Letters, We Get Mail, CCLX

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters260.html#Don_J ]

Date: Fri, September 2, 2011 11:13 am     (answered 3 September 2011)
From: "Don J."
Subject: Verification on your writings

Hi there. I have been reading with great interest your work on analyzing AA. I am trying to research much of the same information as you. I would really like references to some information you've posted and am hoping you can help. The first 12 steps as you mention them here is one such example. Do you have a source for this?

Thanks a lot

Great work



So Bill Wilson took the various practices and procedures of Frank Buchman's Oxford Groups and turned them into a 12-Step program for Alcoholics Anonymous:
  • 1. [We] Admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  • 2. Came to believe that God could restore us to sanity.
  • 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care and direction of God.
  • 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  • 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  • 6. Were entirely willing that God remove all these defects of character.
  • 7. Humbly, on our knees, asked Him to remove our shortcomings — holding nothing back.
  • 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make complete amends to them all.
  • 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  • 10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  • 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  • 12. Having had a spiritual experience as the result of this course of action, we tried to carry this message to others, especially alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Hello Don,

Thank you for the complimenents and the question. And the answer is simple: yes, plenty of documentation.

The best documentation is the Oxford Group book Soul Surgery, by H. A. Walter, The Oxford Group, Oxford: 1932. That book was the manual of the Oxford Group, and it specifically lists all of the cult practices that got turned into the 12 Steps — the confessing and the surrendering, and making restitution, and listening to God in a séance and being ordered around by God or the voices in your head, and making amends, and on and on.

I have a local copy here, free for downloading: Soul Surgery.

Also see the historical document What_Is_The_Oxford_Group, which describes most all of the common practices of the Oxford Group, including

  1. Sharing for Confession and Witness
  2. Surrender
  3. Restitution
  4. Guidance
  5. The Four Absolutes:
    1. Absolute Honesty
    2. Absolute Purity
    3. Absolute Unselfishness
    4. Absolute Love

Again, the practices like confession, surrender, restitution, and getting "guided by God" in a séance, got turned into some of the 12 Steps. And again, a free download here.

Also see the following web pages which give further descriptions of Oxford Group cult practices, and references to books that document them:

  1. The Religious Tenets and Doctrines of Buchmanism
  2. The Cult Characteristics of the Oxford Groups

And then there are a lot of other historical books:

This first list is books that are very pro-Buchman. The first four books were practically the textbooks of the Oxford Group, and that is where you will find a lot of the practices and beliefs of Buchman's "Groupers" spelled out.

  1. Soul Surgery, by H. A. Walter, The Oxford Group, Oxford: 1932
  2. What_Is_The_Oxford_Group, by "The Layman with a Notebook".
  3. THE QUIET TIME By Howard J. Rose
  4. He That Cometh; A Sequel to 'Tell John,' being further essays on the Message of Jesus and Present Day Religion, Geoffrey Allen, Fellow and Chaplain of Lincoln College, Oxford, 1933
  5. Remaking the World, the speeches of Frank Buchman, Frank N. D. Buchman

    These books are mostly cheer-leading and praise of Frank Buchman and the Oxford Group, but they also give a description of participation in the Oxford Group:

  6. For Sinners Only, A. J. Russell
  7. One Thing I Know, A. J. Russell (1933)
  8. More Twice-Born Men, Harold Begbie
  9. I Was A Pagan, V. C. "Vic" Kitchen
  10. Innocent Men, Peter Howard

These books were critical of Buchman and his Oxford Group:

  1. Saints Run Mad; A Criticism of the "Oxford" Group Movement, Marjorie Harrison (1934)
  2. The Oxford Groups; The Charge Delivered At The Third Quadrennial Visitation Of His Diocese Together With An Introduction, Herbert Hensley Henson, D.D. (the Bishop of Durham), 1933
  3. Inside Buchmanism; an independent inquiry into the Oxford Group Movement and Moral Re-Armament, Geoffrey Williamson, Philosophical Library, New York, c1954
  4. The Groups Movement, The Most Rev. John A. Richardson, Morehouse Publishing Co., Milwaukee, Wis., 1935.
  5. The Mystery of Moral Re-Armament, by Tom Driberg, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1965

And this one was a mixed bag of both viewpoints. Rev. G. F. Allen was a spokesman for the Oxford Group, while some of the others were very critical. All of the authors were faculty or staff at Oxford:

  • Oxford and the Groups; The Influence of the Groups considered by Rev. G. F. Allen, John Maud, Miss B. E. Gwyer, C. R. Morris, W. H. Auden, R. H. S. Crossman, Dr. L. P. Jacks, Rev. E. R. Micklem, Rev. J. W. C. Wand, Rev. M. C. D'Arcy, S.J., Professor L. W. Grensted,     Edited by R. H. S. Crossman;     Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1934.

Most of those books are old and rare, but larger libraries still have copies in the stacks somewhere, and you can get them through inter-library loans. (That's how I got them.)

And finally, we have the word of Bill Wilson himself that he took the material for the 12 Steps from the Oxford Groups:

"Early AA got its ideas of self-examination, acknowledgement of character defects, restitution for harm done, and working with others straight from the Oxford Groups and directly from Sam Shoemaker, their former leader in America, and nowhere else."
== William G. Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, page 39.

Where did the early AAs find the material for the remaining ten Steps? Where did we learn about moral inventory, amends for harm done, turning our wills and lives over to God? Where did we learn about meditation and prayer and all the rest of it? The spiritual substance of our remaining ten Steps came straight from Dr. Bob's and my own earlier association with the Oxford Groups, as they were then led in America by that Episcopal rector, Dr. Samuel Shoemaker.
== William G. Wilson, The Language of the Heart, page 298, published posthumously in 1988.

Note that Bill Wilson was being deceptive there when he listed Sam Shoemaker as the American leader of the Oxford Groups. Sam Shoemaker was the Number Two man, Frank Buchman was the leader. But Bill Wilson didn't want to mention Frank Buchman, because Buchman had a terrible reputation for his praise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, and aiding and abetting draft-dodging schemes.

Enjoy, and have a good day.

P.S.: After rereading your question, I'm wondering if you were asking a different question. Were you simply looking for a copy of the original version of the 12 Steps before modifications? That I will have to check. I wish I had put a few more footnotes in there. The most likely sources are either the reprint of the multilith edition of the Big Book, or Bill W. by Robert Thomsen, Harper & Rowe, New York, 1975. I'll have to check on that when I can dig out those books.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    The Carl Sagan rule:
**    "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
**    The far-fetched claims of Bill Wilson that Frank Buchman's
**    cult religion could cure alcoholism have not been backed
**    up by even a little ordinary evidence, never mind some
**    extraordinary evidence.

Date: Tue, September 6, 2011 7:48 am
From: "Don J."
Subject: Re: Verification on your writings

Thanks alot for sending that. Great info. It did answer my question and it will certainly help. I am actually putting together my own site regarding some of this information. I'll send you a link when things are ready.

Take care, hopefully we'll be able to correspond some more.


July 20, 2011, Wednesday: Now taking a side trip to the Fernhill Wetlands this summer:

Greylag Goose
"Gus", the Greylag Goose

This is a Greylag Goose, which is a popular domesticated goose breed in Europe. Obviously, someone released him here at the wetlands. And he joined the Canada Goose flock and is quite happy with them, and has no desire to have anything to do with humans. Well, except for the bread, that is.

And he isn't the only one. Last year, there were a couple of white domestic geese here, and this year there is also what looks like a smaller half-grown female Greylag Goose.

UPDATE, 2012.04.19:
It turns out that this female Canada Goose is Gus's wife — his mate for life. She is with him in 2012, too. Look here. So she flew south for the winter, and then returned to him in the spring. Canada Geese mate for life, so that isn't a total surprise, but it is still a bit of a surprise.

Also, the funny-looking small goose that looked like an immature Greylag Goose turned out to really be a half-breed, half Canada Goose and half Greylag Goose, almost certainly Gus's son or daughter, and almost certainly by this female — especially since, in 2012, the whole family of Gus, his wife, the funny-looking child, and five new little goslings are all hanging out together.

[More gosling photos below, here.]

[The previous letter from Andrew_F is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters260.html#Andrew_F ]

Date: Fri, September 2, 2011 3:11 pm     (answered 6 September 2011)
From: "andrew f."
Subject: check out the pages...

protocols of the learned ones had some who wanted it kept quiet. No wonder they killed people who had a copy. read on...





Hello again, Andrew,

You are making the huge mistake of assuming that The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion are a true historical document, rather than a fraud and forgery that was created by the Russian Czar's Secret Police — the Okrana — around 1898. When you know that, then the rest of the argument falls apart. The Protocols are not evidence of anything other than the fact that the Okrana were dishonest.

White Supremicist web sites are also not reliable sources of historical information about Jews.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "Only in America!"
**       ==  Yogi Berra, upon hearing (in 1956) that
**           Dublin had elected a Jewish mayor

[The previous letter from Carlston_F is here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters260.html#Carlson_F ]

Date: Fri, September 2, 2011 9:22 pm     (answered 6 September 2011)
From: "Carlston C. F."
Subject: Re: hey...


Thx for the response:) Again my point was"not argue, but to point that weather u wanted to or not ur work strengthens AA not weaken. Obviously I way major disagreement with ur assertions". Perhaps, I will give a shot at argueing with u.

Sent from Carlston's mind

Hello again, Carlston,

Well obviously I believe that my work weakens A.A. And the hate-mail that I receive also says so. Every so often, someone accuses me of killing alcoholics by warning them and steering them away from A.A. Look here.

I also get plenty of letters where people tell me that learning the truth about A.A. was the last straw, and they quit A.A.

If you want to argue that me telling the truth about A.A. strengthens A.A., then sure, go ahead. But I have to ask in advance, "If telling the truth about A.A. strengthens A.A., why doesn't A.A. tell the truth about itself?" You would think that the A.A. headquarters would be delighted to strengthen A.A. by publishing books that tell all.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**  "The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know."
**     ==  from MERLE MILLER, Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography
**           of Harry S. Truman [1974], ch. 23

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters260.html#Tom_M ]

Date: Sat, September 3, 2011 1:42 am     (answered 6 September 2011)
From: "Tom M."

Here are a few examples of the 12-step industry as it operates in Ireland:

The Hanley Centre
their FAQ page starts off pretty mild, but it doesn't take long for it to get pretty heavy with the cult crazy. They shake buckets for change in my city on a regular basis, shouting "Help us fight addiction at the Hanley Centre". I always keep my money and give it to a beggar who looks like he needs it. At least the beggar is more honest, and isn't going to spend the money promoting cult religion, while pretending to be selling medical treatment.

Aislinn Adolescent Treatment Centre
These guys are totally insane. Look at the mind-bending loop-the-loop the perform with the 12-steps. Step 6 is a large bowl full of sand? My ass! These people charge serious cash for a six week stay, and if the kids don't comply fully with the brainwashing, they shut down that particular treatment group and send them all home early, with a large dose of Blame the Victim
I read a book about alcohol in Ireland, and the author asked the director of this circus about success rates, and she answered "I don't want to go into that". The arrogance of these people is mind-boggling!! They want to charge 5-star hotel nightly-rates for their facilities, but they can't be bothered by pesky things like statistics on success!! Any proper doctor, if you are going for an elective surgery, will always provide you with information on how successful the procedure is, and the probability of any adverse reactions.

One of the oddest, scariest characters I ever encountered at meetings went to this place

The 12-steppers never rest, and are always looking to make another buck, by duping vulnerable peoples and their families, with false hope and endless bait-and-switches.

Keep fighting the good fight

Hello again Tom,

Thanks for the letter, and the evidence that A.A. is a world-wide problem, and the 12-Step treatment racket is international organized crime.

I also notice that the director who wouldn't discuss success rates was pulling yet another bait-and-switch trick there: First, Steppers begin every meeting by declaring, "RARELY have we seen a person fail, who has thoroughly followed our path." Then, when you ask pointed questions about specific success rates, they switch the story to "I don't want to go into that".

That one is listed on the Bait-and-Switch web page, here:
http://orange-papers.info/orange-bait-switch.html#discuss_numbers: First, they talk about numbers, and then they refuse to discuss numbers. Likewise, first they claim a great success rate, and then they refuse to discuss the success rate.

Have a good day.

== Orange

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

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters260.html#Stephanie_L ]

Date: Mon, September 5, 2011 5:19 pm     (answered 10 September 2011)
From: stephanie l.
Subject: [www.orange-papers.info] eyeluvbooze on YouTube

Hello Orange,

A YouTube user devoted to making fun of YOU! (I suppose you're already aware of it, but just in case...)


Alcoholics Anonymous — Bill Wilson is alive
From: eyeluvbooze | Aug 14, 2009 | 8,086 views
Satire A tongue in cheek poke at Orange Papers, a one man hate manifesto directed against Alcoholics Anonymous

Pure awesomeness.


Hello Stephanie,

Thank you for the tip. I didn't know about that video.

What that video shows us is standard cult behavior: Do not discuss the real issues, just attack the critic personally. Just slander and libel the critic and don't tell the truth about anything.

The video goes on an on about how bad I supposedly am and how arrogant I was to not like my counselor in treatment, and how I supposedly misrepresent the facts — which I do not do — but the author of that video failed to mention the fact that the counselor whom I didn't like was arrested and sent to prison for two counts of criminal sexual penetration of minors, possession of child pornography in his computer, and multiple counts of possession of cocaine. He had cocaine in his home, and in his car, and at his office at the so-called treatment center. So after a day of lecturing us about how to live clean and sober, he would go home, snort cocaine, look at child porn on his computer, and then screw his step-children. That is quite some spiritual A.A. member, isn't it? Quite some teacher of clean and sober living, yes? And the author of this video thinks that I should have listened to my counselor? That is nuts.

The author of this video also misrepresented the treatment program. I was not shuffling around in a blue hospital robe and slippers. It was an outpatient treatment program. I was dressed in my own street clothes. I walked in under my own power and listened to that child-raper telling us that we should have a "higher power" in our recovery program, and that we should go to three A.A. or N.A. meetings per week, and then I walked back out and kept myself clean and sober my own way. I also quit smoking at the same time, my own way. And that counselor actually told me not to also quit smoking, "If you put too much on your plate, something might spill off." That is just about the worst advice I have ever gotten in the last 11 years. Quitting smoking saved my life, and gave me a whole new life.

Yes, I'm sure that I am much smarter than that counselor, and also more spiritual and moral, too. Here it is 10 years later, and I have 10 years of happy sobriety and freedom, while he has a long prison record and a permanent life-long record as a sex offender. But the author of the video didn't mention any of that, did he? And the video author accuses me of selective reporting and leaving out facts? That is hypocrisy for you.

The author of that video also failed to talk about the important issues like the A.A. failure rate, A.A. relapse rate, A.A. binge drinking rate, A.A. suicide rate, A.A. divorce rate, or anything else that really matters.

Then the author indulged in massive minimization and denial. (Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.) He or she actually declared that "Bill Wilson wasn't that bad." Oh yeh, right. When you are founding a new religion, what you really want as a spiritual teacher and prophet is a lying thieving philandering sexual predator who is a certified nutcase. (His two psychiatrists said so.) But that isn't so bad, is it? When you are sick and dying, you should really want to bet your life of the ravings of a certified lunatic who became a fanatical member of an old cult religion, shouldn't you?


Foisting ineffective quack medicine and cult religion on sick people, and lying to them about how well it really works, is a despicable crime.

On the bright side, what this video tells me is that the cult members are really getting annoyed at having somebody telling the truth about their cult.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     L. Ron Hubbard's instructions for how to defend Scientology
**      from critics:
**     "So BANISH all ideas that any fair hearing is intended
**     and start our attack with their first breath. Never wait.
**     Never talk about us — only them. Use their blood, sex,
**     crime to get headlines. Don't use us."
**       ==  Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, the founder of Scientology

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters260.html#Michael_M ]

Date: Mon, September 5, 2011 1:02 am     (answered 10 September 2011)
From: "Michael M."

I've read your site on/off for years and I give it credit to helping pry my grip from 12 Step activism of 12-15 years. I've been free now for 5-6 years and haven't looked back. 12 Steps owned me because I thought 12 Step principles was in fact compatible (not heretical) to Christian fundamentals. And I feared the inevitable Death, jails and/or Institutions. I had been a walking/talking (and rather eloquent IMO) 12 Stepper quoting literature verbatim. I did home group, speaker commitments, Group Service rep, ad infinitum. Today, if I sense someone, let's say at work, is tied up with 12 Steppism, instead of a mutual bond like I had been programmed, I feel extreme pity for them. Answers to life's problems, for me, can be found in Church. Not Church basements.

Anyway, has your site ever drawn analogies between the Big Book and Hitler's Mein Kampf? Both generated retirement proceeds and neither Wilson nor Hitler had a gift for writing, and yet were heralded in their day as literature messiahs. Both men were business failures and unemployable. Both collected every possible New Age philosophy and incorporated it into their agenda. Neither drank. Both were narcissists. Wilson was fond of necromancy and I'd imagine Hitler had his own interests at one point or another. Both were in the military during WW I. (although far different combat experiences) Both made the cover of TIME. And both charlatans who developed a quasi-religion complete with symbolism and creeds. Both works of literature featured a theme of absolute destitution and struggle, only to find the protagonist resurface like Icarus. And both works featuring a thread of an iconic antagonist threatening their ultimate cause, for Hitler it was the Jewish race, and for Wilson nefarious alcohol.

Michael M

Hello Michael,

Thanks for the letter, and congratulations on your sobriety and freedom.

I agree with your parallels between the Big Book and Mein Kampf, and also between Wilson and Hitler. What really struck me as being like Mein Kampf was Bill Wilson's second book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. That thing is really hard-core. That's the only time that I mentioned parallels between Bill Wilson's writings and Hitler's.

But I get your point, and I agree.

About Hitler's occult leanings, look here.

And there are also other Nazi-like characteristics to the A.A. philosophy, like the idea that you are mentally incompetent and cannot manage your own life, and you should just follow the orders of your superiors (Nazi officers or A.A. sponsors). And when it's all over, you can make the excuse that "I was just following orders."

"I will center my thoughts on a Higher Power. I will surrender all to his power within me. I will become a soldier for this power, feeling the might of the spiritual army as it exists in my life today. I will allow a wave of spiritual union to connect me through my gratitude, obedience, and discipline to this Higher Power. Let me allow this power to lead me through the orders of the day."
Daily Reflections; A Book of Reflections by A.A. members for A.A. members, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1990, August 27, page 248.

I will lock arms today and move forward in the company of those who need me. I need them also.
The Promise of a New Day: A Book of Daily Meditations, Karen Casey and Martha Vanceburg, Hazelden, November 4.

Sieg Heil, mein Führer!

Then there is this quote from the Big Book, where Bill Wilson declares that the only proper use of our will power is to chose to be a groveling slave of God:

We are not cured of alcoholism. What we have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our daily activities. "How can I best serve Thee — Thy will (not mine) be done." These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will.
The Big Book, 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, page 85.

It is strange that Bill Wilson says that we can use our wills (which we should not have, because we supposedly already gave them to the care of "God as we understood Him" in Step Three), to become sycophant slaves. No other use of our will power is valid, but choosing to be slaves of God is an okay use of our will power, and,
"We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will."

What rot. The proper use of the will? Only someone who has seriously damaged his brain with alcohol, or someone who was insane to start with, or both, could really believe such absurd nonsense. It isn't a matter of believing in God, it's a matter of believing in the crazy ravings of a genuine lunatic.

Also note that Bill Wilson's fascist leanings are showing again — If you are really a spiritual person, then you should use your will power to voluntarily choose to be a grovelling slave of Der Führer im Himmel (the Leader in Heaven):
"Sieg Heil, mein Führer! I just love to follow your orders. I voluntarily choose to be your slave! I live to do your will! Sieg Heil!"

"All fascists are not of one mind. There are those who give the orders, and those who take them."
== Dialog from the anti-Nazi 1930s movie Watch On The Rhine, Director Herman Shumlin, Screenplay by Dashell Hammett

And of course there is the big problem of how the proper A.A. member gets his marching orders. He has to conduct a séance in Step 11 and channel God and hear the voice of God telling him what to do. Otherwise, he doesn't have any "vision of God's will" to obey all day long... It's an open question whether that fellow hears the voice of God or the voice of his own desires, or something else. Could the "god" who whispers orders in his ear have cloven hooves and a pointy tail? Maybe. Who knows?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     "The folkish-minded man, in particular, has the sacred duty, each
**     in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking
**     superficially of God's will, and actually fulfill God's will, and
**     not let God's word be desecrated. For God's will gave men their
**     form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His
**     work is declaring war on the Lord's creation, the divine will."
**       ==  Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 2, Chapter 10.
**     "I distrust those people who know so well what God
**     wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides
**     with their own desires."
**        ==  Susan B. Anthony, 1896

2011.09.11: Here is an interesting article about people being concerned that judges are sentencing sex offenders and other violent criminals to A.A. meetings, and those criminals are attending A.A. and N.A. meetings that are located in churches and close to schools. The concerned citizens want the 12-Step meetings gone.


It's being discussed in the forum here:

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters260.html#Joyce ]

Date: Thu, September 1, 2011 1:20 pm     (answered 13 September 2011)
From: "Joyce"
Subject: I agree

I agree with much of what you say. I, too, did not like all the things that you mention on your website. I can't stop looking at it!

But, I also agree with your link about "The good things about AA." I do not believe that I could have gotten sober without it. I tried, believe me! I left AA one time & made it another 5 months on my own (the most I ever stopped drinking before AA was 1 month).

So, while I agree with everything you say, particularly about Bill Wilson, I don't know anything else to try or recommend to other people (I have 21 years). It's the only place I know to go where there are other people like me in regards to alcohol. People outside the rooms (1) don't drink, (2) drink socially/moderately, or (3) drink like I did but don't see anything wrong with it.

Since I came back to AA in 1990, I've practiced this little ditty I heard in the rooms, "Take what you can use & leave the rest."


Date: Thu, September 1, 2011 1:49 pm     (answered 13 September 2011)
From: "Joyce"
Subject: FW: I agree


Before AA, the people that I knew that didn't drink did not drink because (a) they didn't like the taste or (b) they were born-again Christians who thought it was a sin to touch a drink at all. I'm Catholic & it was never a sin to "have a drink." It was a sin to get drunk but when you have a body like mine, which loved alcohol from the first experience onward, I found as I got older, I was getting drunk without meaning to.

And I think Bill Wilson & Dr. Bob exemplify the 2 basic types of alcoholics (this is just "as Joyce sees it" as opposed to "As Bill Sees It"), high-roaders & low-roaders. Bill Wilson was the bull****ing, grandiose type while Dr. Bob was the depressed introverted type. I am like Dr. Bob.

But thank you for putting in writing what I felt immediately in 1988. I left in May of 1989 for exactly the same reasons that you find wrong but I returned on April 30, 1990. If I ever come up with anything better or if you do, let me know. And I'm not saying that smart-alecky, I'm saying it honestly. It's like marriage. People complain about it but over the centuries, nobody's thought of anything better (communes, etc.)


Hello Joyce,

Thank you for the letter and the compliments. About "something better", actually, people have come up with lots of things that are better, like SMART, SOS, WFS, and Lifering. I just made a new file of the list of addresses, so I'll point you to it here:
Perhaps you can find some sober and sane companionship there.

About A.A. making you "make it", I would suggest that the most important ingredient in the recipe for "making it" is your own determination and will power. Nobody holds your own hand every Saturday night but you. Nobody really keeps you from drinking but you. It is all fine and well that you got some company and moral support from A.A. meetings, but that doesn't make people quit drinking. The A.A. failure rate clearly shows that.

And to say that you never quit before you went to A.A. is overlooking the common cause for both quitting drinking and going to A.A. meetings in the first place: Things had gotten so unpleasant that you really decided to make big changes and improve your life, and you were willing to do whatever it took, so you both decided to quit drinking and you decided to give A.A. a try to see if it could help. Then the people at A.A. meetings told you that you quit drinking because of their program, which wasn't true at all.

The fact that you relapsed once when away from A.A. only proves that you are human. I did the same thing too, about 20 years ago. I first quit drinking around 1987, and stayed totally sober for 3 years with no cheating whatsoever, and only went to 4 A.A. meetings, ever, right at the beginning. I felt that they were nice people and everything, but I didn't want to spend the rest of my life sitting around talking about drinking. I didn't know anything about A.A. at that time, but I had already noticed that it made people obsess about drinking alcohol. So I went out and kept myself sober by simply deciding that I wasn't going to drink. But after three years I began to think that I had it under control and could handle a few beers. Famous last words. One beer led to two six-packs which led to a case which led lots more. I drank heavily for another 9 years until the doctor told me to quit drinking or die, choose one.

That is just experimentation and learning. Everybody who has quit drinking wonders, at some time or other, if maybe they could handle "just one" or "just a few". And old Lizard Brain will keep on telling you that you can have a good time without any consequences. Some of us just have to learn the hard way that no, we can't. Welcome to the human race.

About your characterization of the personalities of Bill W. and Dr. Bob, I agree. And I'm also one of the introverted depressed types.

I wish you luck and good fortune, and hope that you will check out some of the groups in that list.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**   "You cannot help people permanently by doing for them
**    what they could and should do for themselves."
**       == Abraham Lincoln
**   So much for the A.A. "Higher Power" quitting
**   drinking for you and keeping you sober.
**   So much for staying in A.A. for the rest of your life and
**   counting on Alcoholics Anonymous to keep you sober.

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters260.html#Alice_V ]

Date: Tue, September 6, 2011 1:00 am     (answered 13 September 2011)
From: "alice v."
Subject: One of these letters you get...

Hello. My names is Alice, and I find your site extremely interesting. I've long believed that AA and NA don't treat the addiction, they replace it. No more alcohol! now, more self indulgent meetings! YAY! I am a tad bitter, as zealous AA/NA-ers forced me into psychiatric care for three months at nineteen because of my 'alcoholism'... which I kicked at 21 because partying was less fun as I got older. So I stopped. But at nineteen i had no choice but to attend meetings every day if I wanted to get free of the psych ward for a few minutes. This didn't contribute to my ongoing sobriety, as you might have guessed.

I don't mean to imply the addiction is all a matter of will power, because I do believe that some people need treatment. But AA isn't treatment, its self indulgent wallowing. Don't tell complete strangers you're sorry for missing a birthday or something... tell the person whose birthday you missed. A group of people who are all jonesing for the same drug and believe they are powerless to stop using said drug are NOT an affective treatment. Anyone who tells you its not your fault you stole a car and crashed it into a group of kids, and you can't be blamed cuz its actually your disease, not your true self or your inner being or the most perfect you you can be, is not helping. Guilt is a good motivator IF its deserved.

But I'm getting off topic and I apologise. I am sending this email mostly because I took great offense to something someone wrote to you in the letter with the following header:

Date: Sun, August 27, 2006 11:26 pm
From: "Matthew J."
Subject: On the subject of AA

Matthew J goes on to use standard circular speak to say "la la la la i can't hear youuuuuu" with such profundities as 'there's nothing wrong with an open mind' and 'irrationality is a relative term' being included with such non-judgemental statements as 'Life is unmanagable for virtually every alchoholic' and 'Someone who's not going to meetings is eventually going to put themselves into a bad situation and end up drunk.' I know you read the letter already, I'm just trying to show that I did indeed read Matthew J's letter in its entirety.

I was deeply offended by this particular line:

"One day you will realize that you are not god, and I am, and you will be happy." ? The fricking bible.

I am a christian (small c because i have no organised affiliation, but I choose to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ), and well aquainted with the Bible. I have read the whole book several times. This is NOT in the Bible. Perhaps Matthew J. and AA use a different Bible. Perhaps the use of the word Bible should be qualified by something other than a cuss word. Perhaps it is the NAAV (New AA Version) or the RAAV (Revised AA Version). Perhaps it's a book that is seen as a holy book by some other group. I doubt this very much, as generally Westerners use the word Bible to refer to the Christian book of faith and any other book is "the bible of ____". This may be a paraphrase found in one of the colloquial translations, although the source of this paraphrase would still be unclear as this sentiment is never really expressed in the Bible. The only real possibility is the book of Job, and it would more acurately be "I am God, I created the hippo and the crocodile! What monstrous creature have you created, Hmmm?" Also, quoting one of the colloquial translations and sourcing it as the Bible is frowned upon, as the colloquial/common use translations are considered on par with the "childrens' bible" translations, and are not a reliable source.

Matthew J can believe what he likes. He can believe that his Higher Power wants to subjugate his free will. He can believe his Higher Power wants brainless followers who never question. He can believe any stupid statement he chooses. But crediting that statement to the God one reads about in the Bible is completely unacceptable. The God of the Bible is not always nice, or kind, or fair. But he's not a dick that brainwashes His followers! Sure, he punishes them pretty harshly when they don't do as they're told, but He never ever says "One day you will realize that I have total control over you due to my superpowers, and you'll be ecstatic about it because I won't give you a choice."

If you could perhaps pass that on to Matthew J, I would appreciate it.

Thanks for being the voice that fights back. Someone has to be.


Hello Alice,

Thank you for the input and thanks for the thanks. And I have to agree with you. And I'll see if I can find Matthew's email address, and pass your message on.

Speaking of the Bible and Christianity, I can't help but notice that A.A. is actually very anti-Christian. Yes, they claim to be very open-minded and accepting of all religions, but all pro-Christian stories were actually censored from the Big Book. There is not a single testimonial story in the Big Book where someone tells of getting sober by worshipping Jesus Christ. People brag about finding a "Higher Power", or "God", or using Alcoholics Anonymous — a "Group Of Drunks" — as their "G.O.D." but "Jesus Christ" does not appear in the testimonial stories in the back of the Big Book even once. Are there simply no Christians in Alcoholics Anonymous?

I am reminded of this quote from William Playfair:

In fact, the most striking evidence of the non-Christian nature of AA is in the testimonials of its members. In Came to Believe, which we are told is a record of "the spiritual adventure of AA as experienced by individual members," not one single testimonial out of the several hundreds could clearly and unquestionably be considered Christian. Not one single reference to the God and Father of Jesus Christ or Jesus Christ, as the one and only Savior, can be found. This is especially interesting when one realizes that every other kind of testimony is recorded. Out of the millions of AA members, surely AA could have included one Christian testimony in a book filled with testimonies! If anything, this book shows an anti-Christian bias.
      Members acknowledge Allah, the Life Force, any power greater than a drunk, the AA group as a whole, etc., but never the Lord God of the Scriptures. Either the number of Christians in AA is so small as to be negligible, or AA editors have chosen to exclude Christian testimonies. I will leave it to the reader to decide for himself which explanation is the correct one.
The Useful Lie, William L. Playfair, M.D. with George Bryson, page 95.

There is more on that here.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     When they tell you that you are powerless,
**     that just means that somebody else gets the power.

July 20, 2011, Wednesday, a side trip to the Fernhill Wetlands this summer:

Pelicans at the Fernhill Wetlands

Notice how the Olympus E-510 camera blew the highlights again. The white patches on the pelican's backs are areas where the dinky Olympus "Four-Thirds" sensor overloaded and went flat white. That really destroys the image quality. This could have been a professional-quality picture, but for Olympus.

[The story of Carmen continues here.]

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters260.html#PJT ]

Date: Tue, September 6, 2011 4:18 am     (answered 13 September 2011)
From: "Facebook"
Subject: Pj T. wants to be friends on Facebook.

"You are the man! You really helped me rip apart the Big Book with the truth. People in AA told me so many lies and tortured my soul. An old timer with 20 plus years actually told me to read your work. Thank YOU!!!!!!!"

Hello PJ,

Thanks for the thanks, and the compliments. I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better, and freer.

And you have a good day too.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    To have freedom is only to have what is absolutely necessary to enable
**    us to be what we ought to be, and to possess what we ought to possess.
**      ==  Rahel

[ Link here = https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters260.html#Steven_M ]

Date: Tue, September 6, 2011 6:19 am     (answered 13 September 2011)
From: "Steven M."
Subject: Detox

Anonymous Orange (or whatever fear name you hide behind)

It's hard to want to continue reading your website when by the 3rd paragraph you mention how most just detox on their own or with help of friends. Detoxing from alcohol or benzos can be extremely dangerous and even fatal. To make such dangerous ignorant statements makes me less inclined to read further in your article to see if there is anything useful or truthful in my investigations into AA, which is unfortunate since there seems to be an overwhelming lack of knowledgable information on the Internet.

Steven M.

Hello Steven,

Thanks for the letter. First off, I do not hide behind any name. My birth name is Terrance Hodgins, and I live in Oregon. I use "Orange" as a pen name. It's no different than Mark Twain or Ann Landers or Jane Austin, which weren't their real names either. I continue to use that pen name because I've used it for so long that many people know me by no other name.

About the detoxing: I stand behind that statement because it's the truth. It does not matter how dangerous detoxing alone is, that is still how most people do it.

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."

Quitting alone and detoxing myself is how I did it the first time that I quit drinking, back in 1987. Forty-eight hours without alcohol and I suddenly found my head buzzing like mad and I started seeing swirling sheets of energy in the air, and then I started jerking and shaking like I was being electrocuted. And the stomach cramps were so bad that I thought my liver was going to burst and I was going to die. Then I spent the night defending myself from the evil spirits that I thought were hiding in the dark corners of the room and trying to get into my mind, and I feared that if I feel asleep, they would get me. So, even though I desperately wanted to just pass out and sleep it off, I didn't dare. It was a hell of a night. And I was shaking so badly that it was impossible to crawl out of bed to the living room, and look up a phone number and dial it on a touch-tone phone. Never gonna happen. My hands were just shaking too much. So I had to just lay in bed and ride out the storm alone.

I don't recommend that to anyone. I simply didn't know what I was doing. I had no idea that I was addicted to alcohol. I thought that I would just quit and that it wouldn't be any big deal.

Yes, I know that is extremely dangerous. I hear that 25% of the people who go into DT's die.

And my body knows that it is dangerous too. In the following years, I had many nightmares where I dreamed that I had run out of alcohol and was going into DT's again. It made for some very strange dreams where I would wake up in the middle of the night shaking and going into DT's, and I would desperately search for more alcohol, and find a single overlooked unopened beer under my bed and pop it open and glug it down, and feel the shaking lessen, and then I would suddenly wake up shaking, and it had all been a dream.

Nevertheless, I also detoxed myself alone the second time that I quit drinking, 10 3/4 years ago now. But that time I had a much better idea of what I was doing, and I was very careful to taper off slowly, and not put my body through a shock by suddenly quitting cold turkey one day.

Similarly, I had three friends who quit heroin, and they also detoxed themselves. As one said, "Quitting heroin wasn't that bad. I just laid in bed and shook and sweated for three days, and it was over. But I can't quit these." And he had a cigarette in one hand, and a beer in the other.

Please notice that I was simply reporting how things really are, not how I wish things to be, or how I advise people to quit drinking, or what I recommend. I was simply reporting the truth. I am not ignorant of the facts. You are simply reading incorrectly, and assuming that I am saying things that I am not.

If you bother to read my web site, you will find that I advise people again and again to see a doctor if there is any chance that they are addicted to alcohol (or to any other dangerous drug like benzos or diazepines or Ritalin). Again and again, I have warned people that going into DT's can be fatal, so don't do it. See a doctor and get help. Don't detox alone. I only did it because I didn't know what I was doing. I think everybody is a beginner at quitting the first time that they quit. If I had known then what I know now, I would have done things differently. And so would a lot of other people.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     There is nothing quite like dying for convincing you that
**     you really need to take better care of your health.
**       ==  Orange

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Last updated 18 October 2014.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters260.html