Letters, We Get Mail, CCXVIII

Date: Fri, January 21, 2011 4:58 am         (answered 24 January 2011)
From: "Aaron F."
Subject: the phony orange papers website

Regarding orangepapersdotcom:

It seems the powers that be at AA must be getting a very nervous about your website to do such a deceptive thing. Just more lies and deception from the main 12 step organization. Just remember Ghandi's quote:

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

It would seem we are now at that third stage. So don't give up!


Hello again, Aaron,

I doubt that the A.A. headquarters has anything to do with that identity theft. I imagine that it is just one Stepper who doesn't understand what "a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty" actually means.

And I'm not about to give up. Don't worry about that.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      There is no god higher than truth.
**        ==  Gandhi

Date: Fri, January 21, 2011 5:21 am     (answered 24 January 2011)
From: "Id P."
Subject: [Recovery 2 Day] Join us each Tuesday at 9:00 AM EST to discuss...

Id Powers posted in Recovery 2 Day.

Join us each Tuesday at 9:00 AM EST to discuss Recovery 2-Day, created for anyone affected by a substance problem. This week Short Listing Anger! How to treat Anger and manage Anger. ( pages 71-93 in either edition)

Recovery 2 Day 1/25/2011 — IdPowers | Internet Radio | Blog Talk Radio

Treating substance abuse or substance dependence is a complex matter. Having the right information can determine the outcome of success or failure. Labels such as alcoholic or addict are subjective and stigmatized. Integrated treatment is needed for all men and women with co-occurring disorders. In

Hello Id,

I wish you luck, but there is no chance that I will be there, because 9 AM EST is 6 AM PST, and the library doesn't even open until 10 AM.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Health is a precious thing, and the only one, in truth, meriting
**     that a man should lay out, not only his time, sweat, labor and
**     goods, but also his life itself to obtain it.
**        ==  Michel E. de Montaigne (1533—1592), French essayist,
**        "Of the resemblance of children to their fathers,"
**        Essays (1580—1588), tr. Charles Cotton and W. C. Hazlitt

Date: Fri, January 21, 2011 6:53 am     (answered 24 January 2011)
From: "Steve A."
Subject: AA

I can tell you have never been a part of the 12 step program. Your whole intent is to put a spin on it. You may think you know what talking about but you don't. This program is not about getting people to heaven it is about keeping them out of hell on earth. Whatever it's origins are I don't care. Frankly you could use some help yourself with your religious bitterness .

My life was saved by this 12 step program asshole!

Hello Steve,

Your belief that the 12-Step cult religion saved your life is just that — a belief. Congratulations on quitting drinking and saving your own life.

When A.A. was actually tested to see if it saves the lives of alcoholics, it was a total failure, just raising the rate of binge drinking, and raising the rate of rearrests, and raising the cost of hospitalization, and even raising the death rate in alcoholics.

Have a good day.

== Orange

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

[The next letter from Steve_A is here.]

Date: Fri, January 21, 2011 12:26 pm     (answered 24 January 2011)
From: "garry d."
Subject: real alcoholic

Hi Orange,

Ive always noticed the cult members going on and on about the"real alcoholic". I'll share a story about myself and about how they always change their answers to suit their cult beliefs. I entered treatment (AA indoctrination 101) in 1998 and had to answer 20 questions regarding my drinking. This test determined that an answer of yes to 3 questions made a person a definite alcoholic. Well I answered yes to 19. My AA brainwasher(counselor) said I was definitely, definitely an alcoholic and would need AA the rest of my life.

Fast forward 10 years later and I now know that AA is a pile of crap (lots of thanks to you) and I stay sober without them no problem at all, but yet they now claim I wasn't a real alcoholic to start with and that's how I stay sober without them. They want it both ways don't they??? I've seen them do this many times regarding other people and it seems to me this "real" business is their way of avoiding questions..

Best Regards Garry
and many thanks for your work.

Hi Garry,

Thanks for the letter, and thanks for the thanks.

Yes, it's The Real Scotsman Logical Fallacy all over again.

  1. You are an alcoholic.
  2. You quit drinking without Alcoholics Anonymous?
  3. Then you cannot be a real alcoholic, because, by definition, a real alcoholic is somebody who cannot quit drinking without A.A.

— Which is, of course, a bunch of bull.

Have a good day and a good life now. Oh, and congratulations on your sobriety.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     A.A. is not a "self-help group", it's an
**     "elf-help group". You are supposed to pray
**     and beg for some invisible "Higher Power"
**     to solve all of your problems for you and grant all
**     of your wishes.

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

Canada Goose family with goslings
Carmen's family, coming ashore
Carmen is the gosling closest to the camera. The father is the adult furthest back, with the spike-cornered white pattern on the side of his head.

(Notice how the Olympus E-510 camera blew the highlights. The father's white behind is just flat white. And the mother's head around her eyes is just flat black. That is called "lack of dynamic range", and it is a problem with the Olympus "Four-Thirds" sensors. Personally, I recommend that you don't buy Olympus. Any of the three competing major brands are better — Canon, Nikon, or Pentax.)

[More gosling photos below, here.]

Date: Fri, January 21, 2011 10:06 pm     (answered 24 January 2011)
From: "joey s."
Subject: Joey Spencer's The butterfly effect of addiction and recovery

Don't forget to check out the video at the bottom of the page!!

Most people, when they think of addicts tend to conjure up the quintessential image of a dirty, unkempt junkie wallowing in the gutter. But in reality that is usually not the case. It affects people of all social strata. There are many types of addiction. Drug and alcohol issues are the most widely recognized, yet there is gambling, eating, sex, and many others. Let us define the parameters of what constitutes addiction. We could describe it as any activity, lifestyle or manner of conduct that becomes so overwhelming in a person's life that it evolves into an obsessive compulsive behavior (as well as a thinking process) which corrupts the very core of a person's character.

Despite a measure of compulsiveness, people with addiction issues can and often do, function in society with relative anonymity. It is only when they seek help that their "cover" (so to speak) is blown. In many cases we interact daily with people suffering with serious addiction issues and never realize it. They are our family members, our co-workers, friends, clergy, and yes even our teachers, clergy, policemen, firemen, doctors and lawyers. The people that we look up to and admire the most have just as much of a chance at becoming addicts as the poor, uneducated from broken homes.

Addiction seeps into every facet of virtually every person's life. Even if you do not have an addiction issue and no-one in your family or circle of friends (that you know of) have any issues, you are still affected daily on some level. Consider the drunk driver on the roads putting you and your loved ones at risk or to the warehouse worker who loses your package because he/she is too busy being wrapped up in the drug culture to pay attention to their job. Negatively and positively, we all affect each other every day. There is a theory in science by an Edward Lorenz called the Butterfly Effect. Essentially a small change at one place in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.

Addiction and recovery affect more than just our social interactions. There is an economic toll to be paid as well. According to estimates from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a combined $300 billion was spent or lost in 2009 on health care, lost productivity, premature death, crime and auto accidents related just to alcohol and drug abuse alone. Roughly 75 percent of all that money was paid for by public sources, which means American taxpayers are footing three quarters of the bill. With 117 million taxpayers in the U.S., this means that the average sum paid by each individual taxpayer amounted to approximately $1,800.

Auditors for a study conducted in September of 2009 by PriceWaterhouseCoopers found that the average drug abuser costs taxpayers over $1.4 million in crime prevention, such as educational programs in schools or programs through organizations such as Crime Stoppers, heath care, jail and prison accommodations and treatment. Interestingly, they also estimated that this could be reduced to under 1/10 of the cost when a comprehensive in-patient treatment is provided.

According to the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) $721 million in funding continues to support core prevention, treatment and recovery services; expanded clinical services to support 2009 Paterson Drug Law Reforms; and allows for continued progress in a number of major initiatives currently under way throughout the OASAS system of 1,550 programs serving 110,000 New Yorkers on any given day.

Here in Jefferson County it is estimated that roughly 13% of our population is currently struggling with one or more addiction issues. That translates into nearly 4000 people just in Watertown alone. That makes Jefferson County one of the highest concentrations of addicted persons (per capita) outside of New York City. These people are currently addicted to a substance/behavior that is destructive to not only them and their families but to all of us as well.

It is very clear that this is an issue that needs or attention at every level of our community.

Addicts are not THOSE people they are OUR people. For years (locally and federally) addiction has been looked upon as an abhorrent behavior by law enforcement and as a disease with in the medical community. There is reason to lend credibility to both points of view.

The police see the addictive behavior day in and day out in a person or persons who may seem erratic, violent and at times certainly unreasonable. While the medical community, on the other hand sees a person that is suffering from a compulsion to ingest a chemical or behave in a way that is clearly detrimental to their health. In some cases this behavior persists even to the point of death. There would seem to be an obvious pathology at work here.

There have been many ways we have tried to fight the issue of drugs in our community. Most notably through the self help organizations of AA and NA. So far comprehensive treatment in a facility or out-patient program offering a wide range of modalities has shown to be the most successful method of helping addicts return to a more productive and healthy lifestyle.

It is widely known in the treatment services industry that the majority of those with addiction issues also suffer from some form of mental illness. This may require expanded medication or psychological treatment to go hand in hand with education and support services.

As previously noted; even small changes in complex systems can have dramatic affects.

Rather than scorn, shame and ridicule as motivators for addicts to improve their lives, the lives of those who love them, and indeed the lives of us all; perhaps to be treated as a person with a disease who deserves dignity and respect could be one small change (on all of our parts) that could improve all of our lives dramatically.

In future articles we will consider ways of treating addicts in such a way to foster a sense of pride in their own recoveries. We will cover the issues of mental health in its relation to addiction and recovery. We will present the possibility of developing an in-patient facility here in the city. (We will discuss how we might improve our treatment programs ) We will also be weighing the pros and cons of different forms of treatment for all kinds of addiction issues. We hope to bring many more articles on these and other subjects as well. We will be looking forward to your thoughts on these and many more subjects in the future.

Produced by: Joey Spencer

The Weekly Stash

SLINGER E`Magazine: The Slinger Website will be up and running very soon. As always, it will be FREE!

you can find me here:

Joey Spencer is the writer and producer of serveral publications and writes for many web organizations. Here are a few of them.

Joey Spencer on YouTube:


The Weekly Stash on YouTube:


junkiejournals my blog about addiction and recovery:


Archives for all my writing on Scribed: (3,453 readers so far!)


The Weekly Stash: Website and newsletter


Slinger E`Magazine:

The Weekly Stash on Facebook:




Magic Space Xtreme.com- Magic Tricks Revealed
Metacafe 1:56

Watch video on Bing

Hi Joey,

Okay, I'll give you a plug. I wish you luck with your project.

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, January 26, 2011
From: "joey s."
Subject: I just wanted to thank you for the plug!

I really do appreciate it and I know that it's working because seven people have stopped to check out the site through your link. so please except my most humble thank you's and I'll promise to keep spreading the word of hope for those of us that want to be clean without the brainwashing!

Sincerely ....Joey

You are welcome.
Have a good day now.
== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Now I know what it's like to be high on life.
**     It isn't as good, but my driving has improved."
**       ==  Nina, on "Just Shoot Me", 13 Jan 2006.

Date: Sat, January 22, 2011 3:31 am     (answered 24 January 2011)
From: "greg m."
Subject: getting to know you!

What is your sobriety date?
What tools do you have to stay sober?
What was the last straw (or first straw) to break — that convinced you to destroy the fellowship of alcoholics anonymous?
What do you suggest as a program of recovery?

Hello Greg,

My sobriety date is October 20, 2000. And then my "sobriety date" off of tobacco was three weeks later, the following November 13th.

I don't use "tools", per se, to stay sober. I have a few techniques that I use to avoid thinking that drinking would be a good thing, like understanding The Lizard-Brain Addiction Monster. And the sanity techniques taught by SMART can help you to avoid driving yourself crazy. But I basically don't "use tools". I just don't drink alcohol any more because I don't want the quality of my life to go to hell. I chose to not die that way.

The "last straws" were described here:

  1. the introduction, my introduction to A.A.
  2. the "treatment" bait-and-switch trick
  3. another friend goes missing

There are many things that can help you to quit drinking. I described many of them in this letter, and gave links to many more things and discussions: How did you get to where you are?.

Have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Pain (any pain — emotional, physical, mental) has a message.
**     The information it has about our life can be remarkably specific,
**     but it usually falls into one of two categories: "We would be
**     more alive if we did more of this," and, "Life would be more
**     lovely if we did less of that." Once we get the pain's message,
**     and follow its advice, the pain goes away.
**             Peter McWilliams, Life 101

Date: Sat, January 22, 2011 10:40 am     (answered 24 January 2011)
From: Ben
Subject: Thanks for telling the TRUTH about AA

Dear Sir or Madame,

I just read the first ten points you make about the CULT of Alcoholics Anonymous in your Internet article. I am so glad that there are other people who see AA as the cult and fraud that it is. I am a divorced 43 year old male who grew up in a non-spiritual Jewish household. I have returned to my hometown in South Jersey after returning last June due to a lost job in Colorado. I went into Princeton House in Cherry Hill for intensive outpatient recovery. Obviously, as you stated, it functions as a mouthpiece for AA. Depleted emotionally from a loss of a job and abuse of alcohol, I went throught the program with 'an open mind'. AA was proselytized in the program and at first, a lot of it made sense. I had several so-called relapses, when I had one or two drinks while on blind dates. After finding no work over the summer as a teacher, I was desperate and directionless in what career direction I wanted to go in, so I tried car sales. Well, within in 3 1/2 months I quit two dealerships because I was making no money. The day after I quit the second job, I binged on large bottle of wine at home. I decided to go back into AA meetings wholeheartedly since I was now unemployed with lots of free time. This was in early last December.

For whatever reason, I began to have an epiphany about what a true cult AA is. All of the Big Book lingo, 'keep coming back', 'asking God to remove all of our defects' etc etc. But, especially the condescension and arrogance of the writings of Bill W. and alot of the AA cult members, especially the 'old timers.' I began speaking up several weeks ago at meetings and challenging the 'cultish' nature of AA which I bravely stated in those terms. I really started getting angry at all of the hypocrisy and ego inflation of the white upper middle class, fur-wearing soccer mom housewives, as well as the 20 something kids who used this as a social hour. The clickishness and phony kisses on the cheeks before and after the meetings really pissed me off. Everybody is on self-delusional, self-promoting ride in a cult that so blatantly brainwashes you to conform to an illogical set of rules. Sponsors standing up, stroking the ego of some housewife just because she stayed sober for 90 days, 5 years or whatever. Let's all clap like trained seals for someones successfully taking a shit while we're at it! I find these meetings for ego-maniacs, social misfits, morally depraved and unfortunately, some regular people who just want to stop drinking but can't see through the smoke and mirrors of social indoctrination.

I now feel that I have made the right decision by staying away from AA and using the philosophy of the great songwriter, Neil Peart of Rush: "I will choose the path that's clear. I will choose freewill..."

Best Regards,


Hello Ben,

Thanks for the letter, and thanks for the thanks. And yes, I like that Rush song too. Another great line is,

"If you choose not to decide,
you still have made a choice.
... I will choose free will."

Have a good day and a good life now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to
**     the whole cosmos — the trees, the clouds, everything.
**         ==   Thich Nhat Hanh

Date: Sat, January 22, 2011 11:20 am     (answered 24 January 2011)
From: "Facebook"
Subject: Donald L. commented on your status.

Hi Orange,

Donald wrote:

"On line AA, far worse than the f2f meetings, since the worst of the moralist Thumpers and Gurus, loons and kool aid drinkers are able to hide behind a puter screen, many proudly state they only attend 'online' meetings and chat rooms. Generally, I and others, maybe 'old fashioned' now, had a code, would not do business with anyone till we met them in person, looked him or her in the eyes, shook their hand and read their body language. I have a handful of normie old time online actual friends/associates, trust takes time, when a newcomer, maybe group shy, arrives at a 12 stepper forum or chat room, they are not there to find a cheap flight, they are there because they are suffering from alcohol or other addiction, what do they get, dozens ready to 'help' them and then when the honeymoon is over the brainwashing and 'program' begins, relapse ok, makes the members with 'time in' feel superior as the relapser crawls back asking 'what did I do wrong' (probably nothing, if you locked me into a 24/7 12 Step live chat room, I'd probably escape and head for the nearest bar). There is a lot of censoring and monotoring then rebuking of those who go 'off topic' and speak their minds, I know I was kicked off or asked to leave a total of four 12 Step on line groups, others I just left, tout suite, one was just a 'looney bin' chat room, got a problem and live in a large us metro area, dozens of help hotlines!!! I also refused to say I was in 'Program' rather as AA's preamble states, ""A Felowship of Men and Women", and if one has a sense of humor and is not 'pc' in their language, one will soon be severly reprimanded.. shades of Buchman and Puritanism, 6 years ago, some us refugees from on line and f2f AA started a small group, still small still going, still non judgemental, Lamplighters on line 12 Step Group thousands of members, dozens of chat rooms is one of the most vile if you break their rules..would love to see in person some of these social outcast contrl freaks come out from behind their puter screens.. Losers Anonymous?????"

Hi again, Donald,

Yes, isn't it funny how "a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty" gets translated into censoring and banning anybody who says things that they don't wish to hear?

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "They are not at fault. They seem to have been born that way.
**     They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a
**     manner of living which demands rigorous honesty."
**       ==  William G. Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous, page 58.

Date: Sat, January 22, 2011 1:05 pm     (answered 24 January 2011)
From: "Facebook"
Subject: Alan P. F. commented on your status.

Alan wrote:

"I went into a stepper chat a bunch of years ago on AOL: what a laughing stock that turned out to be. The topic was "brainwashing," and almost everybody stated something to the effect that "my brain needed to be washed!" I don't know what they know (or, more accurately, don't know) about what is actually "thought reform," but the Chinese certainly perfected the art during the Korean War. People, especially people who espouse their stupidity loudly and proudly, need to read up on this shit (a psychologist named Festinger is a good jumping off point) before they run their ignorant fucking mouths... if these dolts want to be brainwashed, then god-fucking-bless them.

I had a counselor when I was forced into AA who used to proclaim, "I never met anybody who was too stupid to "get" AA, but I've met a lot of people who were too smart!" Academics and thinkers have academia and reality on their side... I guess AA gives stupid people some sort of moral high-ground to claim; Let 'em have it!"

Hi. "The stupid high ground." Now that's funny. Have a good day.

== Orange

P.S. Nothing is new under the sun. Today the rap is, "I'm stupider than you are, so I'm more real and more spiritual. I'm not one of those effete intellectuals who think too much."

Well, back in the 1930s, the British fascist rap was:

Dinah Parkinson outlined her ideal of womanhood by arguing that under Fascism 'women will be encouraged to be true women, not the pitiful copies of masculinity so prevalent today. Men will be truly men, unlike the specimens to be found in spurious "intellectual" circles'.   ...
      In particular, left-wing inclined intellectuals had opprobium poured upon them for their alleged effeminacy. Oxford University was held to be populated by 'innumerable specimens of the Bloomsbury variety, from the long haired apparition with the multicoloured umbrella to the less common tinted lips and eyebrows'.
Return to Manhood: Masculinity and the British Union of Fascists, Tony Collins, writing in Superman Supreme, J. A. Mangan, Ed., page 148.

Yes, real men don't think. They just stomp around like brutal thugs with Swastika armbands.

By the way, Dinah Parkinson was one of Sir Oswald Mosley's followers. Sir Oswald Mosley was the leader of The British Union of Fascists in the 1930s. Another of Mosley's followers was Peter Howard, who took over leadership of Frank Buchman's organization, then named "Moral Re-Armament", when Buchman died. Dr. Frank Buchman was of course the theological father of Alcoholics Anonymous, and he taught Bill Wilson, Dr. Robert Smith, and Clarence Snyder all of their crazy religious ideas while they were members of his Oxford Group. Then, to complete the circle, Frank Buchman sat with Unity Mitford and Lady Diana Mosley at a Nuremberg Nazi Party rally. Unity Mitford was another of Sir Oswald Mosley's followers, and Diana was his wife. What a small fascist world it is after all.

Bill Wilson parrotted the fascist anti-intellectual teachings and put-downs of thinkers like this:

To the intellectually self-sufficient man or woman many A.A.'s can say, "Yes, we were like you — far too smart for our own good.   ...   Secretly, we felt we could float above the rest of the folks on brain power alone."
As Bill Sees It, quotes from William G. Wilson, published by A.A.W.S., page 60.

Right. You are too stupid to think for yourself. But let some Führer or other do your thinking for you, and everything will be fine.

Have a good day.

== Orange

P.P.S.: I just had this crazy thought: Do you suppose the earthworms, who have no brains at all, are really, really spiritual? Do they get the program?

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Stupid people like to delude themselves that while they may not be clever,
**     they were at least able to compensate with feelings and insight denied
**     to the intellectual.  Drivel, Ashley thought.  It was precisely this
**     kind of false belief that made stupid people so stupid.  The truth was
**     that clever people had infinitely more resources from which to make the
**     leaps of connection that the world called intuition.
**       ==  The Stars' Tennis Balls by Stephen Fry

Date: Sat, January 22, 2011 2:00 pm     (answered 25 January 2011)
From: "ED S."
Subject: Question

Do you know anything about the AA Groups that have We Agnostics as part of their name?

Have a great day!

"Beliefs are what divide people. Doubt unites them."
---Peter Ustinov

Ed S.

Columbus, OH

Hi Ed,

No, I don't know. I had not heard of that one. Perhaps some of the readers know something about that?

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those
**      three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of
**      conscience, and the prudence never to practise either of them.
**          ==  Mark Twain (Samuel Longhorne Clemens) 1835—1910

Date: Mon, January 24, 2011 4:39 am     (answered 26 January 2011)
From: "alanah"
Subject: Atandra message


I just wanted to write quick note, I found your site extremely helpful, I was in AA, for four years, from aged 21 — 25, I am now 45 year old woman, I went there because it was indoctrinated into me at an alcohol and drug treatment centre I was in for 3 months after a drug overdose, after leaving AA, and being treated very meanly by fellow aa members because I left, I lived in small town NZ [New Zealand], I actually spent about 10 years cult hopping, and was in a couple of very destructive ones, I remained drug and alcohol free for 8 years because I had had absolute terror put into me from the rehab and AA, also I realised many years later that the treatment center used very abusive psychological techniques on us, such as humiliating us, verbally, running us down, forcing us to share, abusive psychodrama, and generally running down our self esteems, and brainwashing us with 12 steps, I had run away from an extremely violent father at aged 16, I now realised I continued the abuse within all these groups and was susceptible because I was looking for a family to belong to, and lose myself in.

I left my last cult about 5 years ago, and only just left a few months ago a spiritual teacher I had for 20 years, which I kept separate from the cults, that was not a guru with a following, I would see him privately and go to his house, he did not sexually abuse me, but for the last year, I started studying up about hypnotism, manipulation tactics and cults, and then I realised, which was very painful to face in myself that this spiritual teacher that I had been seeing had been manipulating, brainwashing, and doing exactly the same techniques as the cults had done on me, but on a personal one to one basis, I had let him make all my important life decisions for me for 20 years, as I trusted him and his advice totally, but he had kept me dependent, and that I haven't actually really lived my own life for myself, It has been a shock, but I am happy that I have woken up to it, I read on another site about what happens when you leave cults, which I have now, especially not being able to make decisions for yourself, and not trusting my own feelings, and thought processes, and the stuff you wrote about how they make you feel guilty, self doubt ect really helped me a lot thanks. I see now that the spiritual teacher I had was a narcissistic egomaniac, because he could not see himself as doing anything wrong, had double standards and it was his way or the highway.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know your info has helped me a lot, especially to think back to my aa days, and to see how the similar themes running through the various groups I was in, the thing that amazes me about it, is that when you are in them, or when I was, you are totally unconscious of it at the time, for me I think, I was susceptible because of wanting to belong, love, family etc, a safe place, and I also think that if you have post traumatic disorder which I had from extreme violence, you are on permanent, hyper stress, that your brain doesn't work as well to think rationally and question things properly,

That's all, Thanks again, Atandra.

Hi again, Atandra,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments. I'm glad to hear that you are free now. It reminds me of that line in a Beatles song: "Oh, that magic feeling, Nowhere to go, nowhere to go..."

And you are right about the lingering effects of PTSD. Child abuse leaves scars that never really heal. We just learn to gloss them over and live with them.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**      Someday, maybe there will exist a well-informed, well-considered,
**      and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all
**      possible sins is the mutilation of a child's spirit.
**         ==  Erik Erikson

Date: Mon, January 24, 2011 5:13 am     (answered 26 January 2011)
From: "Andy C."
Subject: 'A sucker born every minute'

Hi Orange,

I hope you are well and that you enjoyed the holidays. I like reading the Orange Papers, and I have found inspiration and hope in the reports from people finding their own way in life. They are overcoming addictions and other serious obstacles by inner reserves of strength, courage, self-honesty and intelligence. Some of them are also fulfilling the original (alleged) mission or mandate of Stepism "to carry this message to help others to achieve sobriety."----so they are working to make the world a better place, and they are preventing some amount of human suffering. Surely on these points they are on the same page as the world's great religions.

However, I have to be honest, the Orange Papers also indirectly spun me recently into a "dark night of the soul." I knew very little about the other cults you from time to time touch on, so I started surfing to learn more. I read about Xenu the volcano boy and the suckers who pay $$$ to go into a room to hear the secret details; I read about the thousands in Jonestown who drank the Kool-Aid; I read about the "flirty fishing" con man who convinced married women they had to be prostitutes to achieve salvation; I read about Yacoob and the mother ship; I read about the castrato Applewhite and those who went with him to catch a comet. After all this and more I asked myself, "Is there any hope for humanity?" Will we always embrace the irrational and the absurd?

Anyway, I got through it.

Keep up the good work; keep the faith (so to speak) for the struggle against cultism is an immense project. I realize that now.

Hi Andy,

Thanks for the letter. I still think there is hope for humanity, even if the current "Western Civilization" is toast. (Which it may well be, as the oil runs out. I don't know what the future will bring, but I know it is not happy motoring to suburbia.)

Yes, its a huge job, trying to straighten out all of the fools, and the cult leaders seem to have an unfair advantage.

I am reminded of something that I think Buddha made up, the "Boddhisatva's Vow". I don't have the direct quote in front of me, so I can only paraphrase it:

The suffering of humanity is without limit.
I vow to end it all.
The number of sentient beings is without limit.
I vow to enlighten them all.

Obviously, Mr. Boddhisatva has a big job on his hands, and it's going to take a long, long time.

Ah, but it gives us something to do, and keeps us off of the streets.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Whenever I despair, I remember that the way of truth
**     and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers,
**     and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they
**     always fail. Think of it: always."
**       ==  Mahatma Gandhi

Date: Mon, January 24, 2011 8:51 am     (answered 26 January 2011)
From: "Id Powers"
Subject: [Recovery 2 Day] Recently Bill asked for information about...

Id Powers posted in Recovery 2 Day.

Recently Bill asked for information about "craving." In the Docs is R2D's reply. The reply is based in Yale School of Medicines findings, and John Hopkins research. Recovery 2-Day (R2D) offers Craving Interrupters, Stroop Charts and EMDR will reduce or Interrupt Stress. Craving and Stress are related. Read what The Department of Psychiatry, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA has to say about it.

Stress, alcohol and drug interaction: an update of human research

National Center for Biotechnology Information,
U.S. National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda MD,
20894 USA

Okay Id,

Thanks for the tip.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The thirst of desire is never filled, nor fully satisfied.
**        ==  Markus Tullius Cicero (106—43 B.C.), Roman orator

Date: Mon, January 24, 2011 9:04 am     (answered 26 January 2011)
From: Bob O.
Subject: character defects

Mister T,

I read something I would like to pass on to you.

"It's medieval to think character defects cause alcoholism"


"AA is a society of slippers"

Thank you for all you do.

Long Island Bob O.

Hi again, Bob,

Thanks for the input. Those are good.

Character defects? It isn't a character defect to want to feel good, and to use something to try to feel better. In fact, people are crazy if they don't want to feel good.

The problem is that so many things that start off feeling good become traps that end up making us feel worse.

And a society of slippers? Sad but true.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Early AA got it's ideas of self-examination,
**     acknowledgement of character defects, restitution for
**     harm done, and working with others straight from the
**     Oxford Groups and directly from Sam Shoemaker, their
**     former leader in America, and nowhere else."
**       == Bill Wilson,
**         Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, page 39.

Date: Mon, January 24, 2011 10:44 am     (answered 26 January 2011)
From: "Connie P."
Subject: A question

Wow, Just spent a few minutes glancing at the paper:
Alcoholics Anonymous as a Cult
Scorecard, Answers 1 to 10

by A. Orange

Fascinating---who is A. Orange?

Hello Connie,

Thanks for the compliment. Links to all of the autobiographical information are here.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     It is not only by paying wages, and giving commands, that
**     constitute a master of a family; but prudence, equal
**     behavior, with a readiness to protect and cherish them,
**     is what entitles man to that character in their very
**     hearts and sentiments.
**       ==  Sir Richard Steele (1672—1729), English essayist

Date: Sat, December 18, 2010 6:22 pm     (answered 27 January 2011)
From: "Bill B."
Subject: Latest Updates?

Have enjoyed your site — answered many questions for me, and more importantly, raised many more important ones. Thanks

Is this still being updated?

Discovered site a few years ago, read most of what interested me then (over period of weeks). I check back — think I have found more "new" things, but can't tell when things have been updated.

Is there a way I can keep up on "new" posts if you are adding new info this year? Thanks

Hello Bill,

Thanks for the question. Yes, the site is very much still being updated. Any big changes are listed in the "Updates" section of the main menu page. Most of the regular updates are in the letters section. I am constantly answering letters, like this one.

And then I am always tweaking tiny things here and there, adding a line or fixing a misspelling or something. Each web page has a date at the bottom, where it tells when the page was last updated.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of
**     Congress. But I repeat myself."
**       ==  Mark Twain

Date: Tue, January 18, 2011 12:33 pm     (answered 19 January 2011)
From: "gabrielle g."
Subject: Book Deadline questions!

Dear Orange,

My name is Gabrielle G., and I'm a writer at work on a book about women and drinking in the U.S. It will be published by Simon & Schuster, most likely in 2012. (I am behind schedule.)

As an Oregonian and former Portlander (I live in New Jersey now), I read your site with great interest. I especially liked the story of the gosling on the North Park Blocks.

Hello Gabrielle,

Thanks for the letter. Yes, I like the story of Carmen too. She was such a sweet young thing. She has grown up now. I saw her fly. And she flew away with her family.

I found your site last spring, when I started going to AA meetings as part of my research. I really don't have a vested interest in what people drink and how, but I started wondering how, exactly, "it works if you work it." Turns out it is not so simple.

I know you get a gazillion emails a day but I'd love to know a couple of things.

One, has anyone ever done a definitive study on the "success" of AA among women? I know how difficult it is to pin them down and blah blah blah. I've spent time at the GSO. I hear the 30% figure bandied about, and I hear the 5% figure bandied about. I hear the 2% figure bandied about. I've reviewed the Cochrane meta-analysis from the Italian researchers. I've spent a good deal of time with some CBT therapists in California and New York who are unabashed in their critiques. There are always caveats, and of course I'm not out to write a book about AA. I do hope to show that its weaknesses, shall we say, are particularly unhelpful to women, and that there are many other treatment options available. I just can't find any numbers that are reliable, or rooted in any way in EBP.

I never heard of any such study of the A.A. success rate in women. In general, A.A. avoids valid testing like the plague, because of the bad results. And the A.A. headquarters has a bad habit of playing fast and loose with the numbers.

Women seem to have a harder time of it in A.A. than the men do, considering how many sexual predators find a happy home in "the roomz". Of course you know about "The Midtown Group" and its bretheren, right?

Two, how many hits do you get a month? I spoke to a woman in Southern California who not long ago told me that you get about a million hits a month. I'd love to be able to include this, if possible.

The number of hits cycles with the seasons. It peaks at over a million in March, and then drops down to 700,000 or 800,000 per month during the summer when everybody is out playing in the sun. (And I don't blame them.) Then, when the winter forces everybody back inside, the numbers pick up again, and the count slowly climbs throughout the winter, and then peaks again in March. Last year, the web site got over a million hits in March, April, and May. You can see the statistics here.

Ignore the two-week gap in November 2010. The hosting service's technicians have a bad habit of fixing things that aren't broken, and screwing things up, and this is one of those times. The system just didn't collect statistics for "webalizer" for two weeks in November.

For what it's worth, I don't have a drinking problem. I'm a normal drinker. I like to drink, but I have a pretty serious shut-off valve that usually kicks in after two small glasses of wine. But I have been amazed, in the reporting for this book, at the number of people who ask me if I'm "sure" I'm not an "alcoholic."

Thanks, Orange.
Gabrielle G.

Right. Are you Sure that you aren't a sinner? Maybe you are just in denial about your true nature. If you deny being an alcoholic, that is evidence that you really are an alcoholic who is in denial. (Just kidding.)

It's like the Witch Test. If you confess to being a witch, then you are one. If you deny being a witch, then that just proves that you are an evil lying witch who denies being a witch.

Yes, they can be very obnoxious in trying to insist that you aren't any better than them, and that they know more than you do about your faults.

But conversely, I am forever getting letters where they tell me that I'm not really an alcoholic at all, because I quit drinking without doing the 12 Steps.

So the best way to not be an alcoholic is to say that you are one, and that you quit drinking and stay sober without using A.A. practices, or going to meetings, or anything like that. They pop a cork over that and immediately declare that you are not A Real Alcoholic, because a real alcoholic cannot quit without A.A. It's the The Real Scotsman Fallacy once again.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Few things are harder to put up with than
**       the annoyance of a good example.
**         ==  Mark Twain (Samuel Longhorne Clemens) 1835—1910

Date: Mon, January 24, 2011 6:00 pm     (answered 27 January 2011)
From: "gabrielle g."
Subject: Re: Book Deadline questions!

Dear Orange,
You amaze.
Thank you so much for your answers.

I do know about the Midtown Group — I knew Marc Fisher when I lived in DC a hundred years ago and have been meaning to write to him about this very issue. Very creepy.

Hi again, Gabrielle,

Who is Marc Fisher?

I think I am safe to say that during cold cold months, you average more than a million hits.

Alas, I think that would be an exaggeration. The year before last, it was just one month, March, when the counter hit a million. Last spring it was three months. We shall see what it is this year. When I get the forum going, the count will probably go very high, because people do a lot more forum posts than readings of long web pages.

Very sweet about Carmen; thanks for telling me. I will look for her next time I am home.

She will be hard to recognize, as she looks like an adult now. I couldn't even recognize her if I saw her alone. The thing to look for is a family with five geese that look like adults, but three are slightly smaller. That's real tough because the mother is also a little smaller than the father. So one big one and four smaller ones.

The thing that I recognize is the father's spikey pattern of white on the side of his head, and the mother's rounded corners on her white patch. Then Carmen will be the smallest one of the five, because she is a girl, and her two brothers are larger than she is.

Then, if you take them some bread, the one that I called "the light-colored one" will probably walk right up to you and take it out of your hand. He is the friendliest and most trusting one of the bunch. But he isn't light-colored any more.

They will probably still be together, as families tend to stay together until the kids marry. They take a spouse at 2 1/2 years of age, which will be this autumn for Carmen. And they mate for life.

Then next spring, a year from now, Carmen will have her own children.

Interesting that you don't know of any stats on women in AA. A lot of people will tell you they exist. Naturally, they are also on the boards of 12-step rehab centers.

Yes. Finding real valid tests of A.A. is like finding hen's teeth. All of the valid studies and tests of A.A. effectiveness that I know of are in the file on The Effectiveness of the Twelve-Step Treatment.

Thanks again, Orange.

Gabrielle G.

You are welcome.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know,
**    it's what we know for sure that just ain't so."
**       ==  Mark Twain

[The next letter from Gabrielle is here.]

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

Canada Goose family
Carmen's Family
Carmen is the front-left gosling. She has a smaller body than her brothers, and her coloration is darker, and she has that dark spot on her cheek (actually, on her ear). The father is in the back, on the left. The mother is in the middle. I think that the gosling behind the mother is the one that I call "the light-colored one".

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

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Last updated11 December 2015.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters218.html