Letters, We Get Mail, CCXXXIX

Date: Thu, May 19, 2011 8:37 pm     (answered 21 May 2011)
From: findingserenity
Subject: concerns

I'm hesitant to write to you as I believe that a zealot of your nature will likely be able to open his mind enough to consider anything but his own opinion, but i am highly concerned by your site. First, I feel sad for you that you have so much hatred for a program that does nothing but try to help people. Perhaps your own denial is so pervasive that you must demonize twelve step programs to feel like they couldn't possibly help you. I am undoubtedly sure that they aren't perfect. Nothing human ever is, including yourself.

I would like to mention something I am not sure you are aware of. AA clearly mentions that they hold no monopoly in recovery. That being said, they encourage people to find other solutions if they work for them. So, if other solutions work for you, I am happy for you, but why poison the waters for people whose lives might be saved. Are you that hateful that you can't stand the fact that someone might find help from something that you do not.

You speak of negativity and yet I have seen laughter and joy beyond measure. Perhaps the negativity was coming from you yourself. Again, this saddens me for you. There are many people in AA who do not believe in G-d as it is understood religiously. In fact, there are many that are unsure if G-d exists or are sure that one does not. You at one point referenced people using Group of Drunks. That merely means that a group of people is far more powerful than the individual who may, for example, be having a bad day and be lacking perspective. That person who is ineffectively running his or her life may find solace and wisdom from those who have learned a better way.

I speak not as just a mindless follower. I happen to have close to nine years without ingesting substances. I will admit that there were times that I followed AA closely, but do not feel as closely knit anymore. Although, I do not harbor the hostility that you seem to. I will have a doctorate in Clinical Psychology in two weeks and I have spent the majority of my clinical career, that of training and through my masters as well specializing in addiction and there seems to be a great deal of evidence that when it comes to long term abstinence that AA and other 12 step groups has as much or more success than other methods. Unfortunately there are no methods as of yet that have a very high rate of success but as it stands, AA is the best of what there is out there.

My major concern and what prompted me to write to you is the lack of validity in your reasoning of statistics in AA. You utilized chips sold to groups and received by members. Here are just a few errors in your methodology. The same person might take 30 newcomer chips and 7 thirty day chips and so on. In fact someone might take only 1 new comer chip, or they might take 95 if they are attending multiple meetings a day. Someone taking a ten year chip might take one every day of there birthday week or just one, or they might not take one at all. Another problem is that someone might get sober and spend 3 years and change in Portland but then spend another 23 in Rhode Island. You aren't measuring the same people taking the same number of chips at the same meetings going to the same number of meetings over the same length of time.

There are so many confounding variables that to call your conclusions anything but blatantly inaccurate is a big fat lie. I doubt you will show this letter as you likely only show ones that support you or if you do, you will bury it somewhere that most people will fail to see it. I get that this stuff hasn't worked for you and you have a serious issue with it. That is totally cool with me, but for someone who is so obsessional with accuracy that you spend hours of time researching that a quote is supposedly not by who it is claimed to be by, you don't actually care to much for truth do you. Perhaps I am incorrect about you. I really hope I am. Perhaps you are a good person just trying to show people more than one side of things. If that is the case then do just that. Present an equally balanced argument and at least get your facts right. You may just be killing someone by chasing him/her away from something that could save his/her life.

I would like to close by saying this. I have seen some of the sickest depravity in the rooms, but have also witnessed unbelievable joy, serenity, forgiveness, responsibility, and transformation. There are bad apples in every bunch. We choose not to let are bad apples spoil all of us. One could argue with your logic that humanity is evil because some and even many of it's members have done unspeakable things, or one could open his/her eyes and realize that there is great variety amongst humanity much like the members of Alcoholics Anonymous and other similar programs. I hope that your thirst for research and knowledge really is just that and that you will present this letter with the same fervor that you use to tear down those groups.


Hello Anonymous,

Well, starting at the top, I am not a zealot. If you read your Bible, you will find that the Zealots were a group of militant radicals who wanted Jesus to lead them in an armed revolution against the Roman soldiers. I do not advocate violence or assassinations to get rid of Alcoholics Anonymous. I advocate telling the truth about everything, and letting well-informed people make their own choices.

Then you do some stereotypical alcoholic Minimization and Denial: "I feel sad for you that you have so much hatred for a program that does nothing but try to help people."
Trying to help people isn't good enough. You have to really do it. Foisting an old fascistic cult religion on sick people does not help them.

Then you do some more minimization and denial: "I am undoubtedly sure that they aren't perfect."
I don't demand perfection, but I do demand something that helps more people than it kills.

Then you said: "I would like to mention something I am not sure you are aware of. AA clearly mentions that they hold no monopoly in recovery."
Of course I am aware of it. That is one of the standard A.A. bait-and-switch tricks. Or rather, many of them. Look here:

Then you wrote: "You speak of negativity and yet I have seen laughter and joy beyond measure. Perhaps the negativity was coming from you yourself."
Oh, I know all about the hearty laughter in A.A. meetings. It is a requirement of the program. You have to keep telling yourself that it is all very funny as people confess what monsters they have been.

Then we get to the heart of the matter. You are trying to assert that my analysis of the coins given out is the only evidence that I have for the A.A. failure rate. Wrong, wrong, wrong. If you are getting a Ph.D. in two weeks, you should have learned how to read by now. Please read the entire file, "The Effectiveness of the Twelve-Step Treatment", from beginning to end. In there, I have everything from doctors' reports of the A.A. failure to help alcoholics, to statements from Bill Wilson, Nell Wing, and Francis Hartigan, all reporting that A.A. failed to help the alcoholics any more than the nominal 5% spontaneous remission rate of alcohol abuse.

Also, your criticism of the count of coins is invalid. I have already said many times that some people pick up many Day 1 coins. However, some people also pick up many 10-year or 15-year or 20-year coins. They are so proud of themselves that they drive all over town, going to meeting after meeting to pick up another coin, so that they can hear the crowd cheering and applauding for them again and again.

One single 20-year old-timer picking up a second coin will offset 1000 newcomers picking up a second 1-Day coin. Do you understand how that math works? The ratio of a thousand to one for the newcomers versus the 20-year oldtimers will not change. And if a 20-year oldtimer picks up two extra coins, he offsets 2000 newcomers getting a second coin. And so on.

In addition, you are trying hard to overlook the whole trendline of declining numbers of coins given out. Even if each newcomer picked up 6 one-day coins, and no oldtimer ever picked up a second 20-year coin, that would only change the ratio of newcomers to oldtimers from a thousand to one into a thousand to six. Are you going to claim that A.A. would be a wonderful success if 6 newcomers out of a thousand, rather than just one, got to be 20-year oldtimers? A.A. would still be a miserable failure that didn't sober up the alcoholics. The sky-high A.A. failure rate and dropout rate is undeniable. Even if the numbers are off by a factor of 600%, the A.A. dropout rate is still terrible.

And the count of coins given out is nothing compared to the doctors' reports of the A.A. failure rates.

Then you claimed: "AA is the best of what there is out there."
No it isn't. A.A. is the worst. Nothing kills more alcoholics than A.A.-based treatment. And that comes straight from Prof. Dr. George E. Vaillant, former Trustee of A.A., who spent the better part of 20 years treating alcoholics with A.A.

And don't forget that

  1. Dr. Jeffrey Brandsma found that A.A. indoctrination greatly increased the rate of binge drinking in alcoholics. People who were sent to A.A. ended up, after 9 months of A.A., doing FIVE TIMES as much binge drinking as another group of alcoholics who got no such help, and NINE TIMES as much binge drinking as another group that got Rational Behavior Therapy.

  2. Dr. Keith Ditman found that A.A. involvement increased the rate of re-arrests for drunkenness.

  3. Dr. Diana Walsh found that "free" A.A. just messed up a lot of alcoholics and made them require more expensive hospitalization later.

  4. This one is the most damning evidence of all, because it came from a doctor who loves Alcoholics Anonymous, and is one of its biggest promoters. He is (or was) also a member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.. Doctor George E. Vaillant (who later became a Professor of Psychology at Harvard University), clearly demonstrated that A.A. treatment kills patients. For eight years, while he tried to prove that A.A. works, his A.A.-based treatment program had a zero-percent success rate above normal spontaneous remission, and worse, it had the highest death rate of any kind of alcoholism treatment that he studied. Dr. Vaillant candidly called the A.A. death rate "appalling". At the end of 8 years, the score with his first 100 A.A.-treated patients was: 5 sober, 29 dead, and 66 still drinking.

    But 5% per year is the normal rate of spontaneous remission in alcoholics — what Dr. Vaillant called "the natural history of alcoholism". That's how many alcoholics recover on their own, without any "treatment" or "support group". A.A. cannot claim the credit for those recoveries, no matter whether they attend some A.A. meetings or not, and Dr. Vaillant clearly said that. So 5 minus 5 equals zero, the real A.A. recovery rate.

  5. And then, even though these items have not been surveyed and documented by doctors, there is plenty of evidence that the A.A. suicide rate and the A.A. divorce rate are big problems too.

Alcoholics Anonymous is not "the best that there is".

And then you ended with another rationalization: "I have seen some of the sickest depravity in the rooms, but have also witnessed unbelievable joy, serenity, forgiveness, responsibility, and transformation."
It is just so much fun to practice cult religion. It is so transforming. It's exciting. It's energizing. My Higher Power is going to lead me to Heaven.

Has it not occurred to you that what genuine improvements you saw in people's health — both physical and mental health — were caused by abstinence from drinking alcohol, rather than from practicing cult religion nonsense?

As a newly-minted Ph.D., you should certainly know something about how to conduct a proper randomized longitudinal controlled study and determine whether there is a real cause-and-effect relationship between two things, or whether you are just Confusing Coincidence and Causation.

Are you really getting a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in two weeks? How did you get so far without learning anything about science?

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "A well conducted professional study" (page 19) showed that
**     "some 5% of newcomers are still attending meetings
**     after 12 months. This is a truly terrible statistic.
**     Again we must ask 'Where does the fault lie?'" (page 2)
**     == Dr. Ron Whitington, Chairman General Service Board,
**     AA Around Australia, Spring Edition No 90, October 1994

Date: Fri, May 20, 2011 12:01 am     (answered 21 May 2011)
From: "Andy J."
Subject: I like your attrition numbers in A.A.

Hi Orange,

Thanks for your web page.

I can tell you have a resentment towards A.A.

Hello Andy,

Thanks for the letter. Who cares whether I "have a resentment"? I mean really, what does it matter? Do you think that the failure rate of A.A. will get better if I stop having a resentment?

The jabber about "you have a resentment" is just such old A.A. cult nonsense. Look here for the list of previous accusations of "resentments".

Have you ever looked at the attrition numbers with the shrink type of therapy? Like cognitive therapy methods?

How many people keep feeling successful after 1-year? after 5-years? after 10-years? etc.

I bet the numbers are much better (improved) with A.A. involvement than with the self-seeking, other methods.

I hope you have a nice day anyway,

Andy J.

Well don't bet more than you can afford to lose, because you will lose that bet.

Unfortunately, there have not been nearly enough good studies of the dropout rates of all of the different methods of treatment of alcohol abuse. But Dr. Jeffrey Brandsma did measure that dropout rates in his randomized longitudinal controlled study that compared RBT to A.A., and he found that A.A. had the worst holding power, and RBT had the best.

The variables that showed significant differences at outcome could be organized into three categories: treatment holding power, legal difficulties, and drinking behavior. Treatment holding power was indicated by the percentage of dropouts between intake and outcome (p = 0.05), the mean number of treatment sessions attended (p = 0.05), and the mean number of days in treatment. Less than one-third (31.6%) of the clients assigned to the AA group qualified for outcome measures in contrast to almost 60% for the lay-RBT group, and this occurred with equivalent attempts by our social work staff to keep the men in treatment, whatever type it was.
Outpatient Treatment of Alcoholism, by Jeffrey Brandsma, Maxie Maultsby, and Richard J. Welsh. University Park Press, Baltimore, MD., page 105.

In addition, A.A. participants in that study did 6 times as much binge drinking as the people who got no treatment or help at all, and the A.A. particpants did 9 times as much binging as the people who got RBT.

So don't bet that the people who go to A.A. are much happier and more successful than other alcoholics who go to other programs or organizations.

And then of course there is the death rate. Dr. George E. Vaillant, who went on to become a Trustee of Alcoholics Anonymous, found that A.A. treatment produced the highest death rate of any kind of alcoholism treatment that he studied. I just covered all of that stuff in the previous letter, so read it here.

Then you ended your letter by saying, "I bet the numbers are much better (improved) with A.A. involvement than with the self-seeking, other methods."
Self-seeking methods? As if the A.A. members are all loyal selfless servants of God, and the people who go to SMART or WFS or Lifering or SOS are all Godless atheists who are just selfish and self-seeking? Fat chance.

What about the old A.A. slogan, "This is a selfish program"? What could be more self-seeking than trying to get yourself sober and save your own life?

What about the Clancys and the Mike Q.s who run A.A. meetings that are devoted to sexual exploitation of newcomer girls and women? How unselfish are they?

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "You have no conception these days of how much failure we had.
**  You had to cull over hundreds of these drunks to get a handful
**  to take the bait."
**  Bill Wilson describing early recruiting efforts for Alcoholics Anonymous,
**  at the memorial service for Dr. Bob, Nov. 15, 1952; file available here.

Date: Fri, May 20, 2011 11:02 am     (answered 21 May 2011)
From: "Brad"
Subject: wish I saw your site a year ago!!!

Last year, I coped with the breakdown of my family and the loss of my ministry with distractions of travel, entertainment, drink, and the occasional "jazz cigarette." I got my second (the first was 6 years ago) DUI in August 2010 from taking Valium (given to me by a friend to help me sleep) after drinking 2 beers. I had never taken Valium before, and it landed me in jail for 12 days (2 days when arrested, and 10 consecutive days after the sentencing). The court impounded my car for 90 days and I have to blow into a device to start my car until August 26, 2011. I also have yellow license plates so that everyone who sees me on the road can say, "Look at that idiot!"

After the DUI arrest, I was at a low and vulnerable state (suspecting I had a true problem with drinking) and attended AA faithfully for over 6 months, stayed sober the whole time, and finally realized AA was psychologically dangerous, scientifically fraudulent, and frankly, cultic.

AA said I was completely powerless over alcohol. Thank God I realized I just loved to drink and sometimes enjoyed getting drunk. AA members said if I were truly an alcoholic and had one drink, I could not stop. "1 is too many and 1000 are never enough!" they said. I avoided all alcohol for over 6 months and proved they were wrong by having 1 drink and attending a meeting. The next week I had 2 drinks and went to AA. They were really pissed at me and said since I had "relapsed" I needed to rely on my Higher Power " and that this "god" could be "anything I wanted Him to be" and I just needed to rely on "Him, Her, or It" whether it was Buddha, a doorknob, Krishna, Music, Satan, or even the AA group itself, or G.O.D., the "Group Of Drunks." I am not making this stuff up.

In other words, I did not have the power within myself, and I needed something outside of me to help me with this "incurable disease." I was "stupid" and suffered from "stinking thinking" and "insanity." I said this was logically ridiculous and that would make me literally dumber than a doorknob, if indeed I chose the doorknob as my Higher Power. I was met with a blank stare.

I asked, "If I am powerless, then how did I have the power to drive to this AA meeting instead of stopping in one of the dozen or so bars I passed on the way here? And how did I have only 2 beers before this meeting, and WHY would I trust other people who were sick to give me the answer to getting well?? It made more sense to me to talk to non-alcohol abusers to find out how not to abuse alcohol. It makes more sense to learn how to golf from a professional golfer, not an accordionist.

They asked me, "If you are so smart, then why do you have yellow plates on your car?" Hmm? Hmm?? That was indeed a valid question.

"Well," said I, "I think it has to do with being raised in a very legalistic, fundamentalist church, which taught me any alcohol use was forbidden. I was therefore not given the opportunity to drink it responsibly. I tend to overindulge when I get the chance, because it is so delicious and makes me feel light-headed."

They said I was sarcastic. I said I was being serious. That is the real reason. I like the way it feels. I then told them I got the yellow plates more from the Valium, which I had only taken this one time in my entire life. Did I also need to attend V.A.? By the way, there is also O.A. — Overeaters Anonymous, and G.A. — Gamblers Anonymous and both groups believe they have an "incurable disease" and are "powerless" over Twinkies and casinos. I am serious.

I also told them my wife and I had been fighting for several years, and I felt stifled in my role as a Southern Baptist minister, especially since I had been studying Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Hinduism, Buddhism, New Age, and all the other isms, and that I sort of have been going through an identity crisis — and in the process have lost many friends, family, money, houses, and cars, and well, "Dadgum it!" drinking made me feel better! I really used the words "dadgum it" but I said them with a southern drawl that sounded like Goober from the Andy Griffith show.

They told me I was just making excuses for drinking. They said, "Brad, you are just making excuses for drinking." I said, "These are not excuses, these are the logical reasons why I decided to use alcohol to cope! You are the one who asked me why I drank alcohol!"

At that moment I realized how ridiculous the whole thing was, and that I no longer needed A.A., that alcoholism was not a disease, and this was a kind of manipulation. I realized that I did not need to get drunk anymore — unless I wanted to, that alcohol was never in control of me, and that as nice as these AA people could be, I was in control of me. I had to CHOOSE to come to this stupid meeting! Some of them were nice, but many of the "Oldtimers" (as they call them) were downright mean and verbally abusive to the newcomers. I resisted their verbal abuse as well, especially when they said, and I quote, "IF YOU LEAVE, YOU'LL COME CRAWLING BACK TO US." Yikes. Where's the door?

The alcohol does not jump out of the bottle into my mouth. It cannot even uncap the bottle. I control my arm and hand, and pour the substance into my mouth. I choose to drink. AA says, "Alcohol is cunning, baffling, powerful." Alcohol does not have a conscious mind with which to be cunning, baffling, or powerful. Can people just admit they like to get drunk and need to get their stuff together? I think A.A. just becomes another addiction. Think about that! Addicts are vulnerable — and they find a group that they can never leave that they have to surrender their will to. It's pretty clear once you think it through. I think there need to be a group called A.A.A. to help people stop their addiction to A.A. But then you would need A.A.A.A. and A.A.A.A.A. I just went "Ahaaaaa!" instead.

Since then, I have actually experienced responsible drinking, and no longer need temporary or occasional drunkenness to deal with stress. I am not being screamed at everyday, I no longer feel I need to please people, and I really have no need to get drunk. Eureka! I am NOT alcoholic. I am 100% certain of this fact.

Do you really believe Jesus would prescribe wine for communion, or make it if He knew it would lead to an incurable, fatal disease? Ridiculous! Some Christians actually tell others, "the wine in the Bible was different — it had no alcohol" Hey Sparky! How did those people in the Bible get drunk? Pretty powerful grape juice, wasn't it? Where can I get the seeds for those grapes?

My grandmother died of Cancer — that is a real disease. Hey A.A. chairman, go up to a kid with Leukemia and say, "I also have an incurable, fatal disease called alcoholism. I understand your pain." That is insulting.

If alcoholism is a disease, it takes away my personal responsibility for having the problem to begin with. "I have a disease, it's not my fault — I was born this way — I am genetically predisposed to this." Hello? I actually heard several AA people say they thank "god" for the gift of alcoholism because it helped them find their Higher Power. Some A.A. members actually think they are god's "special" people and that they are blessed with a higher revelation of reality than non-alcoholics. There is a subtle weirdness to A.A. and when you are vulnerable and come crawling in after a DUI, or a divorce, it is easy to overlook it.

After they brainwash you over and over that alcoholism is a disease you will "NEVER" be cured of, they say that DENIAL is a symptom of the disease. The fact that I was denying it proved I had it! I'm serious! They told me that! So, I asked one guy if he was a homosexual. He said, "No!" "Uh oh," I replied, "The fact you are denying it proves you have it. Now you are a gay drunk." My sarcasm was unappreciated, but the point was made. It was another example of their ridiculous philosophy.

According to A.A., I was destined to come to AA meetings in crappy buildings in shady parts of town, surrounded by bad coffee and a cloud of cigarette smoke for the rest of my life. In other words, the healing powers of God Almighty were limited by alcoholism. God can cure EVERY disease EXCEPT alcoholism? Sorry, I don't buy it. There were many other creepy things — group think, the teaching that you can never leave AA or you will face death, asylums, or prison, and other typical scare tactics that cults use to keep you in the group.

I checked out of the "Hotel California" and am free now. The sad thing is there are many wonderful people in A.A., but I believe they are deceived into believing a lie of performance-based religion that is based on getting tokens (gold stars from the leaders) and doing good deeds to earn favor. Just like so many groups, it is not what it seems. One of the other things that really ticked them off was when I asked how people stopped drinking BEFORE A.A. I was told that they couldn't. They died. Hmm. Until A.A., no one could ever stop drinking. A.A. is special. OK. And the Bible was originally written in Shakespearian English in 1611, too, right?

These days I regularly see a therapist, and have been professionally diagnosed by a Psychiatrist with having ADHD and Depression. For this, I take Wellbutrin and Adderall, and feel normal for the first time in a long time.


Hello Brad,

Thank you for the letter. That's great. You got it. You understand. I don't need to tell you anything.

So have a good day now, and a great life.

== 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 22, 2009, Friday: Day 22, continued:

Canada Goose family with goslings
The Family of 4

[More gosling photos below, here.]

Date: Fri, May 20, 2011 8:35 pm     (answered 22 May 2011)
From: David
Subject: Email me back

Are you an alcoholic?

Date: Fri, May 20, 2011 8:38 pm
From: David
Subject: Question are you an alcoholic and/or drug abuser/addict...

We can start with that question?

Date: Fri, May 20, 2011 8:40 pm
From: David
Subject: Question...are you an alcoholic and/or drug abuser/addict...

Yes or No....

New phone sorry if repeats will do better.

David M.

Hello David,

Whether I am an alcoholic, or was an alcoholic, depends on your definition of "alcoholic". Alcoholics Anonymous actually uses several very different definitions of the word "alcoholic", and mixes them up freely, which really confuses the issue and makes for some bait-and-switch tricks.

We've been over this before, but I guess it's time to reprint the definitions again:

The definitions are:

  1. An alcoholic is someone who habitually drinks far too much alcohol.
  2. An alcoholic is someone who is hyper-sensitive to alcohol, almost allergic to alcohol, perhaps a genetic alcoholic; someone who cannot drink even one drink or his drinking will spin out of control and he will become readdicted to alcohol.
  3. An alcoholic is somebody who cannot quit drinking — he is "powerless" over alcohol.
  4. An alcoholic is an insane sinner who is full of disgusting character defects and moral shortcomings and resentments and barely-contained anger, and is a prime example of self-will run riot and instincts run wild and selfishness and self-seeking and the Seven Deadly Sins, although he doesn't think so... etc., etc., ...

When I call myself an alcoholic, I usually mean definition 2, and only occasionally definition 1, but never definitions 3 or 4.

  1. By definition 1, I stopped being an alcoholic more than 10 years ago.
  2. By definition 2, I will always be an alcoholic.
  3. By definition 3, I wasn't an alcoholic, because I could quit drinking, and I did. I was not "powerless over alcohol". I even quit drinking without any help from A.A., because I quit drinking two weeks before I was ever sent to an A.A. meeting.
  4. By definition 4, I was never an alcoholic. I was always a nice drunk. People liked having me at their parties because I was so much fun to have around when I got high. (But, as one friend said, "Even nice drunks die of cirrhosis of the liver...")

So you pick which definition of "alcoholic" you prefer, and you will get the yes or no answer to whether I am an alcoholic.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "You can fool all the people some of the time, and
**     some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool
**     all the people all the time."
**         —  Abraham Lincoln

Date: Mon, May 23, 2011 3:40 pm     (answered 24 May 2011)
From: David
Subject: Re: Question...are you an alcoholic and/or drug abuser/addict...

Pretty simple question...yes or no would be very easy as a start....

No, it is not a simple question. Did you read the definitions of "alcoholic"? Which one do you mean when you ask me if I am an alcoholic?

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.


Happy Birthday, Bob Dylan.

He's 70 now. Wow. Can you remember when we all thought we'd never live to see 30?

Date: Sun, May 22, 2011 7:18 am     (answered 24 May 2011)
From: "Peggy W."

me thinks thou doth protest too much

Hi Peggy,

Actually, I don't protest enough. Hundreds of thousands of people are still getting sentenced to A.A. meetings, so I haven't done enough yet.

Have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
**       ==  George Orwell

Date: Sun, May 22, 2011 10:54 am     (answered 24 May 2011)
From: "Joanee"
Subject: funny how...

AA works all over the world. People have heard of it. No one's heard of you.

Hello Joanie,

Both of those statements are false. A.A. is a total failure that kills more people than it helps. We were just discussing that in a couple of previous letters, so I won't just reprint it all again. Look here.

And nobody has heard of me? You have heard of me. Are you nobody?

And it seems that the Orange Papers are popular enough that the true believers are trying to divert people away from my web site. Look here for copycat name fraud:


Now why would they do that if nobody has heard of me?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The hardest thing to cope with is not selfishness or vanity
**     or deceitfulness, but sheer stupidity.
**       ==  Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind (1954), 210.

UPDATE: 2014.08.03: The owner of the "orange-papers.com" neglected and abandoned the domain name. Apparently being an imposter wasn't all that much fun and he/she lost interest. So when the domain name registration expired, and the name became available, I registered it and redirected it to orange-papers.info. I also registered all of the other similar domain names that I could get, to prevent another copycat. So now these all go to the orange-papers.info web site:

  • orange-papers.info
  • orange-papers.com
  • orange-papers.net
  • orangepapers.net
  • orange-paper.com
  • orange-paper.net
  • orange-paper.org
  • orangepaper.net
  • orangepaper.org

Date: Mon, May 23, 2011 10:45 am     (answered 24 May 2011)
From: "Ian B."
Subject: Hello.


Interesting site, someone suggested I google it and take a look. I am not sure what to make of it all though.

I don't go to AA any more, but I did, for a number of years. I was reading your piece about how many 10 year medallions are handed out as compared with 1 year medallions. Not sure if your point is that people go back drinking again and so don't qualify or if they just drift away from AA when they have had enough and so are not around to collect their medallion? If it's the latter, I don't see what the problem is, people will use AA as they need it and leave when they outgrow it. I think that's perfectly natural. It's what happened to me, but I don't look back on AA with hatred or anger. Disappointment in some members' behaviour perhaps, but we're all just human. Equally I also think it is natural for some people to stay and attend meetings for the rest of their lives, if that seems right to them and if it doesn't cause anyone any harm. If it's the former, I'd suggest an awful lot of people (I bump into them in the supermarket) used to go to AA but stopped, but they are still living useful and sober lives.

Hello Ian,

Thanks for the letter. The count of coins given out indicate the dropout rate — either because people failed to find what they needed in A.A., or because they just got tired of it.

You can get more accurate measurements of the actual A.A. failure rate by other means, ranging from the statements of the "pioneers" like Bill Wilson, to the reports from doctors who tested A.A.'s effects.

At first nearly every alcoholic we approached began to slip, if indeed he sobered up at all. Others would stay dry six months or maybe a year and then take a skid. This was always a genuine catastrophe.
Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, William G. Wilson, (1957), page 97.

And Nell Wing, who was a secretary of Alcoholics Anonymous for 35 years, and Bill Wilson's personal secretary for many of those years, as well as A.A.'s first archivist, reported:

"There were alcoholics in the hospitals of whom A.A. could touch and help only about five percent. The doctors started giving them a dose of LSD, so that the resistance would be broken down. And they had about fifteen percent recoveries. This was all a scientific thing."
Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, William G. Wilson, (1957), page 370.

I just covered all of that in a previous letter, so I'll point you to it:

It does irk a bit that you appear not to have recovered from alcoholism yourself, though apologies are due if I haven't read the bit that says you have. And while it wouldn't preclude your commenting on the subject, it does seem a bit unnecessary to villify something that does work for a lot of people and doesn't seem to do you personally any harm. At the end of the day, surely that's what counts more than anything? That the lives of alcoholics and those around them are improved by AA?

I have 10 years of sobriety now. So I guess that means that I have recovered.

I am not "villifying something that works for a lot of people." A.A. does not work at all. It kills more people than it helps. A.A. fools a lot of people into thinking that it gets people sober, but it doesn't.

Read the first link above. Pay particular attention to the report from Dr. George E. Vaillant, who went on to become a true believer member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., and the biggest proselytizer and promoter of Alcoholics Anonymous in the world. Dr. Vaillant used A.A. treatment on alcoholics for the better part of 20 years at the Cambridge-Sommerville Hospital, trying to prove that A.A. works, and he tracked his first 100 patients for 8 years. At the end of 8 years, the score was: 5 continuously sober, 29 dead, and 66 still drinking. Dr. Vaillant reported:

Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism, but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling.
Once again, our results were no better than the natural history of the disorder.
The Natural History of Alcoholism: Causes, Patterns, and Paths to Recovery, George E. Vaillant, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1983, pages 283-286.
The same text was reprinted in Vaillant's later book, The Natural History of Alcoholism Revisited, George E. Vaillant, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1995, pages 349-352.

"No better than the natural history of the disorder" means that the A.A. results were no better than the fate of alcoholics who got no treatment or help at all. A.A. was no better than untreated alcoholism.

You can read the whole story here.

If AA as a cult or religion started to worm it's way into society and law (and in the US it seems it does, if you are correct in what you say about sentencing) then that needs to be addressed. that isn't right at all. It is the same objection I have to Christianity; worship what you want but don't impose your values on me — and those values are imposed in that I could not, for instance, assist a suicide without breaking a law based on Christian values.

Right. It is blatantly unConstitutional to sentence people to the 12-Step cult religion.

I stopped attending AA once I got over the horror of my deeds done while drinking, and yes that absolution and aceptance seems to have saved my life, without AA I would probably have killed myself or made an even bigger mess of things trying. The religious views of other people was a particular turn off, admittedly. I am an atheist, and for a while I was willing to convince myself I believed in a personal god and that was enough to steer me through the first years of sobriety, even if deep down I never relaly believed it. I believed more that I needed to stop drinking! 16 years on, without having or wanting a drink, I am fairly certain that is the result of AA, the people of AA and the 12 Step Programme. It wouldn't work on me now, but that's because I don't need it now. It is 10 years since my last AA meeting, but I am still happily sober with a family, responsible job etc.

It is all fine and well that you learned some self-acceptance. You can get the same thing from a lot of other places, like SMART or SOS or Lifering.

Towards the end of my time in AA I didn't like the attitude of many people there, and there are some bad sorts same as there are anywhere. I disliked people telling me that I was wrong in questioning the existence of god, and you didn't need a degree in psychology to see that my sobriety without god challenged their sobriety with god. So it was perhaps as well for us all that I stopped attending meetings. I couldn't be honest in meetings any more, so it was pointless anyway.

Right. It's a bait-and-switch religion. First the story is that you don't have to believe anything, but then you do. Look here:

But AA served a purpose and that's why I struggle to see the value of the Orange Papers site. You are right, and it is correct and proper I suppose to be truthful or at least to offer another version of the acepted truth, to seek out people's motives, find evidence of something and conclude that perhaps it isn't as great and noble a set-up as people may have given credit for. But then what is?

It is good that you had some company while you sorted things out, but the fact remains that A.A. does not work and it kills more people than it saves.

So, what will the Orange Papers acheive? AA — and I could even list individuals in this — saved my life, saved me from a beckoning suicide. True, that statement is too emotional to be accepted as fact, I may be wrong, I may have exaggerated the influence of AA in my life over the years. So it is something I must take partly on faith and admit that there is the possibility I would not have killed myselfwithout AA. But it was the only possible way out I could see at the time (my last drinking session came to a particularly horrific end). Few things then are 100% certain and we should really talk about things in terms of probability. For instance, there probably isn't any such thing as god. I probably would have killed myself had I not grabbed the lifeline thrown by AA. And if I were still drinking and looking — as alcoholics do — for a way to avoid stopping drinking, then stumbling across the Orange Papers would be just the ticket! "Here is proof", I would say, opening another bottle, "that AA is a pile of crap. It doesn't work, it is full of bad people."

Cheers! Ian

Again, you saved your own life. You chose to stop drinking, and then you did it. A.A. did not do that for you. Congratulations on your sobriety. All that A.A. did was tell you a bunch of lies about how well A.A. works, and then try to shove their stupid cult religion on you. And you bailed out when you noticed that A.A. was just an aggressive cult religion. Congratulations for that one too.

The goal of the Orange Papers is just to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. What will that achieve? I don't know.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "...AA certainly functions as a cult and systematically
**     indoctrinates its members in ways common to cults the
**     world over.  ...in the absence of proven scientific
**     efficacy, critics are legitimate in suggesting that
**     mandated AA attendance may be criticized as a failure
**     of proper separation between church and state."
**     == A.A. Trustee Prof. Dr. George E. Vaillant,
**     The Natural History Of Alcoholism Revisited, page 266.

Date: Sat, May 28, 2011 4:03 am
From: "Ian B."
Subject: Re: Hello.

Many thanks for your considered reply. I will take another look and follow those links — as I say, it is interesting stuff.

Kind regards


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

Human child with Canada Geese and goslings
The human children and geese children pretty much coexist very peacefully on the beach.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

Date: Tue, May 24, 2011 1:35 pm     (answered 24 May 2011)
From: "No_Name"
Subject: Thank You.

Hi Terrance,

Firstly, may I thank you for your tremendous work.

I myself came to a very tearful surrender around 8 years ago.

I would urge you at all costs to develop your work e.g. publish books etc and utilise all and any other methods of information sharing, we now seem to have in this World.

Your incredible and factual volume of work needs ( indeed demands ) more exposure............You know why?

Because, in my experience, for people to break free from the fear and rigidity, that medium term AA meeting attendance and 'Sponsor Control' causes........is for some, almost impossible, so great is the Brainwashing ( Particularly the notion that you cannot think for yourself or ever really trust your own thinking).

And although AA would claim that anyone is free to leave at any time.........what I have witnessed; heard about others AND myself, is simply that anyone who leaves the meetings for whatever reason, seems suddenly to take on the attractivenesss, roughly akin to that of a leper.

I myself, did every Service post possible, attended and assisted at Conventions, Sponsored many; started Meetings etc etc etc. After some 4 years I decided enough was enough and that AA was having a very negative effect on me and indeed stopping my Spiritual Growth. I believe I have a very real Faith in God and what goes on in those rooms is at best, a very diluted version of Christian Principles in action...... and at worse, nothing short of evil. ( N.B. I dont use such strong words lightly ).

So, after some 8 years sober, my fabulous children are a very close part of my life; I have had the same job for 8 years, I do Downtown Church and Charitable work; I travel; I love and allow myself to be loved.

I believe myself to be considerate and kind, and my Faith in God adjusts my behaviour. I have found more goodwill and 'Genuine friendships' in the last few years, from both perfect strangers and those outside AA, than I ever found within it....... and boy, at one time was I right in it!!! But given all of this...... I still heard recently that I was thought of, by an 'Elder Statesman' as a very sick man.

So, again, let me assure you, that your work is vital............ there are so many who need to take strength from it!!!!!!!

Please don't show my name or Zip, as I dont want the AA Cops to have me deported!!!

Well done my Friend...... keep going....... God bless You!!!!


Hello No_Name,

Thank you for the letter. I'm glad to hear that you escaped from the madhouse. Thanks for all of the compliments. I think that word is slowly getting out, and I shall continue to continue.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Two wrongs don't make a right, but three left turns do.

Date: Tue, May 24, 2011 1:07 pm     (answered 24 May 2011)
From: "Charles F."
Subject: Hi From Charles in New York

Thank you for the dose of reality in your writings. I could tell you some horrible things about the cult Atlantic Group in NYC, but I am not well and need to conserve my energy. Keep up the good work.


Hello Charles,

Thank you for the letter. I hope you are feeling well. Perhaps somebody else in New York City can report on the Atlantic Group.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     The one means that wins the easiest victory over reason:
**     terror and force.
**       ==  Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (1924), 1.2.

Date: Wed, May 25, 2011 9:58 am     (answered 27 May 2011)
From: "Facebook"
Subject: Dennis W. M. shared a link on your Wall.

Dennis W. M. shared a link on your Wall.

More sexual exploitation by the "Addictions Professionals".

Suit alleges booze, sex instead of treatment at Spanaway counseling center

A woman who sought treatment for alcoholism at a Spanaway counseling center contends in a lawsuit that she instead was plied with liquor and forced by a worker there into an unwanted sexual relationship.

Hello again, Dennis,

Wow. That is intense. Thanks for the link.

Just a few days ago, I posted a note in the forum about a TV movie that slammed rehab centers. Tom Selleck both wrote and starred in a movie — "Jessie" — that portrayed rehab centers as heartless "rehab mills" that just took sick people's money and switched their addiction to tranquilizers. Worse, one of the employees at the rehab center was actually a pimp who fooled girls into thinking that he was their friend by playing head games on them when they were sick and confused and cloudy-headed while detoxing. So the girls met up with him after they got out of rehab, and he got them onto heroin and made them into his prostitutes.

Part of me wondered whether Tom Selleck was maybe exaggerating just a little bit. And then you send this article. The "treatment center counselor" actually takes a woman out for a drink? And then gets her smashed and screws her? Unreal.

I've been saying for many years now that the vast majority of counselors at treatment centers are grossly incompetent — just burned-out addicts who got a certificate for promotion of 12-Step cult religion. This story supports that sentiment.

(Need I mention again that my own "counselor" at a treatment center was actually a cocaine-snorting child porn freak and child molester?)

Oh well, have a good day.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     What the evening TV news teaches us is that life in this world
**     is a real drag, but life is wonderful if you take enough pills.

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