUGE change. I experienced being ostrasized, I was keenly made aware that I was the "joke in the room".... people laughed when I "shared" anything. I saw people in the room nodding their head, rolling their eyes at the ceiling, snickering, putting their finger up to their nose and looking in my direction. When I volunteered to "chair a meeting"... I was told I was still a newcomer and I was STRONGLY discouraged from doing that. When I did chair a meeting, an AA member sat across from me and "DICTATED" what I was to do... before I even started, told me what books to read out of, advised me "this is how a meeting goes", and spent the rest of the time glaring at me and sitting with her arms crossed. And, um, since I'm NOT STUPID, I can recognize when someone is belittling me, putting me down, and giving me a "how dare you come in here and chair a meeting and try and tell us what to do. You don't know shit, Lady." attitude. It was LOUD and CLEAR to me exactly how some members of the group felt.

(I continued to be gracious and kind....even during this "persecution of the Jesus Freak" experience. And the lady left the meeting early in absolute disgust.)

When I shared that I had been able to NOT DRINK ALCOHOL.... for a period of 2 years and 9 months... without attending AA meetings....
NOBODY said a word.
I received ZERO APPLAUSE for that accomplishment. WHY? Because I had not been attending AA meetings during that time. So my sobriety didn't count, you see?
I had simply managed to get by out there, "without being treated"...AMAZING!

When I "admitted that I had fallen off the wagon" after 2 years and 9 months... I was told that that was because I had tried to do it on my own will power and I had tried to do it without AA. I was told I had tried to quit drinking on "self knowledge alone" and that that never works. Self knowledge always fails.

I personally felt pretty damned good with my track record thus far. But, turns out, "One mistake" in 2 and a half years....(is unforgivable, nudge nudge — feel the guilt. feel the guilt. feel the guilt.) So now I'm really ready, to actually BE ON STEP ONE.
My success, it turns out, was "nothing more than a total failure without AA. I am hopeless. I'm a hopeless case."

such as a DUI,
such as beating my children up,
such as being in and out of the court system,
such as being sent to jail,
such as being a drug dealer,
such as being put on probation,
or snorting coke, smoking meth,
such as being "ordered to attend AA meetings"....

(um, because I have a conscience...and I was raised in a family where, "You don't do that kind of crap"....
and I was raised in a family where you were accountable for your actions.....)
I was keenly aware that:
I had nothing in common with these people.
Funny... um, turns out, being a Believer in Jesus... is a way way worse crime than that?

It felt demoralizing... to sit there and listen to people talk and BOAST about all the crap that they had pulled... all the laws they had broken... their criminal records.... and meanwhile, that's not supposed to bother me in the slightest? I was disgusted as I listened to story after story.

Um, and the implications are: "hey hey... remember... no pointing fingers. Three are pointing back at you...." meaning you're just as bad, or worse than us, if you point a finger in our direction and judge any of our actions.

No. I am better than you, Mr. Weirdo. I didn't live your life. I've lived a life with some moral fiber in it. (that's what I was thinking as I listened to these people.)

I happen to have a job that involves "working on the right side of the law".... Consequently I was made to feel VERY UNCOMFORTABLE during a recent experience:

one long-time member was more than happy to tell me, AFTER A MEETING that was especially focused on, "Today the topic is 'spill your guts and tell your secrets' — well I had disclosed two uncomfortable secrets about myself during that meeting — I was then zeroed in on after that meeting.... by a scary person.... and was "STRONGLY ADVISED" to "be careful what you say in here"... and issued a veiled threat that, hey, what you just said in here? it ain't gonna stay in here. We're going to be talking all over town about you. This same person also pointed out that he is "A very dangerous person", that he had been made to serve 4 to 8 in prison. (I personally was shaking in my boots about then... as he continued to stare at me and stare me down in a very intimidating fashion)

Right about then, I "shared" with this person that I am married to a person in LAW ENFORCEMENT. He started to backed off.... and then insinuated that I might be a "snitch" who was really inside the AA meeting to check up on people.

Because I am polite and understanding and respectful.... as I was visiting on the phone and trying to get in contact with the AA group.... to see about attending.... as I explained that I had been sober for 2 1/2 years but had fallen off the wagon, the voice on the other end of the line "scooped me up immediately" and "instantly became my sponsor"... a little old lady type. the Perfect Match for me.... She advised we had EVERYTHING In COMMON. She advised she had the same exact experiences as me. And that's why we would be a great team. Wow, someone who has been through everything I've been through, match for match, experience for experience.

I was advised that part of the "rules" are: that I am to meet with my sponsor at least once a week, PHYSICALLY... in person, in addition to attending 14 jillion meetings.

Since I had wanted to be "helpful", when someone asked if "does anyone want to chair the meeting next week?" and no one piped up and said, "Yes"...I jumped right in there and said, "I will." (you should have seen the look of horror on these people's faces. OH, NO.... we can't tell the newbie the unwritten rule about not chairing a meeting. We can't refuse her now, we just got her in the door.) Even though the meeting the previous week had only about 9 people in attendance... gosh, it was a miracle, man! The meeting I chaired? There were 25 people in there. the whole room was packed. I noticed and picked out 4 people in particular who were "silently communicating" with each other... the head chief of that group was in charge... so that I was kept in line while I chaired the meeting. Even though you're supposed to turn your cell phones off.... the Chief's phone... was on... and she received several calls during the meeting. Even though it is impolite and you never ever ever interrupt the speaker or the chair person (like I had been told).... she was quick to interrupt me before I even spit one word out. She directed my every step. She stared me down while I spoke. You name it. She did it. She then left the meeting early. I was thinking, Gosh, Lady, in the last 19 meetings, um... how come THIS MEETING you're acting so STRANGELY? and I was thinking, "What's the big deal? I mean, a MONKEY could do this. There's a sheet of paper that is available to read from that tells you exactly what to do when you're chairing. This isn't rocket science."

Meanwhile, the "Pack of 4 People" came in and sat down in strategic places in the room. All 4 of them took turns interrupting things, either with gestures, or whatever? And at one point, "the Chief" left the meeting, and One of the 4.... got up exactly when the Chief got up.... and they "left" and went outside and had a private conversation and then came back in.

Meanwhile, the other two "baby-sat" me.... and, in closing, after that meeting, the last of the four in the group said, "That was a great meeting. It's okay. You don't know what's going on. You did just fine."

After reassuring me that I hadn't screwed everything up, this same person... then broke into giggles as we were about to say the Lord's Prayer... and she broke from the circle and made a big joke out of the prayer.

Turns out, the whole thing had been nothing but a joke, and they were all proud of themselves that they had "survived and been able to endure" a meeting that was chaired by a newbie, newcomer who was totally full of shit and didn't know their ass from a hole in the ground, but, Oh, Well..."Keep Coming Back"

The person who chaired the week before? Had COMPLETE IMMUNITY.... even though she consumed alcohol the day before she chaired a meeting and then the day after she chaired a meeting. Funny, um... nobody has felt the need to chastize her at all.... about "drinking while you are pregnant".... just as a warning from a medical standpoint. WHY? Because she's coming to meetings. That's why.

And, also... I have been keenly aware... to "take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth".... I have been told that "you need to LISTEN"..... Listening... comes first.

Shut your trap. Because you're gonna be GLARED at all the time you're talking, even if it's just 2 minutes of time.

I immediately was aware that these people were scared to death... what the hell I was about to say in any meeting. Especially since I have a brain and I have intellect. They were especially nervous whenever I spoke... because I come from a professional background. I work in a "career" type of field. I'm well-educated. I also have a conscience. I have moral fiber.... and that scared these people to death. They were relieved somewhat that "because I am polite"... I was BEING POLITE in "following the unwritten rules" and "respecting their meeting format"....

I noticed also that there was a change in how meetings were "chaired"... and that in the past two weeks?.... the chair person started "selecting only certain people" to talk.

I noticed that they were especially careful about "not picking me".... so that the time ran out and I simply wasn't given a chance to talk yet, but encouraged, encouraged, encouraged to keeping coming back.

Some of the meetings I went to... I noticed that it was carefully orchestrated that "by going around the room" starting with such and such a person.... that, lo and behold, I would be the "last person in turn" to talk.



Scary stuff.

So... thank you so very much..... for all that you, whoever you are, are doing... and have done.... to get information out there so that people can learn... and so they won't fall into this trap. And for all you are doing... in offering "de-programming" information.


a very thankful and appreciative person in this world.

Hello Thankful,

Thank you for the letter. Yes, it is very revealing. What you are describing is cliqueishness and cultishness run amuck. Sort of like Bill Wilson's line about "Self-will run riot". That sure isn't spirituality at those meetings.

Thanks for clearly revealing the hypocrisy of the A.A. religion. They keep declaring that they are so open-minded that you can have any God you want — a rock, a tree, a doorknob, a bedpan, anything. But don't you dare to mention Jesus Christ or they go non-linear. They don't really believe in freedom of religion at all. They just believe in religious weirdness.

I am reminded of my experience in one of the news groups, where someone was raving about how she was so happy that God gave her A.A., and A.A. gave her God, so I asked her which "God" A.A. gave her. The whole bunch of them got very upset that I would dare to ask a pointed question about whether the A.A. "God" had anything to do with Jesus Christ. They ended up calling me a "fuckwit".

Now I'm not going to accuse them of being Satan-worshippers, but they do kind of act like it sometimes, don't they?

And yet they insistently proclaim that their religion that they won't call a religion is completely compatible with Christianity, and even "based on the Bible".

Fat chance of that.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

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

May 20, 2009, Wednesday: Day 20, continued:

Canada Goose gosling Carmen

[More gosling photos below, here.]

Date: Tue, October 5, 2010 9:21 am     (answered 13 October 2010)
From: "Scott W."
Subject: Therapy of some type

You may benefit from some type of therapy to address your obsession with AA.

Or maybe you could get together with the "Little Book" guy and have an anti- AA slumber party.

Just a thought.

Hello Scott,

Or maybe I could just ignore your jabs and go ahead and keep on telling the truth.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Today's conformity is... the retreat from controversiality.
**         ==  Herman Kahn

Date: Thu, September 30, 2010 1:07 pm     (answered 13 October 2010)
From: "Steve C."
Subject: Here's a link to a very thought-provoking and logical essay about DUI laws in the US


Hi Steve,

Thanks for the tip. I'll check it out.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If you don't run your own life, somebody else will.
**        ==  John Atkinson, educator

Date: Thu, September 30, 2010 7:14 pm     (answered 14 October 2010)
From: "michael h."
Subject: the religious in 12 step programs


Hi Michael,

I can only guess that you must be referring to the "holy prophet of God, Bill Wilson, and his harem of mistresses". Yes, same old thing, isn't it?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Tom Powers, co-author of Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, said,
**     "This sex thing ran through the whole business.
**     It wasn't just an episode."

Date: Sat, October 2, 2010 9:22 am     (answered 14 October 2010)
From: "paul g."
Subject: I am a real Alcoholic

You piece about the dry drunk comes from your ignorance. I think i would be able to enlighten you.

Okay, Paul, enlighten me. I'm listening.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Finally, and most important, it must be remembered that abstinence
**     is a means, not an end. It is a puritanical goal that removes but
**     does not replace. It is justifiable as a treatment goal only if
**     moderate drinking is not a viable alternative and only if sight is
**     not lost of the real goal — social rehabilitation.  Even in
**     Alcoholics Anonymous, the term 'sobriety' has the far broader,
**     more platonic meaning of serenity and maturity. The perjorative
**     term 'dry' is reserved for individuals who are abstinent from
**     alcohol but otherwise remain unchanged from their former alcohol-
**     abusing selves. The lesson of this chapter is not that abstinence
**     is good, but that uncontrolled, symptomatic abuse of alcohol is
**     painful.
**         == A.A. Trustee Prof. Dr. George E. Vaillant,
**         The Natural History Of Alcoholism Revisited, page 277.

Date: Sat, October 2, 2010 10:21 pm     (answered 14 October 2010)
From: "david b."
Subject: AA (of course!)


I am a member of AA, have been for 3 years now. I have read a large portion of the various articles in the Orange Papers. I agree with you that Bill W. was far from perfect (he had a mistress, was chasing women in AA, used "spook rooms" and even, apparently, had a deathbed wish for a drink for starters).

But I also know that Bill helped and/or attempted to help many people struggling with alcohol addiction.

You really must feel that AA is some kind of threat to people to have spent such an extraordinary amount of time creating such an enormous collection of articles simply to tear down an organization made up of suffering people many of whom really are willing to try and help a fellow human being struggling with addiction.

Hello David,

Thanks for the letter. Yes, A.A. does a lot of harm to sick people.

Just a few questions for you:

Which is better? To have spent all the time you have creating your web site or helping a person struggling with addiction? In other words, do you spend as much time helping others/other addicts as you do/did on the orange papers?

That is what you call a "False Dichotomy". It is a standard propaganda trick. You are ignoring the possibility that people are helped by the web site.

Do you spend the same amount of time examining yourself in regards to your own character and motives as you have Bill W and others in AA?

Actually, yes, I do a lot of self-examination and introspection. I'm always doing reality checks.

Do you really think your web site which is dedicated, not to building any one or anything up but rather tearing others down makes this world a better place?

Wrong again. The web site is a catch-all, which contains both criticism of bad things and recommendations of good things.

One last thing. I realize you probably think your are objective. But I can point out at least one case in your papers where you were not. I cannot give you the exact paper but I am sure you will know what I am talking about:

In the paper you ridiculed Bill W for stating in the "Big Book" that a certain wife of an alcoholic should not complain so much about her alcoholic husbands smoking. You went on and on about how terrible this was because of how harmful smoking was to a person's health and how this shows the terrible morality and spirituality of Bill W.

The flaw in your logic is that in the 30's nobody knew that smoking was harmful. My father, who was born in 1934, tells me how in the 50's smoking was promoted as healthy with Doctors even recommending various brands like they do toothpaste today! The problem the wife had with her husband's smoking was solely due to the perceived immorality of smoking, not health. Bill's point was simply that the morality of smoking was not worth fighting about during the initial phase of the husband's recovery.

That is total bull. Lois Wilson knew how harmful smoking was. That is why she was trying to get Bill to quit smoking himself to death.

And God certainly knew how harmful smoking is. Bill Wilson bragged that he was in "conscious contact with God" in Step 11, so why didn't Bill Wilson listen to God?

Are you going to try to tell me that God was ignorant of the effects of tobacco on people? Or was Bill Wilson just not really listening to God at all when he did Step 11?

Heck, even Mark Twain's doctor knew how bad tobacco was, back in the late eighteen-hundreds:

...when they used to tell me I would shorten my life ten years by smoking, they little knew the devotee they were wasting their puerile word upon — they little knew how trivial and valueless I would regard a decade that had no smoking in it!
== Mark Twain, in a letter to Joseph Twichell, 19 Dec 1870
So don't tell me that nobody knew in 1938 that smoking was bad for your health. What a lame argument.

Oh, and remember that in that Big Book story, the "spiritual" A.A. member got his own way, and made his wife quit "nagging" him to quit smoking, by drinking alcohol and throwing a screaming drunken temper tantrum. Yes, that is really spiritual behavior, isn't it? But that was Bill Wilson and his "spirituality".

And yes, I know about the doctors who recommended cigarettes in the nineteen-fifties. They were what you call sell-outs. They sold their reputations for money. They put money above the welfare of the people. And even the American Medical Association did it. But they could not claim ignorance. They were merely more interested in money than in the truth. The wages of sin were pretty high.

Reread your article, you angrily went on and on about it without any thought as to the context of when the book was written.

What were you thinking?

The "context", or culture in which the Big Book was written, is no justification for Bill Wilson's numerous lies that he put in that book. Claiming ignorance is no excuse either.

Really, take a break and examine yourself and your motives honestly. What is really driving you? What truly are your motives?

My motives are to get the truth out there.

I wish you the best,


You have a good day, too, David.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "People always come up to me and say that my smoking
**        is bothering them... Well, it's killing me!"
**           ==   Wendy Liebman

[The next letter from David is here.]

Date: Sun, October 3, 2010 5:00 am     (answered 14 October 2010)
From: "Matt Mcd."

wow did bill w piss in your cheerios

No, he didn't. Bill never got near my cheerios.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "It's worse than wicked, my dear, it's vulgar."
**         == Punch, Almanac 1876.

Date: Sun, October 3, 2010 6:40 am     (answered 14 October 2010)
From: "theo p."
Subject: your orange papers

Dear Mr orange

I cannot understand why you have put so much obsessive energy into revealing the "truth" of aa. AA may not work for you but works for millions of others. The information that you have on your website is full of inaccuracies and half truths. Is AA perfect, surely not, it is a human organization. Does it work for everybody, no. But it keeps many folks sober and helps us live a good life.

You are doing the world a disservice by putting all this cult bullshit out there on the internet, you may be keeping someone from finding sobriety through AA.

Theo P.

Hello Theo,

Thanks for the letter.

First off, A.A. does not even have two million members worldwide, so there is no way that "AA works for millions". Furthermore, the A.A. dropout rate reveals that A.A. isn't really working for very many people at all.

And you said, "AA may not work for you but..."
Actually, I was experienced enough with cults to recognize A.A. as a cult very quickly, and get out fast. I never tried to use A.A. as a lifestyle or sobriety program. I'm an old child of the 'sixties, and there were a large number of cults popping up back then, so I got to see a lot of cults and learn what they look like and what they sound like, and how they act. Then, in the year 2000, when I saw Alcoholics Anonymous, I knew that it was just another cult. And so was Narcotics Anonymous.

But my sobriety program is working great. In six more days, I will have 10 years of sobriety. And I did it without ever working the Steps, or getting a sponsor, or even going to A.A. meetings.

Now if you think that A.A. actually works, and does something good, then please answer this simple question:

What is the REAL A.A. success rate?

Out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A., how many will pick up a one-year sobriety medallion a year later? — Or ever?
And how many will get their 2-year, and 5-year, and 10-year coins?
How about 11 years and 21 years?

(HINT: the answers are here.)

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence
**  over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled."
**     ==  Richard Feynman

Date: Sun, October 3, 2010 10:10 pm     (answered 14 October 2010)
From: "Dan"
Subject: Thanks!

I just skimmed your essay/article/web-page "What's Not Good About A.A." Thanks for putting some of my disorganized thoughts and questions into clear language. Been part of the program? fellowship? organization? for a number of years now and will continue in it, but I take most of it with a little healthy skepticism.

Hello Dan,

Thanks for the thanks. I attended A.A. and N.A. meetings for about three months in the beginning, until I learned about SMART, and switched to that. Then, when I had gotten about all that I could out of that, stopped that too. Now I just live. I just recently described "my program" here.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Could man be drunk forever
**       With liquor, love, or fights,
**     Lief should I rouse at morning
**       And lief lie down at nights.
**       ==  A. E. Housman, A Shropshire Lad

Date: Mon, October 4, 2010 10:09 am     (answered 14 October 2010)
From: "callme shane"
Subject: Haaa — Just about to clock over 21 years drug free........

In my experience — there is some excellent things about AA and NA — like a coffee shop for the mentally ill — so you can go hang out — for a long time, when your so screwed up and damaged beyond comprehension...

And do nothing but meetings, meetings, meetings......

For years and years and years....... until the day comes that you kind of start waking up to the fact that the rest of the world is moving on and AA has taught you nothing about coming up to speed with it... and getting on with your own life.

Then one finds out that there is significant amounts of scumbaggery in AA and NA — when one questions the area committee's and asks that the books be audited — in AA and NA, by a registered independent accountant; and how both fellowships kick you out of conventions, area service committees, and they strike your meetings out of the meetings lists.... and the National fellowship Committees and Offices, write secret letters to telephone companies and directives to the local small town crooks, to take your phone number out of the directory listing for your own groups contact number, and to not let you have any venues to hold meetings in.

While thousands of dollars are going missing and false certificates of insurance are being issued etc., etc., etc.

So I has forcibly de-culted and have moved onto other things that do work — and I still still use a few useful 12th step speaker tapes and resources, but I have not been to a meeting in something like 8 or 9 years....

When I talk about the "Good Old Folks" — the trusted servants who ingrain themselves into the service structure and network with each other, these are the people who are genuinely dangerous....

I have come to despise quite a high percentage of the "incrowd people" I have ever met in AA or NA — as either manipulators, game players or non events — with or without cult brain washing.

As the old saying goes, "What do you get when you sober up a horse thief? (a sober horse thief)."

And when you start to turn into something other than a brainwashed dolt — by growing a brain and thinking for yourself — the scheming in crowd don't like it.

Funny tho — I am about to clock over 21 years drug free and I thought about getting myself a little medallion and this was the result:

"Narcotics Anonymous Australia..... 21 Years and Above ( Biplated / Triplated Blue / Bronze ) Medallion Sorry but these items are currently unavailable. "

I had to laugh about that. I also had to laugh about the prices they were asking for them..... LOL = Con Job.

I also thought about all the clubby bullshit written on them and I thought, "Yeah I'd like to get a little something significant to celebrate the fact, but I am not sure that I really want any of that crap to go along with it. Perhaps a month of reflection and some reviewing of my life. and some friends, a nice cake with a few candles or something".

It's good to be drug free, and it's good to be drug free without all the cult bullshit.



Hello again, Shane,

It's good to hear from you again. I haven't heard from you in quite a long time. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well.

I like this description of A.A.: "a coffee shop for the mentally ill".
You know, I've thought the same thing myself. Like that is one of the more useful things about A.A. — it gives the crazies something to do, and gets them off of the streets. The only problem I have with that is when they pass off their crazy club as a cure for a disease, and even start forcing it on other people through the medical and legal systems.

And then the corruption of the organization that you described seems to be pretty inevitable. A.A. and N.A. are set up so that they are not accountable to anyone, and groups and inter-groups cannot be audited or controlled from above, so it is a criminal's dream come true. And since A.A. and N.A. brag that any and all criminals and addicts are welcome, how could it not become corrupt?

Congratulations on making it for 21 years. That is great. Coincidentally, I am about to have my 10th anniversary myself, in just 6 more days. What a long strange trip it's been.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The question is: "Are you someone who just listens to the
**     lies and takes them as true, or do you think for yourself
**     and analyze the situation?"
**       ==  posted by "Fate", in Washington Post "Energy Wire", 2 Aug 2008.

Date: Mon, October 4, 2010 1:16 pm     (answered 14 October 2010)
From: "Doug"
Subject: Another Cult

Hey Orange,

I figured out that you probably check this email account more frequently than your facebook acct. You and I are friends there. Last Friday I recieved a pop up announcement on Facebook for can you believe this — Families Anonymous! I went to their web site and sure enough it's a 12 step program for the family. It also had "bullet points" like — I don't have a problem why do I need a program? Then they proceed to tell you that you are just as sick as the alcoholic/drug addict and by using the 12 steps you can be made whole again. What ridiculous claptrap. Anyway try to have a nice day.


P.S. Here's a joke for you — A chicken and an egg are drinking together at a bar. After a few drinks they decide to go back to the eggs' apartment for a little fun. The chicken storms out after exactly 10 minutes and says — "Well I guess that answers the question doesn't it"

Hi Doug,

Thanks for the letter. Yes, I check email far more often than Facebook. Facebook is basically just a distraction. I've been thinking about cancelling my Facebook account. The problem with it is that messages disappear fast, so it's kind of a waste of time to edit messages and post them there.

Families Anonymous? Yes, I see that I have them in my list of 12-Step organizations. I don't have a web address for them though, so I've never seen their web site, so I'll have to check that out.

Somehow their claptrap isn't surprising. One of the standard lines that I heard from a true believer 12-Stepper was, "The 12 Steps are so wonderful, there needs to be another organization for people who aren't alcoholics, so that they can do the Steps too."

So now you are diseased and damaged because you have "defective" family relationships? And the goofy cult practices of Frank Buchman will fix that?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

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

Date: Tue, October 5, 2010 12:00 am     (answered 14 October 2010)
From: "Margaret C."
Subject: Your Article

My oh my. You are such an angry man.

Hello Margaret,

And my anger matters how? How does my anger or happiness change the A.A. failure rate or dropout rate, or anything?

And if I "have a resentment", does that change Bill Wilson's chicanery, or Frank Buchman's Nazi leanings?

Oh well, have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "WHEN a pretension to free the world from evil ends only in a new proof
**   of the danger of a fanatic to the commonweal, then it is not to be
**   marveled at that a distrust is aroused in the observer which makes
**   sympathy impossible."
**      ==  Sigmund Freud

Date: Tue, October 5, 2010 1:09 am     (answered 14 October 2010)
From: "John C. S."
Subject: Greetings again from NZ

Last time was 10-5-09 when my lengthy spiel was nutrition orientated.

Spending a bit of time viewing recent letters notice one dated 21-8 from Colin b from the UK re Tracey with ulcerative colitis. Recommend
(in fact the whole chapter and site). Author Konstantin Monastyrsky is a revelation. Getting off the fiber, gets one off the carbs. I am convinced alcohol addiction is only advanced carbohydrate addiction.

For reinforcement of the disease causing aspects of carbohydrate refer to Barry Groves www.second-opinions.co.uk. Hope Colin comes back to your site and finds these references of help.


Hi again John,

Okay, I'll pass on this info as is. I cannot personally comment one way or the other, because I don't know enough about that aspect of nutrition.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

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

Date: Wed, September 29, 2010 7:35 pm     (answered 14 October 2010)
From: "TARA W."

everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Hello Tara,

I really like Senator Patrick Moynahan's answer to that line:

Everybody is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

I'm not sure if you are an alcoholic, but I can tell you that thru experience, AA is something that has helped a lot of people. I'm undecided if it is in fact a cult...but my question to you is...who cares. If it helps people to stop drinking, then I feel it doesn't matter how the job is done, just that it gets done.

What is your evidence that "AA is something that has helped a lot of people"?
Just because a bunch of people quit drinking and joined a cult religion does not indicate that the religion works as a cure for drug or alcohol problems.

You say, "If it helps people to stop drinking..."
That is a giant IF.

Would you please answer this simple question:

What is the REAL A.A. success rate?

Out of each 1000 newcomers to A.A., how many will pick up a one-year sobriety medallion a year later? — Or ever?
And how many will get their 2-year, and 5-year, and 10-year coins?
How about 11 years and 21 years?

(HINT: the answers are here.)

I've been to a few meetings and see that it isn't perfect, but nothing truly is. And personalities and opinions will always be present in any situation. But what is so terrible about the principles of AA? If it's the God thing, then don't agree with it. They are a fairly open minded group and there truly are few rules..."the only requirement of AA membership is a desire to stop drinking" That's pretty clear, isn't it?

What is so terrible about the principles of A.A.? Well the first problem is that A.A. does not have any principles. The 12 Steps are not "spiritual principles", they are cult practices.

The real principles of A.A. are things like:

  1. It is okay to lie to newcomers to get them to join. "RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail..." and "A.A. has saved millions", and all of that.

  2. It is okay to pull a zillion bait-and-switch tricks on the newcomers. After all, it's for their own good, right?

  3. It's okay to do disreputable things, and then say, "We are not saints."

  4. It's okay to tell sick people not to take their medications.

  5. It's okay to falsify A.A. history to make it sound really good.

What I see is that it is a group of people that relate, that help each other. The goal is of course sobriety, but to achieve that, yes, they have to look at themselves and just try and be better people. Is that wrong?

If that was all there was to it, then it wouldn't be so bad. Of course, that means that you need to start with dumping the 12 Steps, Bill Wilson, and the Big Book and start telling the truth.

For new people, this information offered may deter someone from trying to help themselves thru AA. If AA could help them stop drinking, wouldn't that be a good thing?

Again, that is a giant IF. What if the effect is the opposite? What if A.A. raises the death rate in alcoholics, like the doctors have found?

If someone was down in the dumps, felt hopeless and didn't know what to do....and saw that AA was a cult....and decided to drink more or commit suicide (which it seems most alcoholics have tried or thought seriously about)....wouldn't it be better than that end result?

That is a goofy hypothetical case. You are assuming that a cult will do good things for depressed alcoholics. Where is your evidence for such a strange assumption?

I appreciate your opinion, but just wanted to let you know that it may be affecting people more than you think. Is it not, your ego, that drives you to share YOUR opinions...YOUR thoughts...YOUR insights..for others to read?

Again, that is the standard A.A. dodge. "Telling the truth about A.A. is doing a great disservice to alcoholics seeking sobriety." I've heard it so many times that I made a list. Here it is.

And actually, no, they are not my opinions. I prefer to present the opinions of some of the most knowledgeable doctors in the world.

No ill will wished, just...as you have done...expressing an opinion.

Yes, you are expressing opinions. Now do you have any facts to go with those opinions?

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     One Stepper declared, "My stability came out of trying to
**     give, not out of demanding that I receive."
**     Serving humanity is all fine and well, but what if you are humbly,
**     lovingly, spiritually giving out cups of cyanide koolaid?
**     No matter how generous and loving and unselfish you are
**     while you hand it out, it's still cyanide koolaid.

Date: Tue, October 5, 2010 6:00 pm
From: Bob O.
Subject: Re: Operator error

Mister T,

I do not know what I am doing wrong when you say "I will reply in the web page" Is my contact in the wrong place? How should I contact you?

Long Island Bob O.

That means that there is a web page attached to the letter, and you should read that. I always answer letters with web pages because then the links work, and I can also use the same file to both answer the letter and post the answer on my web site.

So look at the letter you received, and you should see a note about an attachment at the bottom.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     What a smiley-faced government talking head said in 2008:
**          "The economy as a whole is doing well."
**     What my cynical mind heard:
**          "The economy is a hole going to Hell."

Date: Wed, October 6, 2010 12:35 pm     (answered 15 October 2010)
From: jim
Subject: Suggestion for https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-snake_oil.html


I saw your page at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-snake_oil.html and thought you might be interested in a new biomedical search engine:


BioMedSearch contains PubMed/MedLine publications (including some data that NIH chooses not to display), plus journals and a collection of theses and dissertations that are not available elsewhere for free, making it the most comprehensive biomedical search on the web.

If you have a spot for a link, that would be great.


Hi Jim,

Thanks for the tip. That link sounds really good. I'll check it out. And I'm sure I have a place for it on the links page.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth;
**      not going all the way, and not starting.
**        ==  Buddha

Date: Wed, October 6, 2010 8:50 pm     (answered 15 October 2010)
From: "Richard B."
Subject: So Moral Rearmament is still around — news to me!


My question is: What do these people DO? Looks fishy to me.

Have you touched on this in Orange Papers?

Richard B.

Hello Richard,

Thanks for the letter. Oh yes, I know about them, and list them on the web page about Obscurity.

What they do seems to be: tell a lot of lies, and then brag about how spiritual and holy they are, and how close they are to God, and how wonderful their history is, and how magical their "spiritual principles" are. They love to rewrite history to tell what a saint Frank Buchman was.

It's just another cult in decline. It's amazing how long the few remaining die-hard true believers will hang on and keep on insisting that the cult was really great.

I got a letter from one of their believers way back in the early days of this web site, here.

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      "I thank Heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler, who built a
**      front line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism."
**         == Dr. Frank Buchman, founder and leader of the
**            Oxford Group and Moral Re-Armament, August 26, 1936.

Date: Thu, October 7, 2010 12:12 pm     (answered 15 October 2010)
From: "J."
Subject: Two questions

First off, you've probably read this a thousand times already, but what's your reaction:


(I kinda like the whole part of "on your knees" and wonder if that was really Bill Wilson or Dr. Bob adding something in)

2. One of your readers mentioned 6 steps. Well, my brain may be failing me, but wasn't the Oxford Group 6 steps?


J. (please withhold name at this time).

Hello J.,

Thanks for the letter and the questions.

  1. About the "on your knees" phrase, did Bill Wilson add something? No, that WAS the original wording of the Twelve Steps. Confession and surrender on one's knees was standard Oxford Group practice.

    It's the other way around: In later versions of the Steps, Bill Wilson took stuff out of the Steps in order to hide the fact that Alcoholics Anonymous was just a copy of the crazy religious cult practices of Buchmanism, the Oxford Group. Bill Wilson wanted to downplay the intense religiosity of the Oxford Group in order to get more suckers in the door.

    Bill Wilson also had to change the Oxford Group wording in order to avoid offending the Catholic Church and getting banned by the Catholics (like the Oxford Group was). Thus "confession" had to become "admitting" because the Catholic Church had a ban on public confessions, and "sins" had to become "defects of character", and "religious" had to become "spiritual".

    The original version of the Twelve Steps was more revealing, and clearly showed that Bill Wilson was just copying the Oxford Group practices:

    • Step 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care and direction of God.
      (This is surrendering to Guidance.)

    • Step 7. Humbly, on our knees, asked Him to remove our shortcomings — holding nothing back.
      (This is Confession of personal worthlessness, confessing ALL sins.)

    • Step 12. Having had a spiritual experience as the result of this course of action, we tried to carry this message to others, especially alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
      (This is recruiting everybody in the world into the cult.)

    See the web page on Bill Wilson Writes The Steps for more of the details.

  2. About the six steps, yes, that just means the six Oxford Group "Practices of the Sane". Bill Wilson started with them, and also added in a few other Oxford Group beliefs and practices like the "Five C's" (which overlap), and rewrote them very verbosely, and made some items into two Steps (like confession: one, write a list, two, read it out loud, and amends: one, write a list, two, go apologize), to get eleven steps. But Bill Wilson wanted twelve steps, for reasons of symmetry and numerology (like 12 months in a year, 12 hours on a clock, 12 in a dozen, 12 signs in the Zodiac, 12 dots on two dice), so he made up a do-nothing step, Step Six, where you don't actually do anything, to get an even dozen steps:

    • 6. Were entirely willing that God remove all these defects of character.

    — which strikes me as a really stupid Step. As if I wouldn't be willing to have God fix my defects?

    Heck, I just returned my Canon and Nikon digital cameras to the factories for free repairs because they made the mistake of using bad Sony sensors in them. (Thank you, Canon and Nikon. Curses on Sony who didn't honor their promise to fix things for free, and wouldn't repair my defective Sony camera for less than $100.) If I am that quick to accept offers of repairs of cameras, does anybody imagine that I wouldn't be willing to let God give me some free repairs on the stuff that really matters?

    Again, see the web page Bill Wilson Writes The Steps for more on that. Also see The Twelve Steps Interpreted.

About the JOIN article, I love this paragraph:

"We're downplaying the faith issue to get more people," said Jack Cowley, who oversees faith-based prison programs. Cowley said that Wilson's decision not to emphasize God and Christ was a "cop-out."

Spoken like a true religious fanatic. And he admits that he is pulling a bait-and-switch trick with the faith issue to get more converts:
Shifting objectives: First the goal is to quit drinking, and then the goal is to "acquire faith" and "come to believe" in Bill Wilson's religion.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     A.A. says that alcoholism is a disease, not a
**     moral shortcoming. That's why you must list
**     and confess all of your sins and moral
**     shortcomings and wrongs in Steps 4 through 7.

May 20, 2009, Wednesday: Day 20, continued:

Canada Goose gosling
A Canada Goose Gosling, swimming
This is one of the younger goslings from another family.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

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Last updated 8 March 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters198.html