Letters, We Get Mail, CCXXXV

[The previous letter from Amanda_R is here.]

Date: Mon, April 25, 2011 6:23 pm     (answered 3 May 2011)
From: "Amanda R."
Subject: Re: hey

ok i came off a little strong...and i do agree that people can quit without AA....but AA and the support of being able to have others like urself to do this with can help emensly!!! there is nothing cultish about AA...and most people who dont drink or use without the help of some sort of self help program or peoples....usually are "dry" put down the drink or drug, not the other habits they had that while they got drunk or high...like my grandmother for instince she drank daily almost her entire life up until about 4 years ago but she always has a can of soda in her hand just like she always had a can of beer in her hand and she is about 80% of the time a very unhappy person....very grouchy and on edge ALL the time everyday!! AA doesnt teach u bad things they tell u to love a God or higher power of your choosing the way YOU believe in him not the way THEY tell you too!!! all i have ever gotten out of AA is alot of Experience, strength and hope from alot of people who have turned there lives completely around witht he help of AA and all the people in it!! have gotten things back that they lost in there addiction, people who were on the verge of being dead in a matter of months and walked into a meeting and talked to the right person and i see those someones everyday at my homegroup and ya know what? they r not dead..u know why? God, AA...thats why! they teach people that its not the falling down thats important its wether or not u get back up and that no matter when that is its NEVER too late!! thats all i have to say! =)

Hello again, Amanda,

Unfortunately, you are just repeating standard Alcoholics Anonymous propaganda. None of that stuff is true.

  1. A.A. most assuredly is a cult. Read The Cult Test.

  2. A.A. does not sober people up, or help them. The actual results of participation in Alcoholics Anonymous are a disaster. I was just talking about that in the previous letter, so I won't repeat it all again. Just read that letter, here.

  3. People who quit drinking without practicing the 12-Step religion are not "dry drunks". That is just more A.A. scare-mongering, which is also a standard cult characteristic.

    In fact, the vast majority of people who overcome drug and alcohol problems do it alone, on their own, and they are just fine, not bitterly unhappy "dry drunks".

    The NIAAA's 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions interviewed over 43,000 people. Using the criteria for alcohol dependence found in the DSM-IV, they found: "About 75 percent of persons who recover from alcohol dependence do so without seeking any kind of help, including specialty alcohol (rehab) programs and AA. Only 13 percent of people with alcohol dependence ever receive specialty alcohol treatment."

  4. A.A. teaches horrendous things like that you are powerless over alcohol. Some fanatics extend that to declaring that you are powerless over "people, places, and things." Then they teach that self-reliance is a very bad thing, and you have to be the obedience slave of a "higher power" who will tell you what to do with your life. They teach a version of God who is a vicious tyrant who will torture you with alcohol addiction for years until you grovel before Him. And they teach that you cannot survive happily without the cult; you will either relapse and die drunk in a gutter, or be a "dry drunk".

  5. It is wonderful that some people stopped killing themselves with alcohol and got their lives together. A.A. is not due the credit for that. People do that every day. But a few of the recovering people got fooled into thinking that a cult religion was somehow responsible for their recovery. Some of them joined Scientology, and some joined the Moonies, and some joined Alcoholics Anonymous. And they all say the same nonsense about how their wonderful cult saved their lives, so now they are going to devote their lives to the cult and sing the praises of the cult and try to get lots of converts for the cult.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The plural of "anecdote" is not "evidence".

Date: Tue, April 26, 2011 8:57 am     (answered 3 May 2011)
From: "Paul K."
Subject: AA

Hello Orange,

I am a sober alcoholic in Australia. I'll soon have 2 years sobriety. I am 48 now. From 16 to 46 alcohol abuse caused me a lot of pain, problems and humiliations; I have been to jail 3 times, I have been in psych hospitals and I have lived in homeless mens shelters etc. During my drinking years I did 3 AA based rehabs and 1 CBT based rehab but I left each one and kept drinking. But the almost 2 years sobriety I have achieved now, I have achieved without being in a rehab, a psych ward or a jail.

I did about 1 AA meeting a week during my first 12 months of sobriety but I have now not done any AA for about 10 months.

I don't agree with everything you say but I've really enjoyed reading your Orange Papers. I especially like the letters, the parts about the history of AA and the bits about the mad life of Bill W and his problems (apart from alcoholism).

Where I disagree with you is about the sort of people that go to AA. I suppose it is possible that AA in Australia could be a bit different to AA in the USA, but the vast majority of people I have met in AA are quite ordinary, decent and sane people who only go to AA to try to stay sober themselves and if possible help other alcoholics stay sober. It is not hard to find people in AA who are kind and helpful and who are not fanatics and not pushy.

When I first stopped drinking about the only people who still had any time for me were my elderly parents and one of my brothers. But by going to AA I have met some people who were very kind and supportive when I first stopped drinking and have really helped me, and a few of them have become friends even though I've stopped going to AA. I'd say I was helped more by the people of AA than the program of AA. But I suppose that could be AA heresy to some.

I am not sure why I stopped going to AA after 12 months; maybe because I had after a year found a small circle of friends who did not drink or use drugs; and I thought maybe that was all I needed. But because of some recent problems and stress in my life, and the fact that thoughts of drinking are coming back into my head etc, I am thinking about going back to AA.

I'll stop raving on here, but I think the main point I was trying to make is that while I don't deny there is such a thing as 13th steppers and the occasional nut who can advise someone to stop taking meds etc ........the vast majority of people in AA are sane and decent people and there are a lot of people in AA who are kind and will really go out of their way to help someone who is new to recovery.



Hello Paul,

Thanks for the letter. I try hard to never stereotype all A.A. members as being this or that. I even have the Newcomer's Rescue League of sane kind-hearted individuals who go to A.A. meetings to inject a few notes of sanity and rescue newcomers from bad sponsors.

It sounds like your A.A. groups in Australia are much more mellow than the ones in the USA. While there are also many mellow meeting groups in the USA, I cannot think of a one that I ever went to that I would call healthy and helpful. The basic problem is that the underlying philosophy is a lie. Dr. Frank Buchman did not have the answers to human life, or human failings.

And while I agree that the vast majority of people who go to A.A. are well-meaning, they are not sane or healthy. By definition, someone who spends years killing himself with alcohol or drugs is not sane or healthy. He has more issues than just drinking too much.

Alas, things seem to be getting worse in the USA. I was just describing how a fascistic branch of A.A. is sending out missionaries and trying to take over A.A. in the USA, here. And now their missionaries have reached England. They will probably be visiting you soon.

And you know, there is one more thing that you did not say out loud, but implied: That going to A.A. is somehow beneficial. The evidence says that it isn't. We were just talking about that in a previous letter, so I won't just repeat it all. See it here.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     If misery loves company, misery has company enough.
**        ==  Henry David Thoreau, Journal, Sept. 1851

Date: Sat, April 30, 2011 8:41 am     (answered 3 May 2011)
From: "Tom M."

What I have been thinking about lately, is how I retrofitted all of my life experiences to fit the 12-step paradigm (AA good and perfect, member bad and sinful and stupid). What I mean by this is, everything that happened to me before I joined the 12-step religion and during my membership had to be twisted to fit the beliefs and theology of AA. To give an example, in August 1998, I started going to Alanon, because I was finding living at home with my alcoholic father very difficult and I was having suicidal ideation. By January 2000, I had been admitted to a psychiatric ward twice, had quit college, and was loaded to the eyeballs on psych-meds after a suicide attempt during my second stay in the psychiatric ward. Some help Al-Anon was in coping with a very difficult family life. I am wondering now, how much of my mental breakdown can be attributed to my membership in the 'recovery' cult. I have little doubt that if I hadn't been a member of first Alateen at 14 years old and then Alanon, my life at home would still have been difficult and miserable, living with my father.

However, I now firmly believe that Alateen and Alanon and their twisted, self-hating bull, acted to compound and multiply my suffering, not to alleviate or reduce it. I have always considered, up until recently, that what happened to me in the period 1999-2001 was all my own fault, and that Al-anon, and later AA, was the only thing that kept me some bit sane and without it I would have been even worse. These memories are very painful and I find it hard to revisit them. I also believed that what pulled me out of the tail-spin I was in from late 1999 until about March 2001 was the fact that I joined AA and NA and got 'clean' from the psych-meds that my psychiatrists gave me, thanks to the wonderful NA program. What I can see now is that moving out of home for good in September 2000 was the pivotal moment in me regaining some stability into my life. I was away from my father, and had to be a bit more responsible in order to pay rent and I started to hold down a job a bit better out of necessity. Even though I remained in the clutches of AA/NA for another 10 years, the very worst of my problems was over.

I also remember that my AA sponsor laughed at me when I told him about my suicide attempt in the psychiatric ward, and compared me to another guy in the ward who made an even more serious suicide attempt than me. It was all part of his attempts to show me that my depression and suicide attempt had been just more selfish alcoholic behaviour from me, and that alcoholism was my real problem, and the steps and the big book was the solution. This same evil wolf in sheep's clothing had me writing a Fourth Step for an entire twelve months, the twelve months after my father had died in January 2003. Not bad enough that I was grieving for the death of a man that I loved, in spite of our difficult, troubled relationship, I also had to write out a list of every resentment I had ever had against anyone and find my part in it and twist every memory I ever had, so that I was always the bad guy in every situation or relationship I had ever had.

Deprogramming from AA has been some trip, that saying about the truth being stranger than fiction definitely applies here. My story seems so strange to me that I have trouble believing it sometimes. I doubt if many people would believe it, if I told them. I believe that I am closer to the truth of what has happened to me in my life, than I have ever been before. It doesn't matter what steppers believe or what the prevailing mainstream wisdom about the 'recovery' movement is, they are wrong.

It seems to me that the whole 12-step movement is a thorough-going failure and does nothing but harm. I read your webpage which talks about the good parts of AA, for example, the support of other people who are in similar situations and the social aspects of the meetings. However, I don't think that you can get these, without also being exposed to all the bad stuff that goes on in the meetings, the deception, the ego-deflation, the lies, the predators, the though-reform etc. The 'good' is indivisible from the bad, it is a package deal. I look forward to the day that Bill Wilson is recognised for the fraud, the scoundrel, the thieving lying philandering monster that he was.

Yours sincerely Tom.

Hello Tom,

Thank you for the letter. It sounds like you have things pretty well figured out. You started by talking about how you had to reinterpret your entire life in A.A. terms. Yes, that is New Identity — Redefinition of Self — Revision of Personal History, and it is standard cult fare.

And you finished by noticing that you can't get the good things from A.A. without getting all of the bad things too. Yes.

And inbetween, you noticed that in A.A., You are always wrong. Your sponsor just had to put you down and accuse you of being "alcoholic" for a suicide attempt.

By the way, isn't it strange how the word "alcoholic" has so many different definitions? It takes some real mental gymnastics to twist depression and suicide into "selfish alcoholic" behavior. The word alcoholic seems to mean whatever they want it to mean. (And that is the cult characteristic called "Loaded language".)

Oh well, have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather
**     a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean —
**     neither more nor less."
**       ==  Lewis Carroll (English Logician, Mathematician, Photographer
**      and Novelist, especially remembered for Alice's Adventures
**      in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. 1832—1898)

May 22, 2009, Friday: Day 22, continued:

Mallard Drake
Mallard Drake, grooming his feathers

[More gosling photos below, here.]

Date: Sat, April 30, 2011 6:19 am     (answered 3 May 2011)
From: "Gordon H."
Subject: Question

A. Orange

How did William Wilson and Bob Smith die?

Gordon N.

Hi Gordon,

Thanks for the question.

Bill Wilson died of cigarette smoking. Specifically, he died from emphysema and pneumonia. He refused to quit smoking, even when he was dying. He would take off his oxygen mask so that he could smoke another cigarette. Then, he pretended to quit smoking, but he hid cigarettes in his car, and as long as he could still drive, he smoked.

Francis Hartigan, Lois Wilson's private secretary, wrote:

By the time Ebby Thacher died in 1966, a victim of emphysema, Bill had been trying to quit smoking for more than twenty years. He'd also known since the early sixties that he had emphysema himself. Smoking had begun to impair his health in the 1940s, in the form of frequent colds and chronic bronchitis, and his breathing was noticeably labored from the mid-1960s onward. Yet even when his breathing became so problematic that he needed frequent doses of oxygen to get through the day, he smoked.
      A number of visitors to Stepping Stones during Bill's last years report witnessing scenes in which Bill would be trying to decide whether to have more oxygen or another cigarette. Inevitably, the cigarette won out. Bill was thought to have finally quit smoking early in 1969, by which time his bouts with bronchitis had become struggles with pneumonia, but several people confirm that he was still smoking even after most everyone thought he had quit. He hid cigarettes in his car, and for as long as he was still well enough to drive, he smoked.
      It seems beyond comprehension, but the evidence is inescapable.   ...   [Bill Wilson] literally smoked himself to death.
Bill W., A Biography of Alcoholics Anonymous Co-Founder Bill Wilson, Francis Hartigan, page 208.

Dr. Bob died of cancer, I think prostate cancer, and he never quit smoking either.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Tobacco kills 440,000 smokers every year in the United States,
**     and secondhand smoke inhaled by bystanders claims another 50,000.
**       == New York Times editorial, "Ending Our Tobacco Addiction",
**            May 30, 2007.
**       http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/opinion/30wed3.html?
**             n=Top%2fOpinion%2fEditorials%20and%20Op%2dEd%2fEditorials

Date: Thu, April 28, 2011 5:56 am     (answered 3 May 2011)
From: "D."


I would start by saying that you are welcome to print anything I write.
I would however like my name and email address to remain private as you will see when you read on.

My girlfriend, who also happens to be married, started to feel depressed that we would never end up together. We are in business together, stressful at many times and she started to drink during the day. That drinking became excess over a two year period. She was sent home on a few occasions.

Her dad had gone to a rehab centre here in Canada [Homewood — Guelph] and had remained sober for 15 years and counting.
I tried to encourage her to get help as it appeared she had lost control of it. She by August 2010 had gained 35 pounds and wasn't eating food to any extent.

I was very scared — did no research of any kind — called her Dad. I thought it was handled badly and at the time I did not understand.
Two weeks after this meeting, she was so drunk one night she decided to drive home.

She got stopped and put in jail for the night.

Lost her driving license for a year
A year's probation from drinking

She was then shipped home to her parents who got her into Homewood.
Two weeks after being there, no individual therapy, meetings AA meetings AA...
I was in shock as an outsider looking in.
I began my research — AA first — read the twelve steps and said you cant be serious.
Found a Stanton Peele site — learned some more
Found your site — learned a shitload. [sorry I'm not as gifted as you are with writing]

Homewood is AA

She made it seven months without a drink
She's been conforming to all
Does not like or do AA
Her dad labeled her a dry drunk and told her husband
Her husband couldn't care less
Two weeks ago she had a relapse
Picked up a bottle of Vodka, drank half in a short time, passed out on a sidewalk and ended up in emergency

As far as I'm concerned made in AA disaster — once you have one you won't stop
Not in your control

Back to more conforming

I feel her personal life has to be organized in a way to make her happy
She has no plan
I think drinking during this time would be disastrous

My question is simple — do you believe that some people who abuse boo's — once they have they're life together will be able to drink moderately?

I enjoy reading your material
It has helped me a lot

Hello D.,

Thank you for the letter. I'm sorry to hear about the suffering that your friend is going through.

And you are quite right about the treatment centers selling a crazy cult religion as a cure for drug and alcohol problems. It's just about the biggest medical fraud in America (both the USA and Canada).

Now, the key question: About drinking moderately.
That is impossible to predict for sure. Some people can, and some can't.
Personally, I am one of the ones who can't. I can either totally abstain from alcohol, or I can drink myself to death, but I never had any success with moderate drinking. It just didn't stay moderate. My defense is to just never take that first drink, not ever, no matter what.

Many years ago, way back in 1980, the famous government think tank, the Rand Corporation, found that the successful people who had stopped drinking self-destructively were evenly split between total abstinence and tapering off into moderate, controlled, drinking. So total abstinence is not the only way. It all depends on the individual person.

When that Rand Corporation report was published, the A.A. true believers had a hissy-fit. They screamed that the Rand Corporation was killing alcoholics. Ann Landers indignantly printed a denunciation and said that it was irresponsible to release such information. As if alcoholics are too stupid to handle the truth. (Remember Jack Nicholson screaming, "The truth? You can't handle the truth!")

But in my experience, alcoholics are not a separate species of stupid sub-humans. They are as intelligent as the rest of the people, and they need more true information, not less. (What a vicious, insulting stereotype of alcoholics A.A. really spreads.)

Now there are some things that we can examine, to make an educated guess about moderation or abstinence. Personally, I was rarely satisfied with just one or two drinks. That is just a teaser. Why torture yourself like that? I wanted to really tie one on, and really go for it and really have a great time. Not just get high, but go above and beyond Cloud Nine. I wanted to Astral Plane. I wanted it all. Anything else is just messing around and denying yourself.

Now somebody with a personality like that just should not drink, at all.

Alas, I fear that I see the same thing in your friend. She didn't just sneak one or two drinks, she did in half a bottle of vodka. In a short period of time yet. And ended up in the Emergency Room. That is bad. My guess is that she should join me in a life of total abstinence.

Now that isn't so bad at all. In fact I really prefer it to the alternative.

But old Lizard Brain will scream and cry and tell her that really totally quitting drinking forever will be the end of her life, and she will never have any fun again, and it will be so awful. That isn't true at all. I am having far more fun now than I did when I was smoking and drinking and sick all of the time. But Lizard Brain still considers total abstinence to be a fate like death — the end. So please have her read the web page about The Lizard-Brain Addiction Monster. The information in that page took me about 30 years to learn, and it's been a life-saver.

Good luck, and have a good life now. Both of you.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   Abstinence isn't self-denial or deprivation.
**   It's just that I've already done my lifetime quota.

Date: Thu, April 28, 2011 9:00 am     (answered 3 May 2011)
From: "Judy J."
Subject: Question

Hi A Orange,

Wondering who you are, and the information you share is quite eyeopening. I always wondered about Bill Wilson and the writing of the book and his womanizing. Why do you think there is such a coverup? I know that the AA steps have worked for me, but putting people on pedastals has always annoyed me.

Just wondering.............

Judy J.

Hello Judy,

Thanks for the question.

I think that the early A.A. members had to do a lot of covering up of the truth in order to pass off Frank Buchman's cult religion, the "Oxford Group" as a cure for alcohol addiction.

First off, they had to cover up the fact that they were just pushing Frank's religion. Frank Buchman was very unpopular for his praise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, so they didn't want to bring up that subject. So they created this mythology that Bill Wilson and Doctor Bob invented the A.A. "spiritual" program, in Akron Ohio in 1935, which isn't true at all. The truth is, Bill and Bob just started recruiting alcoholics for the Oxford Group while Frank Buchman went to Nuremberg Nazi Party rallies.

Then, there is this crazy idea that the A.A. program is somehow a gift from God. If you look at the Penn & Teller program about A.A. (on Youtube, for example), you will see the actor Gary Bussy telling us that God gave the A.A. program to Bill Wilson, and then Bill Wilson gave it to mankind (and womankind). But how can anyone maintain that Bill is The Prophet if people find out that Bill Wilson was just a thieving lying sexual predator?

Nope. To continue the fairy tale, they have to maintain that Bill Wilson and Doctor Bob were just wonderful saints and sages who created the greatest miracle of the century.

"I believe that in a hundred years historians will look back and pinpoint this milestone as the single most important event in the twentieth century. This milestone was the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous in Akron, Ohio, in June of 1935."
== Robert Burney

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    Hero-worship is strongest where there is least regard for human freedom.
**      ==  Sir Herbert Spencer, Social Statistics, IV

Date: Fri, March 25, 2011 7:14 am     (answered 6 May 2011)
From: "jennifer p."
Subject: orange papers


My name is Jen and I'm interested in your interpretation of AA history. Who are you, where are you and how did you get this information?


Hello Jen,

I've answered those questions many times before, so I'll basically just point you at the answers:

  1. My name is Terrance Hodgins, and I live in Forest Grove, Oregon. You can find all of the details, and links to much autobiographical information here: How did you get to where you are?.

  2. I described my sources of information here.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "We're lost. But we are making good time."
**        == Yogi Berra

Date: Tue, May 3, 2011 7:51 am     (answered 6 May 2011)
From: "Amy "
Subject: Buchman photo's

Hi again Orange,

I came across these photos at Australian Archives.

From Amy (anonymous)

1951 Peter Howard, General Martin Gareis (Germany), Frank Buchman, George L. Eastman.jpg
Size: 280 k
Type: image/jpeg

1951 Peter Howard, General Martin Gareis (Germany), Frank Buchman, George L. Eastman 2.jpg
Size: 333 k
Type: image/jpeg

Hi again Amy,

Thank you for the pictures. Yes, that is some history. There we have Buchman smoozing with the powerful and the rich, as usual. Buchman's "in" with the generals was to claim to be very patriotic and anti-communist. (His Nazi history was somehow completely forgotten.)

George L. Eastman was the President of Security Materials Co., Los Angeles. (Look here for another picture.) TIME magazine lists George L. Eastman as one of the financial backers of Moral Re-Armament.

The Pacific Rim Library lists all of the people in this photograph as officials of Moral Re-Armament:

And Peter Howard was being his usual deferential obsequious self.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "It's class warfare, my class is winning, but they shouldn't be."
**       ==  Warren Buffet, world's richest person, 2007

[The previous letter from Renee is here.]

Date: Sat, April 30, 2011 3:54 pm     (answered 6 May 2011)
From: Renee
Subject: about marks recent letter

Hi Orange....just want to decode Mark's most recent letter to you where he informs you that....

The best kept secret in AA is the B.B. And the steps are in the Big Book.By the way I learned detachment in Al-non.

The steps are in "The Book"..... that is Clancyspeak for, if you don't work the steps from the Big Book you are not working the "program" as it was written by (his majesty) Bill Wilson. It seems for some time in the 80's I believe, many folks in AA were working the steps from the 12&12. Clancy didn't like this, in fact we were taught (as it was filtered down from Clancy himself) that the 12&12 was kind of a shortcut and it was very bad. He (Clancy and his minions) was all for working the steps as they were written in THE FIRST 164 PAGES!! I wasn't allowed to even LOOK at a 12&12 until after I had worked the steps.

Don't even get me going on the detachment bullshit they taught my poor husband in al-anon....
darn near ruined our marriage. It has taken us over 3 years (since I left AA) and a lot of marriage counseling $$$$$ to undo the damage those whackos did to him and to our marriage.

It would seem the Clancy network is alive and well in America!

Love your new pictures!!


Hello Renee,

Thanks for the clarification. Having never been in Clancy's Clones, I didn't catch the Clancy-speak. Now I understand.

And yes, the Clancy network seems to be doing just fine, and even growing. They have missionaries all over the country, from Los Angeles to Maine. I hear that they now have groups started in London and Plymouth, England, too.

Yes, some of those gosling pictures are great. I especially love that one of Blondie flapping his little wings. He just looks so happy to be alive, and eager to fly, and having fun. I keep that picture on my computer screen and look at it often. I think I should put together a set of big pictures for screen-savers or wallpaper, and that's definitely one for the set.

Just the day before yesterday we had a glorious day of sunshine, so I went out to the Fernhill Wetlands, and found four goose families with little goslings. Wow. First babies of the year. One family even has eight goslings. And they were big too, not first-day little fluff-balls. They are a week or two old, and already more than doubled in size. I don't know where the parents have been hiding their babies, but they have been doing a good job of it.

Alas, the geese here are not nearly as tame as the ones in Waterfront Park, and these parents wouldn't let me get near their babies. I had to photograph them from far away with a telephoto lens. It will take me some time of feeding them to get their trust.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     With any dogmatic cult, the reality is very different from the ideal.

[The next letter from Renee is here.]

May 04, 2011, Wednesday:

Canada Goose Families
Canada Goose families with goslings at the Fernhill Wetlands
The family in front has 8 little goslings. That's one ambitious mama.
Notice the difference in sizes of the goslings between the two families. The three goslings of the family in the background are much younger and smaller. The goslings in the foreground have grown quite a bit already.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

Date: Tue, May 3, 2011 2:27 pm     (answered 6 May 2011)
From: "Chris C."
Subject: Your site

Wow, I have finally found a site that tells the truth about addictions. I was a member of AA for the last seven years and I felt as if I was in a prison. I have been "sober" or whatever for over seven years now and I have grown to despise AA and NA. These fuckin people are crazy. They are self righteous pretentious assholes. They have been telling me for years that if I don't work the steps then I will get drunk again. The truth is I have attempted to work these steps and guess what? I did not have a spiritual awakening as a result. They look to Bill W as a god when in reality he was a scumbag who ran around on his wife. I don't drink anymore because I am logical. Since I have quit drinking and snorting every drug under the sun I have built a good life for myself. Why sabotage it? Its logic, not magic. I finally got to the point to where if I went to another meeting then I was going to choke someone out. Will I drink again? I don't know. I know that I won't drink today because I don't want to.

Hello Chris,

Thank you for the letter, and congratulations on your sobriety, and welcome to freedom. Life is good, isn't it?

So have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
*     "The ideal tyranny is that which is ignorantly self-administered
**     by its victims. The most perfect slaves are, therefore, those which
**     blissfully and unawaredly enslave themselves."
**       ==  Dresden James

Date: Tue, May 3, 2011 7:22 am     (answered 6 May 2011)
From: "Michael D."
Subject: Publish Orange Papers in Book Form

Dear Orange,

I loved reading the Orange Papers, they confirmed many things I had been thinking of and wondering about.

Hey, why don't you publish the Orange Papers in book form? I think many people would like having them at their fingertips when they are away from the computer. I cannot memorize all of it and would love to have a book in my hand when AA is discussed. This is something I would buy for my friends as well.

If this has already been done please let me know where I can get it. I did not see it at Amazon.

Best wishes,

Michael D.

Hello Michael,

Thanks for the letter and the compliments. I was planning to put out the Orange Papers in book form at one point, but then had to move and got behind on things and got distracted, and it started looking like such a huge project that I felt like I'd really rather go lay on the beach and play with the goslings.

Now I'm still undecided, but considering the workload that I already have just with maintaining the web site, I wouldn't hold my breath.

In the mean time, I recommend that people burn CD's of the web site so that they have an electronic book that they can read offline. The instructions are here: here.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is doing it,
**     and right is right, even if nobody is doing it."
**       ==  Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

Date: Tue, May 3, 2011 9:37 pm     (answered 6 May 2011)
From: "Bard M."
Subject: Orange Papers


I am curious, are you anti AA or what?

I have over 20 years sober thanks to the twelve steps and the program of action outlined in the big book of alcoholics anonymous.

I have read your site and I find that some of your information to be correct but most of it is hear say.

I know it's your page but I'm curious.

Did you have time in AA and lose that time?

What happened to make you so negative toward it?

Thank you,

Hello Bard,

Thanks for the questions. I went to A.A. for a while. I did not lose my sobriety or my "sober time". I lost my gullibility. I now have over 10 years clean and sober, and I love it. And I haven't been to an A.A. meeting in 9 years.

My history is that I quit drinking and also agreed to go to an outpatient treatment program for alcoholism in trade for housing, so that I wouldn't have to sleep in the rain. It was quite an education. I was shocked to learn that "treatment for alcoholism" consisted of cult religion. And then the frosting on the cake was when they arrested my 12-Step-oriented "counselor" for Internet child pornography, possession of cocaine, and two counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor (his own step-children).

The answers to your other questions are here: How did you get to where you are?. Particularly check out the first link, Who are you?

By the way, I do not just collect a bunch of hearsay. I prefer documented facts and clinical studies. See the bibliography, here.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Everybody is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.
**        ==  Senator Patrick Moynahan

Date: Wed, May 4, 2011 10:04 am     (answered 6 May 2011)
From: "Lisa F. T."
Subject: The Funny Spirituality of Bill Wilson and A.A.

You clearly are not an alcoholic or an addict. Why don't you stick to matters you have experience with?

Lisa T.
Lincoln, Nebraska

Hello Lisa,

You know, this is getting to be funny. The only people who say that I am not an alcoholic are A.A. members. And I've heard it so many times that I made a list of such statements. Apparently the best way to recover from alcoholism is to quit drinking without A.A. and its 12 Steps, and say that you did. Suddenly all of the A.A. members declare that you were never an alcoholic, and you don't know anything about it.

Look here for a previous letter about really an alcoholic...

The rest of my history is here: How did you get to where you are?.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     We do not like to pronounce any individual as alcoholic, but you can
**     quickly diagnose yourself. Step over to the nearest barroom and try some
**     controlled drinking. Try to drink and stop abruptly. Try it more than once.
**     It will not take long for you to decide, if you are honest with yourself
**     about it. It may be worth a bad case of jitters if you get a full knowledge
**     of your condition.
**       ==  William G. Wilson, The "Big Book", Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 31-32

[The next letter from Lisa_T is here.]

Date: Wed, May 4, 2011 8:06 pm     (answered 6 May 2011)
From: "Michael B. Denial"
Subject: Fw: Add Your Recovery Time to the 431,000 Years on InTheRooms.com

Hey, Terry, Another on-line recovery group trying to cook the books to make the numbers look like something they aren't. Mike B.

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: InTheRooms <[email protected]
To: mikeblamedenial
Sent: Wed, May 4, 2011 4:32:24 PM
Subject: Add Your Recovery Time to the 431,000 Years on InTheRooms.com

Dear mikeblamedenial,

Today on InTheRooms.com we surpassed 431,000 years of collective recovery time between the 150,000 members of our community. As we approach 500,000 years, we'd like to talk about a few things and get the record straight.

First of all, only 45% of our members have shared their recovery anniversary with us. That means that our average member has approximately 6.6 YEARS OF RECOVERY TIME! That is an incredible number and one of the first real global indicators of long-term recovery! If you factor in the other 55% of the community that has not shared their recovery anniversary with us, we would already be close to 1,000,000 years of recovery time with our current members alone!

It is an unfortunate reality that relapse is a part of some people's recovery. We built InTheRooms so we could be there for the global recovery community through times of joy and times of hardship; to be an additional level of support that holds you up to make it through the rest of the day and beyond.

We want you to log in now and share or update your recovery anniversary date to confirm our suspicions, that we really do have the largest community of members with long term recovery and that the statistics that Charlie Sheen and the 12 step naysayers have been spouting off lately in the media are totally wrong!

We also would like to take this time to announce that everyone who registers for InTheRooms.com between now and when we reach 1,000,000 years of recovery time will be entered in a drawing to win a FREE trip for 2 (The person who signs up and the person who invited them) to the next world convention of either Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, whichever one you'd prefer!

Just click here to use our inviter to invite your friends to join, so we can tell who will win the ultimate InTheRooms Grand Prize Giveaway (Our largest and loftiest prize to date)!

Thanks and with Love,
The InTheRooms Team


Hello Michael,

Thanks for the letter. Yes, that is a mess of bad logic and bad math. First off, Observational Selection. They only look at the people who claim to have years of sobriety. They don't demand that people log in and report that they went on a binge last weekend.

In fact, the authors appear to be doing just the opposite. They say that "only 45% of our members have shared their recovery anniversary with us."
Well, the most likely reason why the other 55% of their membership did not "share their anniversary" is because they got drunk and didn't want to report that fact. There was no anniversary to "share". But the Pollyannas who run the web site happily assumed that everybody who didn't report their anniversary is still continuously sober. That is wishful thinking.

They are also guilty of Observational Selection in another way: People who did not get sober in A.A. are not likely to join their web site and report their lack of sober time. So the authors of that letter are just "counting the hits and ignoring the misses" — counting the sober people and not counting the drunk people.

Then they assume that the 12-Step routine somehow made people get sober, an assumption for which there is not a shred of supporting evidence.

Then they assume that they will establish a success rate that is supposed to refute statements by other people, including Charlie Sheen, about the bad A.A. failure rate. But their approach is of course illogical. Collecting a bunch of anecdotal stories that say, "I got sober" does not establish a success rate.

The plural of "anecdote" is not "evidence".

Oh well, have a good day.

== Orange

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

Date: Fri, May 6, 2011 1:18 pm     (answered 8 May 2011)
From: "Gary R."
Subject: Huh?

Hi Orange,

I noticed you link up Alcoholics Anonymous, Hazelton, all recovery houses, and the U.S. Court System into one powerful syndicate bent on furnishing new members into A.A.. You would think there would have to be a paper trail of some kind, to establish such an arrangement (especially with any government office). Mere here-say is just a conspiracy theory.

Furnish the undeniable proof and I'll gladly fund your web site for the next 5 years.

Congratulations on your sobriety.

26 years

Hello Gary,

Congratulations on your 26 years, if those are years of sobriety.

The association is a loose one, and the U.S. court system is not part of it. The links between Hazelden and Alcoholics Anonymous are well known, and there is a paper trail: Hazelden is the largest reseller of A.A.W.S. books in the world, and for many years they exchanged members on the boards of directors or boards of trustees. Hazelden is also about the biggest promoter of Alcoholics Anonymous in this world. In addition, Senator Norm Coleman and Congressman Jim Ramstad, from Minnesota, were practically the Senator and Congressman from Hazelden and A.A. For many years they campaigned to get more money for treatment centers, masking their schemes as "getting more funds for treatment of mental illness".

The links to the treatment centers are obvious. One of the favorite occupations for burned-out alcoholics and drug addicts who got indoctrinated into the 12-Step religion is to become a "counselor". Just get some kind of certification as a "drug and alcohol counselor", and then get paid for telling the clients, "Go to at least three A.A. meetings per week and get a sponsor. I'm teachable today. I don't know if I will relapse tomorrow. You must have a 'Higher Power' in your recovery program." (And, if the counselor is like mine, then he can go home and snort cocaine and view Internet child pornography on his computer and then rape his step-children.)

The courts are not formally linked to Alcoholics Anonymous. The judges have just been fooled by the A.A. propagandists and made to believe that A.A. has an effective program, which it does not. The certified "experts" from the local treatment center come and advise the judge and tell him to send everybody to A.A. or N.A.

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 God is the cure.

Date: Fri, May 6, 2011 9:53 am     (answered 8 May 2011)
From: "Art C."

You set yourself up as someone who knows what they are talking about and then disappoint your readers with childish comparisons and incomprehensible innuendo. You are not as smart as you think you are and that makes much of what you write laughable while your ignorance pushes you toward authorship of another moronic sentence. Take writing lessons. Go to school. Read your Bible and practice humility yourself.

Date: Fri, May 6, 2011 1:14 pm     (answered 8 May 2011)
From: "Art C."
Subject: LIES

Your verbal gymnastics-BS-is all over the place. You mock statistics with statistics. You must be a Republican — self righteous, unconcerned with truth and having a personal agenda that means more to you than any person or the damage you do to them in pursuit of the agenda.

Hello Art,

I do not "mock statistics with statistics". What is that even supposed to mean? I simply report the results when doctors tested Alcoholics Anonymous to see what it really did to alcoholics. Apparently you don't like people reporting the facts.

As for the rest of your letters, there isn't really much there to answer. A careful reading of the Bible will reveal that Alcoholics Anonymous is a very heretical religion, not Christian, and not something to be followed.

And A.A. "humility" is just cultish self-deprecation.

I cannot disagree with your opinion of Republicans, and that is why I am not a Republican.

Lastly, criticizing Alcoholics Anonymous is not "doing damage" to alcoholics. What really damages alcoholics who are trying to get sober is foisting an old fascist cult religion on them and lying to them and telling them that the cult religion routine works great.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin,
**     is pride that apes humility.
**        ==  Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Devil's Thoughts

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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-letters235.html